Adrian Berntsen win Norwegian Cup Round 1

Race report by Frank Andersen

The first 10th scale race of the season was arranged at the Farsund track on April 19, 2008. Farsund is located some 450 kilometers south of Oslo and about as far south as you can get in Norway. Most people arrived on Thursday evening or Friday morning and thus had all of Friday to practice at the track and find a good setup for the race on Saturday. After a week of pretty cold weather we had two sunny days with around 10 degrees Celsius temperatures and not so warm conditions.

The track itself is 210 meters long with a nice layout. It is pretty easy to learn but hard to master as you have to drive smooth and not charge too much into the corners in order to be fast. Being the first race of the season and also considering the low temperature we had to spray the track with fuel to get some grip. This helped, but the tire wear was pretty high.

Running the race in a single day resulted in a compressed time schedule with only 3 rounds of qualifiers and limited space for testing out different setups. It also seemed the track became a little slower throughout the day. However taking the lead from the initial round and setting TQ which would hold through all qualification was Adrian Berntsen with 22 laps in 5:07. Top ten after 3 rounds of qualification included no less than seven XRAY drivers!

1. Adrian Berntsen XRAY NT1
2. Tom Erik Haaversen
3. Helge Johannesen XRAY NT1
4. Georg Ellingsen XRAY NT1
5. Frank Andersen XRAY NT1
6. Truls Solberg XRAY NT1
7. Markus Alvestad
8. Anders Theodorsen
9. Werner Ersland XRAY NT1
10. Stig O. Alstad XRAY NT1

Starting with quarterfinals it was Espen Sandlie, Svenn Rune Karlsen and Ole Bro who advanced to the semi-final from quarter-final B and Magne Bj?rnest?l, Kjetil Skogen and Christian Andresen who advanced from quarter-final A. Semi-final B had a lot of drivers running into problems resulting in only two drivers advancing to the main final. The drivers, Truls Solberg and Anders Theodorsen, would start number 1 and 2. Semi-final A was a lot quicker and had four drivers advancing to the main final. They were Frank Andersen, Markus Alvestad, Werner Ersland and Knut Enger taking the last slot.

Main final
Based on tire wear rates from the 20 minute sub-finals it turned out to be a gamble running the main final without a tire change. Not opting for a tire change in the main final would require the drivers to push less than 100% in order to save their tires.
Taking the lead early on in the final in commanding style was Adrian followed by Helge, Georg and Frank. The question would be who had a scheduled tire change stop and who did not. Frank changed only the right hand side tires at the 20 minute mark, while Adrian changed all four tires at around 25 minutes. Helge, Georg and Truls did not opt to change tires at all. Would their tires hold for 45 minutes?
When Adrian changed tires Helge took over the lead. A very exciting period then followed when everyone wanted to see if Helge would be able to defend his lead or if Adrian would be too strong considering his speed and Helge’s obviously small tire sizes. Around 10 minutes from the end it was clear Adrian would overtake Helge without much of a problem. With fresh tires and half a second faster lap times it was only a matter of time.

With Helge and Adrian fighting for the lead it was also a close fight going on for third place. Truls, Frank and Anders were fighting until the end with only Frank changing tires and Truls stretching the fuel stops. This made it impossible to guess who would win the fight. When they crossed the finish line in the end there was only 1.3 seconds separating third and fifth place. Truls drove impressively to the end and finished in third place only four tenths of a second in front of Frank with Anders finishing fifth another second behind.

All in all, it was a very nice final with a lot of nice driving. There wasn’t a single penalty in the final. In addition, all ten cars made it to the end! Differing fuel and tire strategies resulted in plenty of excitement with XRAY claiming the top four positions, all running on the impressive XRAY tires!

1. Adrian Berntsen XRAY NT1
2. Helge Johannesen XRAY NT1
3. Truls Solberg XRAY NT1
4. Frank Andersen XRAY NT1
5. Anders Theodorsen
6. Markus Alvestad
7. Tom Erik Haaversen
8. Georg Ellingsen XRAY NT1
9. Werner Ersland XRAY NT1
10. Knut Enger

Adrian Berntsen Winning Set-up sheet.

Source : XRAY

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