Saturday, January 30, 2010

HP motor racing, Lahnberger Drift Course, D

In the penultimate race of the German Cross Country Championship on September 11th in Lahnberge/ Wolfshausen, Simo Kirssi on his HP2 was once again both "king of hearts" as well as king of the show. At the end, the "silent Finn" clearly had mixed feelings: he did reach a ranking amongst the top ten with ninth position - as had been his stated aim - but he could also have done a lot better.

At the start of the two-hour race over the sandy track approximately 4 kilometres long, everything went smoothly. In Le Mans manner, Kirssi went into the first few bends in fourth place. As usual, he started by taking a good look at the track and his opponents and letting a few "firebrands" pass: after about thirty minutes in the drizzle he was placed sixth. Again and again, the young offroad professional displayed his motorcycling skill as his HP2 flat twin roared out of tight hairpin bends - completely redefining the concept of acceleration on a loose surface.

However, he was then hit again by bad luck - something which had almost been forgotten in the last few races. The spring strut was no longer working as it should and Simo Kirssi had to go into the helper´s area.

This unanticipated interruption cost Kirssi about ten minutes (approximately two laps) and it was clear that he would not be able to make up this time before the final flag came down. But this was exactly what spurned Kirssi on: unleashed once more, he worked the throttle and set about taking the field apart from behind.

The Frenchman Arnaud Demeester, currently leading the series, was to feel the consequences of this wild chase. Kirssi hung doggedly to his rear wheel to the applause of his many fans at the trackside, and the popular Finn finally managed to overtake Demeester on the penultimate lap, actually taking another 14 seconds off him by the end of the race.

"I was actually satisfied with my race up to the interruption," said Kirssi afterwards, although he had previously said he did not expect the circuit to be to his liking. In purely arithmetical terms according to lap times, he could have made fifth position, but 9th just about fulfils the season of target of being among the top ten in the series ranking, where Kirssi is currently 8th.

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