Expected to be a faster round due the lowering temperature and increasing grip, that prediction did not materialise and conditions remained unchanged with round topper Ronald Volker’s time marginally slower than what he produced in Q1. JJ Wang remains second overnight despite crashing his car later in the heat, the LRP driver pulling up despite not damaging his car. Jilles Groskamp was the only driver in the top 3 to improve, moving to within 1.2 seconds of Wang’s Q1 time, while Jan Rathiesky’s overhauled Xray T4 was vastly improved and he leapt passed Rocket Zhang into the 5th position.
Describing the run as a ‘great close battle between the Top 3’ as they swapped fastest laps and exchanged the lead by the end of the run his pace has lowered which he attributes to easing off after JJ crashed at the end of the straight. Unsure about the weather conditions and therefore the track conditions for tomorrow’s 3rd and final qualifier he is not taking his top spot for granted, saying pole position is ‘still not safe’. Having made some small changes to the front of the car the results was more or less the same as before and tonight he, along with pit man Yukijiro Umino, will think about other setup options.
Sitting 2nd overall with his Q1 time, local ace JJ Wang would crash out of the heat while sitting in 2nd, hitting the inside board at the end of the straight which rolled the car. With times so tight and his first round time pretty solid, he decided to pull the car up. ‘Happy the pace is there’ he described the car as really good and believing that conditions won’t be any quicker in the morning, will just check over the car and use Q3 to bed in tires for the final.
A very happy Jilles Groskamp seems to be really enjoying his first race on carpet for some time, with the 2012 WC feeling his pace was very good compared to the two ahead of him who have been much more active racing touring car in the lead up to this race. Leading the heat and on TQ pace for a while, he said he got too excited and this caused some mistakes. Another racer to use Q3 to bed in tires for the finals, he said that he thinks Q3 is a good place to start for the final, not wanting to lead off the grid with the top 3 so closely matched.
Naoto continues to struggle to get his car to turn, the adjustment to the rear spring for that heat not seeming to make much of a difference. It wouldn’t have mattered as the Japanese driver put a wrong battery in his car and it ran out of power 3 minutes into the race. Not faring much better in 1/12th scale his motor came loose after hitting JJ Wang who had crashed ahead of him, but his TQ is all but certain as he is 3 laps quicker than 2nd place Italian Lorenzo Bali.
Another to improve, after completely changing his car, Jan Ratheisky, the busiest man at the track, sits in 5th spot with his much improved Q2 time. Feeling he lost a lot of time letting Ronald Volker through as he really didn’t want to mess up his race, the German will make more changes for the final round of qualifying. Continuing to dominate the other 3 classes he is running this weekend, including Formula, he will focus now more on modified and in terms of setup will ‘go for risky’. Looking for more on power steering he will change the rear springs, use less toe out on the front, give the car more rear droop and change to a stiffer rear diff.
Chassis – Xray T4 2016 Motor – LRP X20 13.5T ESC – LRP Flow Batteries – LRP 7500 Stock Spec Tires – Sweep (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox Bodyshell – Montech Nazda2 Remarks – Competing in 4 classes, Jan Ratheisky is running a very close to standard 2016 version of the Xray touring car. Equipped with a floating servo mount, his car also features a full set of ceramic bearings, graphite arms, low friction belts and Hiro Seiko aluminum screws.
Ronald Volker has taken the opening qualifying round at RCI V2 in Shanghai, the German waiting until the last lap to take the top spot from practice pace setter JJ Wang. While JJ held the top spot from the start and even set his fastest lap of the event, a late mistake by the Chinese-American youngster meant he would have to settle for 2nd. The 3rd spot would go to Jilles Groskamp who would again set the second fastest lap time but some small mistakes lost him time to his rivals.
Volker was very happy to TQ the opening round, saying that he stayed behind JJ for most of the run but with 1 and half minutes left in the run and being 0.4 seconds down he started to push ‘maximum hard’, timing it perfectly as he managed to pass his rival on the very last lap. Driving the heat with 2nd run tires he said the car was much better but even still he will make a small change to get a little more steering into the car for Q2. Along with all his competitors, he expects the 2nd round of qualifying to be a rocket round as the temperature drops and the grip rises, a single run from the 3 counting.
Controlled practice pace setter and track local JJ Wang led the entire run until he came too close to a track board on the 2nd last lap and had to let off to avoid hitting it. This was enough to demote the LRP driver to 2nd for the round albeit 0.1 down on his rival. ‘I’ll get him in the next one’ stated Wang, saying he believes he would have taken the round had it not been for his late mistake. Knowing the track better than anyone, he knows that Q2 will be faster conditions on track and is confident he will get the job done in today’s final heat.
Former World Champion, Jilles Groskamp says the ‘speed is there but there are just too many bobbles’ otherwise he was right there pointing out that on an average of the top 3 driver fast 15 laps there is little or no difference. Feeling he is lacking steering, he is having to push the car harder to get it around the track and this is leading to the small mistakes that are losing him time. For the next qualifier the Infinity driver will run less rear toe to get more steering, not wanting to change too many things ahead of the all important rocket round.
