November 10, 2022

Day 2 of quali kicks off with another TQ run from Matsukura

Defending Champion Naoto Matsukura has become the first driver to register multiple TQ runs at the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championship.  Day 2 of qualifying at RC Addict in Bangkok witnessed one of the more unusual causes for a delay in the timetable as works on trees running on the street forced the action to be halted halfway through the fourth round.  While outside the track, there was saw dust from the tree cutting and the large chunks of tree being craned away were very close to the track edge caused about an hour delay to proceedings.  With the section of track clean by the club when qualifying resumed each of the remaining heats was given an extra minute of warm-up time.  In the end it was Matsukura who picked up from where he left off in Q3 yesterday to top the times from Infinity team-mate Jilles Groskamp and Takaaki Shimo.  After posting a TQ run in Q2, Dominic Greiner would be on target for a second TQ at one stage until he flipped.  Dario Balestri suffered similar faith in the edgy track conditions.

‘I’m so happy to get another TQ, I just need one more’, was Matsukura’s reaction, his pace 2.2 seconds off his TQ time from yesterday.  He continued, ‘I expected higher traction but it was low, maybe after the tree cutting, but still the car was always close to flip. So I make a smooth driving’.  With Groskamp, Greiner, Balestri and Shoki Takahata the only remaining drivers who can potentially deny him starting his title defence from pole, the Japanese concluded, ‘no mistake is key to a good result here’.

A very upbeat Groskamp said, ‘I think that was good. I am happy I am more close to Naoto’.  The former Top Qualifier continued, ‘I was on the limit of flipping so to keep it on the ground was nice when you see Dario and Dominic both flipped’.  The Dutch drivers feels he can ‘fight for the TQ’ explaining, ‘I lost time in the pits and also with back markers.  I also need to make the car a tiny bit more easy to drive.  At the end of the straight you can gain time.  Now I am having to let the car roll through the corner too much but overall we found a better set-up now’.  He concluded, ‘2nd is good but I am more happy we got the car working again.

Posting his best qualifier so far, Shimo said, ‘the track was very difficult and it was very easy to flip but this was the same for many guys’.  The veteran nitro onroad racer added, ‘I need to drive very safe to get the result but now I am safe in the Semi Final so maybe I will take more risk in next one and push harder’.

Making a big jump up the ranking taking P4 for the round, Chavit Sligupta, said the performance was down to it being his ‘first time with no mistake’.  With RC Addict being his home track, the 27-year-old said, ‘the car is good but it needs more steering’ and so for the penultimate round of qualifying he will make a change to the front diff.  He concluded, ‘I need two more runs like this’.

Posting a much needed P5 for the round ahead of Takahata, Andy Moore, ‘I made more changes from yesterday to try calm the car down but on the driving side I was a bit nervous because I need the points’.  The former Electric Touring Car World Champion continued, ‘I didn’t push hard, in the warm-up the car felt more normal so I just tried to keep it on the track.  I know others crashed but I’ll take it’.  The British driver believes playing for the weights in his car for Q5 should help him to get the car more to his liking.

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