German Serpent driver Dirk Stammler and Turkish Mugen driver Gorkem Gur have won their respective 1:10 Semi finals to progress to the Main final of the Bumod Grand Prix which is taking place near the city of Bursa in the north-west of Turkey. The Semi A saw Stammler take an easy win from American Xray driver Scott Rister. The pair were running on the same pace for much of the race but Rister’s Max cut in the later part allowing Stammler’s OS powered 720 to cruise to victory. In the Semi B, Winternats Champion DJ Apolaro took an early lead having started from pole position but two minutes in his prototype Serpent stripped a gear handing the lead to Austrian Richard Furtner. Rejoining 10 laps down, Apolaro set about a recovery drive lapping faster than any of his rivals but contact with another car broke something on the 7XX ending his chances of taking part in both Main finals later today. Furtner also hit some problems and dropped back to second with Mugen/Sirio driver Gur taking the win. Bulgarian Martin Petrov made it a good day for his family as he made it into the Main by finising third, his father made it into the 1:8 final from the earlier 1:8 Semi A.
Bulgarian National Champion Borislav Tranchev and Swiss driver Pacor Ender have won their 1:8 scale Semi Finals here at the inaugural Bumod Grand Prix to secure their places in the one hour A Main final which is scheduled to get under way at 15:25 Turkish time. In the Semi A, pole sitter Sabrina Lenchner was comfortably leading when she got punted off the track and hit the curbing which resulted in two wheels coming off her Serpent 966. Dropping down to sixth, the German rejoined the race recovering to finish second despite a very difficult handling car which had stripped a front belt. Fresh from racing at last weekends Euro B Championships in Italy, 17-year-old Tranchev drove a very calculated race up front taking his Picco powered Mugen to a 1 lap winning margin. With the Top 3 moving up from the Semis to the Main final Damian Petrov, also from Bulgaria, took the final bump up position. Austrian Meisinger who started from second on the grid had a terrible start. Put on his roof at the first corner he recovered to run second but then a front trackrod came off his Serpent 960. A less dramatic Semi B saw Ender take his Motonica to a comfortable win over Turkish Mugen pairing Alparsian Ozanturk and Gokmen Cakan.
In a dramatic final round of qualifying here in Turkey for the Bumod GP it was Team Xray driver Surikarn C. who snatched TQ honours for tomorrow’s one hour main final. The 2002 Electric Touring Car World Champion made the most of the cooler evening track conditions recording 31 laps in 10:14.521 with his OS powered NT1. Running in Group 1, the Thai driver then had to wait nervously to see if his great electric touring car rival Jilles Groskamp who was running in Group 3 could also improve on his morning pace which saw him hold provisional TQ throughout the day. The Dutch lived up to the challenge and was running a slightly faster time but with 1 minute to go some ambitious driving by a slower driver ended the challenge as he pushed the prototype Serpent off the track. The incident was to cost Groskamp approximately 12 second and a certain TQ run.
Surikarn was very pleased with his TQ run saying track conditions were much better in the evening and he was glad he made the most of the run. Asked about his plan for the final he said he will run harder tyres opting for 42 on the front and 45 on the rear but he still feels a tyre stop will be nessecary. In terms of the car set-up he will leave it the same. Groskamp, who was justifiably annoyed to have his run ruined, feels he has a slight edge over Surikarn and is determined to give the new Serpent 7XX a win on its debut.
Third in qualifying thanks to his morning run was Dirk Wischnewski. Having started the day so well the reminder of qualifying was to be a nightmare for the Team Xray driver. Following his dramas in the second and third qualifiers he was on for making the most of the cooler conditions in the fourth but ran out of fuel a lap before he was due to pit. Completing the Top 4 who directly go forward to the main race tomorrow is Austrian Gerhard Kandelhardt, he too having to rely on a time set earlier. Running a fast pace in the fourth round the Xray driver pushed too hard and rolled his NT1 which in turn flamed out. Starting on pole for the Semis will be Germany’s Dirk Stammler with a Serpent 720 and DJ Apolaro driver the second of the prototype 7XX making the race debut here this weekend.
In 1:8 Robert Pietsch bettered his earlier TQ time becoming the only driver to break 34 laps. The factory Mugen and Novarossi driver was very happy with his combination and plans no changes, his biggest worry for tomorrow being the tyre strategy. The German found tyre wear much higher today and while all drivers say a minimum of 1 stop will be necessary it may also be necessary to stop for a second set of his own branded RPM tyres.
