Alpen Cup 2012 – Round 2 at Fehring, Austria

Round 2 of the 3 round Alpen Cup rc dirt bike race series was held July 21-22 at the only dirt track of the series WMW RC-Buggy-Racing Team Fehring track at Fehring, Austria. Bernhard Renner won the event in the final heat of the day and in doing so clinched the series championship #1 plate by winning two of the three rounds in the series! Congratulations Bernhard!

Bikes lined up for racing. Photo by http://www.wmw-fehring.at

Since I live here in the USA, I asked the race winner, and now series champion, Bernhard Renner if I could share his great write up on the weekend of racing. Full text can be found on rcgroups here:

2nd race of the AlpenCup Season came up last Weekend. The weather forecast was not very promising, with rain on Saturday and cloudy/light rain on Sunday.

Anyway, everyone arrived on Saturday morning, to watch the rain fall down and soak the Track. We had 3 Starters from Italy (Antonio, Andrea and Marc), 1 from Germany (Frank) and 7 from Austria. That’s 11 Drivers, all of them using ARX Bikes. 10 were running eGyros, and Marc was competing with his mechanical Gyro. That’s one extra point for Bravery!

Antonio and Andrea spent the Saturday building and re-building their bikes, making them mud-proof, and trying their luck on the track. But as we know from the last years, once the Clay (I guess it’s clay) is really wet, it sticks to the tires until they do not turn at all. This makes the Track undrivable in these conditions.

Just before the dinner, the rain stopped, and we even saw the sun go down. The Club owners started their BBQ, and provided us with excellent food. The track still had deep puddles on it, so we hoped that the rain would not start again, and headed for our Beds.

On Sunday morning it still was cloudy, but the roads around the hotel were almost dry. When arriving at the track, it was still wet, but no puddles. The Club Owners used sawdust for the wet bits, and the braver ones (Antonio!) tried to run their first battery. The Mud set into the profile of the tires, but it did not build up to block everything. So everyone prepared his Bike with some Mud Protection, and off we went to start practise at last.

With the new obstacles and Layout for the 10th Scale Cars, they also added the possibility to use a shortcut from the second straight directly to the Bridge, avoiding the green jump, the big table, the corner table, and the 3 round hills in the corner. Willi and me ran the big layout, but most of the other drivers just used the shortcut. As expected, most of the bikes just piled up at the 3 small jumps, since everyone had to find the right speed and line to them, and all of us had slippery tires from the mud.

At 11 AM we started the first timed heat, in 2 Groups. The Majority of the drivers decided to use the smaller layout, and since we needed 2 or 3 Marshals just at the 3 jumps, this was a good idea. In the first or second lap, I tried the “full power” approach on the small jumps, and landed in a bad angle. Suddenly my rear suspension was compressed, and did not move at all. I thought I had broken the damper, but since the rear wheel did not rub on anything, I continued a little slower. Funny enough, the bike still handled very well in the corners, I just hoped it survives the jumps and bumps on the straight.

And it did – I could win this heat doing 19 laps. I could only take a quick look at the bike, before marshalling the second Heat. It turned out I broke the plastic middle part of the rear swingarm, where it keeps the damper pin. I’m still surprised that it got stuck and did not move for the rest of the heat. So I had to change the swingarm, which takes some time.

Since this did not work as smooth as hoped, we agreed that they would run the 2nd heat without me, since I already had one good result, and only the best run would determine the start position for the finals. Willi could win the 2nd Heat, doing 18 laps. My Bike was back in working shape, just in time for the lunch break. So after an excellent meal, we headed for the Finals. It was decided to run all 11 Bikes in one heat, so the Club people and the better halves of Alfred and Rene P. had to do the marshalling.

Final 1: The first few laps felt good, but then my Bike started to feel strange, it sometimes pulled to one side, and I crashed a lot. In the end I got on 6th place. Alfred sneaked past us all, and won this heat doing 18 Laps before Willi and Stefan. That’s the first time Alfred won a Final! Congratulations!

Final 2: I crashed again, but managed to do a little better. This time Rene W. took the win with 18 laps, with Willi coming second (again) and me on third place.

So after 2 Finals, 5 drivers still had a chance to win the race.Knowing that whoever would win this final, would have a fair chance to win the race, we went into Final 3: I could pull away from Pole Position, but struggled over the 3 jumps in the first 2 laps. Suddenly Antonio was just behind me, and overtook in one of the next laps. I was second, and followed him for 2 or 3 laps, when he started to get in trouble. From there on, the last 6 minutes I was completely “in the flow”. Doing lap after lap, even over-jumping tumbling bikes on the 3 small jumps, suddenly everything was simple and easy, and everything worked.

In the End I finished this heat doing 20 laps, before Willi (18 laps) and Stefan. With a Win and a third place, I got slightly better than Willi doing 3 second places (best two heats count). 3rd place was a tie between Rene W. and Alfred, both having a Win, a 5th place and a 6th place. Since Rene W. had the better time in his best run, he got third. So we had a nice Trophy Ceremony, packed our bikes and headed home.

1st Bernhard Renner, 2nd Willi Pichler, 3rd Rene Wolf. Photo by http://www.wmw-fehring.at

OFFICIAL RESULTS (PDF FILE)

CHECK OUT ROUND 2 PHOTO GALLERY at WMW RC-Buggy-Racing Team Fehring

Final round will be in Italy in a month or two.

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