July 30, 2010

Pietsch ends Japanese rule in Texas

Robert Pietsch

He was the Top Qualifier at the 1:8 World Championship last year and now Robert Pietsch is on target to repeat that achievement in 1:10 having just set the fastest run in the penultimate round of qualifying here at Gulf Coast Raceway. The factory Mugen driver ran 35 laps in 10:14.072 to move into provisional pole from factory Kyosho driver Takaaki Shimo who also broke into the 35 laps for the first time.  The German, who was on a TQ run in the third qualifier until he stripped second gear, said his MTX-4R was again really good but at the start of the run he didn’t feel the track conditions were good enough for a TQ run until he heard his lap times.  Pietsch said while his car is not the fastest in terms of lap times it is very consistent and unlike many of his rivals, run time with his factory Novarossi is no problem.  Finding tyre wear had increased slightly today he started the heat with a larger set of Matrix tyres which he said had also helped.  Asked about this evening’s fifth and final qualifier, the 1:8 European Champion said running under the flood lights could prove difficult but in terms of his car he doesn’t plan to make any changes.

Takaaki Shim and Takehiro Terauchi

Depite setting his best 10-minute run, Shimo said his Kyosho didn’t feel good, with the updated V-One RRR suffering from understeer. Unsure what changes he will make for tonight’s Q5, the friendly Japanese ace doesn’t know what to expect having never raced under flood lights before.

The round saw a number of drivers run out of fuel while on a TQ pace.  Factory Mugen driver Takehiro Terauchi, who was the only driver to record a 16 second lap, was on to take provisional pole when his Novarossi powered MTX-4R ran out of fuel.  This left Xray’s Alexander Hagberg, who was running in the same heat as the 18-year-old Japanese ace, on a TQ pace but one lap later the Swede’s Max powered NT1 also ran dry.  Despite failing to complete the run Hagberg’s time was still good enough to move him into the all important Top 4.


Having TQ’d the opening three rounds of qualifying Yokoyama was unable to maintain his domination, a problem with a chunked front tyre making his Xray difficult to drive.  Despite the tyre problem the 17-year-old still recorded the fourth fastest time for the round just behind Hagberg but drops to third in the overall ranking.

Tadahiko Sahashi

The biggest mover for the round was Team Serpent’s Tadahiko Sahashi. Having failed to finish the opening three qualifiers, the younger of the two Sahashi brothers, finally recorded a full run to go fastest Serpent with the fifth fastest overall time.  The 21-year-old, who runs Picco engines, said he made a large number of changes to his 733 which had greatly improved the car but he plans to adjust his clutch for the final qualifier.  Running in the next heat up his brother Yuya was on a potential TQ run when his Mega powered 733 ran out of fuel.

Marc Rheinard

Two other drivers to improve their times were Team Shepherd’s Marc Rheinard and Serpent driver Scott Kimbrow.  Setting the seventh fastest time for the round Rheinard moves into 8th overall but the 3 times Electric Touring Car World Champion is still far from happy with the set-up of his Novarossi powered Velox V10.  American Kimbrow said his car was working well since the start of practice but this was the first time he managed a trouble free round.  A crash put an end to his first qualifier, trouble in the pits messed up Q2, and in Q3 his Novarossi powered 733 ran out of fuel.  Taking a more conservative approach to his driving style in the final part of his run so as to make sure he didnt have a repeat of Q3, Kimbrow said he was very happy to get a good run in and break into the Top 10.

Paul Lemieux fuel stop

Elsewhere Paul Lemieux was on a strong run but his fuel stop was to go terribly wrong.  As pit man Fabio Domanin grabbed his Xray the body shell crumpled, pushing the fuel gun away from the tank. All the fuel didn’t made it into the tank, as captured by our camera, and the American Champion’s car stopped 8 lap later.

Overall Qualification standing after 4 rounds
1. Robert Pietsch – 35 Laps in 10:14.072
Mugen/Novarossi/Matrix/Sanwa/SRC Cruzer
2. Takaaki Shimo – 35 Laps in 10:15.817
Kyosho/O.S/Active/Futaba/SRC Cruzer
3. Shinnosuke Yokoyama – 35 Laps in 10:17.209
Xray/O.S/Xceed/Sanwa/Xceed Cruzer
4. Alexander Hagberg – 34 Laps in 09:56.577
Xray/Max/Matrix/KO/SRC Cruzer
5. Tadahiko Sahashi – 34 Laps in 10:00.595
Serpent/Picco/Xceed/Sanwa/Protoform P56
6. Dirk Wischnewski – 34 Laps in 10:00.624
Xray/Orcan/Matrix/Sanwa/SRC Cruzer
7. Takehiro Terauchi – 34 Laps in 10:01.139
Mugen/Novarossi/ZAC Project/Sanwa/Blitz
8. Marc Rheinard – 34 Laps in 10:02.076
Shepherd/Novarossi/Contact/Sanwa/Protoform P56
9. Ralph Burch – 34 Laps in 10:02.135
Xray/Max/Capricorn/KO/SRC Cruzer
10.Scott Kimbrow – 34 Laps in 10:02.519
Serpent/Novarossi/Matrix/Spektrum/Xceed Cruzer


Complete listing after 4 rounds can be found here (PDF)

View our event image gallery here.


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