Video – Qualifying Heats 10 & 11 Rd1

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hagberg TQs opening qualifier in Thailand


Alexander Hagberg took a somewhat surprise TQ run in the opening qualifier of the 200mm World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, the round seeing all of the Top 10 from practice having difficult runs.  Running in the second fastest heat having been 11th in practice, the Xray driver set the fastest 5-minute time by just under a second from the Serpents of Dominic Greiner and Tadahiko Sahashi, the Top 6 for Q1 all running in the same group.  An incident filled top heat would go to Mark Green but suffering a body tuck after contact with Teemu Leino, the Serpent driver’s time would only be good enough for 11th.  The top seed for qualifying having topped timed practice, Leino would end up 13th.  Defending Champion Meen Vejrak would roll his KM resulting in tyre damage that left him struggle to 36th.


‘Surprisingly good’ was how Hagberg summed up his run.  Changing the set-up on his Orcan powered NT1, giving the car a softer front end, the Swede said this worked out well.  While struggling for pace over the 3-consecutive lap format used to determine the seeding for the heats, he said he was confident that over 5-minutes his pace would be better but ‘not as good’ as it turned out.


Reverting back to the set-up he arrived in Thailand with, which he said was nearly impossible to drive out the pitlane without traction rolling, Greiner said with the track conditions now completely different it actually worked pretty good.  With his mechanic & the 748’s designer Michael Salven describing the change as a ‘wild guess’ he said they came ‘close’ and with some adjustments they will go into Q2 with a lot more confidence.  Describing the set-up as ‘overall OK’, Greiner said they need to try to make it a little safer with the car having ‘maybe too much steering’ but compared with where they where at yesterday he is a lot happier.


While netting a Top 3 run, having ended up 14th in practice, reigning 1:8 World Champion Tadahiko Sahashi wasn’t overly pleased with the performance of his 748.  The Japanese ace said while the run was clean he really struggled with understeer and he has no choice but to change his set-up for Q2.  Having been the faster of the two brothers throughout practice, Yuya would have a terrible first round, a number of rolls eventually resulting in him finishing one position in front of Vejrak with the rear wing hanging off the back of his 748.


HB’s Andy Moore would take his Maxima powered R10 to the fourth fastest time.  The former electric touring car World Champion said he ‘wasn’t really fast enough’ but he ‘cruised around with no mistakes’ and he got rewarded.  Describing the car as ‘too easy to drive’ he said this turned out to be ‘not a bad thing’ as others with faster cars ended up crashing.  Looking to ‘free up (his) car a bit’ he will make a change to reduce the high level of rear grip the car has.


Setting the fastest lap of the opening qualifier, team-mate Leino said his Novarossi powered R10 ‘was still good’ but it was ‘just a shit run’.  The Finn had two incidents. Suffering a traction rolling and a crash he said the latter was simply driver error.  For Q2, the 2012 Top Qualifier plans to run his car unchanged.


Owner of this year’s World Championship host track Huge RC Circuit, Surikarn Chaidajsuriya took his Mugen to fifth despite describing his MTX-6 as being unbalanced.  One of three former electric touring car World Champions contesting the event, he said in right turns the car was good but it struggled on turning left.  Hugely affecting his consistency he suspects the problem could be with unmatched shock lengths.


Fastest Shepherd in Q1, former 1:8 World Championship finalist Simon Kurzbuch described his drive to the sixth fastest time as a ‘good safe run’.  The recently crowned Euro Nitro Series 1:8 Champion, who is somewhat a 1:10 novice, said while it was a good start to get decent points on the board, the overall set-up of both his Velox V10 and his clutch ‘still needs work’.


17-year-old Takumi Matsuda, who is running in Heat 9 of 11, would take his Xray to the seventh fastest time.  Changing engine for the first qualifier he said the new Picco had much better power than that of the one he ran in timed practice.  Pleased to have more power, the Japanese driver said understeer was his problem today and for Q2 he will make a front camber change to his NT1.


A former 200mm World Champion Top Qualifier, Team Shepherd’s Jilles Groskamp would open qualifying with the 8th fastest time.  The Dutch racer, who is now based in Bangkok, said he completely changed the set-up on his Velox V10 and it ‘wasn’t so good’.  Starting off fast and running ahead of Hagberg early on, he said he had to back off as the car started to lift the back wheel off the ground.  Flipping with 3-laps to go, he said this lost him a potential Top 3 run but still with 4 of 6 rounds to count and a lot of drivers having problems he was happy to take 8th.  With a lot of drivers having run time issues he said that was one area he didn’t have to worry about with his Maxima engine and he hoped to improve his car by changing shocks for Q2.


Green said everything was the same as yesterday with his Novarossi powered 748 but the run just didn’t work out.  Starting the qualifier 4th, the British driver would find himself stuck in traffic and then have a recovering Leino on his bumper despite leading on the timing screen.  With a car in front of Green and Leino behind, the HB driver would end up hitting the back of the Serpent driver causing the body to tuck and stopping to get it fixed the lap would see him lose almost 5-seconds.


