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Jilles’battered car on pole position
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Sunday September 26th the MCRL club hosted the 6th and final round in the 2004 Dutch National Championships. While XRAY’s Jilles Groskamp had already secured the title in the previous round, the fight for 2nd and 3rd place was still on.

Saturday was reserved for practice and it was clear that on this bumpy and difficult indoor track the home drivers had a distinct advantage. Associated’s Jan van Steeg was driving very fast, closely followed by XRAY privateer Stefan Jansen in his first modified season. Top of the charts was once again for Jilles.

During qualifying on Sunday the battle for 2nd place in the championship was joined between XRAY’s Tony Vredenberg and Corally’s Heinz-Jürgen Kalinovski driving the new Corally RDX. Both were struggling with their setups. In the end Tony managed to put in a clean run to take fourth on the grid behind Jilles, Stefan and Jan. Heinz-Jürgen never got his car to perform consistently and did not manage to qualify for the A-Main. As a result Tony had already secured second place in the championship!

Attention now shifted to the battle for 3rd place. With Heinz-Jürgen in the B-Final there were several drivers who could still push him off the podium.

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Sylvester keeping his head cool while lapping backmarkers (Jilles in the background)
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The first A-Final saw Jilles pulling away right from the start with Stefan comfortably in 2nd. Behind them Jan made a mistake in the first lap and never quite recovered. Tony had a slow start and was immediately overtaken by Sylvester Dam, another rookie in the modified field who started from 5th, his highest qualification sofar. Sylvester drove a magnificent race with his XRAY despite heavy nerve attacks and secured his first 3rd place finish!

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Top 3 at MCRL: Sylvester (3rd), Jilles (1st) and Stefan (2nd)
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The second final was more or less a repeat of the first final for Jilles and Stefan. Behind them things got more interesting. A mistake by Sylvester saw him drop down to about 6th and allowed Tony trough in 3rd. Tony’s tyres were not working though and it was clear he was having a hard time keeping the car looking smooth and fast. It was only a matter of time before he hit on of the very unforgiving track barriers at speed. It is a testament to the strength of even the lightweight XRAY Factory Kit that the car was undamaged and Tony still managed to finish 7th. In the mean time Sylvester had battled his way back up to a well deserved 3rd place.

This meant that the top three all used XRAY Factory Kits. In fact 6 out of the ten A-Finalists were running XRAY cars!

Race result:
1. Jilles Groskamp (XRAY / Peak)
2. Stefan Jansen (XRAY / Fantom)
3. Sylvester Dam (XRAY / Orion)

Likewise the podium for the Dutch National Championships was totally dominated by XRAY!

Final standings 2004 Dutch National Championships: click to enlarge
Top 3 2004: Stefan (3rd), Jilles (champion) and Tony (2nd)
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1. Jilles Groskamp (XRAY / Peak)
2. Tony Vredenberg (XRAY / Orion)
3. Stefan Jansen (XRAY / Fantom)

Photo's are courtesy of Marc Breve (www.nomac.nl).