Category Archives: driving

Robert Battle – No Filter

Robert Battle is one of the 1:8th Nitro Buggy specialists out there. He has raced some other classes slightly, but for the most part, 1:8th buggy is where he spends most of his time. He is a World Champion, double European Champion, as well as multiple national champion. He is a driver that you can never count out once the final rolls around, regardless of how his qualifying, or even semi final goes. He has a knack for finding a rhythm and if need be, un-lapping himself after the halfway point in a main, and finding himself in a battle for the win at the very end. I sent him some questions a while ago, and this is what he had to say.

You are one of the most successful drivers in 1:8th offroad, I don’t even know your best achievements, please list them here:

First of all thank you so much to make this interview and your blog, some people hate it but I think it is because it’s true things coming out.

My best achievements are:

World Champion 2012

2 x European Champion 2007/2011

2nd at World Championships 2016

2nd twice at European Championships

11 x Spanish Champion in a row (edit. we heard a record breaking 36 national race wins in a row)

You were clearly talented as you were fast ever since the beginning at your first Euros, I believe in 2002, but since then you progressed to become one of the most consistently fast and successful drivers, regardless of the equipment you were running, be it GRP, Proline or ProCircuit tyres, AXE, or Novarossi Engines, HoBao, AE or Mugen cars. How did you pull this off? Was it easy or did you actually have to put some work in?

From my point of view to be in the top of any sport is super difficult, you have to work a lot and be consistent in what you are doing. But you also need someone who guides you specially when you are young. It has been really difficult most of times mainly when you see your friends going out, holidays,… but you cannot go with them as you have to race or test.

How much did you practice in the early years, and did you have a plan, or did you just drive gallon after gallon? Do you practice less or more now than before?

I really didn’t practice a lot when I was young, but I made a looot of races, that’s the best way for me so you can drive in a lot of tracks and you can set-up the car in any condition. Practice a lot in your home track doesn’t make you improve your skills from my point of view. Now I practice more than ever, specially because I have to test a lot of prototype things but also because I’m getting older…. so you need to practice more to be still alive!

Some drivers switch a lot from car to car, searching for some magic. You have raced for 3 different car brands in your career, what is your opinion regarding this?

I don’t like at all, if you are confident with your car and you think that it is the best, you can win whatever. Changing too much can confuse you I think, I feel great with Mugen and all people there, I know the car and they take always a line from so many years ago… so I’m confident with it. As we all know, you never know what’s gonna happen, but that’s what I think right now.

What exactly is Marc Ibar’s (Ultimate Racing) contribution to your success? What is his contribution? And what about your father?

What I am now, it is thanks to both 100% and Javi Muela who helped me in 2002 to race, making Hobao believe in me.

Marc helps me a lot to understand the race itself, how to manage the difficult situations and things like that, we could say psychologic terms.

My dad as the word says is my dad, so he helps me everywhere, and he taught me all I know in RC and outside, always helped with my mom who never came to a race because she becomes too nervous haha.

What are the main changes you make to your car at a race, and why?

We normally work with swaybars because I feel a big change anytime we change. We work also on tires as it is a key thing in the setup.

Shocks are also a main thing so basically these three items, as the others from my point of view just change a little your feeling and they are more “psychologic” than any other thing.

Do you sometimes end up with a car that’s less than ideal, and you just drive around it?

Yes. So many races I had a difficult car and I had to drive more than 100% to win or to finish in a good position. Although it has been races where I had an awesome car and I made stupid mistakes to ruin the race lol.

Do you think about what you are doing when you drive, or do you just drive? Do you think about the car and how it is handling, or your own driving, such as line choice or throttle control? Do you consciously make changes to your driving, or your line choice during races?

Yes, my team sometimes says to me that I think too much. I always think how to improve the car, how to find a better line to go faster, changing my driving style in some parts to get some tenths…. I think all drivers do that as this is the only way to learn the track as it changes a lot during even a main final.

You are known as a main final driver. Somehow you manage to put it all together in the mains, even sometimes halfway through the main. How? What’s wrong with you, why not all the time, why wait until the last 30 minutes of the main?