Although he ran out of fuel with 2-laps to go, Capricorn’s Dario Balestri was very positive about how his car ran. On a potential TQ pace before his engine cut, he described his LAB C03 as ‘perfect’.  While his XRD engine was set a little rich he said even with the correct carburation the Italian said this wouldn’t make up two laps.  Initially planning to change engine and fit it with a smaller venturi and further inspection of the car it was discovered the fuel tank was leaking so a new one should rectify the problem.


Vejrak said his HK-1 was really good as was his engine, thanks to better gearing, but it was all let down by ‘my mistake’.  Clipping the curbing in the final minute of the qualifier, the Thai driver would roll losing over 2-seconds.  However with the incident chunking both rear tyres he would have to struggle for three more laps, all in the 15 seconds compared to his best of 14.4, for a round that he hopes will be one of his two throw outs.


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chassis Focus – Teemu Leino


Chassis – HB R10
Engine – Novarossi Keep On 12 3LS
Fuel – Maxima
Tires (handout) – Matrix
Radio/Servo – Sanwa
Body – Protoform P37
Remarks – Top seed after controlled practice and previous World Championship top qualifier Teemu Leino is running a slightly updated HB R10. The car sports new lower shock towers and ‘big bore’ shorter shocks, a 1mm larger diameter than the previous versions, the results of which is lower centre of gravity something that is critical here in Thailand. Having tested here prior to the event, since arriving for the race he has changed to slighter softer shocks and reduced camber to help reduce traction.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Leino top seed for qualifying


Teemu Leino will be the top seed for qualifying at the 200mm World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand tomorrow after the fourth & final practice at the Huge RC Circuit showed no improvement on the HB driver’s CP3 pace. Bringing 5-days of practice to a close, it was Dario Balestri would would top the round but with JJ Wang the only Top 10 driver to better his time the line up for the top qualifying heat remains unchanged.  Behind Leino it was Nicholas Lee who ended the day second fastest, followed by Balestri and Mark Green making it four different manufacturers represented in the Top 4.


Never one to give too much away, when asked about his final run Leino said ‘everything seems to be good’ heading into qualifying tomorrow.  Posting the fifth fastest time in the final practice, the Top 5 separated by just 0.040 of a second over 3-consecutive laps, the Top Qualifier of the last World Championships said his final run was focused on checking run time and he was pleased with the mileage from his Novarossi engine.  Asked about the change from 10 to 5-minute qualifiers he said while its nice to get to run longer, in the end 5-minutes is what it is and he’s ready, saying his R10 is ‘good where it is at’ and he will make no changes for Q1.


Having struggled with a lack of engine power in CP2 & 3, Balestri was clearly happy to end the day by putting his Capricorn top of the time sheets for CP4.  Having topped open practice, the Italian said today something changed that effected his XRD engines and it wasn’t until the final practice that they got the performance back through a gearing and exhaust change.  Raising the rear hub camber link by 1mm, he said this also improved the car’s stability and helped rear rotation off power giving him a little extra safety should he find himself in a situation were he needs to input more steering.  Ending the day 6th fastest, team-mate Kyle Branson is set to follow Balestri’s lead and change his gearing for tomorrow.


Despite posting the second fastest time of the final practice, Yuya Sahashi said the high traction of the cooler evening run left his Picco powered Serpent struggling for power.  In addition he said the 748 suffered with understeer and trying to compensate for this through his driving it led to him catching a curb and rolling.  Not happy with how the car ran in the conditions, the first qualifier also set to be cooler he expects he will make changes for the morning.


Setting the third fastest time of CP4 but not improving on his 7th overall, defending World Champion Meen Vejrak said while his KM Racing HK-1 was maybe too easy to drive he think the set-up is good for a safe first run.  Adjusting his clutch in the search for more power, he said while it was an improvement he still needs more and he hopes to find that with a gear ratio change.


Although it didn’t change his final position of 8th overall, Wang said reverting back to his CP1 set-up for the closing practice gave him a car that easy to drive again.  The factory Mugen/Novarossi driver said having made changes for both CP2 & 3 to try & keep up with the changing track conditions he was ‘scared for a time’ they might have lost their way.  However going back to his base set-up he feels he is back on track and good for qualifying.


Posting the sixth fastest time in the final round, his best of the day, to end up 14th fastest, Serpent’s Dominic Greiner said while they found a little more steering his Max powered 748 is ‘still not safe’ for a 5-minute qualifier.  Having started off well in open practice, he said with traction now ‘much lower’ than previous days he would change his car completely and go back to his base set-up adding he didn’t have much else to try.


Greiner’s Serpent team-mate Mark Green would set the 7th fastest time but a strong CP3 time sees the British veteran end practice 4th overall. Testing a recommendation from Novarossi in the final round, this made his engine come up to temperature much quicker than before and he is confident that his package is all set and ready for qualifying.

