Well we just arrived back to the Schumacher factory from a very successful event at the IFMAR 1/10th Worlds Championships at the MACH track in the Netherlands. For months preceding the event we had been very busy in negotiations and testing Sorex tyres to supply them for the event. With the new tyre rules in place we knew that providing the best set up for the drivers would be one of the most important things for an event of this size. As it happened we supplied over 2000 sets of tyres, 8000 individual tyres to be assembled, glued and shipped, a pretty large task to say the least!
The Schumacher drivers had prepared pretty well for the event buy attending the warm up race the month before, trying to gain the best set up’s possible for the Mi4CXL. What has to be remembered is for a Worlds Championship is that the professional drivers and factory teams all prepare massively for this individual race. Some teams were at the track for up to 30 days of testing, completing 20-30 runs a day in preparation!! So competing in this environment with our small team, none of who are professional drivers is super tough!
During practice the drivers were very happy with the cars set up and looking at the times Chris Grainger was about where he wanted to be in terms of outright pace, but with so many fast drivers it would be interesting to see where we ended up as the day went on.
With only 2 sets of tyres available to do 6 qualifying runs with a best 3 of those to count Chris made the brave decision to sit out of the first qualifier so he was always one step ahead in terms of tyre use, compared to some others. Rightly or wrongly whether it’s thought that’s best for racing is neither here or there, these are the rules we had to adhere to so we get on with it to provide the best possible chance for a result. Many other drivers also chose this strategy.
So to round 2 of qually and Chris takes an excellent 7th place. Round 3 belongs to Colin Price an awesome 9th place run! Round 4 Martin Hofer drops in a 10th and another 7th for Chris. Really great scoring at a Worlds! Round 5 was cancelled after much debate due to the weather, rain came 3/4 ‘s into the round. Round 6 was declared a wet round so the drivers could choose which tyres to run, wet or dry. The rain stopped and the track started to dry rapidly, Chris ran a solid time in heat 12 but guys in heat 13 were faster still as the track dried even more.
The top heat 14 then took to the track, it’s always said in racing circles the top heat always get the best of the luck in these conditions as the track dries out more producing faster times. Well not this time, the rain came again and the top drivers in the world looked like amateurs with the slick Sorex 36R tyres not providing enough traction (surprise surprise!)
So there it was Chris took 8th in round to secure his first IFMAR World Championship top ten. A little bit of luck and some great tyre strategy helped, but that is racing. Many times before Chris has been on the wrong end of the luck stakes at international races.
With Colin Price and Martin Hofer also posting top ten times, it showed just how well the Mi4CXL’s were performing.
Chris sat out the first final just like current World Champion Marc Rheinard in order to be one step ahead in the tyre game, with only one set allowed for all three legs. The race was thrilling at the front, with Jilles Groskamp taking it from Atushi Hara with a brave move on the last corner.
Armed with his fresh rubber Chris took an excellent 5th in leg 2 sandwiched between Hara and Rheinard. Leg 3 saw Chris once again move up the grid running in 6th place at one stage only an unfortunate incident with another driver saw him drop to 8th.
The points were tied at the top, but Groskamp had a faster leg time in race 1 so took the overall victory and a very emotional one at that! At his local track with his family around him, it was well deserved.
So all in all a 5th and an 8th saw Chris take 9th overall at the World Champs with his GM powered Mi4CXL.
The team worked hard, did great and had a lot of fun and laugh’s in the process!
Congratulations to Chris from all at Schumacher, great stuff!!!
Chris’s set up will be available later in the week.