Haha. This is difficult to explain… we always work more thinking on main finals, my car goes better after 10/15 minutes so maybe that’s why in qualifying I am not the best at all. However it is something that this year we want to change and I think we will do it. We work also with harder compounds as I don’t drive smooth… that also helps to be faster at the end. Although we will try to change it this year, I will ask you at the end what you think 😉

I have seen you now have an impressive RBR36 Arena in Barcelona.What is the story? Is this yours or does it only use your name, do you run it yourself? What are the future plans for this project?

This is mine and another partner, this is the story, I spent a lot of money there but sincerely it is not going as expected so I don’t know what will happen with this on next year… will see what we can do, but seems difficult to go ahead….

If you could change some things in RC Racing, or the RC industry, what would they be?

We need professional people leading RC, people who live because of that. Not people with another job then doing this like a “hobby”. Real world championship with some races during the year, same for European Championship… we need to change RC and make it visible for the people as a sport not simply as a toy. RC is a perfect sport for an amazing dad/(son or daughter) relationship, we have to work on this more than ever.

I have seen you like racing real cars too, and heard you used to race gokarts before? Is that so? Will you move on to real cars after RC:-)?

Yes I love real racing cars, I used to go to any track day I can, basically when my pocket can….lol

I used to race gokarts even wining some national races but it was too much money so I had to quit. I will not move from RC, real racing is too expensive and I’m too old to live from that, I love RC and I love my life so I don’t want anything else.

Finally, what does the future hold for you. What are your major goals for 2017 and beyond?

My main goal is to win Euro’s again after last two terrible years…I have some projects in my mind that I’m still discussing with my sponsors that can be a motivation for me, in terms of helping drivers and specially kids.

Thank you so much for everything, and keep going with your blogs as they make RC more alive!

Gracias Robert

BLACK Edition Loaner Car – Better Conversion Rate Than For Mormons

Keenan White ran my loaner buggy in the DR, here is his report:

This last weekend was our RC Fest held at DRC Speedway in the capital city of Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic this by far being the biggest race ever here. The DRC Speedway is a high traction, smooth, small track with metal modular jumps. It is located on the side of a shopping mall in the biggest city in the Caribbean. The race was well promoted in the biggest newspaper in the country as well as on the radio and organized by the owner Luis (Mad Max) Garcia. For this race Luis had arranged for Joseph Quagraine to attend ,this being his second time racing in the DR.

The Opportunity

JQ and I where in contact as he had some questions about the north coast of the island where I live and was interested in enjoying a few days here prior to his big European tour. He asked me if I would be interested in trying a JQ Black Edition for this race, The Rental Ride that other drivers had used at The Neo Race and then in Germany at a race a few weeks ago. I was a bit nervous about saying yes because I have driven Mugen cars since the MBX4 days only briefly driving a C hub car during the Jammin Days from 2005 -2007. I thought about it and said I have nothing to lose I am not sponsored by anyone but my wallet and said sure why not. All I needed to do was put my receiver and transponder in the car and race.

The Rental Ride

Friday before the race I met up with JQ and picked up The Rental that I would be using he explained that it was last used in Germany on a completely different track and I might have to change shock oils and some settings. This was not a new car at all it had seen a bit of use so it had normal wear that any other car would have plus it had seen a few different drivers before me. I decided that I will try the car as is tune in the engine and if i needed to change anything I would.

Practice

Saturday Morning was practice I got to tune in the engine then run about 4 tanks of practice trying different tires on the track . I found the car very neutral and easy to drive it was doing everything I wanted on the high speed corners low speed 180s and jumping . I found it easy to drive and decided to just adjust for less droop for the first qualifier and nothing else THE Car was good as is IMHO. I did break a right front arm during practice but this was completely my fault as I was trying to throw fat whips like JQ and landed short on the metal jump and metal obviously won that battle. JQ gave me a right arm and within 15 minutes I was back practicing and was very impressed how easy it was to wrench on THE CAR. I had very limited practice as I was running 5 classes and had to get my other cars ready as well.

Qualifying

Qualifying started at 1 pm and it was interrupted by rain and by the time my Nitro buggy qualifier came around the track was still a bit slick at the beginning but I was still able to put in a 4th place finish for that round of qualifiers so I was happy and looking forward to a drier track the next round . Unfortunately that never happened as the rain came and qualifying was canceled but I would be starting 4th on the grid so that was good enough for me.

