Indoor driving excitement at Leipzig World Cup
Leipzig, 25 January 2004

The international horse show "Partner Pferd" in Leipzig, Germany, hosted the fourth leg of the FEI World Cup Driving. Supported by some 7500 spectators, seven drivers performed at their best in the Leipziger Messe arena.

Amongst them double World Cup Champion Michael Freund, who had received a wild card placing from the organization for this round and was therefore not eligible to win World Cup points.

German course designer Wolfgang Asendorf had designed a challenging course, with both technical and speed aspects, which was much appreciated by the drivers. The level of the driving sport in Leipzig was extremely high, which resulted in exciting driving.

During the first round, the battle took place between Ulrich, Sandmann, Eriksson, Chardon and Freund. Germany?s Rainer Duen and second wild card driver Steffen Scholz had to be satisfied with place six and seven in Leipzig. Sandmann beat the time set by Ulrich, while Eriksson beat Sandmann?s time again. Chardon put down a fast round, but knocked three cones down, which made him drop to the fifth place.

Michael Freund, Tomas Eriksson and Christoph Sandmann qualified for the winning round, which was driven over a shortened course. The crowd?s favourite Michael Freund was yet again the fastest driver and although Eriksson came close, the Swede could not close the gap of 8 seconds. Christoph Sandmann had 10 penalty seconds added to his score and came third. Freund?s fellow competitors proved in Leipzig they are gaining ground on him, it will be only a matter of time until they will take over his position.

The final placings were:

1st - Michael Freund (GER)
2nd - Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
3rd - Christoph Sandmann (GER)
4th - Werner Ulrich (SUI)
5th - IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
6th - Rainer Duen (GER)
7th - Steffen Scholz (Ger)

Michael Freund is in the lead of the standings after Leipzig with 20 points with two more events to go. Eriksson and Sandmann share the second place with 14 points.

Because Bordeaux has dropped out of the World Cup Driving series, the next two events will take place on consecutive days in Vigo, Spain, on 14 and 15 February.

CLICK HERE for the full results and points standing in the 2003-4 World Cup series.

World Cup Driving official website: