Bloomfield takes Buggy Q2
Darren Bloomfield has upped the pace in Buggy qualifying at the Arena Offroad Meeting in Italy with the British ace topping Q2 from fellow countryman Elliot Boots. Fastest in Q1, defending champion Yannick Aigoin could only manage the fifth fastest time in the second round of heats after he made two mistakes during the 5-minute run.
Moving to the top of the qualification ranking, Bloomfield said his Nitrotec powered 8ight was still lacking steering but unlike his TLR team-mates he has good forward traction. Bettering Aigoin’s morning TQ time by 4 seconds and running 3 seconds faster than Boots, the British Champion said he is going to stick with what he has rather than go chasing a set-up.
Switching to a harder front spring on his borrowed Kyosho along with using a narrower rear wheel hex Boots said the changes had made the RB powered buggy much safer to drive. Fitting a fresh set of tyres for his second run he said this caught him out a little at the start but once they scrubbed in he was more comfortable with it than in Q1. Working closely with Mick Craddock on his set-up Boots has disconnected the front anti-roll bar for the final qualifier of the opening day and has also switched to a softer and self modified tyre insert which he hopes will give him further confidence with the MP9.
Third fastest in Q2 and sitting third in the overall ranking behind Aigoin, Italy’s top international offroad racer Riccardo Rabitti said other than a mistake on the opening lap the run was pretty good. Finding the rear end of his Picco powered TLR 8ight a little loose the runner-up in Buggy at the 2009 Arena Offroad Meeting will change to a softer shock set-up for Q3 along with changing the rear geometry.
Setting the fourth fastest time and currently the best placed non TLR driver in the qualification standings in fourth, Mugen’s Simon Willets said his MBX-6 is good but the driver needs to improve as he lost time following a mistake at the jump in front of the rostrum. Team-mate and former French Champion Julien Lattanzio sits fifth in the ranking having set the 5th and 7th fastest times in his respective heats.
In the Brushless Buggy class, which will see the title decided tonight at the Arena, Darren Bloomfield is clearly the man to beat. After his sensor lead came off in Q3, the Arena race debutant posted a rocket fast 5-minute round in Q4 that was 18 seconds clear of the fastest time set by Simon Willets who is his closest challenger.
Elsewhere in Truggy Aigoin took his nVision powered 8ight T to a second TQ run while in the F2 Buggy class defending champion Jon Howells heads proceedings from his younger Hobao team mate Ashlee Owen who topped the opening qualifier. 21-year-old Austrian Mugen driver Reinhold Gruber holds third after the two qualifiers.
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