Dominic Greiner is the Top Qualifier for the 200mm World Championships in the Thailand, the Team Serpent driver putting in a stunning drive in the deciding final qualifier at the Huge RC Circuit in Bangkok to secure pole position on his World Championship debut. With just one direct qualifier for the 1-hour Main, the German needed to take Q6 to deny Alexander Hagberg the coveted position and that’s exactly what he did TQ’ing the round from the Swede to tie on points claiming an emotional overall TQ on tie break with the Xray driver. Behind, a strong drive saw Capricorn driver Kyle Branson take the top heat to claim third for the round with his former mentor Mark Green completing the Top 4. For reigning World Champion Meen Vejrak the final qualifier would be his best of the six with the factory KM Racing driver posting the sixth fastest time which leaves him to start his title defence from the 1/4 Finals.
Proving a very popular Top Qualifier, the German was unable to mask the emotion of his achievement as he was engulfed in congratulations from his Serpent team and rivals, he said he ‘never thought (he) would TQ (his) first World Championships’. Knowing nothing but a TQ run would do for the round, the 22-year-old said he knew he had to push 100% and other than 2-small mistakes caused by nerves it couldn’t have went any better. Moving the 748’s moveable chassis weights more towards the rear of the car for the run he said the set-up ‘was perfect’. ‘Having worked so hard the last 2-years’ with the the 748’s designer Michael Salven he said he was ‘so happy’ adding that it was a team effort and without the input of all the Serpent team drivers the TQ would have not been possible. Looking to the final he said with the car so easy to drive and his Max engine ‘so safe’ in terms of run time he ‘couldn’t ask for a better package’.
Hagberg, who will start on pole position in his 30-minute Semi Final, said he ‘drove perfectly but was too slow’. ‘On the limit’ he ‘couldn’t have done any better’ adding their ‘5-minute pace was a little too slow’. Describing his Orcan powered NT1 as easy to drive he said he is confident for the longer distance adding that once he can bump up, racing the Semi could be beneficial in terms of getting into a rhythm for the main event.
Describing his LAB C03 as really good, Branson said his re-found pace came from him just getting more used to the Max engine. Having struggled with run time issues in the first four qualifier while running XRD engines, the British talent who was seeded in top heat said because of this he knew he couldn’t push too hard as he needed the result knowing it was border line between making the 1/4 or the 1/8 final. Declaring himself as being ‘back on track’ with a car & engine now that are working really good, the 20-year-old is confident he has the equipment to bump up come Saturday.
Although he topped two rounds of qualifying, Teemu Leino will join Branson in the same 1/4 Final. Having run out of fuel in the penultimate qualifier, the 2012 Top Qualifier would again not have enough fuel to go the 5-minutes in Q6. Having turned the lower jet in one full turn, the HB driver said his Novarossi engine was still rich causing it to run dry on the final lap. Having had no such run time issues yesterday or in he opening qualifier of the day which he TQ’d, the Finn said he was ‘confused by the problem’ but ‘with something was not right’ he would fit an new engine for the final.
Set to run in the opposite 1/4 final to Leino and Branson, Vejrak said after ‘a lot of mistakes yesterday’ today had gone ‘much better’ but he paid the price for getting ‘no points from the first three qualifiers’. Very happy with how his OS Speed powered HK-1 ran in the last qualifier the Thai ace said it should be very good for the ‘long game’ and if nothing happens drama wise he is confident it has the pace to take him to the Main final.
Although he flipped his Xray in the final qualifier, Nicholas Lee would end up 3rd in the overall qualification ranking. The Singapore driver said a caster change to his NT1 for Q6, one of the few changes he would make over all of the qualifiers, gave him a better car. Planning to run it as is for the Semi Final he will start on pole, he said his car was good but added with it being nitro racing, a class in which so many things can go wrong, he was taking nothing for granted in terms of his progression to the Main.
With fourth in Q6 securing Green fifth in the overall ranking just behind team-mate & 1:8 World Champion Tadahiko Sahashi, Serpent having the most cars in the Top 10 with Yuya Sahashi 9th overall, the former finalist said he is ‘looking very good’ for the finals. The British National Champion said having worked towards 10-minute qualifying strategy in practice before they went and changed the heats to 5-minutes, his 748 takes a long time to come in with his fastest lap always coming towards the end. Describing it as ‘super safe to drive’ he said this is ideal for the final and other than giving the car ‘a spit & a polish’ he was going to run it unchanged for his Semi.
The top Mugen in the final qualifying order, securing 6th, Surikarn Chaidajsuriya used his last heat to test a Maxima engine for the final. Describing its performance as ‘OK’, the owner of the Huge RC Circuit said it had really good run time with the former electric touring car World Champion predicting he should be able to get 6-minutes between refuelling saving him one stop off the semi final distance.
