My location: United States
Sep 15, 2008

The fifth round of the 1:8 Dutch Nationals was held in Gouda, a very tight and small track here in The Netherlands. The weather on Saturday was a bit disappointing. Because of the rain practice was minimized from 15:30 till 17:30 due to a wet track. However it was for everyone the same. I was really surprised how well my car was going. I used the setup of the last national in Heemstede and didn’t have to change 1 thing! The Novarossi 359 Plus 2 engine with the 3007 pipe was also working beautifully on this shot track. I only need to adjust the clutch and gearing for some more acceleration out of the short corners.

On Sunday the weather was a lot more forgiving and the sun was shining. Still it was a bit cold because of the wind, but this was good for fuel consumption. I didn’t have any problems with that so I could do a run on full throttle. The first heat I had a small problem overtaking a slower driver which caused me to go outside the grip line and landed in to the grass. This mistake cost me about 6 seconds and the result was 19 laps in 5:00. 20 laps was no problem I suggested. The 2nd round my engine stalled at the start so I was not able to set a good time. The last heat I made some minor setup, tires and engine adjustments, but again some problems with overtaking a slower driver which – again – caused me to hit the grass. Because of the narrow track it is almost impossible to overtake. So you have to make room to let faster drivers pass and some had a bit problems with this. I was still able to improve my time into a 20 lapper in 5:13 which deliver me a 2nd time right after Rick and before Rik Veenma and my nephew Miquel Hereijgers who rounded up the top 4.

After the Semis Ilia van Gastel and Daniel van der Drift who both experienced some difficulties during qualification joined the final together with Joey Sorber, Peter Ceysens, Marcel Schouten and Arie Manten.

At the start everyone had a clean one and Rick and I were able to pull away from the rest of the field. After 4 laps we had a gap of about half a lap on the rest. On the 5th lap Rick made a mistake at the beginning of the straight which allowed me to take over the lead with a gap of about half a lap. I was leading for 20 minutes when I noticed that my tires were wearing very fast and my lap times were also slowing down at that time. Besides the fact that Rick was pitting a bit faster then me he could close the gap real fast and in the last 5 minutes he was he was back on my tail, but I closed the door and he was not able to get a clean pass. After 2 laps hitting me in the rear and with me spinning he let me pass again to battle for the first place. With 2 minutes to go he was still on my tail but made a mistake again at entering the straight. It was just cruising from then on to take to win home!

[b]Dutch 1:8 Nationals
Round 5, Gouda[/b]

1. John Ermen - Serpent/Novarossi/Tornado
2. Rick Vrielijnck - Mugen/JP
3. Ilia van Gastel - Kyosho/Orion
4. Daniel van der Drift - Motonica/Novarossi
5. Marcel Schouten - Mugen/JP
6. Arie Manten - Mugen/JP
7. Peter Ceyssens - Mugen/Picco
8. Joey Sorber - Serpent/Mega
9. Rik Veenma - Mugen/Picco
10.Miquel Hereijgers - Serpent/Novarossi

I would like to thank my sponsors: Novarossi, Serpent Motorsports and Tornado Racing fuel and of course my pit crew Jonathan Dupont and my dad for helping during this weekend!

With best regards,

John Ermen