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Race Report by Thomas Günsel
“Wow, what a race” was the first thing that came to my mind when I crossed the finish line first at the German Nationals 2009. The race took place at the MCC Tuerkheim track on September 9-13, and started with two days of free practice on the well-prepared track. The club had prepared a second pit area so that all 80 racers would have enough space to work on their cars.

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My mechanic Johann and I reached the track on Wednesday night and found that most of the drivers already arrived, because we missed the first day of free practice. But after a successful warm-up race we were well prepared and started with the same setup on the second day of free practice.

The level of grip was quite good and with a good weather forecast for the next days we could now start to work on the car. My XRAY NT1 was working really well right from the start and I had no problems with traction rolling compared to a lot of other drivers.

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When the grip increased the car started to lose steering, so we made some small adjustments and changed the body to solve the problem. At the end of the day the fastest lap was set by the current European Champion Dirk Wischnewski with a 13.3sec lap while we made a 13.4sec lap so we were very satisfied with six rounds of timed practice to go on Friday. This day was used for engine adjustment and testing different tire diameters. We finished the end of the day in 2nd place, so everything looked perfect for the 6 rounds of qualifying on Saturday.

The first round started perfectly for me and I lead the ranking for this round. Unfortunately after this round I got in trouble with my engine and glowplugs for the entire day. I could improve my result in the second round because of the better track conditions, but at the end of the day I was only 5th and missed the direct qualification by only 0.5sec and damaged my best engine in the last round. I was really disappointed because my car was perfect but other things prevented a better result for that point of the race. Nevertheless we checked the car and prepared everything for the half-final on Sunday, and Bertram Kessler of SMI prepared the engine for the upcoming day.

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After the lower finals I started from pole position for the half-final A. With a clean start I pulled away in the first minutes of the 30min race, but after some driving errors I lost the lead and finished 2nd but bumped up into the main final where I had to start from 6th position. With 30 minutes until the main final, my mechanics helped me to prepare everything for the final race. We only changed the tire diameter because there was lower tire wear under the current conditions.

Suddenly it was racing time!
After a clean start of all drivers I was able to take the lead within 4 minutes because my NT1 and engine were working perfect compared to the qualifying day. After that I never looked back and had a faultless race. After the halfway point I got a “stop-and-go” penalty for a refuelling infraction but it didn’t affect my position and in the end I won by 2 laps ahead of my teammate Simon Balk and Michael Heinrich. It was unbelievable to win this race since I started 13 years ago.

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Thanks so much to everybody that supported my especially my mechanics Johann and Marco, Bertram Kessler of SMI, and to the whole Hudy family supporting me since 2005.

The XRAY driver celebrated an impressive victory in the 45min finale of the German Nationals on Sunday at Tuerkheim in the German State Bavaria. With an advantage of two laps, 26yo Guensel saw the checkered flag in an exciting finale to take the valuable German crown. Simon Balk (18yo) and Michael Heinrich (41yo) completed the podium in 2nd and 3rd spots, respectively. The final was another outstanding success for XRAY importer Bertram Kessler (SMI Motorsport) and his own engine line Orcan. The top five positions – former champion Dirk Wischnewski (4th) and Eric Dankel (5th) – went to XRAY and the Orcan LR3 power unit (manufactured by Novarossi and tuned by engine expert Michael Heinrich).

The German Nationals which started with free practice on Wednesday were held at the well-prepared 220m track of the Mini-Car-Club (MCC) Tuerkheim under perfect conditions; good weather with no rain for five days. It was a very good working duo of racing directors (Fredy Dietrich - president of the German association DMC, and Heiner Martin – long-time member of IFMAR/EFRA boards), along with faultless timekeeping (under the lead of Alfred Roschmann, a reproachless technical inspection) and a not-to-forget excellent catering made it a race weekend to remember for all 77 competitors and all the mechanics and supporters.

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Final Results

1. Thomas Guensel XRAY NT1
2. Simon Balk XRAY NT1
3. Michael Heinrich XRAY NT1
4. Dirk Wischnewski XRAY NT1
5. Eric Dankel XRAY NT1

6. René Puepke
7. Bernd Rausch
8. Joerg Baldes XRAY NT1
9. Patrick Gassauer
10. Michael Salven

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Thomas Günsel's Set-up sheet.

Michael Heinrich's Set-up sheet.

Dirk Wischnewski's Set-up sheet.