My father and me arrived late on Wednesday in Aigen after work. Thursday morning meant to get up really early to prepare my car after last weekend race and for the upcoming tough practice days.
Klaus Lechner was my mechanic for that race. He is somebody I really love to work with as he takes care of engines and clutches while I do the car. Although we don’t go racing really frequently (I think last time was the EC-A in 2018) it is as if we have always been racing together and immediately know what the other one is going to do. I really enjoy being on the track with somebody like him and it makes the racing so much more likeable.
In free practice we tried different engine and exhaust combinations, nominating the one for the race while we used the not perfectly performing engines for the remaining practices. The car was almost good on the Matrix handout tires with the Muttipaintz Diablo body shell although I was lacking a little bit in corner steering and also a proper rotation in mid corner while the car was supposed to stay controllable on power. I thinned out the front two-dashed anti roll bar down to 1.5mm in the middle for a width of about 5mm to increase the steering while I went to a thinner roll bar from four-dashed to a three-dashed. My car felt better but still in warm conditions there was a bit missing to the top guys.
After controlled practice I found myself in the top10 on P10 which meant to be the “slowest” of the top heat. On ENS races it is always a little bit difficult with such a strong starter field. I mean, if you let somebody overtake you on a track like in Aigen you can lose a lot of time and in this way easily some positions in your qualification rounds. Anyway with a P6 and a P8 run I qualified directly for the A-main with 9th on the grid.
Once you’re in the A-main, you can risk and try something for the final practice. That’s what I did: We completely changed the rear end from 988 wishbones with carbon inserts (264mm width) and soft uprights to 977 hard wishbones (260mm width) with own CNC machined shock extension brackets and hard uprights to gain more rotation of the car. If you want to go that narrow it’s really important that you also use the old CVD’s from 977 viper which are a little bit shorter! Otherwise you might lock the suspension!
We also changed to more front offset from 0.2mm to 1.5mm (maximum possible) in our care to give the car more initial steering into the hairpins. In the final practice we could directly see how well these changes worked out! You could easily set the car into rotation, go through the corner and correct is as much as you needed, just power up again and the car would lead into the direction you wanted it to. That was exactly what we were looking for!
In the main final I was involved into a small crash directly in front of me but no incident that really detracted my car from performing well so that we just moved on. On 5min stints in the beginning we were on P5 while some other guys crashed or ran out of fuel. The car was so super nicely drivable that it was real fun to go over the 45min. I had loved to drive a bit longer. A close fight with Rick V and me during the last 15 minutes was rally nice to watch as sometimes only 0.5sec separated us with me in the front. I knew that he wouldn’t be able to pass me as this track is one of the worst I have been to in regards of “bad air” if you have to drive behind somebody. You can come close up to maybe 2 meter but not less because your car is doing everything but not performing as long as you follow another car. That’s why I knew I could stay calm with Rick behind be although he had a better pace. The situation relaxed a little bit more when he had to leave me for another fuel stop with just 2min to go.
So in the end a 5th place with a really relaxed weekend and especially final!
Thanks to my mechanic Klaus Lechner, who did and awesome job! My father Dirk, I like to go on races with whenever we find the time! Dominic, the beefboys and everybody else on the track.
And of course Team Serpent to make all this possible. I’m proud to be a part of the factory team.
See you on the track.
Setup can be found in the setup section: