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Switzerland: Einsiedeln – Swiss national championship, 1st round
TQ & 2nd place for team Serpent Switzerland
Last weekend, the 19th and 20th February, the first round of the Swiss national championship took place in Einsiedeln, in the heart of Switzerland. The best Swiss drivers were competing in four different categories: TC expert, TC pro stock, TC rookie and Swiss GT. I was attending the races in Swiss GT with a Serpent S100 car.
The Swiss GT class is this year for the first time an official racing class in Switzerland. We drive 13.5t EFRA legal motors (less than 300W power), 2S LiPo batteries, the Speed Passion Cirtix Stock Club Race ESC and handout spec tires. The bodies are not restricted and Pro 10 type body shells are allowed to race which lead to the fact that the Nissan and Porsche bodies were the choice of most participating drivers.
Since the four racing categories have entirely different speed levels (the Swiss GT being the fastest), the practice on Saturday was organized in a controlled way with 6 training heats and I was running in the faster of the two Swiss GT groups. The race track was medium sized but the layout was fast and not technically demanding. Due to that fact, it was clear from the beginning that no driving errors should be made to score fast heats. The carpet track was built up just for this race, the grip level was therefore extremly low in the beginning but started to increase rapidly as the training progressed. I started with a modified setup from Markus’ Schermbeck setup with slightly increased ride height (the track was bumpy at some places) and increased rear track width to prevent traction roll when the grip level of the track would eventually build up, the other modification being a slightly weaker front spring (Serpent 0.50) to gain steering for the numerous 180° corners on the track. Right from the beginning the car was very well dialed in and fast lap times at that time were possible. As the grip level increased, the characteristics of the setup started to show in an even better suited car. Since the grip level was constantly improving, I did not see any point of changing the setup at that time.
The first qualification heat was scheduled for Saturday evening and I managed to put my car onto the temporary TQ position. With three more qualification heats to go on Sunday morning, I called it a day. On Sunday morning, three more heats of qualification were scheduled with Patrick Vogt winning the second round and me winning the third and fourth heat which gave me the overall TQ spot for the finals, ahead of Patrick and Simon Del Monego. Already in the last qualification round it was clear that the grip level had increased to an extrem level and Patricks’s car seemed to work better under these conditions than mine. My S100 built up an enormous amount of grip in the sweepers leading to a car that was less rolling in the corners. I therefore decided to switch to a weaker tire additive to gain rolling.
In the first final, I could hold on to the first position up to the three minute marker until I hit a curb that turned my car upside down. From that point on, Patrick was leading with a convenient advance and therefore winning the race followed by me and Simon. In the second final, I held on to the first position again for more than 7 minutes defending the first position from Patrick in a fight in which the two cars were never more than two meters apart, sometimes less than the length of a car. With only half a minute to go, my ESC decided to switch of due to temperature reasons and I dropped down to fourth place. Patrick won the second final and was therefore already the winner of the first Swiss national championship round. I decided to drive a secure run in the third final giving me the runner up spot behind Patrick in the final ranking.
1. Patrick Vogt (Team Corally Switzerland, Downforce RC)
2. Chris Seiler (Team Serpent Switzerland, Boomerang Batteries)
3. Simon Del Monego (Team Corally Switzerland, Downforce RC)
I would like to congratulate Patrick to his outstanding performance in the finals, driving without any mistakes at an incredible pace ... well done! I also congratulate Simon to his 3rd place and the winners of the other classes ...
1. Martin Strittmatter (X-Ray, LRP)
2. Shasa Lackner (Robitronic)
3. Philipp Huber (Corally, Futaba)
TC pro stock:
1. Philipp Hagnauer (X-Ray, LRP)
2. Philip Tschupp (TOP Racing, Nosram)
3. Markus Streuli (Boomerang Batteries)
1. Hans Frei
2. Michael Lerch
In the end I would like to thank the organizers (MACH) for this superb event and for their smooth organization.
All the best ...
Team Serpent Switzerland
From left to right: 3rd – Simon Del Monego (Team Corally Switzerland, Downforce RC), 1st – Patrick Vogt (Team Corally Switzerland, Downforce RC), TQ & 2nd – Chris Seiler (Team Serpent Switzerland, Boomerang Batteries), 11th – Eric Noël. (image by courtesy of Patrick Vogt, 20.2.2011)