Race report by Elliott Harper
Villa Real, Nitro 15 hosted the EFRA GP 2008 more commonly known as the Euros Warm Up to test the organisation for the forthcoming Euros in August 2008. The event was well organised and good preparation enabled a firmly controlled race meeting by the Spanish Officials.
The track surface has recently been resurfaced and the only recent race meeting held was the Spanish National event 2 weeks earlier. Grip conditions steadily improved over the practice and event days adding to the increased speeds seen throughout the weekend. It was noted that high numbers of drivers on the track will speed up the track grip process and that the higher expected temperatures will also make a change to track conditions in August. The Xray car seemed the choice of many and everyone that owned the car came away from the meeting with a big smile!
Practice time on the Thursday and Friday were put to good use developing a generic set up that worked and this was subsequently refined through out the remainder of the weekend. It was a great opportunity for testing and the Xray handled superbly through out. The were lots of learning points achieved throughout the visit.
After the initial qualifier, I knew my car had awesome pace and I was able to continue this through for the remainder of the qualifiers to secure pole position for the finals. I had saved some tyres for the finals from qualifying to ensure that my car was at its best for the three races that really counted even though the Xray car was still super fast on second run tyres! I had fairly untroubled races in the finals which let me take the win in all three finals. I couldn’t fault the car all weekend and no matter what the conditions, the car always stayed well balanced and with good traction.
Fellow Xray driver Gonzalo Garcia Casado was also at the meeting and it was good to meet up and discuss set ups. Gonzalo secured 2nd place in the B after an eventful qualifying. He was fairly unlucky as he had very good pace and consistency throughout the meeting. After the finals, Gonzalo ended up finishing in 11th place after three exciting finals for the spectators.
A special mention to Nuno Gancho and Vicente Eres who also managed to pilot their Xray T2 008’s into the ‘A’ final with 7th and 8th place finishes.
Final Top 10 below:
1. Elliott Harper UK – XRAY T2’008
2. Toni Mateo ES
3. Marc Esbri Vilar ES
4. Olivier Bultynck BE
5. Sakke Ahoniemi FI
6. Federico Sala IT
7. Nuno Gancho PT – XRAY T2’008
8. Vicente Eres ES – XRAY T2’008
9. Chris Grainger UK
10. John Pape UK
My thanks to all the organisers and volunteers who worked so hard to make the event a success. All the people were very sociable, friendly and helpful. I am looking forward to returning to Vila Real at the end of July.
Source : XRAY