August 25, 2016

Coelho takes opening qualifier at WC


Bruno Coelho has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the Electric Touring Car World Championship in China.  As predicted by his rivals, the Xray driver was fastest as the timing switched to 5-minutes with him topping the first of six scheduled qualifiers.  Setting the fastest lap by over 1/10th of a second, Coelho would take Q1 by almost 2.5 seconds from Ronald Volker, the Yokomo driver having led away the top heat after setting the fastest three laps of the final control practice.  Topping the two rounds of seeding practice, Viktor Wilck completed the Top 3 a second back on Volker, with Alexander Hagberg opening his campaign with a P4.


Looking rather ragged on his opening lap, Coelho said, ‘the first few laps are difficult anyway but I forced too much and almost lost the car’.  Starting the heat fifth, after a mistake on his opening three laps in the final control practice, the Portuguese driver said he knew from his warm-up laps he had a good car and despite his less than perfect lap he knew he still had the pace to be fastest over the 5-minutes.  Making a ‘small change’ to his Hobbywing powered T4, he described the track as ‘now perfect’ due to ‘no wind and less temperature’ adding he plans to ‘keep the car same and see tomorrow (if changes are needed)’.  With opinions divided over the daily sugar watering of the track, with it having been done each day so far, the ETS champion said it should continue highlighting that it would be needed especially tomorrow following all the drivers walking on it for this evening’s opening ceremony. After this morning’s low traction following the sugar watering IFMAR called a team managers meeting where it was agreed that the procedure would be conducted each morning albeit at an early hour.


‘P2 isn’t too bad and I had a comfortable gap to the drivers behind me’, was how Volker summed up his performance.  The German said, ‘it was a good thing starting ahead of the field but half way through I lost a bit of overall traction and we need to figure out how to improve that’.  Running Yokomo’s soon to be released BD8, he continue, ‘I was only a few tenths behind Bruno so for tomorrow we will try a different set-up to try to be able to challenge him’.


Having to start the top heat last after having his time disallowed for running an unmarked motor in CP3, Wilck said he ‘just had a safe run’.  Forced to change his ESC, and motor, after problems in the final practice the Swede turned down the timing on the ESC after his early issue and as a result said he ‘could have done with a little more speed’.  Planning to up the timing for tomorrow morning’s second qualifier, in terms of his 4X’s performance he said, ‘I think the car as good’ but conceded, ‘Bruno has the extra edge right now’.


‘Not so good’ was Hagberg’s view of his first qualifying attempt.  Suffering ‘a couple of mistakes’, the 2015 European Champion also reported a motor issue in his T4 saying, ‘the motor faded in the end and I had no power the last couple of laps’.  The drivers demeanour after the qualifier gave the impressive the Xray driver felt a strong result was there for the taking had he not lost power.


Heading the Tamiya challenge in the first qualifier would be Christopher Krapp who as the only TRF driver in the top heat posted the fifth fastest time.  The multiple Worlds finalist said, ‘I’m happy about the run’ adding, ‘we struggled a little in controlled practice but worked together and improved for Q1 but it seems we can get the car working for colder conditions but must focus now on a set-up for hot conditions’.   With Q1 bringing Day 2 of the championship to a close with temperatures noticeably lower than those of the second controlled practice when the sun managed to break through the clouds, the German concluded, ‘it is good to have one good run in the bag’.


Running in the second fastest heat Krapp’s Tamiya team Akio Sobue, who early in the week finished his first 1:12 Worlds on the podium, posted the 6th fastest time. The 22-year-old wasn’t overly happy with his run describing it as ‘so, so’.  Elaborating on why, he said his TRF419X was on the ‘right side (of the track) OK but on left side so so’. With the car suffering from a little understeer and said it was also ‘on power a little bit loose’.  Suffering ‘a small mistake’ during the heat, he said while the car is ‘not so bad’ he will try to get more steering for Q2.  For traditional TRF team leader and 3-time World Champion Marc Rheinard, who finds himself in the second fastest heat at the Worlds for the first time, he would open qualifying with a P10, a result the German will be determined to count as one his 3 dropped scores.  In between Sobue and Rheinard, Nicolas Lee posted the 7th fastest time from Team Infinity’s Andy Moore and Yokomo team-mate Loic Jasmin.

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August 25, 2016

Chassis Focus – Rick Hohwart


Chassis – Associated TC7
Motor – Reedy Sonic 4.5T
ESC –  Reedy 510R
Battery – Reedy Zappers 5600mAh
Tires (handout) – Sweep
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Reedy
Body – Protoform LTC-R

Remarks – Veteran Associated racer Rick Hohwart is top US driver after controlled practice using the TC7 chassis. Starting the event with a combination of his standard US setup and that used by European team driver Juho Levanen, as practice as gone on he has moved back little by little to his standard setup which sees the weight more towards the rear of the car to help with entry and mid corner. Using prototype short shocks he is, just like in 1/12th, also using the production ready 510R speed controller from Reedy.

