Yet another day beginning with rain, the weather was dry earlier in the morning, but a heavy shower around 7.30am soaked the track again and now with the sun out the organisers are working quickly to dry the track so that racing can resume, but the likelihood that round 6 of qualifying will be run is looking increasingly unlikely. The more likely scenario is that the organisers will go straight into the lower finals when the track dries, but we will wait for confirmation of this. If this does happen, then its Massimo Fantini, racing a Serpent 960, that has claimed the TQ spot for this years World Championships ahead of Collari, Bertin and Tosolini.
UPDATE: Despite the track beginning to dry, it has not done so quick enough and round 6 has been officially abandoned. Lowers final will begin in a number of hours. We will have a report on your top 4 soon.
Today’s racing has been cancelled due to the heavy rain, that has kept coming, and with no chance of the track drying up the race control made an announcement calling a halt to today’s proceedings. Good news for those that didnt get a chance to improve their time, all is not lost as tomorrow morning there will be one final round of heats to be run in the morning before the lower finals. We are now leaving the track as there is nothing happening here and unfortunately everyone else is leaving too, so we will have no one or nothing to photograph or any information to find out.
We will be back first thing tomorrow to bring you news from the last round of qualifying and the lower finals.
With the rain still coming down, we now have a chance to write about a number of new items in the pits that we have seen in the last few days. The first is this CAP spider from Capricorn RC, which was seen on Chris Tosolini’s Kyosho in the pits and used to help him claim his 4th position in the overall standings. Essentially its a carbon fibre rear body support that prevents the sides of the body shell from folding in under high speeds and also part of the set, which it not all on Toso’s car, are carbon side body stiffeners, but arent being used because IFMAR allows the use of normal lexan stiffeners.
Also new in the pits, seen on the bench of Roelof Tooms, is a small engine project from a Dutch company called USE, who currently make optional metal parts like pinions and cooling heads. Made using molds from an old engine project to have a basis with which to begin development, this 3.5cc engine features some innovative thinking inside its rather old fashioned crankcase. Similar to the Sirio engines, the liner and the top part of the external crankcase are combined, while the cooling head features an integrated combustion chamber and the cranksahft has also been developed to be very small and light. There is a lot of work still to be done and it is currently being made as a side project outside of office hours, we will keep you informed on any further developments.
Tires are one of the most critical pieces of equipment at these races and all the top drivers are experimenting with different wheels and foam combinations. Seen on a number of racers cars are new lightweight wheels from ATS, Enneti and Kyosho, which have been made using a lightweight and opaque material which provides huge benefits for the car due to reduced rotating mass, but they are difficult to glue the tires to and are in very short supply, with some teams taking to removing the old foam from the wheels to use them for a new set.
Seen on the work bench of Michael Salven is Serpent’s new tool set which seems pretty complete in the amount of tools provided and it comes in a handy carrying case which has not yet been finalised. The tools feature hardened tips and orange handles and they are expected to be released before the end of the year.
The racers have woken up to heavy rain on Thursdays final day of qualifying, meaning that any chances of improving are pretty much zero as the rain is set to be here for the day, only set to stop very late in the day. We will keep you posted on what happens but as it is now (not official) there will be no running today and the 5th and 6th round of qualifying will be abandoned. We will go around the pits to try and get some pictures and product information, so stay tuned.
It’s Fantini that is quickest after 4 rounds as the sun came and slowed the heats slightly even though the Italian Serpent driver managed to be quickest in the round with a 34 laps in 10:18 to be the only driver to claim a 34 lap run in round 4 after Lamberto Collari stopped on track when on his way to a 34 lap run. Collari maintains his 2nd position he picked up in the 3rd round, while Kyosho team mate Adrien Bertin improved his time by 2 seconds to claim a 33 laps in 10:00.84, although he wasnt very happy about once more missing out on a 34 lapper, venting his frustration on a wall on his return to his pit area.
