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The EC 2007 track in Madrid

The 2007 European Nitro Touring car Championship takes place near the center of Madrid, the capital city of Spain. This is the third European Championship this summer for Team XRAY and the very first European Championship in the Nitro touring car category, after the recent release of the NT1 to the market few months ago. Despite this European Championship is the first for the Team XRAY, already now the XRAY team has built a strong position, respect and well-deserved admire. XRAY as the one of the main sponsors and supporter of this event has as ususally took everything in the most professional way. The European best XRAY drivers arrived to represent and support the team and to compete for the prestigious title. The famous XRAY support team is at the track as well from the first day, building the XRAY support center and of course arranging the XRAY service van as usually fully loaded with all the spare parts and anything the XRAY drivers may need for the whole week.

XRAY's service and support center

As it is known for XRAY also this time the VIP team treatment is ensured to all XRAY drivers, providing the parts support, technical and set-up support and every XRAY driver coming to the track received a large bag full of new stuff, special limited XRAY alu setup board customised with printed name on the board, new HUDY car stand laser engraved with each driver's name, new HUDY clutch tool, new HUDY droop and ride height gauges, new exclusive team T-shirts and plenty of other goodies. XRAY's famous coffee is prepared for any XRAY driver by Gerhard Binder and it seems that the coffee is the most rewarding support for all drivers.

XRAY with full product display

Despite this is the first European Championship for the XRAY team, the Team XRAY is suprisingly for everyone some of the strongest teams. XRAY brought all the XRAY stars including Jilles Groskamp (Netherland), Teemu Leino (Finland), Robert Pietch (Germany), Martin christensen (Denmark), Manuel Huber (Austria), Carlos Peracho (Spain), Ben Cosgrove (UK), Andreas Myrberg (Sweden) and plenty of other drivers from around the Europe. Of course XRAY's chief designer Juraj Hudy and junior designer Martin Hudy are both at the track too to provide the technical support and to run in the race too. The local Spanish team with 56 drivers most of them with the NT1 car.

Another view on the track

The weather is very nice and very hot and the forecast is the same nice weather for the rest of the week. During the day the track temperature gets over 50° and the best track conditions are definitely in the morning and then in the evening. With 5 qualifiers and only the best one to count the runs in the morning will decide for the best results.

Martin Hudy doing fairly well in the practice

With the two free practice days over the XRAY team is doing very well and stays at the pace. The local Spanish drivers are at this moment the fastest but everything may still change as the track condition and grip will change. From the XRAY team it is Jilles who was the fastest one the first days with Robert Pietch doing also very well. Today and tomorrow there are still two days of practice on schedule so everybody stil has enough time to work on the set-up.

We will keep you updated about any news and progress.

Thursday Update:
The weather continues to be very nice which is appreciated by most of the drivers and hopefully we will not see any rain in the next few days alos. The first timed practice finished and the Team XRAY did very well. In the first timed practice it was Teemu Leino who set the fastest final result with his XRAY NT1, followed very closely by his team mate Jilles Groskamp finishing in the second. Martin Hudy running in the same heat as Teemu was super fast too being the first 3 minutes within the same second as Teemu but after hitting a curb he lost a very promissing result. As the traction increased again the lap times are getting shorter and at this moment only three drivers, two of them from Team XRAY, were able to set 18 laps. From the rest of the team it is Andreas Myrberg at 12, Martin Christensen at 15, the Italian team driver Niki Duina at 16th.

The results of the first timed practice:
1. Teemu Leino - XRAY NT1
2. Jilles Groskamp - XRAY NT1

3. Rick Vrielijnick
4. Alessio Mazzeo
5. Mark Green
6. Teemu Saarinen
7. Viktor Pelaez
8. Daniel Tomaschko
9. Diego Palacios
10. Oscar Cabelas

12. Andreas Myrberg - XRAY NT1
15. Martin Christensen - XRAY NT1
16. Niki Duina - XRAY NT1
18. Robert Pietch - XRAY NT1
21. Traugot Schaer - XRAY NT1

Martin's NT1

Short interview with Teemu Leino
This is the first Nitro Touring car Championship for you with the Team XRAY. How are you doing with the nitro touring car and how do enjoy it.

Teemu Leino: It is much more relaxed than electric. The schedule is not so tight so there is less hurry and stress and we have 4 days of practice which is great. The nitro cars work generally more easily and not like with the electric tourings where you have to know all the small things and tricks about the set-up, tire additives, and dozens of other things. With the nitro it is much more relaxing as the car works good and with foam tires there is always enough grip so you just need to have the good set-up of the car and then just watch for the clutch and engine. So I enjoy this race very much.

