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Race report by Nikolakopoulo Nick click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
RC Hobby Arena hosted the 1st Greek National race for 2007 on March 18. For the Greek championship there are 2 categories, namely “National” and “World”. The National category has a motor limit of 12T brushed or 6.5 brushless motor, and only 1 set of tires allowed. The World category has no motor limit and 2 sets of tires allowed. The schedule had 1/12 racing too, but unfortunately the turnout for that category wasn't sufficient to hold it.

The weather was quite good with a temperature of 20C, and the surge of the 21 drivers on a track for only EP racing was an good indication of a very hot race to come.

Qualifying - World

The first qualifying session was highly anticipated since it was the first race after a very long time off. All drivers competing in the World category were running brushless, while in the National category only a few people were using BL motors; this made the race more interesting since it would be another battle between the brushed and the brushless.

In the World category, John Doucakis and Katikas Harris (XRAY T2’007) – who tied on points for last year's championship – had issues and DNF giving the chance to John Sotiropoulos (multi-champion in many categories including EP) - to take the win. I myself had traction issues… not training for some time didn't help in finding a suitable setup for track conditions, but I still managed to finish 2nd. Zacharopoulos Kostas finished just behind me in 3rd after having some traffic issues.

In the second qualifier the roles were reversed and this time it was Sotiropoulos and Zacharopoulos that had issues while Doucakis still had electronics problems. Katikas managed to take the win and set a time good enough for pole. I made some changes on my setup and managed to improve my lap times, which would allow me to start third.

In the third qualifier no-one improved their lap times and the starting grid for the finals was as follows:

1. Katikas Harris XRAY T2’007
2. Sotiropoulos John
3. Nikolakopoulos Nick XRAY T2’007
4. Dimitriadis Michael
5. Zacharopoulos Kostas
6. Pandaleon Kostas
7. Doucakis John
8. Nikolopoulos Vaggelis

Qualifying — National

The first qualifier of the National category found last year's runner-up Rousso Antoni ahead of defending champion Flabouri Kosta (XRAY T2’007). In third place was newcomer Karabelas Nick, while fourth was Balasis Alkis (XRAY T2’007).

The second qualifier found Rousso having a ballistic run with 17 laps securing the pole position, with Karabelas moving up into 2nd.

In the last qualifier only minor improvements were madeon time not in position, hence forming the following starting grid:

1. Roussos Antonis
2. Karabelas Nick
3. Flabouris Kostas XRAY T2’007
4. Balasis Alkis XRAY T2'007

5. Eleytheriou John
6. Bougalis Kostas
7. Alexopoulos Vaggelis
8. Dendrinos George
9. Bournias Bill XRAY T1FK’05
10. Papanikolaou Jim

Finals — World click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
The first final started with no problems as all drivers went through Turn 1 with no accidents. After 3 laps as I was trying to overtake Sotiropoulos to take 2nd position, my car stopped! Reason: striped spur gear. Result = end of that final for me. Zacharopoulos took advantage of the situation and took over 3rd place. Unfortunately, Doucakis’ issues were still troubling him and he couldn't follow the leaders.

The start of second final was more interesting as the first three cars were battling but no-one was giving any room for passing!Near the end Sotiropoulos’ car started to slow down and I took a chance and passed into 2nd while Zacharopoulos passed into 3rd and that is how that final ended. Before the start of second final I changed to softer rear springs which helped me drive more consistently and closer to the pace of the others.

With Katikas winning the first 2 finals he was the winner of the race, but positions 2, 3, and 4 were still undecided and would be determined after the end of the third final.

At the start of the final, Katikas made a mistake which allowed John and me to overtake him easily. We were battling but I made a silly mistake which allowed John to increase his lead and also let Harris overtake me. After that I tried to reach them but there wasn’t enough time so I finished 2nd in that final (since Harris dumped) and giving me the 3rd position overall:

Final results in the World category:

1. Katikas Harris XRAY T2’007
2. Sotiropoulos John
3. Nikolakopoulos Nick XRAY T2’007
4. Zacharopoulos Kostas
5. Pandaleon Kostas
6. Dimitriadis Michael
7. Doucakis John
8. Nikolopoulos Vaggelis

Finals — National click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
The turnout for this category was 13 drivers and we decided to allow the 3 drivers to compete and run 2 finals instead of 3.

The winner of both finals was Pappas Harris and he showed that next time he could easily be in the A final.

In the A main, four drivers where able to take the win. Antonis Roussos was more determined though and managed to win the first 2 finals. Kostas Flabouris (last year’s champion) had some setup issues and struggled behind him but managed to take 2nd place, tied with the newcomer Karabela Nick who drove very well and showing that practice makes us better.

Final positions in the National category:

1. Roussos Antonis
2. Flabouris Kostas XRAY T2’007
3. Karabelas Nick
4. Bougalis Kostas
5. Balasis Alkis XRAY T2’007
6. Dendrinos George
7. Eleytheriou John
8. Papanikolaou Jim
9. Bournias Bill XRAY T1FK’05
10. Alexopoulos Vaggelis

For the first Greek race Team XRAY did quite well taking 1, 3 positions in the World category and 2,5,9 positions in the National category. The next race is on May 20th at Patra where we expect to have even better results.

Pictures from the race:


Nikolakopoulo Nick

Nick Nikolakopoulo Set-up sheet.