The biggest improvement of the day came from Chris Tosolini, the Sirio backed Kyosho driver, managed to secure himself the final direct qualifying position with 33 Laps in 10:00.84 to demote Italian Danielle Ielasi to 5th, and pole position for the semi’s, despite having improved his time. Chris mentioned that “Yesterday we had a lot of problems with the engine, just too lean, we talked about the problems last night and we tried a lower gear today to get more punch so the engine runs a little easier”, “in the first run i didnt get to do my warmup cause my cell phone was in my pocket and it was making my car go crazy, so I didnt warmup my tires or my engine, so in the first run I was 6th, not bad, I figure if we warm up the tires and warm up the engine we can do a 34”. “So in the 2nd round we had a good warm up, things didn’t feel perfect, so I ran good and I did a flat, almost 34, but tomorrow I want to do a 34”.
Another one of the many to go better today is German Shepherd driver who went 33 Laps in 10:02.54 lifting himself into 6th demoting Kyosho racer Takaaki Shimo to 7th, having not improved in round 4.
Having had trouble in the 3rd round with his brakes not working, he made a number of mistakes in his run which he scrapped, but came back in round 4 to post a 33 Laps in 10:04.99, despite having to stop twice for fuel. The Motonica racer said “Yesterday I tried to find the good setup of the Orion valve (CPD) but I wasnt able to and had some trouble, so today I took it off and did 2 pitstops and did a very good time in 8th position with 2 refuelling”. “I think that today it was necessary to guarantee the semi final and tomorrow we can work with only 1 pit stop to have a better result”
Current European B Champion Jernej Vuga has jumped his way into the top 15 with a quick run in round 3, having been plagued with radio problems during the practice sessions, however he couldnt improve in round 4. “After all the problems I had I think its a very nice position, we can improve of course, but we had 3 days of radio problems which was very difficult for us”. “I managed somehow to get a pretty decent setup for the car, the engine ran pretty well and i managed to put together a pretty good qualifying heat without too many big mistakes”.
Unofficial Results after round 4
1. MASSIMO FANTINI – 34 Laps in 10:14.91 (Serpent/Max)
2. LAMBERTO COLLARI – 34 Laps in 10:18.02 (Kyosho/Novarossi)
3. Adrien Bertin – 33 Laps in 10:00.84 (Kyosho/Picco)
4. CHRIS TOSOLINI – 33 Laps in 10:00.88 (Kyosho/Sirio)
5. DANIELE IELASI – 33 Laps in 10:01.28 (Kyosho/Picco)
6. Pietsch Robert – 33 Laps in 10:02.54 (Shepherd/Novarossi)
7. TAKAAKI SHIMO – 33 Laps in 10:03.19 (Kyosho/OS)
8. DARIO BALESTRI – 33 Laps in 10:04.99 (Motonica/Novarossi)
9. HIDEO KITAZAWA – 33 Laps in 10:05.08 (Mugen/OS)
10. MICHELE ROMAGNOLI – 33 Laps in 10:05.19 (Serpent Max)
11. Salven Michael – 33 Laps in 10:05.48 (Serpent/Mega)
12. Mark Green – 33 Laps in 10:06.91 (Serpent/Mega)
13. WALTER SALEMI – 33 Laps in 10:08.55 (Mugen/Ninja)
14. STEFANO SOLAROLI – 33 Laps in 10:09.31 (Mugen/Picco)
15. JERNEJ VUGA – 33 Laps in 10:09.35 (Mugen/Novarossi)
The 3rd and 4th round for heats 1-6 will be run in reverse order after lunch and until they are completed we can’t give you any complete results.
UPDATE: Complete Results after round 4 can be downloaded here (.xls).
Todays qualifying is under way and it running in dry but cool conditions and after the 3rd round for heats 7-12, its Serpent racer Massimo Fantini that has stamped his authority on proceedings by putting in a ballistic 34 Lap 10:14.908, shattering his previous pole position time by some 9 seconds. Lamberto Collari who also runs in the same heat managed to better his time by an equally large amount, to a 34 lapper in 10:18.015, and goes 2nd quickest, however over 3 seconds behind.
Completing the new top 4, and the first of the non 34 lap club, is Adrien Bertin who overcame his problems yesterday to put in a steady run of 33 laps in 10:02.087 to claim 3rd spot closely followed by his Kyosho team mate Danielle Ielasi in 4th on a 33 laps 10:02.136. All drivers that have gotten a solid run in this morning have improved their times and the current top 8 is completely reordered from yesterdays with new entrants to the group such as Salven who is now in 6th and Kitazawa in 7th as well as US racer Chris Tosolini who put in a great run to come from nowhere and go 8th.