The 5th of the 7 rounds of the Belgian FBA nationals for 1/10 electric cars was held over the weekend of September 1st at the MRCZ track in Zwevegem. This temporary and technical track is laid
out on an very smooth asphalt track. The club did their upmost to get the grip levels up from Saturday onwards. Their efforts provided sufficient grip for the races, which were held on Sunday. As
always, the racers could choose from 4 different classes, Touring modified, touring stock (the biggest class), touring rookie and F1. F1 has currently a dip in popularity and only 3 racers
attended the race in this class.
Touring modified was the second biggest class with 10 entries. As always, hot favourite for the win was Awesomatix’s Olivier Bultynck. In Q1, Olivier set a blistering pace, which left his closest
competitors 5 seconds adrift. The battle for P2 would be close, as Mitchell Van Es (Awesomatix), Athan de Witte (Yokomo) and both Xray drivers Florian Joos and Thomas Stockman were within 2
seconds of each other.
Grip levels were slowly coming up, and Olivier continued his domination by sharpening his FTD by .2 of a second over 5 minutes. Florian Joos improved his time by 2 seconds to claim a provisional
2nd place on the grid. The rest of the top 5 remained the same with Mitchell, Athan and Thomas rounding off the top 5.
In Q3, Florian had a great run and secured his P2 spot on the grid. Mitchell and Florian were the only drivers to improve their times. This gave the following grid positions: Olivier Bultynck
(Awesomatix), Florian Joos (Xray), Mitchell Van Es (Awesomatix), Athan de Witte (Yokomo) and local driver Thomas Stockman (Xray). Because of the lower grip conditions, some drivers used a
different tire strategy. Ollie, Thomas and Florian went for two sets of new tires. Athan choose a new and a used set and Mitchell decided to run the event on a single set of tires.
A1: Ollie took the holeshot and he never looked back. Mitchell had a very good start, but decided to back off when both he and Florian went into the fast left hand corner after the main straight.
After one lap, Florian was able to pull a gap on Mitchell, so the biggest focus was on the battle for P4. Thomas clearly exploited his new rubber to the fullest and he was challenging young Athan
for P4. The cars twice touched, and both times the drivers waited for the other one to recover. In the end, Thomas was able to pass Athan and started his pursuit on Mitchell, whose front bumper
was dragging on the track. Thomas overtook Mitchell in the end and claimed P3, behind Florian who was 3 seconds adrift of Ollie.
A2 was another walk over from Ollie. He punched hard in the beginning of the race to create a gap to Florian, whose car didn’t seem to be handling as well as in the qualifiers. Mitchell took a
great P3 while challenging Florian for almost the entire race. As both young drivers didn’t make an error, they finished in the same position. A very intense battle was fought out between Athan
and Thomas. Athan kept the door shut for almost the entire race. Thomas had to use all of his skill and track knowledge to pass the youngster. But when he managed to squeeze by, Athan continued
to shadow Thomas for the remainder of the race. They finished in P4 and P5 respectively.
As he already won the event, Ollie decided not to start in A3. This left the battle for the remaining podium spots wide open. As Florian wasn’t happy with the performance of his second set of
tires, he decided to mount the older set he used in the qualifiers. This immediately paid dividends as he was just as quick as in the qualifiers. When Mitchell rolled his car on a kerb, Florian
easily took the win in a very quick time. Mitchell’s roll enabled both Athan and Thomas to creep closer to him and this started a 3-way battle. Thomas first passed Athan and then trailed
Mitchell. Athan continued to put pressure on Thomas as well. In the last corner, Thomas touched Mitchell and managed to get by. This P2 gave him the last podium spot. Winner of A3 was Florian, in
front of Thomas, Mitchell, Athan and Stefan Rommens (Team Magic).
The overall result was Olivier Bultynck (Awesomatix), Florian Joos (Xray), Thomas Stockman (Xray), Mitchell Van Es (Awesomatix) and Athan de Witte (Yokomo). By bagging this victory, Ollie not
only took the Modified championship title, but did so for the 10th time in a row. He took his first title aged 21 with a Tamiya, and is still dominating the scene. It is a performance never seen
before in Belgium or even any other European country imho.
