Robinson Race Cars at Hockenheim NitrOlympX 2005
Pictures and text by Bob Roberts

See below for photo gallery.

Andy and the crew had been to several earlier events at Hockenheim, so it was no change really to attend the 20th event in 2005. The opportunity to race at such a famous location is almost irresistible, although the track can be tricky since it's only used once a year. This was soon after the change to the blown engine, so we invited the Methanol Meister Dave Wilson to come along and show us how it was done. We arrived pretty early so we were able to see the setup process underway. We were pitted on the edge of the main straight of the circuit with strict instruction not to drop oil on what would be the racing surface in normal circumstances (pic04). Some teams were based in the F1 pits, real luxury accommodations compared with most tracks.

Sadly for Luke and Thomas, the crew car had not arrived by the time we had to queue for scrutineering so they had to push the Stude (pic05). After a track inspection the team we decided to change the first ratio in the gear box (pic14). Luke and Tom had that job while others prepped the engine under Dave’s watchful eye. Unfortunately when we got to the start line for the first practice on Friday the car wouldn't fire so we had to tow back. There were two problems, possibly connected. Firstly the batteries wouldn't hold sufficient charge to start the car. In course of investigating this we found a second intermittent electrical problem (pic17). The solution was to install two new batteries and remake a section of the loom (pic18).

All was well for our first competitive run on Saturday morning. We were in a cannonball type competition with the best three of four runs to count and the two fastest cars to run in a final. We ran a 6.4, which was 3/10ths ahead of the rest of the field. Between rounds we pulled off the blower to re-torque the heads.

Sadly Sunday morning dawned wet and windy as you can see from the shiny track (pic31). Things had dried up a bit by 2:00 pm so a number of cars were asked to do a burn out and launch to reward the spectators who had waited patiently in the rain (pic35). The burnout was as wild as you would expect on a dampish track as you can see from the wavy black stripes (pic37). Danny Cockerill's RRC built 57 Chevy in the other lane (pic38). One of the unusual things about the NitrOlympxx is that dinner is provided for the racers at the awards ceremony after the end of racing. Although there had been no racing Rico decided to award the trophies anyway. Because we had the two fastest times we were given the Pro Mod Thunder trophy.

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