Northern Talent Cup:
Phommara and Frellsen emerge victorious in exhilarating Red Bull Ring battles
The seventh and next to last round of the Northern Talent Cup was raced at Red Bull Ring, in Austria.
In wet conditions, Lenoxx Phommara (Team Phommara) claimed a fourth victory of the season to launch himself to the top of the standings and place one hand on the NTC cup, his advantage at the top of the 2023 Northern Talent Cup standings now a substantial 19 points with just three races remaining. Riding in second position, Phommara made a last-lap move on Dutchman Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) to take the lead onto the main straight. It was very much a photo finish with riders Filip Novotny (DG Corse) and Van Crugten crossing the line milliseconds behind.
Austrian rookie Luis Rammerstorfer (Heating Factory Youngsters) took a surprise pole position in wet conditions at his home GP.
It was a lightning start off the line for Lenoxx Phommara and he was the first into Turn 1, just ahead of Van Crugten and poleman Rammerstorfer. Phommara looked to be running away with it as he quickly pulled out a gap at the front in the opening laps. But from ninth on the grid Dane Julius Frellsen (MCA Racing) was on the advance and having already made up five positions off the line, wasted no time in dispatching first Rammerstorfer and then Van Crugten. With ten laps to go, he caught and overtook Phommara on the inside of Turn 1 to take the lead.
Just behind, a small of riders had formed consisting of Levin Phommara (Team Phommara) and Dutchman Van Crugten, and the impressive Novotny. Meanwhile, at the front, Frellsen wasn’t quite able to pull away from Lenoxx Phommara and as the race progressed it was the turn of Van Crugten to make his way to the front, with Levin Phommara dropping back.
Poleman Rammerstorfer found himself in sixth position within a couple of laps. Dreams of memorable result were scuppered however by a high side at T3 that saw him retire from his home GP.
Everything was decided on the last lap and it was between Van Crugten, Lenoxx Phommara, Novotny & Frellsen, and it was in this order the lap began, but it was not how it finished. Lennox Phommara left it late to make his move on leader Van Crugten on the penultimate corner, with Novotny going with him and taking second, leaving Van Crugten and Frellsen to take third and fourth respectively.
Rounding out the top 10 was Levin Phommara (Team Phommara) in fifth, ahead of Martin Vincze (VM Racing Team), Luca Hafeneger (Austria Junior Cup Team), Maxime Schmid (Team Schmid), Niklas Wannenmacher (KTM Braumandl) and Matteo Masili (Fairium Next Generation Riders Team) in tenth.
In an exhilarating race with a lead group of eight, Dane Julius Frellsen (MCA Racing) once again showed why he is a rider on the rise and very much at the top of his game, with a sublime performance that saw him overtake five riders on the last lap and claim a well-deserved victory at the Red Bull Ring ahead of title rivals Rocco Sessler (MCA Racing) and Lenoxx Phommara (Team Phommara).
In sunny and dry conditions, the stage was set for an exciting Race 2, and it did not disappoint. From second on the grid. it was a great start from Jurrien Van Crugten (BB64 Academy) off the line to beat poleman Lenoxx Phommara into Turn 1. Within a couple of laps, a lead group of eight riders had formed, and it stayed like this for the rest of the race, the leader changing multiple times, the likes of Matteo Masili (Fairium Next Generation Riders Team), Lenoxx Phommara, Martin Vincze (VM Racing Team) and Rocco Sessler (MCA Racing Team) all enjoying some time leading the chasing pack.
Not unsurprisingly, it all came down to the last lap. Our eventual race winner was in sixth at this point, first dispatching Novotny (DG Corse) into T1, Sessler at the chicane, Masili at T3, and then both Vincze and Lenoxx Phommara in a heroic move at T4. At the last turn, Sessler took first, but this only served to provide Frellsen with a convenient slipstream in the run-up to the finish line, where he secured his third victory of the season, ahead of Sessler, Phommara, Vincze, and Masili.
In terms of the tile race, there was some consolation for Rocco Sessler having claimed second position ahead of cup leader Lenoxx Phommara in third, thus reducing the deficit at the top standings from 19 points to 15. A not insurmountable lead if the German wishes to claim the title (he does!), but not an easy one either. But this is racing, and anything can happen.