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.
Chassis – Team Associated RC8B3.1 Engine – Novarossi Mito 4 Tyres – Pro-Line Blockade X2 compound Fuel – VP Racing Fuel 30% Radio/Servos – Sanwa M12s / Reedy RT2207A Body – Pro-Line Prototype Remarks – The 2015 Philippine Masters Champion, Team Associated’s Kyle McBride makes his return to Manila after missing last year’s event and shows up with the newest rendition of the RC8 in basic stock form. Kyle has gone with harder compound tires which better suit the hotter weather along with a drop in ride height from his normal because of the higher grip than what he’s accustomed to.
David Ronnefalk holds the overnight TQ at the Philippine Masters, the HB Racing driver having a perfect day to top both buggy qualifiers. Taking the first qualifier, the World Champion would run an almost identical time at his second attempt to top the times from arch rival & former team-mate Ty Tessmann. Behind the World Champions, Aaron Stringer would continue his strong showing to complete the Top 3 ahead of Atsushi Hara and Adam Drake.
Commenting on his Q2 performance, in which he would set the fastest lap, Ronnefalk said, ‘I made the shock package change and it was better over the bumps but it felt like I was lacking traction due to the temperature drop’ and he was ‘being careful’ toward the end of the 5-minutes as a result. Also making an engine change to have a second one ready should be need it, the Swede said his next focus will be to work on diffs with him feeling he needs to down in the oils tomorrow to compensate for the traction even if the temperatures are high again like in Q1. Looking to tomorrow’s 3 rounds of qualifying, 2 of the 5 qualifiers counting, he concluded, ‘I feel I have all the lines covered so I’m pretty happy confident for tomorrow’.
Opting to run Pro-Line Positrons, Tessmann said they made his Xray a little difficult in the dust. While feeling the run had started out OK, he said ‘with 2-laps to go I crashed on the straight away. I grabbed a hole and shot right off the track’. He continued, ‘we are still working on everything but we are getting closer every run. Having only arrived in late last night the Canadian concluded, ‘The Jet lag is starting to kick in so once we get rested tonight we should be pretty good for tomorrow’.
Switching his Mugen to a shorter wheelbase and also fitting a lower centre of gravity head to his OS Speed engine, Stringer said his car was ‘really easy to drive’. Admitting he is ‘a little slower in lap speed’ to the two World Champions, he plans to try a different compound AKA tyre tomorrow but finishing off Day 1 with a top 3, matching his closing Truggy qualifier, he said ‘it has been a good first day’.
Behind Hara, Drake was content with his run, the American also starting to feel his arrival last night as Day 1 came to a close. The Mugen driver said, ‘its not like I have great pace but I’m going ok’. Losing time when he collected a crashed car after he was unsighted by a marshal, he added, ‘my car is good but I need to get some sleep for tomorrow’. Another driver to switch engines, the OS Speed sponsored fitted a fresher unit for Q2 ‘because of how hot & humid it is’ and be prepared for the finals. Behind Drake, Kyle McBride would complete the Top 6. While the pace was there, the Associated driver setting the 2nd fastest lap time on his last lap, two rough laps at the start of the 5-minutes lost him over around 13-seconds.
Having opened the Philippine Masters with a TQ run in Truggy, Ty Tessmann repeated the feat in the second round of qualifying to hold the overnight Truggy TQ in Manila. The Xray driver again set the fastest time from Kyle McBride, the Team Associated driver much closer to Tessmann the second time of asking. Now running in the same heat as Tessmann & McBride after a reseeding after Q1, Aaron Stringer would complete the Top 3 followed by American Aaron Gomez, Atsushi Hara and Adam Drake, the latter 2 having some bad laps early on.
‘Ran thicker oils that time and it was better’ said Tessmann after his heat. Having got caught out by the mid day temperatures of the opening qualifier, having only arrived in the country last night, even with Q2 conditions being cooler the heavier oils in his XT9 worked better. Again running on Pro-Line’s Electro Shot tyre he said the tyre wear is pretty good but added they ‘might try something different tomorrow but we haven’t decided yet’. Asked about track conditions, he replied, ‘It seems to be holding up good. I thought it was pretty consistent over the run’.
Summing up his second qualifier as ‘not too bad’, McBride continued, ‘We made a few changes which made the car nice and stable’. Feeling he needs to find a little more corner speed, the Aussie said, ‘if we can get more steering in the big corners then it would be perfect’. Asked about how the CV Offroad Track was holding up, he replied, ‘it’s pretty consistent and they will fix it up each night so it will stay nice’.
Pleased to be in the top heat with traffic certainly less of an issue than in Q1, Stringer’s run wasn’t without issue. A marshal, the organiser hiring in marshals so drivers don’t have to, would place a car down in front of him delaying the Mugen driver who later would make a mistake ‘trying to figure out passing Hara’. He continued, ‘I’m pretty happy apart from that but for the next one I want to try to put a clean friggen run in, no mistakes’. Again setting the fastest lap of the qualifier, the Australian said, ‘at least if I don’t get a podium I’ve got that to my name’.