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King of Touge Round 2 - La Chapelle du Bard, France
June 7, 2018
The second round of the Federal Tire King of Touge series saw the drivers return to the legendary downhill streets of La Chapelle du Bard in France for an extremely emotional event which eventually finalised the perfect story for the well-deserved winner, Sebastien Peyre.
Despite the unpredictable mountain weather forecasts threatening rain through the weekend, the sun shone down on both the track and packed spectator areas for those who had attended to witness this unique spectacle.
This offered drivers the opportunity to display pinpoint precision as they often threw down perfect laps, rubbing their bumpers perfectly along the solid concrete walls and metal guardrails which show why this layout is undoubtedly one of the most challenging on the calendar and certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Despite his years of flawless driving in the King of Europe and King of Touge championships, an extremely rare mistake cost Norbert Kovacik dearly in the practice sessions causing complex damage to his BMW M6 which forced him to retire from the race early. Unfortunately, he wasn't the only victim as Remy Caniard and Jean Jacques Guy suffered a similar fate to the demanding track.
After an entire day of action-packed practice, the qualification sessions got underway as the drivers threw down their best wall-scraping laps, much to the delight of the packed spectaors. Ben Vavasseur once again showed that he's here to fight for the podium as he landed the top spot in the rankings with 86.60 points.
Steve Pasquier's great form landed second place, falling shortly behind Vavasseur with 85.90 points.
Anthony Rocci's 104km/h attack speed helped him achieve the third place spot, as Round 1 winner Benjamin Boulbes settled with fourth.
As the battles commenced, Kevin Fayolle would be the latest victim after his huge fan-favourite BMW diesel-powered Volvo touring used every inch of the tight layout in his Top 16 battle before eventually hitting the wall, forcing the end to his weekend.
The Top 8 battles would draw an early ending to Benjamin Boulbes weekend after a car issue rendered him unable to continue, allowing Yoan Savaiano to progress to the semi-finals.
This street circuit was undoubtedly still fresh in Sebastien Peyre's mind after a huge crash in the final corner last year wrote off his car, ‘The Punisher’. However, despite being in a shared car this time round, it didn’t stop him giving 100% in his battle against close friend Ben Vavasseur as he also secured his spot in the semi-final.
As Peyre faced Yoan Saviano, an insanely close battle left the initial scoring at 5-5. With Peyre pushing harder than ever to land his dream of taking the win here, he secured a 6-4 win in the chase run, earning him an emotional spot in the final once again!
With yet another stunning battle, two in-form drivers, Rocci and Pasquier went head-to-head and eventually a 6-4, 6-4 advantage in Anthony Rocci's favour secured him his spot against Peyre in the final battle!
As the small final got underway, a huge 8-2 advantage for Pasquier in his lead run left him eyeing up the third spot on the podium. However, disaster struck in his chase run as he went too deep, leaving him spinning just millimetres from the wall as Savaiao scooped up a 10-0 win to steal the third position.
Peyre had landed his dream of once again appearing in the final battle here, and a mistake from Anthony Rocci in his lead run gave him a 10-0 advantage. A solid run was all it took, and despite a 6-4 advantage to Rocci in his chase run, Sebastien Peyre had done the unthinkable and writtent he perfect story by securing the top spot on the podium!
In a hugely emotional ending, Peyre returned the favour to Norbert Kovacik, who had handed him last years prize money, by this time donating his winning Slide Drift Team cash prize to Norbert. This left tears flowing at an already emotional weekend as the incredible spirit of the King of Touge series was at an all-time high.
It was tears of joy all-round as the drivers celebrated their victories and took their places on the final podium of what has undoubtedly been the most memorable round of the series to date. Sebastien Peyre lands the top spot with Anthony Rocci in second and Yoan Savaiano in third.
We now prepare for the second of 4 back-to-back rounds in France as Anneau du Rhin is next up on the calendar. With 125 drivers from 14 countries competing, this is undoubtedly going to be yet another round to remember! After that, it's straight to two brand new tracks for the series - Pau and Tours Speedway!