It is a long way from Latvia to Germany, and like all teenagers, Thomas Sileika just wanted the journey to be over. Not only was there some scalding-hot racing action to look forward to, but waiting for him at the track of Tensfeld, in a smallish cardboard cube, was something he had been looking forward to with great anticipation – a gleaming new Shoei helmet, sponsored by the good folks of Shoei Europe. This to him was ample evidence that his great results during the season had attracted the right kind of attention, and everyone knows that humankind thrives on recognition.
Having taken possession of his prized new possession, Thomas’ focus shifted to the racing at hand. The Tensfeld track is a notorious sand trap, and so it was to be expected that the Dutch protagonists, having been born and bred in conditions such as this, would have the edge. Nevertheless, a quality racer must learn to race under all conditions, and the Latvian youngster was up for the challenge.
After blitzing to the fastest time in the free practice session, the youngster qualified in second position, less than half a second behind Danish sand rabbit Glen Meier. Thomas got drowned a bit at the start of the first race, and had to recover form a position just inside the top 10. With some experienced sand practitioners on the track, his job was never going to be easy, but he recovered well to fifth position.
An even worse start in race two left him with a massive (sand) mountain to climb. He had to fight his way back from an initial position deep in the 20′s but after one lap, he had already made up a lot of distance, and was in a top 10 position. He kept fighting forward, and rode his game little KTM to a well-deserved fourth place, after producing what is in all probability the ride of the day. He finished fourth overall on the day, just missing out on yet another podium finish. The 34 points he added to his tally also served to keep him in third position in the championships.
After the race, the Sileikamobile hightailed it back to Latvia at top speed. There was just about time for a quick shower and a small bowl of breakfast cereal before the family headed off to their next race, the annual international race in Somerpalu, Estonia, the backyard of Tanel Leok.
Thomas blitzed to the pole position during qualifying, and recovered from a less than optimal start int he first race to ride to eventual victory. Another problem at the start of race two dropped him far back, and there was precious little time to make up ground during the shortish race. This time he could not get to the front, and finished in third place, some six seconds behind the eventual winner, his friend Dovydas Karka.