Second on the grid will be DJ Apolaro who can take some satisfaction from his 1:8 performance on what has been a difficult weekend. The Serpent driver is busy running in both categories but things are going to be even more hectic tomorrow with the US ace set to run around two and a half hours if he can bump his sedan up into the Main. Making it three different cars at the front of the grid is Shepherd’s Patrick Schaefer. The German recorded the fastest lap in the last round of qualifying but flamed out as he came in for his fuel stop ending any chance of improving his time.
Michael Salven, having seen his latest creation robbed of a pretty certain TQ, was dealt another blow shortly afterwards when his receiver battery died as he warmed up for the fastest round of the day. Sabrina Lechner was fifth fastest and will start pole for the Semi A with Swiss driver Pacor Ender’s Motonica heading the grid in the Semi B.
1/10th scale qualifying results
1. Surikarn Chaidajsuriya – Thailand
2. Jilles Groskamp – Netherlands
3. Dirk Wischnewski – Germany
4. Gerhard Kandelhardt – Austria
5. Dirk Stammler – Austria
6. DJ Apolaro – USA
7. Richard Furtner – Austria
8. Scott Rister – USA
9. Arman Maralan – Turkey
10.Gorkem Gur – Turkey
1/8th scale qualifying results
1. Robert Pietsch – Germany
2. DJ Apolaro – USA
3. Patrick Schaefer – Germany
4. Michael Salven – Germany
5. Sabrina Lechner – Germany
6. Pacor Ender – Switzerland
7. Michael Meisinger – Austria
8. Gokmen Cakan – Turkey
9. Boritslav Tranchev – Bulgaria
10.Alparsian Ozanturk – Turkey
There was no change at the top of qualifying here for the inaugural Bumod Grand Prix with Robert Pietsch and Jilles Groskamp remaining in the TQ spots. Biggest mover for the round in 1:8 was Patrick Schaefer who finally completed the distance to record 32 laps and move into 3rd with his Novarossi powered Shepherd. Sabrina Lechner also had a good run posting 32 laps and now lies 5th. Having redeemed himself in the second qualifier Robert Pietsch let himself down again making a driver error which ended his run. Michael Salven’s run was ended suddenly when a stone locked up his 966. In 1:10 Groskamp was fastest for the round but the Dutch ace was unable to match the pace he set this morning despite running his Max leaner to make just one fuel stop over the 10 minute heat. DJ Apolaro made it a 1-2 in the round for the new Serpent touring car while third went to Surikarn C. who had the fastest lap of the third qualifier. Dirk Wischnewski’s run came to a halt when the brake on his Xray locked up.
Robert Pietsch has made up for his rather embarrasing incident before the start of the first qualifier here at the Bumod GP to set the new benchmark with a provisional TQ run of 33 laps in 10:08.106. The German laid down some super fast laps finishing well clear of his international rivals with DJ Apolaro being the best of the rest. After a terrible opening round the American was really happy with his 966 having switched to a larger diameter tyre to combat the high tyre wear.
Michael Salven described his run as ‘terrible’, but it was enough to move him up to third. Having badly damaged his new bodyshell in the warm-up for his opening heat, he ran an old body in the second qualifier but the much heavier shell made the car totally different to drive. Making a number of mistakes the German finished the heat but with a broken wheel on one side of his 966 and a chuncked tyre on the other. Still managing a 32 lap run, Salven has repaired his lighter shell with Shoe Goo which is now drying in the very hot Turkish sunshine.
Once again Patrick Schaefer was enjoying a good running but exiting the pitlane after his fuel stop he hit the pitwall catching his front wheel in one of the bolts used to join the lengths of delrin. This resulted in him breaking his second servo saver of the day but as Schaefer put it himself ‘it is better than being down to servos’. The German said the car was running well but it may have been difficult over the second part of the race as he had started on smaller diameter used tyres so as to save his new tyres for this evenings cooler runs.
Having held the TQ after the opening round Sabrina Lechner had a troublesome second heat. As she was in the pitlane waiting for the track to open the receiver battery in her Serpent went dead. Missing the start as they changed the pack she then ran out of fuel as she entered the pitlane for her first pit stop.
