This weekend, we competed in the European Quad Trophy Bastogne (EQTB) in Belgium. It was a race of seven hours divided in three heats. Last year, the weather was horrible and that is actually an understatement. This year, the weather forecast was good: sunny, not too hot. Excellent to beat some ass. It turned out quite different. It was like they were suffering from bipolar disorder ‘up there’. None of that kept us from riding though :-).
34 teams registered to race this weekend for the EQTB. It was the first time for us in this race. In the years before, we’ve competed in the Nuts Cup. That is a three hours race and more or less the little brother of the EQTB. Therefore, we were very excited (and nervous of course) to race with ‘the big boys’ this time.
We arrived thursday evening at the Sans Souci circuit in Bastogne. We always like to be early if that is possible and do some shoppi…uhh.. have a good spot in the pitlane. Saturday morning, we’ve passed the technical control and in the afternoon the free/time practice started after a ‘tour en ville’. Savannah had the transponder attached to her quad by the technical crew at the control. After the practise, it was gone. We didn’t know when that had happened, but she did qualified 25th.
At 09.00 pm, the first heat started. Our game plan was that Savannah would take care of the start, because her quad has an electric starter. For the laymen: that is quite important, because it is a Le Mans start (running to the quad). She tries to run her quad a bit more, when she is already set up at the start and BAM bad luck strikes again… It just would not run. Quick change of plans: Kimberly will take her place. She never did a Le Mans start before, because she has a kickstarter (takes a longer time to start the engine). But there’s a first for everything. She can tell you, it is quite nerve-racking if you’ve never done that before and if you are not prepared. Savannah came to her when she was set up and said: ‘Just relax, it doesn’t matter’. That took of the pressure and it actually went quite well. After one round, she was at the 25th position. The track got heavier during the heat and it became dark. After three hours, they finished in a 25th place.
After a short night of sleep, we needed to set up at the track for starting a second heat of two hours at 08.30 am. Kimberly had to do the start again, because she finished the first heat and her quad was in the ‘parc fermé’. This time it went less well. Quad didn’t feel like running and she left her place last. At that point, you need to stay calm, because it just does not help if you crash the first lap because you feel like you need to make up. However, she did what she could do. The sun was burning, because of the dust you felt like a blind person and after 30 minutes Savannah took over. They changed again after 30 minutes and Savannah finished at a 21th position.
Last heat! Savannah got her quad from the closed parc and took a great start, while the first rain drops where starting to fall. But the old wisdom says: ‘Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet’. I actually think it’s a weird saying, but I can feel that that’s about Savannah. The girl probably was a fish in her previous life. No wonder she came through fifteenth after one round and even tenth after several rounds. Her goggles did not cooperate though, so had to go through the pitlane to get a new one. In the whole heat, the goggles of every team in the race steamed up and got covered with too many mud.
Jim Bos and Dylan van der Stelt of team VLS finished seventeenth. Overall, we finished nineteenth and as second women team. It was a great experience and we can look back at a good race, despite some setbacks. We are getting better every race and we keep training to keep this up. We have learned a lot this weekend. (Kinda missed the pom pom girls though :’) (you know what we mean, if you’ve been there)).
A huge thanks to our supportive sponsors. The Goldspeed tires provided us with amazing grip during all weather circumstances. Kramp financially sponsored this race. We are very grateful for that! Looking forward to the next race!
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For the dutchies, there are some media articles!