November 12, 2014

Hagberg TQ’s again in Q2


Having taken a surprise TQ in the opening round of qualifying at the 200mm World Championships, Alexander Hagberg showed it was on merit as he again topped the times in the day’s second round of qualifying.  Despite the warmer conditions of Q2, the Team Xray driver set an almost identical time to his morning pace being just 0.123 slower over the 5-minutes.  Running in the same heat, Mugen driver Jeff Hammon would be closest to the Swede 1.9 seconds off with Mark Green again fastest in the top seeded heat to complete the Top 3.  Again the round was a troubled one for a number of potential contenders for the 6th running of the championships with defending WC Meen Vejrak again making a mistake late in his heat which would leave him 22nd.  Top seed after practice Teemu Leino would roll his HB, suffering an engine cut as a consequence while Capricorn’s Dario Balestri would retire with engine problems after his car stopped just before the 3-minute mark.


Describing his NT1 as ‘perfect’ and the run as having gone ‘very very good’, Hagberg said while it was slight his only complaint was that his Orcan engine was set a little too rich.  Feeling with a better tune on the engine he could have improved on his Q1 time, in terms of the car the Swede said with it ‘very easy to drive’ the plan for the day’s concluding qualifier, three more qualifiers making up tomorrow’s schedule, was just to again repeat what he did in Q1 & 2.


Australian driver Hammon, who was on 29th in Q1, put his performance improvement down to ‘just better driving’.  Making a caster change to his Novarossi powered MTX-6 for Q2, he said he couldn’t feel any difference but he would leave the set-up as is for the next one.  Looking to play the ‘safe game’ now, for Q3 will make a bodyshell change swapping the one colour white Protoform P37 he has been using for an identical one that has been painted up in his colours.  He will also make an engine change just to ensure he has two race engines at his disposal.

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‘Just a clean run’ was how 3-time back to back British 1:10 & 1:8 National Champion Green summed up his qualifier.  Having had some traffic issues in Q1, the Serpent driver said this time ‘everyone got out of the way or traction rolled out of the way’.  With this year’s World Championship using qualifying points rather than FTD he said one roll can be very costly so his plan is just to drive within his 748 and go for consistency.  Unfortunately for Green’s team-mate Dominic Greiner, who was second in Q1, a roll in the warm-up left him with an unnoticed chunked tyre for the qualifier leaving him to struggle to 46th for the round.


Having changed his set-up for Q1 which was not good and then ran out of fuel, Nicholas Lee was able to turn things around for Q2 to post the fourth fastest time.  Reverting to the set-up which he used to take P2 in timed practice, the Xray driver from Singapore also cured his run time issue by changing Novarossi engine, the second one fitted with a different carburettor.  Making contact with Vejrak on the penultimate lap, costing him 1/2 a second and a Top 3 for the round, the 23-year-old will leave his car as is for his next one.


Changing his diff set-up to that being used by team-mate Hagberg, Bruno Coelho took his NT1 to the sixth fastest time.  The star of last month’s electric touring car World Championships in Florida, the Portuguese driver said the lighter diff oil gave him more steering without any problems of traction roll.  Making two minor mistakes he said overall it was a ‘much better run’ and planning to leave the car the same for the third one he hopes to build on that performance.


Having cured the imbalance in his Mugen, different shock lengths from left to right the problem, Surikarn Chaidajsuriya would complete the Top 6.  The Thai driver saying the MTX-6 was ‘now very good’ but ‘just needs more punch’.  The Huge RC Circuit owner said he will hopefully get this from adjusting the clutch spring on his Maxima tuned Novarossi engine.


After a bad opening qualifier, a marshalled car making contact with his car, Francesco Tironi would claim 8th for the round.  The 2012 podium finisher, who famously became the 11th starter of that World Championship final, said reducing the droop on his Shepherd gave the car a very good feeling. Admitting to being not the fastest and not a TQ contender, the TQ the only direct qualifier to the 1-hour Main, he said the car is easily good enough for a top starting position in the Semis.  Behind Tironi was his Shepherd/Novarossi team-mate Simon Kurzbuch.  The Swiss ace said Q2 was a little better than the opening round, changes to both his Velox V10 and clutch giving the car a better feeling.


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