Bruno Coelho took a dominant win the opening A-Main at the Touring Car World Championship, the Top Qualifier in a different class to his rivals in Beijing. While the win didn’t come as any major surprise, the fashion in which the Xray driver took charge of the race was still impressive but as he checked out it was the battle for second that provided the entertainment. Starting P2, but it clearly visible he was struggling, Yokomo’s Ronald Volker would fall into the clutches of Alexander Hagberg and later Akio Sobue for an epic battle for second. While Hagberg would throw everything at Volker they would finish as they started, with Christopher Krapp the only driver to finish higher than he qualified taking his Tamiya to 5th.
Managing to go an extra lap over his rivals, Coelho summed up his A1 performance with, ‘everything was perfect’. He continued, ‘at the beginning I tried to push hard so not to have Volker behind me. I was already starting to pull away and then he made a mistake so I had more space’. Once the threat of Volker was gone he said ‘I just brought the car to the finish’. Describing his Hobbywing powered T4 2017 as ‘amazing now’ he finished up with, ‘I have nothing else to say’.
‘I have no idea why I had no grip compared to 1-hour ago in the final practice’, was Volker’s reaction after A1, adding, ‘the only thing we changed was tyres’. The frustrated German continued, ‘even in the beginning it didn’t feel as good as before and every lap it got worse and worse’. Asked about his mistake coming out of the sweeper and which allowed Hagberg to catch him he replied, ‘the small mistake cost me a bit of time but it didn’t change anything. Credit it to Alex for very clean driving behind me’. Asked about A2 Volker was quick to point out, ‘for sure this set of tyres won’t be used again’.
Giving his view of A1, Hagberg said ‘as normal is slow at the beginning and then comes in’. The former nitro Touring Car World Champion continued, ‘Ronald was off the pace and drove really defensively. I had to keep it clean as Akio was right behind me’. He concluded, ‘I’ll try harder the next time’.
Lucky to survive a tap in the rear from Tamiya team-mate Marc Rheinard coming out of the second corner, which sent his into a half spin, Sobue’s reaction to the race was ‘super close’. Describing his TRF419X as ‘a little loose’ at the start he said ‘I think it was the tyres but it got better’. Catching the battling Volker & Hagberg, the 1:12 Worlds podium finisher said, there was ‘no opportunity’ to attempt a pass. Looking to A2 the Japanese driver said he’s not sure whether to run the same set of tyres again or change.
Chassis – Destiny RX-10S Motor – Muchmore Fleta ZX 4.5T ESC – Muchmore Fleta Pro Battery – Team Silverback 6400mAh Tires (handout) – Sweep Radio/Servo – Sanwa Body – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – Hong Kong racer Kiu Chan is running the Destiny RX-10S with a good base set-up developed by being the car’s official development driver. The car is fairly standard apart from a prototype motor mount which has been machined to make less contact with the chassis, helping to improve the car’s flex.
Having wrapped up the overall TQ honours yesterday in the penultimate round of qualifying, Bruno Coelho used the final round of qualifying at the Electric Touring Car World Championships to show his rivals that he is still in command in China. Coelho would head an Xray 1-2 in the sixth qualifier, topping the time sheets for a fifth time with a 2.5-seconds advantage over team-mate Alexander Hagberg. With second on the grid already locked up, Yokomo’s Ronald Volker would get 3rd for the closing qualifier ahead of long time arch rival Marc Rheinard, the 3-time World Champion set to start 5th on the grid his worst every Worlds starting position.
Pleased to cap off qualifying with an another TQ, Coelho said, ‘was very good but at the beginning I was struggling a bit to the left side’. Suffering too small mistakes early on as the rear of his Hobbywing powered T4 got loose, he continued, ‘it was ok after that and I just drove safe to make no mistakes’. Still managing the fastest lap despite driving ‘safe’, looking to the finals the ETS Champion said, ‘In the final everything can happen. I know I am a little faster but everything can change, the pressure is different now’.
Using the qualifier to test a different set-up as he couldn’t better his grid position, Volker said, ‘we tried a set-up more to Naoki (Akiyama) as he was very fast in practice this morning’. Describing the set-up as ‘too easy to drive’, the European champion would still be the only driver to get close to Coelho’s outright fastest lap pace, their best laps just 0.059 apart. With a practice final on the schedule for the A-Main drivers, the German said, ‘we need a more aggressive car so we will try something halfway between my previous set-up and Akiyama’s and test it in the practice’. Looking to the final the German said the aim is to ‘finisher higher than I start’. Having qualified P2 in Florida behind outgoing champion Naoto Matsukura, who will race in the C-Main in Beijing, Volker would concede second to the 2014 Worlds P3 starter Coelho.
With his P2 from Q6 one of three counting rounds, Hagberg was much happier this morning saying things are ‘a lot better today because we got yesterday’s electrics issues sorted’. He continued, ‘I was able now to push to the end and that shows in my lap times so a big thanks to ORCA for solving my problems’. Matching his previous best Worlds qualifying position of 3rd in the grid, achieved in Germany in 2010, the Swede concluded, ‘I am very confident for the final’.
Posting the 5th fastest time in the final qualifier, a result he would count, Akio Sobue will be the highest place Tamiya on the grid. Making a shock-oil change for Q6, the 22-year-old said it left his TRF419X suffering from understeer. Admitting ‘Bruno is very fast’, the 2014 Finalist who qualified 7th and finished 9th, believes he will be able to race with both Hagberg and Volker for a place on the podium. He added, the Fengtai R/C Model Area track has ‘many places to overtake’.
