Bartucca takes the win as Gurecky wins the Cup

The Swiss rider secures his first victory at the Red Bull Ring, with Gurecky taking tenth and that enough to wrap up the crown

At a wet but sunny Red Bull Ring, Race 1 of the final round for the 2021 Northern Talent Cup delivered a thriller. Allesauto Racing's Jordan Bartucca emerged to take a maiden win in some style, with the podium then decided at the flag as the field streamed out of the final corner a few riders wide. Loris Veneman (Kahuna Racing) held the upper hand and took second for his first podium, with Tibor Varga (Forty Racing Team) on the box for the first time this season in third, both decided by thousandths. A little off the lead, Jakub Gurecky (JRT Brno Circuit) wrapped up the crown with a solid ride to tenth, more than enough given his lead heading in.

Off the line it was Lorenz Luciano (Junior Black Knights Team) who got the best start from second to take the holeshot, getting ahead of polesitter Rossi Moor (FAIRIUM Next Generation Riders Team) as Gurecky took it steady and dropped back a few places early on - needing little to make sure he could take the Cup. Luciano immediately started making a gap, but Dustin Schneider (PrüstelGP Junior Team) was on the case and the German was soon through into the lead.

Bartucca, meanwhile, had already stormed through into second, leaving Luciano in third. And the Belgian had a Long Lap penalty to take, as did Moor, with both diving in at the start of Lap 2. Bartucca then struck for the lead too, taking over ahead of Schneider, with Varga in third as some favourites begun to emerge from the shuffle.

As the laps ticked on, a lead group of Bartucca, Schneider, Varga, Ferre Fleerackers ( Racing), Kevin Farkas (Agria Racing Team), Noel Willemsen (MCA Racing Team) and Kas Beekmans (Team KNMV) were breaking away, with Veneman on the chase. By Lap 9 Fleerackers crashed out, rider ok, but it remained seven in the group as Veneman had won the chase and was now on the case.

As steam rose from the wet track under the beaming sun, Bartucca remained ahead but Veneman was making moves. And as the pack streamed onto the final lap, it was the Dutchman leaving Turn 1 in the lead, with Varga right behind him. But Bartucca had other ideas and the Swiss rider slammed up the inside of both at Turn 3, pulling it off in style to take back over in front.

From there, he got the hammer down and was just able to keep some breathing space to the line. Behind there was none, however, with the podium decided on the line. Veneman took second, with Varga just 0.064 off, but it was Willemsen who really lost out in the shuffle, off the podium by just 0.006 and forced to settle for fourth.

Schneider completed the top five ahead of Farkas, with Beekmans at the back of the front group by the flag. Then there was a bigger gap back to Martin Vincze (Chrobák Motorsport Egyesület), with Luciano just behind the Hungarian after serving the Long Lap. And next up came Gurecky, keeping it steady to complete the top ten and complete an impressive season in the NTC, lifting the crown by some margin on Saturday.

Moor took 12th in the end, and the focus will now shift to the battle for second. The Hungarian is just two points behind Luciano going into Race 2, so who will be the 2021 runner up? We'll find out at 11:10 (GMT +2) when the NTC race for the final time this season.