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’.
David Ronnefalk has taken the first Buggy qualifier at the Philippine Masters. Not competing in Truggy which got qualifying at the CV Offroad Track underway, the HB Racing driver took Q1 from Kyle McBride. Running in the second fastest heat McBride would end up 3.6-second off the TQ pace. Having TQ’d the first Truggy qualifier, Ty Tessman would complete the Top 3 a further 3/10ths off with the Mugen of Aaron Stringer fourth fastest followed by Atsushi Hara, Richard Saxton and Adam Drake.
‘Pretty good’ was how Ronnefalk summed up his first opening run. The Swede continued, ‘I started out with a good lap and Ty was right behind me but I felt pretty confident with my car. Then Ty crashed which gave me a cushion and I could pace myself’. The World Champion said the only issue to report was when, late in the heat, he landed on the outside pipe off the double before the left side triple triple saying otherwise it was a clean run. Running JConcepts Detox R2 tyre, he reported them as ‘a bit too soft at the end’ and for Q2 plans to switch to the O2 compound. With it ‘getting more bumpy out there’ and expecting the track surface to ‘develop more like that’, he also plans to try a different shock set-up on his Orion powered D817 to ‘try find a good balance from the shock package’.
Matching his result of the opening Truggy qualifier, McBride said, ‘my car is really good and it’s easy to drive’. In a slower heat than Ronnefalk, the Team Associated driver said, ‘I had two or three slow downs with traffic which cost me a couple of seconds but with the regroup I should be able to get a clean run next time’. Happy with his car, he said his choice of a new set of X2 Blockades where ‘slippy’ at the start but worked good once broken in and so for Q2 he will start with a worn set so he ‘should be fine’.
‘It was OK, I started out good but then overdrove a little and had a mistake at the triple triple’ was Tessmann’s summary of the Q1. The former World Champion continued, ‘I just need to drive a clean race next time’. Running with his bodyshell askew for a few laps, he said this was caused by him hitting a tyre on the inside of the corner and it getting caught up on the aerial. Running X2 Electro Shots on his OS powered XB8, the Canadian said ‘I think they were OK but we’ll see how the temperature is for Q2 before deciding what to run next’.
Setting the fourth fastest time, Aaron Stringer declared it a ‘good’ first buggy run except for a first lap mistake. The 23-year-old Brisbane driver, ‘cased the 2nd triple and lost 4-seconds and consequently finished 4-seconds behind Ty’. Feeling he lacked a little steering from his AKA Grid Iron 2 shod Mugen for Q2, he ‘might change something on the car to get a bit more steering’ but plans to continue on the same tyre.
‘Good start, shit end’ was how Hara summed up his performance as he set the 5th fastest time. The former World Champion continued, ‘the car is good but I made too many mistakes because I overdrove a little’. With Q2 bringing the first day of the record entry Philippine Masters to a close, in terms of the car he ‘don’t change anything’ but instead ‘drive it better’.
Completing the Top 6 ahead of reigning champion Adam Drake, Team Associated’s Richard Saxton said, ‘I drove slow and steady like over 40 class’. The American added, ‘I drove within my limits. I had 2-days of practice which made up for it and I got to test a few things so the car felt good’. Looking to Q2, he said, ‘I wont change anything but with Kyle quick straight out of the blocks I might try his set-up tomorrow’.
Chassis – HB Racing D8TE Engine – OS Speed 21XZ-B Spec II Tyres – Pro-Line Blockade X3 Compound Fuel – Tornado 25% Radio/Servos – Futaba 4PX / Futaba S9373SV Body – Pro-Line Enforcer Remarks – The ever popular, and fan favourite, Atsushi Hara has decided to make a return home to long-time chassis sponsor, HB Racing, and choosing to run both the HB racing 1/8th buggy and truggy as a chassis privateer for this event. Remarking that his D8TE ‘Tessman Edition’ has worked well that ‘it’s been a while for truggy’, the only added modification over the stock kit comes in the form of Avid carbon fibre arm inserts for the extreme heat here in the Philippines.
Ty Tessmann has opened the 7th running of the Philippine Masters with a TQ run, the Xray driver topping the first of the five qualifiers from Kyle McBride. The biggest edition of the Manila based event with drivers from 14 countries making up the record 140 entries, Tessmann would run 10-laps on the CV Offroad Track to outpace the Team Associated of McBride by 4 and a half seconds with the race’s most experienced international competitor, Adam Drake completing the Top 3.
On his first trip to the Masters, Tessmann was pleased to open with a TQ run, but commented that his truck’s oils were too soft for the 40 degree temperatures that greeted the drivers in today’s opening qualifier. Getting his first taste of the track in the morning practice, he said his Pro-Line Electro Shot equipped XT9 was ok then but now ‘it’s just so hot here’. Suffering ‘a little traffic issue’ which he was ‘not too upset about’, the Canadian described the track as ‘challenging but fun’ and with 1-hour Mains he said ‘that’s going to be tough on this track, especially in truck.
‘A pretty good run’ was how McBride summed up Q1. The Australian, who was another of the international drivers to get his first lap of the track this morning, continued, ‘my truggy is pretty good but I could do with a little more corner speed’. Suffering ‘one run-in with a back marker’, he plans to go up in shock oil for Q2 to give his RC8T ‘more support’ while he is also considering going down in diff oils. Describing the track layout as ‘really fun’ with the ‘jumps built nicely’ making it ‘flow well’, he said having tried different tyre options in practice he ran Pro-Line X2 Blockades and he was happy with that choice.
On his 3rd visit to the Philippine Masters, a race he said has provided a great opportunity for him to interact with customers from around Asia, Drake summed up Q1 with, ‘it was ok’. The Mugen driver, ‘I got on the brakes too hard on a bump and blew out’ adding ‘everything is too soft for how hot it is’. He continued, ‘with limited practice I have got stuff I still need to figure out. I need to stiffen up the truck because now the track is clean were as in practice it was dusty. The grip is really good now’.
Another on his first visit to the country, Atsushi Hara would set the fourth fastest time. Running all HB Racing this weekend, saying, ‘I don’t remember the last time I raced a Hot Bodies truggy’, he summed up the run with, ‘the pace is not too bad and the car is ok’. One of the first of the international drivers to arrive for the race giving him the advantage of extra practice in the days leading up to the event, he said, ‘I had one stupid crash at the beginning (of the heat) by myself and then on the last lap the front drive broke which cost me a position’. Running Electro Shots but having run Blockades in practice he said he will switch to the latter for Q2.
Completing the Top 5 would be Aaron Stringer. The Australian who ran a full day of testing yesterday described his opening heat as ‘pretty shit’. Running in the second fastest heat, the Mugen driver said ‘I crashed 5-times with back markers in the first three laps’. Describing his MBX7 as ‘good for the heat’, that was reflected in him posting the fastest lap of Q1. With the heats being reseeded after each round this will put Stringer in the top heat and planning to leave his car unchanged he will be hoping for a ‘better run’.