Local star Oscar Cabezas posted the fastest time today at the Madrid track during Day 2 of practice for the 2007 1:10 200mm Euros. Although there was no official timing, the 20-year-old Serpent driver recorded a fastest lap time of 17.189 in the first of today’s four 10-minute sessions. His closest rival on the hot track, which reached almost 50 degree at on stage, was leading Xray team driver Jilles Groskamp who despite not getting a proper run when the track was at it best managed a time of 17.265, a time the Dutch driver set in the final run of the day.
Racing at his home track Cabeza, a member of Serpent’s Driver Development program for young drivers, was obviously very happy with his day, ‘I’m very happy. In the first practice I run very fast with 17.2. The second I run in new engine. In third I ran another new engine. In the last run I could do the same 17.4 second all time, all time, all time and some 17.2. The car is very good so I’m very happy.’
His nearest rival Groskamp was also pleased with his day despite a problematic start to the day, ‘It started off very bad cause in the first round of practice I actually broke my servo so I only did 3 or 4 laps and it was over. At that time the practice was very cold so it was a good practice to see how the car is working in the cool conditions. I changed servos. Second round was ok I tried tyres, all different kinds of hardnesses, so we were more in the pits then on the track. The third one I changed from a differential to a one way and suddenly I had a feeling for the car. It turned better and yeh it already feels better and I could get better lap times. In the last round I tried some other tyres and they work very very well. Now I know what to do. Now I know about the engine how it works, clutch works, tyres I know which one to use. Tomorrow I can work on set-up for a final, to start off with bigger tyre and see how much tyre wear and see the difference.’
Making it three makes of car in the unofficial top three lap times from today was Rick Vrielijnck with his Ninja powered Mugen. ‘Today was getting better. We changed the car a little bit for this morning for the first session, then it was quite good. For the second session we changed some things but it was not as expected. The third we improve quite a lot with the car, very stable, easy to drive. In the last one the car was 90% of what it should be but till it’s quite easy to drive. I’m quite happy about that, the engine is very very fast.’
Reigning Champion Dario Balestri appeared in better form today saying today was, ‘Good. The car is good for the second day. Tomorrow we test other set-up but I am happy so far’. His team mate was also happy with the performance of the G4, ‘Today was as expected. The track was really quick in the morning well quicker than yesterday. We managed to do OK in the last run, almost as quick as the first one so thats pretty good. The car is quite balanced and reasonable easy to drive, I can be aggressive with it. Its finding a tyre to suit the track conditions at the time really.’
With Cabezas fastest Michael Salven from Serpent was happy with the performance of the 720, ‘I think we have a good car. A few. Oscar was really fast at the end. I was pretty fast in the middle of the day but somehow, yesterday I had the same, at the end of the day I am not getting faster but the others are, so I have to figure out why that is. All in all I’m pretty happy, the cars are good. It’s Tuesday, we have two more days to practice but yeh I’m really happy.’
Also setting good lap times today was another local Carlos Peracho who is running a JP powered NT1. ‘ My day was OK. At the beginning we had a little bit to much understeer but now we have solved the problem and the car is working quite good. We have also changed little things in the clutch and it also working well. I am really happy with the car.’
Fellow NT1 driver Robert Pietsch enjoyed a positive day, the German 1:8 Champion pleased with changes he made throughout practice, ‘Today was very good. In the first heat I could do a very good lap time but the car was a little bit difficult to drive. Then I changed the springs in the car and it was not so good as in the first practice. In the afternoon I changed some things and in the last run it was very very good. I can do 17.4 and sometimes 17.5 laps. I think now I need a little bit more steering because I have a new different rear tyre in the car, I have more grip but its a little loose in the front.’
One leading driver not have a good day was Roland Strom. The Kyosho driver struggled today with both car set-up and engines but the Swede is confident he will cure the problems for tomorrow and he should be in the running when official timing begins.
Day 3 of the event is another practice day with 4 rounds of practice to run through. Red RC will keep you posted of progress throughout the day.