August 14, 2008

Jilles Groskamp is Worlds TQ

Jilles Groskamp is Worlds TQ

Jilles Groskamp has secured the TQ for the 2008 IFMAR 1:10 200mm World Championship to claim his first ever placing in a nitro World Final in style. The last of the six heats here in Lisbon produced a thrilling climax to the three days of qualifying with most of the title hopefuls running a TQ pace. After 10-minutes however it was Chris Tosolini who stopped the clocks in the fastest time just 9/1000th off Groskamp’s TQ time which was set in the earlier of the day’s two heats.

Heat 15 driver stand

Finishing second in the final heat by 3/100th of a second to his Sirio team-mate, Groskamp was delighted to make his first ever nitro Worlds Final. He said the track was faster than this morning and that it was a very close run thing between him and his team-mate. Having to drive around the outside of Peter Jovanovic on lap 28, Groskamp reckons this cost him a second with a very busy pitlane, which saw almost all of the 10 car field pit at the one time, also costing him a little time. With a day off tomorrow, Groskamp plans to chill out by the pool at his hotel before spending the evening building a new Kyosho chassis for the one hour warm-up which the Top 4 qualifiers will get on Saturday morning. As a mainly electric racer the Dutch ace says he will drive the entire one hour to prepare himself for the actual Main Final and to get a feel for how his Matrix tyres will work over the full race distance.

Chris Tosolini action

Fastest for the round, Chris Tosolini’s run was good enough to give Sirio’s new XXX engine a 1-2 in qualifying as he jumped from 8th after round 5 to P2. The American who TQ’d the last Worlds in Brisbane, said he was only driving at 90% as he knew he needed a mistake free run if he was to make a Top 4 position and a clean run was exactly what he got. As the rest of the field were like a high speed train the Kyosho team driver was out on his own and with a free track ahead of him was able to run super consistent quick lap times. A new car build is also planned for the 1 hour practice but Tosolini plans to sleep in tomorrow morning first.

Daniele Ielasi

Another driver making his first ever 1:10 Worlds Final is the very likeable Daniele Ielasi. The Italian was clearly delighted to secure a place in the Final where he will line up 3rd on the grid. The Picco backed driver said no matter what the outcome of the final he is so happy with his 2008 World’s campaign. Asked about his car for the big race, Ielasi said he felt his set-up for the long final is probably better than his rivals. Together with his girlfriend Sabrina Lechner he will spend tomorrow sightseeing in Lisbon as a reward for his performance today.

Bursting into the Top 4 and making it an all Kyosho affair was Franceso Tironi who put in a blistering last qualifier. Lying in 18th position before the final heat of the event the Italian, who is also an member of the very strong Sirio team, drove a superb run to bump both Dario Balestri and Takaaki Shimo out of the Top 4 and down into the Semi Finals. Tironi said the handling of his car in the warm-up was not very good causing him to crash but adjustments to the rear set-up by his pitman had it working perfectly for the timed run.

Balestri and Shimo improved their times in the final heat but with Tosolini and Tironi going faster again they didn’t gain anything from the extra pace. Instead both drivers will line up on pole for their respective Semi Finals. 2006 Vice-World Champion Shimo crashed early in his run as his car suffered bad understeer. The factory OS driver, who doesn’t like the Monsanto circuit, says he will do his best to try and ensure he is on the grid for the Main Final.

Alessio Mazzeo

Heading the Serpent challenge, young Alessio Mazzeo was pleased with his car for Round 6 of qualifying which netted him 10th, however the Italian Max team driver was annoyed with Robert Pietsch, who also set his FTD in the run, and Hideo Kitazawa who both clashed with him in the run. The incidents cost the former European B Champion 2 seconds. Next best of the Serpent drivers is Japanese 1:8 National Champion Yuya Sahashi in 18th who takes the final direct Semi final qualification position.

Defending World Champion Keisuke Fukuda has set himself the almost impossible task of retaining the title he won in Australia. The Mugen/Ninja driver starts on pole for the 1/8 Final B however in racing anything can happen and the Japanese driver, if luck is very much on his side, still has an outside chance to make it onto the grid for the Main Final.

