The opening race of the Clio Cup Bohemia at Poznan was nerve-wracking from the start to the finish. In the end, Juuso Panttila took his first-ever victory after beating Erik Bertilsson in the very end. The Carpek Service team drivers were joined on the podium by Levente Losonczy. Meanwhile, the championship leader Filip Sandström had to deal with a tyre puncture.
All four previous Clio Cup Bohemia races delivered only a single winner – Filip Sandström. And today, it all looked like that is going to be the case again in the first race at Poznan, Poland. The Swedish driver had a good start from pole position, and he was on his way to a dominant victory number five.
However, the race then went in a completely opposite direction as Sandström was hit by a tyre puncture, that forced him to slow down and eventually visit his pit crew. That allowed his teammate Erik Bertilsson from the Carpek Service team to take the lead. But not even he was able to win today.
In the end, it was the third driver of the Carpek Service team – Juuso Panttila. The Finnish driver stayed very close to Bertilsson and then he managed to get ahead of him in a tight battle in the final lap of the race. And there was even contact between them.
Bertilsson then had to settle for only 2nd place, followed by Levente Losonczy, who completed the podium. Then it was Balint Hatvani, Richard Meixner and Yasmeen Koloc in 6th position. Despite his struggles, Sandström took at least 7th place in the final classification.
Filip Sandström lost victory because of tyre puncture. Photo: Petr Frýba
But these incredibly exciting final moments were not the only interesting thing that kept TV viewers in their seats for the Clio Cup Bohemia race. From the beginning until approximately 10 minutes before the end, there was a huge battle for the 2nd place with Panttila, Bertilsson, Losonczy and Hatvani, who switched their positions several times.
Opening photo: Petr Frýba