Chassis – Infinity IF15 Engine – Max XL3 World Edition Fuel(handout) – Maxima Tires (handout) – Matrix Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox Body – Xtreme Hammer
Remarks – The Top Qualifier here in Miami, Dario says he is running a standard IF15. Unlike team-mate Andy Moore who is running a soon to be released less flex chassis plate, he has stuck with the standard version also pointing out that he is also using the standard shock springs, again Moore using springs from a new range Infinity will release.
Dario Balestri is the Top Qualifier at the 1:10 200mm World Championship in Miami. The Infinity driver pulled off his third consecutive Worlds pole position in as many years with another TQ run in the penultimate round of qualifying. Having made a mistake in the day’s opening qualifier, the reigning 1:8 World Champion put in a perfect Q5 making 24-laps to top the times for a third time and deny team-mate Naoto Matsukura and Andy Moore the chance of a first nitro World’s TQ. Having taken the third round of qualifying, Moore had issues in the pits in his fifth run while a mistake from Matsukura while setting the TQ in front of Balestri ended his hopes and he ended up 5th for the round. It would be Dominic Greiner who was closest to Balestri but missing out on going 24-laps. Simon Kurzbuch would complete the Top 3, matching his surprise P3 in Q1, only this time the Shepherd driver took a more traditional route and made a fuel stop like everyone else during the 7-minute qualifier. Robert Pietsch made it four different manufacturers at the top for the round also equalling his best performance so far, while Mugen team-mate Shoki Takahata completed the Top 6.
Top Qualifier at the 2016 Worlds in Gubbio and at the 1:8 World last year in France which he went on to win, Balestri said, ‘I have no words. Honestly I try to change somethings in the car but my experience from the years told me to change something small. So I made a super small change and it saved my life because Naoto is really fast’. Having struggled by his standards in practice, just making the top heat with the 10th fastest time in seeding, the Italian continued, ‘I have to thank Max, Kenji San, Antonio San, Massimo San, everybody. We now also have a car that is safe for the final’.
Reacting to his run Greiner said, ‘I made a little change and for sure it was better but I had to pass Collari again. He never opens the door. I lost time a little but was not the difference there was to Dario’. The reigning champion continued, ‘I am pretty pleased with the car now and with Super Pole taking place in cooler conditions it is better for our car and if that doesn’t work our car is now working good for the Semis’.
‘I really needed that run’, was Kurzbuch’s reaction. The Swiss driver continued, ‘In the last one (Q4) I drove too slow and the pit stop was not good but this time we tried something on the car and it paid off’. Currently sitting 5th overall, the last position to make this evening’s Super Pole the winner of which will join Balestri directly in the A-Main, the 2015 1:8 World Champion said, ‘I need to somehow get into the Super Pole. I know the car is super good in the evening conditions and I have good feeling in my mind for the final qualifier’.
Commenting on his latest performance, Pietsch said, ‘I tried something on the car compared the run before and it took the best out of it. The car was not on the same pace as the run before. Still it was an OK run’. Suffering from ‘big traffic’ in Q4 which cost him 2-seconds he said he was lucky not to crash out of that one after he slid out of the corner and almost collected him’. Looking to the final qualifier, the 1:8 World Champion at this track in 2011, said, ‘we need to find something again for the conditions to be as fast as earlier’.
A frustrated Matsukura reacted with, ‘Aaah, I made a mistake’. Having started the day with a TQ run after some issues yesterday, he continued, ‘I made two mistakes. I was leading and it hit the board on the inside of the corner and then had another mistake 2 laps later’. Holding the fastest qualifying time of the event, the Japanese driver said, ‘my car was ok that time but the engine was a little rich. Before the fuelling it was very good but after it had a different feeling. Still I think I am in the Super Pole and there is still one more to go so I will try for another TQ run’.
