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Race Report by Florian Joos
Last weekend I participated in the Dutch indoor nationals. The race was held at the permanent track of Racing Arena Limburg in Sittard. Despite being one of my favorite tracks, the last time I practiced there was November 2018.

The race would be run on Sunday, but you could practice on Saturday as well. On Saturday, we arrived around 14pm and were a bit struggling to find the raw speed. My dad said it was due to the fact that I went to a party the night before, but I didnít believe him.

On Sunday we arrived early because I was entered in the slowest heat in stock, despite being amongst the faster drivers on the list. This meant I didnít get a lot of sleep again because I went to another party.

There would be one run of free practice, without reseeding, 3 qualifiers and 2 finals. Despite being a permanent track, the grip levels would change throughout the day because the 1/12 class was also included in these Dutch nationals.

Free practice went really well. The race director and the other drivers in my heat were super helpful and I managed to set the best overall time on these 4 minutes run in stock. In mod I finished in P2.

There were only few entries in Modified than in Stock, but with ETS A main finisher Patrick Gassauer and the current Dutch modified champion Rick Van den Akker and former Belgian champion Steve Lambrechts, the opposition would be tough.

Q1 went to Patrick with me in second position. My car was however quite good but I made an error in lap 12, which cost me 3 seconds. Steve won the battle for P3 from our other Xray teammate Rick.
Q2 went quite well for me and I managed to win this round. My dad was happy because my medium time was only .2 slower than my fastest laptime.

For Q3 we decided to run higher droop settings (this is something I really like), and the car felt like it had more steering. I was going on a TQ run, but when a car crashed on the track, the marshall blocked my view when helping the car and I clipped a kerb. This meant I had to start mod as well in P2, behind Patrick and in front of Steve and Rick.
A1 was a super close fight between Patrick and I. During the first 12 laps we were not more than .3 between each other. I managed to pass Patrick, but made a stupid mistake the lap afterwards, which handed the lead to Patrick again. We finished in that order with Steve winning the fight for P3 from Rick.

I was lacking a bit of corner speed, so my dad decided to fit a 7000 diff instead of a 5000. This made my car a bit harder to drive and I had to be careful not to lose the back end while accelerating. My lap times were also a bit slower now, but I could still challenge Patrick. The funny thing is that we set our fastest lap time of that final both on lap 2 and the lap times were identical! Patrick was driving a great race, so my only possibility was to pass him corner entry at the last chicane. I ran super close and tried a die or fly pass, but I clipped the corner and Patrick deservedly won the race!

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Modified Results
1. Patrick Gassauer
2. Florian Joos Ė XRAY T4
3. Rick Van den Akker Ė XRAY T4

For Stock qualification there was no reseeding. The first qualifier in stock went quite well. But then around the 6 minutes mark, I had a problem with the motor fan and the motor started to overheat and my ESC shut down.

Q2 went quite well and I was on another TQ run, but unfortunately with 2 laps to go I lost my steering. I overcame the problem by not fully accelerating, but I lost 4 seconds and the TQ in the process. For Q3 we installed a servo booster between the Muchmore ESC and my PowerHD servo and the car worked perfectly. As I was not sure I would be able to run the 7 minutes at full speed, I drove a bit slower during the last minute. This cost me the win by only .2 of a second, but I was reassured that my car performed perfectly again.

I lined up in P2 for the finals, behind multiple Dutch stock champion Rob Jansen and in front of Sebastian Meiborg, who already made the A main in the ETS races. During the first final I was able to chase Rob for the lead and we created a gap to Sebastian. As it is virtually impossible to pass cleanly on the racetrack, I decided to stay as close to Rob as possible in order to push him into an error. Instead I hit a cornermarker in the chicane, which put my car on itís roof and allowed Sebastian to pass me. I managed to pass Sebastian for P2, but unfortunately Rob was gone and he took a deserved victory. A2 was a copy of A1, but I clipped to Robís rear end for almost the entire race. I tried to creep closer but hit a dot again so I had to settle for P2 overall. My car was however superb to drive and I managed to record the single fastest laptime.

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(click to enlarge)

Stock Results
1. Rob Janssen
2. Florian Joos Ė XRAY T4
3. Sebastian Meiborg

I had a really good time at this race, but next time Iíll listen to my dad and go to parties on another day!

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