August 1, 2009

Groskamp on pole for 2009 Euros

Jilles Groskamp is the 2009 EFRA Electric Touring Car European Championship Top Qualifier after a dramatic final round of qualifying that saw the big surprise of this event, Lucas Urbain (17/5:18.436), TQ the final round of heats. With 30 seconds to run on the clock it looked as though Viktor Wilck (16/5:01.046) was going to claim his first ever Euros pole position but on the final lap the Swede lost the rear of his Tamiya. With his teammate Groskamp, who he passed during the run, right on his bumper the pair made contact allowing Ronald Volker (16/5:00.335) to win the top heat.  Luckily for the Tamiya team, Urbain’s time from the previous group was faster than that of Volker allowing Groskamp to retain the top spot on the qualification ranking.

Groskamp said afterwards ‘I owe my pole to Urbain, I will have to buy him a drink’. Happy to claim the overall TQ, the Dutch driver had mixed feeling about the round. Having been caught by his Speedpassion teammate he said he felt it was only right to let him through but afterwards he was able to stick with him and when he lost it in the sweeper he couldn’t avoid hitting him. Wilck said his TRF416WE has been on the edge throughout qualifying but with the power dropping off on the final lap he was unable to correct the car when the rear stepped out. Finishing the round third behind Volker, Wilck’s faster TQ run in Round 4 was enough to give him second on the grid tomorrow, one place ahead of last year’s Top Qualifier.

Having already realised his goal earlier in the day by securing himself a place in the A Main, Urbain’s event just got better as became the fifth driver to TQ a round, an achievement that didn’t go unnoticed as he received a round of applause from the onlooking drivers and their teams. The Frenchman said his GM Racing powered Losi JRSX-R was ‘amazing’ after he loosened the diff and further increased the length of time he applied the tyre additive. Asked if he could create further surprises tomorrow, when he will line up fifth on the grid, the 20-year-old said he is normally rubbish in finals but he hopes he can finish in the Top 5 as this would be a great result for him.

Taking fifth for the round Marc Rheinard said his car felt ‘pretty bad’ as he struggled with corner speed. Unsure as to why the sudden drop of in performance, with a bad batch of tyres the suspected cause, the defending Champion & reigning World Champion has decided to build a new Tamiya for tomorrow’s finals in which he will line up fifth. Completing the Top 6 for the final qualifier was Alexander Hagberg and the Swede will be the sole Xray representative in tomorrow’s big race, starting from seventh.

Making up the rest of the A Main grid are Tamiya off road star Hupo Honigl, who will start his last ever touring car race from sixth, 15-year-old Yannic Pruemper, who becomes the new European Junior Champion, and the factory Kyosho/Team Orion pairing of Steen Graversen and Christopher Krapp. The unenviable BQ honours go to former European Champion Teemu Leino.

The big talking point here as drivers leave for their hotels is the weather. While the sun is still shining the forecast for tomorrow is for rain and lots of it.  Our coverage, which is supported here in Luxembourg by Team Orion and LRP, continues in the morning.

Top 10 qualifiers
1. Groskamp Jilles (NL) Tamiya/Speedpassion – 3pts
2. Wilck Viktor (SE) Tamiya/Speedpassion – 3pts
3. Völker Ronald (DE) Yokomo/LRP – 3pts
4. Rheinard Marc (DE) Tamiya/Speedpassion – 4pts
5. Urbain Lucas (F) Losi/GM – 4pts
6. Hönigl Hubert (A) Tamiya/LRP – 10pts
7. Hagberg Alexander (SE) Xray/LRP – 11pts
8. Prümper Yannic (DE) Tamiya/Speedpassion – 11pts
9. Graversen Steen (DK) Kyosho/Team Orion- 12pts
10. Krapp Christopher (DE) Kyosho/Team Orion – 15pts

Full results from the event can be found here.

View our event image gallery here.

August 1, 2009

Wilck heads Tamiya domination of penultimate Qualifier

The penultimate round of qualifying for the 2009 EFRA 1:10 Electric Touring European Championships was an all Tamiya affair as their drivers set the Top 5 fastest times with Viktor Wilck (17/5:17.016) claiming the TQ even after flipping his TRF416WE. Despite the warmer track condition the Swede was on target to beat his teammate Marc Rheinard’s Round 3 time, currently the fastest run of qualifying, but once again made a mistake at the hairpin flipping his car. Luckily it landed rubber side down but the incident cost him over a second and a half, time that would have moved him in to the overall provisional TQ spot.  Second fastest, Jilles Groskamp (17/5:17.909) reported his run was ok but the hotter conditions had made his car a little loose.  The Euro Touring Series Champion said it was again very close but admitted Wilck was the faster man.  Currently heading the Qualification ranking after 4 rounds, the Dutch racer said its all down to the last heat now and he could easily drop to fourth on the grid with himself, Wilck, Rheinard and Ronald Volker all still in the hunt to become the 2009 Euros Top Qualifier.