‘Still 5-seconds off’ was Rheinard’s reaction to getting a P4 for the final qualifier. The Tamiya driver continued, ‘the start is good but the drop off is still too much’. Completing the top half of the grid, the German said for the final ‘there is no pressure on me and what happens happens. I’ll be trying for a podium’. Asked about car set-up changes, he replied, ‘I just hope I get a good set of tyres for the final’, continuing, ‘look at Naoki he was fastest this morning in practice and then he couldn’t even do a lap in the final qualifier’.
Having showed strong in early qualifying but then struggled, the final qualifier moved Viktor Wilck from a dangerous P10 overnight to 6th on the grid. Posting a P8 for Q6, the Serpent driver said, ‘the car is now good again but I still have a power problem’. The Swede said, ‘the car loses power in the last minute and that time it cost me three positions’, adding the overheating problem ‘is now worse than before’. Feeling 3rd on the grid to 6th are all very close on pace, he added, ‘6th is not ideal but my aim is a podium and anything can happen in a Worlds A-Main’. Behind Wilck the line-up for the title race of the 9th running of the Touring Car World Championships will be completed by TRF’s Christopher Krapp, Capricorn’s Marc Fischer and the Yokomo’s of Nicolas Lee and Naoki Akiyama.
Reedy are debuting their all new electronic speed controller, the 510R, at the ISTC World Championships in Beijing. Having also run it at the 1/12th portion of the championships, the 2S only speedo needed to use a booster to make it work, but is a simple drop fit into touring car, as well as EP offroad. Essentially a revised 410, it has completely new more robust hardware and updated software which offers much more tuning options. With the ability to switch between basic and expert mode, the 2nd mode offers customisation of the brakes and throttle as well different timing options. The programming box can save 5 different profiles and also allows you to download settings from other speedos to be used on your own. Expected to be available in October with a similar price to the current speedo.
Bruno Coelho is Top Qualifier for the Electric Touring Car World Championships. The Xray driver, who burst onto the scene at the last World Championship two years ago in the US, secured pole position in Beijing with a fourth TQ run in the penultimate qualifier. With only Ronald Volker able to deny the 2014 Vice Champion the overall TQ, just half a lap into the fifth round the Yokomo driver’s challenge was done as he suffered a driveshaft failure but Coelho wanted it on merit and did so with a new fastest 5-minute pace. Behind Alexander Hagberg would make it an Xray 1-2 with Jilles Groskamp completing the Top 3 from Marc Rheinard. Unfortunately for current World Champion Naoto Matsukura, who had the high of winning a fourth 1:12 World title earlier in the week, his touring car campaign hasn’t improved and the Japanese driver will not be defending his title as with just one more qualifier to run he is ranked 19th overall.
‘This means nothing’ was Coelho’s reaction to becoming Top Qualifier. He continued, ‘it is just 40% of the race. For sure to start first is an advantage but its the three races tomorrow that will decide the winner’. Winner of the 4WD Offroad World title having TQ’d in Japan, the multi discipline champion said, ‘the car works, the electric are perfect even though its super hot so it will be me that will decide it’.
With Coelho’s TQ run securing him second on the grid behind the ETS Champion, Volker said, ‘I knew I had to TQ to stay in contention but the drive shaft broke so while its disappointing one positive is the Bruno’s TQ locks up P2 for me’. Having changed the set-up on the prototype of the new BD8 platform, he said the loss of track time meant they didn’t get to run the set-up to see if it works. With Q6 now a testing opportunity, he said they need to get a better balance for the second half of the 5-minutes if he is to be able to challenge Coelho for the win.
Finishing almost 4-seconds back on his team-mate, Hagberg said afterwards, ‘I have a big electronics problem’. Suffering similar issues in Q4, the former nitro touring car World Champion said this time round they cost him about 2-seconds. Despite the evening’s Q5 being the coolest temperatures of the day, he said ‘the speedo & motor are getting too hot and its fading bad at the end’. While sitting third in the overnight standings, he is just one point up in Akio Sobue so needs to try protect that in the morning’s final qualifier.
‘For sure the pace is finally there, well not to Bruno’, that was how Groskamp summed up a competitive Q5 performance. Having to nervously wait after the run to find out if he would lose the time due to an issue with the weight of his Xray, the Team Infinity drivers said, ‘the car was already better in the previous round after we change the power settings and roll centre which gave good steering and more traction but now it was the perfect run’. The 2012 World Champion continued, ‘I was behind Marc (Rheinard) all the time but my car was stable to the end’. Beating his former team-mate by 0.004 he said ‘I’m really with the result’.
Also Rheinard’s best round, the long time Tamiya driver said, ‘we changed diffs, shocks, everything but it was still the same as before, it drops off to much.’ Having lost his 1:12 World title on Monday, he continued, ‘unlucky to be 4/100th off Jilles and 4/10th off Alex but Bruno is some reason in a different World’. The 3-time Champion concluded, ‘to be 4-second ahead of your team-mate shows he definitely has something extra’. Behind Rheinard, Yokomo rising talent Naoki Akiyama posted the 5th fastest time ahead of fellow Yokomo youngster Ryouske Yamamoto. Christopher Krapp would get seventh as Andy Moore after a mistake in Q4 resumed his spot with a fourth run to the 8th fastest time.