I did some practice for the WC after the last race in the Danish Nats. Especially to drive the Sorex 36 tires without any additive and with only 5 minutes for heating. I was afraid of how the car would drive, but I was really happy to see, that although the grip was lower, I could still push the car right from the first lap. The last days before my father and I went to Heemstede, my car was rebuilt and some fresh parts, as new wishbones, uprights and c hubs along with new bearings, were built into the car.
I put a setup on the car based on my experience from the last practices and the setups from Heemstede, which were available on the net. Wednesday early in the morning I then traveled to Heemstede and my second WC My goal for the WC was to get a position better than number 50 At the last WC in Burgdorf I ended up as 76th
The schedule for the WC saw 4 free practices and 2 controlled practices. I was set to race in heat 8 of 15 later on 7 of 14 I was a little uncertain how my car would drive, as some of the cars in the earlier heats did not look good, especially the lack of rear traction. But my car was super to drive from the first lap. I was not the fastest one in my heat, as I had never driven on the track before, only virtual in VRC on my computer.
I tried to figure out, how to drive the track and finding some fix points. For the second round of practice I was driving the same setup, and I tried to push a little harder. In the evening, while my mechanic was cleaning the car, we found a setup fault, as the upper link in the rear was mounted in the outer hole in the uprights. I prefer the inner hole. I also did some other changes like using the 2.0 suspension block in the rear.
In the morning on fresh tires my car now was 7 tenths of a second faster and I did a 17.5 second lap and 17 laps in 5.11 Before the WC I ordered an extra gear diff. I got it from Ronald Baar at the track Thursday noon along with some Xceed plastic gears. I was told to use all 4 small gears together with the standard large steel gears and to fill it with 2000 cst oil, but I filled the diff with 1500 cst oil, which I later changed to 1000 cst as my car was unstable in the rear with 1500 cst The new diff was much better than my old one, which came with the TE kit. The new one, especially after 2 to 3 runs, was running very nice and smooth.
For the next practices I changed the springs in the front, changed the damper positions front and rear and the last thing I did, was to shorten the wheelbase by 0.5 mm in the rear. The car was now really good, easy to drive, I could push if I want to, I had good steering and the tire wear was uniform over the whole surface. I was prepared for the qualification.
My first qualification round turned out to be like a roller coast trip, ups and downs. I started pretty safe but then I ran consistent 17.5 second laps with a hot lap of 17.146 But in my 11th lap it happened, my spur gear melted down. I am sure, that I was on an 18 or a low 17 lapper and then this. Shit. In my second round, on used tires, I did a 17 5.04 and made a 19th and 136 points. Better than I thought. In my third round, third run on the tires and now in very hot conditions, I ran 17 5.12 A 30th and 125 points. My goal was to save my second set of tires for round five but I checked the weather forecast, and it said, maybe rain late in the afternoon.
Just before my fourth round I changed my mind and used my second set of tires. I ran a 17 5.07 after I had some minor problems overlapping some cars. I got a 23rd and 132 point. Overall I was now 20th I could not believe it. Still I ran the same setup, which I used in the last practice, and I was still very happy with it. No problems at all. In the fifth round I used the first set of tires again, because I would save the good tires for my last run in the cooler conditions in the evening. I did a 17 5.11 but in the last 2 laps of the run some rain drops came down.
The rain came in the next heat after me, and then the qualification was stopped by the race director. I was happy, that I used my second set of tires the round before and not, what I had planned in the first place. After a long time of discussion in the jury the fifth round was cancelled, and the sixth round was to run on wet tires. I was in group 7 and I had to make a better result than 30th to get more points, that I already had.
I chose not to run in the wet. I have no experience driving in the wet, and to get a better result as 30th seemed not possible. It turned out to be a right decision. Heat 1 started in full wet, but then the rain stopped. My heat was still wet, but later on the track dried up, and in heat 13 a driver managed to drive 17 laps on slicks. In heat 7 my competitors drove only 13 and 14 laps, which gave the best of them 110 point. I would not have gotten more points, than I already had.
The qualification was now finished and the best three results were to count. I had 393 points, and I was 34th 4th in the D main. I was really happy, as my goal, to be in top 50, was by far reached.
Saturday morning the weather was dry again, as we came to the track. It was not as hot as the days before. In the first final I did a good start, and after some laps the two cars in front of me crashed and I was in second place. I started to push and after few laps I was right behind the leader. Then I did a stupid fault in the new chicane and my car went on the roof. Before it was back on all four wheels again I was dropped back to sixth place, which also was my result for the first final.
The second final was almost the same as the first, although, I ran several seconds behind the leader and I did not make a fault. I ended up as second. In the third final I had some really good fights with two other cars. They pushed really hard on my tail, but my car was good and I could defend my position. Then they did a fault and I could drive my racing line and was faster than them. I ended up as third in the last final. Overall I ended up as third in D main and 33rd overall. It is a good result for me as I ended up as 76th at the last WC in Burgdorf, and far higher than my goal for the WC
I love my Serpent S411 TE It is by far the best car I have ever had. During the whole WC I did several changes in the setup, and everything I did, did the car even better. I had no break down or other problems during the whole WC The car is very durable. I want to thank Ronald Baar from Serpent and Jirka Hässler from 2 Speed for the help and good talks, we had during the WC and all the Serpent drivers at the WC