The first day of action at the 2009 DHI Cup has come to a close and it is Alexander Hagberg who has taken first blood by setting the pace in the opening qualifier. After over 12 hours of running today the final heat saw the Swedish factory Xray driver post the fastest time recording 21 laps in 307.88 seconds with local ace and former European Champion Jonas Kaerup next up just over a second adrift.
Hagberg was very pleased with his first day at the office here in Denmark and will only make a change to the setting of his LRP speedo after his batteries started to dump on the very last lap of the run. ‘The first minute the car was a little loose but nothing too bad and after that it was very easy to drive so I will leave it the same for tomorrow. I will make a change to the setting of my speedo because run time was on the limit.’
Kaerup, who switched to Tamiya late last season, was delighted with his run having struggled in practice. The new found pace was down to a simple change of tyre additive on the TRF416 which transformed its handling. Tyre additive is proving a critical factor here with many of the leading drivers having to switch from their normal additive to get a decent level of traction.
Setting the third fastest time for the round, Jilles Groskamp continued to get more speed from his Tamiya. The 2002 DHI Cup Champion said he drove a safe run but now that he has strong points in the bag he can push a little more. Behind him was his Tamiya Racing Factory team-mate Marc Rheinard who had set the early pace for the qualifier. The German openly admitted to making too many mistakes in the latter half of the qualifier but said his car was good.
Corally team driver Marc Fisher, who is running the new RDX Phi 2, managed the fifth fastest time ahead of fellow countryman Freddy Sudhoff’s Xray. Fisher ran new tyres and struggled for the opening few laps as they scrubbed in but described the new car as working good.
Defend Champion Viktor Wilck suffered five traction rolls as the grip came up and ended the opening day in seventh position. Ronald Volker, Andy Moore and Teemu Leino completed the Top 10.
Tommy Bergfeldt has TQ’d the first round of Pro Stock qualifying at the Speed Passion supported 2009 DHI Cup. The Swede took his Red Bull backed Hot Bodies to a run of 20 laps in 312.44 to top the timesheets by 6/10th from Germany’s Matthias Lang. Bergfeldt ran different tyre additive for Round 1 of 5 which gave his Cyclone TC more steering allowing him to end SMI Motorsport’s early domination of processings here in Denmark.
Lang reverted back to the springs he used to top the third practice and described his Xray T2 009 as now being perfect. Driving a safe opening heat he is confident that he has a faster car than Bergfeldt and says tomorrow he wont be driving so safely.
2007 winner Bastian Hennig was third and the only other driver to record 20 laps. Running new tyres, the German believes the unscrubbed controlled Sorex 28s cost him time over the early part of the 5 minute run but once they came in all was good.
Last year’s Top Qualifier Christoph Thiele wasn’t happy with his run to fourth after narrowly missing out on a 20 lap run. The tall German said, ‘Tomorrow is another day and with some sweet sleep tonight it will be better’. Rico Tonert at the controls of an Xray and Dai Sakaguchi driving a Tamiya completed the Top 6.
Four more qualifiers await the Pro Stock drivers tomorrow with the best 3 of five to determine the grids for Sunday’s Finals which are expected to attract a crowd of around 2,000 to the Odense Congress Center.
Xray team driver Alexander Hagberg has topped the final practice at the 2009 DHI Cup. The Swede set the pace from German Xray driver Freddy Sudhoff with Tamiya’s Viktor Wilck completing the top three. Hagberg said his car is getting better with each outing as the traction comes up and will leave his set-up as is for the first Qualifier. Sudhoff is also following a similar plan of action. He said his car is ‘very good’ and the track layout is really suiting his driving style.
Defending DHI Cup Champion Wilck tried a different tyre additive which considerably reduced traction and so the Tamiya Racing Factory driver will revert back to the additive he used earlier in the day when he was the pace setter. Next up was Steen Graversen just ahead of the ever improving Christer Andersson. The Associated driver is delighted with his TC5 and his confidence is running high. The young Finn will change from a 3.5 to 4.0 LRP motor for the first qualifier but will make no changes to the chassis.
Much happier than he was earlier today, Jilles Groskamp has finally started to make an impression on the time sheets. The Dutch ace built a car that would be easy to drive for the final pracrice and while the Euro Touring Series Champion admitted to it being slower over a single lap but the plus side was it is very consistent. He plans a few small adjustments for the first of the five qualifiers which will get underway here shortly.