2012 podium finisher Francesco Tironi would end his qualifying with his best performance taking 5th in Q6. Tying on points with his Shepherd team-mate Simon Kurzbuch but getting 7th overall on the tie break, the Italian said while he had one bad lap in the last round the overall performance of his Velox V10 was ‘really good’. Set to start third on the 10 car grid of his Semi, he said he is confident he is competitive enough to bump up.
Kurzbuch, who pushed Greiner hard for the TQ time before hitting a curb and rolling his Velox V10, said while disappointing to make such a mistake he was really happy with his race engine. Fitting the Novarossi unit for the final qualifier in preparation for the final he said ‘it was perfect’. In terms of the car set-up the Swiss ace will make just a small adjustment to make it a little less aggressive adding he might also need to ‘calm down’ his driving style for the long race too and with both changes he should be in good shape.
Dominic Greiner has TQ’d the penultimate qualifier at the 200mm World Championships in Thailand. The result puts the Serpent driver in contention to become the overall Top Qualifier with him set to go up against Alexander Hagberg in the final round, the Xray driver ending the fifth round second fastest. With Mugen’s Takehiro Terauchi completing the Top 3, the top heat provided plenty of late drama. On a TQ round, Q3 & 4 pace setter Teemu Leino ran out of fuel with 45-seconds still to run. With Dario Balestri taking over at the top of the timing screen he too would once again have run time issues, his Caparicorn coming to a stop on the final lap. This left Mark Green on target to top the round but he would crash out saying afterwards the last lap off was simply down to ‘an old man driving like shit’.
Having not been happy with his car, Greiner said changing the front end to a similar set-up of that of Green for the round has made the car ‘so much better’ and ‘now (he) could feel the car’. The 22-year-old said overall the car is now very good not just for qualifying but also for the longer finals however if he could get ‘just a very little more steering’ it would be perfect. With the car’s designer Michael Salven saying they are that close to the set-up that a 1mm caster change would be too much, he said that they would try to changing the position of the car’s moveable weights.
A second off Greiner’s TQ pace, Hagberg described Q5 as a ‘pretty good safe run’. He said while a good run it could haven been be a little faster but having traction rolled while on a TQ pace in the fourth round he said he was a little scared to push too hard. The Swede said his NT1/Orcan package was ‘better than (him)’ and after his earlier off & DNF he was having problems with finding which part of the track offers the best racing line. Complimenting the run time of his engine he said this was a good thing to know for the finals.
Claiming his first Top 10 run, 2010 World Championship runner-up Terauchi put his improvement down simply to better driving. Pleased with how his Novarossi powered MTX-6 has been running he said this was his first ‘clean round’. Planning to run the car the same for the final qualifier, the 23-year-old said he would instead continue to work on his driving.
Posting the fourth fastest time was Nicholas Lee. The Xray driver said having opted not to add weight to the front of his NT1, this time round the car developed a slight understeer. Planning to make a change to the set-up to hopefully cure this for the final qualifier, the Singapore driver said he would first discuss possible changes with team-mate Hagberg.
Top Shepherd driver for the round, Simon Kurzbuch was pleased with 5th as he achieved his goal of qualifying in the Semi Finals, only the Top Qualifier directly making the Main. Describing his Velox V10 as ‘easy to drive’, the 2-time 1:8 Worlds finalist will for the final qualifier just make an engine change, using the track time to get his ‘race’ Novarossi engine ready for Saturday’s action, the Swiss ace having a day off tomorrow for his achievement.
Completing the Top 6 was Yuya Sahashi, the Serpent driver declaring it a ‘safe run’. Behind the Japanese driver, Australia’s Jeff Hammon, who claimed P2 in the second round of qualifying, took his Mugen to the 7th fastest time ahead of Kyle Branson. Branson who failed to finish all three qualifiers yesterday due to run time problems finally went 5-minutes after being told by his Capricorn boss Patrizio Rossi to change to Max engines after he started Day 2 of qualifying again with his XRD engine running out of fuel. The British driver said he didn’t drive great as the Max engine had very different characteristics with the extra speed causing him to overshoot his lines. Suffering one mistake as a result, the 20-year-old said now that he can make 5-minutes easy he was going to use the final qualifier to build back up his confidence. Unfortunately for Capricorn team-mate Balestri, who has had run time issues every round, being an XRD salaried driver means he cannot make a such a switch.
Chassis – Velox V10 Pro Engine – Novarossi Keep-On 12 3LS Fuel – Maxima Tires (handout) – Matrix Radio/Servo – KO Propo Body – Protoform P37 Remarks – A podium finisher last time out, Italian Francesco Tironi is, like his team mates, using a basic V10 Pro from Shepherd with the exception of the 4mm thick radio plate. Starting off practice with the set-up from Thai based team mate Jilles Groskamp, he said it was quick straight off but has since made some fine adjustments to it, including making the shocks a little harder and the front diff a little softer.
