BF Goodrich King of Poland closed the Ultra4 Europe 2019 season. Waiting for the King of the Hammers 2020, where three European teams will be competing, let's see how this year's championship ended and who are the champions in each category.
Photography and story by Paolo Baraldi
The 2019 season of Ultra4 Europe is over and all the teams are already working to prepare themselves for the 2020 championship. Some of them - Bernd Schäfer (GER), Iñaki Eguia (ESP) and Shabs Piercy (GBR) - are concentrated for the preparations to participate in the King of the Hammers.
For the Ultra4 Europe fans, 2020 will be a very interesting year to follow because many top drivers (Jim Marsden, Cedric Porcher, Rob Butler, Nicolas Mondator and Pier Acerni just to name a few) have or are selling their car. The first race of the next season will be the most interesting: it will reveal the new prototypes and will make us understand who will be the protagonists of the championship.
Before thinking about Team Europe, who are preparing for the King of the Hammers 2020, and the next season of Ultra4 Europe, I think it is important to archive the 2019 championship with a brief report and presenting the champions of each category.
Ultra4 europe 2019, summary of the season
2019 started with two new locations: Les Comes in Spain and Montalieu Vercieu in France. Two competition fields that, although with very different morphological characteristics, have both proved to be up to Ultra4 Europe standards. For the fame in the offroad world of these two locations the wait was enormous.
After the prologue that took place under a summer sun, the two days of competition of the BF Goodrich King of Spain Les Comes were characterized by a very heavy rain, a rare event in this region of Spain, which has completely changed the path and transformed the event in one of the most epic and tough races in the entire history of Ultra4 Europe. Jim Marsden won the race starting right from here his climb to the title of champion.
The Center Tout Terrain in Montalieu Vercieu is famous throughout Europe for Truck Trial races. Organizing an Ultra4 race here for the first time was a real bet, a bet that the organizers have largely won. The sun has warmed up the entire BF Goodrich King of France weekend which, although with a race track of only 8 km long, has found the approval of all the drivers. The KOF was won by Rob Butler with Jim Marsden fourth due to a mechanical problem.
For the third race of 2019, Ultra4 Europe returned at home where everything started in 2012. The BF Goodrich King of Britain took place in the Walters Arena. The typical weather conditions of Wales have not disappointed this time either. The rain welcomed and accompanied the teams for the entire weekend. Accustomed to these situations of water and mud, the drivers did not become demoralized and they raced without saving both their energy and those of the cars. Jim Marsden, at ease in the rain and mud, won this race.
King of Portugal was canceled for reasons of force majeure, high risk of fires. From Wales the teams moved directly to Poland where for the second consecutive year the grand final for the Ultra4 Europe season took place. The BF Goodrich King of Poland took place at the Olszyna Motopark with a mixed race course and with different types of obstacles. The championship standings saw three drivers competing for the title: Jim Marsden (leader of the overall with 2974 points), Cedric Porcher (second with 2890 points) and Rob Butler (third with 2540 points). With the Englishman Butler out of the games because without a car (Rob has in fact sold his Eurofighter IFS Single Seater), the fight for the European title of Ultra4 Europe saw Marsden (UK) and Porchere (FR) as protagonists. Both drivers and others were not spared by staging an adrenaline-filled race full of twists. At the end of a wonderful weekend Jim Marsden won the race.
Here are the 2019 champions of Europe Ultra4
With three races of four wins and with 3981 points Jim Marsden and Hélder da Rocha were crowned in Poland 2019 European Champions of Ultra4 Europe in the 4400 class. The French Cedric Porcher and Noel Herve, in the second year of Ultra4 races, with 3855 points are second and the Germans Bernd Schafer and Alexander Schonbrunn are third with 2850 points.
4400 overall ranking
1. Jim Marsden / Hélder da Rocha (GBR) - 3981 points
2. Cedric Porcher / Noel Herve (FRA) – 3855 points
3. Bernd Schäfer / Alexander Schonbrunn (GER) - 2850 points
4. Rudy Farrugia / Malcolm Pal Garcia (MAL) – 2835 points
5. Rob Butler (GBR) – 2540 points
6. Iñaki Eguia / Javier Otaegi (ESP) – 2363 points
7. Mark Dean / Viv Veasey (GBR) – 2186 points
8. Shabs Piercy / Si Sagar (GBR) – 2022 points
9. James Ayre / Michael Brown (GBR) – 1870 points
10. Hendrik De Nijs / Sven Gogea (BEL) – 1860 points
11. Nicolas Montador / Kerry Hufton (FRA) – 1776 points
12. Axel Bürmann / Tom Olieslager (BEL) – 1600 points
13. Emanuel Costa / Gerardo Sampaio (POR) – 1428 points
14. Damien Mendiondou / Remy Allors (FRA) – 1395 points
15. Marco Ameirser / Michael Ameirser (ESP) – 1363 points
16. Jaap Betsema / Tom Robrecht (NED) – 1337 points
17. Peter Jackson / Giles Hurst (GBR) – 1289 points
18. Pier Acerni / Nicola Bondi (ITA) – 1136 points
19. Marco Polónio / Doul Almesda (POR) – 960 points
20. Neville Ciantar / Lee Ciantar (MAL) – 955 points
21. Alan Zhara / Robert Caruana (MAL) – 955 points
22. Mathieu Talazac / Andre Saudie (FRA) – 950 points
23. Roger Troguet / Joel Fernandez (AND) – 940 points
23. Kieran Dunlop / Dan Roderick (GBR) - 940 points
25. Jose Vaquero / Jorge Alonso (ESP) – 935 points
25. Philon Parpottas / Isaac Hayes (GBR) – 935 points
27. Christian Fraisse / Roman Porchere (FRA) – 920 points
28. Will Overton / Gavin Ford (GBR) – 749 points
29. Aymeric Syre / J. Charles Syre (FRA) - 630 points
30. Luis Filipe Guimaraes / Ricardo Ferriera (POR) – 544 points
31. Rainer Lohr / Tinus Broeker (GER) – 461 points
32. Lukasz Miecik / Piotr Kubinek (POL) – 438 points
33. Paul Glasper / Neil Dahl (GBR) – 406 points
33. Ryan Jenkins / Dan Richards (GBR) – 406 points
35. Joan Escala / Miquel Calsina (ESP) – 362 points
36. Jérémie Bourgeois/ Julien Thievenaz (FRA) – 281 points
37. Marcin Plis / Tomasz Krzosek (POL) – 250 points
38. Noah Gibbard (GBR) – 243 points
39. Isaac Candela / Ruben Gonzales (ITA) – 181 points
40. MJ Stothers / Neil Wood (GBR) – 162 points
41. Mario Rocca / Girolamo Rocca (ITA) – 125 points
42. Julien Guerton / Julien Thievenaz (FRA) – 0 point
43. Jerry Hunt / Ed Webber (GBR) – 0 point
In the 4800 class the French Aymeric Syre and J. Charles Syre with 1957 points are the new European champions. Chris Roberts and Matthew Howard are second and Lukas Gembala and Tomasz Szarzec third.
