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This year’s penultimate (11th) race for the European motorcycle championship, the 24th GHD Petrol IB, came out with top-notch performances and with fairly anticipated results, with the exception of Saturday’s flavored official training in good weather. For the seventh time, the victory in the elite category II on the Il. Bistrica-Šembija won the nine-time European champion, Italian Simone Faggioli, before the Christian Christian Merli, who, at the same time, wrapped up the first title of the European champion in his career two weeks before the end of the EP 2018 season in Buzet in Croatia. Slovenian third place Patrik Zajelšnik was excellent also. In the category of touring cars, the prestigious triumph was celebrated by Slovenian matador Milan Bubnič (AMD Slovenia avto).
After Saturday’s strong morning rain forecast announced mostly rainy and therefore a very exhausting day for competitors and organizers, the town on the Slovenian-Croatian border woke up today in a clear morning. This is particularly pleasing to the organizers of our biggest annual motoring event. They hoped, however, that the predicted afternoon surfaces might have missed the area between Il. Bistrica and Šembi, as only in this way would be able to get another competition test under the roof and thus bring the event to a happy ending.
The first one with 173 racers, 213 of them registered after the technical inspection and Saturday training remained in competition, started at 8.30 and ended with a few interruptions due to slipping from the track after three and a half hours. The competitors were much faster than the course in yesterday’s practice, which was also quite expected. The fastest, other than the record holder of the track (5010 m / 1: 59,558, 2017) and the 6-time winner of the Simone Faggioli (Italy, Norma M20 FC) Simone Faggioli, closely approached the time of two minutes (2: 00,672 / 47 km / h) followed by his Christian Christian Merli (Osella FA 30 Zytec LRM, 2: 04,525 / 146,90 km / h), leading the overall EP 2018 in the elite category II, and the fastest Slovenian Patrik Zajelšnik (AK V-Racing Velenje / Norma M20 FC, 2: 26,534 / 144,84 km / h).
Due to a technical failure, Vladimir Stankovič (AMD Zvezda, Dallara T-2), one of the major Slovenian high hopes, was unstoppable due to the oil spill, which caused the last break shortly before the end of the first competition. As expected, Milan Bubnič (AMD Slovenia car, Lancia Delta HF Integrale, 2: 24.933 / 124.45 km / h) was expecting on the track, while Aleksander Zajelšnik (AK V-Racing / Norma on the edge of the top 20) M20 F, 2: 26.534 / 123.09 km / h).
Before the start of the second run, the Competition Jury decided to send second category (prototypes and formulas) competitors without windscreens to the line immediately after the appearance of the classicists and category I competitors in order to avoid any possible complication if The weather would be wrong. The sun was covered with clouds and every risk would be really superfluous. As many track-side viewers are so early as they initially expected to see an interesting battle-to-win win between the fastest racers and category II vehicles. And the Serie European champion (with 9 titles) and the winner of the Simona Faggioli’s brilliant races were surely winning the seventh victory at the biggest Slovenian automotive event in front of the great rival Christian Merli and our excellent pilot Patrik Zajelšnik. The fourth place in the overall ranking was promoted by the French Sebastien Petit.
The race was then continued and – although a few drops of rain fell, but did not sink – ended the racers with touring cars. The deserved triumph of the national champion Milan Bubnič was a great culmination of Slovenian performances, among which one should mention at least the very good racing of Petar Marco (6th in category I) and Aleš Preko (8th). (Detailed results on the website www.omikronplus.si).
Unofficial results: 24. GHD Petrol IB – touring cars: 1. Milan Bubnič (Slovenia, Lancia Delta HF Integral) 4: 45,627, 2. Karl Schagerl (VW Golf TFSI-R) 4: 51,786, 3. Hofer Werner (Ford Escort Cosworth) 4: 52,053; EP 2018 – category I: 1. Jan Milon (McLaren 650S GT3) 4: 59,213, 2. Peter Ambruz (both Slovakia, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) 5: 14,685, 3. Martin Jerman (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3) 5: 16,602, 4 (Mitsubishi Lancer IX) 5: 20,892, 6. Peter Marc (Mitsubishi Lancer IX): 24,895, 8. Aleš Prek (both Slovenia, Honda Civic Type R) 5: 25,645 etc.
Category II: 1. Simone Faggioli (Norma M20 FC) 4: 01.559, 2. Christian Merli (both Italy, Osella FA 30 Zytec LRM) 4: 04.120, 3. Patrik Zaješnik (Slovenia, Norma M20 FC) 4: 08.622, 4 Sebastien Petit (France, Norma M20 FC), 5. Dusan Neveril (Czech Republic, Norma M20 FC) 4: 32,565, … 14. Aleksander Zajelšnik (Slovenia, Norma M20 F) 4: 48,116 etc.