Chassis: Schumacher CAT K2 Motor: LRP 5.5 ESC: LRP Flow 3.8 Batteries: LRP 4500 Shorty Radio/Servo: Sanwa/KO Propo Body – Kit body
Remarks – Reigning 4wd European Champion Michal Orlowski is running the all new CAT K2, which was debuted at the opening round of the EOS in Germany a fortnight ago. Coming here with a new battery and electronics layout, the battery mounted in line with the chassis has made the car much easier to drive compared to sideways. Starting practice with the same setup from the warmup, he has added more rear toe in to make the car easier to drive and played around with tires and front tire gluing to get rid of the edgy feel.
Bruno Coelho continues to set the practice pace at the 1:10 Offroad World Championships in Japan, the Xray driver setting a new fastest 3-consecutive laps in the third round. Behind the Touring Car World Championship runner-up, Kyosho driver Yusuke Sugiura and Yokomo’s Lee Martin complete the Top 3 on the times despite both drivers not bettering their times from the second round.
‘Super good’ was how Coelho summed up how his first electric offroad Worlds was starting out in 4WD. Having made some changes to his LRP powered XB4, the Portuguese driver said it was now landing much better and was suffering less from traction roll on the astro turf Yatabe Arena track. The 22-year-old said with the ‘car working really well’ he now only needs to work on improving his consistency over the length of the run. Over half a seconds faster than his closest rival, Coelho has also recorded the fastest lap with a 17.184.
Former Japanese National Champion Sugiura said his Kyosho is ‘so good’ adding its ‘easy to drive but still fast’. The 19-year-old said having suffered with oversteer, a change to a harder front spring had made the car much better. For the fourth & final practice before the event moves into two rounds of controlled practice which will seed the heats for qualifying, the Warm-up Race podium finisher plans to lower his ride height.
‘Not too bad’ was how Martin summed up his performance so far although the British ace admitted a change for P3 was ‘not so good’. Feeling the change to his Muchmore powered YZ-4 was the wrong direction for the next run they will go in the opposite way with the set-up. Martin said one big problem due to the speed of the track is getting clear laps. Saying ‘a few people have the track figured our’ he said ‘Bruno is the standard for now’. A driver he battled with for victory at the EOS season opener only two weeks ago, he said Coelho and his Xray team are one step ahead at the moment but he was confident they can catch up by the end of the day.
Travis Amezcua finds himself an impressive fourth at the end of three rounds. Travelling 2-hours away to the GB Circuit yesterday where he was joined by HB’s Ty Tessmann, the Team Durango driver said having found a good set-up there he hasn’t had to change his car this morning. Only trying different preparations of the handout front Schumacher tyre, he said with the car already good he just needs to work on the consistency of getting on the power and braking so that he is doing it the same lap after lap. For his next practice Amezcua will change motor and speedo.
Fourth fastest, Jared Tebo said things were going ‘alright’ adding ‘it could be better, it could be worse’. The Kyosho driver and Warm-up Race runner-up said his Orion powered ZX6 is good but he had issues with braking in the last run. Runner a new design centre diff in P3 he said this left him with not enough brake. Having to stay on the brakes too long as a result he said this was causing him to flip as he turned in. Planning to ‘mess around with motors’ he said he still hadn’t run the car with a slipper yet.
Competing the Top 6 ahead of the Schumacher of European Champion Michal Orlowski, Naoto Matuskura said his performance so far was ‘so, so’. The warm-up Race winner is looking for more traction from his Kyosho. The reigning Touring Car and multiple 1:12 World Champion will make a number of changes for P4 and liking the track layout he is confident he can improve on his current pace.
New 2WD World Champion Spencer Rivkin finds himself only 17th, the best Associated being Neil Cragg in 14th. The 16-year-old said ‘we’re getting a little better’ adding the ‘car was more consistent that one’. Planning to gear up his Reedy motor for the next run, he said ‘we might not have the fastest car but its not a problem at this stage, its only practice’. Senior team-mate Ryan Cavalieri is currently 15th fastest.
Chassis – TLR 22-4 Motor – Orion VST2 Pro 4.5 ESC – Orion R10.1 Battery – Orion 4000 Radio/Servos – Spektrum Body – Lightweight Cab forward body
Remarks – Dustin Evans is running a slightly modified version of the 22-4 from TLR here in Japan. The car sports machined delrin front lower arms on the car which offers up an additional pivot point on the c-hub so that the tire has more leverage on the shock. This makes the car less aggressive on the front end so that it wont flip in the corners. At the rear of the car the wishbones have been reversed so that the shocks can be mounted on the front of the rear shock tower, reducing the weight transfer off-power. In terms of setup, Dustin has not tested on astro with the car in this configuration but in the early runs he has found the car to be less edgy than anticipated.
With drivers having had a day off to recover from their 2WD exploits it is back to business this morning at the Yatabe Arena as the 4WD World Championships got underway with the first round of practice. With the astro turf track undergoing two changes from that used in 2WD it was Xray’s touring car ace Bruno Coelho who found the best early footing in the high traction conditions as he lay down the early pace over 3-laps. For defending champion Steven Hartson it was not the start the Associated driver was looking for with the American set to change car for the second practice.
