November 9, 2022

Chassis Focus – Meen Vejrak

Chassis – Serpent 750 EVO
Motor – Orcan / Maxima
Fuel (handout) – Maxima
Tires (handout) – HotRace
Radio/Servos – Sanwa / Power HD
Body – Xtreme CZ1

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November 9, 2022

Matsukura hits the top at Worlds to take third qualifier

The first day of qualifying at the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championship has provided plenty of variety with the opening three rounds of qualifying seeing as many different drivers post TQ runs, the latest being the reigning World Champion Naoto Matsukura. Kicking off his title defence with a P4 in Q1 and a second in Q2, the Infinity driver hit the top on his third attempt ahead of team-mate Dario Balestri who was able to shadow in the final stages of the 7-minute qualifier. Behind, Tadahiko Sahashi would complete the Top 3.  Having TQ’d the previous round, Dominic Greiner would suffer a DNF after the rear belt came off just after the German ace left the pit lane following his fuel stop.  Having started the day with a flawless Q1 run to top the times, Jilles Groskamp again flipped and needed marshalling in Q3 but somehow still managed to get a 6th for the round.  Jesse Davis continued his strong form from the second fastest heat as he set the fourth fastest ahead of Serpent’s Bryce Butterfield.

Celebrating his perfect finish to Day 1 of qualifying with a beer, a very pleased looking Matsukura said, ‘my car was pretty easy to drive.  Before I had understeer but the traction came up so now I had good steering and still no flip.  The car and the set-up is good’.  Finishing only 7/10th up on Balestri at the end of the 7-minutes, he said, ‘It was good having Dario just ahead of me (on the track) cause I could manage my pace’.  Already locked into at least a Semi Final starting position, and officially the provisional overnight TQ holder, he said, ‘I made safe points today so tomorrow we can try improve on this.  The team did a good job today’.

Looking a lot happier than he did at the start of the day, Balestri described his run to the second fastest time as ‘not bad’.  A multiple European Champion of the class, he said, ‘again I just tried to survive, if I push I flip.  It really is a lottery and I think this shows because every round we have a new fastest driver’.  Sitting second at the half way point in the qualification rankings, despite not posting a TQ run, he said he went into Q3, ‘thinking points and no mistakes’.  Now that he said he has the option ‘to push tomorrow or at least try to’.

‘It was a safe drive to make sure I had no flip’, was how Sahashi summed up his best round of the day.  The former 1:8 World Champion continued, ‘the car is now very nice’ to drive, a statement that was backed up by him recording the fastest lap of the day and the only driver to go sub 15-seconds with a time of 14.9.  A driver who yesterday excelled in the morning’s seeding conditions, he plans to revert to the set-up used on that occasion.

Having managed to salvage a P5 in Q2 despite breaking a shock tower, Davis summed up his latest run with, ‘no mistake that one, it was a safe run’.  Running in the second fastest heat, he added, ‘I think it was a little cooler for the top heat so it was faster but I think I have a pretty good finals car’.  Looking to tomorrow he said, ‘I’ll work on cleaning up my driving so I am more consistent’.

Ending his day with a Top 5 run, 20-year-old Butterfield said the run was ‘very good’.  After a mistake in Q1, when he bounced off the wall exit following his fuel stop, he said it ‘hurt it enough’ that it caused him to flip.  Q2 was ‘pretty solid with just a small mistake’ and he netted a P9 from that.  On his effort in the third round he said ‘was driving better and starting to trust the car again’.  Feeling his car is ‘where it needs to be’, the newly crowned ROAR National Champion plans to keep working on improving his driving.

‘The day started good but the track didn’t like me that last one’, was how Groskamp summed up Q3, team-mate Balestri interjecting to say ‘the track has never like me’.  Top Qualifier at the 2008 World Championship and still a contender for title, the former ISTC World Champion continued, ‘some drivers are going faster, some are going slower, which just shows how much the track changes’.  Considering some changes to his car in the area of shock springs and oil, he said his corner speed is gone since the sun disappeared as ‘the traction has come up a lot’.  ‘Sixth with a flip at the World Championship is crazy and I am already secure in the Semi Final’.  He concluded, ‘tomorrow is a new game’.

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November 9, 2022

Chassis Focus – Dominic Greiner

Chassis – Capricorn LAB C04
Motor – One
Fuel (handout) – Maxima
Tires (handout) – HotRace
Radio/Servos – Futaba/Futaba
Body – Xtreme CZ1

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November 9, 2022

Greiner from Matsukura in Q2

It was a battle of the Champions in the second round of qualifying at the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championship with 2016 winner Dominic Greiner posting the TQ run ahead of reigning Champion Naoto Matsukura. Leading out the cars for Q2, Q1 pace setter Jilles Groskamp was on for another strong run until he rolled and needing to be marshalled quickly putting him out of contention. Having done the same thing himself in Q1 ending up with a P7, Greiner’s run to the fastest time was not without its moments. The Top Seed used up a lot of his luck reserves as he did a 360 at the end of the straight somehow without hitting anything and also being avoided by the two cars following behind his Capricorn. Despite this Greiner would come back to take the TQ for the round by 1.6-seconds from Matsukura with Infinity team-mate Dario Balerstri completing the Top 3.

‘Almost good’, was how Greiner summed up the second of the six qualifying rounds. He continued, ‘I made a 360 at the end of the straight. I ran wide and drove on the white line and the car spun. I was lucky the other cars didn’t hit me’. A driver always striving for better he was pleased with how his reunion with pit man Thomas Gunsel, saying ‘I had a perfect pit stop’. Having flipped early in Q1, something he admitted after the second qualifier ‘was maybe a driver issue’, the German said, ‘I drove very calm and tried to be smooth on the sections the car can flip and then built up my speed over the qualifier’. Looking to Q3, which will bring the first day of qualifying to a close, he plans to ‘stay same with car’ as ‘hopefully for this one there will be less grip’.

