The year of the hungry wolf
As well in 2018 the world's most demanding ATV race, CFMOTOHUNTTHEWOLF, lived up to its reputation.
For the first time, the course of the race could be followed live online and worldwide via GPS tracking system. The difficult tracks presented a challenge that not all of the approximately 90 participants had grown. No matter in which class of this 12th edition of the ATV classic: driving technique was required. Whether in the lighter Adventure class, Crossover or Extreme, if you did not have it, you were "eaten by the wolf". Numerous pictures bear witness to the many "victims", the machines that have suffered an accident. Thanks to the tactics of the organizer, the drivers usually got away with minor injuries. The South Tyrolean Oliver Renzler looks for and combines difficult routes that reduce the average speed to just over 10 km/h. Speed sections are rare. Mandatory full protective clothing has been and is a matter of course at CFMOTOHUNTTHEWOLF since the beginning. Most rollovers were therefore at low speed, after driving errors, without dramatic consequences.
For the second time, the event took place around the small town of Sacuieu, in the northwest of the Romanian Transylvania. As in the previous year, residents, communities and landowners were financially compensated and graciously voted with a collection and distribution of old clothes. The drivers from all over Europe arrived at the latest on 9 April for the necessary controls. EXTREME riders had to prove themselves on a 40-minute test track on the same Monday afternoon. If wanted, pilots could switch to the easier classes. That was only done by a few. However, considering that out of 26 EXTREME drivers only 9 reached the finish five days later, the downgrade to Crossover should have been taken in consideration by more pilots. Not least, the slogans for the class EXTREME are clear: "The most difficult ATV tracks in the world!" or "You must be crazy to race Extreme in CFHTW".
The Romanian Mihai Concioiu won this king-class Extreme and the awarded 1000 Euro cash money. He was 2nd in the previous year and benefited from the failure of strong drivers. The Swedes Fredrick Bäck and Martin Karlsson, who could have been dangerous to the Romanian, crashed at the same spot after the first mass start. Two-time extreme winner Pawel Sashka from the Czech Republic quit after 2 days. Only the strong-driving Lithuanian Mindaugas Lelys could have been dangerous to Concioiu, but he understood too late that only a very low tire pressure allows all climbs without winching. Third was surprisingly another Romanian, Vlad Cozma, who has enjoyed the race six times before and clearly benefited from the failure of stronger drivers.
In Crossover, the Lithuanians made everyone know how to be professional. All drivers of the ATV Fanai team were equipped with radios in the helmets. If a driver had a problem, he shared this with the two mobile work teams. The mechanics then hurried to help benefitting from the online live tracking of each driver. How perfect this worked is shown in the film of the 4th day, when a flat tire was changed within 43 seconds. The result: 1st and 2nd place in the Crossover class for Mindaugas Veiveris and Paulius Vaisneideris, followed by the surprisingly fast-moving German Erich L.
The lightest Adventure class was revised in 2018: no free access to points in the wilderness anymore, but demanding routes, also for the side by side riders. Furthermore, there was a team duty, and so the experienced CFMOTOHUNTTHEWOLF veterans from Poland, the family Sliwa won. As the only team, father and son finished all the adventure routes. Moral winner was the German Speedfactory team. Twice they accidentally arrived after an accident, and being first on the spot provided assistance to the injured for several hours.
The special price of a brand new GoPro camera, however, earned the Swedish woman Elmy, who mastered all 5 difficult crossover days together with her boyfriend with bravura - even though she had driven an ATV only four times before. Hats off!
For the fourth time the race was made possible by the financial support of the few sponsors, especially CFmoto and Kenda. The results prove that the two companies produce high quality products: 2 of the 9 ATVs which reached the very finish line in EXTREME are CFmoto X8 800/850cc – out of 26 ATVs started on day 1. And again this premier class was won with Kenda tires. With Kenda Bounty-Hunter tires on the ATV, only winner Mihai Concioiu could master all sections without winching. All other Extreme riders had to winch and lost time.
1. Mihai Concioiu (RO)
2. Mindaugas Lelys (LT)
3. Cozma Vlad (RO)
1. Mindaugas Veiveris (LT)
2. Paulius Vaisneideris (LT)
3. E. L. (DE)
1. Jakub Śliwa / Marek Śliwa (PL)