The technical and twisty track of Gouda would be the setting for round 2 of the Dutch 1/10 National Championship. After the rain affected round one, it would be glorious weather this weekend.
The track surface is very smooth and low grip needing a good setup that gets you around the tight hairpins, yields good traction and is stable in the long sweepers. Not easy to get it all at the same time… On saturday Daan and myself tried some setup options on our 748 Natrixes and discussed them in the evening to get a good starting setup for raceday.
In the end we ended up running softer diff oils than normal, 500k in front and 60k in rear for me, and layed down the shocks front and read to get maximum mechanical grip. I also reduced the caster to only 1mm ahead of the upper arms and used the optional brass fron lower pivot block.
After qualifying Daan took a convincing pole with myself in second 4 seconds behind but only 0.018s ahead of Milan Holthuis in third. Interesting finals ahead.
The dutch race format gives 2, 20 minute finals that are added using a points system. So you need 2 good runs! This proved the issue for Daan, who had an engine cut at the start of the first final. I could take the lead from the tone, but had as I planned an extra fuel stop for safety I had to push the whole final as Milan stayed very close. Thanks to the quick stops of Raymond Tempelaars I managed to stay ahead and win.
The second final would be a desaster for Milan as he blew up his engine, over revving in the pit while checking gearbox issues. With Milan out before the start I just needed a 2nd place behind Daan to win overall, but again Daan would have a troubled final. That left me with an easy cruise to take my first Nationals win this year.
With Milan and Daan out of the podium spots it created a close battle for 2nd and 3rd spots. It would turn into a full Serpent podium with John Weijtboer in 2nd and Jurmin Etnel taking the last podium place.
See you on the track
After a long drive back from the first ENS in Mulhouse, its time to reflect on the race.
For me personally the race and my result were super disappointing. Being on a new track for me and knowing that practice-time is limited ( rain on friday) I think I tried too many things and still never got the rythm and feel for it. I am usually good in knowing what I need to change to go faster but not this time. It was not up to my sub-final that I actually made good improvements, so my start -crash was even more frustrating because of that.
Having said that, I was very happy with my team. Dominic Greiner’s first big 1/8 race was great and with a bit more luck he could have ended on the podium. Also Merlin Depta made the A final, a great result to put 2 x 977-EVo2 cars in such high class field !
In 1/10 Mark Green qualified for the A, something we almost expect from Mark. He is such a valuable team member and always performs! Alex Thurston also made the A, the first time for him. A great job since he had to recover from a start crash in the B where he was dead last. Great pace and quick pitstops from his dad brought him back to 2nd for a place in the main final.
My apologies to all team members that I did not mention. We had a big team there and I enjoy being part of it.
A big thanks to my sponsors Serpent, Picco, RunnerTime, Matrix, Sanwa, Arrowmax, 2-speed, Xceed and Ghiant RC colours.
See you all soon
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