Elliot Boots’ Race Report Montpellier Grand Prix
Elliot Boots’ Montpellier Grand Prix Race Report
Elliott’s first major race of the season is the Montpellier Grand Prix – this is an annual event which is the season opener for the European scene and is normally well attended by 99% of the top European drivers. This is always an exciting meeting to attend in the South of France and everybody wanting to see who is the fastest and to see any new changes to sponsorship within the drivers and one of the big changes for us this year was, of course, returning to Pro-Line for tyres. It is quite a major change in our opinion as tyres can be the key to getting the car working properly.
This meeting was going to be the first time Elliott has run a Pro-Line tyre since the middle of last year, where we attended the Pro-Line race, which he won. We had no real idea on how the tyres were going to perform at this track as our experience from previous years has always been, in our opinion, a low grip track and is normally quite cold so the traction is very low and the track very smooth. At the start of Elliott’s career he only ever used Pro-Line tyres, so for him it was back to his roots with a brilliant opportunity of re-joining such a great team and a great group of people behind us.
Day One – Practice
We arrived at the track with our bag full of tyres, which had only just been received a few days prior to us attending the meeting so it was a ‘suck it up and see’ situation to do some tyre testing. We tried the new Diamond Back M4, the Blockade M4 and also the Hole Shot M4. After some lap times being published and looking at the attitude of the car on the track and the grip level we decided that all the tyres were very good but for us. The qualifying tyre we opted to use would be the Holeshot M4, after setting some very fast lap times in practice.
Day Two – Qualifying
The sun was shining but it was quite cold and we were ready for the first round of qualifying. We were little bit anxious with all eyes on Elliott feeling he had something to prove and with a great drive Elliott TQ’d the round quite easily on his Holeshot M4′s and also was able to TQ round 2 which gave him the overall TQ. We headed into round 3 to see if we could get a clean sweep but on the last lap unfortunately we made a costly mistake which would only give him 4th in the round. With TQ already secured he was quite happy and was very excited about the level of grip he had with his Hole Shots. After attending this meeting for several years and knowing this track is quite slippery Elliott said that this was the most grip he has ever had at this track.
Day Three – Finals
We had a big race day ahead of us. We were now deciding what tyres to use in the finals. We had a semi-final and a main final of 1 hour ahead of us. We knew that our holeshots would probably not go the whole distance so we needed a tyre that would give us the grip and the durability. We were able to have a 10 minute practice warm-up before the semi so we tried the Blockade M4 and the M4 Diamond Back tires, which worked extremely well but just before our semi-final started it began to drizzle with rain so we decided to revert back to the Holeshots as we knew a small pin tyre would work very well on a damp track. For the semifinal we put on another set of Holeshots, which again worked really well, enabling Elliott to take the win but half way through the race the track dried very quickly and the grip came up and due to the rain at the start meant that we decided that we would use the new Diamond Back tyre in M4 compound. We really like the look of this tyre and with the start of the race underway Elliott comfortably led, only being challenged by Reno Savoya until Elliott was able to pull away and not really look back. His Diamond Back tyres, working very well with plenty of grip and traction, would go on to lap the field and take a great win for the start of his 2013 racing campaign.
Next stop the Dirt Nitro Challenge in Arizona.
We would just like to say a big thanks to all the Pro-Line team for all your help and support to get this great victory.
Chris and Elliott Boots
Watch of the full length 60 min final from the Montpellier GP
Photos and videos courtesy of NeoBuggy.net