The Nitro Touring Car European Championship 2007 is the very first European Championship for the Team XRAY and despite being the novice the Team XRAY has showcased the full potential of the talented XRAY drivers and the unbeatable performance of the XRAY NT1. In the qualifications it was Teemu Leino who was unbeatable and won two qualifiers few seconds before the second position assuring him and the Team XRAY the TQ title. Jilles Groskamp, who was unlucky in the first day of qualifiers, outperformed the rest of the crowd in the last qualifiers too and set 3rd overal best result finishing just 0.5sec behind the second position, assuring the second XRAY NT1 starting position in the final.
Despite the 2007 European Championship is the first Championship for the Team XRAY and the NT1 was introduced just 4 months ago it was a huge but very gratifying surprise when the XRAY NT1 has become the most favourite and most trusted nitro touring car brand at this race and the NT1 has been choice of most of the drivers at this European Championship.
The Team XRAY did the very best efforts during the practice and qualifiers and during the whole week was at the pace both in practice and qualifiers and as such received the well deserved TQ title.
Teemu Leino said just after the last qualifiers:
"I am very for the TQ and I am also very happy that I won the first and last qualifiers so it was not about the luck but about the overall consistent performance. I am also pleased that my overal result is few seconds before the second position so I am very satisfied with myself and the result. To achieve this I have worked very hard the whole week and yesterday during the three qualifiers I have always changed the set-up a bit to understand what will work in which conditions and for today I have decided for the best set-up that worked for me yesterday and from the very first seconds on the track today I knew I have good set-up and can push the car.
The car was very good for me the whole week so I was very confident in the car so I always made just very few small changes. The XRAY tires have worked for me in all conditions and today in the morning the car has so much grip and was really stable an fast so I could easily push to the maximum and try to achieve the best result. The engine and clutch were also very reliable and good so my overal performance was very good.
I was very calm the whole 5 minutes and drove very safely. If nothing will change for tomorrow I am very confident in the car, engine and myself so I will try to do my very best. Hopefully I will get good luck too.
I want to thanks first of all to Juraj for an excellent car, big thanks to the whole XRAY support team for very good support during the whole event. Thanks to Adrien for making my engine and thanks to Oscar for being a good mechanic to me."
Jilles Groskamp's comments after the qualifiers:
Yesterday evening I had a bad luck with the engine stop but my car worked very good so I just kept the car like it was with the same tires for today's last qualifiers and it was really good decision for me. After changing the engine I was very confident once I hit the track as the car handled very well with plenty of traction and the engine performance was really good. During the whole 5 minutes I tried to push as much as possible but I could not afford to make any small mistake as I needed a really good result to secure me at least semi final position. During the race I felt very very comfortable with the car and with the performance so later on I pushed a bit more but still was very carefull when I was passing other cars. At the end when I passed the finish line my mechanic told me that I finished with 08 seconds and I was just super happy as I knew that this secured me direct final position.
Now after the qualifications I am really very satisfied and happy with my result and especially I am happy that I have direct final placement so I can rest tomorrow and fully concentrate just for the final. I am very happy for my team mate
Teemu for taking the TQ and I am very proud that our team did such a great result at the very first Euros. For tomorrow I just need a good luck and to have the engine working the whole 45 minutes and I will do my very best."
3 Questions to Mr. Juraj Hudy, chief designer of XRAY
How satisfied you are with the progress of the race for the Team XRAY?
Juraj Hudy: "I am very pleased with the performance and results of the whole team. Of course I am super happy for both Teemu and Jilles qualifying directly into the final and especially I am very very happy for the TQ. It is a big satisfaction for the very hard work we all put together when working on the NT1 and with preparation for the Euros. What makes me really satisfied is the performance of the car, it works in the morning, it works very well in the noon when it is super hot and it works also the same in the evening and all this without any major changes to the set-up of the car.
Walking around the pits and talking with other private drivers racing with XRAY it makes me satisfied to hear the very positive comments from the regular drivers who are happy and satisfied with the handling and performance of the car. I have even seen few local drivers who went during the race to the local hobby shop, bought the NT1, assembled on the track and raced with it. This is the best satisfaction to me and a perfect proof that the NT1 will be some of the most popular touring cars just because of its veryr easy handling and of course with the typical XRAY support and service."
How satisfied you are with your own results?
Juraj Hudy: "I am very happy but also a bit disapointed with what happen to me in the last run. The set-up I have makes the car very easy to drive. I do not use the one-way as the other top drivers do but I use front diff which makes the car a bit slower but what is important for my "old" hands is that the car is very predictable, very easy to control and enables me to react very quickly so I can easily drive through traffic and always have total control over the car. In the first qualifiers I was just around 30th position and today I could keep my position for the quarter final as my car was good and the engine had enough power and I cruised for the 18 laps result when I was shoot out from the track twice by the same driver. So now I went down to a position around 50.
But I am satisfied with my performance especially since I am here not to win but I am racing to help our team with the set-up. Without having the direct experience on the track during the particular conditions it would be more difficult to give the proper set-up advice so to be on the track gives me so much feedback that I can easily say to anybody what they have to change and how to make their set-up better. And this has been working great until now."
What is your expectation for the tomorrow's subfinals and final?
Juraj Hudy: "After many experiences at previous races where we were leading the World Championship or European Championships with few minutes or seconds to left and than with some unexpected things to happen which destroyed the chances, I am not making any guesses anymore. This is racing and the best drivers can loose the race just any time as there are too many things that can happen and there are too many factors which may influence the result.
Of course I wish that our team will perform and do well and I keep my fingers crossed and wish the best luck to all our drivers. But no matter what the final result will be I am already now super satisfied with everything. First of all I am happy that our car works so well and I know that I will not need to make changes to the car for a very long time and I know that even if it is a top driver or a regular customer who buys the NT1 just for local racing or fun racing they all will be very satisfied with the car. I am very happy that at this first Championship we have the most cars out of all brands which really surprised me and the trust of all the customers who bought the NT1 just few months, weeks or even days ago and went to such large race like the European Championship means really a lot to me and is a big obligation to continue the work we have been doing to provide our customers always the very best.
I am satisfied with the performance of the team and I am very happy that we have such nice drivers in our team who are not only good drivers but especially are very good persons and makes the work in the team very supportive and the whole atmosphere is very friendly. And of course I am satisfied with the TQ and the current results so whatever will happen tomorrow in the finals, I will leave this European Championship with the maximum satisfaction and to know that we all did super good job and huge progress within such a very short period of time. Therefore at the end I want to thanks to all the team drivers, all the XRAY fans and the whole XRAY support team for doing an excellent job the whole week, for me every one of you is the hero."