April 29, 2017

Philippine Masters hots up as Tessmann delivers Buggy TQ run

The showdown between World Champions David Ronnefalk and Ty Tessmann has finally started to heat up at the Philippine Masters as Tessmann registered his first TQ run of the event in buggy. Having reigned over the Truggy class, taking the first three qualifiers, the Xray driver couldn’t match that form in buggy with Ronnefalk stamping his authority on the opening Day’s action.  This morning however in Manila, after a good night sleep, the Canadian found his rhythm to put a TQ run on the board as Ronnefalk suffered a tough round and ended up with a P7.   With 2 of the five rounds of qualifying to count, Tessmann will now take the fight to his former team-mate over the final two qualifiers.  Behind Tessmann, Kyle McBride took second for the round, the Associated driver was 5-seconds adrift.  Atsushi Hara would complete the Top 3 with his best run so far ahead of Aaron Stringer, Richard Saxton and Adam Drake.

‘The track was harder to drive but my car was easy to drive so I was just cruising around really’, was how Tessmann summed up his first TQ run.  The Canadian, who posted P2 & 3 yesterday, continued, ‘we made a few changes from yesterday to make the steering less aggressive for the high bite and it as a lot better.  We also tested a silver compound tyre (Electro Shots)’.  Feeling that going in the direction of making the car easy to drive for the high bite conditions was the right way, looking to Q4 he said, ‘we’ll wait to see how the track is and if it loses grip but going by yesterday it’s not going to so we probably stay the same’.

McBride said, ‘my car was really good but I just came in too tight and traction rolled’.  The Australian was referring to his mistake he made coming off the main straight when his RC8B3.1 ended up on its roof losing him 3-seconds while he was laying down the TQ pace.  He continued, ‘I must get myself a clean run at some stage then I think we’ll be alright’.  For his next run, he plans to ‘lift the rear hub up which should help lose a little rear traction and also help on the bumps, apart from that I’ll just go again’.

‘Better, less mistakes’, was Hara’s reaction to his first Top 3 run.  Making a tyre change on his HB Racing D817, switching to Pro-Line’s Positron, he said, ‘I had tried them before but the conditions were what they were designed for. They improved my lap times and they are OK when there is no dust but I had some mistakes and got out on the dust.  I think it will be more dusty for the next two rounds so I will change to Fugitives but I don’t change the car’.

Stringer said, ‘the car was a bit difficult to drive.  I made changes to trying to pre-empt the high grip but my diff oil was too light’.  Planning to go up in the diff oils for Q4, the Mugen driver will also change to a harder spring & heavier oil in the rear shocks as well as switch from AKA’s Grid Iron to Impact tyre.  Describing the heat as ‘pretty intense’, the 26-year-old from Brisbane said the ‘freight train with everyone except Tessmann’ had ‘slowed us all up slightly’.

Explaining his P7, finishing over 16-seconds off Tessmann, Ronnefalk said, ‘I had a bad start and flipped on the second lap’.  Making a similar mistake at the same spot on the track as McBride, he said, ‘this dropped me down into the middle of the pack and while I had some good lap times Ty had a good clean run on his own’.  Setting a new fastest lap around the VC Offroad Track in the qualifier, the Swede said he ‘got a bit too excited at the big jump and landed out in the straight’.  Making changes to his Orion powered D817 ‘it was more hard to drive’ adding the traction was also a factor.  Unlike his rivals, the World Champion is not running Truggy and following this morning’s application of molasses he said ‘you can see how black the track is everywhere today, the car was more clean today after the run’.  Switching to the O2 compound in JConcepts Detox tyre he said, ‘I will stick with those, I like them’.

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