November 23, 2019

Jeff Hamon is Nitro Top qualifier in China

With EP now over, attention turns back to Nitro, which will run through the rest of Saturday and all through Sunday. With the nitro action again taking place under flood lights it was the perfect conditions to set a fast time but drama in the fastest heat as the car of Meen Vejrak, who was on TQ pace, start to spew smoke out the rear of the bodyshell for about 2 laps before going off at the end of the straight and going on fire. A dragging battery cable seemingly the culprit but the car is completely destroyed from both the fire and the impact. This misfortune allowed Jeff Hamon to take over at the front and claim the TQ spot ahead of another Thai Maxima driver Charlee P, with top seed Kim Ki Heung in 3rd, Motor King in 4th and Meen Vejrak with his Q2 time giving him P5 for tomorrow’s 45 minute A-main. Jeff felt he had a slipping clutch throughout his run but said it stayed consistent for the entire run. Happy with a change he made to softer springs, he thinks for the final the car is easy to drive and apart from setting the clutch properly will work out strategy closer to the race time.

Charlee P was very happy with his car and Maxima engine but complained that the organisers would run the qualifying under flood lights as ‘its too dark for me’. Needing some serious focus to not make a mistake in the 4 minute run, if the race is run under lights tomorrow it could be very difficult for 45 minutes. Asked about tire strategy, the Thai driver said he can make about 20 minutes on a set of tires so will consult with his team about the best strategy for the main.

Ranked first after controlled practice and being consistently in the top 2 in all qualifying runs yesterday, Kim Ki Heung was a little disappointed with 3rd in the rocket round qualifier. Admitting to setting his engine incorrectly, this caused a mismatch with his clutch setting and so cost him time. Continuing to be happy with his Shepherd car, looking to tomorrow he feels there will be no problems and is confident for the final that he will only need to stop once for tires.

Driving a Mugen chassis in Nitro, a driver we are more accustomed to seeing running Yokomo in EP touring, Motor King finished up in 4th place. The Shanghai based driver, who was only 1 tenth down on Kim, was pleased with his Q3 run and for the main final tomorrow will make a decision on any setup changes closer to the time of the final.

Meen Vejrak will start from 5th, thanks to his run in last night’s Q2 run, but the talking point was not where he qualified but what happened to him in Q3. Asked about the fire in his Maxima powered Infinity chassis, the former 200mm World Champion said when it was happening he wasn’t sure what the problem was but said with the smoke pouring out of the back it looked cool, ‘just like Formula 1’. Less ‘cool’ was when the car failed to respond at the end of the straight and ploughed into the track wall and went on fire, helped by the fuel tank rupturing. For tomorrow the Thai driver said he will borrow another car from a friend and try his best to get a good result.

Taking the top spot in the GT class and making it a double TQ for Serpent in the Nitro classes, Felix Law was the top qualifier using his Q1 time. Also failing to improve in Q3, 2nd placed starter Paphon Chanyasak also had to rely on his Q1 run to take 2nd, having problems in the last run that saw him fail to finish. One to improve in Q3 though was Chinese driver Ma Haoran who will start from 3rd, the Xray driver outqualifying Hong Kong veteran Fai Ho who ended up in 4th with Italian Gimar driver Natanaele Senesi improving to complete the top 5.

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