The opening round of the Nitro West Masters series took place in Bad Breisig, Germany with 65 drivers in attendance. Due to the current protection and hygiene measures due to the Corona virus pandemic, the number of drivers was limited and an entry cap was enforced. The requirements for the attending drivers and mechanics included wearing a mouth-nose protector, such as a mask for scarf, in the paddock, on the rostrum and in the pit lane. The number of mechanics per driver was limited to one person, even in the finals. “All drivers were happy to finally be able to race again. The conditions were implemented very well”, said Nitro West organiser Uwe Baldes at the end. Already on Friday, a number of drivers used the summer weather with over 30 degrees Celsius for intensive practice, on Saturday practice was carried out in groups of eight heats of six minutes each. Fortunately, the expected rain for Saturday did not show up, and the partly dark clouds over Bad Breisig remained shut on Sunday too.
The focus above all was on the 1/10th scale class, because for this category this race meant the official warm-up for the German Championship, which will be held in Bad Breisig from the 20th to 23rd of August, together with the Germany 1/8S and 1/10S Cup – S stands for sports or stock engines – as well as the German 1/8th Masters. Ultimately Dominic Greiner took the pole position in the 1/10th touring car category on his first outing with Capricorn in front of teammate Thilo Toedtmann and Mugen driver Dirk Wischnewski. In the 30-minute main final, Greiner led to the 92nd lap, but then dropped back to 2nd and finally to 3rd place. While Toedtmann was in 2nd and 3rd place throughout the race, Diekmann was thrown back to 7th place at the start, but soon fought his way back to 2nd place. From lap 93 onwards, he was out in front and took the win by two laps ahead of Toedtmann and Greiner. Wischnewski came in on 4th place, followed by Tobias Hepp (Serpent) and the reigning German champion Toni Gruber (Shepherd). The top 10 were completed by Faehd Labik (Mugen), Stefan Hochguertel (Mugen), Bernd Rausch (Shepherd) and Alex Dill (Shepherd).
30 drivers made 1/8th IC Track the strongest class, which was divided into Class 1 and Class 2 according to the system of the German governing body DMC. John Ermen with his ARC was the fastest driver in qualifying ahead of Steven Cuypers (Mugen) and compatriot Robbin Hertong (ARC). In the final, Ermen lost his lead already after four laps due to a slip, and he fell back to last position. Cuypers took over the top position and only had to give it back briefly to Ermen during the 30-minutes race, who rummaged through the field extremely motivated. But the “flying Dutchman” caught a sink twice unfortunate, flipping his ARC twice. Therefore the way to victory was clear for Cuypers, who won with 118 laps and a two laps margin. The second place was only given at the finish line. Michael Salven had steadily worked his way forward with the new 40-year edition of the Serpent 989, but had to defend his position in the closing stages against the recovering Ermen. Salven took 2nd place by just three tenths of a second ahead of Ermen. 4th placed Christian Wurst (Mugen) completed 116 laps like Salven and Ermen. The top 10 were completed by Serpent newcomer Daan Haling, who fought his ways to the main final from the quarter final, Andre Boettcher (Mugen), Tobias Hepp (Serpent), Bastian Gramlich (Mugen), Robbin Hertong (ARC) and Torsten Mueller (Capricorn). The best youngster was David Kroeger (Shepherd), best class 2 driver ARC driver Sidney Blokker.
The two stock classes of 1/8S and 1/10S with standard engines from Picco/Sonic and Novarossi suffered from a lower-than-usual entry. Ralf Wacker took pole position in 1/8S, but the Mugen driver finished only 7th in the main final. Victory was caught by Matthias Guenther (Shepherd). In his first 1/8th race, Florian Dueppe (Serpent) took a strong 2nd place ahead of Heinz Kroezemann (Mugen).
The 1/10S class was dominated by Arndt Bernhardt (Shepherd) in qualifying, but in the final Dieter Fleischer (Mugen) could take home the win, followed by Guido Burghartz (Shepherd) and Bernd Hasselbring (Xray). The best junior driver was newcomer Fabio Arpino (Shepherd).
The Nitro West Masters will continue on July 18th and 19th with round two held in Velp in The Netherlands.