Fuel consumption continues to be the biggest challenge facing drivers here on Day 3 of the 2008 EFRA 1:8 On road European Championships. A number of drivers are claiming to be making 5 minutes but it is believed that as the temperatures rise here in Valencia they will once again be faced with the problem of completing a full run.
Mark Green appears to be the pace setter and is making 5 minutes but the English Serpent driver admits it will be marginal in the fourth of today’s runs when the track will be at its hottest. ‘I have made a number of changes and was able to make 5 minutes in my two runs this morning but I think the fourth run will be the most critical which is funny as the track is slower but consumption is higher. For qualifying a good run in the morning will decide the grid’. Asked what changes he had made Green was not forthcoming with information but we believe one of the elements allowing him the extra run time is the use of 16% fuel. On the car the British Champion said, ‘The car is fantastic, I had a little push in the first run but as the track got hotter the handling was spot on.’
All the leading Serpent drivers appear to be pleased with the handling of the 960 08 but unlike Green they still have concerns of fuel. Michael Salven who was not comfortable with his car yesterday is much happier today saying his car is good again. On the subject of fuel the former European Champion says that running less nitro is an option but he will stick with 25% for the moment and try to find a better pipe combination. The German also ran shorter gearing which he says makes the engine run more stable with the new EFRA spec pipes.
Shepherd Velox designer and EC Warm-up race winner Robert Pietsch was running a different rear geometry on his car which has improved rear traction. The new suspension brackets move the wishbone pivot point 7mm closer together combined with a new carbon shock mounting plate on the rear wishbones to retain the original shock angle. Pietsch is also making five minutes but was another who expressed concerns about the warmer runs later today. Pietsch’s team-mate Daniele Ielasi on the other hand can’t make a full run and will run a CPD in an attempt to cure the problem as he needs to complete one more lap. The Italian is otherwise very happy with his Volex.
Leading factory Mugen/JP driver Rick V is very happy with the speed and consistency of his MRX-4 but is looking for 0.1 to 0.2 of second more per lap. The Dutch racer will work on finding more speed through the hairpins which he says is the key to good lap times here as the track has no less than three such corners. Other Mugen news is that Sirio team driver Bruno Coelho has turned up and will be racing. The rapid young Portuguese driver, who arrived late last night, is running a Sirio in his Mugen but with pipes from RB.
Adrien Bertin is also reporting a better day saying that both the car and driver are working better today. The Kyosho/Orion driver has not been able to make 5 minutes and but the former World Champion has an easy solution to the problem, ‘I just need to do 16.5 laps and then I can make a one pit stop during my run’. At present the unofficial fastest lap times are in the 17.6 second region.
Italian Dario Balestri is reporting his Motonica to be working well but the Novarossi factory driver is still testing options to try and make 5 minutes.
While fuel is the main news here the other big factor appears to be what body shell to use. A lot of quick paint jobs are being carried out here in the pits as drivers scramble to try the various options with the Zytek from Sprint RC proving a popular option together with the Collari 905.