Video – ISTC Qualifying Rd5

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

3-way showdown to decide overall TQ in final qualifier

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The final round of qualifying at the Touring Car World Championships in Florida will be a three way showdown between Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura & Ronald Volker and surprise of the event Bruno Coelho. Bringing Day 3 of the Kissimmee event to a close, the penultimate round of qualifying saw Matsukura throw away an almost certain overall TQ as he put his BD7 into the wall at the end of the straight just before the halfway mark while on target to top the times for a third time. This allowed team-mate Volker to TQ the round ahead of Coelho’s Xray and a much improved Atsushi Hara. Overnight it is Matsukura who holds the provisional TQ thanks to a faster time for the first of his two TQ runs meaning that Volker needs to TQ the morning’s final qualifier while Coelho needs to do so with the fastest time of the six rounds.

Volker

After his Q5 topping run, a somewhat disappointed Volker said, ‘I should be more happy that I got the TQ but I didn’t manage to get the 5-minute time I needed’. Only half a second off the tie breaking fastest time that gives Matsukura the top spot in the overnight ranking, the European Champion said both Matsukura and Coelho each had a better pace than he did. Seeing his team-mate crash and Coelho have a mistake however he said while he pushed for a fast time he didn’t want to over do it and throw away a TQ run by making a mistake himself too. The German said with a Yokomo 1-2 with just one round to go he is happy for the team saying its one of their best recent World Championship performances.

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Commenting on his heavy crash which broke his BD7, Matsukura said the mistake was completely his own doing and while the car was ‘so good’ the driver was ‘so shit’. Running yet another fastest lap for the round, only Volker joining him on a 16-second lap, he said the feeling of his car is really good and he know he is quicker than his team-mate adding he just needs to keep things clean for 5-minutes. Having tried to drive more safely, the Top Qualifier of the 1:12 Worlds held earlier in the weekend said the car starts to understeer, as it is set-up to be driven with his aggressive driving style. With the pressure more on Volker and Coelho for the final qualifier, Matsukura said tonight he was going to enjoy a good dinner and relax and all would be good for the morning.

Coelho

Losing time after riding the curb just after the loop, Coelho said his Nosram powered T4 was ‘super good’. His first electric Touring Car World Championship, having previously raced the event in 1:10 & 1:8 Nitro and 1:8 Offroad, the 21-year-old said the event is exceeding the expectations he had before flying out from his home country of Portugal. Taking the impressiveness of his performance in his stride, he said the plan for tomorrow is to try to do do pretty much the same thing as he did today.

Hara

Running his first Top 3 time, Hara said ‘finally he had found a good feeling’ with his Yokomo. The former champion, taking the categories first world title in 2000 at the controls of a Yokomo, said ‘having watched this Bruno guy and see how he could drive his car we had a small meeting with Umino’. Figuring out a few things he would use his qualifier to test these and they worked really well with Volker expected to run them for Q6. Able to close the gap to the lead pace, Hara is ‘really confident for tomorrow’, when he hopes to be able to improve to 5th on the grid a position that is provisionally being held by Viktor Wilck.

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For defending Champion Tamiya, the penultimate qualifier proved difficult. Having been third in every round before, Marc Rheinard would only post the 9th fastest time, one place in front of champion Jilles Groskamp. Wilck would be the fastest TRF419 taking fourth for the round with Akio Sobue sixth. Rheinard said ‘it was a round to forget’. Changing his shock oil he said the change was not very good but the biggest problem was the sun. Covered by a cloud for Heat 9 he said this gave those drivers an advantage both in terms of cooler track conditions and visability. Groskamp also said the conditions changed so much after 1-minute of the run with the sun making it warmer and harder to see. Going into the final qualifier Groskamp sits 8th on the grid behind Hara and infront of Xray’s Alexander Hagberg.

Paul Lemieux

Fifth in Q5, Paul Lemieux is one of three drivers currently outside the Top 10 who still has a chance of making it into the A-Main with a good final qualifier. Sitting 11th, the Xray driver is the only hope of a home driver being in the World Championship deciding encounters. Two others still in with a chance of making it are current 200mm World Champion Meen Vejrak and Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp, who setting the 7th and 8th fastest times respectively in the day’s final qualifier, sit 12th and 13th overall.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chassis Focus – Elliott Harper

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Chassis – Durango DETC410
Motor – Orca RX3 4.5T
ESC – Orca VX3
Battery – Orca 6200mAh
Radio/Servos – Sanwa
Body – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – Former Worlds podium finisher Elliott Harper is running the Durango DETC410 here in Kissimmee, which is pretty standard apart from new harder uprights, steering blocks and A-arms. The new parts make the front end more steering and makes the car overall more consistent. In terms of set-up the car is being run slightly softer compared to how he runs it at home with split suspension mounts up front and he is using the optional centre flex mount. For electrics he is using the new VX3 speedo and RX3 motor from Orca, which we will write more about later.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Coelho stuns with TQ in 4th round

Coelho

Having already impressed by getting himself seeded in the top heat for qualifying, Bruno Coelho stunned the title favourites at the Touring Car World Championships by TQing the fourth round of qualifying. Having only driven on the Full Throttle RC Raceway track for the very first time on Day 1 of the event, the Portuguese diver has ended Yokomo’s domination of the event and put himself right in the mix with Naoto Matsukura and Ronald Volker for the overall TQ with two rounds of qualifying remaining. Running the first 18-lap round of the day, the Xray driver set the pace from Volker with the ever consistent Marc Rheinard third for a fourth time. Swapping the TQ pace with Coelho, Q1 & Q3 pace setter Matsukura would make an error leaving him 8th for the round.

