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- Mar 21, 2023 Race report from Team Serpent Puerto Rico Alejandro Fagundo showed up to run just the final and Finished 3rd with the new Serpent 990.
- Feb 23, 2023 Chassis focus Jose Almonte's SRX8 Gt '23 and SRX8 GTE WC
- Feb 23, 2023 Chassis focus - Jose Almonte - SRX8 Gt 23 and SRX8 GTE WC
- Feb 21, 2023 Race report from Puerto Rico
- Feb 15, 2023 Jose Almonte sweeped the GT classes at the recent Florida Winternats in the US Taking P1 in both Nitro and EP Great atmosphere in the pits. The team worked together all week and the results are there.
As most people know the result from the world championship i will do this from a more technical side of things, There are other reports on this site to read also,
1st i would like the congratulate Lamberto Collari on his 9th title, It seems he still has the skills to drive fast ;)
Ok this track is very different in that it is so big ( full throttle for 6-7 secs) . The first thing that you think is that you will need a very long 2nd gear so to get good top speed, the only problem here is that the infield needs to pick up 2nd gear at 2 points and then this makes the long gear way to long/tall and makes the engine get hot so 2nd gear ratio is very important. The best result for me and my Novarossi Flash was to gear 2nd so that the car would still accelerate through the infield and then work on other ways on getting top speed back by more rpm from the engine, To do this i ran the short manifold 9mm carb insert and a 2052 pipe off course there was no way i was going to make 5 mins fuel but my feeling was that if someone could do 5 mins then they would be very on the limit and if the air temps got high then they would not be able to do the 5mins, Due to the high rpm my Novarossi was making i changed the glow plug to a 8 cold and put the head clearance up 0.05, the end result was very good with 4mins 15sec fuel and very good top speed 102-105km.
Car wise my 966 was really looking good I started with the same setup as from the pre worlds, As we had limited number off practise i had to really plan what and when to test certain things, As the track was dirty for the first day and the 2 day the track was starting to grip up i used these to do the engines. The next 2 days was for setting the 966. Now the track was clean and had grip i could test changes to the car, It was already good but needed more hair pin steering and faster rotation, the easy thing about the 966 is that the set up window is very big so you can have a number off settings that work its just down to driver preferences. I dont like to brake i prefer to let the steering slow the car so to find this i tested..
1- Softer front springs - This worked as in more steering but now the car would grind out at high speed and understeer so this would set the spring rate for me ( Green )
2- Hard rear springs - again this gave more steering but also made the rear to loose in the chicane before the main straight so back to Pink
3-Extra high rear roll centre - due to the great design and the user friendly set up i was able to add a extra 1mm spacer under the rear lower wishbone mounts to raise them, This worked good and gave more steering with no lost off traction, ( after rain track had less grip so i removed the 1mm shims)
4 - Body shell - Xceed Zytec or P909, this was very easy i had been using the zytec then put the P909 this was very stable but had way to much understeer on my car,so 100% the light Xceed Zytec was best.
5 - Rear toe in, For most tracks we tend to run 2' toe in but at this track we was able to run just under 1' this gave the car great top speed but also still had good rear traction.
6 - Angle front top wishbone , I have to say that this was one off the best improvement to steering , all credit to Micheal Salven , He told to try and he was so right the car had more off throttle turn in with a little more on throttle understeer but this was easy to fix Just hit the throttle harder ;) .
I tested some other items but they really had no effect on lap time only changed the balance off the car, So now the car was ready for Qualification.
The Qualification went very well being in the top 10 ,The track like most other track gets slower when hot so the fastest times would come when the track was cold, I would say that out off 6 rounds only 3 would be fast. After all 6 rounds i was 4th, I cant say enough off how good my 966 and novarossi engines were both was perfect and along with my super pitman Stef Helvensteijn From Team Serpent who did a great job the whole meeting
Thanks Stef. Also like to thank Michael Salven who even after having problems in his semi he helped me in the main final.
Having got to the top 4 i was able to have a day off from the finals so set about checking the car and engines, Normally iam watching the top 4 drivers practise but this time it was my turn..now i had to test for the final, I ran a new Novarossi engine and tested Different Xceed tyres and hardness to make sure i would only do 1 stop for the final.
The semi finals were very good races to watch with lots off action and great driving and action in the pit lane, It was very unlucky for the team serpent drivers Paolo Morganti (broken engine) and Michael Salven who both should have easily bumped up to the main final,They both was very fast and had great cars.
The Main Final
Well for me it was a great disappointment as making the top 4 gave me a real feeling that i could finish on the podium, In the warmup car felt good and the engine was fast and my pit crew was ready. I got a ok start but then got hit a couple off times which ended with me on the grass this was very bad as the grass was still wet and it took like 2 laps for my tyres to come back, I then had red mist and made some mistakes but i settled down and just tried to focus on getting the car home.
After this the race seem to be over very fast i was able to run some great top speed 107km and some 19 sec lap times which showed the car and engine had the speed but at this level there was just no way to come back, This left me very disappointed as i felt i let a lot of people down as the car and engine deserved a much better result than 8th.
You can find my setup here: http://serpent.com/file.php?FileID=4996
I would like to thank my sponsors Team Serpent, Novarossi World, Sanwa, Xceed, RW racing, Merlin, Serpent UK,