Florian Joos Xray T4 2018 MAC Meckenheim Race Report and set-up

The Tonisport Onroad Series is a great racing series held across Germany. As Germany is quite a large country, the different regions h...

The Tonisport Onroad Series is a great racing series held across Germany. As Germany is quite a large country, the different regions have their own racing series. The West and Middle groups are nearest to our home, so whenever we have got a free spot on our calendar, we participate in these races.

The competition in Germany is quite tough, simply because there are so many racers. If you go to any race in Germany, it is quite common to see a handful of ETS A and B main finalists.

The race me and my dad attended was at the track of MAC Meckenheim. I really like this track as it is small and technical, but with some very challenging sections like the middle chicane. I raced for the first time two years ago on this track and qualified in a P3 back then, so I was eager to do even better.

I entered both modified and stock. Normally I race modified and F1, but due to the lack of grip of the new Volante tires, I decided to opt for stock again. I must say however that on the Meckenheim sugar-prepped track, with the sun glazing and temperatures up, the F1 cars seemed to be great fun again!

Saturday was an open practice day, so we used most of the time to prepare the stock car. I think it was 4 months ago since I last raced stock, so there were some things to catch up. At the end, you will find my final setup, which was pretty dialed. On the Saturday however, we were a bit lost as we tried many things, varying from toe-in, camber to changing the body shells. For stock, I tried the Bittydesign JP8, but preferred the Bittydesign M410. In the evening, I tried the lightweight M410 and that was even better, allowing me to carry much more cornerspeed.

The main things we tested on our Xray T4 2018 were the graphite middle link. I never liked it before, but on this small technical track it definitely improved the car. It’s a bit hard to explain, but the car seemed to have less steering with it, but was more direct and coped better with the fast directional change of the chicane. We also opted for slightly more than 2 degrees camber and 2 degrees of toe-in. At the end of the day, my fastest laptime was 13,4, which was as fast as the frontrunners.

Because we spent so much time on the stock car, we didn’t test the mod that much. I however preferred the ARS rear suspension, which gives me a bit more in corner steering. My dad tried anything from 2 to 3 degrees, but we settled with 2.5. At the end of the day, we did a 13.2, which was decent, but gave us much more room for improvement. All the times we set were on old tires.

Sunday didn’t seem to hold it’s promise as the day started cloudy and it rained. This allowed me to test my rain car. I know some drivers have all kind of devices to make the car waterproof, but we used an old Power HD servo. The speedo is a Hobbywing sensorless waterproof one, the receiver a Sanwa waterproof one and the motor a normal Hobbywing V2 6.5. We didn’t use the sensor cable and waterproofed only the intake for the sensor cable. Me and some other drivers did about 100 laps with the car without any problem.

When the sun came out, me and some other guys tried to dry up the track. Because of the delay, the organisers already decided to limit the race to 2 qualifiers and 2 finals. This meant that there was no reseeding and that I would have to run in the second fastest stock group.

Because of the strange weather, my dad decided to use one set of used and one set of new tires for the event. For the qualifiers we were to use the old ones.

Unfortunately, it started raining again just before the second group of stock was to go. We were standing on the rostrum when the heavens opened. Although it was a short shower, the track was un-driveable. The organisers took the right decision to rerun it and put it in the middle of the second round of qualifying. This meant I had to drive stock, modified and stock again in about 20 minutes, which was quite cool :)

My first qualifier in stock went pretty well. I had a perfect run and put down the second time overall.

My modified qualifier was also ok, but the car lacked some corner speed, and to be honest, I still need to drive better and more consistently. In mod, even on a small track, the cars get a top speed of about 80km/h. I always use a Hobbywing 4.5t motor and turbo, although blinky should have been better on certain tracks. I just like the feeling of how the car accelerates and flies forward when the turbo sets in. My biggest area for improvement is however still the braking zone, and that is something we will test on more extensively. Racing stock is fun, because of the duels, but racing modified is just fantastic because of the speed.

My second stock qualifier didn’t go to plan. I started off quite well, but had a problem with the transponder. This upset me a bit and I misjudged the fast chicane, and lost the car. The positive point however was that we still had two brand new sets of tires for the finals of the two classes.

Stock Finals

The start of the first final was ok but not exceptional. The 5th placed driver, Andy Weyghoven tried to pass me but slightly touched me. Sportingly, he gave me time to recover, but the top 3 drivers were gone by then. Sandro Speck, the pole sitter driving an Xray was pursued by Sebastian Meiborg and Jill Bartsch. Sebastian passed Sandro, but Sandro crashed out unfortunately, allowing me to take the 3rd spot. I pushed quite hard and improved my personal best to 13,160, but I then made an error in the fast chicane, which ended my chance of fighting for the win. The car was brilliant to drive though. It had lots of steering, with just a little bit of oversteer.

The second final was even better. Knowing that Andy would again be very competitive at the start, I tried to start as fast as possible. Doing this, I was able to keep in the slipstream of the top 3. Sebastian crashed out on lap 2, which allowed me to track down Jill. Sandro, in the meantime was already building up a cushion. While I was following Jill, I mentioned that I could take a faster line through the chicane preceding the main straight. As there are virtually no passing spots on the track, I went through the chicane as fast as possible, allowing me to enter the straight a bit faster than him. I was on the inside, and Jill new that I would take P2 if he let me go, so he tried to take the ideal line through the next corner. Doing so, he started to squeeze me into the barrier. I held my line, and we went door to door through the fast left hand corner and I managed to pass him. The next lap, Sandro had an issue with a backmarker and he lost his lead, which gave me P1. I finished the race in front of Andy, who took a fine P2.

Because Sebastian Meiborg’s time in A1 was a bit faster than mine, he took the overall victory with me in P2 and Jill Bartsch in P3. Sandro finished in P4 and Andy in P5.

Here is my Set up for Stock.

Modified Finals

In the finals, there were only 3 drivers. Domenic Paul took pole and Martin Machura the 3rd spot.

Running the Bittydesign JP8 my car was very good to drive in the final, especially on the new tires. I managed to improve my personal best from a 13.160 in the qualifiers to 13.830 in the finals. A new set of tires gives you so much more steering and rear grip. Ideally one should only drive with tires that have maximum 2 runs on them, but it is financially not possible. I still need to train a lot in mod, but I only started racing mod 2 years ago, so I have still some room or improvement.

Here is my Set-up for Mod.

I want to thank the Tonisport team and the people of Mac Meckenheim for this wonderful event and off course my dad for making this possible.

A big thanks as well to all these companies who support my passion:

#RC Connect

Xray 2054222843090203869

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