On sunday May 29th the second round of the D1:10 2011 series took place at HFCC circuit at The Hague. The day started off early and like always with less sleep then needed but what we didn’t know then is that it would turn out to be the most succesfull day for TWS ever. The team was out in full force again with all 5 members competing and scoring very well.
Read more after the jump.
With 41 entries it was also the most succesfull day for the D1:10 series. The series seems to have grown a lot over last year as this is the second time with over 35 entries.
This round also saw some rule changes. To get the focus off of the qualifying score and more into the twin battles the A and B poule were joint together to create a top16, a bit like in the Formula D series. Instead of a poule A with qualifier 1 to 7 + winner of the B poule, the poule A now has qualifier 1 to 14 + 2 winners of poule C. This takes the pressure off of qualifying as you need to be within the top 14 to have a very good chance of winning the event instead of being in the top 7. It also makes the twin battles more exciting as even the top qualifiers need to battle to get into the top8, and from what we have seen in this round but also in the real drifting series like Formula D is that even the number 1 can lose from the number 16. Anything can happen!
To make it even more exciting we ran the track counter-clockwise this time. A big surprise for anyone who had been practicing the old clockwise layout, but it made the playingfield a lot more fair as no one ever drove the track this way.
For this year the organisation has descided to make the judging a bit more structured and have a team of 5 judges that will be the same the whole year. This team included me and I’ve noticed that this system works very well. The qualifying scores and battle results are much more consistent. More on that in the round 3 report.
Anyway, back to the action.
After the morning structured practice it was time for qualifying. I got to judge the first poule which had most of the top drivers in it, always a plessure!
Qualifying first was Jim with his copper S14a. He was one of the few that managed to nail the ‘skill section’ (a very fast and shallow transition on a narrowed part of the track) and got a score of 88 points for his best of 2 runs. On the second spot with 85 points was Owen. Owen has a tradition of screwing up his first of the 2 judged runs, but he managed to make up for it with an all-out second run with his AE86 Ute.
On the 3rd qualifying spot was our very own Ricardo. Just like Jim he did a brilliant job at the ‘skill section’ and also the rest of the track scoring 83 points. Also scoring 83 points was Arno with his Fatlace/Atomic S14a, but because his second run had less points then Ricardo’s Arno got 4th place. Closing up the top 5 was 2009 and 2010 champion Edwin with ‘just’ 82 points.
For Team Wreck it Sideways the qualiyingscores were pretty good. As said, Ricardo got 3rd spot with 83 points. Second best qualifier of the team was Edo who got 8th spot with 77 points on his best of 2 runs. Next up was myself with 74 points giving me the 10th spot. Unlike last time, now within the top16 was Reinier who luckily scored 71 points on its first of two runs, as on his second run he pushed to hard and spun out. Still enough for 11th spot. Last but definatly not least was Dennis who scored 30.5 points on his second run after spinning on his first run. Still a decent score which got him on the 26th spot.
During the lunch break everyone got some extra practice runs while the head judge struggled with old computers and lots and lots of score sheets to get the knock-out schemes ready. Once the schemes were ready it was time for the battles, starting with the lowest qualifiers in poule F.
First TWS member to do his battles was Dennis in poule D with his very rare Kyosho Cobra Daytona. On his first battle he was up against newcomer Daniel. Daniel was one of a big group of newcomers and they all scored very well. Probably have been practicing secretly somewhere? Anyway, on the first run of the battle Daniel was leading. Coming on to the first inner clippingpoint Dennis went way to fast and caused Daniel to crash giving away all 10 points to Daniel. On their second run with Dennis leading both cars run a sloppy run but both stayed on the track resulting in a 5-5 score. Not enough to make up for the 10-0 so Dennis got knocked out there eventually leaving him on the 24th place.
Winner of the D poule was Ronny, who also won the E poule and after this he managed to get all the way into the top16 by winning poule C aswell. Nothing but respect for him!
Going into the top 16 there were still 4 TWS members left. First up was Ricardo who had to battle against Marijn. Definatly not the first time we have seen these two paired up so they should know each others drivingstyle quite well by now. In the first run with Ricardo’s white S13 leading we saw a mistake from Marijn, straightening out while going into the hairpin. This would set Marijn back quite a lot were it not for him overtaking Ricardo on the last corner. Overtaking usually gets punished as most overtake where its not necessary and might even risk causing a crash. This however was a clean pass where Ricardo went to wide so its allowed. To my surprise it was given a 7-3 advance for Ricardo. In the second round Ricardo hit the grass and spun out giving away all 10 points and with that the overall win to Marijn.