The Final

The 45 min final was to be the final race of the day earlier in the day I decided to change the clutch bearings and the center spur gear of the car (it was a bit worn and did not want to chance it ). Once again THE Black Edition is well thought out and I found it easy and fast to wrench on. 6pm the 45 min final started up to this point with the other 4 classes I ran I had over 2 hours of actual race time on the track (note to self never run 5 classes again its too much). Start of the final I jumped out front and grabbed the Hole Shot !! I was Pumped but a few errors put me back a few spots after a few laps so I calmed down and focused on hitting my lines. The car was great it was doing everything I wanted this track had a few low speed 180s that I was able to get the car on the inside of these turns under other drivers opening up passing opportunities.

The car was great it was doing everything I wanted this track had a few low speed 180s that I was able to get the car on the inside of these turns under other drivers opening up passing opportunities.

On the high speed sweeper I was able place the car where ever I wanted at speed .Jumping was great no problems with any of the jumps THE Car handled everything I threw at it. While I was doing this I had made my way up to the driver in 3rd position who was also driving a JQ but not the B.E. and we started swapping positions back and forth for about 15 minutes the battle was on. At the 27 min mark disaster struck for me as I landed wrong off one of the bigger jumps and crashed into the fencing surrounding the track this caused a rear shock end to snap I was heart broken. I ran off driver stand replaced the shock and got back on the track after 4 minutes but it was too late my race was over I still managed to finish the race and salvage an 8th place.

The Conclusion

I am very impressed with this car at how easy it was to drive also the fact that I really did not change anything on the car and was able to be competitive with it with only about 4 tanks of actual practice. I am a racer that all my cars are rebuilt between our races and know exactly what my car has done to it so I went into this race completely blind with THE CAR and it done well. I was also happy that beside breaking the shock end the car finished the final with very little preparation by me.

I am very impressed with this car at how easy it was to drive also the fact that I really did not change anything on the car and was able to be competitive with it with only about 4 tanks of actual practice.

I got to finally meet Joseph and spend time with him and found him one of the coolest guys I have met in RC, he is very smart and passionate about his product and I really admire what he is doing. He went out of his way to help everyone take pictures answer questions and be a great ambassador for RC. I really believe that JQ has hit the ball out of the park with THE Black Edition THE Car is good JQ has sold me on it and I will be making the switch and race THE Car and help promote JQ Racing to my best ability. I admire what he is doing and will support him as much as I can. It will only get better from here . Thank you Joseph for the opportunity to try something new!

All I have to say is AYLYD?

Keenan K White

Just Add Driver

  
An unidentified stick radio driver picked up my wheel radio, and on the first full tank did a 7Laps 5:08. That’s top 3 qualifying pace.

As I have said before, the BLACK Edition is capable. Just add a driver.

Nordics/Bitty Contest/Euros Warm Up Day 1

When tax money is spent right…..

Practice, we talkin’ about practice! Today was a good day. Track is “motocross”, and I love it. It’s balls out, punch it, go fast, but it’s rough and loose, so you have to pick your lines carefully, and you have to hit each section at the right speed. That speed is fast, but it needs to be the right fast. And you can’t avoid all the bumps, you just have to power through them. Exactly the sort of surface I enjoy the most. It’s a case of, either you go fast, or you go slow. Medium will catch out you, and don’t let off if you get in trouble or it will end up worse, just smash the throttle. Like motocross, but safer.

I got both my cars really good, and I’m still basically using a standard bumpy track setup. Only minor changes from track to track, regardless of surface, really happy about that. Things to look at, swaybars, antisquat, toe in, droop.

Lee Martin is running both the JQ cars, nitro and electric, so I hope he will do well. It’s tough because he has very limited track time with nitro, and got the electric at the race, and with the track being “special”, let’s see how it goes tomorrow. Fingers crossed we get them how he likes his cars!

Real food at the track. That’s special!

So you are telling me I should put this red donut into the rubbery thing?

Infinity BLACK Edition

Carlos Duraes was forced to limit his manspreading to 1 meter.

That’s just ridiculous. Bigger than in America.

Max “Full Throttle” Johansson smashed the throttle and seeded 6th in Nitro! Amazing job! He also glues his tyres full throttle, so he needs protection.

You know how you told me to put that red thing in the rubbery thing? It was waaaay better.