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August 25, 2016

Wilck top seed at Beijing Worlds


Viktor Wilck is the top seed for qualifying at the Electric Touring Car World Championships in Beijing, the Serpent driver having topped a much faster second round of controlled practice.  With wind causing many drivers problems in the first round, the sun came out for driver’s second attempt at a 3-consecutive lap time and with the wind dying off the track would prove over a second faster.  Having set the pace so far at these unique Worlds, in that no one drove the newly surfaced track prior to the first round of free practice yesterday morning, Bruno Coelho would finish second fastest 0.125 off of Wilck’s pace, their fastest lap times almost identical with only 2/1000ths of a difference between them.  Ronald Volker would complete the Top 3, the Yokomo driver a further 3/10th back.  For World Champion Naoto Matsukura a though first day didn’t get any better with his title defence starting in the 5th fastest qualifying group.  It wasn’t a good controlled practice for his Tamiya team-mate Marc Rheinard either, the 3-time Champion only able for the 13th fastest time.


Having planned to make changes to his 4X after posting the 5th fastest time in CP1,  Wilck said, ‘actually we didn’t change so much just the toe in and a new set of tyres’.  The Swede continued, ‘this conditions are good for my car but if it improves more it could be worse for us’.  In terms of his car he said, ‘right now I plan to keep it like this’.  Asked about his 5-minute pace, he replied, ‘Bruno is a little faster over 5-minutes.  I had two mistakes and following him I could almost keep up (with Coelho) but he is a little faster’.


‘It was good but I made a mistake in the first three laps’, was Coelho’s reaction to not finding himself at the top of the time sheets for the first time.  The Xray driver said , ‘I was over pushing and made a mistake on my 2nd lap and the best from the tyres was gone’.  Having topped the difficult CP1 track conditions he said second time round was ‘better but not perfect’.  Asked about his 5-minute pace, 3-laps having no relevance once qualifying starts, the 2014 Vice Champion said his pace was ‘super fast’ describing his Hobbywing powered T4 2017 as ‘stable and (having) good performance’ concluding ‘everything is OK’.


Summing up his P3 time, Volker said, ‘we didn’t have the right set-up for the conditions because when we discussed set-up changes for CP2 the sun was not out’.  He continued, ‘I didn’t expect we would go that much faster so considering this to get Top 3 is good’.  Looking to qualifying, drivers still having one more controlled practice in their new seeding order, he said ‘I was able to match Viktor’s pace but over the whole run Bruno is faster’.  Expecting similar conditions for CP3, he said they will have a better set-up on the car this time round.


Posting the fourth fastest time, Alexander Hagberg described his CP2 performance as ‘alright’.  The Xray driver continued ‘the track is changing so much. I think it is unfair to make only 2-runs but in the end it as ok for me’.  The Swedish driver said having changed the set-up on his OCRA powered example of the T4 for lower traction the car ended up ‘too stable’ but he said they should be ‘definitely alright’ for qualifying.

thu_hara copy

Behind Hagberg, Atsushi Hara would make a huge improvement on his CP1 standings when he was 23rd.   Just a tenth off Hagberg, Touring Car’s inaugural World Champion said, ‘track conditions are for sure way better and the warmer temperature was better for the tyres’.  Having run 2 Kyoshos each round of free practice, one with ARS and one without, and preferring the one without he put the ARS on his race car for CP2 and said it was now good for the conditions.  Having run his own ‘old bottle’ of the controlled additive, he said having to use ‘fresh’ bottles in the tyre area he said they are different and now the car is ‘much better to turn in’.  With his TF-7 ‘getting loose at the end’, the iconic driver said, ‘the balance is not 100% so I need to adjust set-up for next round’.


Elliott Harper would complete the Top 6 in seeding with Nicholas Lee, Andy Moore, Naoki Akiyama and Christopher Krapp completing the line-up for the top qualifying heat.  The Schumacher driver said he had his LRP Mi6 good yesterday but ‘didn’t drive well’.  Putting back on that set-up for CP2, he said both the car and the driver ‘drove better’.  He added, ‘I think it should be good too on 5-minutes but its hard to say what everyone’s drop off is until Q1’.  The 2-time Worlds finalist believes for qualifying ‘the key is to get the tyre to work from the first lap and not be sliding around’.  Under the newly introduced tyre rules, drivers will have to run used tyres in Q1 before getting new tyres for Q2.  Looking to get a bit more steering he said ‘as CP3 doesn’t count for anything I might try something’.  CP3 will not alter the heat order but will determine the starting order so the driver with the fastest three laps will get to start Q1 first.