Official top 18 after qualifying
1. Jilles Groskamp (NL) – 32 Laps in 10:11.241 [Kyosho/Sirio]
2. Chris Tosolini (USA) – 32 Laps in 10:11.250 [Kyosho/Sirio]
3. Daniele Ielasi (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:11.904 [Kyosho/IDM]
4. Tironi Francesco (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:12.414 [Kyosho/Sirio]
5. Balestri Dario (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:12.818 [TM/NR]
6. Takaaki Shimo (JPN) – 32 Laps in 10:15.183 [Kyosho/OS]
7. D’Angelo Giuseppe (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:16.657 [Mugen/NR]
8. Martin Lissau (DNK) – 32 Laps in 10:16.700 [Xray/GRP]
9. Martin Christensen (DNK) – 32 Laps in 10:16.776 [Xray/Sirio]
10. Mazzeo Alessio (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:17.260 [Serpent/Max]
11. Robert Pietsch (DE) – 32 Laps in 10:17.449 [Xray/NR]
12. Paul Lemieux (USA) – 32 Laps in 10:18.025 [Xray/Max]
13. Peter Jovanovic (AUS) – 32 Laps in 10:18.893 [Xray/NR]
14. Martin Hudy (SK) – 32 Laps in 10:19.360 [Xray/Max]
15. Adrien Bertin (LUX) – 32 Laps in 10:19.465 [Kyosho/Orion]
16. Dirk Wischnewski (DE) – 32 Laps in 10:21.213 [Xray/NR]
17. Ralph Burch (USA) – 31 Laps in 09:59.355 [Xray/Max]
18. Yuya Sahashi (JPN) – 31 Laps in 10:00.303 [Serpent/Mega]

The complete final listings can be downloaded here.

The lower finals get underway at 08:00 tomorrow morning, and thanks to Kyosho, Xceed and Serpent, we will bring you highlights throughout the day.

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August 14, 2008

Vital Worlds Statistics

Team Xray

IFMAR have just released official statistics for the equipment of choice for competitors racing in the 2008 World Championships.

In terms of chassis’ it is World Championship debutants Xray that is the most popular choice with 35 drivers running the NT1. Next most popular is Kyosho with 33 cars followed by defending champions Mugen with 30 and Serpent with 29. Team Magic is the only other manufacturer represented with 6 variations of their double European Championship winning G4.

With the Monsanto track proving it be a power track it is Novarossi who are by far the most popular choice with 37 cars being powered by the Italian units. Italian engines occupy the Top 3 placing with current TQ holders Sirio the No. 2 choice with 21 users followed by Max Power on 18. French tuner JP Racing have 12 drivers here with newcomers GRP and Mega represented by 8 drivers each. Current World Champion engines Ninja are to be found in four cars here.

On the tyre front Italian companies ATS and Enneti are equal at the top of the list with 17 users each with Kyosho supplying 13 drivers and Matrix 12.

In terms of the nationality of the drivers, host country Portugal are the largest team with 17 competitors followed by Argentina with 11 drivers just one more than Italy. At total of 28 countries are represented at the 2008 Worlds.

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August 14, 2008

Groskamp moves into TQ position

Jilles Groskamp

Jilles Groskamp has regained the TQ spot with a superb drive in the penultimate qualifier for the 2008 Worlds here in Portugal. The Dutch ace was delighted with his run saying, ‘Finally it worked out for with my engine and fuel.’ Groskamp clocked up 32 laps in 10:11.241 giving Team Sirio boss Andrea Rossi every reason to punch the air in delight.

Groskamp was told to save fuel over the last few laps of his run and so had to lift a little but the call by his pitman was well warranted because shortly after crossing the timing loop the Kyosho ran out of fuel. Having had ‘Shit’ days on Tuesday and Wednesday, this morning’s heat is a big confidence boost for the world class electric racer who says he will now go flat out for the final qualifier.

Setting the second fastest time after also having a tough day yesterday was Daniele Ielasi. The Italian driver said his car was now the same as the first day after he reverted back to the same rear diff oil on his IDM powered Kyosho. Asked if he thought this evening’s final qualifier could be quicker Ielasi said he thought maybe it could be simliar but not quicker.

Dario Balestri

Dario Balestri moved himself up from fifth overnight into a direct Main Final qualifying position after putting in the third fastest time but the run was not a clean one for the young Italian. The Team Magic lead driver made a mistake early in his run which caused him to loose a body clip and this was to cost him further time during his pit stop as the body rose off the car when his pit woman lifted it for refuelling. Happy with the balance of his Novarossi powered G4+, the incidents cost Balestri a very possible TQ run.

With Groskamp, Ielasi and Balestri all going quicker than the overnight TQ time, Japanese driver Takaaki Shimo drops to fourth but the Kyosho/OS driver was quick to put his poor run down to himself saying, ‘Good car, Driver not so good’. Just how good the car was is the 18.553 fastest lap set by Shimo which is the quickest lap we have seen in qualifying todate.

Mugen/Novarossi driver Giuseppe D’Angelo finally got to show his true pace as he finished his first heat to record an impressive fifth fastest time. Finishing the run has given the Italian a big boost and he is very confidence he can go fastest later today.

Unfortunately for Adrien Bertin his strong run to record the third fastest time was to be in vain as his Kyosho failed to pass scrutiny with his fuel tank deemed to be too big. Obviously annoyed with his exclusion, the French Team Orion driver was pleased with his car and run despite a number of incidents with Francesco Tironi.