In 1:10 Austrian Xray driver Gerhard Kandelhardt topped the round with a 30 lap run that moves him up to 4th. ‘Kandi’ said his GQ shod NT1 was working well but felt his Orcan engine was lacking in power. Second fastest for the round was Dirk Stammler with America Scott Rister third fastest with his Xray/Max combination. The fastest three from the first round, times which were not beaten in the second, all made mistakes. Provisional TQ holder Jilles Groskamp started off his heat running a faster pace but after hitting a car he was lapping he then started to make mistakes on his own. Eventually he had a big off which broke both front wheels on his Serpent. Having switched to harder tyres Dirk Wischnewski said his car was better but driver error ended his run. Surikarn C. made two mistakes on his run. Having switched to the OS, having found the Max to run very hot in the opening heat, he said the car was running much faster now. Apolaro, who is driving the new Serpent 7XX, had a wheel come off which incidently was put on by the car’s creator Michael Salven! The 200mm Winternats Champion said he not getting enough time to work on the car and this is being compounded by his lack of knowlegde of the new model.
Round 3 will see the 1:8 drivers reseeded which should allow the top drivers to push harder however the high temperatures will most likely mean a slower track.
After a rather incident packed opening round of qualifying at the Bumod Grand Prix it is Sabrina Lechner and Jilles Groskamp who have laid down the benchmark times. First up were the 1:10 runners with Groskamp surprising even himself with a very fast run of 31 laps in 10:19.181. Having set the pace in practice yesterday, the World class driver from the Netherlands went even quicker this morning knocking 4/10th off his best lap time. Running a two stop strategy over the 10 minute heat with his Max powered prototype Serpent he believes faster times can come but in the final round today when conditions should be at their coolest.
Second fastest for the round was a rather bemused Dirk Wischnewski. The Xray team driver said, ‘My car felt good but time is too slow. I only made one stop, Jilles made two. I really have to push much harder’. His Orcan powered NT1 set a time of 30 laps in 10:04.510.
Also managing a 30 lap run, Surikarn C. said his run was fine. Using a Max engine in the rear of his Xray, the Thai driver will try his OS for the second round of qualifying as he continues to back to back the two engines. Dirk Stammler completed the top 4 for the round despite coming in too early for his pit stop which cost him some time. Driving an OS powered Serpent 720 the German will try a different bodyshell next time out to try and reduce understeer.
Sabrina Lechner, who managed to fit in a quick TV interview with Turkish television just before the run, was happy to TQ the opening 1:8 round in Turkey laughing at the fact she did it having done three pit stops. Her Serpent 966 ran well in the hot conditions but after the first fuel stop her engine went off tune something she feels is being caused by the different fuel she is running here this weekend. The time of 30 laps in 10:02.648 was slower than that of Groskamp’s 1:10 and Lechner is fully aware that will thumble in the next round. Making it a Serpent 1-2 for the round Austrian Michael Meisinger at the controls of a Picco powered 960 said he drove a safe run. Completing the Top 3 was local driver Alparslan Ozanturk using a Mugen/JP combination.
He was the clear pace setter in practice yesterday but this morning got off to a bad start for factory Mugen driver Robert Pietsch. Just as the cars were called to the pitlane following their warm up he ran off the track rolling his car in the process. A chunked rear tyre meant he would miss the start of the heat leaving him to sit out the round. Afterwards he commented ‘It was a frequency problem in the brain’. Michael Salven was another to hit trouble before the start of his heat. Having lost his way with set-up yesterday he had his 966 back working again but in the warm-up he collected a car sitting on its roof in the middle of track resulting in a broken front wishbone on the former European Champion’s car.
Managing to make the start of the heat, Shepherd front man Patrick Schaefer was looking good but as he came into the pits for his first fuel stop he made contact with another car which broke the servo saver on his Velox. American ace DJ Apolaro had a morning to forget. In 1:8 he fell foul of the big difference in the level of drivers running in the heats. Three laps in he had an off on the main straight trying to avoid a slower car. No damage was done to his 966 but he opted to come in. Race organisers have, after discussions with the drivers, now decided to do a reseed after the second round of today’s five qualifiers – the addition of a fifth round being announced late last night. In 1:10 Apolaro lost a plug on the startline. Getting going again to record 29 laps he said afterwards the engine is done.