Chassis – Yokomo BD8 2018 Motor – Racing Performer M3 4.5 ESC – Racing Performer BL PRO4 Batteries – Racing Performer 6000 Tires – Team Powers (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Power HD Bodyshell – Protoform Type S Pro Light
Remarks – Unlike team-mate Ronald Volker whose car features a number of special parts, Christopher is running a standard BD8 2018 with the key change being the use of a Raceberry chassis and top deck. The car is also fitted with Yokomo’s RTC rear end and has the usual titanium screw & turnbuckle upgrades driver choose to save weight. Unfortunately after a strong start to the Worlds, a big crash in CP2 which meant the car had to be rebuilt with a new chassis, and then a second crash when he collected Viktor Wilck who had collected Freddy Sudhoff in the track fast chicane, Christopher has lost some of his early pace. Despite this he is confident he can get himself into the mix in the final day of the event.
Ronald Volker can finally add World Championship Top Qualifier to his list of achievements after the perfect day at Welkom RC Arena in South Africa today. Having qualified second for the last three World Championships, the Yokomo driver wrapped up pole position in style with his fourth TQ run of the day in the penultimate round of qualifying. With 2016 Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho the only driver with a chance of denying Volker, the Portuguese driver’s quest to take the final two qualifiers came undone early as contact with the the corner flipper at the end of the straight caused him a body tuck which after a few laps he was forced to stop and have marshalled. With Coelho out of contention, Volker no longer had any pressure but he did still have a battle with both Freddy Sudhoff and Viktor Wilck taking turns at the top of the time screen. In the end Volker crossed the line with 0.486 of an advantage over Wilck with Sudhoff another 1/10th back. With Coelho pulling off, Alexander Hagberg would be the top Xray with another P4 run ahead of Christopher Krapp with Meen Vejrak completing the Top 6.
Reacting to his TQ, Volker said, ‘right away after 1-2 laps I saw Bruno was having issues and I knew the TQ was safe. It was a nice relief, the pressure was gone’. The reigning World Champion continued, ‘I didn’t expect to win all four qualifiers today and lock up the TQ. The last three Worlds I started 2nd and now I finally got the important pole position but there is nothing won yet. Bruno wont give me an easy time. Passing and racing is possible on this layout but my goal is not to have him enough room for that.’ His first World Championships working with Hayato Matsuzaki, the German said, ‘I have to give a big thanks to Hayato for figuring out how to improve the car to get the edge over Bruno for today’. He concluded, ‘Now I want to get a good night sleep’.
Explaining the switch from his signature orange colour scheme to an all white bodyshell for Q5, Coelho said, ‘we changed body because of the orange curbing and to try to make the car contrasting against the curbs because with my own colours I can’t see 100% the car. Unfortunately I hit the flipper at the end of the straight and it tucked the body and I had to stop to be marshalled’. Asked about tomorrow’s final day, the Portuguese driver said, ‘the track is big and many places to pass but Volker is very confident and his car is working well so it will be difficult for sure’. He added, ‘we will try things on the car in the morning practice and last qualifier. Second (on the grid) is already secure so we need to try to improve the car to fight with Volker but right now it looks very difficult’.
‘That was important for overall 3rd place’ was Wilck’s reaction to his P2 run. The Serpent driver continued, ‘when Bruno went out I knew I had to push maximum to keep Freddy behind. At the beginning the car was really good but then the steering started to fade off and I needed to change my driving but it was still a pretty good run. I was not to far behind Ronald’. Asked about the grid, the Swede replied, ‘Freddy still has a chance at 3rd. I have a 2,3,3 and he has a 2,3,4 but I have the better time so he needs to get a second to beat me’.
Sudhoff summed up his battle with Wilck by saying ‘It was a close one. Everything was possible, from the TQ to P6. In the end I missed out to Viktor by a tenth’. Commenting on his Awesomatix he said, ‘the car is easy to drive. We made a small roll centre change which suits better my driving style. I am looking forward to the last qualifier in the morning and will try to secure a good spot on the grid’.