4800 overall ranking
1. Aymeric Syre / J. Charles Syre (FRA) – 1957 points
2. Chris Roberts / Matthew Howard (GBR) – 1000 points
3. Lukas Gembala / Tomasz Szarzec (POL) – 1000 points
4. Mike Roberston / Rhys Walker (GBR) – 965 points
5. Andrzej Ciaciek / Arkadiusz Mickiewicz (POL) – 965 points
6. Dan Hickling / William Jones (GBR) – 960 points
7. Marzena Kaczmarek / Bartosz Kulpinski (POL) – 960 points
8. Craig King / Dan Hornson (GBR) – 955 points
9. Kristian Jensen / Fredrik Brinch (DEN) – 955 points
10. Jan Klingenberg / Robin Wieches (GER) – 950 points
Dean Mason and Craig Hodgson won the Ultra4 Europe championship in the 4500 class with 2902 points followed by Jeremie Bourgeois and Julien Thievenaz second and Joe Seymore Smith and Thomas Evans third.
4500 overall ranking
1. Dean Mason / Craig Hodgson (GBR) – 2902 points
2. Jeremie Bourgeois / Julien Thievenaz (FRA) – 1982 points
3. Joe Seymore Smith / Thomas Evans (GBR) – 1965 points
4. Moralez / Manuel (ESP) – 1007 points
5. Piotr Florczak / Karol Sobon (POL) – 1000 points
6. Ryan Dunn / Paul Dunn (GBR) – 982 points
7. Jordi Abad / Jordi Badia (ESP) – 975 points
8. Javier Sanchez / Alfonso Moueno (ESP) – 965 points
9. Jan Petrak / Vojtech Petrak (CZR) – 965 points
In the 4600 class Vincent Bigorne and Franck Bigorne are the 2019 champions with 1982 points. Felip Esteban and Isahac Ponsa are second, Marek Halasek and Szymon Salamon third and Pili Perez and Luis Sedano fourth.
4600 overall ranking
1. Vincent Bigorne / Franck Bigorne (FRA) – 1982 points
2. Felip Esteban / Isahac Ponsa (ESP) – 1007 points
3. Marek Halasek / Szymon Salamon (POL) – 1007 points
4. Pili Perez / Luis Sedano (ESP) – 975 points
Among the UTVs with almost a thousand point of advantage the French Alain Plancoulaine and Jeremy Gauche are European champions. Stijn Vekeman is second and Raf Wyrzykowski and Wieslaw Wojcik are third.
4900 overall ranking
1. Alain Plancoulaine / Jeremy Gauche (FRA) – 3857 points
2. Stijn Vekeman (BEL) – 2925 points
3. Raf Wyrzykowski / Wieslaw Wojcik (POL) – 1930 points
4. Philon Parpottas (GBR) – 1007 points
6. Nicolas Truchi / Pascal Vichard (FRA) – 1007 points
7. Paul Rowlands / Neil Lloyd (GBR) – 1007 points
8. Andreas Rosenlöcher (GER) – 1000 points
9. Tobias Goeldner (GER) – 975 points
10. Wojnar Waldermar / Damian Kasprzyk (POL) – 960 points
Road to the Hammers 2020, qualified teams
For the Unlimited class drivers there was also the qualification for the Road to the Hammers 2020 in play. To be able to access this particular opportunity to race at the King of the Hammers, the drivers had to participate in at least three races of the championship and the team of each country with the highest final score are qualified.
Here are the qualified teams:
Jim Marsden / Hélder da Rocha (GBR) - Gigglepin Racing
Cedric Porcher / Noel Herve (FRA) - Mudracer Racing
Bernd Schäfer / Alexander Schönbrunn (GER) - The Crazy Germans
Rudy Farrugia / Malcolm Pal Garcia (MAL) - 111 Racing Team
Iñaki Eguia / Javier Otaegi (ESP) - Buda Xtrem
Shabs Piercy / Si Sagar (GBR) - Team Synchro Racing
For several reasons not everyone is able to organize the California trip. So, Next February Bernd Schafer, Inaki Eguia and Shabs Piercy will be competing in Johnson Valley.