The new XRAY NT1 made a strong debut at the Western German Championship which is well known for its keen competition. Team XRAY Germany driver Alain Levy finished a well-deserved 5th place in the field of 47 competitors which entered the season opener held on the Easter weekend at the Sinzig track located at the Rhein River between Bonn and Koblenz. His teammate Uwe Baldes finished in 12th place.
Frequency check: The rostrum before the start of the finale (click to enlarge)
For Frenchman Alain Levy, who is for many years a regular starter in Western Germany, Sinzig was his second race with the NT1 following the AMT Indoor Cup at Sinsheim a couple of weeks ago where he made it onto the podium. Following additional tests at Ettlingen, he tried lots of set-up alternatives in the Saturday practice on the challenging Sinzig track with its fast 270° left-hand corner at the end of the straight.
Start in the sunset: Late but strong finale (click to enlarge)
In his third and last heat on Sunday morning, Alain Levy jumped up to 8th position in the ranking, and with finishing in 2nd place in his semi-final he took 8th spot of the grid for the 30 minute finale. As usual he fought with devotion and with his Rex/Novarossi-powered NT1 flying around the circuit, just to cross the finish line on the tail of Karl-Heinz Meister in 5th place. “That was big fun and I enjoyed every single lap,” said the Frenchman with a big smile.
Challenging: The track at Sinzig, located not far away from the famous Nuerburgring (click to enlarge)
During the night Uwe Baldes completed his XRAY NT1 to do the roll-out on early Saturday afternoon. The car was working pretty well from the first lap, and also his new Team Orion CRF engine was offering excellent power right from the beginning. At the end of the day he managed to be among the fastest on the track as well as teammate Dirk Wischnewski, who took the opportunity for more testing (since he is a regular competitor in the Mid-German Championship and not allowed to start in a race of the Western German Championship).
Fast but unlucky: The NT1 with Orion power of Uwe Baldes (click to enlarge)
Surprisingly, Uwe Baldes couldn´t get back up to his practice pace in the heats because he was struggling with some sudden oversteer only in left hand corners. As he could not really solve the problem he found himself in 14th position in the ranking. In his semi-final, when his set-up was correct again, but he had to pit after the first lap following a rear-end collision. From the tail of the field he caught up position-by-position, setting the fastest lap time of both semi finals and even managed to pass teammate Alain Levy to take over 2nd place.
Fifth in the finale: The NT1 of Frenchman Alain Levy (click to enlarge)
Unfortunately, in the middle of the 20min semi-final his right hand went numb and he lost more than two laps, getting edged out of 3rd position in the semi-final and thus missing the finale by a mere 0.56sec. “I am really disappointed to miss the finale because of my personal problem,” said Uwe Baldes. “It has been a real pleasure to build and race the NT1. The car and also the Orion powerplant have been amazing.”
Team XRAY members reported not a single broken or worn-out part. Of course lots of competitors took a close look at the new NT1.
Results of round 1 of the Western German Championship IC 1/10-200 at Sinzig, 47 entries:
1. Marc Fischer
2. Karsten Lokau
3. Dirk Hopp
4. Karl-Heinz Meister 5. Alain Levy XRAY NT1
6. Dirk Drechsler
7. Heinz-Jürgen Kalinowski
8. Arndt Bernhardt
9. Tim Gilles
10. Marc Kreisig
11. Dieter Fleischer 12. Uwe Baldes XRAY NT1