A dejected Naoto Matsukura said that the changes he made to his car for Q1 had not worked and he had more understeer than before. While the car is consistent, he plans a rear spring change in an effort to improve rotation, a problem that was causing the Japanese driver to make many small mistakes during the run. Another issue for the World Champion is that he has run out of certain parts for his prototype Tamiya car, having broken the same part at last weekend’s ETS in Austria and so he can’t push the car too hard in case he crashes and breaks. Naoto continues to dominate 1/12th scale with his Roche car, the 3 time WC is using the event as a test session for this year’s World Championships in Beijing as it will be run on the same ETS carpet used here.
Another driver who continued to dominate his classes, Germany’s Jan Rathiesky was clearly faster in both the 13.5 classes as well as in Formula. Running all those cars with the same setup used last week in Austria apart from a higher ride height, in Modified he has completely changed his car in an effort to improve on his 6th position and is now just under a second behind local ace Rocket Zhang who sits fifth. In 13.5 Boosted, Jan leads Gavin Kwok and Jimmy Qian while in 13.5 Blinky it is 11 year old Nicholas Koh in 2nd with Max Park 3rd. The Formula class sees Xray driver Heng Heng sitting 2nd while Jimmy Qian once again rounded out the top 3.
Chassis – Xray X12 2016 Motor – Muchmore Fleta ZX 3.5T ESC – Muchmore Fleta 1S Batteries – ORCA 7600mah Tires – Pardus Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Futaba Bodyshell – Protoform AMR-12 Remarks – Local ace Heng Heng is running a pretty standard version of the Slovakian made X12, the only option parts added being a set of aluminum Hiro Seiko screws and a Graphite rear axle.
Controlled practice at the opening round of the 2016 Asian Onroad Championships at RCI V2 in Shanghai is now over and in the Modified Touring Car class it was local superstar JJ Wang who is top seed for qualifying. Holding a small advantage over his competitors, the next fastest driver was Yokomo’s Ronald Volker who was just under 1/10th of a second slower than the Chinese American driver over 3 laps. 2012 World Champion Jilles Groskamp was 3rd fastest, and along with JJ was the only driver to post a sub 10 second lap.
JJ Wang, who is running an Xray having tested a number of touring car options following his departure from HPI, says his focus through practice has been on his driving. With the car remaining unchanged from free practice, for qualifying he plans to make some tweaks to the setup in order to get more steering, this tight track layout meaning a lack of steering is heavily punished. Also noting that, because the track is being used by 1/12th scales on foam tires, the traction changes a lot between runs. Now the top seed for qualifying, which will see 3 rounds of which the single fastest run will count, JJ said that knowing the car has the pace it is now ‘up to me to drive it’.
Ending the two rounds of controlled practice 2nd overall, reigning ETS Champion Ronald Volker used his 2nd round to run-in his second set of race tires. With the first run on new Sweep tires being slightly slower he was unable to drop into the 9 second lap times, and having made a small setup change for CP2, he will revert back to his CP1 car setup for the first round of qualifying. Still suffering from slight understeer and with his pit man Yukijiro Umino, sick, going back to the hotel between runs, his focus for qualifying is to just make a clean run.
Newly signed Infinity driver Jilles Groskamp was 3rd and had the second fastest lap time in CP2 with a 9.995 having set the fastest lap time of the weekend in free practice with a 9.8 second lap. With Infinity not having an electric touring car yet, the Dutch man has been testing several chassis options and like JJ settled on an Xray although he admits that currently his setup is very far from that of JJ and Xray team driver Jan Rathiesky. Having not run on carpet for 4 months he is very happy with his current pace saying he is fast every time he goes on track and is pleased to be ‘not so far off JJ’.
Reigning touring car Champion Naoto Matsukura is running double duty this weekend, racing his Tamiya prototype in touring car and his Roche prototype in the 1/12th scale class. Fourth fastest in touring car he, like all those ahead of him, is looking for more steering and for Q1 will switch to a softer front spring to try and remedy that problem. In 1/12th scale, where he heads JJ Wang and Heng Heng in 2nd and 3rd, the 3 time World Champion says while his car is good it is lacking some overall traction and will change to a harder tire for the first of the 2 qualifying rounds being run today, the 3rd and final round to be run on Saturday morning.
As expected, Jan Rathiesky topped controlled practice in 13.5 boosted & blinky touring car as well as the Formula class and is also sitting 6th in modified touring. The German is making his first trip to Asia having spent just a few hours at home following his double win at last weekend’s ETS Rd3 in Wels, Austria. In the boosted class Jan topped controlled practice from Gavin Kwok and ARC front man Jones Chu while in blinky it is Nicholas Koh and Sean Wang who are his closest competition. In the Formula class the advantage was much less, just over 1/10th in 3 laps with Heng Heng 2nd, with a large gap back to 3rd placed Sean Wang.