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Race Report by Inaki Pahissa

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The first race of the Spanish National Championship took place between March 6-8 at the Cerdanyola track near Barcelona. Eighty-two drivers attended the race, with the sole exception of last year´s champion who decided to concentrate on 1/8 scale. Apart from this, all of the top drivers were present and so the race promised to be very tight.

Like all Fridays the track was left open between 10AM-7PM for free practice. XRAY was well represented by Jonnhy Pastor, Victor Pelaez, Carlos AgĂĽero, Joseba Dehesa, Edu Escandon, Mikel Angulo, Rodrigo Pahissa, and Inaki Pahissa.

When free practice finished, Inaki had set the second fastest lap of the day. Rodrigo made the 4th fastest lap and Jonnhy the 5th. On the other hand, Victor, Carlos and Edu couldn’t find a good set-up so their lap times had a big margin of improvement. Mikel didn’t arrive until Friday afternoon, so he reserved himself for the 30 minutes of free practice of Saturday… the only free practice time available for those drivers who didn’t formalize the inscription on Friday.

After 30 minutes of practice, drivers had a controlled practice of 10 minutes to set up the cars before qualifying started. The controlled practice confirmed that Rodrigo, Jonnhy and Inaki were looking very strong to face the qualifying in good shape.

Jonnhy Pastor was the only driver who got 26 laps in the first qualifying round; the second fastest time was done by Mikel Angulo who made 25 laps in 7:00:9; third fastest was Inaki Pahissa who was only 1 second slower than Mikel. After round 1, the top 3 qualifiers were XRAY drivers. Hugo Santos (also with XRAY) made the fifth fastest time. Rodrigo had a good run with 25 laps in 7:08:4. The rest of the XRAY drivers had problems in round one. Victor Pelaez made a small mistake which made him lose vital seconds. Edu Escandon’s engine was not performing well, and he had to pit several times to adjust the carburetion for the next round.

Round 2 was again dominated by Jonnhy Pastor, who improved his previous time by 2 seconds. Victor Pelaez was also improved noticeably, making 25 laps which almost assured him a place in the semi-finals. Edu continued to have engine problems and couldn’t improve his time. The surprise in this round was Rodrigo Pahissa who made 26 laps; he set the third fastest time as well as setting the fastest lap time, 0.1 ahead of the second fastest lap time. Only a problem in refueling prevented him from TQ´ing the race.

In round 3, Rodrigo again improved his time by 5 seconds, putting himself in 2nd place overall as well as improving his fastest lap by 0.1 second and setting the track record. Mikel Angulo also improved his time by a few seconds, pushing him up the ladder and assuring him a spot in the semi-finals. Inaki dominated his series and put in a time of 26 laps in 7:08:6 which placed him in 3rd place overall. Once again Edu couldn´t improve his time, so he had just one more chance to climb positions.

In the 4th and last round of qualifying, Rodrigo improved his time even more and allowed him to be one of the four drivers to directly qualify for the main final. Carlos AgĂĽero (who had suffered a lot of problems) managed to finish the round and qualified for the quarter finals. Finally Edu finished a round and finished with a time of 26 laps in 7:09:9 which put him in 5th place overall. Mikel Angulo managed to make 26 laps, being one of the eight drivers who completed 26 laps.

Results after qualifying:
1. Xabier Arana
2. Rodrigo Pahissa XRAY NT1
3. Inaki Pahissa XRAY NT1
4. Jonnhy Pastor XRAY NT1
5. Edu Escandon XRAY NT1

6. Ramon Guasch
7. Javier Alonso
8. Hugo Santos XRAY NT1
9. Mikel Angul XRAY NT1

10. Javier Hidalgo

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Semi-final B
Semi-final B was won by Ramon Guasch, with Hugo Santos in 2nd place and Alex Aroca in 3rd place. Victor Pelaez and Carlos AgĂĽero were running in this semi-final, but several problems left them behind with no chance to qualify for the main final.

Semi-final A
Edu dominated the semi-final from beginning to end. Javier Alonso came in 2nd place, Joseba Dehesa was in 3rd with XRAY, and Jaime Lacuesta finished in 4th. Mikel was driving very fast, looking as if he would qualify for the final but due to an early problem with his spur gear he couldn´t finish the semi-final.

Main final starting list
Xabier Arana
Rodrigo Pahissa XRAY NT1
Inaki Pahissa XRAY NT1
Jonnhy Pastor XRAY NT1
Edu Escandon XRAY NT1

Javier Alonso
Ramon Guasch
Hugo Santos XRAY NT1
Joseba Dehesa XRAY NT1

Jaime Lacuesta

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The first minutes of the final were very exciting. Jonnhy had an engine stoppage right before the start of the race, which put him into the last starting position. In front Xabier, Rodrigo and Inaki started to build a gap, with Edu Escandon and Ramon Guasch giving chase. Drivers swapped positions several times before the first refueling. Rodrigo had an engine stoppage right after refueling, leaving Xabier and Inaki to battle for 1st place. Meanwhile, Jonnhy was catching up from last place and Rodri was climbing positions at an impressive pace.

Around the 10-minute mark, Inaki was alone in the lead after Xabier Arana made a mistake which cost him 10 seconds. From that point onwards Inaki dominated the final until the end. Rodrigo Pahissa, after his engine stoppage, climbed positions and set the fastest lap time of the final and improved upon the previous track record set in the qualifying rounds. Edu was fighting for 5th and 6th place. Hugo had trouble around the 20-minute mark and had to remain in the pit for more than a minute; he finished in 10th place overall.

With 2 minutes remaining, Xabier Arana crashed and had to retire. This incident allowed Rodrigo and Edu to climb one position so they finished in 3rd and 5th places respectively. Jonnhy couldn´t find a good pace and ended up in 9th place overall.

Inaki´s win in Round 1 of the Spanish National Championship leave him and XRAY leading the championship.

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Final results
1. Inaki Pahissa XRAY NT1

2. Ramon Guasch
3. Rodrigo Pahissa XRAY NT1
4. Jaime Lacuesta
5. Edu Escandon XRAY NT1
6. Xabier Arana
7. Javier Alonso
8. Joseba Dehesa XRAY NT1
9. Jonnhy Pastor XRAY NT1
10. Hugo Santos XRAY NT1

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Inaki Pahissa's Set-up sheet.
Rodrigo Pahissa's Set-up sheet.
Edu Escadon's Set-up sheet.