After a long, exhausting but adventurous trip to the Czech Republic we arrived late in the evening in the paddock. In Hořice the first rounds of the Czech Road Racing Cup were held at the race meeting called 300 zatáček Gustava Havla. Peter had entered in the class up to 600cc and above 600cc, and was the first Dutchman to start there in the last ten years!
The circuit is located on the outskirts of the town and with a height difference of 90 meters and a length of 5.1 kilometers a real challenge. The track goes through the forest and the town, and has spectator attendances of 10,000 that line the circuit.
The Saturday practice sessions were held under bright sunshine. And after 2 sessions in both classes Peter was quite happy with the progress he had made. With a 26th time, he was qualified in the A race in the 600cc class. And a 27th time in the above 600cc class, the Kawasaki had some problems. After checking out later we found that the filter of the fuel pump was blocked. Allowing the engine to stutter regularly and so there was no optimal performance. The problem seemed to be solved and we looked forward to the races.
Saturday night a lot of rain fell down, and Sunday morning warm up was ridden on a wet track. The track dried quickly and a new set of Pirelli Super Corsa’s were mounted. The first race of the day for Peter was the up to 600 race just after midday.
At the start of the race a rider on the row in front of me catapulted his bike and I could just avoid him. I still had a good start and made up 5 places. Soon came the red flags out and the race was stopped. Back on the start grid I noticed lots of oil on the track, which was cleaned up.
A restart was scheduled for 8 laps after 15 min, and again when the red lights went out I had a good start. I passed some riders and came in a group of riders, with some 6 just before me. Unfortunately, the race was red flagged again in the fourth lap due to a very serious crash. 2 riders touched each other while overtaking and fell off. After 20 minutes we were taken from the start grid and not long after the whole event was canceled. I heard that unfortunately one rider was killed and one critically injured rider was transported to hospital in a trauma helicopter.
A tragic end to what was to be one of the highlights of my season. But we found out that the sport I love doing has some very cruel downsides. My thoughts are at the moment with the family and friends of both drivers.
I will for sure try to go back next year to Hořice, since we have some unfinished business.
Results of the practices can be found here;
The next event on the calendar is closer to my home, namely in Hengelo (NL) on 4 and 5 June the second round of the IRRC championship will be held. A proper road race track also so I will be more in my element there.
Kind Regards Peter.