November 8, 2022

Sahashi tops first round of seeding practice

Tadahiko Sahashi has topped the first round of seeding practice at the IFMAR 1:10 Nitro World Championships in Bangkok.  The first of the day’s four seeding rounds threw up a number of surprises as the sun appeared for the final heat of the round leaving a number of the pre race favourites well down the order.  2013 1:8 World Champion Sahashi recorded the fastest 3-consecutive laps with a time of 46.351 seconds followed by his Infinity team-mates Jilles Groskamp and Milan Holthuis.  Shinnosuke Yokoyama added some variety to the top of the times using his Mugen to post fourth fastest ahead of Andy Moore.  For reigning Champion Naoto Matsukura a mistake cost him track time and he was only able to post the 14th fastest time just ahead of team-mate Dario Balestri.  Having been fastest at the end of controlled practice Dominic Greiner found himself only 9th quickest.

Summing up his performance as ‘safe drive’, Sahashi added he got ‘lucky as others had issues’.  Running the car unchanged from yesterday he said today he finds himself looking for more corner speed but cautioned it was a fine balance as too much could make the car easy to flip.

‘Not too bad’ was Groskamp’s reaction with him only 4/100th off his team-mate.  He continued, ‘the track for Group 6 was a little slower so earlier heats got some fast times but overall 2nd is a good start’.  The Dutch driver said the traction this morning was lower than other mornings and based on his experience of the previous days he went with a higher traction set-up but despite this his car was consistent’.

Fellow countryman Holthuis described the first run of the day as ‘really tricky’.  With all drivers now on the official handout tyres, the 19-year-old said his car ‘was sliding around a lot at the beginning’ with the tyres taking a long time to come in.  He explained, ‘the tyre wear is not zero but it is almost nothing’.  Overall pleased with his IF15, he will leave the car unchanged for the start of the second round but plans to adjust the car during the 7-minute run.

Yokoyama was very pleased with his ranking for the round.  The 30-year-old, who works for the iconic Japanese engine manufacturer OS, described his Mugen as being ‘really consistent’ but found himself with a little oversteer this morning.  Planning to change his rear wing for the next round to try cure the oversteer he added, ‘every heat the track conditions change so it is difficult to predict what changes will best suit the track at that time.

‘An OK start for sure’ was how Moore described his run.  With pre race testing ruling him out of IPD, he said based on his track experience and what he observed from watching the drivers in IPD he said what he though would work for controlled practice didn’t’ but today things were better.  Running a more conservative set-up today he said it was maybe not the right direction and he benefited from drivers running after him having a slower run.  The Thailand based British driver said he will ‘test a few things in the next one’ in the hope to improve his true pace.

Explaining his slow time, Matsukura said, ‘I made a mistake and broke a rear body post so I had to stop to fix this.  This cost me track time so my tyres where then too big to get a good time’.  Balestri said the sun made for two extremes on the track.  Where the sun was shining the car had no steering but then shaded areas the car wanted to flip.  The Italian added, ‘we keep trying’.

‘Horrible’ was Greiner’s response when as how his run had gone.  The Capricorn driver said he made an adjustment to his steering but the sun completely changed the track.  Flipping his car in the warm-up he badly chunked a rear tyre which he then had to complete the run.  Looking to the second seeding round the German plans to revert back to a set-up he ran yesterday describing it as a good compromise for the varying conditions.

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