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Race report by Adrian Berntsen
Round 2 of the Swedish Nationals was hosted by MHF Skarpnäck on ※Flatenbanen※ in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The race was held during the weekend of June 4/5 and classes included 1:8th scale and 1:10th 200m. I competed in both classes using XRAY cars with Capricorn engines.

This track is the biggest in Scandinavia and we had approximately 18sec lap times with the 1:8th scale cars, and 20sec lap times with the 1:10th scale cars. This track really showed the difference between good and bad engines. Even though top speed was important, the track was also pretty technical so you also needed good bottom end power as well. With my Capricorn LAB-E01 SQ engine in my NT1 and the Capricorn LAB21-BC engine in my RX8, I didn’t have any problems with power at all as my engines were one of the best during the race in both classes.

My father and I headed to Stockholm on Wednesday evening to get ready to practice on Thursday and Friday, and hopefully get to put pressure on and battle with Alex Hagberg on his hometrack in the 1:10 200mm class. Already by Thursday I found the pace in both classes so when Alex arrived on Friday we had nearly the same pace.

Another Norwegian attending this race was fast XRAY driver Lars Haugen. He arrived on Thursday evening and he had no problems finding the pace. Again the XRAY RX8 proved how good and competitive it was. As most of the Swedish drivers arrived on Friday, the three XRAY RX8 drivers – Lars Haugen, Christoffer "Tosse" Hedlund and I – were fastest during practice.


1:10th scale
In the first qualification round I TQ’d with 21 laps @7:17:105. Alex finished 2nd in this round with 20 laps @7:02:686. Young talented Swede Markus Hellquist finished 3rd with 20 laps @7:13:161. Both Alex and I faced problems in the 2nd round, while Markus improved his time to 20 laps in 7:08:986. No-one improved their times in the 3rd round, but in the 4th and final round we had the "rocket round". I started well and was heading towards improving my TQ time by 4 seconds, but unfortunately I traction rolled and lost almost a lap. Therefore I was sure that Alex would beat my best time, but he finished at 21 laps @7:18:692, 1.5 seconds behind my TQ time. I had the TQ for the final! XRAY driver Mackan Göransson took 3rd place overall by making it 20 laps @ 7:07:281, while Markus dropped to 4th place. But since they use the old final-system, we four were directly qualified into the final.

1. Adrian Berntsen XRAY NT1
2. Alexander Hagber XRAY NT1
3. Mackan Göransson XRAY NT1

4. Markus Hellquist

1:8th scale
In the first qualification round it was Marcus Lindner who TQ’d with 22 laps @7:01:888 ahead of Patrik Sahlin with 22 laps @7:06:812, and Bengt Andersson with 22 laps @7:14:118. I made a mistake early in this round and lost too much to make it into the Top 4. I managed to put in the fastest lap time of the whole event with two 17.9 second laps in a row. XRAY drivers Lars Haugen and Christoffer Hedlund – who both had the pace to be in the Top 4 – faced problems during the first qualification round. But in the second qualification round I drove a very good run finishing 23laps @ 7:12:508, 7 seconds faster than TQ time from the first round. Marcus Lindner kept his time from the first round, while Bengt Andersson improved his best time to 22laps @7:03:335. In the last qualification round it was very close between the drivers and there were many drivers that could claim the Top 4 spots and go directly into the main final. In the end I TQ’d ahead of Marcus Lindner, Bengt Andersson and Christoffer Hedlund. Niklas Johansson got the unlucky 5th position, only 0.2sec behind 4th place.

1. Adrian Berntsen XRAY RX8
2. Marcus Lindner
3. Bengt Andersson
4. Christoffer Hedlund XRAY RX8

1:10th scale
Before the start of the final, most people expected it to be a battle between me and Alex. Both of us planned to drive the entire final without a tire change. Alex ran 40-42SH while I ran 42-45SH. As the final started I took the lead ahead of Alex and we pulled out a small gap from the rest of the field. But after only a few laps, Alex made a mistake in the difficult chicane, giving me a chance to drive without anyone putting pressure on me. I had approximately a 5sec lead into the first refueling. Then I got a stop’n’go penalty for bad refueling, but I wasn’t supposed to have; the referee gave the stop’n’go to me while it was Micke Brandt who should have it, since our carbodies was "quite similar."

There the youngster Markus Hellquist overtook the lead, and since he drove with 37-40SH I had no chance of making the gap smaller. Alex was driving fast until someone crashed into him and broke his rear shock. So now the fight was between Markus and me. Markus had approximately a ? lap lead when he went in for a tire change. This allowed me to overtake the lead by 1.5 lapS. Markus had fresh new tires and continued driving superfast and really showed that he is a man to follow in the future. When we passed the 45 minute mark, I won by 10 seconds ahead of Markus Hellquist (2nd) while Micke Brandt finished 3rd. My tactic worked perfectly, with tire wear and other things being exactly as my father and I expected.

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1/10 final results
1. Adrian Berntsen XRAY NT1 (TQ)
2. Markus Hellquist
3. Mickael Brandt XRAY NT1
4. Mackan Göransson XRAY NT1

5. Andreas Böök
6. Staffan Karlsson
7. Jos? Castro
8. Martin Aberg
9. Sonny Ahlström XRAY NT1
10. Alexander Hagberg XRAY NT1

1:8th scale
When the final started I was not confident since I missed the three warm-up minutes, and went directly to the start line. Therefore I used a few laps to get into the car, and when I finally managed to push I put a growing gap to the other drivers. When we passed the 15-20 minute mark I had lapped the entire field once and had a big lead that I managed to keep. Due to the old asphalt and high tire wear, everyone had to change tires and I did too after 25 minutes.

Even though everyone else had two mechanics to change tires, my father only used 10 seconds more by doing it himself. Those 10 seconds didn’t matter much since I was driving faster than everyone else, and after the 45min mark I had lapped the whole entire field again. With a 2 lap lead I took the win ahead of local driver Niklas Johansson (4th place finisher at B-EC 2011 in Hildesheim) and , Bengt Andersson in 3rd.

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1/8 final results
1. Adrian Berntsen XRAY RX8
2. Niklas Johansson
3. Bengt Andersson
4. Marcus Lindner
5. Stefan Andersson
6. Hans Lyxell
7. Patrick Sahlin
8. Michael Hahne
9. Christoffer Hedlund
10. Patrik Johannson

All in all it was a very good weekend; I TQ’d both classes, put the fastest lap time of the whole event in both classes, and won both classes in the end.