You are well known as some of the best electric touring car drivers. What is the most demanding and difficult for you with the nitro touring car.

Teemu Leino: Engine and clutch. The set-up theory is very clear for me and easy as it is pretty much the same from the electric touring cars. For the nitro touring especially for finals you need to have very well balanced car. So I feel very confident and have no special worries, just need to have a good luck.

How are you doing until now, how satisfied are you with the car and what changes have you made to your set-up?

Teemu Leino: I am pretty pleased. Nothing is perfect at any time and I continue to work on the car but generally I am very satisfied. At the beginning the traction was low so I used the different set-up as we do now. As the traction was increasing I was setting the car to have less roll so I made it stiffer and it works for me. The XRAY tires are just awesome, I have tested and compared with other tires but I do not know if it the XRAY wheel or the tire, but they really make a big difference and work very well.

How is the team support?

Teemu Leino: I am very happy. Juraj did the very hard work before the electric touring Euros and the support at the Nitro Euros is as I know from the other races where XRAY supports their drivers simply excellent. Everything is available for the team at all the time and the support team takes care the whole day. The team works together very well, we push each other further and share the knowledge from the current track conditions, so really I could not be happier.

Teemu Leino

Interview with Carlos Peracho
As the local driver you have been very fast from the very beginning. What was your preparation for this race?

Carlos Peracho: I have received the car few months ago so it is still pretty new for me. I have tested at the Efra GP, at Nationals and then in July, so with the NT1 I did not spend as that much time on this track. The track is now completely different from the previous testings because the grip is very high but what is really strange is that the track is slippery, so I had to change my set-up.

This is the first race main championship for you with XRAY. How do you evaluate the team support?

Carlos Peracho: I am really happy with the support. I am very happy that the communication within the team is very good, constructive and friendly and I can go to any factory drivers for help and they are always helpful. The support that XRAY provides is excellent and the whole Spanish team is very satisfied and thankfull. The set-up sheets and technical support that Mr. Hudy provides individually to each driver is something unseen and everybody was very honoured and pleased.

How is your car doing until now and what changes did you make?

Carlos Peracho: The main change for me was to switch to the front one-way which I did not like in the testings at all. Also I have changed the shock oils and the dampening of the shocks completely. I have changed the Ackermann position and it helped with the steering response. Also I have removed the anti-roll bar to gain even more steering and I have no problems with roll over.

What is your expectation for the race?

Carlos Peracho: I will do my very best. But this is racing so I need also some luck and we will see.

The entrance to the very fast straight main

The traction has increased for the second timed practice again and there were now many more drivers who set the 18 laps result. This time Martin Hudy had a clear run which assured him 5th overal position finishing in his heat few seconds his team mate Teemu Leino. In the last heat where all the best drivers are it was Jilles Groskamp who was on the pace breaking the fastest lap record and as only driver drove a lap below 17 seconds. Unfortunately Jilles got the victim of the very high grip and his car rolled over in the super fast corner after the straight main which cost him few seconds loss. It was the local driver Oscar Cabezas who set the fastest final result of the second timed practice. From the Team XRAY it was the Italian XRAY driver Niki Duina who had a nice run which moved him in the top 10 as well Helge Johannessen from Norway who finished 10th.

Combined results after the timed practices:
1. Oscar Cabezas
2. Adrien Bertin
3. Teemu Leino - XRAY NT1
4. Francesso Tironi
5. Martin Hudy - XRAY NT1
6. Alessio Mazzeo
7. Giuseppe DAngelo
8. Niki Duina - XRAY NT1
9. Daniel Tomaschko
10. Helge Johannessen - XRAY NT1

11. Jilles Groskamp - XRAY NT1
16. Carlos Peracho - XRAY NT1
20. Andreas Myrberg - XRAY NT1

21. Beat Walti - XRAY NT1
29. Nicolas Bougnoteau - XRAY NT1
32. Martin Christensen - XRAY NT1

In the evening at 20.30 there will be an official opening ceremony and tomorrow from the morning the show and action will start.

Martin in action

Andreas Myrberg' NT1

Jilles Groskamp' NT1

Andreas Myrgerg from Team XRAY Sweden

Ben Cosgrove from Team XRAY UK

Team XRAY France

Manuel Huber from Team XRAY Austria

Jilles preparing his new body

Martin Christensen from Team XRAY Denmark

Helge Johanson from Team XRAY Norway

Mickael Brandt from Team XRAY Sweden using the new HUDY car stand

Jilles at this moment is still super fast