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The 12th annual DHI Cup was held once again at the Stadium Arena Fyn, formerly known as the Odense Congress Center. This year saw a new racing format where electric off-road was also a part of the event, so a total of four classes were on schedule for this weekend in the race which had some 270 entries. In the touring car classes, top drivers from all over Europe joined a very strong field that included most of the Team XRAY drivers. As in the previous years, the LRP CPX was the control tire for the event.

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We arrived on Thursday night and witnessed the two tracks put down very nicely next to each other, sharing the same driver stand. The touring car layout was very similar to the 2011 layout, but with a slightly shorter length overall and some corners being a little more narrower.

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As practice commenced on Friday morning, I struggled with the low-traction conditions for the first few rounds. The car was too difficult to drive and was not balanced. However, as traction was still super low I was not worried. In practice I tried both my cars which have quite different set-ups. In the end I settled for the car which had the set-up from the Charity Race in Italy. In practice I made two changes to get more roll in the car: I removed all 0.5mm shims under all suspension holders to lower the roll center, and I also switched the rear anti-roll bar from 1.4 to 1.3. The car immediately felt faster with more roll and response for these conditions. From this point on, I made no set-up changes, and the car only got better each round. In practice, it was very close, but on the 3 best counted laps I found myself 6th overall. Zdenko Kunak was also very quick and was in 5th position after practice.

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The first round of qualifying turned out to be a big mess with many crashes between the top runners. In the end it was Ronald on top followed by Marc in 2nd and myself on 3rd place. I felt that I could have gone faster but I was unlucky with some crashes. For Q2 on Saturday morning, grip increased a lot and so did my car. I was able to put in a TQ round with only 0.2sec in front of Marc and again Ronald was in 3rd.

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The car was getting really good and I enjoyed driving it in qualifying. Unfortunately in Q3 I suffered from my own mistakes and was not able to repeat my performance from Q2. With Marc, Ronald and me all with a TQ round on our results, it all came down to Q4 to decide who would be overall TQ. I drove a fast but consistent race just behind Ronald and Marc. I was slightly slower but eventually benefitted from their both making mistakes on the last lap, and thus was able to snatch the TQ for the round by just 0.17sec. I was awarded the overall TQ at the race! I was very happy with this result and felt confident for the finals as my car felt very easy to drive. Zdenko was able to qualify 4th after some very consistent qualifying rounds. His car was also very good without any major set-up changes, in fact he used a set-up very close to standard.
Zdenko continues to impress with this result. Martin Hudy qualified for the main final in 10th position which meant that we had three cars in the final.

In the first A-main I was able to get away cleanly after a small mess at the start. Eventually Marc caught up to me at the 4-minute mark and made an aggressive pass in the hairpin before the timekeeping. I had great speed coming off the straight the following lap and thus tried to take the position back. Coming through the chicane, we had contact, and eventually I passed him. Unfortunately his body got tucked and he made his own mistake driving over the curbs in front of the timekeeping. I won the first final ahead of Marc and C. Krapp.

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In the second final I had a good start but had Marc and Ronald right on my tail. After 2 minutes of consistent driving, Marc once again tried an aggressive move after the chicane which sent my car off the track and I eventually got stuck on the wooden board track marker. I lost some positions and was not able to recover. Ronald won the second final ahead of Marc.

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For the third final I had a really good start, pulling away slightly from the others on the first two laps. Eventually on the third lap, Marc decided to drive straight coming through the chicane and eventually hit the side of my car. As a result of this, Ronald once again snuck by to build a strong lead. I followed behind but had to defend my 2nd place from Marc. Two minutes or so later I made my own mistake in the chicane which upset my car and eventually a small mess followed. I was not able to recover for the top positions. In the end I had 7 points with 1 win and one 6th place overall which would award me the 3rd overall position. It was disappointing considering that I had a really good car and the pace to win the race. Zdenko and Martin were both very unlucky in the finals and finished 7th and 10th overall, respectively.

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In the Super Stock class, which was raced with control LRP 17.5 motors + boost in the speed controllers, it was Zdenko who was the man to beat in early qualifying. Eventually he made some small mistakes in the following rounds which would allow Hot Bodies driver Steffen Leinburger to grab the TQ position. Team XRAY drivers Tony Streit and Daniel Horn both did a great job, also qualifying for the main final in 5th and 10th positions.

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In the finals, Zdenko's car looked a little difficult to drive but he was able to win A1 quite easily after a mistake from Steffen. In A2 it was Zdenko who made a mistake which Steffen would benefit from. These two drivers were in a league of their own this weekend. So A3 would be the deciding main. Zdenko put in a strong performance, battling with Steffen for the lead. Eventually he would finish 0.2sec short of the win after a clean race from both drivers. Zdenko was awarded 2nd place overall.

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Final results - modified:
1. Ronald Völker
2. Marc Rheinard
3. Alexander Hagberg - XRAY T3'2012 - TQ
4. Teemu Leino
5. Yannic Prümper
6. Christopher Krapp
7. Zdenko Kunak - XRAY T3'2012
8. Marc Fischer
9. Patrick Hornum
10. Martin Hudy - XRAY T3'2012

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Final results - stock
1. Steffen Leinburger
2. Zdenko Kunak - XRAY T3'2012
3. Henrik Heitsch
4. Björn Christiansen
5. Carsten Madsen
6. Martin Lissau
7. Daniel Horn - XRAY T3'2012
8. Tony Streit - XRAY T3'2012

9. Michael Nilsson
10. Morten Iversen

Set-up sheet
Alex Hagberg

Gallery:

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