Race report WC 1, Vars - 3 Feb 2018

The focus was intense at the start of the first race of the season. A few racers had spent the week here training, but many racers had not been faster than 120 km/h yet this season. High speed training is difficult to acheive, and the speeds in Vars are higher than anywhere else.

10:30 Training Run (Top of cat track)

The track was soft and freshly groomed, so the first racers didn't manage any top speeds. The really experienced racers, Philippe May, Ivan Origone and Simone Origone were clearly fastest and the only racers to go above 180 km/h the first training run. Comeback Jukka Viitasaari and top racer Klaus Schrottshammer shared the 4'th position, with 2016 World Cup winner Bastien Montes just behind. Italian racer Antonio Renaldo showed his experience going 7'th fastest, just before the New Zealand newcomer Tawny Wagstaff. The S1 comeback Gregory Meichtry had issues with a spoiler pushing badly on his knee and could not fix it in time for the next run, pulling out of the race.

11:00 Race Run (Net #3 below traverse)

With the track tested and tracks made in the snow the speeds started rising quickly. Simone Origone did not hold back and went almost 20 km/h faster managing a 199.23 km/h. Finlands Jukka Viitasaari came close behind with 197.15 km/h. Philippe may in 3'rd was just below 195 km/h. Not having to make tracks in fresh groomed snow, Austrian racer Manuel Kramer started to shine, raising from 13'th to 4'th position for the 1'st race run. Many of the racers had some problems with the bumps in the track, opening up their positions or edging the skis. The bumps are to a normal eye non existent, but when hit in 180+ km/h they are suddenly a fact. French skier Tommy Jechoux, didn't have a good feeling and decided to pull out of the race.

12:30 Final Run (Net #2 below traverse)

For the final run the weather was still perfect and the track had held together really well. It was now just a matter of raising the speed a notch. Italian racer Simone Origone, less than a month after his knee surgery, decides the 1'st place is his and posts a speed of 208.33 km/h. Manuel Kramer improves even more and grabs the second place with 207.14 km/h. Just 0.12 km/h after is Bastien Montes in third place. Slovak Racer Michal Bekes finishes his best World Cup result ever, 6'th place and a personal record of 202.13 km/h. Local racer Simon Billy placed 8, taking his first World Cup top-10 position this season. Swedish junior newcomer Jonathan Brunnberg joined the 200 club with a speed of 200.45 km/h, fastest of all the Swedes in his first ever S1 World Cup race. Austrian skier Daniel Raab bounced back from 24'th in the first race run to 10'th in the final with exactly 200.00 km/h.

New faces in S1

The first race of the season had a lot of new faces in the S1 class.

Petr Urban - Czechia

Petr is a stable racer who has been in the S2 top 5 for the last 2 years. Strong heavy racer with a low position.

Edvard Foldyna - Czechia

Edvard is a former S2 racer who had a really good season 2016. 2017 placing around 10'th position.

Tawny Wagstaff - New Zealand

Tawny is a daredevil who only raced S2 in Canada last year, but with an exceptionally good result. Newcomer but can be unexpectedly fast.

Jonathan Brunnberg - Sweden

S2 junior who decided to change to S1 in order to race in Vars. Lives just next to the speed ski track Chocken in Sweden and has many more hours there than most other racers.

Alvaro Garcia - Spain

Alvaro has raced 2 years in the junior S2 class. Placed 2'nd in the World Championships in Idre 2017.

Results for the race

Link: /Results/2018/S1/World-Cup-Race-1-Vars