Coelho

Suffering a mistake at the start and then having traffic issues in Q3, Coelho said this time round he had no such issues. Describing his Nosram powered T4 as ‘awesome’, running it the same as he did in the previous round when he was 10th, he said the key to his impressive run was to drive it slower and ‘not (to) push too much’. Coming in for plenty of phrase from his competitors, most non-European drivers having never heard of the 21-year-old before, the very cool & collected drivers said the plan for the penultimate round was to ‘just try and do the same again’.

Umino

‘You could call it interesting’, that was Volker’s view of the round. The ETS Champion, who knows Coelho’s potential having been out TQ’d by him at this year’s European Championships, said he was disappointed with his own performance as second doesn’t improve his points to Matsukura. Suffering with an understeering BD7 at the start of the run and running only 4th, he said he knew he had to do something and changing his driving to the handling of the car he ‘gave (his) all’. Able to close the gap to 3/10ths to Coelho he said it was frustrating to get so close as ‘now its a 3-horse race for the overall TQ’.

Rheinard

‘Actually not so bad’ said Rheinard continuing ‘but where did this Bruno guy get his speed’. The 3-time Touring Car Champion, who won the first of those titles at this very track, complimented Coelho describing his drive as ‘impressive’. Changing the diff oil on his new TRF419, the German said this was a step forward and now for the next one they will make a shock oil change as they expect it to again be hot.

Wilck

Tamiya team-mate Viktor Wilck had another 4th fastest time, the Swede just focusing on securing another good result. Now with a Top 10 position locked in, the Swede said he can use the remaining two qualifiers to ‘try out some new stuff’. Behind Wilck, team-mates Akio Sobue and defending Champion Jilles Groskamp completed the Top 6.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Video – ISTC Qualifying Rd3

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Yokomo domination continues as Matsukura tops Q3

Naoto

Yokomo continues to be the dominant force in qualifying at the 8th running of the electric Touring Car World Championships in Florida. Continuing the form of the opening two qualifiers again it was a Yokomo 1-2, with Naoto Matsukura posting a second TQ run ahead of Q2 pace setter Ronald Volker with the pair separated by just 1/10th of a second. A considerable three & a half seconds off, Marc Rheinard was again best of the rest with the Tamiya driver posting another third fastest time.

Naoto

A slower pace than the opening round of the day, Matsukura said conditions in the hot Kissimmee conditions made for ‘difficult’ driving conditions. With the hot track loose and the ‘paint (curbs) particularly bad’ the 21-year-old said it was very easy to lose the car. Again setting the fastest lap of the round, he said after suffering a number of moments he decided it was best to switch to ‘safety mode’ and just try to complete a clean round.

Volker

‘Finishing 0.1 behind TQ is not the best feeling at all but I must admit he was just slightly faster’, was Volker’s reaction to his close fought round with his team-mate. ‘On the edge’ he said he couldn’t get any closer to Matsukura. With the overall feeling of his LRP powered BD7 improved he said he would still like to find a little more but added being ‘3-4 seconds ahead of the rest it was a complaint of a very high level of expectation’. With the battle for the TQ now clearly between him and Matsukura he said while he prefers the hot conditions and they are very equal in such conditions he knows once it cools down the advantage moves to his team-mate.

Rheinard

‘For some reason we are struggling in the hot conditions and we don’t know why’, was Rheinard’s explanation of the gap to the the Top 2. Complaining of ‘zero grip’, the German said ‘at least I still got a third, luckily’. Feeling maybe the shock oil in his Muchmore powered TRF419 is too light, he said they have to change something for the next run to try and close the gap.

Viktor Wilck

Changing shock oil and the chassis stiffness of his Tamiya, Viktor Wilck said his car was a little better. Setting the 4th fastest time the Swede was a little frustrated by having to open up 3 times for Team Xray’s Bruno Coelho. Hoping to further improve in Q4 he said ‘in the hot we still have no chance of matching the Yokomos’.

Hayato

Enjoying his best run Hayato Matsuzaki managed 5th. The 2010 World Championship runner-up said his Yokomo was better suited to hot conditions but added his smooth consistent driving was also a factor. Working his tyres less he said this gave him a stronger car towards the end of the 5-minutes over some of his rivals.

Alexander Hagberg

‘Slow and steady I guess’ was how Alexander Hagberg summed up his 6th for the round. The Xray driver said ‘everyone is on the limit and that was the limit for me’. Opting to leave his car unchanged for Q3 focusing on registering another solid run, the Swede said now they can start to play around with things to try and reduce the gap ahead of them.

Stand

Posting his first Top 10 run of the day with 8th, Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp said ‘one side I am happy and on the other I’m disappointed’. Running in a top 3 position, the multiple Worlds finalist said with two laps to go he pushed too hard having heard his position and he ended up over driving and losing positions. Fitting a new Orion Speedo/Motor combo to his as yet unnamed new Kyosho, the German said the ‘car felt really good and fast now’. Suffering a spin after touching the paint Atsushi Hara recorded another 9th while a mistake at the start & then traffic left Coelho to complete the Top 10.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

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Introduction

Red RC are in Florida, USA for the 2014 IFMAR onroad World Championships. Starting with 1/12th scale in Tampa, can anyone stop 3-time back to back to back World Champion Naoto Matsukura from securing his 4th title. Our coverage starts from Tuesday morning (7th) through to the end of finals day on Wednesday. Then its on to Kissimmee for Touring car where Jilles Groskamp will be looking to defend his World title from a stacked field of some of the best TC drivers in the World. Red RC's coverage of the TC portion of the event begins in full on Thursday morning (9th) and for both events we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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