Horice - one of the highlights in the annual IRRC Roadracing Calenda
The course has a length of 5.1 km and an altitude difference of about 90 meters and is also called "Czech Tourist Trophy" in the scene. With its 26 turns, the course is technically very demanding and extremely strenuous. It therefore places high demands on the endurance of the rider. The race track runs through the town of Horice and the adjoining forest. Therefore the run-off zones are very small, which makes the course so interesting, but also dangerous. Horice is a mega motor sport event in the Czech Republic with about 20 000 visitors. These are visitor numbers which are only surpassed in Germany at the MotoGP at the Sachsenring. Riders like Kamil Holan, Marek Ceverny or Michal Dokupil are national sports stars in the Czech Republic and have appearances on state television.
Christian has loved this track ever since he started there with the 250cc. In the past, he has been on the podium twice in the "300 corners". But he also had the most bitter point of his career in Horice, when a Czech driver completely washed him away in the introductory lap.
Starter 3 after the qualifiyings
The complete team started the 850 km long journey on Thursday and used both days to get the bike in shape. Saturday morning the first free practice was scheduled and Christian used this training to test the bike and the gear ratio.
This was followed by two qualifying races. After the first qualifying Christian was on position five, so the task for the second qualifying race was fixed - this position should be improved. However, the run was also interrupted early, after the German starter Wolfgang Schuster had already fallen in the 2nd lap overmotivated. In the second qualifying run, Christian finished a good second place, but was pushed back to position four. In the last lap Christian was able to fight his way back to position three and thus had a great starting position for the race from the front row!
Hot race day in all respects
Sunday was a very warm day with approx. 32 degrees in the shade - but not only the weather should be "hot", also the two races had their moments.
The first race was already scheduled around 9 o'clock, at this point in time it was still cloudy and a bit cooler, therfore best racing weather. Christian had a very good start and was able to hold his starting position. After a few laps the race was stopped due to an accident. After the restart Christian was suddenly second, but the Czech driver Kamil Holan drove directly behind Christian. The local star, after a season that was rather mixed for him, wanted to be in the top positions in the SSP and SBK classes. Since the SBK is very strong and Kamil Holan won the race in the SSP class several times, he put all his strength on attack. Schmiddel acknowledged the wild attacks and decided to let Kamil Holan go in order not to let the Laurent Hoffmann behind him come too close in a head to head duel. Laurent Hoffmann was second in the IRRC overall standings before the race, 28 points ahead of Christian. Therefore the motto was to make up points on Laurent Hoffmann and not to risk a retirement due to a mistake of his own. So there was no further change of position and Christian finished the race on a strong third place, the podium was completed by the local hero Kamil Holan as second behind the winner Matthieu Lagrive from France.
In the afternoon race the sun was at its highest level; over 30 degrees was coocking the raods and riders. Christian had a great start from the third position. Championship runner-up Laurent Hoffmann was right behind him. Kamil Holan had more problems at the beginning trying to close the gap to Christian, but was highly motivated it being his home turf race. Matthieu Lagrive already put some distance between him and the peloton. Christian decided not to permanently expose himself to the constant pressure of Kamil Holan and let him pass,only to play the same game like the Czech and hunkered down himself and stuck on his rear wheel which then led to the position change, which was euphorically celebrated by the Czech racetrack speaker and the public. But Kamil was not able to keep Christian on distance and now Christian began to put pressure on Kamil. This led to the Czech rider making a driving error and crashing after only one lap. So Christian was back in second position and now should be able to beat Kamil Holan for the first time on his home track. Now it was time to bring this excellent position to the finish. With approx. 11 seconds behind the professional rider Matthieu Lagrive Christian crossed the finish line as the first pursuer, followed by Petr Wiesenberg with a couple of seconds distance. Overall an outstanding success finishing as the best amateur rider.
Double podium creates euphoria for the entire team
Of course the Czech fans would have preferred to see a compatriot on the podium, but all the drivers are celebrated here and Christian is a popular rider in the Czech Republic, so he also received a worthy reception on the podium. The weekend was again a great success for Christian, but also for the whole team behind him. This is especially true in view of the fact that the team is working with the new mechanic Gustav this year. Gustav, who already has many years of experience from another team, has quickly and well familiarized himself with the team. His experienced manner and the chemistry with the driver also suit him, which is always important in road racing.
Beside Christian, the German rider Didier Grams was also successful at the Superbike and contributed to the fact that all German fans had something to celebrate in Horice. The two riders represented our country well in the Mecca of Czech road racing!
Beside the racing we could also welcome Thomas Walther back in the paddock. He had a bad crash at the "300 corners" in Horice in May and is currently in rehab. The whole LSE-Road Racing Team wishes him all the best for his further recovery.
With now 40 points lead on the fourth-placed Finn Anssi Koski, the team has a good cushion for last two races in Frohburg. This very good second place should be secured at any cause.... and you never know, maybe Schmiddel can race an attack on Laurent Hoffmann again, whose lead has know melted to only 21 points.