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With two sets of finals scheduled for each of the various categories on the fourth and last day of the XRAY Challenge Germany race in Kirchhain, the day was dedicated to deciding who would go home victorious. Following the exciting heats on Saturday, all drivers were eager to improve or defend their positions during the 20-minute finals.
Unfortunately, the drivers and mechanics woke up to a wet track on Sunday morning after some heavy rainfall overnight, and a look at the weather forecast offered little hope of any improvement throughout the rest of the day. Despite the weather, a poll of the drivers still at the track revealed that the majority of them wanted to take part in the finals, firmly putting a stop to the race director's suggestion to base the final standings on the results from the heats.

First up was round one of the C final for 1/10-scale electric touring cars, but all of the drivers – along with those who had qualified for the B final – chose not to race. As a result, the winners were determined based on the standings after the heats, with Henri Mannes in first place, ahead of Klaus Leder and Nicole Börs. Similarly, first place in the B final went to Austrian Gerhard Kandelhart, second to Dai Sakaguchi and third to Max Caye. For the A final of the electric touring car category, Fabian Bucher ventured out onto the track to drive 13 laps and secure first place, as Tim Wahl in second and Marc Fischer in third decided not to start.

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Drivers in the 1/10-scale nitro category were also put off by the weather, with only Kevin Falk out on the track in the C final. 19 laps brought him victory ahead of Dennis Sting and Alexander Hagberg. With the track still incredibly wet, Bernd Hasselbring put in a solo performance in the 1/10-scale nitro B final – which had been shortened to 10 minutes – driving 25 laps and taking home the top spot, followed by Andreas Weyhoven and Hartmut Rose who decided not to take part. All drivers in the 1/10-scale nitro A final reached a joint decision not to race, which meant Dirk Wischnewski placed first in front of Dominic Greiner and Martin Hudy as in the heats.

On the offroad track, the drivers were more ambitious in the wet conditions. In the C final brothers Ruben and David Streb battled it out for first place over 10 minutes, with a positive outcome for Ruben. David Streb took second place and Michael Sautner third. Another solo performance was seen in the B final where Vanessa Wende steered her buggy to a masterful victory, despite the lack of rivals on the track, ahead of Jürgen Spiegl and Sebastian Fenske. Spectators of the A final were rewarded – at least at the start – with an exciting duel between Benjamin Quiesser and Marcus Wende until the latter's buggy started making mechanical noises and he had to withdraw shortly afterwards with a technical problem.

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Third position automatically went to the fastest man in the heats, Simon Eser.
In the 1/8-scale nitro C final, yet another solo driver, Wilfried Stecker, took to the track for 21 laps to secure first place followed by Norbert Hügel and Heinz Faigle, who did not start in the final. No racing took place in the 1/8-scale nitro B final, meaning Luigi Pili placed first thanks to a top performance in the heats, while Jean-Pierre Rönicke took second and Philipp Römer third. The track had mostly dried up for the first 1/8-scale nitro A final and four drivers were eager to take to the asphalt.
Lars Hoppe went into the lead immediately on the still slippery surface and was put under pressure briefly by Tobias Hepp who then made some errors and dropped back down the field.
While these two were battling it out, Thilo-Alexander Tödtmann consistently worked his way up to the front of the field and even seized the lead when Lars Hoppe suffered some minor problems. Jürgen Hennemuth was unable to make his mark on the race and had to be satisfied with third position. Thilo-Alexander almost saw victory snatched from his grasp when it started to rain and his engine stalled just before the finish line. Fortunately, the time had already run out and after restarting his engine he just had to finish the rest of the lap. This put Thilo-Alexander just ahead of Lars Hoppe to win this exciting final.

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As the second set of heats scheduled for after lunch was cancelled due to more rain, SMI boss Bertram Kessler presented the prizes to the winners and brought the first ever XRAY Challenge race on German soil to an official close. Although the weather on Sunday had a negative impact on an otherwise fantastic event, it certainly did not affect the good mood among the participants. Most of the drivers were full of praise and are already looking forward to the next XRAY Challenge event.

