“Last week the European Championship B 1/8th scale took place at the nice track of the AMC Hildesheim in Germany. From Monday on Team Shepherd was at the track to support all Velox drivers attending the event, among them local hero Lars Hoppe and young racer Maxi Vogl both from the German Shepherd Team.
Already during practise Hoppe and Vogl showed a strong performance battleling for the fastest laptimes with Serpent’s experienced Andreas Giesa and young Italian Mirko Salemi racing an Mugen MRX4. Also in qualifying the Shepherd drivers could be found on the top of list – with his Novarossi powered Velox V8 “eleven” Hoppe claimed the TQ spot in front of Giesa and Salemi. Vogl had some bad luck lapping slower cars but managed the set the 5th fastest time behind Toni Gruber on 4th place. With Jürg Nydegger and Andy Geisser from Switzerland two other Shepherd drivers qualified directly for the important semifinal on 9th respectively 11th place. A little bit unlucky was Velox racer Timo Schröder who missed the semifinal by only 0,120 sec on 15th place.
As decided by EFRA the higher finals were already run on Saturday. Timo Schröder had a good run in the quarter final A and bumped up into the semi A where he joined his teammates Hoppe, Vogl, Nydegger and Geisser. From the start of the semi final it was a battle between Hoppe and Salemi for the lead. But as nobody wanted to risk a broken car, both drove very carefully with Hoppe winning the semi final in front of Salemi, Püpke and Hepp. As the semi final A was much faster than the semi B, also Nydegger on 5th place and Schröder on 6th place advanced to the final. Unfortunately Vogl had a broken rim after a few laps and couldn’t make up the time to have a chance to reach the final. The drivers bumping up from the semi B were Niklas Johannson, Mattia Pesenti, Merlin Depta and Jens Stark while Andreas Giesa had to retire because of technical problems.
With 3 cars in the final and the TQ time of Hoppe it was already a good result for Team Shepherd but of course the ultimate goal was the victory. Everybody was excited to watch the battle between Hoppe and Salemi. The 45min final saw a clean start with Hoppe defending the lead in front of Salemi. But in lap 5 bad luck striked at Team Shepherd when the battery cable of Hoppes car became disconnected and he rolled into the grass. The marshall placed the car back on the track but with no electricity there was nothing Hoppe could do. Unfortunately Schröder hitted the stranded Velox at full speed and destroyed his complete front end. Hoppe’s pitcrew consisting of Shepherd team leader Patrick Schäfer and top factory driver Daniele Ielasi could repair his car, but 10 laps down on the leader the chance on the win was gone. Mirko Salemi never looked back and crossed the finishing line in first position. Starting from 5th place Shepherd’s Jürg Nydegger showed an excellent performance and managed to take the runner up spot in front of Mattia Pesenti on third place. Pole man Lars Hoppe recovered a little bit and finished on 6th place while Timo Schröder on 10th place was crowned the European Junior Champion.”