Having ended the first day of qualifying at the 200mm World Championships yesterday with a TQ run in Q3, Teemo Leino picked up where he left off by becoming the first & so far only driver to run 22 laps of the Huge RC Circuit to top the fourth round. The HB driver set the pace over the Xray of Nicholas Lee with Serpent’s Tadahiko Sahashi and Dominic Greiner completing the Top 4. For overnight TQ holder Alexander Hagberg a traction roll would break his Xray while he was on top of the timing screens in his heat. After a disastrous day yesterday defending champion Meen Vejrak final managed a Top 10 run taking his KM to the 9th fastest time but the same couldn’t be said for Dario Balestri, the Capricorn driver again unable to go the full 5-minutes, again running out of fuel.
‘All good but still need two more which is not so easy’, that was Leino’s summary of his Q4 run. Needing four good runs after a bad Q1 & 2, the Finn said this morning the track had more traction with him lucky to safe his Novarossi powered R10 from traction rolling after it got up on 2-wheels. Running the car unchanged from yesterday, describing both his car & engine as ‘really good’, he is set to continue with it the same for the penultimate qualifier adding you ‘can’t feel when it (traction roll) is going to happen’ and marshalling Hagberg’s heat he said the Swede’s crash showed just how quickly it can catch you out.
Another driver running his car unchanged from yesterday was Lee. The Singapore driver, said the run went pretty much as expected and although his car was still ‘good’ it did feel slightly more nervous than yesterday. Not planning to change the set-up and admitting he doesn’t have the pace to match Leino, the 23-year-old is however considering adding more weight to the front of of his NT1. Crashing out at the 3-minute mark, Xray team-mate Hagberg said while he car may have been a little slower today his run was going good until the unexpected traction roll which resulted in a broken car after it hit the catch fencing.
With reigning 1:8 World Champion Tadahiko Sahashi third, his Serpent team-mate Greiner was very lucky to make the start let alone take fourth for the round. Finishing 0.285 off the Japanese driver, on his out lap for the warm-up the German’s 748 went straight on at the end of the straight crashing into the concrete perimeter. On recovering the car it was discovered the battery lead had disconnected itself. Although the car had some bumper damage he would be able to run the qualifier. Having made a caster change for the qualfier he said this gave him more steering and while he had to be happy with a fourth the car was still not too his liking adding they need to find a better race set-up. With an idea for a set-up to try in Q5 he said he wasn’t sure due to nature of this track’s traction whether it would work as expected.
Securing his best qualifying run with fifth for the round, Team Shepherd/Maxima driver Jilles Groskamp put his improvement down to a new chassis plate. Fitting his Velox V10 with a new chassis and radio tray complete with new servos, the Dutch ace said having struggled yesterday with understeer the car today was much more reactive. Having also changed to a hard shock spring he said the chassis had achieved what he was looking for from the spring change and he will revert back to the softer spring he ran yesterday for Q5. Overall he said his latest qualifier was the first time he could fight with his rivals and while still not fast in laps times he at least has a very consistent car.
Completing the Top 6, Shepherd team-mate Francesco Tironi described the round as having gone ‘quite good’. The 2012 podium finisher, said changing to Shepherd’s new design steering servo saver had given him more steering. The Italian said every run they have been changing the car as they work towards a ‘long run’ set-up and describing his Novarossi powered Velox V10 as very consistent he feels they are pretty competitive for the finals.
Setting the 7th fastest time and the top Mugen driver, JJ Wang said his performance was ‘alright’ adding it was a ‘safe run’. Describing yesterday’s qualifiers as ‘a disaster’, the 16-year-old said today is ‘a new day’ with the focus on his driving. Admitting he doesn’t have the car to TQ, the Chinese-American said he will leave his Novarossi powered MTX-6 the same for Q5 and with the Semi Finals in mind will instead work on his driving for the longer race.
Chassis – Xray NT1 2014 Engine – Novarossi Keep-On 12 3LS Fuel – Maxima Tires (handout) – Matrix Radio/Servo – Sanwa Body – SRC Spark Remarks – Nicholas Lee from Singapore is running the latest NT1 from Xray with the optional 4mm chassis plate as well as harder graphite bulkheads. Having tested at the track prior to the event, the set-up he found back then was not working when he arrived here for the event itself and so changed to that used by team mate Alexander Hagberg. Having run without changes throughout practice he tweaked it further, giving the car a longer wheelbase and putting putty in the front diff in place of oil. A change of body from his regular Protoform shell to the Spark from SRC gave him more mid corner steering however it makes the car quite twitchy.