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Saturday:
The third day of the XRAY Challenge Germany race in Kirchhain was packed out once again, filled with exciting action and some fiercely determined battles for pole.
The second of the four series of heats scheduled overall got off to a dry start at 9am prompt in optimum conditions. Following on from yesterday's heats for all categories, which gave an initial idea of the standings, the drivers were today eager to improve their performances and bump up the rankings, which was reflected in the on-track action.

In 1/8-scale onroad, the focus was on attacking the man provisionally on pole, Lars Hoppe, who improved to 21 laps in a perfect second heat. This put him head and shoulders above the others and set the bar high for his rivals who were unable to match this first rate performance. His closest competitor was Thilo-Alexander Tödtmann, who improved significantly in the third heat. And despite a better second heat, third place went to Tobias Hepp who just managed to keep Philip Sting at bay.
The fourth and final series of heats didn't take place due to the rain, which means the results for the 1/8-scale nitro category are as follows:

1. Hoppe, Lars
2. Tödtmann, Thilo-Alexander
3. Hepp, Tobias - XRAY RX8
4. Sting, Philip
5. Mehl, Alexander - XRAY RX8
6. Schewiola, Frank
7. Hudy, Martin - XRAY RX8
8. Müller, Torsten - XRAY RX8

9. Wäldle, Jörg
10. Federmann, Maximilian

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The 1/10-scale onroad heats followed a similar course, with former European champion and local hero Dirk Wischnewski heading the preliminary ranking thanks to a strong performance yesterday. Throughout the two series of heats today, Saturday, Dominic Greiner was hot on Dirk's heels trailing just 0.406 seconds to put him in second. Martin Hudy was incredibly close behind Greiner, only needing 0.630 seconds to equal Wischnewski's top time. Martin Hudy's XRAY team mate, Rico Kröber, took fourth position, lagging by a miniscule 0.236 seconds. Things certainly didn't run smoothly for Swedish driver Alexander Hagberg, however. Alexander is regularly one of the fastest in the field, but unfortunately he was beset by a series of technical problems in all three heats. Despite this run of bad luck, the Swedish XRAY team driver kept his composure and remained professional throughout.

The 1/10-scale nitro category leaderboard is as follows:

1. Wischnewski, Dirk - XRAY NT1
2. Greiner, Dominic
3. Hudy, Martin - XRAY NT1
4. Kröber, Rico - XRAY NT1

5. Nähr, Patrick
6. Balk, Simon - XRAY NT1
7. Schuch, Andreas
8. Günsel, Thomas
9. Kandelhart, Gerhard - XRAY NT1
10. Kraft, Holger XRAY NT1

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While there were no changes at the very top in 1/8- and 1/10-scale nitro, Tim Wahl pushed ahead of provisional pole Marc Fischer in the 1/10-scale electric touring car category and the rain meant that any further chance to retake the lead was out of Marc's grasp. Alexander Hagberg fared significantly better than in the nitro classification and placed third ahead of his team mate Niclas Nilson, which also qualified him for the A final. Although this puts him in a good position for tomorrow, the young Swede was not completely happy with his performance and is looking to improve his set-up before the final. At the top of the 1/10-scale electric touring car ranking are:

1. Wahl, Tim - XRAY T4
2. Fischer, Marc
3. Hagberg, Alexander - XRAY T4
4. Nilson, Niclas - XRAY T4
5. Bucher, Fabian - XRAY T4
6. Kaufmann, Marco - XRAY T4
7. Vogel, Tobias - XRAY T4

8. Rausch, Bernd
9. Hettrich, Valentin - XRAY T4
10. Bratzler, Daniel

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Although the rain put an immediate stop to the action for the onroad drivers after just three heats, on the offroad track next door drivers paid no heed to the inclement weather. Despite the heavy showers all three of the heats scheduled for Saturday took place, although none of the drivers was fast enough to put Simon Eser's preliminary pole from Friday in any danger. In fact, his time in the third heat was so fast that he decided to not to start in the fourth and final heat in order to save wear and tear on his car. Still in second position after the heats was Benjamin Queisser ahead of Roman Buske, who improved in the second heat to gain an advantage over Daniel Kreutz in fourth. The leaderboard in the 1/8-scale offroad category is as follows:

