May 24, 2019

Track Focus – De Baanbrekers

Track Name– De Baanbrekers
Club – M.A.C. de Baanbrekers
Country– Netherlands
Location – Rucphen
Direction – Anti-Clockwise
No. of ENS Races hosted – 1 (2018)

The second round of the 2019 Infinity Euro Nitro Series sees the Championship return to the Netherlands, the venue that hosted the opening event of the 2018 series – MAC de Baanbrekers.  A favourite amongst many drivers for its ‘old school’ feel, the track in Rucphen has maintained the same layout since its construction in 1987, although with a new surface applied in 2003. The only notable change to the venue since the ENS’s visit last year is that the track has undergone a full re-painting, with bright red and white kerbs replacing the darker colours seen last year and getting the thumbs up from the visiting drivers.

In terms of the track layout, 2018 1:10 winner and overall ENS champion, Jilles Groskamp, said the key is keeping the corner speed high, especially in 1:10 scale.  Noting that he had switched to a harder setup than he usually runs to suit the long corners here in Rucphen, he also pointed out that the engine power was important on this “not difficult track layout”.  Already with a mind to the longer finals, the Dutch driver, who has now returned to his home country after nearly a decade living in Thailand, said that the long left-hand corners cause higher tyre wear on one side, expecting the 45 minute-long A Final to feature most drivers taking at least two sets of right side tyres.

The winner of the first ever race of the ENS +40 Masters class, Arie Manten, said that he hasn’t driven here much, but won the round of the Dutch Championship which took place here a month ago.  Matching his Infinity team-mate Groskamp’s description of this being an “easy track layout for everyone”, he said the small differences are vital to finding that last one tenth of a second.  He also explained that the long corner leading onto the back straight was vital to a fast laptime, as lifting through the turn in 1:8 scale means you lose a lot of top speed on the straight.

Robin D’Hondt, who took his first, and to date, only, ENS victory here last year said that despite the track being “not so far from home”, he doesn’t race here that often.  Putting his victory last year down to “a perfect car and engine for the whole race”, his focus was on engine tuning as the main thing. The track does lend itself to very close racing, with the Belgian driver saying that “laptimes are very close – so many have a chance to win”.

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