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Finally the outdoor season has started again and we headed north for the first Dutch National race. The track has a mixed layout with slow and fast corners, and you need a car with a lot of steering.

During practice we tested various set-ups on the 2012 RX8 and we found a very good balance to handle the bumps and to have a lot of steering. Even though the trackwidth was only 250 mm in the front, the car never got nervous which is a really good thing. The new clutch was also working very well and had a little better punch then the 2011 clutch.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

During Sunday the track was wet in the morning and everyone cancelled the first round in qualifying. In the second round the track was dry and to my surprise the traction was much better than during practice, resulting in very good laptimes.

Even though the track conditions changed, the balance of the car was exactly the same and this is very important because then the set-up can be left alone. In qualifying we made TQ with a 4 second advantage over 2nd place.

During the final we had to make one more pitstop then Steven Cuypers, so I pushed hard all the time and in the end I was able to win by 6 seconds. For me the car was always very easy to drive and even on smaller tyres the balance was the same.

I am very happy with the performance of the XRAY RX8 2012, and I feel very confident for upcoming races.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Final results:
1. Rick Vrielijnck XRAY RX8
2. Steven Cuypers
3. John Ermen XRAY RX8
4. Arie Manten
5. Joey Sorber
6. Frank Baggen
7. Daan Haling
8. Arco de Jong
9. Gunther v Steay
10. Robin D'Hondt

Thanks to my Mechanic Herman and to all my sponsors, XRAY, Hudy, Novarossi, Runnertime, Enneti, Sanwa, LRP, KM, CRIS Design.

Picture Credit, John Ermen, A.Everling, Nomac.