Prittydesign

 

1 Year In – Evaluation #itsuckstosuck

A year ago I announced that it sucks to suck, and it would be really cool not to suck. I then began focusing on my own driving and trying to improve as a racer. I knew my car was good, and at the time I knew about the BLACK Edition, surprise surprise, so I wanted to be on the pace once I got to release it. Let’s see where I am at now.

  • Results: No significant improvement. Same shit different day, any given race, 7th-20th is basically where I can finish.
  • Race Pace: Slight improvement, can achieve same as before, but with one or two mistakes, where before I was just perfect but slower. I haven’t been faster and perfect yet except club racing.
  • Practice Pace: Significant improvement, I am able to match the worlds best….in practice. That’s something though, I wasn’t able to do this a year ago.

Basically, I have been able to improve my skills, and I have been able to lower my best lap, and average lap very close to the pace of the very best. Basically matching or being within 3 seconds over 5 minutes. That’s really good. So I am capable of doing what these guys are doing at the races. I have stayed after races and matched TQ times, and I have practiced with the likes of Ronnefalk, Cavalieri, Rivkin and Tebo. The thing is, I need hundreds of laps, and a perfectly set up car, and dialed in driving to do it.

At the races I am still off the pace, as I can’t reach that maximum pace without getting everything just right. So basically there has been progress, just not enough yet. I’m not giving up though, I know I can do it now, I just can’t do it at the races with limited practice. I’ll keep on going, and we will see how it is in another years time.

Another improvement has been racing in traffic, doing much better than before. Now I get the wrong end of the stick only 30% of the time. Also put some nice moves on people that were mostly aggressive but fair. A few mishaps, but it’s racing.

David Ronnefalk – No Filter

I decided a while ago to interview some of the top drivers in RC, at least the ones that still talk to me 🙂 Just kidding…Or maybe not. Anyhow, just thought it would be interesting to ask some other questions than “How did you get started in RC?”. Got a few lined up, let’s see how it goes.

I figured it’s only fair to start with the World Champ! Thank you David for the interview.

Coming from Scandinavia, the elements are against you, and it’s definitely not common to become World Champion in 1:8th scale Offroad, coming form a country with a short season, and relatively low level of competition compared to some bigger countries. Do you think this was a benefit or a hindrance looking back at your career?

For me coming from Sweden I know I have not had the same possibilities as the racers from countries with a longer season. Though I have not seen this as a huge disadvantage, as during the winter in Sweden I have been running lots of 1/10 EP and I think that is very good practice also for 1/8 scale. This also means I never get tired of running one class only. As towards the end of the winter I´m super excited to move outdoors and start my engine and burn some nitro again. Of course this means it will take a few runs to get back into it and I would say this might be the only disadvantage I have, but I have been lucky to have the gift to be able to adapt very quickly to new tracks, cars or setups which helps. As I usually have gone to US a couple days earlier to get some track time I feel like I have been in good shape going into the DNC which has been my first 1/8 race of the year the past few years. For 2017 I will make a change to the schedule though as I will for the first time since 2010 go back and attend the Montpellier GP early February. Really looking forward to that as I think the track is one of the best in Europe at the moment. 

Now that you are done with school, and are for the first time a paid professional RC Car driver after having switched to HB, how has this changed your situation? Has anything changed in your ability to prepare for races, or in your mental approach in general?

Of course this was a huge change in my life. It took a while to get used to it in the beginning as I was used to have dad preparing my cars in between the races and for practices we went to. I learned a lesson as I didn’t think it would be that much work besides the racing part, so it is very important to have a great structure and a schedule you follow. This took a while for me to adapt to, and even if it can still be improved I think we showed in Vegas that my whole team with dad and Adrien have a very good plan both at the races and in between to get the maximum performance of our equipment and my driving. The work in between the races is at least as important or maybe even more important than at the race. If you do it right, you will get a head start and face an easier challenge at the race.

You recently made a big switch from Kyosho to HB Racing. What is the main differences between the Kyosho and the HB cars?

