Jan Larsen reports from his recent win at the first Danish 1/8th electric series… After racing a different brand of buggy last year I decided a fresh change was needed and decided to team up with Serpent and the local dealer Vinderup RC over the winter, racing the 811-BE. After building the car and breaking it in at the local track, I was ready for the first race of the season. I knew the track, and it’s very low-grip surface (indoor hall primarily used for horse riding) and the very low temperatures I’d be racing in, so I was confident that my setup would suit.

Jan Larsen wins Danish Electric Nat Rd1

I arrived on Friday evening for the 2-hour open practice session and settled myself in the Serpent DK pit area, readying the car for its first taste of the track. Initially, the car lacked steering. It was safe to drive, but not fast enough. Changed the front tires and went out for a second run. Instantly better and I just drove the track until the speedo hit the cut-off to maximize track time.

Confident I was nearing something that could be called perfection, I gave the car a little more front toe-out and reduced the camber on the rear in order for the rear end to swing out slightly mid-corner to eliminate the last bit of understeer and went out again. The car was perfect now and I just concentrated on driving and trying different lines around the track.

Very happy with how the practice went I gave the car a quick once over, packed up and settled in for the night. Saturday morning and race day. Woke up to a chilling -6 degrees celcius, packed the car and headed for the track. It was merely a case of bolting on slightly scrubbed tyres and off I went for the first qualifier. 7 error-free minutes later and I could note an easy provisional P1. But with 3 qualifying rounds of 4 counting, we were just getting started. But I was pleased that my goal of consistency rather than hotlapping was paying out.

Round 2 was almost a complete copy of round 1 qual. I used the same tyres and ended up with a final time 0.086 of a sec slower than round 1 and another TQ. Couldn’t complain about consistency then. For round 3 I hit bad traffic which cost me another TQ, so a 2nd place was in order. Round 4 rounded out qualifying and decided to go back to my idea of consistency over hotlapping and it worked out beautifully. New overall fastest time and fastest lap of the event and overall TQ.

With qualifying out the way it was now finals time. Three A-finals of 10 minutes each. As always with this format, the start is crucial and backmarkers even more so. Backmarkers especially would play a big factor in how your finals would go. A1: Bolted on another fresh set of scrubbed tyres and off I went. Got a good start and started to pull out a big gap. Out of the corner of my eye I could follow and manage the gap to the 2nd place man. About half way in I started to catch traffic, and as expected with no-one supervising the driving, blocking ensued. I carved my way through the tight and narrow track, overtaking backmarkers constantly right until one put me in a tire marking the track and got me stuck. That, coupled with a slow marshal, meant I lost my 8 sec gap to 2nd and lost the lead. Went on a frenzy (setting a new track record in the process) and caught the leader quiet quickly and a battle ensued. Eventually got past after a mistake of his and cruised the last minute to an A1 win.

A2: Got a good start again and as A1 I opened up a gap. This time I made one of only 2 mistakes all weekend and lost the lead. The first mistake of my own doing, but the timing was bad. In my effort to catch up I made the 2nd mistake and therefore decided to call off the charge and settle for 2nd.

A3: After having marshalled the nitro Truggy main, which gave me plenty of thinking time on how to approach A3, I was clear on the strategy. Consistent laps without mistakes and wait for the others to make mistakes. Got a good, clean start once again and just drove clean, fast laps. Eventually the 2nd place guy about 3 secs down made a series of mistakes and dropped back in the pack. Noting this out of the corner of my eye, I slowed to cruising speeds and eventually crossed the finish line well clear of everyone after a controlled, error free drive, taking the overall win.

Obviously delighted with my Serpent debut on a notoriously difficult track, I can’t wait for the rest of the season to see how things pan out. So far, so good! I’d like to thank both Serpent and my local Serpent dealer Vinderup RC for making all of this possible. The car drove faultlessly all weekend without any issues and handled perfectly.
Until next time!

Jan Larsen

Jan Larsen wins Danish Electric Nat Rd1