March 3, 2024

Coelho & Volker clash again handing Hagberg A2 win

Having made contact in A1 and handed the win to Marc Rheinard, A2 at the TITC once again saw a clash between Bruno Coelho and Ronald Volker only this time it was Alexander Hagberg who was there to pick up the pieces.  A result that leaves the 20th edition of the legendary Bangkok based race wide open going into A3, the second encounter saw Top Qualifier Volker and Coelho again the class of the field with a much improved Hagberg able to hang with them as they pulled clear.  Watched on by a huge crowd at RC Addict, as the race approached the final minute mark, Coelho was putting huge pressure on Volker who ran wide in a number of corners.  As they exited the S section on the right side of the track on Lap 15, Coelho attempted a pass on the inside of the German with a tighter line but as they got on the power contact was made sending both cars into a spin.  While Coelho again allowed Volker to resume position, with Hagberg going by to take lead, another broken anti tuck rod meant Volker’s race was done.  Pulling up in front of the drivers stand the former World Champion vented his anger & frustration at Coelho, the current World Champion and defending TITC Champion continuing the final to finish P2 ahead of Infinity’s Naoto Matsukura.

Champion of the TITC in 2015 & 2019, summing up his A2 win Hagberg, who struggled in A1, said, ‘the car was really good that time and felt the same as yesterday.  The only thing different was the set of tyres I used.’  He continued, ‘I could follow the guys in the front but then had one mistake at the chicane.  I caught them up again, I was actually quite surprised how quickly I got with them again.  Then I benefited from a clash between them.’   Now in the hunt for a potential 3rd TITC, the Xray driver said, ‘I will leave my car unchanged for A3 and hope for the best.’

‘Pissed & disappointed, I can’t believe he hit me again and just in a naive way’, were Volker’s thoughts on the incident.  The Mugen Seiki driver continued, ‘Unfortunately we have to use ultra light body shells or we are at nothing.  It was also unfortunate that he hit me at the same angle he did in the first one as it’s the weakest point of the rod even though we used a stronger one.’  While a winner of the TITC, Volker has never enjoyed much success at his current location of RC Addict.  In the B-Main last year going into this year’s concluding A-Main he said, ‘I might have a minor chance but unlike previous years when we had new tyres every run I am now out of tyres so I hope the conditions of the cooler evening can work in my favour.’

Giving his views on the incident Coelho said, ‘the first one was on me but I had to go safe two or three times as he made mistakes so as to avoid crashing him.  How can I avoid him out of the corner,’  Chasing a record equalling 4th TITC win, responding to Volker’s rare outburst of anger towards him, Coelho said, ‘I think it was an overreaction and very negative for the sport.  Shouting these words in front of many kids is not professional.  I already got crashed by him and do not have this reaction.  He needs to apologise to me and to the sport for this reaction.’  He continued, ‘I will try not crash him again but as many drivers come and say to me after he is completely stopping in the corner.  It is hard to avoid crashes on acceleration, how can I know he is not going to go full throttle.  I’m mad, it’s his fault not mine.  The first one is on me but it can’t always be on me.’

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