October 10, 2014

Yokomo stamps authority on Day 1 of World Champs


Team Yokomo has stamped its authority on Day 1 of the Touring Car World Championships in Florida with their drivers filling the Top 3 spots on the time sheets at the end of the four rounds of practice. While the timing is based on 3-consecutive laps rather than overall 5-minute pace, most drivers running two cars during each practice, the Japanese manufacturer has still laid it down to their rivals at the Kissimmee track. Improving his P3 topping pace by almost 4/10ths of a second, Naoto Matsukura headed the times from Ronald Volker with Atsushi Hara improving by almost a second in P4 to move up to third. After crashing & breaking in P3, Viktor Wilck is the closest to the pace of the Yokomo trio taking his Tamiya to the fourth fastest time ahead of team-mate Marc Rheinard.


While a low setting sun caused drivers in the fastest two groups some issues with visibility, Matsukura joking he was young enough to not have issues seeing the track, the 21-year-old said his car felt better in cooler track conditions of the final run. Running just one car over the 5-minutes, recording 18 laps and the fastest lap of P4, he said his focus was on driving trying to run a clean full round and other than one small mistake he was pleased with his driving. Overall he said it was a ‘good first day’.


Wearing sunglasses to try and reduce the glare to the right side of the track caused by the setting sun, Volker said this left the rest of the track dark and as a result he struggled to get his rhythm. Not able to run as consistent as he wanted, he said the pace of his DB7 was alright and he is confident going in to tomorrow’s 3 rounds of controlled practice.


Trying to make his car a little less nervous for P4 by changing the roll centres, Hara said this made his BD7 much easier to drive but maybe it was too much. Running in front of Matsukura on track he said his team-mate was able to catch up a lot through high speed corners and for tomorrow he will go back a little in the roll centre adjustment.


Wilck was pleased with the first of the his two TRF419s he ran in P4. Having crash the second car in the earlier run breaking a servo & C-hub he said the car still felt ‘broken’. Planning to just focus now on the first car he said tomorrow they work work on fine tuning its set-up.


Dropping to fifth having been third fastest at the end of P3, Rheinard said he messed up his opening lap when he hit the curbing and this had a big effect on his 3-lap time. Feeling the last heat also had the advantage of the sun being lower, he said changes to his first car improved it but the second car was still better.


Christpher Krapp ended Day 1 sixth fastest, the Kyosho driver saying his first car was really good and he will focus on that for tomorrow. The German said the pace of the new as yet unnamed car was really good and he just needs to work on tightening up his lines. He said they will work on diff set-up tomorrow with the timing of the run having a big effect on what oil to run.


Yokomo’s Yannic Prumper ended the day 7th fastest. Pulling a front wheel off his first car he said his second car, the same one as he used to set the 5th fastest time in P3, was the better of the two.


Former World Champion Andy Moore ended the day 8th quickest despite again crashing his new HB Pro 5. Effected by the glare of the sun, the British driver made heavy contact with the apex at the end of the straight. Having made changes to his set-up for the run he said the car felt a little better before his altercation.


Defending World Champion Jilles Groskamp finished off the opening day ninth fastest. The Tamiya driver said he had a better pace with his second car, the timing only registering the transponder of the first car run, and based on his timing he had a Top 3 pace. Admitting that Yokomo are fast, he said while others are faster at the beginning of their runs he has better consistency and he was looking forward to the first full 5-minute times.


Competing the Top 10 was reigning nitro touring car World Champion Meen Vejrak. The Yokomo driver said he has struggled with getting a good feel for his speedo. Running Scorpion electrics, he has had to change motor for the event as Scorpion doesnt have an IFMAR approved motor. Running a Hobby Wing motor the Thai driver is still trying to fine tune his ESC setting so as to give him a good feeling both with the throttle and brake feel on the radio.

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