In what is only his second international 1:10 Offroad event, the Portuguese driver making his debut at the recent Euro Offroad Series season opener in Germany and impressing, Coelho said it was ‘a super good start’. With team-mate Martin Bayer posting the third fastest time, the current European Nitro Touring Car Champion said his XB4 was good but like everyone else they need to improve it for the high traction levels. Asked about the track he said the new layout now had ‘two blind spots, but every time I mention blind spots people say its just offroad’ jokingly adding ‘offroad must be for blind people’. Asked about the rubber strips which have been moved to run around the near left corner leading to the chicane before the straight, he feels now everyone has to do it the same ‘one, one, one’ approach and so there is ‘no big performance advantage like in 2WD’.
Newly crowned 2WD World Champion Spencer Rivkin was in the same frame of mind that helped him in 2WD saying ‘I was just getting the feel for the car and track’. Asked what he thought of the track changes, the large roll over having been moved from in front of the drivers stand to the centre section after the table top, the 16-year-old replied ‘its pretty cool’ adding he likes the strips as ‘you need to be patient in there’, patience having paid off for the new Associated star in 2WD. Commenting on his car he said ‘it wasn’t bad but we’ll make it better for the next one’.
Unfortunately for defending champion Hartson, he didn’t share the same feeling for his car describing it as ‘no good’. The Californian said it ‘wasn’t what he hoped for’ and he will now switch to his second car which is ‘a standard car from back home’. Describing the track as ‘fun and flowing’ he said ‘just the whoops felt worse to me as they really upset the car’.
The driver with the most titles to his credit, three time 4WD Champion Ryan Cavalieri described the track as ‘pretty fun’ and he ‘like(s) the changes’ adding that it was ‘a lot better than (he) was expecting’. Overall a track that is ‘easier in some areas’ he said it is ‘not as risky as the 2WD layout’. In terms of his car, the Associated driver said for a first run it was ‘not too bad’.
Top Qualifier at the last World Championship, Joern Nuemann response to his first practice was ‘its very edgy’. The Serpent driver said the new layout was ‘OK,(and) better than expected’. Looking to make his car more stable he plans to remove another set of pins from the handout Schumacher Wide Stagger Rib front tyre.
Top Qualifier in 2WD earlier in the week, Jared Tebo reaction to the track was ‘really grippy’. Finishing runner-up to Rivkin in 2WD, the Kyosho star said, ‘the 2WD track was more fun but its alright’. On the moving the strips, where he took an early advantage over his rivals in 2WD, to the corner he said ‘they’re ok, but you need to be patient with them’. Recording the 7th fastest 3-laps the 2007 4WD Champion said ‘it was pretty edgy’.
TLR’s Ryan Maifield said his 22-4 was really easy to driver but added the end of straight was an area that he needed to work on. Describing 4WD as being ‘more sensitive to wheel inputs at speed’ he said ‘you need to be careful how you send it in end at the end of the straight’. Describing it as a positive opening run, the Arizona driver who was the only TLR to make the 2WD final, said it was a ‘surprisingly better start than 4WD adding the 2WD track time had helped’ adding ‘I wish they ran 4WD first honestly’.
Current Euro Offroad Series Champion Lee Martin had similar views about his opening 4WD practice. A driver who was one of the favourites for 2WD but struggled, the Yokomo driver said ‘I think we are a little better than 2WD’ adding ‘its a more positive start, the car feels less alien’. Feeling the diffs in his YZ-4 took a while to come in he said when they did ‘it was not too bad after but (he) didn’t get any clean laps’. For the second practice the British driver said they still had to get things right with the front tyre in terms of cutting pins and gluing. On the track changes he said the ‘rubber strips are still annoying’ but continuing ‘they are less critical’.
Having never featured in 2WD, Canadian star Ty Tessmann was much more upbeat saying ‘It’s a lot closer, I’m not so far of the pace so I’m happier with that’. The HB driver said the track is ‘more fun than 2WD’ and the whoops are ‘not nearly as difficult’. More positive about 4WD he said he needed to work on the roll over jump as he was flat landing it in the first practice.
In the third part of our New in the Pits with JConcepts, we focus on option parts specific to the Associated B5M. First up are new steering blocks made from aluminium which feature a fixed 4mm trailing position. Using an adapter sleeve for the axle bearings it makes it easier to get better alignment for the bearings over the stock part. Lightweight, it has machined pockets in the part’s surface and will be available in blue or black.
At the back of the car there is new 2-piece rear hub carriers with vertical mounted ball stud. Lighter than the standard hub carrier it also features a smaller outer bearing than the stock version. The top bracket offers 2 stock locations for the camber mount as well as the ability to have 3 locations on the bracket itself allowing you to easily change the camber gain.
Also new for the B5M is this new honeycomb milled chassis plate which has been made out of hard anodised 7075 aluminium. The machining removes 23 grams of weight compared with the stock B5M chassis while the way it has been milled further helps its rigidity. To complete the looks it has machined chamfered edges and laser etched JC logos.
For the B5 range of vehicles there is a new carbon fibre front shock tower similar to what JC had available for the B4 range of cars. Machined from 4mm thick carbon it sports an aluminium front camber link brace that stretches across the front of the tower and which offers multiple camber link mounts, 3 instead of 2, and the ability to move the whole mount up and down in 2 positions. Further to this there is two different brackets, a standard wider version and a narrower version that moves the ball stud mounts closer together. Also for this assembly there will be 2 different shock towers, one for standard front arm and one for gullwing arm configurations.
Finally for the rear of the B5M is a new rear bulkhead which was inspired by a version that JConcepts made for the C4.2 buggy. A slim stance rear bulkhead, this lightweight aluminium part has integrated sway bar mounts and comes in anodised black or blue and sports chamfered edges for looks. Mounted to a 4mm thick carbon fibre rear shock tower, it along with all the other parts will be available in the next few months.