29 December 2023

Mechelen: Boyd Exell takes the win in the first competition

The warm-up competition of the World Cup competition in Mechelen was won this afternoon by Boyd Exell. The Dutch and the Belgians could not make it to the drive-off. Jérôme Voutaz and Michael Brauchle took on the World Champion in the second round.

It was not easy for the drivers to drive flawlessly in Johan Jacobs’ course, which seemed deceptively simple at first glance. The first cone gate in particular often suffered. This was placed right next to a marathon obstacle and that turned out to be difficult as the first gate. This time the bridge was not in the middle, but opposite the entrance to the arena, along the stands. As a result, it had to be hit at a slightly more perpendicular angle, but that did not cause any problems for anyone. Especially because there was no wooden bottom installed and therefore only had to be steered between the bridge girders. The course had some long lines on which a lot of speed was achieved and that made for an attractive competition for the public.

Only Glenn Geerts clear

First starter Glenn Geerts was the only clear one in the first round, but he lacked absolute top speed. Koos de Ronde clocked the fastest time, but when taking the first marathon obstacle his team drifted slightly, causing him to hit a cone gate. Driving down and then building up again resulted in 14 penalty seconds, which ultimately put him in 5th place. Bram Chardon’s speed was also good, but he immediately touched gate 1 and had to concede another ball further down the course. With a 4th place he fell just outside the drive-off. Jérome Voutaz, Boyd Exell and Michael Brauchle were not inferior to each other and they also drove a ball home. The hope of the Belgian public was therefore pinned on the last participant Dries Degrieck. Unfortunately he had too many mistakes. The first gate immediately suffered and another ball fell further down the course. In the second marathon obstacle, he hit an element, which not only resulted in a 4 second penalty, but also a loss in speed.

And gate 1 again

In the drive-off, Jérôme Voutaz and Michael Brauchle both had a ball at the first gate. The German was 3 seconds faster than the Swiss. Boyd Exell was keen on a perfect round. Now he left all the balls up and he was also one second faster than Michael Brauchle. As the winner of the warm-up, Boyd will be the last to start in tomorrow’s competition.

Click here for the results

Click here for the photo album

Winner Boyd Exell
Photo: Wil Smeets

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