January 8, 2016

New season but no change as Volker tops DHI practice


It is the long established opening international race of the new season, but the early signs from the DHI Cup is that little has changed for 2016 with Ronald Volker topping the practice times in Odense.  Closest to the 6-time winner of the Danish classic would be Alexander Hagberg, the gap over 3-consecutive laps being 1/10th of a second.  Winner of the event in 2013, then driving for Xray, Adrien Berntsen would complete the Top 3 for new Danish manufacturer Gizmo with Viljami Kutvonen making it four different manufacturers at the top of the time sheets with his Awesomatix.

fri_ronald copy

Winner of the event for the last two years, Volker said ‘practice went well’.  Starting out running two cars each practice, one a carbon chassis and the other aluminium,  he said while both cars ran the same lap time he preferred the feeling of the alu chassis choosing it for the timed practice. Having a distinct advantage of over 4/10ths after the first timed practice, Volker said his rivals closed right up in the final practice.  Having struggled with his BD7’s consistency over 5-minutes at the opening round of the ETS in December, he said here the car is very good over 5-minutes.  While lap times are close with his rivals he is confident he will benefit from that consistency at the end of the qualifiers.


A touring car driver with one of the busiest race schedules, Hagberg was clearly looking refreshed after his ‘no racing’ break over the Christmas.  The Swede summed up practice by saying, ‘as always things are the same at the DHI. It starts off with low grip but as the traction comes up it starts to suit the Xray car better’.  Runner up at last year’s DHI Cup, the European Champion said his T4 2016 ‘feels good but just needs slightly more pace’ continuing ‘we can still improve it with more set-up changes’.  Team-mate Bruno Coelho would take his example to the 6th fastest time.  His first DHI Cup outing, he said the biggest thing for him are that the handout LRP tyres are ‘completely different’ to what he is used to racing on.  Feeling he is ‘missing a little steering’ he said it’s proving difficult to find but added ‘we are still working on it’.


Having impressed on his Gizmo debut at the opening round of the ETS where he was seeded in the top heat, Berntsen said his GZ1 is working really good joking that the driver was also ‘pretty decent’ today.  Describing the Top 3 pace as ‘super tight’, the Norwegian’s car features some new parts with one of the Gizmo designers Steen Graversen have worked on lightening some parts, the Dane adding that these were one off works and not viable for production.  For Q1 Berntsen said other than rebuild his diff, everything else is fine and he would leave the car as is for now.


‘Like normal it is getting better and better’ was how Viljami summed up his practice.  Changing ‘a lot of small things’ over the four practices, the Finn said this led to improved steering for the new A800.  Set to run the car set-up unchanged for tonight’s first qualifier, he will change his tyre prep after finding the car loose at the beginning of the last practice run.


Another driver making his DHI Cup debut at the 16th running of the event, Thailand’s Meen Vejrak would post the 5th fastest time 4/10th off his team-mate Volker.  The former nitro touring car World Champion said track conditions gave a similar feeling that of a gas car adding he also likes the track layout, which, was designed by Volker.  In terms of his Scorpion powered BD7 2016, he said he needs to make it more stable with it sliding one side more than the other.  Asked if the car was tweaked, he said ‘maybe or maybe something is loose so we will check everything over for qualifying to see what we can find’.


In the Super Stock class, which runs a handout LRP 13.5 X20 Stock Spec motor and blinky mode speedos, it was the Kyosho of Tim Benson that set the pace.  Behind the German, Dane Mike Gosvig took his Xray to second fastest time with Tony Streit completing the Top 3.  Defending Champion Marek Cerny would post the 4th fastest time.

View the event image gallery here.



If you republish any elements from this page on another website, including text, original pictures or results please be sure to add a link back to this page as the source: