July 31, 2009

Groskamp holds overnight pole in Luxembourg

Jilles Groskamp (17/5:16.582) holds the overnight pole here in Luxembourg after the Dutch ace, who is in search of his first EFRA European title, set a new fastest time in the second round of qualifying. The factory Tamiya/Speedpassion driver described the run as perfect as he made best use of the cooler track conditions to head home Team Yokomo’s Ronald Volker (17/5:17.977) who TQ’d the slower opening qualifier.  Very happy with his overall performance today the ‘Warm Up’ race winner said everything had worked perfectly and it is was good to end the opening day holding the provisional pole.

Volker, who took TQ honours last year while trying to defend his 2007 title said his BD5 was still suffering from understeer but was happy to end the day with a 1st and a 2nd. Tomorrow the German will try to get more steering into the car which he hopes will allow him to challenge for pole in Sunday’s Main final.

After crashing in his first heat and breaking his car, the big suprise of practice Lucas Urbain (17/5:18.959) bounced back in style to record the third fastest time with his Losi. The French Championship front runner said he was nervous at the start of the second round due to his earlier mistake but was very happy to find himself up at the sharp end of the time sheets among some of the best r/c drivers in the world. Suffering from a little understeer on his GM Racing powered JRXS-R he plans to play around with the application of tyre additive in the morning’s one hour open practice.

Fourth fastest and holding 3rd in the overnight qualification ranking, Marc Rheinard (17/5:19.129) thinks he suffered a belt failure in one of his rear tyres. The defending Champion’s Tamiya did a 360 spin on the straight during his run while he was in contention for a TQ run. Officially the World’s greatest electric touring car driver with two World titles to his credit, the German star said his TRF416 felt very good up until the high speed spin which caused his mechanic & designer of the car Kyio Suzuki to gasp.

‘Not happy with my car’ was how Viktor Wick (17/5:19.605) summed up his second run. The Swede is complaining of bad understeer on his Tamiya which he feels is causing his run time wows. Once again the Tamiya Racing Factory driver dumped on the last lap while in the chase for a TQ run. Having had no run time issues in pre-event testing Wilck will revert to old batteries for his next qualification attempt as well as trying different shock oil.

The fourth of the TRF team drivers Hupo Honigl was very pleased with his sixth place run for the round. The Austrian had followed the set-up of his team-mates for the first qualifer but reverted back to the one step softer spring he ran earlier and said the difference was incredible. Taking the unenviable BQ honours last year in Spain the electric off road ace said ‘I need one more’ refering to one more Top 6 run to secure himself a place in the A Main.

Having had run time issues in the first round Yannic Pruemper and Steen Graversen managed to go the full distance. Pruemper reduced the timing on his Speedpassion motor, which gave him the run time but a lack of top end speed, to claim seventh but for tomorrow the teenager will set the timing in the middle and gear down to compensate. New Team Orion batteries gave Graversen the extra juice he needed to complete the run and the factory Kyosho feels now everything is OK to make the A Main.

Tomorrow, Day 3 of the 2009 EFRA 1:10 Electric Touring European Championships, will get underway with a one hour free practice session following by three rounds of qualifying.  The weather is showing a dry day but for Sunday things look like they are going to get very wet.

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Full results from the event can be found here.

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July 31, 2009

Volker takes first Qualifier

Yokomo team driver Ronald Volker (17/5:17.928) has TQ’d the opening qualifier here in Luxembourg after an extremely close first round. The 2008 Top Qualifier took the round on the final lap after pace setter for most of the run Viktor Wilck dumped on his 17th lap. Volker said his LRP powered BD5 suffered with understeer at the beginning but got easier to driver as the run progressed.

Second fastest was Jilles Groskamp (17/5:18.193) who described Round 1 as ‘maximum close’.  The Dutch ace admitted he was forced to push a lot harder than expected but declared he very happy to have had plenty of run time left.  Finding his Tamiya got a little loose a number of times, the Euro Touring Series Champion was overall very happy with the run and said the battle for 2009 TQ honours was going to be a ‘Ronald versus Tamiya’ fight.

Finishing only a 1/10th of second behind Groskamp was defending Champion Marc Rheinard (17/5:18.300).  The current World Champion felt he had a faster car than Volker at the beginning of the run but was struggling a little with traction near the end, something he put down to the warmer track conditions. Claiming fourth for the round despite failing to complete the full 5 minutes, Wilck said his car had a lot of understeer and he believes this is why he failed to make the distance.  The Swede who switched to a Speed 6 body for the opening heat will revert back to the LTC-R as he searches for a set-up between the loose car he had this morning in practice and the understeer suffered in the opening qualifier.

2006 European Champion Andy Moore was very happy to take fifth for the round with his Team Orion powered Hot Bodies.  The former World Champion said his Cyclone TC is working a lot better but he plans to make changes to the shocks for the second qualifier when conditions should be a lot cooler.  Finishing behind the Englishman was up and coming German talent Yannic Pruemper despite his Speed Passion powered Tamiya dumping on the last lap.  Pruemper’s mechanic Toni Rheinard said the car is very good but they must find a solution to the run time however is confident now that an A Main position is possible for his young protege.

