Team XRAY UK went to the Cotswolds this past weekend for the first team gathering with the new NT1. Mark Gilliland, Robin Hammett and Ben Cosgrove were all in attendance at this race after doing some individual testing throughout the UK. The team all pitted together in the new XRAY Gazebo which was mightily impressive and survived the wind and rain with no problems at all!
The Handy Models GP consisted of 2 runs of open practice, followed by 3 rounds of qualifying Saturday afternoon. Sunday consisted of 2 rounds of qualifying followed by long finals C at 15, B at 20 and the A at 30 minutes duration. All classes were catered for with electric 27 turn, 19 turn and 5 cell modified Touring Cars as well as 235mm IC cars and 200m foam and rubber IC cars.
Mark had won last weekend at the Irish National and was very impressed with the performance of the chassis and the Orion 2006 spec CRF engine. Robin had been testing at Mendip and also reported back on the impressive chassis and engine combination also using the Orion 2006 spec CRF engine. Ben had been testing at Ashby and reported back excellent chassis performance and strong performance from the Nosram RS.12 Evo engine. The team were well prepared for this meeting and we had a technical debrief before the practice started.
All 3 cars were very well balanced from the start but Robinâ€™s car was a little harder to drive than both Mark and Benâ€™s car. Robin was using the solid axle whilst both Mark and Ben ran diffs in the front. Robin changed back to a diff and then we all had a similar balance. Qualifying started very well with all 3 cars on the pace from the first run. By the end of qualifying it was clear that the XRAY chassis were all very good with Ben and Mark the only people to make 18 laps. Ben held the overnight TQ from Mark with Robin in 4th.
We had a technical brief Saturday evening and evaluated the chassis and wear rates. All parts were very good with no wear anywhere at all. A couple of drinks later and Sunday morning was here.
Sunday morning saw a damp track when we arrived so the first run was not attempted. Mark elected to stay in the hotel and rebuild his car in depth due to the weather conditions. Rd 2 was on a drying track and Ben won the rounds albeit slower than the TQ time due to the lower traction, the car was still very balanced.
The final was run over 30 minutes in duration and was a little bit of a lottery due to the track being wet when we started. Tyre choice was a gamble due to the greasy track. Mark decided to run softer tyres for the final whereas Robin and Ben went on safe harder tyres. Some people ran rubber tyres and it was clear that these were faster for the first 7-8 minutes as the foams did not quite have the traction, Ben managed to stay on the lead lap through this difficult time due to a great balanced car despite having a collision with a stationary car on the main straight! The bodyshell was badly damaged but the car was still perfectly ok!
Robin and Mark had trouble at the start with traffic and greasy conditions so they ended up with some engine cuts and big offs. Ben was in control of the final staying very consistent pace and driving very with in the car. Benâ€™s dad Roger was pitting for the first time in a long final and did a very good job refuelling the car. At half way distance Ben had more than a 3 lap lead and cruised to the victory. Mark was pushing hard to catch back time and had a few good minutes battle with Ben towards the end. Robin had a few problems but was still running a strong second with Mark pulling ground back on third place.
The final result was Ben from Robin from Mark. XRAY NT1 1,2,3!! All 3 cars made it to the end of this demanding track with no problems at all. Overall it was a great success for the team.
All 3 drivers used GRP tyres for maximum traction and they all used Tornado 16 % Fuel. This is a very strong package and expect to see the Mirage/XRAY Team competing for the podiums at the BRCA nationals all season.
Ben used the following parts to TQ & Win
XRAT NT1 Chassis
Nosram RS.12 EVO Engine
Tornado 16% Fuel
EDIT Glow Start
1st Ben Cosgrove XRAY NT1
2nd Robin Hammett XRAY NT1
3rd Mark Gilliland XRAY NT1
4th David Gerard
5th Iain Hollands
6th Matt Thompson
7th Kevin Taylor
8th Mick Nash
9th Adrian Garlick
10th Mark Sellars
Source : XRAY