Track inspection

by Henk de Winter |

Derek Tohill explains the PS Racing Center.

Autoracing, no matter what racingdriver you speak from any racing series, they will all say: “Racing is all about details.” This counts also for Rallycross. One of those drivers in the European Rallycross Championship who looked for details this morning at the PS Racing Center in Greinbach (Austria) was Derek Tohill. Tohill, the reigning European champion 2010 in TouringCars, is now in the 2011 season third in the standings. Straight after the presentation of the working of the start system here at Greinbach the Irish driver went out for a walk on the track. Time for RallycrossWorld to accompany Tohill with his ‘track-walk’. Tohill says that he will have his view focussed on Czech driver Roman Častoral. “Certainly in the free practice session. Častoral won the last two ERC events and has experience here on the Austrian track,” says Tohill while we walk to the first corner. “Just looking for the good racing line here,” the kerbstones on the inside are carefully examined. “The kerbs are used so that means that cars has driven here before.” Even a small check on the grass belongs to his examination. “Always good to know if there are any hidden potholes or whatsoever under the grass.”

Corner number two. A small push to the tyrewall on the inside. “I have to respect those tyres,” is the verdict, “they won’t give in.” This could be the fastest corner of the track according to the RWD Fiesta driver. “Think we do here with the TouringCars about ninety miles per hour”. Nice and smooth is the task in corner number 2. Some left foot breaking. After the second corner the track goes up a little bit. “Must keep up the speed then, coming out of the corner [2] then slightly on the kerbs on the right hand side and then hard on the brakes for the first gravel section [Corner no 3].” Several times Tohill is feeling with his feet what the ‘grip’ is on several spots in this section. Corner no 3 is a long left hander. “Must have grip here”. Looking to corner number 4, a left hairpin. “You can loose time here in this section and there is not much time to gain. Again nice and smooth is the plan. Corner number 5, a sharp hairpin to the right which leads the drivers to the finish line. Tohill is spending some time here to examine the high kerbstones, the grass, the outside of the corner and is looking to the finish line. “I must swing the car here to the left, coming out close to the grass on the left side and from that point on swing the car to the right to get a good position for corner number 6 which give access to the straight end and the finish line.

The Joker Lap section gets extra attention which is a full gravel surface. “It’s soft, but also some points with asphalt and concrete underneath it. Will make an interesting Joker Lap according to Tohill. The final verdict: “Go fast, but smooth. Don’t throw the car too much around. Think we must drive the Fiesta like a kart.”

Tohill calls his team together and starts to discuss the set-up. Gravel set-up or harder is the question. The team decides to start with the Maasmechelen set-up and to start working from there during the weekend. “Let see what the free practice brings”.

“It was a good decision to start with the Maasmechelen set-up. We are now fine tuning the set-up. In the car the track was just what I had in mind when I walked it.”


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