Heading the Kyosho challenge was team driver Steen Graverson. The Dane was another driver to dump on the last lap but overall he was much happier with his Stallion chassis, something he put down to a fresh set of LRP control tyres. Regarding the run time shortfall, Graverson believes a fresh set of Team Orion batteries should do the trick. Next up was Xray factory driver Teemu Leino despite spinning his T2 009 360 degrees during the run. Setting the eight fastest time the former Champion, who has been more focused this year on 1:8 Off Road racing, said things are getting better with each outing as he starts to get back into the rythm of electric touring car driving and with a few small changes to his set-up he is hoping for further improvements in his pace.  Completing the Top 10 was French Tamiya driver Loic Jasmin and Corally team leader Marc Fisher.

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July 31, 2009

Practice over, Groskamp fastest

Practice for the 2009 EFRA 1:10 Electric Touring European Championship has just ended here in Luxembourg and it is Jilles Groskamp who tops the time sheets in all aspects.  The official ranking list, which is based on a driver’s best three consecutive laps, sees the Tamiya driver in the No. 1 spot but in terms of run time and fastest single lap the Dutch ace is also the pace setter. The winner of the Warm Up race here at the Mini-Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” at the end of June, Groskamp said his TRF416 was working very well and he was very happy with things heading in to qualifying.  For this morning’s final practice the Speedpassion driver switched from the Competition 2.0 motor he was running yesterday to the new 3.0 version which he reports offers the same power but has taken away the worry about run time.

Second fastest in the ranking is 15-year-old Yannic Pruemper. The Tamiya Junior driver, who is the protege of Toni Rheinard, said his car is very good and he will leave it as is for the first qualifier but he is stightly concerned about his run time which is on the limit. Defending Champion Marc Rheinard is next up but the German ace said his car felt strange in the final run with the car loose on right turns and in left handers was pushing.

Ronald Volker, who has the second fastest run time for this morning, said his Yokomo was good in the first session but changes to the set-up didnt work in the second and he will revert back.  The German who was Top Qualifier last year said its going to be a very close qailifying here but he is confident he is on the pace over five minutes.  Behind the 2007 Champion is Viktor Wilck.  The Swede said he is ‘struggling big time’ with his car being very loose and while he can post quick lap times he can’t consistently do it for 5-minutes.  Completing the Top 6, Chris Grainger appears much happier with his Schumacher Mi4 today.  The British Champion said his car is much better than yesterday and the set-up is not far away now.  Run time was tight but he was using practice packs and he hopes fresh race packs for the qualifying will give him that extra buffer.

Corally driver Marc Fisher said things are very close but so far he is happy enough with his pace.  The former German Champion will continue with the same set-up but described his run time as being ‘maybe too close’.  Another German in the Top 10 after practice is Christopher Krapp.  The Kyosho team driver is very happy with his Stallion after switching additive this morning and his plan for the first qualifier is to keep cool and put in a clean opening round.

Making it seven different makes of cars in the Practice Ranking Top 10 are Lucas Urbain and Olly Jefferies.  Urbain has been the surprise here in Luxembourg with his Losi.  The French driver said his car was not as good this morning and he needs to get more stability as it is very nervous on the high speed corner at the end of the main straight but he is still confident he has Top 10 pace over 5 minutes.  Team Associated driver Jefferies said his TC5 is better today allowing him to do his fastest times yet and that the current set-up is workable.  The British driver came short on run time in the final practice but believes this was down to the charging of the batteries.

Just outside the Top 10 was former World Champion Andy Moore with his Hot Bodies and Tamiya off road ace Hupo Honigl.  For European Junior Champion Elliot Harper his steering wows continued this morning.  For the first practice he ran a new servo and crystals but the problem was still there.  Fitting all new electrics to his T2 009 for the second the problem still remained until they unplugged his personal transponder.  The Xray/Nosram driver will switch to a new PT for the first qualifier.

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July 30, 2009

Tamiya end Day 1 on top

Day 1 of the 2009 EFRA Electric Touring European Championships has been completed and it is the Tamiya team who top the time sheets.  The final practice of the day saw defending Champion Marc Rheinard set a new fastest run as both he and Jilles Groskamp broke into the 17 laps. Having had a run time issue in the third practice, Rheinard switched to SpeedPassion’s new Competition 3.0 motor for the final outing of the day and now plans to stick with the motor after posting the 17/5:17.356 run with plenty of power left aferwards.  The German will make a small change to the gearing but said overall he was confident that his run time shortfall was a one off. In terms of the car, the World Champion said it was a little loose but feels that is down to track conditions rather than set-up.

