Ronnefalk reported on third-place finish at Montpelier GP [VIDEO]
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017 05:01pm
By LiveRC Staff
Race report from David Ronnefalk:
Montpellier GP 2017
So my first real test of the year is over and it was the Montpellier GP. Seven years since last time I went to the race and I was really looking forward to get my 1/8 scale season going.
Forecast was looking a bit scary before heading down to France but with everybody crossing their fingers I hoped we would be fine. In the end it worked out and we were able to complete the race, even though we had some rain indeed. Organisers made a stellar job on getting the track ready after each and every time we got some rain, truly an amazing effort by everybody!
The organisers modified the schedule a bit as they were aware of what was in the forecast. So on Friday we would run one Free Practice before going straight into qualifying. My car felt decent in the practice, we decided to make a rear toe change to the car for the first round as we wanted to find some more drive coming out of the corners. I was on 3,5 degree toe in practice and went to 3 with outboard toe instead. I also changed the tires as I put Teazers on my car instead, in the Green compound.
My car felt better, and after I was hit on the very first lap right after starting my clock, I came back to get 3rd in Q1. Just 2 seconds behind TQ.
I decided to keep the car the same for round two just making a tire switch opting for the Triple Dees instead, but with half of the run completed the rain arrived. And it was heavy. It rained for about 15 minutes and the track got really wet. After the rain stoped the organisers did a great job getting it ready again, but with they heavy rain the track was still very wet and I decided not to run round two. As the ready was unsure for Saturday and with one good round in the bag from Q1 it was pointless to go out there in Q2.
Every weather forecast you had a look at for Saturday would say rain, so the odds for racing was very small. However when we woke up in the morning the tarmac outside the hotel was dry so no rain during the night and the sky looked pretty okay. We headed to the track and got the car ready for the third round. As I didn’t run in the mud in Q2 everything was ready to go. Rain seemed to stay away from the track and racing was underway, I had a rough round with a couple of mistakes on my own, finished somewhere just outside the top 10.
The organisers decided to count 2 out of 5 rounds so still two more rounds for me to do something good. Round four started and everybody was very surprised that the rain didn’t arrive yet. I made some small changes to the car again, I felt comfortable with the car it was just about finding some more speed in it. On the warm up lap we got everything felt great and indeed it was. I was on a pace that was 5 seconds faster than my time from round one. Unfortunately my car rolled over in one of the off-camber sections before the loop and I had to settle for second as Elliott took the TQ.
Round five started with some darker clouds around hanging over the track, and just before the last three heats were about to start the rain arrived. Again it was a fairly heavy shower we got and track was very wet once again. Track crew went out there as soon as it stoped trying to get it ready to complete the last heats of the round. With just three heats left, the track would not have time to dry before our heat and with a 2nd and 3rd place counting already for me I decided once again to save my equipment and stay in the pit. I couldn’t improve in the rankings so I saw it pointless to go out there. So after they finished qualifying I was 4th overall, which means 2nd on the grid for Semi B.
Sunday and time for the finals. We arrived to the track around 9am, with a big amount of entries the semi practice wasn’t going to be before 13.30 so we had plenty of time. Adrien and I made sure everything was ready on the car so it was just for me to decide what tires I wanted to go for. Together we discussed and prepared some Triple Dees and Bar Code in the black compound. I wanted to try both in the practice to see which one gave me the best feeling.
Everything worked good, and even if I didn’t think that I was that fast in practice, the times showed I was right there. Everything was under control and we felt ready for the race. In one of the semi practice, a fellow JConcepts driver used the Green compound and told me it felt better than the Black, so I prepared some Teazers in the Green and decided to go with them. I did use them in Q1 so I knew that they were working well, so it was not a gamble.
The Semi went very well and I was able to pull away a bit towards the end after a couple of mistakes in the start fighting with Ongaro. My time was faster than the other semi so I would go ahead to start on pole for the 1h main event.
With all the top drivers of Europe being in attendance at the race, it was going to be a tough final. Already in the first five minutes you could see that me, Robert, Ongaro and Elliott broke away from the field and had a great fight all together. I was up in front for the most of the time in the first 30 minutes, it was super close and had to work hard to keep them behind. The speaker at the race was crazy during the whole main and it sounded very cool, even though I didn’t understand a thing haha. Halfway through, Robert and I was really close and he tried a inside pass on me after the back double as I didn’t get the landing right. I knew he was going for it so I braked very early to go for the inside on him coming out the corner, which I did. I guess I surprised him a little with that move and going on the concrete section we were side by side when my car spun around. Ongaro came on the inside and going up the double coming towards us, we touched in the face of it which resulted in my car flying sideways and missed the landing.
This happening was costly for me as I lost around 5-6 seconds to them. It was going to be hard to make up I thought so I pushed a little to hard and made a couple of errors on my own. Some silly mistakes which I’m really bummed over afterwards, as I lost the race because of them. Just 5 minutes coming out of focus would cost me a better chance to win the race, this just shows that you should never ever quit. If you make a mistake, you have to shake it off and just keep digging. If I wouldn’t have made those on my own, I would have been right there in the end as both Robert and Davide had a couple of small errors in the last 5 minutes.
Anyway I will take a 3rd place as this was my first real test since winning in Vegas last year. I will be working harder than ever now and with my five weeks I will spend in the US I will be practicing a lot to always give me the chance to win at all races I attend.
Thank you all for reading, I added new setups to the ‘setups‘ page here on my website:
I hope you have seen and enjoyed my videos during the race, if you haven’t, you will find the links to them here below!
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Traveling Day –
First Day –
Second Day –
Final Day –
One Lap –
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