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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Groskamp fastest in Q1

Continuing the blistering form he showed in practice, Capricorn’s Jilles Groskamp got qualifying for the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championships underway with a convincing TQ run in what were extremely hot conditions in Bangkok, Thailand.  The Dutch ace ran 39-laps in a time of 10:08.998 to top arch rival Atsushi Hara by 3/10ths of a second who in turn was 2 seconds clear of HB team-mate Teemu Leino.  The biggest surprise of the opening qualifier was the impressive run from 14-year-old Mugen driver JJ Wang who posted the fourth fastest time a second off Leino’s pace.

With the top group of heats running both of today’s qualifier in the afternoon, groups 1 to 7 having run this morning, the drivers had to run at the hottest point of the day with many drivers describing the conditions as the hottest yet at the RC Addict track.  As a result the track was very slow with many drivers afterwards discarding the round as a practice run with Q2 expected to be much faster as conditions should be much cooler making for much higher traction.

Although pleased to take the first qualifier, Groskamp said his Maxima powered LAB C-02 did not feel good and by the end of the 10-minutes was very loose to drive.  Describing the track conditions as the slowest they have been so far at this the 5th running of the World Championships he said his lack of traction may have been compounded by him running too small a diameter of tyre.  Expecting Q2 to be much cooler, conditions he excelled in during the three days of practice, he said he will not change his car for the run as he knows its good for such conditions.

Setting the second fastest time, Hara said while conditions were very hot & slow he also made the wrong call on his rear tyre choice which made his OS powered R10 very loose on the rear.  Suffering from oversteer due to the rear tyre being too hard a compound, he said overall he was happy to be as close as he was to Groskamp.  Planning to pick a more suitable tyre nearer to the time of the second heat the Japanese ace will leave his set as is.  A driver who knows this track better than most said while he doesn’t think the cars will make 40 laps he is predicting the TQ time to be a 39 lap run in 10:02.

Managing a number of impressive saves as the rear of his R10 got out of shape, Leino said his car was a handful.  Tuning to LRP engine to run a little more rich due to the high temperatures he said they went a little too far and this effected his gearbox with it changing late into second.  Discarding the round, the Finn said his set-up should suit the expected conditions of Q2 much better and so he doesn’t plan on making any major set-up changes.

Running in the third highest group Wang was very happy with what he described as a good clean run.  The highest placed Mugen, he said his Novarossi powered MTX-5 felt good although by the end of the run the American said it started to feel a little loose.  Planning to run the same set-up in Q2 he will instead adjust his driving style to suit what are expected to be much higher traction conditions.  The Top Qualifier at the last World Championships Mugen team-mate Robert Pietsch was running a similar Top 4 pace to Wang until his engine flamed out as he went to leave the pitlane after refueling.  The German, who lost 16 seconds, said they found a problem with the way the fuel gun attaches to the tank in the car and this caused air to get in the fuel line.  The designer of the MTX-5 he said he will modify the fuel gun to ensure they don’t have any further such problems. In the end Pietsch was classified 26th fastest in between Shepherd’s Ronald Volker and Serpent’s Paolo Morganti.

Setting the fifth fastest time Andy Moore said he drove a steady run but added he had no other choice as his Maxima R10 had a major lack of steering.  Having made his tyre choice based on the handling of his car in yesterday’s practice he said the discovered this morning that the chassis plate was bent.  With just enough time to change the chassis in time for his heat he didn’t have time to change his tyre choice and the result was a car that was ‘way too safe’ to drive.

Sixth fastest was reigning Japanese National Champion Takaaki Shimo. The factory Kyosho driver was much happier with his Kyosho V-One R4 today having struggled throughout practice.  Changing to a softer front end set-up, the 2010 Finalist said this improved the car a lot but he still needs to find a little more.

Running closely on track with both Leino and Hara for much of the run, KM Racing’s Dario Balestri dropped back in the closing stages to set the 7th fastest time.  Afterwards it was discovered that the thrust bearing in his clutch was damaged causing his Novarossi engine to bog down out of the corners.  Very happy with the set-up on his H-K1, the Italian said it was better that they had problems in these condition rather than in Q2 which most drivers are referring to as the rocket round.

Top Xray in the opening qualifier was Alexander Hagberg who set the 8th fastest time ahead of team-mates Dirk Wischnewski, Martin Hudy and Paul Lemieux who completed the Top 11.  The Swede said the run was very good until just after his fuel stop when he chunked a tyre which made his Orcan powered NT1 ‘push really bad’.

