Courtesy of GirlRacer.co.uk
Only a persistent drizzle and a strict curfew at Hockenheimring stood between Melanie Troxel and certain victory at the 25th annual FIA Nitrolympx on Sunday..
Troxel had advanced to the Pro Mod final and was scheduled to face teammate Micke Gullqvist for the championship, but a slight rain began to fall and organizers didn’t believe it would stop in time to run any more cars before the 5 p.m. curfew.
“We came a long way to race here and it’s a shame the weather got in the way when we were so close to completing the event,” Troxel said. “We’re all disappointed about that but thrilled with the weekend as a whole.”
Both Troxel and Gullqvist pled their case to run the final, but officials insisted that their hands were tied. At the post-race awards ceremony, the first place trophy was awarded to Troxel because she set low ET every round this weekend as well as a Hockenheim track record.
It was a touchy day from the start as racers and fans were greeted with dark skies and intermittent rain, causing several delays in the racing. However, the showers let up just long enough to get all two of the three scheduled rounds of Pro Mod racing completed. Troxel’s R2B2 Racing Camaro was as quick and consistent as it had been all weekend long.
It was a rush to get the Pro Mods up to the line for the semifinals, but crew chief Al Billes and the crew of Mark Savage, Johnny Bamuda, Donna Billes, and Travis Rice remained cool under pressure.
Troxel got off clean in the semifinals as her opponent Urban Johanssen jumped the light by .038 seconds and lit the red light. Troxel cruised to a record 6.007 at 242.25 mph to get lane choice over Gullqvist, who beat Mats Ericksson with a pass of 6.042 seconds at 236.56 mph.
“We missed a five-second run here by just a hair,” Troxel said. “I think we would have liked to do that, and might have had a chance to do that if we would completed the race.”
Gullqvist said he liked the direction his car was going, and thought he might have been able to give Troxel a real challenge.
“I think it was an exciting weekend with Melanie and I being the Nos. 1 and 2 qualifiers and scheduled to meet in the finals,” Gullqvist said. “My car didn’t perform the way I wanted it most of the weekend, but today we really got it going. We learned a lot each round today.
“In the end, I think we could have really challenged Melanie.”
In quarterfinal round, Troxel soundly defeated Roger Johanssen with a lap of 6.082 seconds at 240.56 mph to Johanssen’s 6.509 at 199.44 mph.
Despite not getting a chance to run for the trophy, Troxel said the team walked away with a lot of positives during the weekend – including smashing the track record.
“We improved every run this weekend except for one when we ran the same ET as the run before,” she said. “The car performed great and we had a great time while we were here.”
Troxel and her R2B2 Racing crew will have one more chance to bring home gold from Europe this season at the FIA Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in England in September.