Florian Joos ETS A main report and Xray set-ups

David Joos has provided us with a great race report from this weekends ETS where Florian managed to get into the A-Main in Pro Stock.. Supe...

David Joos has provided us with a great race report from this weekends ETS where Florian managed to get into the A-Main in Pro Stock.. Superb result. Here is Davids report.

After some hesitation, mainly because due to school commitments, Florian and I decided to enter the ETS round 4 in Wiener Neudorf. Florian really enjoys going to the ETS races as the series are not only super competitive, but he can also hang out with his friends. I really enjoy him discussing, laughing and joking with people from different backgrounds and different nationalities. We all share the same passion for RC cars, and even if the racing is super competitive, it feels like the best place on the planet to be.

Florian is part of the Xray junior team. Xray is a European company led by the Hudy family and concentrates their business solely on racing cars. They are super focused and have one of the biggest racing teams in the business. Because their facility also includes an indoor and outdoor track, they can develop parts and cars relatively quickly.

The previous ETS race in Madrid wasn’t so good for the team. In the super competitive stock class, Xray managed to only put one driver in the A final. The other manufacturers were Yokomo (1) and Awesomatix (9).
Florian is quite ambitious, but he has never been in contention to get into an A-main in stock. Last race in Madrid, he qualified in P21 and had the pace to be in the B-main. Unfortunately during the bump up final, I couldn’t charge his battery in time due to a defective power supply. He went on to win the C-main, which boosted his moral though. Lately we also did some great races in Belgium and the Netherlands were he won a race against Olli Bultynck, the 10 times Belgian modified champion. When Florian started to race carbon R/c cars at the end of 2015, Florian has received great help from Olli, which has helped him a lot to improve his skills.

We left for the ETS Wednesday afternoon and arrived at the track around 1.30am. As it was too late to check into a hotel, we decided to sleep in the car. When we woke up though, it was raining and the track was soaking wet. We took our gear out and started running our wet car. Running in the wet is a chore for most, but Florian actually likes it as the car has a lot of grip with the Schumacher wet tires.
The hobby is great to have fun on and off the track!
From the practice laps in the wet, we immediately noticed that the track was super difficult. The kerbs were quite high and the technical layout was really challenging. Even the top drivers like Bruno Coelho, Ronald Volker and Mark Rheinard all said it was the most difficult track ever on the ETS calendar.

I watched some video’s of the track on youtube before the race and created my own setup, based on our experience with technical tracks (Andernach and Midland RC in Lelystad). The biggest change to his normal setup for the stock car was more droop (5.4 front and 4.4 rear), hard progressive Xray springs front and rear. I also increased the damper length from 9.0mm to 9.35 in order to make the car roll more and get more heat into the tires.

When the track dried up, it was sugar-watered and the first practice run was held around 3pm on Thursday. After this first run, Florian was in P11, which was really amazing for us.

For run 2, I decided to use the Zoozilla DBX body instead of the Preopard we were running before. I also removed the 7075.it 27g middle weight as the car was a bit too heavy. After the run, he improved his position to P10!

Run 3 was his fastest run on new tires, but as the other drivers got better setups, Florian dropped to P17. On the newer tires the car was very difficult to drive in the beginning, so I decided to change the screws on the motormount. Instead of 2 screws open, I only left one open, which calms the car down a bit and gives more rear end grip.

In the meantime, we also tested the Protoform Type S body. Florian liked it more, but we decided to revert back to the DBX as it was faster.

On Friday morning, there were 2 reseeding practices. As these are super important, we decided to fit 2 sets of new tires for each of these runs. We decided to use new tires for 2 reasons;
  1. They are slightly faster, but more difficult to drive
  2. In the first qualifier you have to start with new tires, so it’s best to get the feeling so you can extract all of the performance out of it.
I bought my practice tires from Tonisport, but once the reseeding starts, I only use tires that are given by the organiser. There is a possibility that one batch of tires is different from the other batch, so I just feel more comfortable when I know that those practice tires will perform the same as the racing tires.

After the first reseeding run, Florian was in P15. We were really pleased with that, because it would get him into the second fastest group. If you have the pace, being in a fast group is a real benefit as you can measure your speed directly to the speed of the fast guys. During the second training, Florian was on fire and managed to set the 7th fastest time. This position is based upon the fastest 3 consecutive times. Florian did a 19.743, 20,254 and 19,792. If his second lap would have been slightly better, he could have gotten even higher. The only thing I changed on the car was a slightly harder rear stabilizer (from a 1.2 to a 1.3), which gave the car more rotation, but less grip.

Florian and I were really super ecstatic about this. He had been once before in the B reseeding group, but never in the A. As we knew we had a good car and Florian was on-pace, we had high hopes for Q1.

For Q1, I decided to leave the car as it was. We were also running the Gensace 7500 batteries as it was a bit lighter than the 8500RS we ran in Madrid. I mounted the new tires and Florian set off. Immediately I noticed his car was really bad. It was over-steering erratically in some corners and really hard to handle. After the race, Florian was quite upset. We put our heads together and looked at the times. The good thing was that he managed to get a P11 with this car which was very hard to drive. When looking at his fastest laptime (20,209), we knew that there was a problem with the tires. During the previous reseeding run, his fastest laptime was almost .5 faster. I assumed the tires were bad, put them aside and started working on the car.

