Ijsbrand Chardon has won the FEI World Cup Driving at Olympia, in a thrilling final that saw defending champion Boyd Exell buckle under pressure.
Ijsbrand was one of three top drivers to make it to through to the drive-off, with an initial time of 133.16sec and no penalty seconds. The Dutch driver’s second run through the demanding course saw his team go even faster, and he knocked six seconds off his first run.
The Olympia course, designed by Johan Jacobs, featured tight loops that offered several options for the drivers. It was a deceptively simple course that required highly technical driving.
Belgium’s Glenn Geerts was faster through the course, but five penalty seconds at the end gave him a total time of 137.94sec.
Boyd Exell was last to go in the drive-off, after achieving a super fast clear in a time of 125.23sec in the first round. His team got off to a flying start, but with the pressure on from Ijsbrand, accrued 20-penalty seconds − a rarity for the Australian seven times World Champion.
The left Isjbrand in first place and Glenn Geerts in second, while Boyd had to settle for third place,
The home favourite Daniel Naprous was in a time of 164.15sec. Daniel was competing on a wild card, so had no World Cup points, but wanted to show the crowd what British drivers can bring to the competition.
Daniel is well known for his stunt horses, and has appeared in many James Bond and Harry Potter films. His team put in a great performance, but had to pause to reset cones at six, which contributed to 25 penalty points.
The next World Cup Driving leg is in Mechelen at the end of December, this will be followed by Leipzig in January and then Bordeaux. While Boyd has won several previous legs, Ijsbrand’s win in London and Koos De Ronde’s first in Budapest means the championship is still wide open.