For 8 years the annual EIR race has taken place in Charleroi Belgium, I have been very fortunate to attend all accept one of these. For most years the event has taken place indoors on astro but for the last 2 editions the club has taken a gamble and changed to clay. Heading for this event from the UK were Schumacher team drivers Nathan Ralls, Kyle Moon and Callum Miles, they would be joined trackside by, Brent Ausloos and Patrick Van Laer
Open practice on the Friday allowed the team to make the most of setup time for the kf2se and k2 cars as well as learning how to use the jconcepts dirtwebs with additives , something very alien to the uk drivers. Never the less they settled in and by close of play the guys were well on the pace and confident for the next days qualifications. A quick refresh of shock oils and refill of pizza and it was back to the hotel for a good nights sleep
Saturday and qualifying time, Brent showed that he ment business by taking round 1 tq in both 2wd and 4wd, Nathan managed a dnf in 2wd after getting the tricky large jump completely wrong and a 2nd in 4wd, kyle coming away with a 6th and 4th and callum with 8th in both classes, from round 2 onwards Nathan never looked back taking tq in both classes in all rounds with both the kf2se and k2 cars looking really good, he was pushed hard all the way by both Brent and Kyle and by the end of qualifying the order would be in 2wd Nathan 1st , Brent 2nd , Kyle 5th , Patrick 9th and Callum 10th. In 4wd, Nathan 1st, Brent 2nd Kyle 4th and Callum 11th
Sunday and finals time
2wd A final
Leg one, after a huge first corner pileup, Nathan was left with a 6 second lead that he was able to extend to 10 seconds by the end of the run also gaining the valuable extra lap. Behind him Kyle and Brent had a great close battle with Brent gaining the upper hand in the closing stages to claim second with kyle in 3rd, callum managed to avoid most of the first corner bedlam and claim a 6th in leg and great points towards his overall score with Patrick in 8th
Leg two and again from the start Nathan was able to open up an early lead over local racer Thibault Jacqueloot which he held on to the end taking the win by 5 seconds, Thibault would come home 2nd ahead of a recovering Brent with Kyle in 5th Patrick in 8th and Callum in 9th going out in the early stages
Ontop leg 3 and with 3 out of 4 to count it was all down to this, callum was taken out early on over the jump section by a more than over zellous move but sometimes that is racing. At the front and there was a 4 way battle between kyle, brent Nathan and Thibault. On lap 8 Kyle fell victim to the tricky jump section and had to retire, brent had a similar problem droping to a distant fourth leaving Nathan and Thibault to a great battle, at the halfway stage Nathan made a small mistake allowing Thibault into the lead. Over the next few laps Nathan closed him down and applied the pressure, on there was some great sporting driving seeing both drivers wait after coming together but on the last lap Thibault made a small error over the tricky jump section allowing Nathan to sneak up the inside and slingshot across the line to take the leg and the meeting.
Leg 4, and Nathan Made a complete hash of the start allowing Brent through into the lead and Thibault into second, the 3 battled for the whole race with Nathan trying to find a way through and Thibault attacking brent but 1st and second didn’t crash and that’s how the leg finished with Brent taking the win from Thibault and Nathan.
1 A NATHAN RALLS 3 1:1, 3:1, 2:1 [4:3 Schumacher kf2se
2 A Ausloos BRENT 6 4:1, 1:2, 2:3 [3:4]Schumacher kf2se
3 A Thibault JACQUELOOT 6 3:2, 4:2, 2:2 [1:4]
4 A KYLE MOON 12 1:3, 4:4, 2:5 [3:8]Schumacher kf2se
5 A David LECLERCQ 12 3:3, 2:4, 1:5 [4:5]
6 A FREDERIC FONTAINE 18 3:5, 2:6, 1:7 [4:9]
7 A PATRICK VAN LAER 20 4:6, 3:6, 1:8 [2:8]Schumacher kf2 se
8 A Milles CALLUM 22 1:6, 4:7, 2:9 [3:9]Schumacher kf2 se
9 A Cedric DAUBY 22 2:7, 3:7, 4:8 [1:9]
10 A Gregory JAMSIN 30 1:10, 2:10, 3:10 [4:10]
4wd leg 1
For the top 3 the start was clean and they quickly built up a lead over the rest of the field, Kyle quickly pulled a great move on brent to take second and a small mistake by Nathan allowed kyle onto him. Kyle quickly forced another error from Nathan to take the lead and he never looked back taking the win in a great time of 14 in 5:12.96, his earlier mistake had dropped Nathan behind Brent and this is how it would stay to the end with brent holding on for 2nd and Nathan in 3rd.
Leg 2 and first corner bedlam allowed Nathan off and into the distance only to have the rarity of a wheel nut split in half over the tricky jump section so an instant retirement for Nathan, a 3way battle between Kyle Brent and Nick Vranckx ensued with some comings together at the 4 minute mark allowing kyle to come from 3rd to first in 2 corners. From here he wouldn’t look back to again take the win from Brent with Nick coming in 3rd
Leg 3 and with Kyle already with one hand on the trophy could Nathan do anything about it. Earlier results had left the possibility but Nathan needed to win both legs, and beat Kyles 14 5:12 from leg one as well as have Kyle finish no higher than 3rd in either leg. From the off Nathan attacked, building up an early lead and never looking back, Kyle was nailed in the first corner and dropped to last but a level headed drive saw a recovery to the all important 3rd that he needed although was challenging Brent for 2nd as they crossed the line, Nathan did take the 1st of 2 wins that he needed but looking at the times he knew he needed more in the final leg as a 14 5:17 wasn’t going to be enough
Into the final leg and all was still to play for. Nathan went out on Maximum attack leading from start to finish, Kyle was taken out over the tricky jump section unfortunately breaking his car, the overall was all about time and Nathan was going clean, behind him Thibault was chasing hard and keeping him honest with only a 2 second gap with Nick in 3rd. as the buzzer sounded all eyes went to the timing board to see that Nathan Had just missed the win by 2 ½ seconds on fastest time but tied points. The overalls gave a Schumacher lock out.
1st, Kyle Moon Schumacher k2
2nd, Nathan Ralls Schumacher K2
3rd Brent Ausloos Schumacher k1 aero
A huge thank you to Jp Danson and all the guys and girls at Black Country Arena who prepared the track ran the event and looked after us in the canteen. Roll on 2017 where the rumours are that the astro will be making a return, I know that this years champions will be there as always ;)