Elliot's report...


We attended the European Championship warm up race / EFRA Grand Prix in Austria where we were really excited to see how our race package would be up against the best in Europe, in preparation for the main event in August. We arrived at a really fantastic facility and a great looking track at a very picturesque town of Fehring, a couple of hours drive outside of Vienna. The format for the race was practice on the Friday, qualifying on the Saturday with finals on the Sunday.
The weather, unfortunately, was not particularly good, very changeable with sunshine and showers, and rain predicted on Sunday, but this was changing on a daily basis, so really it was like home from home for us!
Day 1 - Friday - Practice
We had our car ready with our normal setup that we normally run at most tracks. We had a few minor changes we made to the car and decided to run our NOVA ROSSI BONITO engine as it was quite a fast looking track. Elliott hit the track in practice and was immediately fast. We decided to try to get some good laps in as we needed to get into a good heat for qualification, after they had Seeded from the best 3 laps from the run. We weren't completely happy with our choice of tyre so we decided to run soft city blocks instead of our normal choice of impact. Due to back markers Elliott wasn't able to make the top heat for qualification, but that really didn't matter.
Day 2 - Saturday - Qualification
With full confidence from having a good day we had 4 rounds to do and best 3 to count. Immediately Elliott set the pace and was round with a TQ run closely followed, I think, by Robert Batle. We were really happy with the car and the setup and the city block soft tyres were working really well, giving him plenty of grip but also forgiving on some of the fast sweepers at the back of the track. Elliott would go on to TQ another round and also a second and third place, which gave him TQ overall, which we were really really happy with.
Day 3 - Sunday - Finals
Again really excited and really up for winning this meeting - everything was set for a great days' racing. We headed into our semi A final in which Elliott led from the start and never looked back. Elliott was able to pull a good 3/4 of a lap lead on the second place driver, Robert Batle, until about 5 minutes left to go in the final and Elliott's lap times were dropping off and Robert catching up. Unfortunately we had a slight leak from the centre diff, in which we lost most of its oil and made the car very difficult to drive in the latter stages of the race. Elliott had to settle for second place but was okay as this secured us for the main final later in the day.
As the final approached unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worst. The rain got extremely heavy so the grid line up for the A final was decided to be split between the A and the B, due to the B final being run in the rain and our final, the A final, being run in the dry. We ended up third on the grid. Now the weather was really bad and most of the drivers decided not to drive the final but the race Director decided he would wait an hour to see whether the weather would change. The decision was made that we would continue with this race so we started. The only change we made to the car was to water proof it and put some different tyres on, which we used super soft grid iron. Immediately after the start of the race, within 3 corners, Elliott had taken the lead and was setting some extremely fast laps, only a second slower than his laps in the dry. The rest of the field was left behind as for 3 or 4 minutes into the race Elliott had pulled half a lap lead on the rest of the field but due to the amount of water lying on the track our car stopped, due to water entering the engine - after only 9 minutes into the race they decided to cancel it. Due to some rule changes they decided to award the results based on the semi final results so we ended up a joint third. If we had gone by the rule book it should have reverted back to qualification as the main final had not reached the 10 minute point so was classed as a non run race. We weren't particularly worried as we were there purely to prepare for the main event in August in which we can be heading into it with a good package and hopefully we will be able to repeat the same result.
National 1/8th Electric Round One
We attended the first 1/8th Electric National at our local track in Hertfordshire. This was going to be a bit of an interesting meeting for us as we had never carried out a meeting with 1/8th Electric car properly. We had our new MP9 Electric ready to go with all the new LRP electronics to power it. It would be quite a good championship as quite a number of our top National drivers would also be attending, with the likes of Bloomfield, Martin and Willetts all in attendance. We decided to set our car up the same as our MP9 but only with a change of rear springs as the electric car is a little heavier. Immediately the car looked fantastic in practice. In round One qualifying Elliott would take TQ, he would take 4th position in round two due to a few bobbles and in round three was looking to take a TQ run by 15 seconds but due to an electrical problem we had to retire the car. We also had a problem prior to the main final with the electronics so we decided we would not run in the main final, which was a shame as I feel we may have won it but as I explained this was a bit of a learning curve for us. We will be ready for the next meeting as we did learn quite a lot. Generally we were really pleased with the car - it ran very well and felt very similar to the MP9 Nitro car.

Regards

Chris and Elliott Boots