The European Championship warm-up was the first major international race for me after I have returned back home to XRAY team. Of course I did some previous practice back at home but coming to a large international event where you face the best European drivers it puts much more pressure on you. With some practice runs I was very confident in the car and the handling of the car perfectly fit my driving style and knowing the legendary XRAY reliability I was confident going to the Euros warm-up despite being little nervous as well because everyone would be looking on how I will perform back to the team where I was able to achieve my best results so far.
I have joined the factory team with Martin Bayer and Miguel Matias so we had a fairly strong and effective team and we were able to work out our set-ups quickly from the first practice rounds. Working already previously with Martin Bayer back in the days at XRAY team I was really happy to work with him again. I am sure we will get much more great results for future.
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The Sacile off-road track that hosted this Euros warm-up was a very fast and high grip track so we had to adapt both set-up and driving style to these particular track conditions. The local drivers were super fast so the put an early pace which we could measure upon and set an early challenge for us to improve. We continued to improve the details of the car and to fine tune set-up from round to round, so the progress in the practice rounds was noticeable and we were feeling more and more comfortable. With the increasing grip I have changed diff set-up with thicker oil in the front and softer in the center.
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We have utilized our performance in the qualifications and we were able to qualify myself, Bayer and Matias directly in to the semi-final. Despite I was expected the semis to be thrilling and challenging all three of us were able to bump-up to the A-main final.
The unforgiving track was demanding on the reliability of the cars which played in our favor for the 1 hour long A-main final. The only change I made in the set-up was to change for harder front shock springs and softer rear springs which made the car much more easy to drive which should help me to stay more relaxed and to keep the car under total control for the 1 hour A-main final race. In the final race we all stayed consistent and without any single technical issue we were able to finish 2, 3, 4 which was a great result and definitely a perfect comeback for me at the XRAY team.