Rheinard (16/5:01.445) took third for the round but felt he got a bad batch of tyres as his Tamiya, which he hadn’t changed since the third round, felt terrible. Fourth fastest and completing the Tamiya Racing Factory lock out at the top of the time sheets was Hupo Honigl (16/5:03.294). The Austrian said his LRP powered TRF416 felt a little loose on the left corners but it was faster and was he was delighted that he wont be appearing 11th on the qualification ranking having taken the BQ honours at the indoor European Championship earlier this year, at the Worlds last November and at this same event in Spain last year.

Tamiya Junior team driver Yannic Pruemper ran a new motor for the round and managed his best position with the fifth fastest time. Fastest non Tamiya driver was Kyosho’s Steen Graversen with another sixth placing followed by fellow Team Orion driver Teemu Leino who took his Xray to seventh.

Unfortunately it was another bad run for Round 1 Top Qualifier Ronald Volker. Caught be the faster car of Wilck, the Team Yokomo driver moved off line at the end of the straight to allow the Tamiya driver through but the rear of his BD5 stepped out on the dirty track. Although the former European Champion held the car he lost time and any chance of a good run.

Full results from the event can be found here.

View our event image gallery here.

August 1, 2009

Rheinard TQ’s Round 3

Defending European Champion Marc Rheinard (17/5:15.987) got the second day of qualifying off to a good start by TQ’ing the third round of heats but only after Tamiya teammate, and overnight TQ holder, Jilles Groskamp (17/5:17.660) dumped less than half a lap from the finish line. The German described the run as OK saying he missed his lines a number of times and over the last minute found his Speedpassion powered TRF416 lost traction. A much happier Viktor Wilck (17/5:16.054) claimed second for the round having finally got his Tamiya to go the full distance.  Switching to older batteries and running lighter shock oil, the Swede said the car was working better today but his ‘own mistake’ cost him a TQ run.  Wilck was right on Rheinard but in the closing laps caught a curb at the hairpin in front of the drivers stand loosing him valuable tenths. Groskamp, who still retains the provisional TQ, said he wasn’t too bothered by his short run time as he had used the run to test new batteries.  Finding the new pack dropped off without warning the Dutch ace said he will now revert back to his older packs.

One would never have predicted a Losi making it into the A-Main of the 2009 European Championships but another amazing drive by Lucas Urbain looks set to ensure a JRXS-R will line up on the 10 car grid.  The French driver claimed fourth for the round just missing out on a 17 lapper due to a small driver error. Applying tyre additive for longer made for a faster more consistent car and Urbain said he has already reached his goal now of making a place in the Main.  For the penultimate qualifier he plans to try used tyres which he said in practice had suited his Losi better than new ones.

‘Finally getting my electric driving style together’ was Alexander Hagberg’s response to setting the fifth fastest time. Runner-up at the 1:10 Nitro Touring Euros in Italy last week, the Swede said less rear tow on his Xray T2 009 had given him more steering but that more fine tuning was required.  A finalist last year he feels it is going to be hard to get close to the pace of the Tamiya team but is hopeful of a better run in the next qualifier.

Next up were the two factory Kyosho’s of Steen Graversen and Christopher Krapp.  Graversen was pleased with his Stallion and feels the hotter conditions expected for the next round should suit his car even better. The Dane, who missed out the A Main last year in Spain, said he needs another Top 6 finish to be sure of an A Main spot as he feels there are around 15 drivers in with a shout of making the final right now. 16-year-old Krapp wasn’t happy with his run to seventh. The German said he made mistakes and with his Team Orion powered Stallion working perfectly it should have been better.

Unfortunately for Team Yokomo’s Ronald Volker, the only person right now who looks capable of challenging the Tamiya domination here in Luxembourg, pulled up after a lap due to a badly glued rear tyre on his BD5.

Full results from the event can be found here.

View our event image gallery here.

July 31, 2009

Groskamp holds overnight pole in Luxembourg

Jilles Groskamp (17/5:16.582) holds the overnight pole here in Luxembourg after the Dutch ace, who is in search of his first EFRA European title, set a new fastest time in the second round of qualifying. The factory Tamiya/Speedpassion driver described the run as perfect as he made best use of the cooler track conditions to head home Team Yokomo’s Ronald Volker (17/5:17.977) who TQ’d the slower opening qualifier.  Very happy with his overall performance today the ‘Warm Up’ race winner said everything had worked perfectly and it is was good to end the opening day holding the provisional pole.

Volker, who took TQ honours last year while trying to defend his 2007 title said his BD5 was still suffering from understeer but was happy to end the day with a 1st and a 2nd. Tomorrow the German will try to get more steering into the car which he hopes will allow him to challenge for pole in Sunday’s Main final.

