BLITZ R18 Wins Dutch National On-Road Round4
In the weekend of 7th and 8th of July it was our 4th Dutch national and this time in the center of the country on the track in Utrecht.

The track in Utrecht
Weather forecast was not so good for Sunday but the weather on Friday and Saturday was nice and warm and we could do some serious testing.

On Friday I had some problems with the bumps on the track but after trying some different shocks with more rebound in them, the car was a lot better!

On Saturday we got the car to my linking and tried some different body shells and engines. And we were ready for Sunday.

On Sunday morning the weather forecast finally came through this year and it rained as predicted. Too bad the forecast was right, because rain makes racing all about tires, keeping you engine running and NOT having radio interference.

The first round of qualifying the track was wet and there were some puddles on the track in the insides of corners but it was drivable. A lot of people set their best time in the first round because the other rounds the track was just too wet to improve and there was water all over the track.

Picture of the track in the first round of qualifying, round 2 and 3 of qualifying the track was even worse!
After 3 rounds of qualifying the standings were:
No. Driver Laps  Time Car/Engine
Rick Vrielijnck 22  7:17.952 Xray/Novarossi
John Ermen 20  7:04.857 Xray/R&B/Tornado/Contact
Arie Manten 20  7:06.175 Capricorn/Picco
Joey Sorber 19  7:06.300 Sheperd/Sonic
Wesley van Silfhout 19  7:12.206 Mugen/Novarossi
Martin Zevenhoven 19  7:12.947 Serpent/Mega
Wim van der Wind 19  7:22.481 Mugen
Niels Reijnders 18  7:01.709 Mugen/Novarossi
Arco de Jong 18  7:03.027 Motonica/Novarossi
10  Gunther van Staey 18  7:12.024 Serpent/Mega
After the lunch break the sky cleared a bit and it seemed that the track was drying really fast. All the semifinals were still wet. But because of some delay after the semi finales due to a protest, the track dried fully so we could race the NOMAC and the NK final on a dry track.

At the start of the final al cars were placed on the ground by the count of 3 but the start signal took a long time to sound and Rick moved a bit from the grid. This also caused that Arie and myself to jump start, so the first 3 cars had a stop and go for jump start. From the sound of horn we went off to the first corner where I hit the curb on the inside and went off the track. It took a long time for the marshal to get me back on the track so I lost a stop and go and almost a lap in the first lap of the final.

After 15 minutes of racing and just before the tire change I was back on 2nd place behind Rick, but he had a 1,5 lap gap on me.  With just 10 minutes to go Rick’s engine stalled and had to be brought back to the pit. From there on I took the lead and Gunther was following me half a lap down. Because my tires were getting really small, Gunther was able to close the gap to about 2 secs. With only 1 minute to go Gunther was on my tail but unfortunately for him his front belt broke down and he had to retire the race just 1 minute before the end. Rick could take 2nd place because of this spot Gunther was still in 3rd despite his broke down car.

Me in action
Final Standings:
No.  Rijder Laps  Time Car/Engine
John Ermen 120  30:10.033 Xray/R&B/Tornado/Contact
Rick Vrielijnck 118  30:05.943 Xray/Novarossi
Gunther van Staey 116  29:16.068 Serpent/Mega
Arie Manten 112  30:06.919 Carpricorn/Picco
Donny Blommers 104  30:00.905 Mugen/Novarossi
Alex Everling 101  30:12.762 Sheperd/Sonic
Joey Sorber 79  30:15.682 Sheperd/Sonic
Daan Haling 74  26:11.123 Motonica/Novarossi
Wesley van Silfhout 52  16:05.722 Mugen/Novarossi
10  Glenn van Oversteeg 16  14:50.384 Mugen/Novarossi

Podium Finish: 1. John Ermen 2. Rick Vrielijnck and 3. Gunther van Staay
Another win for me this year, with still 2 races to go the no. 1 is still open. Next race will be in the beautiful track in Apeldoorn.

I would like to thanks my sponsors for the support: Xray, R&B Engines, Tornado Fuel, Contact Tires, Team Titan / Blitz and RC Connect.

Thanks to my final pit crew Ismail Ihsane and Arco de Jong who kept their heads cool and did some really nifty stuff during the tire change and refueling stops!

See you next time.