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Race Report by Florian Joos
The second round of the 2019 FBA Belgian nationals was held past weekend at the outdoor track of MRCZ Zwevegem. Due to the bad weather that reigned all over Europe that weekend, the turnout was a bit lower than expected. The MCRZ club did a great job to provide the drivers with a fun and technical track on the available parking lot.

Free practice on Saturday proved that finding a good setup would be extremely difficult. The frequent rain showers meant that the drivers practiced with different grip levels on each and every run. We tried both our dry and wet weather cars and both were really on pace.

Driving in the rain is really something special. Although I don’t drive that much in the rain it is quite fun. When the track is fully wet, the grip levels with the Sorex rain tires are really high!
When we arrived on Sunday morning, the track was fully wet and a wet race was declared. This meant that we could chose between a rain chassis and a dry chassis to cope with the changing track.

The first qualifying session was run on a full wet track. Before the start, the wet weather conditions already caused mayhem as Oli Bultynck had to retire his car due to an electronic problem. Local matador Thomas Stockman opted to skip this qualifier. My car was really good in the rain and I managed to win Q1 by almost a lap from former Belgian champion Steve Lambrechts and Rico Claeys, both driving Xray cars.

Q2 was run on a drying track and most drivers opted to use the dry car with slick tires. Now the track was really difficult to drive as there were still some wet patches. Again my car was great and I took another easy win and claimed my TQ spot on the grid.

Until now, everything was really going well, but at this time, my dad and I made two mistakes. The first mistake was that we decided to run A3, mainly because I just like racing. If we were a bit smarter, we would have sit out Q3 and save our tires (we are allowed 2 sets of tires for the finals).
We did some setup changes to the car. We used the Dogbollox bodyshell instead of the Preopard (both from Zoozilla) to get more steering. My dad also put softer springs on the car (2.6 front and 2.7 rear instead of 2.7 front and 2.8 rear). I won Q3 by an even bigger margin, but my car was really difficult to drive now. In the long omega corner, it just slid off. We then decided to revert back to the Q2 setup for the finals.

This was the second mistake, as the car was difficult to drive, but really fast.

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I won A1 quite easily and used my new set of tires. Oli however used his old tires in order to have better tires for A2 and A3 on this technical track. At the start of A2, I was lacking rear end grip and Olli passed me. I started to push as hard as I could, but made a mistake and had to defend from Thomas Stockman who came really close. In the end I took P2 but was not happy.

I decided to do everything to keep the lead in A3, but my start wasn’t so good, and Olli was already in my slipstream after the first corner. I understeered a bit going into the corner in front of the driver rostrum and Olli put his car next to mine to take the lead. I was really upset and started to push as hard as I could. Unfortunately my tires weren’t giving me the traction I needed and I rolled over a kerb. I lost about 1 second and started pushing hard again. Unfortunately tough luck prevented me from fighting until the end”

Last year I took P2 on this track and could challenge Oliver Bultynck for the first time. Then it felt like a victory, but now I was really disappointed.
Both my dad and I gained some more experience, and we will use it to improve ourselves again. In the end, it is such a great hobby and the racing is just wonderful.

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Modified Results
1. Olli Bultynck
2. Florian Joos – XRAY T4
3. Thomas Stockman – XRAY T4

I was however pleased that there were some many Xray cars present and that they won the other finals. In the Stock final, there were even 3 Xrays on the podium!

Vincent Van Gansen with his T4 took the win in Stock 13,5T. Podium was completed by T4s of Giovanni Moguez and Jeremy Deram!

In “Fun 17,5T” class T4s of Rony Claeys, Thierry Baekeland and Luc Wauters filled the podium!

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