Asked about his performance, Matsukura said, ‘it was not too bad. I had a little mistake, just a small driving error. The track was slower but still edgy so I tried to be smooth with my driving’. Happy with his car’s performance the World Champion over three different RC disciplines said, ‘my focus is to get the points today and then tomorrow I can push more’.

Balestri joked, ‘I just tried to survive on the track’.  Top Qualifier at the previous 1:10 World Championship encounter in Miami, he added, ‘I was super slow but had no flip’.  A driver chasing the double of 1:8 and 1:10 World Champion, he continued, ‘You really can’t push so I just try to get the points from each heat’.

Posting the fourth fastest time, Tadahiko Sahashi said he improved his car for Q2 having ‘flipped many times’ in the opening round.  Another driver who could potentially achieve the double here at RC Addict, the 2013 1:8 World Champion is finding today’s track conditions more tricky compared to yesterday when he topped the opening two rounds of seeding practice. The No.2 seed plans to make further set-up changes for Q3 as he continues to ‘chase the perfect set-up’.

P3 in the first round Jesse Davis took 5th on the second time of asking. Asked how his run was he replied, ‘It was a safe run, not really’. He explained, ‘I crashed one time when I touched the curb and flipped which damaged the rear shock tower so after that I just drove around safe after that’. Continuing he said, ‘I probably could have been 4th or 3rd for the round without the mistake but we’ll fit a new shock tower, and a new rear wing as I broke that too, and we’ll go again’.

Completing the Top 6, Takaaki Shimo said ‘the car is not bad today, yesterday it was super difficult’. Suffering one flip over the 7-minutes he said otherwise the run was OK. Asked if he planned further changes to his Infinity he said, ‘Maybe I will keep it the same and work instead on the driver’.

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November 9, 2022

Groskamp takes Q1 in Bangkok

Jilles Goskamp has taken the opening round of qualifying at 2022 IFMAR 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand.  As we finally got down to the serious business of qualifying following 5 days of practice, the Infinity driver was fastest in the first of the six scheduled rounds. Behind Mugen’s Shoki Takahata was closest, followed by Jesse Davis, the latter making a big improvement on the form he produced in practice.  Reigning Champion Naoto Matsukura would open his title defence with a P4 despite an engine cut during his fuel stop with team-mates Dario Balestri and Takaaki Shimo completing.  Having topped seeding and leading the fastest heat out of pit lane for the first qualifier, Dominic Greiner would traction roll early on, damaging his car, resulting in him flipping twice more.  In the end the 2016 Champion come out of Q1 with a P7.

‘I’m really happy to take the first round, it lifts the pressure for the rest of qualifying’,  was Groskamp’s reaction to his TQ run.  The veteran Dutch driver continued, ‘I just thought I would put a safe run in cause I could see Dominic pull away at the beginning.  Then he flipped but I could see Dario was coming but then he flipped. I thought I could go a little quicker if I push harder but then maybe I flip too.’  He concluded, ‘It’s a good start’.

Asked about his run and if he had any issues, the question sent the Mugen pit area into laughter.  Speaking through an interpreter, Takahata explained that he started the warm-up having forgotten to tighten his engine screws.  Loosing warm-up track time as the school boy error was rectified, he said he had to be a little more cautious at the start of the qualifier as his tyres weren’t fully broken in.  Despite his issue, the reigning 1:8 World Champion was pretty pleased to come away with P2.  A clean 7-minute run, he is confident he has more to come for the next one.

Running in the second fastest heat having ended up 15th in seeding, asked about his new found form Davis replied ‘the car his completely different today’.  He explained, ‘the first day of practice was good but then the sun came and I struggled to get steering.  Last night I spoke to Jilles (Groskamp) and we figured things out. The car feels comfortable now’.  In terms of the run, he chunked a tyre in the warm-up and then during his fuel stop he touch the wall and also got over fuelled with the fuel getting on the gearbox and leaving him with out second gear for a lap. Despite this, the Australian was happy to show good pace and said the aim is a Top 6 for Q2.

Matsukura said his ‘car was very good’ and ‘easy to drive’ and he feels without his fuel stop issue he could have been very close to team-mate Groskamp.  ‘I lost 2-seconds with the engine cut and I think without this I could fight for the top spot.  It was a very good start’.  Asked about his engine, he said it was his own error in timing with the throttle during the refuelling.

Having described the unique conditions of the RC Addict track yesterday as ‘the most difficult conditions’ he has experienced, Balestri said it is ‘super hard to manage the car in the shade’.  With the front part of the track shaded while the hot sun is on the rest of the track, the change in traction caught out the Italian as he flipped during the run.  For Q2 he is hoping for more even sun coverage of the track.

On his P7 result, Greiner explained, ‘I hit the steel barrier when I flipped and it damaged the car’.  With the rear aluminium bulk head missing a chuck out of it, he said the car was really difficult after that, leading to him putting it on its roof two more times.  Like Balestri, he said in the shaded parts of the track it is ‘super tricky’ as the car just has ‘too much steering’.  Having checked the chassis plate he is confident it is still ok and a rebuilt of the back end should fix things for Q2.

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November 8, 2022

Video – Final Seeding Practice

Action the final round of seeding practice at the 2022 IFMAR 1:10 Nitro World Championship in which Dominic Greiner was able to post the fastest time and become Top Seed for qualifying which starts tomorrow (Wednesday).