This past weekend I made the flight across the pond to Madrid, Spain to take part in the Buggyland 3.0 event. This was my first time to Spain and I was greeted with a pretty awesome track. The layout was super fast and keeping momentum going was important. Also being able to jump and correct at high speeds and stay cool under the head to head battling. It was geared to be an IFMAR style format with 3 qualifiers and ladder finals including a semi and A-final but the weather dictated a different outcome. Practice on Friday went off without a hitch though I think we all expected higher traction. Sugar was applied but perhaps not as much as at least what I am used to. Coupled with the cool morning temperatures and the early runs were on the lower end of the traction spectrum. Throughout the day though the track would start to get a bit of a groove and traction came up. I ended up using SS Long Wear Impacts in the morning and Soft Long Wear Impacts in the afternoon runs.
Tekno Team at Buggyland
On Saturday morning during the drivers meeting the organizers decided to condense the program a bit due to the forecast for Sunday looking like a potential wash out. They shortened it to two qualifiers and then began the lower mains and also completed the triple A-mains for the electric classes. All they were to leave for Sunday was the Nitro Semi finals and A final which hopefully a window of time would allow us to race.
Tekno Team having fun!
In the first qualifier the track was again a bit slick as the moisture from the night and the 3*C / 38*F temperatures kept the traction down. I had an excellent first round taking the TQ in both E-buggy and Nitro buggy. In Q2 things got a bit tougher. In E-buggy I would make one small mistake and the field was super tight. I would take 3rd for the round by 1 second out of first however overall I would secure the TQ. In Nitro buggy my car felt awesome. I was running great but early on got caught behind someone who had crashed early and I had to follow for 3-4 laps before getting by. This was enough to also have me finish 3rd but overall this would put me as 2nd qualifier for the event.
E-buggy A1 was next and the triple A’s were a 7 minute affair each. On the second lap I overshot the back table single and fell to 2nd. Made another mistake to fall to 4th where I ran most of the race. Then with 2 laps to go I got back into 2nd only to give it up in the back right. I don’t remember what happened but I ended up on my lid far from a marshal and fell to 5th on the last lap, so a bit disappointing.
In A2 I ran a pretty solid race leading out for the first 5 minutes. But with the level of competition it only took getting out of shape one time on the tricky left jump section to let Boots by and I fell to and finished in 2nd. A3 was last and I was still hoping for a 2nd overall. I led for basically 6:50 seconds before coming onto the front section for the white flag lap. A lapped car got me slightly out of shape and allowed 2nd to close right behind and on the second jump section in the front he landed on me spinning me out and putting me in second now with 3rd right behind. I held on until the top left corner and I could just feel that last lap throw it in there coming and it did sending me off the track and into the unforgiving barrier breaking my car and I couldn’t even finish the last jump to finish the race thus putting me 7th in that heat and a disappointing 5th overall for the event.
And the rains came. 🙁
As we arrived to the track on Sunday morning things weren’t looking good. The track crew worked very hard laying down sawdust and doing all they could to prepare the track for the finals but the rain just kept coming and the great majority of drivers voted not to run in the conditions. I really don’t think it would have been safe for the marshals on this high speed track as well. So unfortunately the race had to be called and the final results were based on qualifying position. So I took 2nd overall which was at least a good finishing position for me.
Nitro Buggy 2nd Place. Photo Credit: Inforc.net
Overall I had a great time and the track and facility were great. Also the effort by the track crew and organizers was top notch. I also have to thank Manel for all his help and having me over to Spain to race! I hope to be able to make it back again someday.
TQ in E-buggy, 2nd in Nitro buggy
Next up is the Fall Brawl in Myrtle Beach first week of December.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
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