After a below par performance in the first qualifier of Day 2 of the Philippine Masters following his domination of the opening day, David Ronnefalk bounced back with a new fastest TQ run that all but secures him the overall TQ for tomorrow’s 1-hour A-Main in Manila. Unable to double up on his Q3 TQ, Ty Tessmann would finish 1.5-seconds off his Swedish rival’s pace meaning the Canadian needs to take the fifth & final qualifier in a new faster time something he conceded was not likely. Kyle McBride would complete the Top 3 in a round that saw trouble for Atsushi Hara, his car suffering a flame out, and Aaron Stringer, tyre gluing issues leaving him a non-starter. Enjoying his best run, Adam Drake would claim a P4 ahead of fellow US racers Richard Saxton and Aaron Gomez.
‘Adrien (Bertin) used to call it a morning run and that is what happen in Q3, I left my car unchanged for that one because I knew mistakes were the problem not the car’, was Ronnefalk’s reaction after Q4. The World Champion added, ‘the temperature went up a little so the car was working even better that time’, a fact highlighted by him laying down a new fastest lap time of 30.181 seconds. Commenting on that lap he said, ‘I didn’t even push at all on that lap. It’s easy to go around but if you push it can bite you so I drove super tight in the corners without pushing too hard’. Looking to the final qualifier, he said, ‘it will not be as late as yesterday but I might have to go down (with the oils). I will also change my motor venturi to get more power but other than that the car is amazing’.
Commenting on his P2 for the round, Tessmann said , ‘we ran everything the same as the first one but I think the tyres were a little too soft that one’. He continued, ‘I didn’t have quite as much grip, it was squirmy I guess so for the last one I’ll try X2 Fugitives to see how they are for the mains so we can try to find a tyre that is more stable for the final’. Asked if the final was now his focus, the former World Champion said, ‘it would be nice to go for the TQ but we need to get ourself ready for the finals’.
‘Same old story, I was going good at the start and then crashed’, was how McBride described his latest run in which he would come up short on the triple costing him 4-seconds. The Associated driver continued, ‘we are pretty much on pace and good for the final’. Looking on target for third on the grid, the 21-year-old from Brisbane plans to use the final qualifier to test saying, ‘I want to make one small change for the last qualifier to try and get see if I can get a little more steering’.
The driver who put the Philippine Masters on the international map setting it up for the growth of the big name drivers in attendance for this the biggest year of the event, Drake was happier with his Mugen for Q4. He said, ‘the balance is better now which made it easier to drive but my tyres were too soft’. He continued, ‘it was dusty but still had really good grip and my tyres got too hot so I have just got to get the tyres figured out’.
Setting the fifth fastest time, Saxton said, ‘Having talked with Kyle about his shock set-up, I saw what he was saying and took his advice so I changed from Fastrace shock caps to Associated production caps with emulsion shocks. Comparing the car to Q3, the ‘King’ continued, ‘my car was easier to drive and it was better over the bumps’. For the final qualifier he plans to continue to head further towards McBride’s set-up.
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’.
Ty Tessmann made it 3 out of three as he opened Day 2 of the Philippine Masters with a third TQ run in Truggy. Setting the fastest lap for the first time, the Xray driver overcame a first lap error to again top the times ahead of Kyle McBride with Aaron Stringer completing the Top 3. Overnight track work and a new coating of molasses made for much higher traction, with drivers reporting conditions as being a lot more edgy compared to yesterday’s opening two qualifiers.
Feeling a lot fresher today following a good night sleep, commenting on his run Tessmann said, ‘It was pretty good. The track today has a lot more grip today because of the fresh molasses’. He continued, ‘I had a roll over on my first lap but my truck was good and I had no more mistakes so I was able to come back from that’. Making ‘a couple of changes’ to his OS Speed powered XT8, the Canadian said the resulting extra steering had made it ‘better’ to drive. With Pro-Line team-mate Adam Drake reporting tyres choice as a bit of an issue Tessmann said, while they are ‘still trying to figure out what we can run’ he believes they ‘have probably got it figured out’ concluding, ‘there is less tyre wear today than yesterday’. Posting a P6 for the round, Drake said with the ‘grip super high’ today the compound he is using is border line but they only have a limited number of the tyre in harder compound which they had set aside for the long 1-hour A-Main.
‘The track is a fair bit different after they redid the molasses’, said McBride after his run. The Team Associated driver was on the TQ pace but got caught up in traffic as Atsushi Hara & Adam Drake tried to pass a slower car and he ended up landing on top of Hara sending him on to his roof and needing to be marshalled. Costing the Aussie around 3-seconds, he said, ‘if I didn’t have that roll it would have been a TQ run’. With the track quite edgy to drive, McBride will make small changes to his Novarossi powered RC8T to ‘make it flow better’.
Pleased with his run in the trickier conditions, Stringer believes the start time of today’s action has given the molasses less time to dry. With a two hour difference to the Day 1 start time, when the track opened earlier for free practice, he said this is why the track is now ‘a little more aggressive’. With no free practice today, he expects ‘higher grip in general today’ and with this in mind, the reigning Australian National Truggy Champion will make ‘little changes’ to his Mugen to ‘make it a bit easier to drive in the high grip’.
‘Still stupid mistakes’ was how Hara summed up Q3. Parking his HB Racing truggy nose first into the tyre at the hairpin in front of the driver’s stand losing a couple of seconds, the Japanese legend continued ‘the track conditions are better now but there was a bit too much traction for my set-up so it was hard to drive’. Describing the balance of the truck as ‘good’, he plans to ‘make a little adjustment’ for the penultimate qualifier to make it easier to drive, but he is also hoping he can finally put in a run without any ‘stupid driving’. Behind Hara, returning international visitor Aaron Gomez completed the Top 5 ahead of fellow American and Mugen driver Drake.
Chassis – Xray XB8 ’17 Engine – OS Speed B2102 Tyres – Pro-Line Electro Shot silver compound Fuel – VP Racing Fuel 25% Radio/Servos – Sanwa M12s / MKS HBL599 Body – Xray Remarks – Making his first trip to the Philippines, Xray’s Ty Tessmann’s late arrival has put the former World Champion on the back foot, but he is starting to show great form and rival the pace. Having to go up in diff and shock oil, this hotter climate and high grip surface is all new to Tessman and his XB8 ’17. The only modifications to his XB8 ’17 are the addition of Lunsford titanium screws throughout.