Elsewhere the Serpent team were totally out of luck with the best placed driver in practice Mark Green not even making the start.  When the team arrived at the track this morning the air conditioning unit in the pit container had frozen.  Trying to free up the unit that was position right of the British Champions pit table it released water but unknown to the team it had poured onto his Sanwa radio.  Turning on his radio on the rostrum at first they thought the battery was flat and changed to the battery from Michael Salven’s radio but as Salven fitted the battery he noticed water running across the back of the radio’s functions screen.  Getting the radio checked over by Sanwa, who are here for driver support, they said the water had fried the radio and lucky for Green they had a new replacement stick transmitter.  For Salven he also had bad luck. Fitting a new fuel tank to his 747 for qualifying this appears to have been faulty causing his Mega engine to run so rich that on occasions the car came to a halt on the track even though the engine was still running and on full throttle.  He will refit the tank he used in practice for Q2.

Former 3-time electric Touring Car World Champion and 2010 Nitro Worlds podium finisher Marc Rheinard also had engine problems.  Fitting a new Capricorn engine for the first qualifier, the carb was set too lean and the engine eventually flamed out.

Top 15 after Round 1 of Qualifying
1. Jilles Groskamp – Capricorn/Maxima – 39/10.08.988
2. Atsushi Hara – HB/OS Speed – 39/10:09.303
3. Teemu Leino – HB/LRP – 39/10:11.340
4. JJ Wang – Mugen/Novarossi – 39/10:12.349
5. Andy Moore – HB/Maxima – 39/10:14.276
6. Takaaki Shimo – Kyosho/OS Speed – 39/10:15.618
7. Dario Balestri – KM Racing/Novarossi – 38/10:00.116
8. Alexander Hagberg – Xray/Orcan – 38/10:01.133
9. Dirk Wischnewski – Xray/Orcan – 38/10:01.245
10.Martin Hudy – Xray/Max – 38/10:02.050
11.Paul Lemieux – Xray/Max – 38/10:02.701
12.Meen Vejrak – KM Racing/Novarossi – 38/10:03.158
13.Charlee Phutiyothin – KM Racing/Novarossi – 38/10:04.531
14.Biagio Spataro – Xray/G-Mar – 38/10:04.624
15.Surikarn C – Xray/Max – 38/10:04.674

View our event image gallery here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chassis Focus – Mark Green

Chassis Name – Serpent 747
Engine – Novarossi Keep On 12-3L
Tires – Hot Race Tyres
Radio/Servos – Sanwa
Remarks – Mark is the top Serpent following practice and is using the standard Serpent 747. He is utilizing the car’s chassis flex system with the front of the radio plate only mounted to the blocks on rubber o-rings to allow flex which seems to be working.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Groskamp tops final practice at Worlds

Practice for the fifth running of the IFMAR 1:10 Nitro Touring World Championship has been completed with Capricorn’s Jilles Groskamp topping the time sheets after the Dutch ace set down a blistering pace in the third & final controlled practice in Bangkok, Thailand, bringing Day 3 of the event to a close.  The newly crowned electric touring car World Champion knocked over half a second off his CP2 topping time leaving his opposition scratching their heads with Dario Balestri, who set the second fastest time, saying Groskamp was ‘too fast’ referring to the 4/10th extra pace he had over three consecutive laps.

Groskamp was very happy with his performance today and felt he could probably have run even faster had his engine not been as rich at the beginning of the run.  Not happy with his Maxima engine’s tuning in CP2, the engine tuner rebuilt the engine between runs and as a precaution it was set rich for the start of the run meaning Groskamp did not get the full advantage of his tyres with the additive most effective at the start of the run.  Once they leaned off the engine he said if felt ‘really good’. Keeping his pitting to a minimum in the final practice Groskamp said while his car lost some pace over the 10 minutes he thinks compared to his rivals his drop off in performance is less. Planning to leave the set-up the same for the first round of the six rocket round qualifiers he will just freshen up the LAB C-02 by fitting new belts and drives shafts for tomorrow.

A former two time European Champion, Balestri was happier with the set-up of his Novarossi powered KM Racing H-K1 for the final practice but overall described it as ‘so so’. With the full 10-minutes rather than just three consecutive laps counting for qualifying the Italian said he thinks his car is decent but if he is to be able to in anyway challenge Groskamp they need to make further improvements to the set-up.

Setting the third fastest time of the day in CP3 Teemu Leino said his new HB R10 was good but ‘like always’ he wanted to make it better. The Finn, who has been nick named ‘Grandpa’ by his team-mate Atsushi Hara due to him being the oldest member of the HB team, said he is lacking a little in terms of rear traction. Asked what he planned to change for Q1 he said it would be a combination between a set-up change and additive adding that the cars could, like in 1:12 racing, be tuned through the additive.

Only managing to post the fourth fastest time in the final practice having start the day off fastest in CP1, Hara said he was ‘not happy’ with the result.  Trying a different rear tyre in the round he said it was very good at the beginning of the run but it quickly overheated.  Planning to try cure this with a change of shore he said the key for qualifying is going to be consistency rather than outright speed something he is confident he can achieve tomorrow.  Commenting on Groskamp’s advantage in practice the former electric touring car and 1:8 Offroad World Champion said while he believes he has a quicker car when conditions are warmer the Dutchman is better in the cooler, faster, conditions but added that if they both make the 1-hour Main he believes its going to be a very close fought race between them.

