XRAY NT1 Successful Podium Debut at US Winternats

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After a successful weekend at the world’s largest electric racing – the 2007 US Snowbirds – Team XRAY left the event with 3 titles and a great mood, and high expectations for the next large and famous event – the nitro touring 2007 US Winternats. This event was even more special as it would be the first debut race for Team XRAY showcasing the all-new NT1. As the whole world was waiting for the results and performance reports of the NT1 at this event, the whole team felt highly obligated to perform as best as possible. Overall a lot of expectation and pressure was put on the whole Team XRAY and especially on chief designer Dipl. Eng. Juraj Hudy who was there not only to support the team but also to drive the car himself.

Team XRAY put together a small team for this event, but what was missing in size was definitely made up for in performance, efficiency, and talent. The XRAY Dream Team consisted of US drivers Ralph Burch, Paul Lemieux and Barry Baker, and Europe drivers Jilles Groskamp, Teemu Leino, Martin Christensen, Martin and Juraj Hudy. Most of these drivers are very well known from electric touring car racing where each of the drivers represent some of the best talent but some of the drivers (especially Martin, Paul, Teemu, and Jilles) had only very limited nitro track-time so everybody was excited to see how the experienced electric touring drivers would perform with a nitro touring car. Engines, fueling, tires, and even racing style are much different from electric touring car racing.

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Even though the other teams used already the whole previous week for free practice, Team XRAY only arrived on Monday directly from the Snowbirds track. Unfortunately Monday was a rainy day so not much practice was possible… this was another disadvantage for the team. The latest production NT1 cars were only handed over right before the event, so most of the time was spent building the cars properly and carefully so as to be ready for the first time on the track.

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QUALIFIERS
As the event started with the qualifiers, the NT1 was put onto the track right away and was immediately fast but still small tuning and set-ups had to be performed. The initial first experience on the track was very positive so the team continued to work on small details. Mr. Hudy was fast just from the start on the track so he worked on the set-up for some of the other XRAY drivers. A team meeting was held after each run to analyze all the current experiences and to work together on the further set-ups. The small size of the team allowed us to share information very quickly and with mutual cooperation the team was progressing very well. In the second qualifier Ralph Burch set the TQ which he held for another 2 qualifiers. Even though there were 6 qualifying rounds on the schedule, the qualifiers were ended Thursday after the 5th round due to rain. In this heat Ralph was testing different chassis stiffness but as the traction was low it made his car more sensitive and unfortunately Ralph was not able to hold his TQ, dropping to the 2nd overall qualification position. At the end, Paul Lemieux and Martin Christensen were also able to qualify in the A main, while Martin Hudy, Juraj Hudy, Teemu Leino and Barry Baker qualified in the B final. Jilles Groskamp had a very bad week and did not finish any qualification rounds due engine troubles and when he changed to Max motor in the last 5th round he qualified in the 3rd overall position but disqualified for being underweight (his car lost the additional 10g weight and his car was underweighted 5g) which put Jilles at the every end of the field in the lower finals. For all of the 5 final rounds Jilles ran with the same car without any rebuild and won all the 5 finals, showing the excellent durability and reliability of the NT1.

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The team was very happy and satisfied with the performance of the car and especially the durability. However the most demanding part of the race was still ahead — the finals. Jilles was the first XRAY driver to start in the low final and was able during Friday to win ALL the 5 lower finals and move into the C final! Saturday started with the C final where Jilles again showcased the NT1’s performance and in the highly-competitive field (loaded with top drivers like Green, Blackstock, Dumas, Carbonell, Kandelhart) he again won with his NT1 which put him into the B final where he joined his other XRAY teammates. The NT1 cars dominated the B final for the whole race. Within a few laps, Jilles was able to get into the lead followed closely by Martin Hudy in second and after some time it was Juraj Hudy who worked it to the third position. This trio was leading most of the race and pulled away from the rest of the field. Unfortunately with 3 minutes to go the rear tire of Juraj Hudy was worn down completely and in the last few minutes Juraj had to struggle to drive on the wheel only which cost him a valuable 3rd position… he finished 4th. Jilles was again able to win this final with Martin in 2nd place, but unfortunately after rebuilding the car he forgot to put a clip under the body and did not pass the technical inspection (body height) and was disqualified again. With this situation it was then Martin Hudy who bumped into the main final. Everybody felt very sad for Jilles’ bad luck after he showed some of the greatest racing; during the finals he turned probably more than 900 laps and all without any single mistake or problem, and also without exchanging any part on the car the entire time. The public was simply amazed by the durability of the NT1 and its consistent performance. Spectators were also excited about the performance of Mr. Hudy senior, who was able to dominate within the lineup of top and professional factory team drivers and finishing in a very respectable 4th place in the B final… definitely confirming that the NT1 is capable of achieving great results in the hands of a regular driver.

