July 10, 2009

Another qualifier for defending Champion Savoya

Renaud Savoya has TQ’d the penultimate qualifier here in Austria becoming the first name to appear at the top the time sheets twice.  The defending Champion ran an identical car to yesterday changing only to the softer M3 Revolver to win the round from Darren Bloomfield and promising Czech driver Martin Bayer. Track conditions for the first of today’s two heats was slippery compared with yesterday due to the damp conditions but Savoya said his car worked well and combined his no driver errors he was very pleased with his heat which puts him in with a strong chance of repeating his overall TQ at last year’s European Championships.

Having completely changed everything on his Losi last night the hotly tipped Darren Bloomfield finally put in a strong run, finishing just 8/10th off Savoya.  The English driver was clearly much happier with his car which he said is running half way between the set-up from the Warm-up and that being used by Yannick Aigoin. Finding the rear of the car a little too soft still he will make appropriate changes to cure that for Heat 5.

One of the surprises of the 2008 Euros in Crete, Martin Bayer is again making a name for himself claiming a very strong third fastest time.  Having posted three good runs yesterday he said he could push harder today as a result and found his Losi 8ight very easy to drive.  Taking the third fastest time he plans only a small front caster adjustment for his last qualifier. Newly crowned Italian Champion Riccardo Rabitti took fourth for the round after a safe run.  After failing to post a time in the first qualifier due to a battery problem, the Losi/Sirio driver said he drove a ‘safe’ run so as to ensure he had a third decent times to move him up the qualification rankings.  While most opted for the M3 compound Revolver, Rabitti chose the M2 and said his car was very well balanced. He plans to push hard in the final round now that he has 3 strong results on the board which currently sees him lying 5th in the ranking.

Missing out on a Top 3 placing for the first in qualifying was Yannick Aigoin. The overnight Qualification Ranking leader tried 6mik tyres in the warm-up period for his heat but thanks to super fast work by his mechanics switched to M3 Revolvers in time for the timed 5-minutes.  The Losi driver is considering trying Calipers for the fifth & final qualifier as he has not tried the tyre yet and wants to test it as an option for tomorrow’s Semis. Having had a few days now to gauge his opposition Aigoin feels his biggest challenge will come from Savoya as well as his own Losi team-mates Bloomfield, Rabitti and Bayer.

The fastest man on the track for the round was Jerome Aigoin but two mistakes meant he would only take sixth. The winner of the opening qualifier, the Kyosho/Sirio driver was the only one to break into the 44 second laps with his AKA shod MP9 and is very happy with the handling but needs to cut out the mistakes. Without these he could have come very close to Savoya’s TQ time.

Better known for his Electric Touring exploits factory Xray driver Teemu Leino from Finland enjoyed his strongest run of the event taking his Team Orion powered XB808 into the Top 10 for the first time with the seventh fastest run. Having put in some super fast laps yesterday but making too many mistakes, 16 year old Elliot Boots finally got it together to post the 8th fastest time while Associated’s Neil Cragg and former World Champion Alessandro Laffranchi completed the Top 10.

Elsewhere it was a disastrous fourth round for 2007 Champion Robert Batlle who finished way down the order after choosing to run GRP’s X compound Cubic tyre which gave his car far too much grip and overheated during the run.

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