HOMESTEAD (FL), USA
Weekend before Easter was held in Homestead the most awaited Warmup for incoming Sedan 1/10 Nitro Worlds next october… Our team attended the event shaking down the first batch of IF15 pre-production to understand the overall performance and areas to be improved before item release.
Location of the race is exactly the same of April 2011, when the 1/8 Worlds was held here… in the shadow of the NASCAR complex you can feel the heritage of Motorsport competition! Honestly speaking the facility is amazing with hundred meters of covered pits, bathrooms and all services you may need to be comfortable at the track. Layout is the same during these years as the surface.
Leino, Balestri and Raiola respectively supported by Miyashita, Miura and Alfonso attended the race to collect as much info possible staying also other couple of days to test every sort of setup. From Thursday practice the pace of our drivers was impressive: all of them feel really comfortable around the track that was “sauced” some days before the event to have a nice overall grip.
Friday couple of control practice reseeded the field with last heat full of talented drivers with some of the most knows US drivers like Paolo, DJ, Joaquin Jr and European specialist as Thïlo. The limited number of drivers that attended the race leave organizers the room to open the track between every session; this “relax mode” allowed all drivers to refine their setup more times a day leaving all very satisfied. Handout Tires (Matrix) and single fuel (VP) completed the race panorama.
In the six heats of qualifying was Paolo and Joaquin Jr that get the attention of the competitors thanks to their “5mins fuel strategy”… Fuel milage was really critical in this track with all our drivers very fast but forced in the pits at least twice in the 10 minutes runtime. Carmine suffered little bit more difficulties sitting 8 overall as Teemu and Dario got a spot for the “SuperPole” challenge. With Paolo TQ, competition start with DJ as first to hit the track… unfortunately a damaged differential stops Balestri before his 6 laps than Leino set the limit in 17,365 that Desoto Jr cannot succeed to beat.
Sunday 30 minutes semifinals saw Dario and Carmine jumping in the Amain even facing some problems… Dario change external tires after 8 minutes to guarantee the correct consumption of the foams while Carmine decided for a “tone to tone” strategy for his tires.
The Amain start see a “little drama” with some contacts in the firsts positions and Raiola leaved (like a Ninja Turtle) on his roof for more than a lap and half in the chicane… sometimes happens it’s not your day! Fight was maximum harder from the beginning with Leino chasing the lead and succeeding to jump in front after few minutes with Balestri close to his roots. Unfortunately our Finnish driver runs out of fuel at second stop and few laps later he chunk a tire (forced to pits) loosing the chance to fight for the win. Dario drove really fast but safe knowing disadvantage of fuel milage trying to control the race until the tire change that could be considered the “turning point” of the race. In the meanwhile Carmine don’t stop to push HARD every single lap!!!! His amazing determination helped him to recover the field respectless 2 flame outs and shortest refueling time ever (at 3 minutes). Miura & Miyashita makes an astonishing job at 28 minutes in the pits during tire change allowing Balestri to jump in a comfortable lead on Morganti… Dario engine wasn’t perfect so his pit crew try to tune it during refueling but an unpredictable cut-off drop him in second position with 16 minutes to go. Teemu and Carmine fights together for last podium spot about 10 minutes “neck to neck” when also the leader few laps later run out of fuel giving back the lead to our Italian driver; different pit strategies and damaged pipe excited the audience with Dario managing the gap and Paolo pushing hard to recover. With the drivers divided only by couple of second the final call was for Miura San that assures Balestri that his opponent needs a “splash&go” to finish the race.
Dario, Paolo, Carmine and Teemu 4th the final result.
Congratulations guys! ;-)