Last Saturday, a friend and I headed out to Oss to race the 7th race of the Buggycup. We left Bruges around 7AM and there wasn’t any single cloud in the sky. It was going to be a nice day. Unfortunately, the forecasts for Sunday were worse so it ordered some extra super soft tires for the rainy conditions.
After a two and a half hour drive, we finally arrived in Oss. The place was BIG! It’s a heaven for motorsport enthousiasts. A big kart track, 2 motorcross tracks and a medium sized astroturf RC race track made the place complete.
It was around 12 o’clock when I fired up my engine to make a few practice laps. I was driving with AKA crossbrace tires in soft compound, but they were actually a bit too grippy. I didn’t expect such a warm day, so the only tires I bought were super soft and soft. The AKA Crossbrace is the control tire for the race, so other tires were no go. After 1 lap of practice I felt that the soft tire was just too soft. But I didn’t have a harder compound with my so I tried to take away some steering with my setup and decrease my droop. The car felt a lot better, but I could drive it on the edge due excessive traction rolling. The next day (race day) would be a rainy day so I didn’t bother too much about my tires for practice, but after driving 4-5 tanks of fuel, the tires were worn in and the car handled a lot better. Although the car was driving pretty good, I was still struggling with some of the jumps but we had to leave the track at 5PM so I couldn’t practice them some more.
Since we weren’t allowed to drive any longer, we bought some food, drove to our bed and breakfast and started wrenching on our cars to get them prepared for the raceday. Fortunately, the weather forecast changed and it would be a dry sunday.
I was pretty excited for the qualifications and I was hoping to qualify at least into the 1/4th finals. I had a lot of traffic in Q1, but I was the fastest guy in my heat. I was hoping for a better time in Q2, but I drove very bad. I was pushing too hard and made stupid mistakes. I drove safe and very smooth in Q3, there was no traffic and I flipped over only once. The soft tires were dialed in the cold morning! I ended up as 11th out of 45 drivers and I could start in the semi finals from the 6th position.
Just before the semi finals, it started to rain slightly. The track wasn’t really wet, but you could see that the tires were a little wet on the car. I started my semi final on super soft tires since my soft tires were worn too much for those conditions. A had a lot of grip on the super soft tires which lead to traction rolling when I tried to push the car. I started pretty good, but I was racing with the fast guys so I felt behind quickly. After 15 minutes of racing, I was battling to keep P5, which meant that I would be in the main final. The battle was actually quite exciting and I got a little stressed. All I needed to do was stay calm and make no mistakes, but my engine flamed in the last 3 minutes of the race. My chance to get into the main final was over since I finished 7th.
All in all, I had very good weekend. My car was perfect, the weather was good and the people were nice. What else do you need on a racing weekend?
Here’s my setup if anyone is interested: Setup Buggycup Oss 11/09/2011
Our pit tent
Thanks for the nice pictures Frederique!