In Pro Stock the SMI Motorsport team continue to rule proceedings but its now Bastian Henning who leads from his three German team mates. A change of gearing and springs on his T2 009 allowed him to set the pace from Meik Niemann. Matthias Lang, who was fastest in P3, could only manage fourth behind Christoph Thiele after he too changed springs and will now revert to the same set used earlier.
Seen in the Corally pits here at the DHI Cup is the new, yet to be released follow up to the RDX Phi, the Phi 2. Featuring a new chassis as well as new front and rear bulkheads, the car has essentially been designed to accept LiPo cells. Retaining the same transmission from the previous car, the upper deck is now higher thanks to changes made to the bulk heads and this enables the LiPo packs to fit. Some other new changes include wider set lower wishbone supports as well as the all new chassis itself.
View more photos of the car in our event image gallery here.
The third round of free practice has been completed here at the Speed Passion supported DHI Cup where it is defending Champion Viktor Wilck who is setting the pace. The Swede tried two TRF416s in the latest 5 minute practice run which featured different chassis plates to move around weight distribution. Admitting to suffering with pain in his hand at the start of the runs, once he is up to full concentration all is ok.
With many drivers changing cars during each practice run we are using each driver’s four fastest consecutive laps to give us a true indication of who is doing what and after Wilck that puts Kyosho factory driver Steen Graversen second. The Dane is very happy with his car describing it as ‘Super easy to drive’ and thinks his car will get much better as the traction comes up. Having finished on the podium here last year, Graversen is aiming for a repeat performance at his big home event.
Alexander Hagberg is third fastest ahead of Xray team-mate Teemu Leino. Hagberg says his car is feeling quite good and he likes the high speed open track layout. The Swede plans to use the final practice to srub in new tyres for the first qualifier which is set to get underway here in Odense at 18:30. Leino described his car as alright and is really hoping the fluff clears up as he is having to spend an hour after each run cleaning the car of the grey stuff!
World Champion Marc Rheinard, who has not raced since taking his second Touring Car World title in Thailand back in November, tried a lightweight body on his Tamiya in P3 but found the car became too aggressive and so the German will revert to a standard shell.
Heading the Team Associated challenge is Finn Christer Andersson. The youngster has been practicing hard at his local track ahead of this event and is really pleased with his TC5 describing it as ‘super good’. Andersson will leave the car set-up the same and wants to let the track come to him as traction improves with each run. One concern for the youngster is run time as the fluff build up is draining extra power.
In Pro Stock it is German domination at the moment with the SMI Motorsport team looking very strong as their four drivers complete the four places for the third practice run. All running Xrays it is Matthias Lang who is fastest from 2007 DHI Cup winner Bastian Henning, last year’s Top Qualifier Christoph Thiele and Meik Niemann. All of team are reporting that track conditions are remaining difficult despite the best efforts of the race organisers to regularly clear the track of the fluff build up. Henning described it as ‘very difficult to drive’ with the fluff causing the car to pull off to the side as the build up on the drive shafts effects the car. Thiele is complaining of a lack of corner speed but hopes a change of springs for the final round of practice will improve things.
Tommy Bergfeldt is the fastest non Xray driver in Pro Stock with the Swedish Hot Bodies Cyclone TC driver fifth fastest just ahead of fellow countryman Christopher Sodergren who is driving a Serpent S400.
Its only the second week of 2009 but already the best drivers in the World are back down to the serious business of racing as the DHI Cup here in Denmark once again gets another new season of international Electric Touring car action underway. Race organiser Kim Moldt Bendiksen and his team have again put together a great racing facility at the Odense Congress Center which is hosting the event for the second time.
Heading the 207 strong entry for the 8th edition of the DHI Cup is defending Champion Viktor Wilck who following a recent snowboarding accident is sporting a bandaged left hand, but the Tamiya Racing Factory driver’s throttle finger remains functional. Wilck’s biggest challenger is sure to be his own team-mate and newly crowned World Champion Marc Rheinard. Unfortunately the DHI’s most successful driver Atsushi Hara, winner in 2004 and 2005, is abscent from the entry list but former Champions Jilles Groskamp (2002), Juho Levanen (2003), Rheinard (2006) and Ronald Volker (2007) are all here along with all the other big names in the sport including former World Champion Andy Moore.
In the Pro Stock class we are without defending Champion Jimmy Maddison but we still have a quality line-up with German Christoph Thiele, the Top Qualifier here last year, heading the entry.
Drivers have just completed their first of four free practice runs scheduled for today however new carpet made it a fluffy affair but the organisers have been out with the vaccum cleaners which should now allow drivers to start laying down some decent times in preparation for the first qualifier later this evening. As a result of the track cleaning things are now running approximately 15 minutes behind.