Final Practice

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Leino improves pace in Bangkok


Albeit by just 0.004 of a second, Teemu Leino improved on his opening practice pace in the penultimate round to stay on top of the ranking ahead of Nicholas Lee and Dario Balestri.  Running a 3-consecutive lap time of 42.326 in CP3, the Finn topped the round ahead of Serpent’s Mark Green and defending World Champion Meen Vejrak, both drivers also producing their best times so far.  Overall the round made for little change at the top with Leino continuing to hold P1 from Nicholas Lee and Dario Balestri with Green the biggest mover, breaking into the Top 10 to go fourth overall.


Leaving his R10 unchanged, Leino put his improvement down to a change of Novarossi engine with the new unit having ‘more power’.  With the sun already starting to go down in Bangkok, the 2012 Top Qualifier said the track was also slightly better than CP2 due to the cooler conditions.  Planning to leave his car unchanged for the final practice of the sixth running of the 200mm World Championships, he said he wasn’t expecting much from the round.  With the enclosed Huge RC Circuit flood lights already on, he said a combination of the lights and the smoke, which in the evening conditions hangs in the air, this makes it very hard to see with the fumes also very hard on the eyes.  He said he hoped come qualifying, which have now been reduced to 5-minutes rather than 10, the timetable would mean they would not have to run in such conditions.


Taking over as the lead Serpent driver, demoting team-mate Yuya Sahashi to fifth, Green said he was just picking up after being thrown off track by a ‘worn part’ following ‘poor maintenance’ of his 748.  Having started off the event five days ago with a good car he said having begun to lose pace he then tried each of his team-mates’ set-ups.  First trying Dominic Greiner’s and then Alessio Mazzeo’s he said neither suited his 1:8 driving style.  Struggling to find a good set-up, last night the ‘worn part’ was discovered and replaced putting the British ace back on track today with some fine tuning each round giving him his CP3 pace.  Happy with the car and set to run it unchanged in the last practice, he will try ‘some engine stuff’ Novarossi have asked him to test.  Having been working towards 10-minute qualifiers today he said it was annoying to find out last minute that they would be 5-minute duration.  A rule sets out that the heats are reduced to 5-minutes if over 100 entries are received for the event. With just over 100 entries it was initially declared that qualifying would stay at 10-minutes but following some objections the rule was subsequently implemented to many drivers’ disappointment with it felt 10-minute qualifiers are what set the world championship apart from other major events.


Improving his time but falling one place in the overall ranking due to Green’s new speed, Vejrak said said new ‘smoother’ diffs further improved his KM Racing HK-1 ‘a little’.  Unfortunately clipping a curb, the Thai ace rolled leaving him to struggle for the rest of the run discovering afterwards that he had chunked a rear tyre.  Happy with that he is headed in the right way with the car set-up, he said with a bit more power for the next one he should be able to further improve and he hopes to get that ‘punch’ by setting his clutch more aggressive.


Changing only the Picco engine in his 748, Sahashi said his focus for the run was on checking his 5-minute run time.  Unable to better his fastest time he would record 4th for the round declaring himself very happy with how everything is running.  The round would see his 1:8 World Champion brother Tadahiko take his 8 Natrix to 6th but he would not improve on his CP2 pace which currently leaves him 14th.


Kyle Branson was fifth fastest for the round, again unable to improve on his opening practice pace.  The Capricorn driver said having followed Leino around at the start he is very happy with his car set-up but power is an issue.  Changing back to his CP1 XRD engine, having had trouble tuning the engine he used in the second round, he said after a good first two minutes the engine started to go off due to the heat.  For the final practice the British driver will run a third engine saying if he can get that to work he will be very confident going into qualifying.  Team-mate Balestri also struggled with power issues, the Italian only 7th fastest for the round almost half a second off his best time set in the first round.


Having impressed in the second practice, Lee said his Xray pushed too much in the third.  Having left his car unchanged since yesterday’s open practice, he said he is going to have to now make a change, with a rear suspension change on the cards.  Elsewhere the round saw the best times so far for former World Champions Kesuike Fukuda, the 2006 winner, and Jilles Groskamp, the 2012 Electric Touring Car World Champion and 2008 200mm Top Qualifier.  Fukuda posted the 9th fastest time of TP3 to go 17th overall while Groskamp was 13th fastest, moving him up to 19th overall.

View our event image gallery here.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chassis Focus – Dario Balestri


Chassis – Capricorn Lab C03
Engine – XRD F12 HT
Fuel – Maxima
Tires (handout) – Matrix
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox
Body – Protoform P37
Remarks – Unlike many of the other drivers here, Dario Balestri has going softer in his setup than normal on his Lab C03 to combat the high traction. Running 6mm lower shock towers and big bore shocks they are fitted with very soft pink front and green rear springs from Capricorn’s electric car. The Italian has also removed the mounting screws from the front of the radio plate to increase flex and has reduced from 1 million to 500,000 oil in the front gear diff. A nice option is the tungsten battery plate which is 130 grams by itself, much heavier than the equivalent brass option.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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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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