Damian Cudlin showed his intentions of securing the IDM Superbike Title this season with another strong points haul at Zolder in Belgium.
Fresh from a double victory at the opening round in Lausitzring, Cudlin and his RAC Racing Team went into the Zolder event confident of another strong performance, however the changeable weather conditions proved testing for him and his crew all weekend long.
2nd after the dry free practices on Friday, Cudlin fancied his chances for a pole position challenge, however as a surprise rain shower came down in the opening minutes of qualifying, Cudlin suddenly found himself way down the order without a dry lap time on the board. The weather didn’t play into his hands for QP 2 either, so the championship leader would be forced to start from just 13th place on the grid.
Despite the heavy rain that lashed the circuit shortly before the opening Superbike race on Sunday, 10,000 fans huddled under umbrellas to witness an action packed event.
As the lights went out Cudlin made a terrific start and immediately started slicing his way towards the front, crossing the start and finish line in 4th position on his opening lap! The lead changed hands at the front as Kevin Valk and Matej Smrz both crashed out in separate incidents, leaving Gareth Jones to head the field.
Cudlin soon pounced however and moved into the lead as the race approached the half way stages. Reigning IDM champion, Erwan Nigon began closing a few laps later and looked confident in the conditions.
Nigon went ahead and put the hammer down, stretching a lead over Cudlin that looked uncatchable, however the Aussie had other ideas. Reeling off fastest laps, one after another, Cudlin soon clawed his way back to Nigon’s rear wheel, as the Frenchman suddenly became the man under pressure.