New faces shake up the field at the season opener in Reetz.

After the winter break, the DOWATEK HardEnduroSeries caravan headed to Reetz. For the first time, the season opener took place on the track in Brandenburg. After being added to the calendar for the first time in 2020, this marks the fifth appearance in Reetz. In the best weather conditions, in addition to the many participants, nearly 140, a large number of spectators also gathered at the track at Mühlenberg. They experienced exciting races and could look forward to a strong field of riders, which even featured some last-minute top riders signing up for the season opener.

Facts, 5. Reetzer Hardenduro 13.04.2024

Weather: 21 degrees, cloudy

ACE Bikes Prolog Award Winner: Sonny Goggia (KTM)

Winner: Sonny Goggia (KTM)

Fastest Lap: Sonny Goggia (KTM), 13:56,233

The surprise came primarily from Sonny Goggia, who was recruited by the FB.factory Racing Team and will participate in several races of the series. Also on the starting line is Charlie Frost, who is in turn supported by K&P Zweiradtechnik. These two drivers faced a highly motivated field of participants in the HESG, which was unfortunately decimated by some injuries. Thus, besides defending champion Marc Wulf, Milan Schmüser and Fynn Hannemann were absent, the latter having turned his attention to other series.

Nevertheless, the excitement was high to see how Felix Bähker would now perform on the KTM, and whether Leon Hentschel had succeeded in transitioning to the BETA. Additionally, there was Henry Strauss, a promising junior who had started the season with a lot of praise.

Henry Strauss

ACE Bikes Prolog Award with a tenth-second duel

The day's kickoff took place at the ACE Bikes Prolog Award, where 139 participants faced the first challenge of the day. It quickly became clear that this season would also be extremely thrilling. Despite a runtime of over 3 minutes, the time gaps throughout the field were extremely narrow. The prologue was largely conducted in the form of an enduro test, but it included some tricky technical sections. Victory and defeat were decided here by mere tenths of seconds. Initially, Felix Bähker led the pack, but when Goggia arrived, his time was undercut by the tiny fraction of 0.078 seconds. The top 10 finished within just 10 seconds of each other.

Victories by Goggia and Strauss in the group races

Felix Bähker

Sonny Goggia had to contend with some challenges on Friday, as the deep sandy terrain was completely unfamiliar to him. Therefore, he learned with each lap and eventually managed to win the first group race for himself, albeit less decisively than many had thought, ahead of Leon Hentschel and Louis Richter.

The second race was dominated by a duel between Henry Strauss and Felix Bähker. Bähker, the Junior Champion of 2023, had to fight hard to defeat the fifteen-year-old Strauss. Although Bähker briefly took the lead, Strauss countered and ultimately prevailed.

Thus, the starting grid for the final was determined, from which 25 participants from each group qualified for the decision of the race day.

Many position changes in the final

The day's final was once again held over a distance of 55 minutes plus 1 lap. The race started in pairs from the respective positions of the group races. Thus, Goggia and Strauss were the first to embark on the shortened but significantly more challenging lap.

Goggia emerged as the leader after the first lap, closely followed by the pack consisting of Strauss, Hentschel, Bähker, Frost, and Lenny Geretzky. Geretzky was the first to fall behind the high pace. After his injury at the end of last year, he is still not back to 100% fitness.

However, Strauss had not only set his sights on winning the Auner Junior Award. He even challenged Sonny Goggia for the lead and managed to take over. However, a stumble on a rocky ascent allowed Goggia to reclaim the lead and eventually pull away. Bähker also lost ground at the same section and had to let Leon Hentschel pass.

Thus, the result at the end of the first race was: Sonny Goggia ahead of Henry Strauss and Leon Hentschel. However, due to the bonus points from the ACE Bikes Prolog Award, the standings were still very close.

Sonny Goggia

The daily victories in the classes went to Goggia (Pro), Strauss (Juniors), Korber (Seniors), Igl (Amateurs), and Täuber (Women).

In the Luminus Energie HESG Kids, who also had their opening race in Reetz, Linus Albert (85ccm), Constantin Richter (65ccm), and Melvin Gohlke (50ccm) emerged victorious.

The second race of the season starts on April 27th/28th in Crimmitschau. Registration for the Heaven or Hell Xtreme Enduro is still possible here:

Current information about the DOWATEK HardEnduroSeries Germany can always be found at and on social media.

Pictures: Michel238pic/Michel Kuchel

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