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Race Report by Robin Frischkopf
101 Drivers from Switzerland, Germany and France attended the event in Bütschwil in eastern Switzerland. The MORC had prepared a very technical track for this race. The base for the track was part soft dirt, and part floor grid, with one huge table double jump and a smaller jump. The track was very slippery on the floor grid and very bumpy on the dirt, and the layout was very technical.

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Saturday, practice and qualification rounds:

The practice runs on Saturday morning went well, the car was very stable and had plenty of rear-end grip even though everyone else had problems with the back sliding out, but I lacked some steering. I decided to leave the setup for the first qualification heat and see what the lap times were like.

Unfortunately I had some sort of radio interference in the first heat and so couldn't set a good time. For the second heat I reduced the kick-up to get more steering on the floor grid and the second heat went very well. The car still pushed a little so for the third run I reduced the rear camber. I made too many mistakes though in the third heat and couldn't improve.

For the last heat of the day I tried different tyres. I went from DLD Splinter Super Soft compound to BowTie M2s, but that was a very bad choice as the car now pushed like a freight train and the last heat was ruined. At the end of the day I was still on 9th place though, so safely into the semifinal.

Swiss XRAY driver Marc Heim qualified in 10th position, and Germans Markus Eirenschmalz and Tobias Deicke in 4th and 5th respectively. My mechanic and friend Etienne also managed to place his 808 into the semifinal, qualifying 14th. Furthermore, my younger brother Benjamin was driving his first big race, with my practice car, and qualified 44th out of 101.

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Sunday, races

On Sunday morning there were the lower finals and so I had some time to prepare my car for the semifinal in the afternoon. Everyone wondered what tyres to choose and almost no two cars in any finals had the same tyres on.

I decided to go back to the DLD Splinter tyres because I knew they worked okay. But now I had to improve the suspension setup to get more steering. I decided to move the suspension arm shims on all four corners of the car to the front, moving the arms back and shifting the car's weight more towards the front axle. I also chose softer sway bars. Other than that I left almost everything as before.

Between working on my car I also had to pit for Ben. Ben started his 1/8th final from 6th position, drove very well and managed to bump up to the quarter final, finishing 9th which put him in an overall 31st position, and he was very pleased with himself and the car. We can't wait to see what he can do in his first Swiss championship season in the amateur category.

TM Models driver Stefan Wüthrich, also a good friend of mine, came second in his quarter final. Later he even bumped up to the final and finished a respectable 7th overall in his first race with XRAY.

Early in the afternoon it was finally time for my semifinal. Even in the first warm-up lap I immediately noticed that my car had a lot more steering while the rear end was still very stable. I could simply go through the corners much quicker. I was already very happy and thought to myself "now THAT's a car!". I started from 5th place and after a few laps I was already in second behind Stefan Byesse. I also found a racing line that worked very well through the various bumps in the dirt sections.

I wanted to drive it home so I concentrated on not crashing and finished with a good second place. My RB C6 engine fueled by Power-Save-Racing performed flawlessly all weekend and with the 6mm venturi I could drive about 10 minutes while still having enough power. Even though we were confident in this timing we decided to pit earlier to be safe, noting that the pit lane was very short anyway so pit stops didn't take long. The stops went without a glitch thanks to my friends in the pit.

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The time I made in the semifinal put me in third starting position for the final. German XRAY driver Markus Eirenschmalz got the pole position, with almost one lap (about 22 seconds) more than me and the rest. For the final I didn't change anything on the car, I just put on a new set of tyres and a fresh air filter. Marc's semifinal also went well and after some setup changes, mainly thinner diff oils and sway bars, he was happy with his car.

He got fifth starting position for the race.

The start of the final went well, and I kept the third position. Soon I was in a fight with Markus, but of course we respected each other. I enjoyed the challenge he set and could keep up with him very well. Unfortunately, after only 3 minutes, Markus had a mechanical problem and retired from the race.

At this moment I was in second position, about 10 seconds behind leader Stefan Byesse. I decided I wouldn't be second any longer as in the last two years at this race, and tried to pick up the pace. The car allowed for me to be faster and I tried to use this potential.

After the first pit stops I was right behind him, and we battled for the first position for some minutes. It was very intense, but always fair. One time he crashed after the jump and I got the lead, then the same happened to me. Suddenly the speaker system at the track went silent for about ten minutes due to technical problems and we had no Idea how the race was going. When they finally fixed it, I led the race by about 10 seconds. I couldn't believe it and tried to be as calm as possible and just drive consistently. In the last 15 minutes I only made about two small mistakes and improved on the lead, and soon I even lapped Stefan Byesse. Once again I had to calm myself down. I had full confidence in the car, engine and pit crew, this helped a lot and I didn't lose my head.

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When the bell sounded after 30 minutes, I won the race one lap ahead. It's the first major race win for me after being the "eternal bridesmaid" at so many races and I was very happy. Now all I wish for is to finally win a Swiss championship round, a goal I was very close to a few times but always missed due to some tiny problem.

My Teammate Marc Heim finished 5th, and he was also very happy for me.

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Final results

1. Frischkopf Robin XRAY XB808

2. Byesse Stefan
3. Deicke Tobias XRAY XB808
4. Hess Patrick
5. Heim Marc XRAY XB808
6. Pittet Jeremy
7. Wüthrich Stefan XRAY XB808
8. Tschanz Dominik
9. Affolter Christoph
10. Kummer Roman

I've learned much about setup once again and I'm looking forward to the '09 season, with the Swiss championships, both European Championships and some other races where I hope to achieve good results, and it could not have started in a better way!

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I also wish to thank my sponsors TEAM XRAY, HUDY, RB CONCEPT, POWER-SAVE-RACING, TEAM TITAN, VXR RACING, DLD, GQ, and my pit crew Etienne Kaser, Thomas Weber and Robin Minkler.

Robin Frischkopf's Set-up sheet.

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