After crashing in his first heat and breaking his car, the big surprise of practice Lucas Urbain (17/5:18.959) bounced back in style to record the third fastest time with his Losi. The French Championship front runner said he was nervous at the start of the second round due to his earlier mistake but was very happy to find himself up at the sharp end of the time sheets among some of the best r/c drivers in the world. Suffering from a little understeer on his GM Racing powered JRXS-R he plans to play around with the application of tyre additive in the morning’s one hour open practice.

Fourth fastest and holding 3rd in the overnight qualification ranking, Marc Rheinard (17/5:19.129) thinks he suffered a belt failure in one of his rear tyres. The defending Champion’s Tamiya did a 360 spin on the straight during his run while he was in contention for a TQ run. Officially the World’s greatest electric touring car driver with two World titles to his credit, the German star said his TRF416 felt very good up until the high speed spin which caused his mechanic & designer of the car Kiyo Suzuki to gasp.

‘Not happy with my car’ was how Viktor Wick (17/5:19.605) summed up his second run. The Swede is complaining of bad understeer on his Tamiya which he feels is causing his run time wows. Once again the Tamiya Racing Factory driver dumped on the last lap while in the chase for a TQ run. Having had no run time issues in pre-event testing Wilck will revert to old batteries for his next qualification attempt as well as trying different shock oil.

The fourth of the TRF team drivers Hupo Honigl was very pleased with his sixth place run for the round. The Austrian had followed the set-up of his team-mates for the first qualifier but reverted back to the one step softer spring he ran earlier and said the difference was incredible. Taking the unenviable BQ honours last year in Spain the electric off road ace said ‘I need one more’ referring to one more Top 6 run to secure himself a place in the A Main.

Having had run time issues in the first round Yannic Pruemper and Steen Graversen managed to go the full distance. Pruemper reduced the timing on his Speedpassion motor, which gave him the run time but a lack of top end speed, to claim seventh but for tomorrow the teenager will set the timing in the middle and gear down to compensate. New Team Orion batteries gave Graversen the extra juice he needed to complete the run and the factory Kyosho feels now everything is OK to make the A Main.

Tomorrow, Day 3 of the 2009 EFRA 1:10 Electric Touring European Championships, will get underway with a one hour free practice session following by three rounds of qualifying.  The weather is showing a dry day but for Sunday things look like they are going to get very wet.

Full results from the event can be found here.

View our event image gallery here.

July 31, 2009

Volker takes first Qualifier

Yokomo team driver Ronald Volker (17/5:17.928) has TQ’d the opening qualifier here in Luxembourg after an extremely close first round. The 2008 Top Qualifier took the round on the final lap after pace setter for most of the run Viktor Wilck dumped on his 17th lap. Volker said his LRP powered BD5 suffered with understeer at the beginning but got easier to driver as the run progressed.

Second fastest was Jilles Groskamp (17/5:18.193) who described Round 1 as ‘maximum close’.  The Dutch ace admitted he was forced to push a lot harder than expected but declared he very happy to have had plenty of run time left.  Finding his Tamiya got a little loose a number of times, the Euro Touring Series Champion was overall very happy with the run and said the battle for 2009 TQ honours was going to be a ‘Ronald versus Tamiya’ fight.

Finishing only a 1/10th of second behind Groskamp was defending Champion Marc Rheinard (17/5:18.300).  The current World Champion felt he had a faster car than Volker at the beginning of the run but was struggling a little with traction near the end, something he put down to the warmer track conditions. Claiming fourth for the round despite failing to complete the full 5 minutes, Wilck said his car had a lot of understeer and he believes this is why he failed to make the distance.  The Swede who switched to a Speed 6 body for the opening heat will revert back to the LTC-R as he searches for a set-up between the loose car he had this morning in practice and the understeer suffered in the opening qualifier.

2006 European Champion Andy Moore was very happy to take fifth for the round with his Team Orion powered Hot Bodies.  The former World Champion said his Cyclone TC is working a lot better but he plans to make changes to the shocks for the second qualifier when conditions should be a lot cooler.  Finishing behind the Englishman was up and coming German talent Yannic Pruemper despite his Speed Passion powered Tamiya dumping on the last lap.  Pruemper’s mechanic Toni Rheinard said the car is very good but they must find a solution to the run time however is confident now that an A Main position is possible for his young protege.

Heading the Kyosho challenge was team driver Steen Graverson. The Dane was another driver to dump on the last lap but overall he was much happier with his Stallion chassis, something he put down to a fresh set of LRP control tyres. Regarding the run time shortfall, Graverson believes a fresh set of Team Orion batteries should do the trick. Next up was Xray factory driver Teemu Leino despite spinning his T2 009 360 degrees during the run. Setting the eight fastest time the former Champion, who has been more focused this year on 1:8 Off Road racing, said things are getting better with each outing as he starts to get back into the rhythm of electric touring car driving and with a few small changes to his set-up he is hoping for further improvements in his pace.  Completing the Top 10 was French Tamiya driver Loic Jasmin and Corally team leader Marc Fisher.

View our event image gallery here.