Behind Hara, thanks to their CP2 times, Thai drivers Chavit Sirigupta and Surikarn C ended practice as the best placed Mugen and Xray respectively with 5th & 6th fastest times. Although he improved his pace in the final practice former European Champion and 2010 finalist Dirk Wischnewski dropped to the seventh fastest time.

Breaking into the Top 10 for the first time taking his Serpent 747 to the 8th fastest time for the day in CP3, Mark Green was very happy with the progress the team have made.  Running the set-up the same as CP2, the British National Champion and former World finalist said he focused instead on adjusting his driving to suit the track layout.  Adjusting with the weights on his chassis he said he was also still fine tuning his tyre preparation but having reached the pace they now have after just three days at the track is a great testament to the Michael Salven designed 747.  Setting his best time in CP3 to end up 24th fastest just ahead of fellow Team USA driver JJ Wang, Serpent’s Paolo Morganti was also happy with the progress made today. Having tried a few things in the final run that were not great he feels he can, based on the feeling of those changes, put a better set-up on his 747 which should be good for the first round of qualifying.

Top Qualifier at the World Championships last time round Mugen’s Robert Pietsch improved his time in CP3 to end practice 9th fastest behind Green.  The reigning 1:8 Onroad World & European Champion said while his MTX-5 was better the difference between the start of the run and the end was much too big.  In the beginning the car was close to traction rolling while at the end of the 10 minutes it suffered from understeer.  While the German feels he now has a better base set-up he said its ‘super difficult’ to find the right direction with the additive.

Of the two former World Champions competing in Thailand, reigning champion Ralph Burch unable to attend due to a broken hand, Keisuke Fukuda was quickest in practice setting the 15th fastest time.  Daniele Ielasi, who took over the reign from Fukuda when he won the title in Portugal in 2008, is having was is best described as a difficult event managing his best run in CP3 which was only good enough for the 64th fastest time.

For the two qualifiers that will make up tomorrow’s (Tuesday) timetable the heats have been divided into two groups with heats 1-7 running both their qualifiers in the first half of the day with heats 8-15, the quicker grouping of driver, running their rounds in the evening.  That order with be reversed for rounds 3 & 4 on Wednesday and will see qualifying run straight through in reverse order starting with group 4 for rounds 5 & 6 on Thursday.

Top 15 after final Controlled Practice
1. Jilles Groskamp – Capricorn/Maxima – 44.409 (3)
2. Dario Balestri – KM Racing/Novarossi – 44.859 (3)
3. Teemu Leino – HB/LRP – 44.892 (3)
4. Atsushi Hara – HB/OS Speed – 44.990 (3)
5. Chavit Sirigupta – Mugen/Maxima – 45.082 (2)
6. Surikarn C – Xray/Max – 45.122 (2)
7. Dirk Wischnewski – Xray/Orcan – 45.139 (3)
8. Mark Green – Serpent/Novarossi – 45.144 (3)
9. Robert Pietsch – Mugen/Novarossi – 45.195 (3)
10.Francesco Tironi – Capricorn/Capricorn – 45.340 (2)
11.Alexander Hagberg – Xray/Orcan – 45.366 (3)
13.Andy Moore – HB/Maxima – 45.366 (1)
14.Takehiro Terauchi – Mugen/Novarossi – 45.410 (1)
15.Keisuke Fukuda – Mugen/Picco – 45.510 (3)

View our event image gallery here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chassis Focus – Jilles Groskamp

Chassis Name – Capricorn Lab-C02
Engine – Maxima
Tires – Hot Race Tyres
Radio/Servos – Sanwa
Remarks – Jilles is using the standard Lab-C02 to very good effect setting the fastest time in Controlled Practice so far but has the benefit of also being extremely strong with his finals set-up. Using the Thai tuned Maxima engine he is using a new Maxima exhaust system for this race.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Chassis Focus – Alexander Hagberg

Chassis Name – Xray NT1 Pro
Engine – Orcan GT3
Tires – Matrix
Radio/Servos – KO Propo
Remarks – Alexander is running the current European and ROAR National winning NT1 with a number of readily available optionals such as the brass battery tray, lightweight aluminum parts and progressive springs.

Image Gallery

Monday, November 12, 2012

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Red RC are at Huge RC in Bangkok, Thailand for the 2014 IFMAR 1/10th 200mm World Championships. Returning to Thailand for the 2nd time in as many years, last time out it was Meen Vejrak that took the win on home soil and this year racers from around the World will be out to take the title away from him on this indoor high grip asphalt track. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Monday noon (10th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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