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Race report by Alex Hagberg
The final of the XRAY Challenge series was held at the XRAY Factory at the very nice HUDY racing arena, with its large outdoor asphalt track as the venue. About 120 drivers from more than 6 different countries joined the race, making it a large yet friendly meeting. The race was run in 4 different classes, TC Super Stock and Modified, Nitro Touring Cars, as well as World GT. In attendance saw not only myself but also other fast XRAY team drivers such as Dirk Wichnewski and David Ehrbar from Germany, Francesco Martini from Italy, Zdenko Kunak from Slovakia and of course Juraj and Martin Hudy.

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The open practice was scheduled already on Friday afternoon, but was delayed by some rain showers. A quick change to the plans made it possible to practice on the indoor asphalt track. A much appreciated effort by all drivers who attended the free practice, as all could put some runs in and get a feel for the controlled tire. Those who were already present, could also enjoy the food by the Italian catering kitchen who had been hired for the event. Great pizza and panini sandwiches was on the menu!

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As the race started with open and controlled practice on Saturday morning, all could enjoy perfect track conditions with the sun shining and the traction increasing. In the electric touring car class, it was Martin Hudy who set the pace in practice with a very well handling car and a precise driving line. In nitro, it was not to anyone's surprise that Dirk Wichnewski would be the man to beat with his ORCAN powered XRAY NT1. Francesco Martini was a strong contender in the World GT and Touring Super Stock classes.

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In qualifying, the XRAY team drivers were struggling in the Modified class. Poor driving, exploding tires and electronic problems hindered us from performing well in the opening qualifiers. Eventually, as the runs went on, I was able to win the two last qualifiers with a big margin in order to take the overall TQ. I made some minor changes to my set-up which improved the car a lot. First, I put in the gear diff in the front, I adjusted my front roll center, and mounted the XRAY springs with 2.8 hardness in front and 2.6 in rear. Martin was struggling with exploding tires and was not able to make use of his quick pace and had to settle for 6th overall qualifying position.

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The Super Stock class was dominated by Zdenko Kunak as he could take an convincing TQ position in front of Francesco Martini. In the nitro class, it was Dirk Wichnewski who easily outpaced all other drivers. Francesco Martini was on top in the World GT class.

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Perfect weather conditions on Sunday afternoon allowed for some enjoyable and exciting finals in all classes. In Modified, I was able to win the first final quite easy as the other drivers got tangled up behind me. Martin eventually showed a quick pace as he was fighting with Zdenko for the 2nd place, but was not able to catch me in the end. The second final got off to a different start as Zdenko was very fast and hard charging from the start as he was able to pass me after a few laps. I was struggling a bit to find traction off the grid but after about 2 minutes, my car was really good again and I was able to fight back and pass Zdenko on the inside coming onto the straight. It was great to have a fair and exciting second final. The last final would decided the remaining podium positions. Martin was again unlucky with an exploding tire on the straight. I cruised to an easy win as Zdenko and Toni Rheinard were fighting behind. In the end, the overall result was the same as in qualifying with myself on top, Zdenko 2nd and Toni 3rd. In the end I had a very good car which was easy to drive in all temperature conditions.

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The Super Stock class was won easily by Zdenko Kunak in front of Francesco Martini. The World GT class was won easily by Francesco Martini. Dirk dominated the nitro final, and won by over one lap, but was challenged for the first 10 minutes by Martin and Alexander, who were only a few seconds behind. Eventually both Martin and Alexander had to reduce their pace to due to tire problems.

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In the end, the XRAY Challenge Final must be considered as a great success. Not only were we lucky with perfect weather, but we saw exciting racing in all classes, enjoyed fine trackside catering and had a very good time in general. We saw many local drivers, as well as visitors from abroad whom all contributed to a great weekend. I hope to come back soon!

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Super stock:
1. Kunák Zdenko XRAY T3`12
2. Martini Francesco XRAY T3`12
3. Hruška Petr XRAY T3`12
4. Vévoda Michal XRAY T3`12
5. Červený Jan XRAY T3`12
6. Vičánek Dušan XRAY T3`12
7. Cigánek Jiří XRAY T3`12

8. Bábovský Martin
9. Kukan Alexandr XRAY T3`12
10. MOREL Francois XRAY T3`12

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Modified:
1. Hagberg Alexander XRAY T3`12
2. Kunák Zdenko XRAY T3`12

3. Rheinard Toni
4. Kopecký Jaroslav XRAY T3`12
5. Hudy Martin XRAY T3`12
6. Nemček David XRAY T3`12

7. Cerný Marek
8. Hudy Juraj XRAY T3`12
9. Janousek Jiri XRAY T3`12
10. Ehrbar David XRAY T3`12

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GT:
1. Martini Francesco XRAY X10
2. Dolanský Miroslav XRAY X10
3. Granát Richard XRAY X10
4. Peška Milan XRAY X10
5. Ťažký Dodo XRAY X10
6. Maléř Luděk XRAY X10

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Nitro:
1. Wischnewski Dirk XRAY NT1
2. Hudy Martin XRAY NT1
3. Hagberg Alexander XRAY NT1
4. Abrahamek Michal XRAY NT1
5. Vyšín Jirí XRAY NT1
6. Kulhánek Ondřej XRAY NT1
7. Čermák David XRAY NT1
8. Cibulka Tomáš XRAY NT1
9. Hudy Juraj XRAY NT1
10. Liptak Tomas XRAY NT1

Set-up sheets:
Alex Hagberg
Martin Hudy
Dirk Wischnewski

Gallery:

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