Zenoah Challenge Cup 2017
Another important anual event we now visited for the 2nd time with our N-R-P Buggy. Last year we stood here with our proto-type. Finishing the race in first place. This year we stood here with the production car and it was time to defend our title.
Apart from this we also came here with a few new things:
- Production anti-roll bar kits 3mm and 4mm
- Thicker front springs (3dots and 4 dots)
- Reinforced short course (reinforced a few parts of wich we had issues during the euros on it's first run)
Friday: 3 practice rounds.
Getting used to the track and checking if everything is working correctly in the first heat. All went fine for me and set the fastest time over 3 consecutive laps. Nick Visser on the other hand installed the new throttle/brake servo support but forgot to tighting the bolts wich made his car non-responding after the warm-up laps. Rinus Visser took off with the short course for the first time since the Euros and used his practice heats to get back into the rythm.
In round 2 and 3 we all improved our racing lines, I finished 1st in both rounds, Nick Visser finished 2nd (only 0.7sec slower over 3 consecutive laps). Making the Ultron Buggies P1 and P2 after all training rounds.
In the course of the day Rinus Visser also improved his racing lines and finished P7 after 3 rounds of training. First day with the reinforced Short course truck was a succes with not a single mechanical failure.
Saturday: 4 qualifying rounds.
4 rounds of qualifying, 3 counting. In the buggy class it was a fight between both Ultron Buggies of myself and Nick Visser.
Round 1: I won the heat while Nick Visser had receiver issues (suddenly losing connection, but after restarting the transmitter could continue the qualy) wich made him finish in P5.
Round 2: Nick Visser and myself were once again fighting for the win in this heat. I've made some driving errors while Nick kept the 4 wheels on the ground. Nick finished P1 while I finished in P2.
Round 3: I led the entire heat until the final lap. Making another driving error, flipping the car. Due to this mistake Nick Visser finished once again in P1, I got P2 again, but this time only 0.8seconds short from P1 !
Round 4: No matter how we finished this heat, me and Nick would be P1 and P2 after qualifying. It was only the question, who would be P1 ?! We both took off like maniacs trying to beat eachother. After a full day of racing the track was allready a complete mess. Yet due to pushing eachother to the limit both me and Nick set the fastest times of the day. What a show it was to go this hard on the limit. Powersliding the car everywhere. Trying to find the smallest gain on the other driver. Chasing eachother for the entire heat, untill 3 laps of the end when Nick made a mistake, dropping a few seconds back wich secured me being in P1 and Nick in P2.
Counting up the qualifying results we've ended up P1 Tim and P2 Nick.
In the short-course class it was difficult on this narrow track and all Rinus wanted to do was stay out of trouble and finish every heat without making too many mistakes. While doing just that Rinus also tried different setups to see wich way we should go with the short course. Rinus finished 3 rounds with the short course without a single issue ! Only in round 2 Rinus pulled off the track when the car kept going 20% on throttle. All servo's were still working correctly, the issue itself was the throttle lever inside the carburator wich turned a few degrees, refusing the carb to go back to stationary RPM. Apart from this again not a single issue with the short course truck. Reliability is reassured after the few reinforcements !
After 4 qualifying rounds Rinus finished in P8 with the only Ultron in the short course class.
Sunday: The finals !
Buggy Semi final B: Nick Visser was up first, starting from pole position in semi final B. Nick got some pressure at the start from Tommy Chung, but after a few small mistakes from Tommy, Nick now had a comfortable gap and cruised towards the finish to take P1.
Buggy Semi Final A: My turn in the other semi final and also starting on pole position. The race started and managed to get a gap immediately, cruised towards the end finishing in P1.
Buggy Main Final: I was starting from pole position, Nick Visser in P2. The buzzer went off and we were gone. At the start Nick had some pressure from Ian Oddie who made a great start. Nick Visser kept his cool and got away from Ian Oddie. Meanwhile I allready had a comfortable lead and started lapping the field. Nick Visser was also lapping the field and we both dropped the pace and brought the cars home in one piece to the finish. So there we had it, a nice P1 and P2 finish. The cherry on top of the pie for this weekend !
Short Course Semi Final B: Rinus Visser started the race in P4 and had only one goal. Reach the finish and get within the top5 to reach the main final. Rinus kept his cool and finished in P4, bumping up to the main !
Short Course Main Final: Rinus allready achieved his goal for this event, reaching the main final. Wherever he would finish now was only a bonus for the ... year old racer ;-). Rinus finished the race again without an issue and finished in P6. Another nice result for the N-R-P Team ! Showing the potential of this short-course racing car, and proving again the reliability of this car.
Apart from the N-R-P Team drivers we also had 1 privateer running in this event. Bob Weaver raced aswel with his N-R-P Ultron 4wd buggy. It was nice to meet Bob again and have a chat. After training we helped Bob a little with his setup on the car. Equiping his car aswel with the new anti-roll-bars and new front springs. Wich made a huge difference to Bob.
Bob had to leave early on saturday so he only ran 3 rounds of qualifying. He was ranked P17 after qualifying.
Bob started P2 in the 1/4th final A. Bob raced very clean and finished this final in P1, lapping all cars ! Bob now bumped up towards the semi final A, joining me. In the semi final A Bob did another great job and was very close to reaching the main final. Finishing in P6, 1 place short for the main final. Not reaching the final but going home with a big smile, great job Bob !