NEO 2017 is over and it has been a great one for NEMO Racing.
The preparation starts weeks before the event but come Thursday afternoon everything was set, the Nemo trailer was positioned, pitting area organised and the team started to roll in.
Friday is the practice day for the drivers, all of team looked comfortable on the layout as they clocked in their first laps on the indoor track. The Agama A215SV was looking comfortable on the low grip surface, with small changes being made throughout the day to further maximise the performance. At the NEO Race a 3 lap reseeding method is used, meaning on each practice run your best 3 consecutive laps produce a time that goes towards reseeding for the start of qualifying.
Qualifying started. 3 rounds are hosted on the Saturday and the remaining 2 on the Sunday morning. Qualifying was strong for the team in the end as more momentum was gained round on round. In nitro we had Darren in 16th place, William Skidmore in 41st, Berkan Kilic 43rd, Joni Skidmore 44th and Ollie Currie rounding out the top 50 drivers.
In the electric class Darren Bloomfield 4th, Burak Kilic 25th, William Skidmore 33rd, Joni Skidmore 37th and Berkan Kilic in 53rd. The lower finals start immediately after qualifying on Sunday afternoon, an aim of most people new to the NEO race is to make the Monday Finals !
We had many great performances by many AGAMA Drivers, as well as BETA/Piranha drivers. Steve Guppy drove superbly to win his final on Sunday to progress into the Monday race schedule. BETA/BULLITT/Piranha Driver Elliot Taylor also drove flawlessly to bump up two finals ! only just missing out on making the semi final from a racing incident. Well Done Elliot. Burak Kilic also drove a superb 1/8th final to progress into the quarters, to then step up his game against the field to again progress into the semi finals, in which he had a very good final but just missing out on the main final with a 9th place finish. Darren Bloomfield had a semi final to forget with a very hectic and unforgiving start to the race. He would just miss out on the main final direct bump up coming home in 8th place. Both Darren and Burak however would make it into the last chance qualifier in which all of the 15 drivers not bumping directly from the semi final will have a grudge race in which only 3 drivers will progress to the main final. Darren had a much better start and some changes from the semi meant he had even more pace, this allowed him to take a comfortable second place and bump into the main final, a first for us here at the NEO Race. In the electric buggy class, Darren had a superb set of qualifying results allowing him to qualify 4th overall.
The 10 minute E-buggy main final was up first, Darren had a good start and was looking comfortable, a couple of back markers would slow his progression through the field but he would storm through for an impressive 3rd place finish. A great result for Darren and the team !
Finally the Nitro Main Final was up, after all of the 15 drivers collected their tires from the Pre-Final compound the warm-up was underway for the 45 minute final. The economy from the B-221 engine had been superb all weekend and the final was no different, Darren and the Pit crew opting to run a 9 minute stop strategy, perfect for the 45 minute duration. The level of driving in the final was very high, with 95% of the best drivers in the world attending the race. The Agama A215SV was looking very comfortable motoring round on the BETA tires. Darren would bring it home in 11th place, a very respectable result. Well done Darren.
The NEO17 race was one to remember, a huge thanks to the talented DXR crew for making an awesome track layout and to the great guys at NEOBUGGY.net for organising this event, see you all next year.
Last week the NemoRacing team joined the rest of Europe in Eskilstuna, Sweden for the European A Championships.
All of the best and brightest were in attendance and every practice run and heat; you could feel the tension and excitement in the air.