Andrea Rossi working on the car of Chris Tosolini

Chris Tosolini who was our Top Qualifier at the end of Day 1 had an interesting time with a bee during his fifth heat. Distracted by the bee which landed on his finger the Kyosho/Sirio said he spent ages trying to get rid of the trespassing insect but with his attention distracted he hit a curb and broke his inside rear tyre. Asked how the run was without the bee Tosolini said, ‘If the bee didn’t get involved you know were we would have been! I was driving super smooth and the car was great.’

Once again Ralph Burch was setting very fast laps recording the second fastest lap for the round but yet again the RC America driver was dogged by bad luck this time his engine coming to a halt on the back straight. His fellow countrymen also had bad luck with Josh Cyrul’s car stopping as a result of a broken tab on his receiver battery while Barry Baker, who was struggling with his engine, clipped a curb coming on to the straight which slammed his Team Magic into the wall pretty much destroying the car.

One of the star of yesterday’s qualifiers, Martin Lissau from Denmark was again running a fast pace but his engine ran out of fuel before the finish. Lissau, the current 1:5 World Champion, is really impressing here in Lisbon as this is only his fifth 1:10 nitro race this year.

Top 10 after 5 rounds
1. Jilles Groskamp (NL) – 32 Laps in 10:11.241
2. Daniele Ielasi (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:11.904
3. Balestri Dario (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:13.809
4. Takaaki Shimo (JPN) – 32 Laps in 10:16.393
5. D’Angelo Giuseppe (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:16.657
6. Martin Lissau (DNK) – 32 Laps in 10:16.700
7. Martin Christensen (DNK) – 32 Laps in 10:16.776
8. Chris Tosolini (USA) – 32 Laps in 10:17.428
9. Peter Jovanovic (AUS) – 32 Laps in 10:18.893
10. Martin Hudy (SK) – 32 Laps in 10:19.360

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August 13, 2008

IFMAR extend warm-up for final rounds

Monsanto track Lisbon

Following requests from engine manufacturers, the organisers of the 2008 World Championship are to extend the warm-up time each driver will get ahead of the final two rounds of qualifying. To-date drivers have had 3 minutes to warm-up for their 10-minute qualifying runs but with many of the top drivers struggling to make five minutes from a tank of fuel the warm-up time will be increased to 5 minutes. The increase will give drivers the opportunity to fine tune their engines to the relevant temperature/conditions at the time of their qualifying heat.

Heats 5 & 6 tomorrow are the last two opportunities drivers have to determine which final they will start in with the big battle being that for the TQ, currently held by Shimo, and one of the four direct qualifying positions for the Main Final of the 2008 IFMAR 1:10 200mm World Championships which is scheduled to run on Saturday. Round 5 gets underway at 09:30 tomorrow morning and our coverage, which is sponsored by Kyosho, Xceed and Serpent, will continue througout the day.

The final overall standings after 4 rounds can be downloaded here.

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August 13, 2008

No change at the top

Dario Balestri heat action

The second qualifier for the faster group of drivers has been run but it made little change to the top of the timesheets. Dario Balestri was biggest benefactor of Round 4 climbing four places in the overall qualification standings after producing the fifth fastest run. The Team Magic driver said he had the right tyres this time and his car felt really good although a slight error by his pit woman cost him a possible TQ run. Fastest for the round was Martin Lissau who produced an almost identical time to his current FTQ time from Heat 3 finishing just 3/1000th slower!!

Ralph Burch action

The other big movers from the fourth round where American pairing Ralph Burch and Paul Lemieux who move into 10th and 11th repectively. Burch has been fast, holding the current fastest lap time for qualifying, but the RC America driver has been short on luck however on this occassion he came close to a clean run. Just missing the finish line after running out of fuel, the Xray/Max driver just missed out on a 32 lap which could have put him in the Top 6 but he was still pleased to get a decent time saying afterwards ‘At least we are in contention now’. Burch said his car was not perfect although the steering was better now but he needs to find a little more traction.

Lemieux was happy to finally finish a run. Changes made to his Xray for the heat weren’t so good but other than that he described it as a good clean run and something to build on.

Takaaki Shimo

For current TQ holder Taakaki Shimo heat four didn’t far well as he ran out of fuel before his pit stop. On set up the Japanese driver had the totally opposite problem to heat 3 with his car now nervous for the first half of the run and really good for the last part. The Kyosho driver will try to find a compromise set up to make the car more feel more consistent through the entire run.

Chris Tosolini reckoned he was on for taking back the TQ from Shimo but his engine was too rich and he ran out of fuel before his pit stop. Team mate Jilles Groskamp, who was the pace setter here in controlled practice, continued to have engine/fuel issues also running too rich, causing him too to run out of fuel. Adrien Bertin is complaining of the same fuel problems only his engine ran too lean causing a plug to go.