Chassis – Capricorn C03 EVO Engine – Maxima TRI Miami Edition Fuel(handout) – Maxima Tires (handout) – Matrix Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Power HD Body – Protoform P47
Remarks – Seeded in the top heat of qualifying here in Miami, Meen is running Capricorn’s latest chassis offering with the stand out features of the former World Champion’s car being the new black chassis and optional flex radio plate. The Maxima team driver is also running a special Miami edition of the Thai company’s Novarossi based TR1 engine.
Naoto Matsukura has opened the second day of qualifying at the 1:10 20mm World Championships in Miami with a TQ run. Having opened qualifying with a P2 but having had issues in Q2 and 3 yesterday, the Infinity driver bounced back in the 4th round to top the times from team-mate Andy Moore. Continuing Infinity’s reign at the top of qualifying, Matsukura’s TQ is the first 24-lap run of the Homestead RC Raceway with his advantage over Moore over 2-second. Unfortunately having TQ’d the opening two rounds of qualifying and ending the day with a P2, Dario Balestri could not continue his form as he got his car hooked up in a corner board which cost him over 6-seconds. Third fastest would be Dominic Greiner, the reigning champion posting a new fastest pitstop of the weekend of 4.2-seconds as pitman Klaus Lechner bettered the previous record set in the heat before by Moore’s pitman Trin NungGai. The big improver of the Q4 would be Teemu Leino, the European Champion who had a best of a P10 from yesterday setting the fourth fastest time ahead of Tadahiko Sahashi and Francesco Tironi.
‘That was very good. It was perfect and I also drove very good with no mistake’, was how Matsukura summed up his TQ run. The 200mm rookie continued, ‘before refuelling I had the lead so in the fuel stop we made a safe stop after the problem we had yesterday during the pitstop’ – his mechanic having trouble opening the fuel tank lid in Q3. The 2014 Electric Touring Car Champion said, ‘we changed the set-up and now was the best the car has been so far. It still has a little but I am super happy to make 24-laps and will keep it the same for the next one’.
Just under a second off his Q3 TQ pace, Moore described his latest effort as ‘another solid run’. The British driver continued, ‘we tried a different spring based on how the track was yesterday but now there was cloud cover and there was way more traction. I was fast the first few laps but it didn’t feel good in the second half of the run’. The former 200mm Worlds Finalist would also have a mistake during the 7-minute qualifier explaining, ‘I thought I was going to spin so I turned into it and went wide which allowed Erik (Dankel) to pass me but he gave me room to back by him but it cost me around 1-second’. Looking to the penultimate qualifier, Moore said, ‘depending on the sun for the next one we might change back to what I had on the car yesterday’. He concluded, ‘anyway now I am for sure in Super Pole but I still have a chance at the TQ’.
Greiner explained, ‘I had two little mistakes because the car felt loose and then after the stop I hit traffic and had to pass Lamberto’. With the traffic, that also included Balestri and Pietsch, it negated any advantage of his super fast pit stop but the German was quick to compliment Matsukura’s driving saying, ‘Naoto had a crazy fast run’. He added, Andy was also just a little faster but 3rd is not so bad for a not so perfect run’. Moore’s time was just 13/1000ths faster. For Q5 Greiner plans to adjust his rear toe in saying, ‘this will give me more traction and overall rear grip. I just need a little bit’.
‘I had a better feeling with the car. That was the first time I was driving the car this week. We finally found some balance’, was Leino’s reaction to his P4. The 2012 Worlds Top Qualifier, continued, ‘the big problem is the rear tyre. It is 8 to 10 shore harder than what we should be running so the Warm-up race we did was a waste of time. It is the same for everyone but only now have we found a car that is drivable’. He concluded, ‘we will do a little fine tuning with the set-up for the next one but I have a car I can race in the finals’. Behind Leino, Infinity team-mate Sahashi equalled his best run with another P5 but the Japanese driver’s time was slightly slower today.
Another driver to equal his best performance from yesterday, Tironi joked, ‘I am still awake’. Putting his P6 in Q3 yesterday evening down to the fact he had woken up, the Italian continued, ‘It was OK. We didn’t change anything on the car because yesterday I had a good feeling’. He added, ‘maybe I could have tried to be faster but I wanted to make a safe run to secure a place in the Semi final. It all works good but I will try something to improve the corner speed a little for the next one’.