I motivated Florian that his next run would be a great one. Florian is only 15 years old, but has a very strong character. He can be really upset with a bad performance but also has the strength within himself to not be let down and push even harder.

For Q2 I decided to mount new tires (there are 2 sets of tires allowed). As the track was very clean now, I also opted to mount a full set of Avid Aura Ceramic bearings. I put a drop of 1Up bearing oil on them and also oiled (with 1Up CV joint oil) and checked the universal axles. As Florian said he had slightly less power at the end of the run, I also decided to switch to the Gensace 8500RS battery.
Chaos in the pits :)
During the warmup laps of Q2, I noticed Florian’s car was on rails, so I had high hopes for the qualifier. I watched him and suddenly Andreas Myrberg came next to me with his telephone in hand. He told me Florian was running in P1! Scotty Ernst also said it, so I realized I wasn’t dreaming! Florian was actually battling for the TQ with the Awesomatix drivers Dominic Vogl (who knows the track by heart) and Max Mächler! This really was amazing stuff, and people started to come over to the track to watch my son race. I kept on looking at his car while Andreas gave me the status. P3 with .05 down! Come on Flo, go for it son!!!

On lap 9, while he was running in P3, Olli Bultynck made a mistake and Florian got really close to him. Olli, with all his knowledge and race craft told Florian to push hard and try to creep in his slipstream. This allowed Florian to focus and push really hard to continue fighting for the TQ run. After 5 minutes, he got his TQ run with .028 advantage over Dominic Vogl and 1.7 seconds over Christian Donath! Max Mächler who was also in contention for a long time had two bad laps and finished in P7 while Olli managed to get a P5.

This was really great stuff! Florian had never been higher than the C-main before and now he got a TQ run after only 16 stock races at the ETS. Everyone cheered him on and when he came back to the Xray pits all the guys stood up and gave him a heart warming applause! This was one of the best moments in his racing career so far. Bruno, Alex, Marc Reinhard and all the other top drivers gave him high fives so Florian was superhappy!

In Q3 Florian made a slight error and lost 1 seconds. He still managed to get a P9 which would give him a place in the A-main for the first time! Oliver Havranek, the young Slovak driver also had a stormer of a run with a P3 finish, which also gave him his first A-main. Oliver lined up in P6 and Florian in P7. Together with those 2 youngsters, Xray had 5 cars in the A-main with Jan Ratheisky lining up in P4, Oliver P6, Florian P7, Lukas Ellerbrock P9 and Mustafa Alp P10. As you might know, Xray has developed some exciting new prototype parts for the factory drivers. Jan, Oliver and Mustafa ran different evolutions whereas Lukas and Florian used the stock 2019 cars.

In A1, Florian opened the door for Olli Bultynck as Olli still had a new set of tires. Florian knew it would be hard to defend, so he let him pass. At one stage he was running in P7 but then got hit and dropped back to P9.

In A2 Florian had a good scrap with Lukas Ellerbrock, but as his tires started to lose their performance, Florian also had less pace. In the end he had to settle for P9 again.

In A3 we decided to make the car more aggressive. As the tires wear out, the car loses it’s sharpness. During the warm-up lap, his car seemed much better and during the first lap he was running super close to Oliver Havranek. Unfortunately on lap 2, while he backed off a bit in order not to touch Oliver at the end of the straight he got hit and ended up in the barriers at full speed. His car was badly tweaked, but he continued to race his stricken car.
The stock finalists
He finished P11 in the A-main and was really disappointed with that result at that moment. On our way home on Sunday, we talked about the race and he realized that he achieved a great performance. He started racing carbon cars in October 2015 and managed to get a TQ after only 16 ETS stock races, so after a while he was pleased with his result and forgot about the problems in the A-main.

The TQ run wasn’t the only good performance he did however. He also impressed me during one of his modified (where he finished in P22 overall) practice runs.

The ETS organization wanted to get 5 practice runs done on Thursday. As we started quite late, this would mean that the 5th and final round would be run under the floodlights. To be honest, the lights around the track weren’t really powerful, and with the crazy speeds of the modified cars it would really be a handful.

I didn’t expect anything from this run, so I told Florian to take it easy and mounted a used set of tires (in modified, used tires are a real disadvantage as you have less overall grip). Many drivers were moaning about this practice heat. The track was a challenge in daylight, so under the floodlights it would really prove to be difficult.

Florian was in P24 during the previous practice heats. He told me he would do 3 or 4 laps and then come in in order not to damage the car.

When the slowest group started, only one driver opted to drive, so it was a bad sign. In Florian’s group all the drivers started, but the conditions were really difficult. Florian recorded a 57.278 on used tires, which was his best run of the day! With that result, he was in P14 of that run. Based on his average time he was in P8 and based on his time over 4 minutes even on P5!

All in all it was a great racing weekend and we are looking forward to the next race in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The field will be very competitive over there, so I’m afraid Florian will have to wait some more time before entering the A-main once again.
Father and son after a great few days racing.
Included is the setup from Q2, his TQ run and a setup from the finals (where the tires were much more used).

TQ Run Set-up

Finals Set-Up

Keep on racing!

Thanks to Florian's Sponsors

Additional photos via RedRc and their ETS coverage.

Xray 4202126536745776637

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