My first feeling I got was that the HB 1/8 car had and still has way more natural steering and corner speed. This took a while to get used to as with the Kyosho I had to push the car through the corners and when I did the same with the HB I would spin out. Of course this also had to do with the way the car was setup when I first switched. After a couple of months with the car we found a very very good base setup which I can use almost everywhere. I would say with this setup I´m 80-85% ready when I get to a new track. After two full years running HB, we have worked hard and developed a car that fits any driver out there. The D812 was still a car that was very aggressive and didn’t have a lot of grip, but with the D815, D815 V2 and the coming D817 I think we have a car for any driver out there. It has way more grip and stability than previous cars but you still have great steering and corner speed. So the conclusion on this is that I believe I´m faster and more competitive with the HB car than I was with the Kyosho. I have changed my driving style to where I have found a nice balance on the steering and throttle control, and as I don´t have to push as hard as I did with the Kyosho I can focus more on the line I want to hit every lap.

What exactly is Adrien Bertin’s contribution to your success? What is his contribution?

Adrien means a lot to me. Over the years we have worked so hard together and become very close, I wouldn’t  call him a friend anymore as I see him as family. His knowledge and experience really boosted my career after he took me under his wing in 2008. I have learned so much from him and I can´t be more thankful for his help. Now you might be wondering what I have learned from him, and I would say pretty much everything. From understanding setup changes and what they do to the car, to different paths you choose in life or just personal advice in general. We have now had 8 years together and I don´t see the end in our relationship so I think everyone out there needs to watch out, because I truly believe that we together have become one of the strongest teams to beat out there today .

What are the main changes you make to your car at a race, and why?

At the races we always try to find the best car for the longer runs. Of course we need to be there also in qualifying but we are not always trying too hard to get the TQ, for us that is a bonus. The changes we make to the car of course vary from track to track, but for me the shock pistons/oil together with the diffs makes the biggest difference on the car. Then we mainly work with the caster, ackermann and hub position in the rear end.

Do you sometimes end up with a car that’s less than ideal, and you just drive around it?

Normally when it comes down to finals we always have something that we know we have the chance to win with. Of course sometimes you pick wrong tires or so and therefore you will suffer a little bit because of that. But normally I always feel like I will have a shot at it!

Do you think about what you are doing when you drive, or do you just drive? Do you think about the car and how it is handling, or your own driving, such as line choice or throttle control? Do you consciously make changed to your driving, or your line choice during races?

Normally I don´t think too much when I´m driving. Sometimes you try to find another fast driver on the track to kinda have a idea on what your pace is like, but that is pretty much it. I wouldn’t´t say that I think about how my car is handling, it is more like a feeling that comes to me. Of course I have the line choice in mind while I´m driving, I normally take a walk around the track before a final or so and then I get the idea of where I have to put my car while driving. Then it is all about focusing on the line and keeping your car square. For instance the Worlds in Vegas was a track that you really had to be 110% focused on your line in the main. This was what I did the best during the 60min to win my first ever IFMAR Worlds title.

I saw a video of you driving a Touring Car, why touring car?

I think touring car is fun to drive and I wish there would be more time for that as well, but there is not. So I just like to go once in a while to drive some just for fun. This coming weekend I will actually attend a 1/12 scale race, this will be the first time ever for me driving a 1/12 and I´m really excited and looking forward to it. All in all, On-road is something I do for fun when time allows.  

What’s the story behind your own track?

So the story about my private indoor 1/10 EP Buggy  carpet track is that we have always had a tiny track in the same building, and I got tired of travelling 2h to the closest track during the winter to practice. So I decided to do all I could to build my own track where we had this small one already, though I wanted it to be way bigger and with the EOS carpet. After a lot of talking with the girl that rents the building (I share it with her now) she finally agreed with me getting more space to build a big indoor track. In the agreement I had to move all her stuff away from the space that I wanted and she wsa not required to do anything. So basically it was me and my grandfather that was there every day in January 2016 for 2 weeks straight doing everything. I got some help towards the end when it was finished with painting the walls, carrying the 4m wide carpet rolls up two floors. Two and a half weeks after me and my grandfather started to take down the old track we had built a new track but also gave the whole building a way better look. So now I have 25min to the track instead of 2h and I can go practice whenever I want. The track has almost the same size as the EOS tracks so it is also a perfect opportunity for HB and Orion to test and develop our products.

Finally, what does the future hold for you. What are your major goals for 2017 and beyond?

