Hugo van den Berg win Dutch Nationals R1

The opening race of the Dutch Nationals 2008 was held at the large outdoor track at the Baanbrekers in Rucphen; the track was 257m long, 5m wide with a lot of high-speed corners and 3 semi-hairpins corners. Twenty-nine Modified drivers attended the race. The first round of Dutch Nationals Stock race was cancelled because the handout motor was not available in time. Team XRAY Benelux was represented by Hugo van den Berg, Patrick Jongenelis (both of whom joined Team XRAY Benelux this year) and myself.

This being the first race since the switch of controlled tire from CS27 to LRP VTEC, we tested three days before the race to find a good setup. By good cooperation we found a setup which gave a lot of grip, good cornering speed, good run time, and not too much tire wear. The last fact is very important as we only have 1 set of tires for 3 qualifiers and 2 finals.

Grid after 3 qualifiers:

1 Hugo van den Berg XRAY T2’008
2 Bart Wubben
3 Luke van Essen
4 Wesley van Dijken XRAY T2’008
5 Tony Vredenberg
6 John Bruins
7 Raymond Tempelaars
8 Rob Janssen
9 Sven van Essen
10 Arjen Potharst
11 John Ackermans
12 Alexander Roeleveld
13 Peter Meurs
14 Stefan Jansen
15 Chris van der Hage
16 Patrick Jongenelis XRAY T2’008
17 Benny van Oers
18 Joep Willemsen XRAY T2’008
19 Rick Thomson
20 Richard Arts
21 Eric Bresser
22 Michel Peterse
23 Tjitte Miedema XRAY T2’008

1st A-Final
Upfront we knew the fight for the win would be a close one between Hugo van den Berg and Bart Wubben. For 17 laps Bart was on Hugo’s tail but was not able to overtake him. In the last 2 laps Hugo started to pull away from Bart whose battery had faded. A backmarker almost ruined the win for Hugo in the last corner but Hugo just managed to finish ahead of Bart by a very close margin of only 0.082sec. Wesley had to give up his 4th place up to John Bruins after a short battle.

2nd A-Final
We decided to change nothing on the setup, though knowing that Bart decided to do so. The start of the 2nd final seemed to be a copy of the first one, but suddenly Bart Wubben had Tony Vredenberg on his tail. This gave Hugo some relief and Bart a new problem as Tony was really much faster than Bart. But in the end Bart kept his 2nd place and Tony finished 3rd. Wesley was suffering from worn tyres and finished in 7th place. After the race we found out that Tony started the 2nd final on brand new tyres, taking a gamble for the rest of the season having only 4 fresh sets of tires left for 5 races.

A-Final overall result:

1 Hugo van den BergXRAY T2’008
2 Bart Wubben
3 Luke van Essen
4 Tony Vredenberg
5 John Bruins
6 Wesley van Dijken XRAY T2’008
7 Raymond Tempelaars
8 Sven van Essen
9 Arjen Potharst
10 Rob Janssen

Source : XRAY

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