Bergér makes it back-to-back Abu Dhabi wins
Florian Bergér showed once again that he is the man to beat in the Challenger Cup as he took the first race win of the year with a lightning quick time of 57.728s. Current Champion Czepiela was given a DNF for exceeding the maximum-G, ensuring his title defence starts in the worst possible way.
Closest to Bergér – who now has seven wins, equal with Daniel Ryfa – was Melanie Astles who ended her season-long drought of no podiums by finishing second, just 0.346s behind. Her time included a one second penalty for an over-G, but her smooth flying in the rest of the track was enough for her to collect eight points in the race.
Kevin Coleman, who flew first into the track making him the barometer for the conditions, made it three podiums in four Abu Dhabi races, his time of 58.411s was enough to clinch third – going to show that the American doesn’t mind being the first cleared into the track.
Fellow American Sammy Mason, making his debut in Abu Dhabi, put in another clean run and finished with a time of 58.647s, which saw him in fourth, just missing out on the podium at his first race.
Dario Costa looked to be on for a podium finish in his run, but the final VTM saw him lose time in the track and his final time of 59.497s put him in fifth.
Czepiela was visibly angry after his DNF and knows that if he wants to retain the title he’ll have to work hard in his remaining races.