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Race Report by Robin Frischkopf
The fifth Swiss Championship took place on July 18/19 in Oberbüren with 99 drivers (36 Experts, 63 Amateurs). The weather forecast was very bad, with only on Sunday having a little hope for a dry day.

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On Saturday morning it was very wet and there was a bit of rain now and again. Because of this there were no practice sessions and the first qualification heat started late in the afternoon. Knowing this track well and having prepared a good setup, I was able to win the first round with 9 seconds to spare. I chose a hard clutch spring and shorter gearing with a 15T clutch bell, and on the very muddy track I lost almost no time even though the car got heavier with every lap. I also tried the overdrive in front for the first time and liked it a lot in the tight corners.

I made a few small changes for the second round and won this one again even though I had a crash in the first lap. The rain had now stopped and the track got drier with every run. But still the cars got very dirty.

I left the setup as it was for the third and last run of the day and only changed tyres (from DLD Splinter to JConcept Goosebumps) and shaved another 4 seconds off my time, but only winning this round 0.09 seconds ahead of Philippe Lachat. Having won 3 heats this was my second TQ and once again I was very happy. This also meant that I didn’t have to drive the fourth round on Sunday morning and could concentrate on cleaning and rebuilding the car which was full of mud.

On Sunday the weather was looking better. The sun came out and the track dried up, but it was still very loamy. I changed my setup a bit, mainly putting the front kick-up to maximum because the track was now very bumpy. I also put in the 2.8mm rear sway bar to help over the bumps and with turning on this very tight track. I decided to leave the hard clutch spring and 15T gearing since I liked the punch it gave very much.

In the afternoon I managed to win the semi-final and secured the pole position for the final. It all went flawlessly and without a mistake so I was looking forward to the final a lot. This could finally be my first win in the Expert category.

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In the final the drivers voted to race for 45 minutes. I decided to pit at 7:30 to play it safe. My setup allowed me to drive with a lot of throttle so I didn’t want to risk flaming out.

The start went well and for 8 laps myself, Didier Perrin and Philippe Lachat drove wheel-to-wheel. It was very exciting. Slowly I built up a bit of a lead, but then I cut the doubles a bit too much and put the car on the roof. This was my only mistake until the last lap except for some trouble with lapped cars.

Didier and Philippe both went past but I followed them immediately. Slowly I was catching up again. The first pit stop came and went and suddenly I was ahead of Didier again, who had missed the big jump and landed behind the track, losing some time. We exchanged places a few times but then I settled in front and was able to pull away bit by bit. Then after 9 minutes, Philippe (who tried to do one pit stop less) flamed out.

I was now in the lead, and determined to keep it. Philippe meanwhile had taken up 2nd place after about a third into the final despite his flameout.

Slowly I built up a cushion, because I expected some more mistakes or other trouble. First I was 13 seconds in front, soon more than 20 seconds. Even though I had driven 45 minute finals before and regularly practice longer it seemed to last forever, especially when you’re leading the race. At about half time I was about to lap Didier, and Philippe was 2/3 of a lap down. The car was just perfect and it drove exactly the way I wanted. It absorbed the holes and bumps very well and turned on a dime. It also jumped brilliantly during the whole final and in my 84 laps I didn’t mess up the big jump or the others even once. I only had the third fastest laptime but was by far the most consistent driver.

When the last pit stop went without problems – as always very quickly thanks to my trusted pit team Etienne Kaser and Robin Minkler – I started to believe that I could actually drive it home. And I did. Even when I crossed the finish line for the second-to-last time I knew I had won, because I was more than one lap ahead of everyone else. Then I flipped my car on the roof in the last lap as tension and concentration went away. And actually finally crossing the finish line I did backflips on the big jump until I ran out of fuel.

Finally I had my first win under my belt after 3 years in the Expert championship. And not just due to good luck, but through TQ, Pole and the best but longest final I’ve ever driven. I’m going into the last race as the championship leader, but it will be very tough because only the best 5 races of 6 will count.

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Final results:

1. Robin Frischkopf XRAY XB808

2. Didier Perrin
3. Philippe Lachat
4. Jeremy Pittet
5. Patrick Hofer
6. Patrick “Papa” Hess XRAY XB808
7. Christoph Affolter
8. Marc Heim XRAY XB808
9. Gerd Pfeiffer
10. Renaud Ott XRAY XB808

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XRAY driver Daniel Amsler
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In the Amateur category, Daniel Amsler claimed 5th place and thus secured the Amateur title. Young local driver Yves Schmidlin won the race with his trusted XB8 EC.

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XRAY driver Yves Schmidlin
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Robin Frischkopf's Set-up sheet.

More Photos

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XRAY driver Robin Frischkopf
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XRAY driver Patrick
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