This weekend we attended the yearly Montpellier GP event held at the Circuit du MBM. In the weeks up to the event the weather forecast was looking poor. Weather has plagued the event in recent years but the effort and dedication by the track workers meant that the events were able to run at the best possible level, this year was absolutely no exception.
Upon arrival at the track Thursday afternoon from a long 15 hour drive with the team, the track was looking in superb shape, a miracle considering the weather they have contended with in the weeks leading up to the race.
The Friday was intended to be the practice day but with the rain rolling in later that afternoon only one practise round was held, followed by two qualifying rounds. The practice round was positive for all of the team as they soon became familiar with the track surface and layout.
Qualification had started and we had many drivers looking strong in the field, Berkan Kilic 49th, Joni Skidmore 45th, Kevin Michaudet 40th, Burak Kilic 25th, Edouard Hugon 23rd and Darren in 13th place after the 5 rounds. With Darren we had been really unlucky with the weather. He had top 5 in rounds but needed 1 more score to be near the top overall. In the last round he ran at the front, having the second best lap time and looking very fast on the Cubez tire. Unfortunately the run wasn't quite clean and so we missed our target. But all considered we were very happy with the performance and confident for finals.
The earlier finals started promptly on the Sunday morning, Mike Williams showed a great drive in his final after a tough start just missing out on the bump up. A superb show from the young gun Adrien Brens bumping up his final after finishing in 1st place. The 1/8th finals had young Berkan Kilic and Joni Skidmore, both Joni and Berkan drove very superbly to both bump up into the quarters with Joni in 1st place and Berkan 2nd. In the quarter final A we had all of the boys, unfortunately none of the young drivers would progress into the semi finals but Edouard Hugon showed a superb performance to progress into the main final starting in 13th place. Unfortunately in Darren’s semi he had a radio receiver failure after only a few laps stopping his chances. He was in the lead pack at the time, looking very racy. He had moved to the always amazing free ride tire and it was clearly giving him even more drive....a missed opportunity, having got the package dialled and with the history of performance Darren has at Montpellier we felt sure he would of figured in the final photos.
The one hour main final started at 4pm, Edouard Hugon drove a superb race to jump up 4 spaces from his start in 13th to 9th, an incredible result with the level of competition that was shown in the final, with 5 of the last World Championships main final drivers racing. Well done Edouard, he looked awesome with his SV all weekend long!
A big thank you to Franck for hosting yet another superb event, and also to the track workers that worked so well to allow the race to continue with the poor weather. Their hard work resulted in a fantastic final, that had one of the biggest crowds we have ever seen. Bravo.