Remarks – Showing very strongly on the opening day of qualifying at the Worlds here in Miami, Andy is running a standard kit IF15 that features a soon to be released reduced flex chassis plate. Almost identical to the standard one, the rear hole cut out in the chassis is slightly smaller meaning less flex. In terms of different parts on the car he is using Infinity’s optional shocks towers and rear CVDs. Andy is also running new springs on his car that will be released as a special Infinity set in addition to their standard spring offering.
Having impressed with a P2 in the second round of qualifying at the 200mm World Championships, Andy Moore went one better in Day 1 of qualifying’s final round to TQ Q3 ahead of reigning champion Dominic Greiner by 15/100ths of a second. Running the second fastest heat, the Infinity driver took advantage of the cooler track conditions to set the fastest time of the day bettering Dario Balestri’s best time from the opening two qualifiers by 3-seconds and just missing out on completing 28-laps of the Homestead RC Raceway. Third for the round would go to Balestri, the Italian having an impressive day to hold the overnight provisional TQ with two fastest runs and a P3. After problems in the opening two qualifiers, Robert Pietsch ended the day with P4 ahead of Tadahiko Sahashi with Francesco Tironi completing the Top 6.
Commenting on his impressive run, Moore said, ‘I knew I needed to make the most of that run because I started first. Jesse (Davis) was also fast but had problems in the pit and after that I just tried to drive safe’. With another super fast pit stop, he added, ‘Trin’s pit stop helped a lot but when he told me to push on the last lap I over did it and went 3/10ths slower. Anyway it has been a good day for sure. I was aiming for Top 10 runs but ended up with more. I’m very happy’.
‘Nearly perfect but Andy made a very good run’, was Greiner’s reaction. The Serpent driver continued, ‘after the mistake at the loop the round before we did not make the burst for the line this time and maybe if I had it could have been the TQ’. On his car the German ace said, ‘Always in the cooler conditions it is better. The set-up was not perfect but now I am driving it better and I’m more comfortable with how the car is’.
‘Good points’, was how Balestri summed up his P3 with the 1:8 World Champion adding, ‘and congrats to Andy’. Heading the qualification points table on 3 points with Moore second on 10, the Top Qualifier of the last 200mm Worlds reported some ‘engine carburettor’ issues in the warm-up for Q3. With it running a little rich, he said having to make a number of adjustments meant he had ‘not so much time’ to break-in his set of handout Matrix tyres. He said it wasn’t until around 5-minutes in to the qualifier that his tyres came in but still the Italian was clearly happy with his day.
Pietsch described the first of the two days of qualifying as ‘a nightmare day’. The Mugen driver, who took his 2011 1:8 World title at the same venue, explained, ‘In the first one I had a mistake myself. In the second I was leading but after the fuel stop I could get the engine to rev out and get out of the pitlane. So for the third one we decided to try a different pitstop style, like buggy, and use two people but when we practiced it in the warm-up the body pushed in. The car is super good but after the body problem I was super nervous I was going to have another problem. It was a solid fourth I would say but not what I am looking for actually’. The 201o 200mm Worlds Top Qualifier concluded, ‘the pace for sure is there but right now I only have 1 qualifying result and I need 3 which is not an easy situation’.
Third in seeding, Sahashi said he struggled with maintaining his rhythm over the 7-minutes in the day’s opening two qualifiers and he was happy to better his results in the final run of the day. The former 1:8 World Champion said the track was very different for Q3 and while he is still working on the rear set-up of his Infinity concluded , ‘there are still three (qualifiers) to go so there is still time to get a good result’.
‘Sometimes I wake up’, joked Tironi as he broke the Top 10 for the first time. The Italian continued, ‘honestly from this morning I had Top 6 pace, Top 10 for sure, but in the first one I had a flame out and in the next one I had a problem in the pit but the feeling of the car has always been good.’ He added, ‘the car looks and feels good, the engine is good, everything works. I’m happy and tomorrow we will try to make better’.