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Race report by Martin Hudy
The GP Prague race was held in on November 16-18, 2007, in the sports hall near Prague. This event is becoming more popular every year. Team XRAY was represented by Steven Weiss and Dirk Wischnewski from Germany, Mario Sowka from Austria, Soren Boy Holst from Denmark and many talented drivers from Czech and Slovak Republic. Juraj and I attended this race as well and we both were looking forward to the performance of the new T2'008 machine.

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The race started Friday morning with free practice and continued with timed practice in the heats. Control tires for this event were LRP VTEC 30, so we expected very low traction from the beginning. I decided to start with the basic T2'008 set-up which worked very well right from the beginning. The traction was slowly increasing and because of technical track I decided to use softer sway bars. I switched from 1.6-to-1.4 in front and from 1.4-to-1.2 in rear. The car was a little more difficult to drive but was faster so I decided to stay with this set-up. The car worked very well for the rest of the day, and was the fastest in front of my teammate Steven Weiss.

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Qualifiers started on Saturday morning, with a total of 5 rounds with the 3 best results counted. Because of the new tires and low traction in the morning, the car was very sensitive and was sliding a little. Because of that I finished 2nd behind Steen Graversen. Michal Bok, my teammate from Czech Republic, had a very good run and finished 3rd. Because of sensitivity and traction problems, I decided to change the front springs from 2.8-to-3.0. Thanks to that, the car was much more stable and easier to drive. As a result I won the second round by 3 seconds ahead of Graversen and I was the first driver who made 24 laps.

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Although the car was working very well, I wanted to make it even easier to drive especially into corners. As such I decided to use an extra 0.75 shim under the front suspension holder, which gave toe-out on the front arms, and the car started to turn into corners more smoothly. I then felt very comfortable with the car and decided to make no more changes. The car was performing well the whole day and as a result I set TQ by winning 3 qualifiers out of 5. Steven Weiss and Dirk had a hard day because they were out late the previous night and their racing concentration suffered. Steven qualified 4th and Dirk qualified 7th. The Czech XRAY drivers were doing very well, with 4 of them getting into the Top 10.

Qualifiers:

1. Martin Hudy XRAY T2'008
2. Steen Graversen
3. Andreas Myrberg
4. Steven Weiss XRAY T2'008
5. Michal Bok XRAY T2'007
6. Michal Nemecek XRAY T2'007
7. Dirk Wischnewski XRAY T2'008
8. Zdenek Hamak XRAY T2'007
9. Vaclav Strupek XRAY T2'007

10. Hupo Honigl

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On the final day the race started with final practice, followed by three rounds of regular finals. I won the practice and felt comfortable before the finals. Before the first final I decided to increase the front camber from 2.0 to 2.5 because traction was increasing and the car had a tendency to stop in corners. Thanks to this change the traction on the front suspension decreased as I wanted. I had a very good start in the first final and took an easy lead. At the 2min mark I had a comfortable lead of 2sec which I controlled until the end and I was the only one who drove 24 laps.

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I wanted to have a safe start in the second final as well, but unfortunately I hit a curb and the car flipped on its roof. However, my car was performing extremely well and although I dropped to 4th position, after 2min I was in 2nd place. I pushed very hard but Steen had a huge lead because I missed 3sec because of my earlier mistake but I cut down the gap and finished 0.1sec behind him. Michal Bok was also very fast in the second final and finished 3rd ahead of Steven Weiss.

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Because of my mistake in the second final, I decided to make a safe run without giving Steen any place to pass me. Steen was very close behind me but I stayed calm and was driving very closely to the curbs in order to not give any room for passing. However, Steen wanted to get in front of me and because of that in one corner he bumped the curb and crashed into me, causing my car to flip on its roof. Michal Bok was very close behind us, ready to take over at any time. Surprisingly, Steen did not wait for me to be recovered and continued driving.

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Unfortunately, no penalty was given and Steen was able to win the third final and also take the overall win. At the end personally I was really sad about how the last final run finished for me as I drove absolutely without a mistake and left no spot for passing me over. But this belongs to the racing too and gives again more motivation to be better next time. The car has worked on the carpet for the team the whole weekend very well, which is at the end more important, and we are already now looking for the next indoor races.


Final results:

1. Steen Graversen
2. Martin Hudy XRAY T2'008
3. Steven Weiss XRAY T2'008
4. Michal Nemecek XRAY T2'007
5. Michal Bok XRAY T2'007

6. Andreas Myrberg
7. Dirk Wischnewski XRAY T2'008
8. Vaclav Strupek XRAY T2'007

9. Hupo Honigl
10. Zdenek Hamak XRAY T2'007

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