Not happy his TRF416 in the opening three practice runs, Groskamp was clearly delighted to break into the 17 laps for the first time.  The Dutch ace had made a number of small changes to his car since winning the Warm Up race, including the fitting of some prototype parts, but reverted to a more standard set-up and was much happier with the feeling.  The Speedpassion team driver, who is running the Competition 2.0 motor, said he went a little too advanced with the motor’s timing and the car started to dump just before the finish. Third fastest for the round despite spinning out twice was Viktor Wilck who managed the fastest lap of the day with an 18.049. Unlike his Tamiya teammates the Swede has opted for the more on the edge LTC-R bodyshell over the more consistent Speed 6.

Early practice pace setter Ronald Volker ended the day fourth after having trouble with getting the steering on his Yokomo to trim straight in the day’s final practice.  With the car creeping to the right, the German wasn’t able to fully push his LRP powered BD5 but said afterwards he felt the overall set-up was better than in the earlier runs.

Kyosho/Team Orion driver Christoffer Krapp was very happy with his run after a change to the rear toe on his Stallion had given him more steering.  The German teenager said the car is very near how he would like it and plans in the morning to try a different tyre additive to give him more options ahead of the first qualifier.

Driving a Losi JRXS-R, Lucas Urbain is making good use of his local track knowledge to post the sixth fastest time. Winning the most recent round of the French National Championships, Urbain lives just 40Km from the Mini-Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” and admitted that he has done extensive testing here in preparation for this event. The Frenchman said his GM powered Losi is very easy to drive and he will focus on keeping his driving tidier over the latter half of the run. Seventh fastest was 2006 Champion Andy Moore but the Englishman is finding his Hot Bodies very loose and this is leading to a lack of confidence in his driving.  The Team Orion driver improved the Cyclone a little for the last run but is still finding it hard to drive. Next up was Schumacher’s Chris Grainger who said he could do with a little more steering on his Mi4. Another British driver inside the Top 10 was Team Associated’s Olly Jefferies who had been suffering with oversteer on his TC5 earlier in the day.  Tenth fastest was French Tamiya driver Loic Jasmin.

Elsewhere Elliot Harper was on for a good time until the steering on his Xray started intermittently locking fully to the right through the right hand corners.  The UK racer thinks the problem is down to a faulty servo which he has now replaced but as an extra safety measure he has also fitted a new set of crystals for tomorrow.

Drivers have two final practice rounds in the morning in which to get themselves sorted for the opening two qualification rounds that make up tomorrow’s timetable.  With 5 rounds of qualifying drivers with have their best two rounds determine the grids for Sunday’s finals.

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July 30, 2009

Volker setting pace in Practice

With three rounds of free practice completed here in Luxembourg it is last year’s Top Qualifier Ronald Volker who is setting the pace from reigning champion Marc Rheinard. The Yokomo driver recorded the fastest run time (16/5:00.987) in the second outing, and has also laid down the fastest lap (18.364) around the large circuit. Topping the timesheets again in the third session, with a slower run of 16/5:03.894, the German ran different shocks on his BD5 but found they made the car feel unstable and he will revert to the shocks used earlier for today’s fourth & final practice. Asked about run time the LRP driver, who is running a 3.5 motor, said it was close. For Rheinard run time was an unexpected problem in the third round with his car dumping on the final lap. The World Champion said in pre event testing his SpeedPassion powered Tamiya could easily make the full 5 minutes and is a little lost as to what could have brought on the problem.

Third fastest for the latest practice was young German star Yannic Pruemper. The Tamiya Junior team driver, who is relishing the Mini-Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” layout, ran new tyres for the first time in the session and was very happy with the feeling of his car. Elliot Harper had the fourth fastest run after making changes to the rear end of his Xray T2 009 which made the rear a little looser. The British driver said he is playing around with the balance of the car as he searches for a good compromise between steering and traction. Having switched from a Nosram 3.5 motor to a 4.0, the World’s Finalist said the motor change gave the car a better feeling and he is now much happier with the car.

‘The best touring car I have ever driven’ was how Hupo Honigl described his Tamiya TRF416 after setting the fifth fastest time for third round. The multiple European electric off road champion said his car was perfect and he is very happy, and a little surprised, with his pace. The Austrian said he wont be touching a thing on his car ahead of the next run.  Leading French driver Lucas Urbain completed the Top 6 for the round.

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July 30, 2009

New in the Pits – Part 1

Seen for the first time at the Euro Touring Series race in Andernach, 2 weeks ago, the new Speedpassion Competition 3.0 motor is making its public debut at this race. Tested by a number of the Speedpassion team drivers, the new motor features a shorter can that sees the cables from the speed controller connected to the motor using 3 plugs that are plugged directly into the rear of the motor. This is said to be more efficient as it connects directly to the internal wires and not through a circuit that brings the power to the conventional tabs on one side of the motor. Drivers who have used the new motor say that it gives a much smoother power delivery than the current motor. Expect it to be released at the end of August.

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