The Northern Talent Cup is back from summer break and Rossi Moor (FAIRIUM Next Generation Riders Team) is back on the top step! In a close-fought battle for victory in Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring, the Hungarian headed a podium covered by just 0.044 seconds, with Lenoxx Phommara (Phommara Team) back on the box in second and Kevin Farkas (Agria Racing Team) taking a debut rostrum in third.
Jonas Kocourek (JRT Brno Circuit) took the holeshot from pole, with the front row staying as-you-were with a solid start for both Loris Veneman (Kahuna Security Racing) and Phommara. The battle then began in earnest, with the slipstream playing a key role at the Red Bull Ring and the three joined in the battle by the likes of points leader Jakub Gurecky (JRT Brno Circuit), Jacopo Hosciuc (Hos Racing Team) and Lorenz Luciano (Junior Black Knights Team) as the latter made a necessarily-good start to move up from P12 on the grid.
Save a couple of stints, the three heading the battle were Moor, Farkas and Phommara for many a lap of the Red Bull Ring, and Farkas had a couple of moments with a gap in the race lead to boot. But Moor was the man on the chase, and the compatriots would concertina back together before the slipstream then kept the group on their tail.
After a crash out for Hosciuc as he tagged the back of Veneman - no harm done for the Dutchman at least - the final couple of laps saw a front six break away in the lead but they were soon joined by Luciano, the rider second in the standings smashing the pole position lap to get himself back into the group. Stepan Zuda (Motoracing23 Klub V ACR) was another in there too, the Czech rider impressing to stalk through from P17 on the grid to battle for the podium.
It all bubbled up until, through the final sector on the final lap, the Moor-Farkas-Phommara battle raged and it was Phommara marginally ahead, defending from Farkas, but Moor wasn't done. The final corner at the Red Bull Ring is already infamous and the Hungarian wasn't shy of making a move, diving down the inside and somehow everyone staying within track limits as they straightened up for the drag to the line. The number 92 tucked in and pulled it off to perfection for another impressive victory in the NTC.
Behind that third win in four races for Moor, Phommara and Farkas were almost glued together but it was the Swiss rookie who just took second at the line, adding another 20 points to his impressive season. Farkas nevertheless took his first podium and after a race very much deserving of the achievement from the number 28.
Veneman converted pole to fourth over the line but was then demoted a position for track limits, meaning Assen sparring partner Zuda takes fourth and completes another impressive ride through the field.
So where were Gurecky and Luciano? Next up, and in that order. The number 59 couldn't quite pull off another tactical masterclass in Styria, forced to settle for sixth, but he was at least ahead of Luciano for the points. The Belgian's stunning new lap record and searing first sector of the final lap weren't quite to enough to move him up from P7, so he'll be looking for more on Sunday.
Julius Coenen (Helena und Julius Racing Team) took his best result yet by far to head up the second group, with Jordan Bartucca (Allesauto Racing) impressing in ninth too. Niklas Kitzbichler (Racing-Team-Kitzbichler) completed the top ten on home turf, and he'll be looking for a lot more on Sunday after a first podium just before the summer break. Kocourek too, as the polesitter got shuffled down to 11th once the lights went out, and Kas Beekmans (KNMV) as he was given a Long Lap penalty and failed to take it, meaning it became a time penalty.
That's it for Race 1 at the Red Bull Ring, with Moor gaining some ground to now sit 57 points behind Gurecky. Can he make up more on Sunday? Or can Luciano or Gurecky or the likes of Farkas and Phommara strike back? Find out as Race 2 begins at 16:30 (GMT +2).