Round 3 of the Swiss Touring Cars Nationals took place last weekend in the Swiss famous fast flowing track in Langenthal, which is located about 40 minutes away from the Switzerland’s capital. Quite a lot of entries were registered in the four usual onroad electric classes – Formula 1, 1/10 Pan Car (Swiss GT), Touring Car Modified and Pro-Stock. I took part in the Pro-Stock class.
The track in Langenthal (MRCL.net) is a very unique track - check the satellite images of this track. This year the new asphalt is a little over a year old and has found some amazing grip, in comparison to the shyness of the grip last year. It is particularly a very fun but challenging track to drive on. This track is also the home track of our Swiss R/C pride: - 2015 world champ, Simon Kurzbuch!
After the long awaited summer weather the weekend was announced to be exceptionally sunny and hot. Temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius were foreseen for Saturday and highs of up to 36 degrees on Sunday.
On Saturday morning we had four free practice sessions which I solely used to learn the track, with only some minor setup changes. Theses group practice sessions were followed by the two reseeding heats were the three fastest consecutive laps would determine the qualifications groups. I managed to pull off the third fastest consecutive three laps. In the first and only qualification round on Saturday I confirmed my pace as being the third fastest over 5 minutes.
Sunday was as expected very hot and the temperature of the track was already perfect at 9am. Unfortunately though I wasn’t able to conclude a faultless run and finished only 5th. Similarly in Q3 I lost the rear a few times and could only attain 4th place. Fortunately in the 4th and last qualy, I drove a bit conservatively which paid off as other drivers ahead of me dropped off the radar. I was therefore able to TQ this final round, due to the bad luck of the faster guys. This brought me back up to sit on the third spot of the grid for the finals behind Boris Siladi on pole and Nuno Huber in second.
I had a good start to the first final and moved up to second due to a mistake from Nuno. Unfortunately I spun out and landed in the grass on the 6th lap and saw the rest of the A main fleet fly by me. I was able to climb my way back up to 4th place. Congrats to my buddy and team mate Steve Matthey who finished second.
In the second final I was able to steel my way into second place from the first corner, by executing a very clean and unexpected pass, when Nuno went slightly wide in the far right corner. I was able to maintain 2nd place until the end and finished 2 seconds behind untouchable Boris.
The third and last final my car was really dialed. This was thanks to collectively working with my teammates Steve and Sebastian Cuanoud. It was also thanks to Fabien Widmer who helped clarify some doubts in setup we had. As the last final started Nuno was on his guard, and didn’t let any opportunity for mistakes. As we distanced the rest of the pack (Boris had already checked out) I started to apply more and more pressure on Nuno. I tried several times to pass him without success and before we knew it, we were racing to the finish line at the five minute mark, and we were separated by a gap of 2/10ths of a second.
My achievements placed me on the 2nd step of the podium for this event, but more importantly I had a ton of fun with my friends. Congratulations to Boris for his TQ and win. I hope to get a re-match someday.