1. Eser, Simon - XRAY XB9
2. Queisser, Benjamin - XRAY XB9
3. Buske, Roman - XRAY XB9
4. Kreutz, Daniel - XRAY XB9

5. Wiesner, Tom
6. Allendörfner, Jan
7. Wende, Marcus - XRAY XB9
8. Bohlender, Jörg - XRAY XB9
9. Prause, Michael - XRAY XB9
10. Bauer, Jonas - XRAY XB9


After some heavy downpours today all drivers are hoping for dry conditions on Sunday and some exciting finals.On the third day of the XRAY Challenge race in Kirchhain, SMI boss and co-organiser Bertram Kessler is very happy with how the event is progressing, despite the weather:

"I'm pretty confident I can say that all of the drivers have got the most out of the last three days and that our idea to organise the XRAY Challenge has really paid off. The main thing we wanted was for people to enjoy being here and driving, and you can really see it on their faces. I hope we'll be rewarded with some good weather for the finals tomorrow. We've certainly earned it and it would be the perfect end to our event, which has had an extremely positive response across the board."

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Friday:
Bright sunshine welcomed drivers taking part in the XRAY Challenge Germany race in Kirchhain to the track this morning, Friday 10 May. The weather conditions stayed virtually perfect all day, giving everyone the chance to put the track to the test and fine tune their set-ups in the controlled group practice until 5pm.

The drivers' rostrum was packed to capacity during the training sessions for the various onroad classes as well in the offroad section. Plenty also took the opportunity to call on the help and support of SMI boss and co-organiser of the XRAY Challenge event, Bertram Kessler, who as always made every effort to find the perfect set-up for the ORCAN engines and XRAY cars. His hints and proactive support helped a lot of drivers to find a much better and more effective set-up for their cars.

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With the ample practice sessions out of the way, the first series of heats started at around 5pm, giving an initial picture of who was performing best in each category.
In 1/8-scale, often called the king of RC car classes, Lars Hoppe placed top with a perfect first heat. Dominant peformances were also put in by Tobias Hepp and Frank Schewiola, signalling their clear intent to aim for a top 10 spot. With the finals on Sunday taking place using the Heart of America system – uncommon on the nitro circuit – it is particularly important for them to place well in qualification as there is no further opportunity to bump up.

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In the 1/10 category, Dirk Wischnewski secured provisional pole ahead of Dominic Greiner and Rico Kröber. Marc Fischer put in a great peformance in the first of the 1/10 electric touring car heats, putting him at the head of the field. But some fast lap times from Alexander Hagberg and Fabian Bucher brought them in right behind Marc in second and third. They will be focussing on improving their great performances in the three further series of heats scheduled for Saturday.

While the action among the onroad drivers was often heated, over on the offroad track the pace was more relaxed. Simon Eser secured the initial top spot after the first heat with the fastest time ahead of Benjamin Quiesser and Daniel Kreutz.

Nothing is decided and with three further series of heats scheduled for Saturday, there is everything to play for - provided the weather stays dry and keeps the racing conditions optimum for the XRAY Challenge drivers.

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The XRAY Challenge Germany inauguration race kicked off its first day of training today, Thursday 9 May, to some great weather and an impressive line-up of over 130 drivers in the 1/8 and 1/10-scale nitro categories, as well as 1/10 electric, and 1/8 offroad.

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Free practice for each category was divided into alternating 20-minute blocks, allowing the drivers here today to familiarise themselves with the circuit and enjoy the track, which was in perfect condition thanks to the careful attention of club MSC Kirchhain.

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While the onroad drivers were tearing strips off the asphalt, things were just as lively at the nearby offroad circuit, where all energies were focussed on finding the right set-up.

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The XRAY Challenge Germany race in Kirchhain is sponsored by German XRAY importer SMI and is open to all makes of car. It is one of an international series of races and offers drivers the opportunity to test themselves against top international racing drivers and benefit from their know-how, in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

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Here in Kirchhain, big names from the international racing circuit include XRAY team drivers Dirk Wischnewski, Alexander Hagberg, Martin Hudy, Rico Kröber and Tobias Hepp, who are on hand to offer all other XRAY drivers help and advice. This first class line-up also includes top drivers with other manufacturers such as Marc Fischer and Thomas Günsel.

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Free practice will continue until midday on Friday followed by at least one series of heats, if the weather allows. The remainder of the heats – four in total – will take place on Saturday and the finals on Sunday using the best-of-two method under the Heart of America system.