Date: 13. to 15.4.2012
Race: ETS round 4
Track: Car show – Poznan Poland
Condition: Carpet – mixed/fast – 20 degr. C – normal grip
Result: 27th (C – 7)
Up to the race
After the good result in the Danish Nats DRCMU with an overall 2nd place, I was free to practice for the ETS race in Poznan Poland. As it was my first ETS race this season, I had bought a set of the Ride control tires. I tried them on my home track, and the grip was ok, but I experienced, that they were not good driving on the curbs. I think it has to do with the side wall of the rubber; they are pretty hard – not equal to the Sorex 28 we have driven as control tire in Denmark and I was used to. When I practiced on my home track, I several times tipped over, when I drove too hard on the curbs. I had that in my mind, as I went to Poland.
Practice at the race
The ETS race was held at a big motor show in some big show halls in Poznan. The track layout was ok, except for a special chicane just under the driver stand, which was very tricky to drive. Many drivers had huge problems with the chicane and after three practice rounds, the chicane was rebuilt by the organizers. I think a good decision. Afterwards there were no problems. In the first round my car was not good – very little rear grip and edgy on the front. I made some adjustments like in the last race in Denmark, and the car was now much better. In the next rounds I did some fine tuning and in the end I was really happy with my Serpent. I was somewhere in the twenties after the practice rounds, which I was happy about. I still had something I could do on the car, so I looked forward to the qualification.
As I wrote, I knew the tires were not good on the curbs. I don’t know why – I really tried to avoid it, but in every qualification round I made a big fault on the curbs. Afterwards I have checked my lap times, and the faults did cost me 10, 2, 10, 4 and 7 seconds in each of the five rounds of the qualification. I was so angry with myself. Stupid is the right word. I only have to thank myself for not getting a better result in the qualifications. Still I managed to qualify as 7th in the C main, which I would have been very happy about before the race. Now I was a little disappointed, because my lap times were good enough for a B main.
To start from the 7th spot is not easy, and to do it in a heat, where some of the drivers didn’t know the word fairness, it is almost impossible. I did some ok starts, but after the first lap I was in the last group of cars. Every time I could overtake some cars, there was one among them, who didn’t like it and pushed me off the track. There were no judges at the race, so none of them got a stop-and-go penalty. An example: in the second finale I had a good speed and overtook the car in second place, but then he drove over the curbs, hit me and took me off. No penalty. All C mains were really bad driven. Although, I did some great lap times only three tenth of a second from the hot lap of the weekend. I ended up as 7th in the C main and a 27th overall. An ok result.
After the race
The race was my last indoor race this season. It has been a great first indoor season for me with my Serpent S411. Several podium results and every time in the A-main at the Danish Nats, a second place in the Danish Nats overall, a C-main win at the DHI Cup in January and finally the C-main at the ETS in Poland. I’m really happy about my improvement this season.
I now look forward to the coming outdoor season. The highlight will be the World Championship in Heemstede in the Netherlands in July. In Denmark I will be driving the Danish Nats in the DASU organization. If my study at the university in Sønderborg allows it, I may find the extra time and money to drive an ETS outdoor race.
Please attached find my setup sheet from the race.
The Serpent is a very good car and I love the way it handles. Every car I’ve had before, I always needed more steering. With my Serpent I have a car, which fits my driving style.
During the race in Poznan I spoke with several other serpent drivers. We talked about setups and how each car handled. It would have been nice, if we all had been sitting at the same table. It would have been easier to help each other with setup, problems and tricks. Now everybody worked in their own direction. I think it would be a good idea to create a Serpent table at all coming international races – especially at the Worlds.
I again want to thank Serpent for creating such a great car.
See you all at the racing tracks.
My set-up: Serpent Setup – ETS 4 2012
Rasmus Tobias Callesen