Holding fifth overnight going into the sixth & final qualifier, Hagberg did have a good start to the penultimate round. ‘I spun out on the first lap on the curb so I had no chance to fight for the win. I am surprised to get fourth after such a big mistake’. The Swede continued, ‘the car is still lacking corner speed but hopefully we can get a good last qualifier to move up the grid’. Krapp was clearly down beat about his P5 for the round having shown such good pace earlier in the event. The Yokomo driver said, ‘it was the same as before. Its just pushing’.
In the inaugural Formula World Cup, the class not yet awarded World Championship status, Jan Ratheisky took a very dominant overall TQ taking all 5 of the qualifiers that have been run. The Xray driver’s greatest competition is coming from team-mate Dominic Quek and the all new Serpent of David Ehrbar, both drivers tied on points counting a 2,2,3 each going into the final qualifier. Holding fourth overall is Martin Hudy ahead of France’s Jean-Michel Varinard and with South African Pedro De Gouveia completing the provisional Top 6 on the grid.
Ronald Volker has moved a step closure to the overall TQ at the IFMAR World Championships in South Africa with his third TQ of the event. The Yokomo driver denied Q1 winner Bruno Coelho a second TQ by 0.281 of a second, the latter having spent more than 3/4ths of the qualifier at the top of the time screens. Behind the arch rivals, their normal second sparring partner Marc Rheinard a notable absentee from this the 10th running of the Touring Car Worlds, it was Viktor Wilck who once again completed the Top 3. A much more competitive looking Alexander Hagberg brought his Xray home in the 4th fastest time ahead of Christopher Krapp with Loic Jasmin rounding out the Top 6.
Reacting to his run, the fastest qualifying time so far, Volker said, ‘I must say again I didn’t expect to TQ the run after a few laps’. He added, ‘I went on the curbs in the infield and it set me bouncing off the barrier slightly. I lost a few tenths and never thought I would get the back. It was super close with Bruno. I am very happy to win all three qualifiers today but there is still a long way to go. After Q1 and having a bad first run I happy that worst case I will now start the finals from second on the grid’. On his BD8 which features a number of new parts that are expected to be on the Japanese company’s next kit release, the reigning World Champion said, ‘we made some slight shock adjustments for this round and it felt like it had more traction’.
For Coelho it was another frustrating run as mistakes again cost him the TQ. The ETS Champion said, ‘the car was much better for sure but I had some mistakes in the round and they cost me a lot of time. I still finished just 2/10th from Volker. The mistakes cost me a very important TQ but we are still here to fight. There are two more to go and we will fight to win it (the overall TQ)’. On his car, the Xray driver commented, ‘now it is much easier to drive and it has good traction from the rear. If we can get a little more steering we are right there (with the set-up).
Summing up his Q4, Wilck said, ‘It was pretty clean run again but I had a small error when Freddy had his mistake and I also had a mistake on the curbs on the 2nd or 3rd lap. In total they cost me about 4/10th, other than that the pace was pretty good’. Leaving his car unchanged from the previous round but with Q5 to run on used tyres, the podium finisher from the previous Worlds in China said, ‘we need to think if we change the car or not or leave it the same, I’m not sure’.
Crowned 1:12 World Champion earlier in the week at the impressive Welkom RC Arena, Hagberg said, ‘I had a better car that time. It was more to my liking now. It started better than before so for the next one we will continue in that direction and go softer again’.
Krapp was disappointed with his run saying, ‘I don’t know. I had no mistakes but I was too slow. Two runs before I was on the pace now I’m off it. It was a silent run. I couldn’t do anything and we need to find something’. Asked if he changed the car, the Yokomo driver replied, ‘I changed the bump steer but the effect was the opposite. Hopefully I will have more steering in the next one’.
