GRAN PRIX MARSEILLE 2017
CLUB MMM 28-29 OCTOBER
One of the well knew “classic race” ending the Europe nitro season was held at the Marseille Mini Modeles Club last week of october in the south of France only 1 hour far from WC venue. The track has a very technical layout: starting clockwise from main straight (under the rostroom) we found a banked high speed sweeper that ends in an hairpin. The infield left section is very “tricky” with 2 left corners where needed to adjust the line to arrive in a fast “pif-paf” right-left; again 2 consecutive right corners to arrive on the transponder that close on 270 degrees left… Right section was little bit easier with 1 left and 2 right 90 degrees coners before arriving in a tight chicane entering the main straight… For 1/8 the track is narrow but surface was well prepared by organisers and really enjoyable for driving feeling as witnessed by our drivers Carmine and Francesco that attended the race.
Almost 80 drivers from whole France, Germany and Italy attended the race in different categories: 1/8 EP, 1/8 “classique” (2wd), 1/10 and of course 1/8 GP. Schedule of the event is composed by 3 Rounds of qualifying, 5 min runtime, tire treatment allowed, A-B-C finals and a nice series of “side races” to involve mechanics, drivers and public in a really FRIENDLY atmosphere!!
Even if the track was not easy, from the beginning was clear that the biggest enemy could be the wind… Friday practice starts with gusts of 80 km/h… and sunday it raises to 100 km/h! Amazing…
Saturday morning weather conditions was incredible good with sunny day and a complete absence of the wind; in the control practice Carmine and Francesco refined the setup heading trough the 2 qualifying rounds of the afternoon: In the first was Raiola that set the pace with Tironi second unable to close the final lap. The “rocket round” was the second thanks to fresh conditions of the late afternoon; an early mistake of Carmine allowed Francesco to grab the overnight TQ with the overall fastest time.
Sunday the wind appears again on the track for the last qualifier where Carmine that close in front of all but with one on three to count will be Francesco number 1 for the Amain thanks to fastest time. Lower mains started immediately; Francesco and Carmine helped the other competitors of different categories converting them from drivers to mechanics… Staff of the club during lunch break organised funny entertainment with mechanic change-tires challenge, shock absorbers change race and many other competition with prizes for all… Most interesting idea was a “Dash for Cash” race with 10 drivers in reverse order (from 10 to 1) competing in complete new counter clockwise layout: every lap the last have to leave the race… Really “US style”… Francesco win this competition for 1/8 in a sort of “demolition derby” but was really funny to see from outside…
In the reduced 20 mins Amain the home based driver Kalaris surprised our duo taking the lead while Tironi crashes in the big sweeper; fortunately once marshalled his car was in good conditions and Francesco start to push to recover. Raiola after few laps passed in front and cruised with constant lap times in first position; Tironi recover the field with clean lines and aggressive style reaching second position after some minutes. Carmine seems in trouble due to a damaged bumper and in the last refuel Francesco takes the lead; Carmine try to push to catch him but the margin he had was enough to control the tire wearing (really high) and to finish in first position… Another 1-2 for Infinity with former Amain finalist Christophe Aygoin that complete the podium. Well done guys.
Many thanks to MMM Club of Marseille for this opportunity to join a very nice race format with lot of fun on and off the track! See you in 2018!!