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Race report by Alexander Hagberg
The 2013 EFRA European Championships for 1/10 electric touring cars was held in the small village of Torres Novas, located in the eastern part of Portugal. The track is a medium sized track, used mainly for electric cars. Traction is low to medium but the surface is fairly flat. Around 60 drivers from all over Europe joined the race, with most of the professional drivers in attendance from their respective teams. The XRAY team had joined the warm-up race, held during the end of June. We felt prepared for this race, with a decent starting point. We weren't particularly happy with the result of the warm-up race itself, but we knew that we had found a very good set-up from the days following the warm-up. We were a bit anxious however, if it would work now, as track temperatures were quite a bit higher in the month of August.

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Practice in heats commenced on Thursday morning. It turned out that the track was a bit "green" to begin with. I stayed cool and did not change much on my set-up initially as I knew that traction would increase quite a bit. At the Euros, drivers get to run a fresh set of tires for each run, so we don't have to worry about tire strategies, and we don't have to look for a set-up for used tires. However, we have to pay attention to track temperatures changing as some set-up changes may be needed from the morning to afternoon and vice versa. On Thurday, I focused on ESC settings to have the right feel and not too high temperatures in these very hot conditions.

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During the latter runs on Thursday, I was fairly content with the handling of my car, however, not really leading the pace. After some consultations with our team leader, Martin Hudy, we felt that it was time to try the change which we had both had in mind since arrival - to use anti-dive for the front arms and pro-squat for the rear arms. These two changes have worked great for the last ETS races, so we thought it would time to try it also with LRP tires on this surface, as we were both looking for a bit more steering all around. As the track was open during the evening, I did one run in the "happy hour" condition. The car handled brilliantly and had a lot of steering. I felt that the change could be to the better. However, I had to double check what it would to if the track temp was higher.

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Friday started out well with myself setting the pace in the first run, confirming that the changes had transformed the car. As the track was now hotter, the rear started to be a bit loose however. We decided to remove the rear pro-squat to re-gain some off-power stability. For CP2, my car really felt perfect. I could drive it just like I wanted it and my pace was the quickest from all. I felt confident that my car would work with this set-up in all conditions.

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In Q1 I had a small slide on the first lap which cost me valuable time. Ronald was able to beat me by 0.2 in the end. It only proved again that the car was really fast but I needed to re-consider my tire preparation and also take more care on the first lap as the car might slide a bit. Q2 was another unlucky run for me as a fly had found its way in between my glasses and disturbed my concentration at the start - causing me to overshoot the first corner. Again, I lost the top position by less than a second. I knew, that I had to drive absolutely perfect in the remaining runs on Saturday to be able to challenge for the TQ position overall.

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Three rounds remained on Saturday. As we had one morning practice, I decided to change my tire preparation. It payed off as my car now had superior grip already from the first lap. Q3 was off to a much better start as I held the lead for most of the race, until I caught some backmarkers, which forced me to slow down a little. In the end, I took the win by 0.1 seconds. I was thrilled to finally win one qualifier as it meant that I had a really good shot for the overall TQ position. Q3 was the quickest qualifier as it was run in fairly cool conditions in the morning, so this round could be the quickest one as for the finishing time - which would be extremely important in the end, as it serves as the tie breaker in case two drives both have 2 TQ runs.

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For Q4 I came very close again, but two small mistakes meant that I missed out on the win once again. The car was working brilliantly, so it made me really disappointed. I still kept my focus, with the remaining Q5 run coming up. For Q5 I felt already from the start that the car wasn't the same as before. I was lacking steering and overall traction. I can only come to the conclusion that, I had a bad set of tires, as it now handled quite differently compared to before, even with no changes done to the car. Even though the handling wasn't perfect, I was able to finish 2nd with a close distance to Ronald. I was going to start the A-main finals from 2nd on the grid, which still provided a good chance to fight for the title. I knew that it would be difficult to make a clean pass without a mistake from the front man, but I was going to try my best with some smart driving.

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In the first final I took a cautious approach, trying to keep up with the leader, but not trying any major moves which could put my position at risk. Towards the end of the run, I could close the gap, but not enough to be able to challenge for the win. In the end, I finished less than one second short of the winner.

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A2 had a higher pace all throughout. Midway through the race, I definitely had found the pace to challenge for the win. I drove very tight lines everywhere to close the gap and was eventually on Völkers tail - this is where I spent the last two minutes, trying to find a way pass. Even with very small margins, he left no room for passing, and it was a big risk to try an aggressive move. In the end he took the win just 0.1 in front of me and Elliott again in 3rd. I had to win A3 to be sure to secure 2nd place overall.


I had an absolutely perfect start of A3 as I could immediately start to build a big lead in the first minute. I was delighted to drive the car as I could drive it exactly how I wanted it. After 3 minutes my lead was so big, I decided to reduce the pace a little bit to secure the win - and the vice-champion title overall.

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In the end, I set the quickest lap of the event, the quickest qualifying round, and did not finish worse than 2nd in any of the counted heats. That's a pretty strong record.

I would also like to specifically congratulate Bruno Coelho from Portugal and Marco Kaufmann from Germany for their A-main finishes. These young drivers drove exceptionally well to make the final event. In total we had 3 drivers in the A-final which was the most from all brands. This again, marks the great debut of our T4 2014 car.

Even though I am a bit disappointed, having come so close to the win in both the qualifying and finals, I must still be happy with the vice-champion title as its one of the highlights of my career. I am happy and proud to have such a perfectly working car - it is a result of the hard work of our team. We found a great setup for these conditions. Our pre-production parts of the T4 2014 car have worked exceptionally well. We are very excited to be working with these new parts all throughout the next season. I hope that the public can stay patient until we unfold all details.

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Last but not least I would like to thank all members of our team for their dedicated and hard work - without you, this success would not be possible. Now we look forward to upcoming challenges. Next year, we will come back even stronger, and fight for the win again!

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Final results:
1. Ronald Völker
2. Alexander Hagberg – XRAY T4’14
3. Elliott Harper
4. Frederik Südhoff
5. Jilles Groskamp
6. Yannick Prümper
7. Marc Rheinard
8. Viljami Kutvonen
9. Bruno Coelho – XRAY T4’14
10.Marco Kaufmann – XRAY T4’14


Set-up sheet
Alexander Hagberg

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