|The Norwegians we'd met during the Danish 9hrs were planning their first 1:24 Endurance for GT's. Gabriel first spotted the race on the Danish forum and said; hey guys why don't we go to Oslo, its for GT's, we've got a car ready and the flights are cheap....who is willing to go? After some consideration (and negotiations with the wife's) Marcel and Henri decided to go, even Mr. T. was willing to come out of its retirement for this event. The plan for this race?... have fun and make some new friends! So the first things we packed were...3 Bottles of the famous Irish Cream!
A personal account by Henri van Gool.
To be good prepared and get enough track-time, we decided to travel at Friday. It was possible to practise at Friday evening, we were told. For budget reasons we took the 10.30 flight from Schiphol. Surprisingly the Oslo airport was covered with snow. Our first snow this winter. After getting our luggage, we were welcomed by a friendly dog and her customs boss (female). To our surprise there was no passport control; maybe we took a wrong lane.
Outside we were welcomed by Jostein who was kind enough to pick us up. The weather was nice and during the drive of 30 minutes to the club I enjoyed some views of the Norwegian countryside. The Badet club is situated close to the highway, in a suburb of Oslo, near a supermarket and shopping centre. The Club used to be a youth hostel with lots of space and many rooms. Nowadays the building accommodates 5 or 6 slot-tracks, most of them hand made including 2 rally tracks. There was also an indoor RC track and a modelling club (aircraft's and army vehicles). And not to forget, the beautiful self-made wooden Badet Raceway slot-track. Six lanes in a fluent lay-out. I could not wait to ´feel´ the track.
But as I learned in Denmark, do not plug your controller in, if you do not know the right electric schedule. Gabriel our electric's expert was pushed to check the plug-in scheme. He did his job all right and we started our practise. Wow great lay-out and nice to drive.
As the Baileys Boys team is a combination of members from Racing For Holland and Dutch Age Racing, we had brought enough cars to learn the track. But our luggage was more than cars and clothes. In total we transported 3 bottles of Baileys from the Schiphol airport to the Badet club. To make a good start and impression I offered one bottle to Jostein. He smiled and looked glad. So I knew we were heading for having a good time.
Friday evening some more teams came in and started training (some of them were looking for the borders of the car, track and driving skills). Our Spanish contenders who did not flew direct to Oslo, came in after midnight in company of their wife's. At last they managed to find the club after a two or three hours drive. Well done in a strange white country.
We registered ourselves with the Aston Martin DBR. The BMS has already driven at Alsdorf (Euregio) and Denmark and the Phoenix was raced the second time at Alsdorf. The team checked the cars and looked for the best at this track. Simply the fastest in practise would be the right choice. The Phoenix was faster at lower grip levels and handled well. What will happen at the race? But what is fast as four different racers have to get along? In practise I demolished the body mounts at one side of the BMS Even after the repair this was still the fastest car at high grip levels (this was at night time).
In the end we decided to prepp both cars and postpone the decision till the next morning, it was allready 01:30 so....back to work. Sometimes you need more than two hands to set up and prepare your car. Gabriel find his way of using the third "hand".
The looks of BMS needed to be improved for the race. Some new windows and mirrors were attached. The car needed some paint which we did not bring with us. But how helpful, Tamar found in the modellers room some paint and a working airbrush. This is really handy for you Badet racers to finish your cars with some help of your neighbours!
After some Bailey's at the bar we went to bed at our team room.
Really every team had their own bedroom; very luxurious for us slot-racers. After a short night of sleep, we stood up and took a good and warm shower. Besides the shower I found this written on a paper at the door. What does this mean? You are not allowed to piss? You are allowed to piss only? And the second sentence. Behind this door?
Next morning race-day arrived time to make a choice, which car should we race? Both chassis were prepped and taken to the track for a final test, and actually both ran well. We took some Baileys and had some discussion. Let us vote. By unanimous decision we would race the fastest car...which turned out to be the BMS. At 10 'o clock practice was finished and all the teams attended the race breefing, and then it was time to prepare for Technical inspection and Qualifying.
We were the last team to be called for qualification. So there was plenty of time to add some final details like putting the brake discs and inserts in the wheels.
Time flies when you're having fun and all of a sudden it was 2 minutes before the TC would close. But we were ready..at least so we thought. A last check revieled that the front axle was too wide!! I forget to measure the front axle and the front-wheels could not be placed including the inserts within the 82mm. T Dam how could I be so stupid and forget to check this. Nevertheless Tamar managed to get it right (accompanied by some "sh... s'" and "I hate this" calls). Was this little mishap a sign of things to come, or was it just a hiccup?
Tamar qualified 3rd within a tenth of second of polesetter Badet. We were quite surprised that some teams used qualifying for testing the car. Does the motor run? Does it run in the right direction? Does the transmission sound oké? Pushing hard for the fastest lap-time was not a target. Well, a new point of view to us.
Then the race was to begin, at the Badet Raceway you are not allowed to use any grip additives only W40 as provided by the organisation was allowed. In practise we discovered that it helped to improve the lap-times. But it takes to much time to do it frequently in the race. We have to decrease our W40 tire preparation time. After some thoughts Mr. T. said we make our own device! Take your adjustment plate and glue one pair of braids at the front at both sides of the jet-flag hole. Attach the current wires of the power supply. Now we can put on some W40, take the car from the track bring it to the device and lubricate the tires in a few seconds.It worked fine.
Our team-captain as spokesman got interviewed by the Norwegian Sports Television. Nice to see that our Norwegian friends get in their first race already national broadcasting time.
The first (day-)stint went well. We found ourselves at the third place. And then the night-stint came. My run was a real struggle for me; many times de-slotting and bad laptimes. After the day and night stint we were still 3rd, but there was still one more heat to improve our race position.
After the night section the Badet organisation had scheduled a 1hr brake for dinner. Good timing as by now most slotracers were really hungry. Two large pans with pasta and sauce had been prepared in the modellers room. It tasted very well as you can see there we no left overs.
Before the start of the third heat the cars were technically inspected. We and others were to low. Consequence a penalty of 25 laps. Sh.... how was this possible. My gentle team-boss asked me if I measured the ground-clearance at the start. I did so we had to bring in the car to make a repair.
The screw of the motor-mount was loose, but still hanging under the chassis plate! This meant that de nut was loose. It might be pulled at the engine by the strong magnets of the Pro Slot MK1. We did not want to take the body from the chassis so we just pushed the screw back in and secured it with superglue.
After some time it was clear to us that there was very little chance to win the race, with the performance of the car at that moment. Even second place was unattainable by good driving of the Vandaas Old Stars. Ok then we go the fastest track and lane-times.
Some adjustments at the jetflag position brought us some improvement. Our W40 device was used a lot and at the end we finally had the fastest car.
But as you can imagine, it took too much set-up time, to make enough laps to improve our race position. Still 3rd wasn't too bad, but it got worse.... At the post race technical inspection our car was again too low, this time at the front (bent weight ballast). The 25 laps penalty dropped us down to 4th!!!!! Shit happens, even in Norway, but who cares..we had a great time.
Congratulations to the Badet Raceway team, Vandaas Oldstars and CB Racing team (from Sweden) with their first, second and third position. Special thanks to the Badet Raceway club for the good organisation and hospitality. We enjoyed it very much. Special thanks to Borge and Jostein for the transfers to the airport and Glen for the drinks and the food and all other organisers.