For me I think the future looks very bright. I´m feeling very confident with my whole package and with all sponsors and people around me. I cannot say anything else than 2016 was a great year for us but I will be working very hard to be able to win every race I attend in 2017. Obviously we wont have the Worlds in 1/8 in 2017 so I will wait until 2018 to do my best to be the first ever to defend a title in 1/8 Off Road. I´m looking forward to the Euros which will be held in my home country for 2017 and I will try to bring the title back to where it belongs after missing out in 2015 and 2016. Other than that we have the Worlds in China for 1/10 which will be a highlight of the year. Looking forward to another great year and to see all my friends out at the tracks.

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The Importance of Guidance

Yes I wrote “he”, it’s easier. This blog isn’t PC.

After some time with hardly any really good new junior drivers, there seem to be a lot of them popping up now. There are now a number of Italian youngsters, and also Spanish, German, Finnish, and American drivers beginning to make a name for themselves around the world. Oh and a Polish guy.

At first they all sort of looked equal, but now after a few more years, you can really tell a difference in their career trajectory. Of course talent and dedication plays a role, but when it comes to young drivers, I think there is one thing that is more important than anything else, and that’s the people behind them.

Here are a few ways to spoil a potentially good driver:

  • It’s never his fault. He is awesome, always, the equipment let him down when he didn’t do well.
  • Any on track incident is never his fault, always blame the other party. Retaliation is encouraged.
  • No need to try other people’s setups or ideas, as I know what’s best for my kid. Don’t listen to others kid.
  • After kid goes nuts on track and blows out, no words of wisdom are spoken, “Car didn’t look good, you will get them next time.”
  • Basically, always looking outwards instead of inwards, for blame, and for excuses, and always looking outwards for ways to improve, different equipment being the first step.

What the above leads to is a driver that doesn’t develop his own driving because he is awesome, he never settles with car brand, tyre brand, etc, because they are never good enough for him, he never achieves greatness because he can’t maximise his own and his equipment’s potential as the focus is on the wrong things.

Here are a few ways to make the most of a potentially good driver:

  • Be fair with feedback regarding mistakes and bad races, and offer solutions and improvements to driving and setup, not even hinting at different equipment.
  • Give objective feedback regarding on track incidents, and condemn retaliation.
  • Listen to other people, but do your own testing and gather your own data.
  • After kid goes nuts on track and blows out, share some words of wisdom that help to stop that from happening in the future.
  • Basically, always look inwards for blame, and reasons, what could we have done better with our equipment, what could you have done better as far as your driving is concerned?

What the above leads to is a driver that develops due to constant honest feedback and instruction, and understands the value of settling for a good brand and maximising it’s potential. He has a great chance of achieving greatness as the people around him don’t give any room for excuses.

 

Rhein Main Warm Up Race – Setup and Driving

The Track

Very challenging this year, more so than previous years. This year it became very slippery on the black groove, but then it had patches of traction that unbalanced the car, and of course the carpet had traction. The layout is also strange, in the way that the timing and flow of the track seems off. It’s hard to get the right speed and be consistent, in both corners and jumps. You have to really go slow to go fast, and you have to be very precise. I like the track and look forward to this race every year, but at the same time, it can be oh so frustrating.

The Setup

I basically ran my NEO17 Setup except for going to 2 degrees anti squat by running the 1 insert hole up in the C plate. I also ran 12500-20000-4000 diff oils. In practice and qualifying I ran 30/27.5 but for the mains I went up to 32.5/30wt. I felt like in the A main my car was still too soft, and I should have gone up more.

The great thing about the BLACK Edition is how consistent it has been track to track. I am making little, or no changes, and I am competitive on all tracks and in all conditions.

My car was good, except for being too soft and not landing well in the main. I felt like it could have been better transitioning from no grip to grip, but I honestly didn’t know what to do about that. It didn’t really become and issue until the mains, and that was too late to start guessing, I just needed to try and drive around it by being smooth on the throttle and steering. Tyres could have been one thing, Keller was on AKA catapult, a tyre I never run, and he said the same, except for this track! I ran Impact.

The Race

In qualifying Darren Bloomfield was the man to beat, but it was still close. He was in control though, Hazelnuts would call up to him “+2”, and in a while “+4”, and Darren just controlled it from there I think. I qualified 5th, but basically we were all within 5 seconds or so, and I felt like for the longer mains I would be more competitive, so I wasn’t worried.

