Race Rewind: Lausitzring 2017

The penultimate race of the season was a nail-biting rollercoaster

Muroya wins!

Going into race seven it was tight at the top. Martin Sonka was four points clear in first place after his win in Porto, Pete McLeod was second, Kirby Chambliss third and Yoshihide Muroya in fourth. Only ten points separated the top four.

Free Practice 1 saw Juan Velarde post the fastest time with 51.145s, which was enough to see him top of the timesheet. Matt Hall was second with Chambliss in third. Front-runners Sonka and Muroya found themselves in fifth and eighth respectively.

In the later session Sonka was back to his best with a time of 50.703s, enough to see him take that session. Closest to him was Chambliss, but 0.275s slower. Nicolas Ivanoff was third and Muroya up to fourth.

Saturday saw FP3 and Qualifying. After disappointment in Porto, Muroya proved to the others that they weren't going to have it all their own way, by setting an even faster time. His 50.004s run was to be the fastest of the whole weekend and gave him a huge confidence boost. Ivanoff was second and Velarde third in FP3.

Laustizring 2017 Race Day gallery

After his podium in Porto, Hall was looking back to his clinical best and in Qualifying showed the other pilots why they can't ignore him. He was quickest in Qualifying with 50.227s, just behind him by 0.072s was Petr Kopfstein, Muroya was third and Chambliss fourth. Championship leader, Sonka was fifth and McLeod down in eighth.

There were no surprses in the Round of 14. All the front runners went through and Mikael Brageot was the fastest loser, making him one of the most successful pilots to come up from the Challenger Class and perform in their debut season.

The French pilot was up against an in-form Hall and after a thrilling run was looking to go through to his first Final 4, but the Australian beat the new pilot by just 0.002s – one of the closest finishes in the sport's history.

Muroya knocked out his championship rival Chambliss. Kopfstein exceeded the G-limit and that put Velarde through. Sonka knocked out second place McLeod, making it an exciting Final 4.

Laustizring 2017 Race Day highlights

In the Final 4 Muroya flew the perfect race, setting the fastest time of the day to take the win. The Japanese pilot was second to fly in the track and knew that he had to beat 50.846s, set by Hall, who flew first.

Muroya's split times were all green as he gained time on his Australian rival in his run. Muroya crossed the finish line in 50.451s and pushed ahead of Hall.

Next out of the blocks was Velarde, he picked up a penalty at Gate 11 for incorrect level flying. That two second penalty put an end to Velarde's hopes of a podium as he finished with a time of 53.680s.

All eyes then turned to championship leader Sonka, who in front of a large crowd of Czech fans, was the favourite for the win. He pushed hard and was penalty free, but the split times started in the red and stayed there. He was unable to topple Muroya's time and posted a 50.964s to finish in third.

This all made for a thrilling season finale in Indianapolis. After seven races just 11 points separated the top four pilots, so there was everything to fight for.

Lausitzring 2017 final results