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Race report by Schaer Traugott
On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 April, 2008, the starting shot was fired for the Swiss championship, category 1/10 track 200mm.
The first race was organized by MRCL (Model Racing Club Langenthal) on the club's own track in Langenthal.
Despite forecasts of dreadful weather and a great deal of rain during the week, we had a superb weekend of racing. The rain held off for training on Saturday, and Sunday, the racing day, was a superb dry day although extremely cold. The temperature in the morning was around 5° but had reached around 17°by the end of the event.
Training on Saturday was the first time I had driven my NT1 since last year. I had mixed feelings about taking part in this race, not having had any driving practice since the last race in October.

I had setup my 2007 configuration at home, but it did not turn out as well as hoped as the car generally lacked steering. Other modifications, such as a softer differential, softer shocks and changes to the shock positions did not bring the success I was looking for. Beat Wälti tested several bodies and decided on the DNA, which I was not convinced by. There were some extremely fast performances from Dirk Stammler , Marc Bösiger, Martin Wenger and Petros Diamantogiannis. Towards evening, I tried out Monika's car, as hers was driving better than mine. The first lap was 0.3 seconds quicker than with my car, although I thought I had built two completely identical cars. It then suddenly occurred to me that I had already fitted the new 1° steering blocks in my NT1. I reinstalled the original steering blocks and went back to the first setup. The car ran well afterwards. This was how we ended the first training day, and hoped for dry weather on Sunday.

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One training session and three heats took place on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed to only find myself in the semi-final after the second heat. Beat Wälti took pole position in front of Dirk Stammler, Marc Bösiger and Petros. Finally, after the second heat, I located the problem with my NT1. The front universal joint was not running smoothly and making the NT1 difficult to drive. I could now raise my hopes for the last heat and, for the first time, was completely satisfied with the car's performance. Unfortunately, I did not manage any fault-free races, but it was enough to get me into third place. Dirk Stammler took pole position again in this race, ahead of Beat Wälti and Marc Bösiger in fourth.

We now all had the same problem: What should we do in the final? The tyre wear was extreme - around 4mm in five minutes. I needed to last 30 minutes without changing tyres, as the other competitors had no planned tyre changes. In training with the four directly qualifying drivers, we established that we could not race using tyres any harder than 40°, otherwise we lost too much grip and neither the tyre wear nor the lap times were acceptable.
In the semi-final, Wenger Martin, Hagnauer Philipp, Diamantogiannis Petros, Bonetti Giovanni, Spreng Heli and Monika advanced to the final.

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The final began in glorious weather. Over the first few laps, Dirk Stammler was ahead of Beat and myself. Beat then made a minor mistake and I was able to take second place. After approx. four minutes, Dirks car rolled to a stop in front of me and I climbed into the top position. From then on, it was about saving tyres, as I was one lap ahead of Beat and around two laps ahead of Petros. It was still looking good after 25 minutes and I thought I would make it. However, in the 26th minute, the rear right rim was bare, and I thought that that was the end of the race for me. I did not even make it back into the pits. My mechanic, Giacomo, picked up the car from the track and I was already down in the pits when he came back. We changed the rear right wheel together and I set off again about two laps behind. But then Beat met his fate. He was down to the rim and had to fit another wheel. He came back out onto the track just in front of Bonetti Giovanni, who put in a smooth performance, and secured himself second place.

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XRAY drivers
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It was a delight to win the first national race in Langenthal.
I would like to sincerely thank my mechanic, Moretti Giacomo, and my sponsor XRAY for their fantastic support.
Many thanks also to MRCL for the great event, and the kitchens for the excellent catering. We are looking forward to the 2009 event. MRCL are renewing the track surface in summer 2008, which means we will definitely be able to drive the 30 minutes in 2009 without tyre stops!!

Final results:
1. Schaer Traugott XRAY NT1
2. Wälti Beat XRAY NT1

3. Bonetti Giovanni
4. Diamantogiannis Petros XRAY NT1
5. Spreng Helli XRAY NT1
6. Wenger Martin XRAY NT1
7. Ackermann Monika XRAY NT1

8. Hagnauer Philipp
9. Bösiger Marc
10.Stammler Dirk

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Schaer Traugott Winning Set-up sheet.

Beat Waelti Set-up sheet.

Diamantogiannis Petros Set-up sheet.

 
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