In the main the time the cars were down on the line was unusually long, and Darren flamed out. That was a shame, because instead of what I expected to be the 4 of us going for the win, it left 3, Keller, Neumann and me. We did have quite a good race, eventually Keller pulled maybe a 10 second lead as I battled with Neumann. At some point I broke away, and we were just driving 1-2-3 with a decent gap between all of us. Then around halfway in the race I found a good groove and clicked off fast laps, and Keller flamed out in the pits. Andy Kramer from LRP got him started quickly, and he still maintained his lead, but then he made a few mistakes, and I got to within just under 2 seconds behind him, but I just couldn’t do anything with it. He drove away from me a bit, and I made a mistake. Then once again, in the final moments, just after the last pit stop, I again closed in, to about 3 seconds, but then for the last minutes was caught up with back markers and completely lost my rhythm. I don’t think I could have caught Keller without him making a mistake, but if I could have stayed close who knows!

Driving

For the most part I did OK, and I was once again trying to push more than in the past few years. This resulted in mistakes in qualifying, but it also resulted in the fastest lap in the main, and me catching the leader during the race. I wasn’t able to be as consistent as I wanted. I would have 5 great minutes, and then something would happen to where I lost my pace, and it would take a couple of laps to re group, and then I would find the rhythm again. It’s not easy this racing thing! Looking forward to the Euros Warm Up now!

The reaction to seeing my ID, and learning my 2nd name.

Bad For The Industry

Here are some posts that are bad for the industry.

Excuses

Setup

Driving

Testing

Stupid people should refrain from attempting to put other people down, because the only outcome is that they will look more stupid than they seemed before they started talking. Normally, the more ignorant and the less successful you are, the more you talk about, and hate on other people. The statement below is a great one. The reason for this is simple. Small minds cannot comprehend new ideas.

NEO17 – Day 2 – Qualifying Part 1

Well, it’s slightly challenging to write about the top guys, because I am busy smashing into them in the top heat. So far the highlights of my qualifying.

  • Waffle stomping on Tessmann in the quad, creating the even lower low profile cooling head. Sorry Ty!#godworksinmysteriousways
  • Marco Baruffolo Special (MBS), 9 second marshaling in a 3 second crash. Please see Neil Cragg for marshaling advice.
  • Ruining Ongaro coming onto the straight, absolutely perfect showing of the wheel. #wrongplacewrongtime
  • My 10 second heavily assisted last lap crash in eBUGGYYYY after a good run.
  • Quading over Coelho like the Touring Car With Jumps Champion he is. Winning.
  • Beat Maifield in warm up. Later he told me he was on the phone. Just kidding. He said he just putts around.
  • Only REDS to do the quad, until Marco Rossi showed up and yelled at Maifield.
  • Best looking car in the woops. #stewable
  • I mainly crash on flat sections.

A lot of engineering going on in this hall!

Ironically, I am at the moment exactly where I normally am, around 20th. A year ago I wrote “It Sucks to Suck” and around the same time publicly announced that I would rather not suck anymore, and that I would try and improve as a driver. Well, one year later, same result, so FAIL you might say, but I’m actually not too unhappy. The reason is, that before I had this 20th or so pace when driving perfect heats, and not crashing. This year, I am having meltdowns, or crashes of epic proportions at times, and I am still 20th. The thing is, that I am in fact a lot faster, and also pushing more, and I just end up with one or two crashes, or traffic issues, and my time is basically about 10-15 seconds slower than a clean run. What that means, is that I basically have a 10-15 second better pace now, and if I can eliminate the mistakes, I will be much better. And it’s not like it’s impossible. In the 2nd round, I had 10 great laps, and one crash on one lap leading to a 9 second loss.

Having said that, I always drive a lot better in finals, so with the speed I have now, I am quite confident for the finals, I think I can do well if everything works. It’s going to be great fun to do battle (NO pun intended) in the mains.

On another note, JQRacing had a driver (no, Fat Jesus) in the old man final, and another, Max Mört in the Junior Final today, which was great. Too bad I had too many mistakes to make it 3/3.

The Batmobile attracts chicks! Also, please someone tell all women in the whole world that high cut jeans are terrible. Thank you.