At Welsh Walters Arena in Glynneath, where four years ago Ultra4 Europe started, the Maxxis Tyres King of Wales 2015 was held this wekend. After a few various European races, French WSR Team finally demonstrated what they’re capable of.
Following the excellent opening of the Ultra4 in Italy, the second leg was staged in South Wales. Ultra4 Europe has now become one of the hardest off road series in Europe.
It all started on 6th of August with the arrival of the teams and shock tuning sponsored by King Shocks with the support of Offroad Armoury. Real off roading started on Friday with the prologue presented by Gigglepin Winches. This mini 1.75 miles long race decided the starting order for Saturday.
We expected no less fom Gigglepin racing team. They won the prologue. French WSR Team finished second, followed by Portuguese Filipe Guiamanes and OffRoad Terror from Belgium.
Unfortunately, things have changed. Here’s what Axel Burmann (OffRoad Terror) had to say after the prologue:
“Things started great for us. We finished the prologue on 4th place, just 12 seconds behind Jim Marsden who was leading the pack. I was very happy. But we knew what to expect from our old Terraflex Dana 60 axle. Unfortunately, expected problems came true.”
Saturday’s program included six laps on a 22 km long course; the terrain offered an endless variety of obstacles; rocks, water, mud and pure speed sections. In the early laps, Jim Marsden took a strong lead, followed by WSR Team, Filipe Guiamanes and Rob Butler (winner KOI).
During the fourth lap, Marsden had to stop at the pit to repair the differential and gearbox. Despite a 90-minute repair, Jim finished the day in fourth place. Nicolas Montador in his WSR buggy won the stage…
First Ultra4 Europe Night Stage was also held on Saturday, sponsored by Wilderness Lighting. Gigglepin racing was back on track, the night stage was held on the prologue route but in the reverse direction.
Jim Marsden: I love a nightstage and could not wait to get going. This time the course was a reverse of the prologue and we would be heading up the Dragons back with cars leaving in one minute intervals. With Lazer High Performance Lighting Triple R lights cutting through the dust we roared into the night.The engine and gearbox howled their tune as we hit the track hard, winning the stage by 8 seconds from an amazingly fast Nicolas Montador. Sadly, Axel Bürmann finished here as he hit a rock step at 30mph and shattered his front axle!
Sunday, the last day of competition was perhaps the most exciting day of the Maxxis Tyres King of Wales 2015. Marsden was forced to retire for a break. Robert Butler fought back thanks to an aggressive driving to undermine the WSR Team. Unfortunately, broken rear differential put Butler out of the game too. Nicolas Montador had the green light to keep the lead and deserved to earn his first win in the Ultra4 Europe championship 2015. Jim Marsden was awarded by King Shocks for being the fastest in the King Zone.
Nicolas Montador was brief: “Everything went well for us. Jim wasn’t giving up and we were having serious problems to cope with his driving.”
- Montador / Varet – WSR Team
- Guimanaes / Sampaio – Big Rocks Racing
- Ciantar / Tanti – Nusu
- Shirley / Shirley – Lucky Dog
- Butler / Lunstrom – ORA
- Hunt / Trembath – Gigglepin
- Janssens / Janssens – Jeep Power
- Marsden / Birch – Gigglepin
- Lemos / Carlos – Team Serrao
- De Nijs / De Nijs – Team Rocky
Legend class was won by Marcus Williams and Tayler Lewis, Modified class was won by Ryan Dunn and his son Paul.
With two different winners, Rob Butler in Italy and Nicolas Montador in Wales, the fight for the title is open. So will the Maxxis Tyres King of Portugal decide the fate of the championship? Filipe Guimanaes is Portuguese and was second in Italy and in Wales. His closest rival, Neville Ciantar, third in both races, will not participate in Portugal, probably.
See you in Portugal, Vimioso – September 9th – 12th
TEXT: PAOLO BARALDI & EMILIO MOCIBOB
PHOTO: PAOLO BARALDI