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Results after the qualifications:

A main:
1. Paolo Morganti
2. Ralph Burch – XRAY NT1
3. Josh Cyrul
4. Danny Horta
5. Paul Lemieux – XRAY NT1
6. Martin Christensen – XRAY NT1

7. Chris Tosolini
8. Andrew Duperrouzel
9. Jarred Scott
10. Ron Atomic
11. Jame Corrado

B main:
1. Bobby Flack
2. Rafael Angulo
3. Barry Baker – XRAY NT1
4. Darin Ishitani
5. Rene Cornella
6. Robert Maestrey
7. Luke Whitaker
8. Chris Metheny
9. Teemu Leino – XRAY NT1
10. Juraj Hudy – XRAY NT1
11. Martin Hudy – XRAY NT1

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FINALS
The big part of the whole event was still on schedule: the main final. The team was very confident with the performance of the NT1 so the only part of the game was to decide on the best tire strategy for the long main final and whether or not to swap tires during final race. After the team meeting the team decided to go with one set of tires and skip the tire swap. This required drivers to start with large diameter tires and to use a harder compound, and to wait for the tires to wear down during the race until they were at their optimum size. It was therefore expected that during the first part of the race the team would be slower, but the missing time should be gained by skipping the tire swap. After the start of the final and only a few minutes into the run it was obvious that Team XRAY made a strategic mistake with the tire strategy; the hard compound made the car slide more and the other teams (with soft tire compounds) were gaining much more right from the start. XRAY drivers did their best to keep up even with the obvious disadvantage of the low traction. The local team was at an obvious advantage having good tire strategy, so it was up to Team XRAY to keep up. Ralph was doing an excellent job and for more than 40minutes was holding the 2nd position, with Martin Hudy moving up to the 3rd position. Paul was keeping a good position when he decided to swap tires. However, the bad luck continued to be with the team and when Paul came in to the pit, somebody in a rush in the pit scattered all the tires so Paul’s mechanics had to go through plenty of tires to find Paul’s tires and by they time they swapped the tires Paul had lost several laps which he was unable to recover. Martin had worked slowly from the rear of the field up to the top (into 3rd position) despite running on the hard compound tires which made the car more demanding to drive. Despite using the harder tire compounds the tires were wearing more than expected and with only a few minutes remaining the rear tires on both Martin and Ralph’s cars wore down almost to the rims making the car more difficult to handle; in the last laps, both lost their 2nd and 3rd position respectively. This final result put Ralph on podium in 3rd place, while Martin came in 5th. Martin Christensen and Paul Lemieux finished in 6th and 8th places, respectively.

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A-Main Final Results:
1. Paolo Morganti
2. Chris Tosolini
3. Ralph Burch – XRAY NT1
4. Danny Horta
5. Martin Hudy – XRAY NT1
6. Martin Christensen – XRAY NT1

7. Jared Scott
8. Paul Lemieux – XRAY NT1
9. Ron Atomic
10. Jamie Corrado
11. Andrew Duperrouzel
12. Josh Cyrul

B-Main Final Results:
Jilles Groskamp – XRAY NT1
Juraj Hudy – XRAY NT1
Teemu Leino – XRAY NT1
Barry Baker – XRAY NT1

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Overall the debut race for the all-new NT1 was excellent and more successful than we had ever expected or hoped for. All of the 8 NT1 cars placed within the top 20, with 4 cars in the A main (even despite the disqualification of Jilles from the A main two times) and taking a podium finish at its debut!

Team XRAY did an excellent job of showcasing some of the world’s most spectacular nitro on-road debuts and now the public can await the NT1 to come shortly in their hands to enjoy the new experience personally.

The Team XRAY drivers are receiving their NT1 cars these days, so you can soon experience the NT1 at your local tracks. All XRAY drivers will be glad to help out anyone and show all the NT1 features and details, and also answer any technical or set-up questions. Enjoy the XRAY ride…

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Source : Xray

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