D’hondt’s Inside Story – Belgian Nationals Rd 2

Over the weekend SDD driver and defending Belgian National Champion Robin D’Hondt was back in action in Round 2 of the Championship held in Luxemburg. The 2008 Round 1 winner sent us this report from race –

The second round of the Belgian Championship was held at the very nice track of Luxemburg. Nice layout, technical and good grip. Weather could be a little better (sometimes rain) but I had 2 dry qualifiers and a dry final so I had a pretty good weekend.

I arrived at the track Friday night and qualifying started Saturday afternoon so I only had Saturday morning to run in an engine and get my setup good.

When I was driving my first laps (with my setup of Valencia). The car felt very aggressive on the nose, to aggressive actually. Moving the downstop from 8 to 6 in the rear and in the front from 0 to 1 was much better. And instead of purple all around, pink in the rear and blue in front.
Also I was driving the light weight ATS tires 35 all around in the beginning. I tried 33 in the front and I had more steering and the back was very stable. This was actually my best setup but because I only had 5 sets of 33 shore I preferred not to drive with 33 in the front. I tried the normal weight ATS tires 35 all around and these gave me same effect as 33 in the front … So I kept driving the normal weight tires as these gave me a better feeling on this track.

Qualifying was a battle between my team mate Steven Cuypers and myself for pole position which Steven won. First qualifier he was 1.5 second faster then me and when I saw the laptimes I saw that he was more constant then me. Second qualifier it started to rain so we didn’t drive.

Third and last qualifier, during the racing I heard the man on the microphone saying first place Robin, second Steven. 2 laps later first place Steven, second Robin. A few laps later … and so on. But at the end it was Steven again who took pole.

Starting positions
1.Steven Cuypers – 18 laps in 5.02
2.Robin D’hondt – 18 laps in 5.04
3.Gunther Van Staey

During the 235 mm final it started to rain (2 times in a row, bad luck guys. At the end of this final it stopped raining. Then came the final 1:8 F2, so these guy’s drove the track dry and just when it was our turn the track was completely dry again. Normally I planned to race with 37 on the right side of the car because of the many fast turns left but because all the grip was gone from the rain I opted to race with 35 all around.

The start was good, after 2 laps I overtook Steven and was able to drive away from the pack. I stayed first till the end of the race. Steven chose to drive with 37 in the final I think this is why I was a bit faster in the final.

Final Result
1.Robin D’hondt – 103 laps in 30.05
2.Gunther Van Staey – 100 laps in 30.00
3.Richard Dirk – 98 laps in 30.16
4.Van Passel Marc – 91 laps in 30.12

Some things I want to say about my weekend:
I went to Valencia, made a setup for that track. I go test in Roeselare with the same setup and the car feels very good, didn’t had to change a thing. Also in Luxemburg some small things like springs and downstop but not really more …

I ran in a new engine on Saturday and used this engine the whole weekend. And the power of this engine was amazing, combined with very very low fuel consumption (6 minutes with one fuel tank!!!). One of the main reasons of the low fuel consumption is probably because of the Merlin Fuel T5 that I drive.

Thanks to my sponsors: Serpent Motorsport, ATS Tires, Mega engines, Merlin Fuel, Ghiant Aerosols RC Car Colors and RC Tech.

And special thanks to my dad and Lode Haling for the good pitting.

Greetzzzz

Robin

Source : Serpent

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