Ronald Volker added another TQ run to his tally at the Touring Car World Championships when he backed up the Day’s opening qualifier with another in the 3rd round. After a disappointing start to qualifying last night, the Yokomo driver is having a much better run today with the reigning champion again having the edge over Bruno Coelho. Interestingly despite Q3 being on used tyres both Volker and Coelho ran almost identical times to the Q2 which was on new tyres. Behind the two pre-race favourites it was Viktor Wilck who completed the Top 3 at the Welkom RC Arena ahead of Freddy Sudhoff. Together with Christopher Krapp who got a P6 for the round, all three drivers who were involved in the same pile up in Q2 reported their cars to have suffered no effects from the dramatic last lap incident. Ahead of Krapp, Alexander Hagberg would cap off the first half of qualifying with a P5.
Commenting on his TQ run, Volker said, ‘to be honest I didn’t expect to TQ this round after the first few laps. I saw Bruno was pulling away’. He continued, ‘I kept driving clean & safe and somehow I was able to come closer and take the lead and at the end I was just trying to save it (his lead)’. On his car the German said, ‘today the big difference has come from changes to the flex after some good ideas of Hayato. We tried different combinations of flex in the morning’s practice and again in Q2. We left it the same for Q3 and I now more confident with the car’.
‘Not so good’ was Coelho’s description of Q3. The Warm-up Race winner said, ‘the start was very strong for the first 3 or 4 laps but then we lose traction and the car starts to slide a little bit’. Asked if this was down to being on used tyres, he replied, ‘No we have the same problem with new’. He concluded, ‘we will try to find the problem. At the start the car is strong but then it drops a lot, its actually not a lot, but at this level it is’.
Wilck summed up his Q3 as ‘pretty clean with almost no incidents’. The Serpent driver continued, ‘I was pushing a little at the end but that is normal on used tyres’. Asked how his car was on used tyres and after it’s Q2 crash he said, ‘it was still pretty ok. It was more stable, a little too safe, so I think we will try a different set-up for the next time we are on used tyres. The car seems fine after the crash. I had to fix the body and some other stuff but it seems ok’.
Quick to thank his Awesomatix team-manager for getting his car out in time for Q3, Sudhoff said, ‘I have to say a big thanks to Max (Machler). After the crash the car was completely broken but he was able to fix it in time for the qualifier and it felt exactly the same as before. He did a great job’. On his P4 pace the German said, ‘I drove a little conservative especially in the chicane because I didn’t want to risk anything. I will keep the car as it for the next one. On new tyres the car is a little better so we will see how it works out’.
Hagberg struggled a little more than his rivals on the used tyres saying, ‘my car was a little different on used tyres and it took way too long for them to come in. I only had good traction for the last minute’. The Xray driver added, ‘I can only fight in the final minute so I need to make the first half better so I am considering making the car softer to get the tyres working earlier’.
‘I messed it up’ was Krapp’s reaction after the round. The Yokomo driver said, ‘I threw it away. I lost 2-second when I spun on the curbs at the end of the straight. The car was ok given we were on used tyres’. He continued, ‘ It is a little frustrating to know the car is good for Top 3 runs but things keep going wrong. I hope I get it together for the next one’.
Chassis – Xray X1 2018 Motor – Hobbywing (handout) ESC – Hobbywing (handout) Batteries – EZ Power 4900 Tires – Hudy (handout) Radio/Servo – KO Propo/Savox Signature edition Bodyshell – Montech Prototype
Remarks – Jan is running what is officially being called an X1 2018 but the car is a test bed for a number of parts expected to feature in the 2019 kit. The car which is running extremely well here at Welkom RC Arena, with Jan taking the opening three qualifiers in the Formula World Cup races that is running alongside the Touring Car Worlds, and has two key new features. The first is a gear diff which Jan says gives better acceleration and more in corner steering under braking. The other big improvement is the addition of a top deck with he said has had a beneficial effect on chassis flex. Another thing being tried on the cars are different length front arms to test different geometries on the car.