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August 25, 2016

Coelho masters difficult conditions in 1st control practice


Bruno Coelho mastered difficult track conditions on Day 2 of the Electric Touring Car World Championships in Beijing this morning to top the first round of controlled practice.  Having topped yesterday’s six rounds of free practice, the Xray driver again was fastest but with wind effecting track conditions it was not a repeat of the 1-2 the Slovakian manufacturer witnessed on the opening Day.  With Hagberg managing only P10, pulling up with a minute to go as he clearly struggled with his car, there was a marked improvement from reigning manufacturer champions Yokomo.  Only p5 in free practice, Ronald Volker would set the second fastest time, albeit 7/10ths off Coelho over the best 3-consecutive laps, with team-mate Loic Jasmin completing the Top 3.


Almost 2 and half seconds slower than his free practice time Coelho said, ‘the track is super slow for everybody today’.  Making ‘little changes’ to the set-up on his T4 in anticipation of the low traction he said ‘my car worked very well for the conditions’. While the re application of sugar water this morning with no sun to properly dry it out will have had some effect on the conditions, with a wind warning in place for Beijing today it is this which most drivers feel is the biggest reason for the low traction.  Giving his reason for the slower track Coelho said, ‘the wind is bringing dust on to the track and that with it so loose the wind is effecting the car’.  He continued, ‘it makes the car very unpredictable’ and looking up to the cloud covered sky he added, ‘I think it will get worse’.


‘A better start to the day for me’ was Volker’s reaction after the first of the 3 controlled practices, the first two determining the seeding of the qualifying heats.  He continued, ‘the track is completely different to yesterday because of the wind but we definitely took the right direction when we combined the best set-ups from the two car yesterday onto one today’.  In addition to the wind, the German also feels the much lower temperatures are effecting the traction too.  Asked about changes to his soon to be released LRP powered BD8 for his next run, he replied ‘the car actually felt quite good but I need to check over the lap times for the whole run to compare the drop off to the others and then discuss with the team’.


Running in heat 13 of 15, French National Champion Jasmin said, ‘it was a good run’.  Having struggled with a lack of steering yesterday he said, ‘I found more steering and this is the point everyone is lacking and to get more steering than yesterday when the track is as it is is very positive’.  Feeling his BD8 is ‘still a little loose’ he added this was probably a combination of running new tyres and the fact there is ‘for sure less traction’ today.  The ETS A-Main regular plans to make changes to his set-up for CP2 to try an improve the traction.


Having been concerned yesterday about how his car would be over 5-minutes, running two cars meaning he never ran more than 2 & a half minutes, Christopher Krapp said ‘now I’m happy about my 5-minute pace’.  Posting the 4th fastest 3-consecutive lap time, the Tamiya driver however was less impressed with himself saying, ‘I’m not happy with my driving. I made too many mistakes here and there’.   With his super star team-mates Marc Rheinard and reigning World Champion Naoto Matsukura 21st and 24th respectively, Krapp said, ‘For me there is not a huge change (in lap time) maybe 1-second but for others there is 2-seconds of a difference. Luckily I’m OK’.  Planning ‘a small diff change’ on his Orion powered 419X, he said he would also ‘try to drive more clean’.  Having finished P4 in free practice yesterday right behind Krapp, Rheinard said, ‘I have no idea what is happening.  The track is really shit conditions with the wind’.  He continued, ‘I don’t know how I can be almost 3-seconds a lap slower today. The car is doing funny stuff and just spins out’.


‘Better again today’, was Viktor Wilck’s reaction to posting the 5th fastest time.  Serpent’s lead factory driver, he said, ‘when the grip is low, like yesterday morning, the car is OK, when the grip comes up I’m struggling’.  The Swede added, ‘for sure the conditions now are better for our car’.  Looking to CP2, he plans to make ‘small set-up changes’ to his Speedpassion powered 4X with running in his second set of tyres also a priority.  New for this year’s Worlds is the use of new and used tyre for qualifying.  With each round declared as a new or used tyre run, drivers must run new tyres in controlled practice to have used tyres for qualifying and one of the runs is that a driver must complete a minimum 10-laps on the tyres for them to be valid used tyres.


Completing the Top 6 ahead of Australia’s Simon Nicholson, Andy Moore said, ‘it was ok but the track changed like a huge amount’.  The Team Infinity driver added, ‘I’m not sure if its the wind or that they sprayed the track again but it’s a bit of disaster really’.  Feeling he had better conditions than the top heat and describing his Xray as felling ok the 2006 World Champion concluded, ‘I made the most of what I had’.  Behind Moore, Yokomo’s Nicolas Lee and Infinity team-mate Jilles Groskamp filled out the Top 10 ahead of Hagberg.

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