July 10, 2015

Zanchettin TQ’s penultimate Euros qualifier


Alex Zanchettin has TQ’d the fourth & penultimate round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Sacile.  On an increasingly difficult Ongaroring track, conditions catching out both David Ronnefalk and Robert Batlle, the Team Losi Racing driver set the pace from Kyosho’s Elliott Boots. Behind them, qualifying having so far produced a different driver at the top of the time sheets each round, Serpent’s Joern Neumann would enjoy his best qualifier to complete the Top 3.


Having crashed out of Q3, Zanchettin said he just tried to drive a safe 5-minutes in search of getting a good third run.  With three from five to count towards the final qualifying order, the result should see the Italian Champion go directly into the Semi finals.  Switching to a harder rear spring on his 8ight 3.0, the 20-year-old said it ‘was easy to drve and so fast’.  Suffering just one small error when he bounced off the pipping and spun on the entry to the main straight, he said the track now had a lot of grip and ruts describing it as being now very similar to how it was at the Warm-up Race.  Also switching from Pro-Line’s Suburb to Holeshot tyre, with the 1st to go with his 5th and 12th from the opening two qualifiers, he will use the last qualifier to test for the final with a rear camber link and tyre pattern change planned.


Boots, who can now only be denied his first overall Euros TQ, said ‘the start was a bit messy’ as he had problems with cars that didn’t want to give each other space.  Also catching a backmarker, who did want to give way, he said it ‘was challenging to get by him’.  Otherwise the British driver said things were ‘very good’ in terms of his Reds Racing powered MP9 and from his point it was a ‘clean run’.  Commenting on track conditions he said it was getting a ‘bit strange’. Starting to break up making it loose he said while this made the car moving around more, the growing ruts would catch the car making it a little unpredictable.  Having had his car tested for a gyro on completion of Q4, it passing the test, he said in terms of set-up there was ‘nothing wrong with the car’ and he would leave it unchanged and go all out for the TQ.


Having got his Maxima powered Cobra 2.2’s more steering on the brick sections, Neumann said the biggest improvement came from his driving.  Having one ‘small bobble’ on the corner double after the loop, the German said the track was more difficult now.  With the growing number of exposed stones causing the rear of the cars to kick up, he said it was difficult to do anything to the car to change that and instead he would adapt his driving and his lines.


Setting the fourth fastest time, Alessandro Stocco was ‘not expecting such a good result’.  Apart from a couple of small bobbles, the 21-year-old said he was very happy with the run, a change to a harder rear spring on his TLR making it easier to drive and giving it better rotation in the corners.  Needing another good run to try and book a direct starting position in the Semis, the Italian will not risk making any changes to his 8ight and instead just focus on trying to put in a clean 5-minutes.


14-year-old up & coming Italian star Ongaro said a change to a cold plug in his LRP engine was a wrong call as the cooler conditions lead it to run rich after 4-minutes. Very happy with his Mugen he said the more the track ruts up the better his MBX-7R is performing and he will leave it unchanged for Q5.


‘Safe and conservative’, that was how Renaud Savoya summed up his sixth fastest time.  His best qualifier, the HB/HPI Racing team driver said having seen ‘so many top guys crash there’ he opted to roll the double.  Running on JConcepts’ blue compound Remix tyre, the 3-time Champion felt he should have went with a harder compound with him losing around 3-seconds over the last three laps as the tyres went off.  With the track ‘really tough now in some sections’, the Shark said he needs to find new lines and push where you can and be cautious everywhere else.


Ending up only 17th fastest, defending champion Ronnefalk said he knew he had a good first lap but went and cased the double after the loop.  Losing over 4-seconds, he said he was happy he has three good rounds yesterday.  The only driver who can deny Boots the overall TQ, him winning both his titles as Top Qualifier, he said his tyre choice, soft AKA City Block fronts & iBeam rears was maybe too soft for the temperature.  The HB driver said with the track getting rough and the ruts coming up its catching the side of the tyre too much.  He said while ‘of course he wanted to go for the overall TQ’ he would use Q5 to test for the Mains with him planning to run Impact tyres.


Taking yesterday’s closing qualifier, Batlle described Q4 as ‘super bad’.  Setting the 20th fastest time, the Mugen driver said he crashed at the double just after the heat started and ‘things didn’t improve’.  Happy with his lap times when he did get a clean lap, the Spaniard said ‘some stuff (they) tested with tyres worked as expected’.


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