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18th October 2005

Much more than statistics

Supremely close racing and a prestigious accolade were the highlights of the final meeting of the 2005 FISC Midget & Sprite EuroTour, at the Trophe Historiques de Bourgogne at the Dijon - Prenois circuit in France over the weekend of October 7, 8 and 9.

Weather played its part too, with fog delaying two of the three races, yet despite the frustration of delayed starts, driving standards were superb, in competition which was as close as it was unpredictable.

Whilst the statistics showed Englishman and regular front runner, Ian Hulett, taking two victories, there was much more to appreciate than the final results would show.

In all three races the competition was intense yet totally clean, with countless place and lead changes throughout. Race two was possibly the closest with just 8 seconds separating the top eight drivers at the flag and fastest lap set by Dutchman Rob Halewijn who was 5th.

The opening race of the weekend saw a race long battle between French driver Jean-Michel Guermonprez and Englishman, John Faux, with the latter just pipping the Frenchman at the post. The winning margin was less than a quarter of a second, typifying the intensity of the racing for the weekend.

Guermonprez again featured in race two, a drive shaft failure eliminating him from the lead and handing the honours to Hulett.

The finale saw numerous drivers sharing the lead, Hulett one of them. His chances of a second victory appeared to evaporate when he dropped to 6th after his car jumped out of gear, but a remarkable recovery saw him take the lead three laps from the end when Richard Evans (UK) slid wide at the Parabolique. Faux meanwhile had enjoyed numerous dices to emerge 3rd ahead of fastest lapper, David Gibson (UK).

The event organisers awarded the FISC Midget & Sprite Eurotour the trophy for the friendliest and best presented of all the championships at this major sporting weekend. Given that the competition included such prestigious championships as the Orwell Supersports Cup and the FIA GTC pre '65 grid, this was indeed a fitting finale for what has been a superb season of entertaining and accessible motorsport.

Pieter Bakker

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