Nitrolympx - 26./28. August 2022 en
The nitros are back. That was urgently needed. Weather, atmosphere and above all, the racing was worth watching all weekend long.
"The Circus is back in town" you could say, and rightly so.
Drag racing has always been a good combination of tough motorsport and lots of (freak) shows. Perfect weekend getaway for gas sick people of all kinds.
In my opinion, the amount of Hockenheim Dragster fans who want to see the competition is continuing to grow. There were no empty grandstands on Sundays this year either. The number of "side shows" for the spectators has been expanded, show truck, Star Wars characters, catering mile with (as in previous years) live band after the Saturday evening night show.
Since I picked up my traditional fish sandwich there on Saturday, I also heard a few of the band's songs. They were really good. So, there's something going on in Hockenheim.
I was only skeptical when the news came in the spring that "we only have two weeks to do the track and there won't be any PRDs." Will that work with grip and timing? On Friday there were already Pro Mods with 5 second runs, put aside my concerns and I enjoyed the races. So, here is a little about what was happening on the track:
To my surprise, not even 32 participants were listed. The usual suspects from Germany, Switzerland, England, Italy, Spain, France… who have been on the circuit all-season were there.
After damage in training and illnesses before the weekend, 26 participants finally qualified for the flowchart (but not all competed in the race). Dürr, Petzold, Knopf, Aschenbrenner, Gane, so the top four after qualifying. After four qualifying runs this time (usually only three), all drivers up to rank 13 were in the 0.0xx seconds range.
So, Cindarella story. Jens Könnecke from Aurich, Germany with his Oldsmobile had problems with the transmission converter unit. The converter, Jens ordered in the USA got lost somewhere in the mail. This meant that he could not use his stronger engine, so it had to be swapped to a weaker one, for which the team had a suitable converter. "Jens wanted to give up" reveals Heike, his better half. Normally he's on the track in the low 8s and in the 7s since the main event this year. Now he has to be content with very flat 9.0xx or 8.9xx times. He wasn't in the mood for that. However. Qualified in 13th place in the solid midfield, the first round started on Saturday evening. In round one, one against "Gegge" Beck. But he has to give up after Q1 with a broken “cent article” (which nobody had with them). Then it went up against alternate Jimmy Rechsteiner. He struggled with his slingshot with the fuel pump being to small. His new one is in Frankfurt at the airport, but none of the employees know exactly were. Jens wins just ahead of Rechsteiner.
In round two then a duel against friend and also from northern Germany Christoph Burfeindt. Double breakout, Christoph slept on the start and overdid it when catching up. Likewise, Jens Könnecke., who drives his weekend best time of 8.97 seconds on the 8.99 dial in. Having some luck is also part of it. Round three is against the brisk Frenchman Senges. "We've never won against him," says Heike Könnecke. Both with 8.99 dial, the Frenchman faster at the christmas tree and too fast at the finish line. Team Ostfriesland is in the semifinals against Frank Römer in his 1970 Camaro.
Römer is a very nice guy, but a tough one on the track. Römer leaves 0.07 seconds at the tree. He's only 0.02 seconds from his dial, but without a breakout he couldn't have caught Jens. Finale, ooh, ooh. The opponent is also a tough dog, but somehow they all are.
Stefan Eisenhauer, from Wiesloch, he can almost see home from the starting line. After some back and forth during the scrutineering (suddenly he was not allowed to wear his fire suit because of the fuel in the tank), he then had to equip his red Camaro with a different carburetor and fill the tank with racing fuel again in order to be able to participate according to the rules. Both are at the christmas tree. Jens reacts very modestly, 0.240 seconds is not exactly his personal best. Stefan Eisenhauer is in a hurry though and drives a 0.077 second red light to secure second place at the NOX 2022, and Jens Könnecke can hardly believe that such a modest start to the weekend ended in victory. As far as the DRU Challenge is concerned, both are catching up well. Billy Gane, as one of the frontrunners, breaks out in the quarterfinals, leader Angel Romero shoots a red light in round two, Oliver Petzold breaks out in round one against Robert Gassner. Alain Dürr shoots a red light in round one and doesn't really collect many points.
Rilana Dold, De Kruif, Widmann, Mercer, Daud and Schöninger, take the top places in the qualification. Til Schöninger had to drive home from Hockenheim and install a new converter on Saturday night, but in round three it was the end of the NOX for this year against Martin Weikum. Rilana is eliminated in round two by newcomer Keil. De Kruif is out in round two, also against Weikum. Ronnie Mercer makes it to the quarterfinals, but reacts too slowly there and Gerd Habermann is into the semifinals against Martin Weikum. Janine Petzold and Philipp Daud contest the other semi-final. Daud vs. Petzold, Double Breakout, Philipp wins being closer to his index. Martin Weikum out with a mini breakout against Habermann. Gerd against Philipp. The final is already decided at the christmas tree, Philipp Daud reacts too slowly and has no chance of outdoing the Hanau veteran. Congratulations to Gerd Habermann for the win.
Pro ET Second Chance…
What's not to like when suddenly only 200 instead of 300 participants flood the paddock. I like it. Jörg Böhnisch, with the slowest dragster of the weekend, wins this field of 6 of those who didn't make it into the regular Pro ET field.
Well, the NOX are history for this year. In Santa Pod and Rivanazzano, the DRU Challenges ratings will continue next week.
I can only recommend a trip to Santa Pod, Tierp, Rivanazzano, Clastres or Zerbst to anyone who thinks there must be more than the NOX.
Text und Pictures: Markus Münch and Pat Weidman
Translation: Pat Weidman
Here are the scores after the NOX...
puuuh, that can still be exciting...
Don´t forget to come to the Season End Party at Saturday, October 29th.
Location - Hillbilly´s Heaven in Bitz
Information is also coming soon.
Click here for the qualification list ProET
here for the Ladder ProET
here for the point´s calculation ProET
and here for the ProET Challenge Ranking