Xray drivers Giovanni Moguez and Vincent Van Gansen dominated the entire 2018 season, with an advantage for Gio. Vincent won the first race, but as Gio won the next 3, he was eager to win this
race and bag the title as well. The first qualifier was as thrilling as the previous races. The opening laps of both drivers were exactly the same. Gio drove in his characteristic all or nothing
took some risks in order to get the TQ early. When he had a lead of about 1 second over Vincent, he rolled his car on a kerb and Vincent took the lead, which he never gave up. Gio finished in P2,
in front of Xavier Debroye (Awesomatix) and the young local driver Niels Degryze (Xray) who drove a perfect qualifier. 5 th place went to the Infinity of Peter Degrande.
In A2 the grip levels were up, so the times of the other drivers came tumbling down as well. As Gio had the second time, Vincent started Q2 in first position. Right from the start, Gio pushed him
hard. When Vincent clipped a corner, Gio took the lead. With the roles now inverted, Vincent set fastest lap after fastest lap and tried to claim the P1 position back. His chance came on the very
last lap when Gio made an error on this extremely demanding track. Gio’s advantage was however sufficient to keep the provisional pole. P3 again went to Xavier Debroye, but this time, Xavier was
already closer to the two title contenders. Peter Degrande was 1 second further adrift while Tom Adams (ARC) rounded off the top 5.
A3 saw some drama from the start. Gio should normally be allowed to start in P1, but the computer made Vincent start first. Gio was already accelerating when he noticed his mistake and stopped
behind the starting line. As his time already was running, he lost 2 seconds in the process. In great sportsmanship, Vincent agreed for the FTD to be given to Gio and started the race in P2.
Xavier, Peter and Tom rounded off the top 5. The battle for P6 and P7 was a hard fought one between the 12 year old drivers Alexander Van Gansen (Yokomo) and Niels Degryze (Xray). In the end,
Alexander qualified just in front of Niels by .2 of a second.
A1 saw drama right from the start as Peter Degrande had an issue with a back marker and broke his rear upright in the warming up lap. He asked a 10 minute delay and could repair his car just in
time for the restart. According to the rules, he had to start the race from P11, which he did. After an eventful race, Peter managed to climb back to P5. Out in front, Vincent put maximum
pressure on Gio and tried to make him commit an error. Vincent’s car was clearly the better and on lap 10, Gio rolled his car. Unfortunately he was on a difficult to reach spot and lost 10
seconds. This not only allowed Vincent to cruise to the lead, but also gave 2nd place to Xavier Debroye. Giovanni was followed by Tom and Peter.
Vincent tuned his car a bit more for A2 and his car was even more dialled in. Gio had to let Vincent go by as he dully took A2 and the overall victory. Xavier finished in P3, followed by Peter
and Tom who fought a very hard battle for P4. Vincent decided to try a lightweight body for A3 while Gio gave Xray’s Ultra low profile shocks a go (everyone else has been running the longer low
profile shocks). Vincent made the better decision as he again took a convincing victory. Giovanni claimed P2 and P2 overall. Peter Degrande won the battle for best of the rest and finished in
front of Niels Meurs (Destiny) and Xavier Debroye, who would claim his first ever podium in the FBA nats. The touring stock top 5 are: Vincent Van Gansen (Xray), Giovanni Moguez (Xray), Xavier
Debroye (Awesomatix) , Peter Degrande (Infinity) and Tom Adams (Xray).
Because most drivers were a bit concerned about the lack of rear traction, only 3 drivers entered the F1 class. They proved however that the new spec Volante F1 rear tires gave adequate grip to
race on this technical track. As expected, Olivier Bultynck took a comfortable TQ, racing his Shepherd. Young Liam Van de Wauwer (Xray) took P2 in front of Kris Vanbleu (Xray).
The finals would also go Ollie’s way, but there was a bit of a drama in A3. When Ollie made a rare mistake, Liam got into position to challenge him for the lead. Olivier quickly punched some very
fast lap times to create a gap, but the consistency of the youngster allowed him to finish on the same lap as Olivier. Liam not only drives his F1 with great skill, but he also performs the
setup of the X1.