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Race Report by David Joos
The MRCZ club is one of the oldest electric clubs in Belgium. Since the eighties, they started with an open invitational race. Back in those days, it was mainly a 1/12Th scale event and attracted the top drivers like David Spashett and Oscar Janssen.

Over the years, the club changed it approach and wanted to make it a showcase for R/C racing and give the beginning driver a chance to get into contact with our hobby. They therefore created some fun classes next to the usual suspects, e.g. F1, touring modified, touring stock, 1/12th modified and spec. The hobby classes were Tamiya truck, 1/12th GT, and MRCZ Gentlemen and Juniors.

Modified Touring! Unfortunately this class only attracted a handful of drivers. Thomas Stockman, a multiple previous winner of the event and Florian Joos would be the biggest contenders for the overall victory. Thomas claimed Q1, but Florian convincingly won the remaining 4 qualifiers. Thomas lined up 2nd on the grid in front of Pieter Saelens, Liam Van de Wouwer and David Joos.
Florian Joos took the overall victory from Thomas Stockman, Pieter Saelens, Liam Van de Wouwer and David Joos!

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Modified Results
1. Florian Joos XRAY T4
2. Thomas Stockman XRAY T4

3. Pieter Saelens


The biggest class of the event was stock touring. The rules only imposed a spec tire (Volante 28R), but motor and speedo were free. The pre event favorite was French Xray driver Manuel Wagner. His toughest opposition would come from the fast local driver Thomas Stockman, 2017 Belgian stock champion Vincent Van Gansen, Dutch former 40+ 1/8 European champion Frank Baggen and Florian Joos (Xray).

After the reseeding practice sessions, Manuel took P1, marginally faster than Florian Joos. The other favorites, Vincent and Thomas were over a second off the pace.

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Qualifying was however dominated by Florian Joos. He won all 5 rounds with a margin of 4 seconds in every run. The battle between Vincent and Manuel was quite tense. Despite having 4 points each, Vincent took P2 in front of Manuel because he had a faster time. Thomas Stockman placed his car in P4 in front of Dimitri De Baeker, who completed the Xray domination of the grid.

The finals would however prove to be a bit more exciting. Florian quite easily won A1. Manuel overtook Vincent for P2, but was chased hard by both Vincent and Thomas, the 3 white cars making it very hard for the spectators to follow the race. Tom Adams took P5.

In A2, Florian was leading the field again when a backmarker traction rolled in front of him, hitting his car quite hard. Vincent sneaked into the lead, but Florian overtook him 2 laps later only to retire from a overheated motor. The crash apparently damaged the cooling fan, which caused his DNF. Manuel tried everything he could, but could not close the gap to Vincent who took a nice victory. Manuel finished 2nd in front of Thomas Stockman, Dimitri de Baeker and Tom Adams, who fought his way back from P9 on the grid.

Not knowing if his motor would be able to finish the race, Florian took a cautious start. Vincent put a lot of pressure on Florian in the early laps and started to close the gap. Unfortunately Vincent made a mistake, allowing Manuel to take P2. Manuel almost came into striking distance of Florian but had to settle for P2 in A3, in front of Vincent, Thomas and Frank Baggen who finally found a great setup.

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(click to enlarge)

Stock Results
1. Florian Joos XRAY T4
2. Manuel Wagner XRAY T4
3. Vincent Van Gansen XRAY T4


 
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