Monthly Archives: July 2008
Far away from computers.
See pic on youtube vid…that’s where I’m at :wave:
Back in a couple of days.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who if he wins knows the triumph of high achievement and if he fails at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold & timid souls who never knew either victory or defeat”
This is something I have thought about doing for a while – to summarize all the 20 or so years of running these cars.
Mostly for myself – but if at least one of you who read this blog find it interesting reading – then that’s a bonus and all the better!
Sometime, a long long time ago, in the happy eighties…as a little bastard, I used to run around the (full scale) Rallycross pits around Finland teasing other little bastards. This was when Rallycross had names like Martin Schanche, Matti Alamäki and Will Gollop to name a few. My dad was a mechanic for a driver and we used to go to some races with him. I would not say I was terribly bothered about the racing and motorsport then as a little brat but it’s still where this racing thing started.
During these years or just after, might have been ’88, I got my first toy RC car with my bro. It was obviously a Nikko, don’t remember the name but it was black and a buggy with a solid rear axle and was slightly smaller than the 1/10 scale buggies. I do remember though that after a while we then wanted a Nikko Dictator, which was one of the best Nikko cars back then 😉
We went to the shop desperately hoping we would get one on that day…but my dad looked at it and said we should get a proper hobby quality RC car instead. I believe we were a bit disappointed that day but that was where this RC car thing really started.
More on that next time! Nite.
Well it’s been almost two weeks now since the trip to Germany so it’s time to write down something while I still remember.
The trip started on Thursday first by driving the 3 hours to Tampere, for the Ryanair flight to Frankfurt Hahn. Obviously the preparations started a couple of days earlier with the biggest challenge as always being to get everything packed and below 15kg. This is always an interesting challenge, this time even greater than usual due to the Ryanair 15kg limit vs. 20kg on normal flights. Anyway, I managed to get it down to 15.9kg so that was good enough! No mention of the hand luggage weight… 😉
Actually I had prepared my stuff much better than for a long time, starting early so I would not have to stress the day before we left. The only thing missing was and still is more testing with the TRF416.
Upon arrival at the airport in Germany I went to pick up our rental car which was supposed to be a VW Polo, Opel Corsa or similar. The rental company woman thought she would make me happy as she told me we would get a MB A-class with diesel engine and automatic gearbox. I’m hard to please though so I asked if she did not have anything else – in the end we got a brand new Golf (136km on the clock!) with most importantly – a manual gearbox. Sorry, no automatic for me!
Fast forward a couple of hours and we found the track in the small town of Andernach. The track and all facilities looked great! Not many drivers were running as it was already quite late…Atsushi was still running though and it looked very interesting. Next up we found the hotel which was nice as usual in Germany, although the room was a bit on the small side.
Friday morning next and 5 rounds of practice in heats, followed by a couple of hours of free practice. My car and driving was crap most of the day. Finally during the last packs it was getting a bit better.
Saturday saw a couple of practice rounds followed by 4 qualifying rounds. I finally got my car to feel really good, the major changes being to the Speed Passion GT settings, gearing and finally the most important change being to stiffen up the springs, 1 step at the rear and 2 steps at the front. Changing to HPI gold springs at the front (silver rear) really transformed my car and made it a lot more predictable.
I drove quite well in round 1 with 1 small mistake, finishing 37th. In rounds 2 and 3 I drove better than for a long time without any mistakes and was 31st and 34th. It was obvious that my level was around 30th-35th with good clean runs. My aim was therefore to stay in the D final. In the last round for Saturday I made a mistake early and after that pushed too hard trying to get a round score lower than my 37th, since your 3 best rounds would be counted. The result was more mistakes…
Sunday started with a practice round followed by the last qual and finals. For the day I run a new Speed Passion 3.5 motor (thanks Wilson) and used the practice to get used to this. The practice went really well and my car and power felt good. Sunday would be the hottest day of the 3 though and as I run my last qualifying round the track was already very warm and my car was just not as good anymore. I made a mistake and finished 37th in the round…which dropped me to 41st and the E final! Just goes to show that the key is to just take it easy and safely 😉
I won both finals easily although my car was no good. Would have been a lot more fun to be able to start from the back of the D…but at least I got a trophy with me!
I believe I should have gone down 1 step in springs for Sunday due to the warmer weather and track since tyre temperatures just went up too high.
Regarding the fight for the top places you can check out the official race coverage. Hara was really super impressive all weekend, however it looked like he had the same problem as me with the car not looking as good on Sunday anymore. Völker was super impressive in the finals – fast but very fair. The TRF team was not really on it throughout the weekend, although not far behind in the end. Marc was very fast in the finals but starting too far back. Not many more comments now, just that it was super interesting to watch the best drivers on asphalt.
Overall, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the best racing trip I have done with super track, atmosphere, racing and weather. If I could afford I would definitely do all the ETS series…I would be happy to skip all races in Finland if I could do these instead. Hope to do a race next summer as well and also to return to the Andernach track someday.
Oh…I almost forgot to mention the trip to Nurburgring after the race on Sunday! We were very unfortunate in that the track was closed just as we got there due to some dude totalling his BMW M3! It was still a super cool experience though seeing all the mad people and cars coming from the track! 🙂 We even managed to sneak into the pits of the F1 track… Anyway, surely a place I must visit again!
That’s about it for my 7th trip to Germany in 7 years. Maybe time to visit some other countries next!
Check out some random photos here.
Well I’m home again from the ETS final in Germany since Monday night.
What a great race! This was the best race I have ever competed in. I did my first race outside of Finland almost 10 years ago already and have usually done at least 1 per year so I’ve been to a few. All of them have been good experiences but this was clearly my favourite race.
Great track. Great facilities. Great racing. Great relaxed ambience.
I will post some more thoughts and pics in the next week or so. I’ll add some pics to this post of my 416 taken before practice began though since I made a promise. And I actually did not break 1 single part during the weekend! 😉
Meanwhile you should check out the good race coverage over at http://ets.redrc.net/
Don’t miss the video of the last A!
You can click the pics for a larger one…