Starting of the 2017 season with a big bang !
During the winter break I had some spare time to slowly build my brand new car. Added a fe...w new parts wich we had to test.
1. A new throttle/brake servo support wich removes all the vibrations coming from the chassis.
2. A fuel tank extension / Fuel tank ventilation system.
3. Harder front springs
Saturday; 1 trainings heat + 3 qualifying heats
In preparation for the first training heat I was allready joking to some guys. Everytime when I've build a new car, there is always a small thing I forgot or did not loctite. So will it be any different this time ?!
Started off and struggling a bit with the brakes. To test our new servo support I went on track with both front and rear brakes on a complete lock. Slowly getting used to the car and picking up some pace I then hit a stationary car in one of the fast corners, leaving my car without steering. Steering servo gears broke down and we came to the conclusion that my servo-saver was completely locked. This was the 1 thing I forgot to do this time, usually I drill the hole in the servo saver with 8.1mm as this part tends to grip and lock up in dusty conditions. So a tip to the ultron drivers; drill this to 8.1mm ;-) !
Qualifying heats 1&2:
Getting more and more used to the new car with the new springs and getting used to a car with a lot of braking power. Getting closer and closer to the top of the field every heat, only a few minor driving mistakes dropped me back to (Heat 1: 6th, Heat 2: 4th)
Qualifying heat 3:
As I've allready set a 4th and 6th time I was pretty sure I would be qualified for the semi finals. So I could go flat out and see what the limits of the car were on this track. Slicing the car thrue the traffic and making not a single driving error. Only time lost was on backmarkers. Resulting in a 1st place overal for this heat.
Counting the quali runs together and ended up in P3, while other NRP Ultron driver Michael Keinemans got top qualifier !
Fellow Ultron driver Michael Keinemans started on pole with me just behind him. 4-3-2-1 and off we go. Michael made a small error in the first lap flipping the car and I was in P1 and could slowly finish my heat. NOT.. after 15minutes one of the lower shocker bolt (on the wishbone) came lose and I was driving with only 3 shock absorbers left. Came into the pits but it would take too much time to replace the shock absorber. So they threw my car back on track with only 3 shocks. Limbing arround for the last minutes of the race but still managed to finish P3. But due to the fact that my mechanic threw my car back on the track on the wrong position I got a penalty, I could move thrue to the main final, but I had to start from the last place.
I had to start from the verry last place (12th). I knew Michael Keinemans and Rick Hoffman were verry quick so if I wanted to catch them I had to slice thrue the field verry quickly. The buzzer went off and on the main straight I allready passed 2 cars. In turn one there was a huge pile up and I was allready on the outside of another car and could not get out of the way anymore. Marshal picked mine up as dead last so I had a huge task ahead now to make up some time. In the remainder of the first lap I passed 2 cars, crossing the line in P10. After lap 2 I crossed the line in P7, Lap 3 I moved up another position so P6 and in the end of lap 4 I was allready in P3 only 2 corners away from Rick & Michael. This were one of the most intense laps I have ever expirienced while racing large scale. Never took this many risks to pass all these guys, 3 wide on a track wich only had 1 ideal racing line. Crazy but rewarding stuff !
P3 with Michael and Rick in sight, gently getting closer towards them. They were both fighting wich was my advantage to close in on them. Once I was only 5meters behind the leading 2 I decided to drop my pace to their speed so if they would collide or make a mistake I would not be trapped in them. This is exactly what happened, Rick flipped his car on the start of the main straight and I got passed easily. Now it was only 1 more to catch, fellow NRP Ultron driver Michael. Michael kept his pace high and I could not close the gap, right at the moment when I decided to lower my pace and concentrate on finishing both Ultron cars on P1 and P2 Michael made a crucial mistake so I could catch up and pass him. From then on it was P1 and P2 but the other way arround. We were both controlling the gap with Rick Hoffman and it would be a nice 1-2 finish for the N-R-P Ultron brand. Sadly after 1 year of racing one of Michaels small steering servo's broke down, taking him out of the race (time for 1 big servo Michael ! ;-)). Last part of the race was quite relax, passing backmarkers and maintaining the gap between me and Rick.
Finishing P1 for the 6th time allready on this event so there is no way I can explain the feeling going thrue my body when we crossed the finishing line. All the drama in the first laps, to make it on the podium and even win the race was a scenario I did not expect to happen.
All of this would have never been possible without all the guys who helped me out thrue the weekend:
N-R-P ( for this great car ) - www.n-r-p.eu
RN-Tuning ( for the quick and reliable engine ) - www.rntuning.nl