Peter Jovanovic’s woes continued when 10 laps into his run the rear belt stripped on his Xray. For defending World Champion Keisuke Fukuda things are also not improving. The Japanese ace said, ‘It was supposed to get better today but it didn’t’. The Mugen/Ninja driver is happy with the set-up of his car but continues to struggle with his engine.

Unnofficial top 10 after 4 rounds
1. Takaaki Shimo (JPN) – 32 Laps in 10:16.393 [Kyosho/OS]
2. Martin Lissau (DNK) – 32 Laps in 10:16.700 [Xray/GRP]
3. Martin Christensen (DNK) – 32 Laps in 10:16.776 [Xray/Sirio]
4. Chris Tosolini (USA) – 32 Laps in 10:18.325 [Kyosho/Sirio]
5. Balestri Dario (IT) – 32 Laps in 10:18.473 [TM/NR]
6. Peter Jovanovic (AUS) – 32 Laps in 10:18.893 [Xray/NR]
7. Martin Hudy (SK) – 32 Laps in 10:19.360 [Xray/Max]
8. Adrien Bertin (LUX) – 32 Laps in 10:19.465 [Kyosho/Orion]
9. Mazzeo Alessio (IT) – 31 Laps in 09:58.271 [Serpent/Max]
10.Ralph Burch (USA) – 31 Laps in 09:59.355 [Xray/Max]

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August 13, 2008

Takaaki Shimo goes fastest

Takaaki Shimo

Takaaki Shimo got his day off to a great start by setting a new TQ time in the third round of qualifying. The Kyosho/OS team driver recorded 32 laps in 10:16.393 and now sits at the top of the time sheets ahead of fast Danish pairing Martin Lissau and Martin Christensen.

Shimo was modest about his run describing it as ‘So So’. The Japanese driver said his car was excellent in the first half of the heat but in the last five minutes it became very nervous. Not a big fan of the track here in Monsanto he plans to make set-up changes for the second of today’s heats but is unsure of what he can adjust to cure the problem he is experiencing in the second part of the run.

Martin Lissau

Current 1:5 scale World Champion Lissau said he drove a safe run as he experienced problems with shadows on the track from the trees but it was good enough for the second fastest time. The Xray driver said his NT1 is really good and his GRP engine is now making the 5-minutes with fuel to spare. Changes for Round 4 include heavier shock oil, as the track will be hotter for the run, along with a pair of sunglasses!!

Pitting next to Lissau is the third fastest man Christensen. Using the same chassis as his countryman Christensen’s NT1 is being powered by Sirio engines and the Dane feels he could have TQ’d the round if he had not been delayed by Robert Pietsch & Basile Concialdi in the last minute which cost him a second. He says if he can get a clean heat he is confident he has the pace to TQ.

Chris Tosolini, who held the overnight TQ honours, failed to finish his run as his engine went off tune during the run. His Sirio team mate Jilles Groskamp suffered the same problem. Sirio believe that the procedure used for the hand out fuel may be the causing contamination. Both drivers said their Kyosho cars were working really well.

Peter Jovanovic suffered a reciever problem and didn’t get any track time. At the start of the warm-up his car had no steering. His mechanic suspected a battery problem which they changed but still no steering so they changed the servo, still no joy. Further investigations lead them to the receiver which appears to be sending no signal to the steering. A new receiver is being fitted for Round 4.

Martin Hudy

Martin Hudy jumped into sixth in the current ranking after a adapting his driving style which in turn allowed him to make 5 minutes. The young Slovak driver, who is the son of Xray founder Juraj Hudy, said he drove more smoothly adopting a similar style to how he would drive electric touring cars and it worked. Hudy says he will push harder in the next heat as the electric driving style left him with good fuel.

Adrien Bertin drops to seventh after making a mistake on his run but the French driver was less happy with his Kyosho after making some small changes from yesterday which didn’t work.

Young Italian Alessio Mazzeo produced a good run to head the Serpent challenge here in qualifying with the 8th fastest time. The Max team driver said his 720 was very good and thinks he can push harder put needs to be careful with the fuel run time. Dario Balestri and Groskamp completed the Top 10 both failing to improve their times from yesterday. Balestri said he switched to 37 shore tyres which didn’t give him a good feeling with his Team Magic and as a result he rolled during the run.

Elsewhere Ralph Burch again set the fastest lap improving on his time from yesterday to set a 18.679. Burch was on for a really quick run but first had a coming together with Barry Baker who lost his Team Magic on the back straight and then moments later the Xray driver crashed which broke the rear wing. Baker too was on for a good run but crashed on his way into the pit lane. Paul Lemieux too crashed in his heat which caused his Max engine to flame out while Josh Cyrul managed his best run so far but appears to be struggling for pace.

World Champion Keisuke Fukuda’s defence of his title is not going well. The Japanese driver is struggling with run time and as a result is well down the order.

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