Robin D’Hondt reports from the 1st Round of Netherlands Nats.
The first round of the Netherlands championship was held at the track of Apeldoorn. Weather forecast wasn’t looking good, however it was dry on Saturday rain came on Sunday to bring an interesting scene in the final.
My arrival at the track on Saturday was much later as I wanted it to be due to traffic. I wanted to test many things but in the end I only had 2 hours of testing to make a good setup. The day before I setuped my car with the setup I think would of worked on the track (small track so high droop, much camber change, much offset) and … it worked !
With some minor adjustments to the car I was driving the same laptimes like John Ermen and Rick Vrielinck. So, happy with the cars performance but still having idea’s to make it better we had to call it a day because after 17 o’clock no engines can be started anymore.
Sunday morning it all looked rather wet, apparently it rained at night but with the sky having a blue colour it looked like qualifying 2 and 3 would be dry. And so it was but from everyone qualifying 3 would be the one to go fast.
Top 4 qualifying results:
1 Ilia van Gastel 29 7:03.787
2 Rick Vrielijnck 29 7:09.869
3 John Ermen 29 7:10.519
4 Robin D´hondt 29 7:11.680
Starting the quarters and semi’s it starting raining again so at the same time everyone started packing in there electronics for a possible wet final.
For about an hour before the start of our final it didn’t rain anymore and I had a constant eye on the tires that the people were using in the semi’s, Aqua’s seemed to work fine and this I also chose to start the final with. But with the track almost dry enough to run normal tires Ilia, Rick and me were about the only ones to start on aqua’s I think. Eventually it turned out to be the good choice.
The people on normal tires were not so much slower but had a difficult time driving which made them end up off track sometimes. In the first lap I passed John, Rick and Ilia and together we drove away from the rest of the pack, after 5 minutes I had a small lead over Rick and at that time my mechanic Gunther informed me the people on normal tires were getting faster and faster laptimes. So we decided to change tires on the first fuelstop.
Back on track it was hard for a couple of laps to keep the pace in but soon the tires started to work really fine. With all the chaos of the wet track in the beginning and the tire stops in beginning of the race I had no idea anymore who was on which position. Half race my mechanic Gunther informed me that I was in first postion with 2 laps in front of the second. All I had to do now was keep it on track and bring it home.
1 Robin D´Hondt 109 30:06.239 – Motonica – Nova – Merlin Fuel
2 Rick Vrielijnck 108 30:11.032
3 Steven Cuypers 106 30:05.877
4 Ilia van Gastel 106 30:06.884
Thanks to my sponsors:
Motonica, Sanwa, Merlin fuel, Team C, LRP electronics, Ghiant RC car Colours
And offcourse thanks to my meccanics that make this possible:
My dad Rony D’hondt and Gunther Van Staey
Thanks to Robin for the infos