Next up was Reinier who was paired up with Paul for their top16 battle. In the first run Paul’s Corvette lead with Reinier’s Supra chasing. In the first corner Reinier straightened and further down in the skill section he hit a bit of grass aswell. Paul countered those actions by crashing into the inner boarding on the hairpin causing Reinier to crash into him. This made the scores even and a 5-5 was given by the judges. On the second run all was going well for Reinier who pulled quite a gap between his and Paul’s car but at about 2/3th of the track Reinier went into the grass and stalled. Game over for Reinier and Paul progressed to the top8.
Also progressing to the top 8:
Maurice beating Edwin, Jim beating Martin, Niels beating Arno, Ronny (remember, all the way from poule E!) beating Owen, TWS’ Edo beating Bart and myself after beating our German entry, David.
In the top8 I met Maurice, who previously had beaten the reighning champion so I didn’t know what to expect. Maurice, being the higher qualifier, had to lead first. He ran a very nice line but I was right on him with more angle and speed. In the second run Maurice followed nicely too, but again with less angle and less speed then me leaving a slightly bigger gap between the two cars. Judges handed me the win and I was in the top 4.
Edo had to take revenge at Paul for beating our teammate earlier. In their first run Paul was leading and was running all corners way to wide. In the ‘skill section’ he made a mistake and slowed down a lot but Edo managed to brake in time and stayed behind Paul showing perfect car control. On the last corner Paul made another mistake running way to wide and slowing down so Edo couldn’t do anything but overtaking him on the inside. A big advantage for Edo after that run (don’t know the exact score anymore) made his second run easy. Paul however made it even easier as he couldn’t keep up with Edo and left a huge gap between the two cars. Paul out, Edo into the semi-finals.
Ronny still wasn’t finished with his winningspree and knocked out Niels in the top8 battle. With already 11 battles done he was into the semi-finals. Also progressing to the final 4 was Jim who knocked out Marijn.
In the semi-finals it was me vs Ronny. In our first round Ronny followed me very nicely but in the skill section he seemed to hit the wall (after reviewing the video) and then shoot past me on the inside. I responded and was on his door for the last few corners but the judges handed him a big advantage. Second run Ronny was just to fast for me to stay right behind him, but we both had very clean runs. Not enough to make up for the first round and Ronny progressed to the finals.
Edo had to go up against Jim. Edo doesn’t like to hear it, but both these guys have a very similar and very fast drivingstyle so it promised to be a close battle. And close it was, the first two runs were so close even they had to do it again as the judges couldn’t decide. Both guys stepped it up a notch but Jim pushed to hard and spun out at the ‘skill section’ on his lead run. On his chase run Jim wanted to put as much pressure on Edo as possible to force him to spin, but Edo handled the pressure very well and Jim pushed to hard again and got stuck in the grass. Edo moved on to the finals, and TWS had at least one driver on the podium.
Before going to the finals Jim and I had to battle for 3rd place. Jim had to lead first and I chased him down very hard and for the first time I could actually keep up. Everything went great untill I went in to the ‘skill section’ with too much angle, hit the grass and spun out. The ‘skill section’ really living up to its name by now. Second run I was leading and as the leading car you can’t do much besides running a perfect qualifying style lap to gain points. Jim was on my tail the whole run without any mistakes so he got 3rd place.
And then the big one, the final. Ronny vs Edo, both somewhat rookies and both Tamiya drivers. This battle might have been the most disappointing final ever. In the first run Edo crashed into the boarding on the inside of the hairpin giving a 7-3 advantage to Ronny. On the second run Ronny spun out on the second corner gving the full 10 points to Edo which meant Edo has won the event.
After all the battles there was still one prize to give away; Concours D’Elegance, the prize for the best shell. I had been working on a surprise roofrack for my sparkly C33 Laurel shell the week before the event and it was the extra detailing that was needed to make me win the prize with a lot more votes then the other cars.
So to round up the scores
Concours D’Elegance Tijs
Big thanks to Bart from DoriGazo and Rick from Wallrider Media for letting me use the pictures.