We started our trip to Gubbio on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Jirka Hassler from Serpent Europe, who was kind enough to be my mechanic for the EC, picked me up and we began the 700 km trip.
We finally arrived early Sunday morning and a lot of work was waiting for us already. Italian Serpent driver Giordano Agostinelli had not received his 733 yet and in a team effort, involving the Baumgarten and Gruber families, we managed to get his car build that day.
I was really lucky, that I had received my kit earlier and my Dad was able to build it in the week before the race.
On Monday morning at 9 a.m. controlled practice began and went on until Wednesday. Each racer had 5 runs of 10 minutes each per day. This wasn’t that much time, so the team had to plan very carefully who would be testing what in his practice runs.
The entire Serpent team was working together beautifully to find setups for the brand new car.
I learned the track pretty quickly and I enjoyed it very much. The entire facility was in absolute great shape and the organisation was working absolutely flawless
Our Italian hosts were very accommodating and solved every problem with their southern charm. Great stuff !!
On Thursday we had the opening ceremony with a great show program and a free buffet for everyone, which was heavily frequented. Italian food- enough said J
On Friday morning there was one last controlled practice run and then the qualifiers began.
Two heats were run on Friday and two more on Saturday. After the last practice run I found myself in 14th position which was great, but in the qualifiers I had more problems than I’d care to describe.
In short, I couldn’t finish a single run and ended up in 95th place after the second heat.
I was pretty down after that, but Jirka gave me a little pep talk and got me focused on the remaining two qualifiers.. Thanks Dr. Hassler J
Ín the evening, team Serpent had organized a team dinner for all participating Serpent drivers.
As the icing on the cake, each racer received a little surprise gift. Wonderful idea, thank you Serpent.
Saturday morning, 3rd qualifier. I was a bit nervous, since it was pretty cool in the morning which should be one of the faster heats. I tried to drive a bit conservative to get a safe run in the books. I managed 25 laps in 7:10 minutes which got me up to 55th, not too bad.
Unfortunately, the last qualifier didn’t go well because my engine cut out right before the start. And it took us about a lap to get it re-started.
This meant the 1/16th final on Sunday morning for me. Guess what? My engine stalled again right before the start, which cost me quite some time and after we got on the way, it started to act pretty weird. It took my pit crew a few minutes to get the engine tuned properly, but by then all hopes for bumping into the 1/8th had vanished.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the week in Gubbio very much. We had plenty of fun and the new Serpent 733 showed a lot of potential. I expect great things from this car, once the team gathers experience with it
I want to say a big thank you to my great pit crew of Jirka Hassler and Michael Salven, which must have been the fastest crew in the pit lane.
Also thanks to Fabio Domanin and Massimo Fantini for their support.
Last but not least, I want to thank my sponsors Team Serpent, Max Power, IDM Tyres, MLC Fuel and LMI-Racing.
The next race will be the 8th scale World Championships in Lostallo.