March 17, 2018

Double pole for Ryan Lutz in Xiamen

Confirming what everyone suspected following Rd1 of Practice, Ryan Lutz has taken the top qualifying spot in Nitro Buggy in Xiamen, China. Despite not improving on his Q1 time the Tekno driver continued to better his best lap time each round to end with a 33.542. Yusuke Sugiura would take the final round just ahead of Lutz but a number of mistakes meant he also didn’t improve his result. Wataru Takashiro ended in 3rd overall with his Q2 time, having a difficult time with traction rolling in the final round. The biggest improvement for the round came from both Kaja Novotny, who secured himself 4th overall, and Chen Guanxian who took 5th, both drivers have 12 plus second gain.

Ryan said that his car was now too soft or more the balance was not right following a rear anti-roll bar change that saw him go up in hardness making the difference between front and rear 5/10ths which maybe caused the issue. As the only direct qualifier into the 1 hour main final tomorrow he will have his own 10 minute practice in which he plans to try some things, suggesting he move the setup over from his EP buggy with the biggest difference between the two cars being the shock package.

Sugiura was on a very good pace in Q3, set to take a 5:12 which was within 2 seconds of Lutz’s Q1 time but made two mistakes on the last two laps when the announcer called the pace. With the surface quite abrasive, especially for the hour final, the Japanese Kyosho driver tried a harder compound, which while slower was more consistent so he will try a few more things to find pace, planning to use the semi final as testing for the main.

Taking 3rd on the spot and pole for the first of the semi finals Wataru Takashiro said ‘car was amazing but made a mistake with the tire’, the Kyosho driver trying a softer compound of Blockade on his MP9 for the cooler conditions. The result was too much grip which saw him struggle with traction rolling, so for tomorrow he will revert to X3 and work on some other small changes to the car.

Finding nearly 14 seconds in Q3, Xray driver Kaja Novotny has been tweaking his setup to gradually get more traction in the car, using his EP buggy to back-to-back test the changes. The run was clean, despite some traffic on the last lap, but without needing to be marshalled he managed a 9 lap run.

Another driver to find a big chunk of time, Taiwanese Agama driver Chen Guanxian put his improvement purely down to the traction and track conditions improving. Also having a clean run, the owner of James tires has not made any changes to his car all qualifying, just deciding to focus on his driving, and for the final may consider a harder compound of Revenge tire should he make the main final, positions 2-17 making the semi final, with the top 4 finishers from each, along with the next fastest driver, joining Lutz to battle it out for the championship.

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