October 9, 2013

Tadahiko remains fastest as brother Yuya tops Q4


Serpent’s Tadahiko Sahashi remains at the top of the qualifying time sheets in Japan with the latest round of qualifying again failing to see any change within the desired Top 14 direct Semi Final qualifying order.  While Tadahiko only completed 20-laps as he worked on engine tuning, it was his brother Yuya who was fastest from Jilles Groskamp and Shinnosuke Yokoyama, with a time that was a full lap off the current TQ pace.  The biggest mover of the round was Team Shepherd’s Oliver Mack setting the fifth fastest time for the round who jumped from sitting 42nd to 25th in the standings.

Driver Stand

Once again due to the warm conditions the majority of drivers used the qualifier to test with a view to the Semi finals which should run at a similar time of the day.  Yuya used his run to test a different bodyshell.  Switching from Protoform’s R18 to a Blitz he said the change made his ZAC tyres come in a lot quicker and he plans to run it again in the days final qualifier to build up further tyres data.

Jilles Groskamp

Groskamp described the conditions of the day’s second qualifier as ‘slippery’.  Happy with his pace given the warm track he ran a different Maxima engine as well as evaluating a Protoform R18 for the conditions.  The Electric Touring Car World Champion said the clutch was set too aggressive for the low traction with wind also causing him some issues.  With the wind at the Keitune Racing Speedway having picked up since the morning’s qualifier, he said the gusts pushed the car offline.  This made it hard to drive as the braking and turning in points were effected by the wind making it hard to run consistent laps.  Adjusting his line one lap he said if the wind died down for the next lap he would end up turning-in and braking too early.  Not expecting the track to be any quicker in Q5 he said he will use the 10-minutes of track time to test a number of things for the Semi-Finals.


Behind Groskamp, HB’s Michihiro Takayasu set the fourth fastest time for the round and is currently the best placed R8 sitting 11th overall with team-mate Teemu Leino one position shy of the Semi-finals with two round of qualifying remaining, the last of which will take place in the morning.


An event that has been surrounded by rumours due to 9-time World Champion Lamberto Collari’s decision not to attend the event and then the no show of reigning World Champion Robert Pietsch due to illness, it was good to get some clarification from Novarossi on the matter.  Malick Diop who is here to represent the long standing World Champion engine manufacturer Novarossi said that they are just as disappointed as fans of 1:8 by the absence of these two great racers along with a number of well known Italian drivers adding to clarify that Novarossi had nothing to do with the respective decisions of the drivers.

View the event results here.

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