October 30, 2019

Matsukura fastest in 3rd round of seeding

Finally there was a change at the top of the timing sheets at the 1:8 World Championships as Naoto Matsukura set the pace in the third round of seeding.  Having suffered a heavy crash in the previous round, the Infinity driver came back to set the fastest 3-consecutive laps of the day ahead of a much improved Simon Kurzbuch.  Having been the benchmark up to now, Dario Balestri would set the third fastest time ahead of fellow Italian Alessio Mazzeo with Jesse Davis and Robert Pietsch completing the Top 6.

Commenting on his performance, Matsukura said, ‘My car was very good in the second round.  I did the warm-up and broke in the tyres but then the steering failed and I had a big crash.  I had to rebuild the car and fit a new chassis as it was a little bent from the crash but I ran the same set-up’.  The reigning 1:10 Nitro World Champion admitted that while he got the fastest 3-laps the car started to struggle half way through the run saying, ‘after 4-minutes the car was not so stable and the lap times were up and down so for the last one I will make a change to the front of the car’.

Kurzbuch said, ‘we changed a lot on the car.  We made the same changes as Patrick (Schafer) made on his car the previous round’.  Asked about the changes he said, ‘we changed the geometry and the body to take out some steering so we could run a clean round without flipping’.  While happy with the improvement the Shepherd driver aired caution about the set-up saying, ‘yesterday we set a good time in the evening but I am not sure the set-up will work all day but this was a result we needed after the the results we had in Rounds 1 & 2 (of seeding)’.

Asked about his P3 time, the Top 3 cars pulled in to technical inspection to have their pipes tested, Balestri said, ‘we tried something and it doesn’t work so we will just come back to our old set-up and try something else’.  The Infinity driver elaborated, ‘we went super hard in the front (of the car) and it was the wrong way’.

Leading Xray’s challenge at Steel City RC Speedway, Mazzeo said, ‘this morning the car was super good.  Our focus was to get the car not to flip.  It is easy to have a fast car but we work to make our car more easy’.  He continued, ‘If you flip a few times in qualifying you will lose a lot of time.  For sure our car is still on the limit but hopefully it will not flip and this is the direction we have worked towards all week.  We have the speed to fight’.  Running a car on which they are ‘testing some new stuff’, Mazzeo concluded, ‘today is only about 3-laps and not a true picture of how it will be in qualifying.  Many drivers are flipping many times in their runs today’.

‘I think I just drove well then’ was how Davis summed up his best run.  The Australian continued, ‘I didn’t really change much set-up wise but the car was lacking power, heavy to drive and boring’.  Describing the set-up as ‘safe’, the Infinity driver said, ‘its lacking steering so its not fast over 3-laps but over a qualifying distance the pace is still good but we’ll try a few things for the next one to make it a little livelier’.

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