February 25, 2017

Chassis Focus – Marc Rheinard

Chassis – Infinity SMJ Prototype
Motor – Muchmore Fleta ZX 4.5T
ESC – Muchmore Fleta Pro V2
Batteries – Muchmore 6400mAh
Tires – Volante (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Xpert
Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – 3-time Touring car World Champion Marc Rheinard is running the same prototype Infinity SMJ chassis that he used to make his team debut with in Thailand last week. Having back to back tested an aluminium and carbon chassis, the German has gone against the common choice and went with a carbon chassis which he says feels better, giving him more grip. Using the same setup from his testing at Arena 33, he has just made some small shock changes and for Q4 will try Axon shocks on the car.

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February 25, 2017

Volker again in Q2

Having set the benchmark on the opening day of the Euro Touring Series yesterday in Germany, Ronald Volker picked up where he left off with another TQ run this morning in the second round of qualifying.  Bettering his Q1 time by over a second, the Yokomo driver would outpace his rivals by over 3-seconds with Infinity’s Marc Rheinard the only one also able to run 26-laps.  With Bruno Coelho flipping early on, leaving him and Rheinard on top of one another costing them both time, Xray’s Olly Jefferies would just pip his team-mate for third with new Infinity signing Akio Sobue completing the Top 5.

Now on target for his first 21st ETS career TQ, Volker said ‘I can’t be more happy to get another TQ run.  It was made easier by Bruno and Marc costing each other time’. Opening the qualifier with the fastest time, the World Champion continued, ‘basically I did more intense warm-up laps to get a better start and that paid off allowing me to get a good gap at the beginning’.  Describing the track as feeling ‘different to drive on compared to yesterday’, he said his LRP powered BD8 was ‘still balanced’ and going into the penultimate qualifier while they ‘might try a small adjustment it would be nothing big’.

‘Lets say at least I’m back in the A-Main’, was Rheinard’s reaction after Q2, the statement a reference to his B-Main appearance at last weekend’s TITC.  Holding the honour of the all time most number of ETS wins, the former Champion said, ‘Only Ronald’s Yokomo is fast’ highlighting his former TRF team-mate Christopher Krapp is ‘struggling’.  On Volker’s advantage he said, ‘For sure we lost time, me & Bruno. He let me go cause he was struggling and then I had to let him go cause I was struggling but the main issue for me is the car is hard to drive consistent.  It has no grip’.

‘I didn’t change anything, I only adjusted my brake set-up’, was how Jefferies summed up his P3.  Eighth fastest in Q1 and causing Volker a big scare when he tapped the heat leader, the British driver added, ‘I need more initial brake where I ran into Ronald last night and he helped me realise that’.  Please with his T4, saying ‘it is nice to be the top Xray’, he said the open track is making everyone so close and having to open up for another driver like he did with Volker last night costs you a lot of time.

Coelho said, ‘It was strange, I had no feeling in my driving and flipped in the second lap’.  He added, ‘After this I open for Rheinard but then he had to open for me.  It was kind of a funny thing that we had to keep opening for each other’. A convincing winner of the season opener, he concluded, ‘for sure my car is not perfect but the conditions are different to the last ETS but we will try our best to improve the car for the next one’.

Struggling to a P16 with a ‘super difficult’ car in Q1, Sobue said a new set-up had made his SMJ Prototype now ‘super easy’ to drive.  The Japanese driver said the main improvement came from a diff change but for Q3 he needs to find a set-up in between the two extremes as the car now needs more steering.

Completing the Top 6 Yannic Prumper was of a similar mindset to Rheinard saying, ‘I’m happy to make A-Main again. It’s a long time ago’.  The VBC Racing backed driver said, ‘my car now has too much push and the competition is so tough if you just hit the curb you lose 2 or 3 positions’.  Looking to Q3, the pressure of making the A-Main lifted, he said ‘we need to get more steering’.  Behind Prumper, Alexander Hagberg would run a P7 for the round followed by the Schumacher of Elliott Harper and the Awesomatix of Viljami Kutvonen.

In the Xray Pro Stock class, the Day 2 schedule having reverted to the traditional all three classes per round format, Markus Kreder backed up his opening TQ run with another from the second fastest heat.  The Awesomatix driver topped the times ahead of reigning champion Jan Ratheisky with Helge Johannessen who crashed out of Q1 completing the Top 3.  In Formula, Andreas Stiebler got the better of Q1 winner David Ehrbar to TQ the round with Team Shepherd’s Olivier Bultynck having a much better day to set the third quickest time.

View the complete event results here.

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February 25, 2017

Chassis Focus – Marc Fischer

Chassis – VBC Racing D09
Motor – Muchmore 5.0T
ESC – Muchmore Fleta Pro
Batteries – Muchmore 6000mAh
Tires – Volante (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox
Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – German driver Marc Fischer is making his international debut here with new team VBC, running the D09. Having run both his own aluminium and carbon chassis cars in testing at the Arena 33 prior to the event, he made the decision to use a car that designer Carven Chow had brought for team mate Lucas Urbain, which worked very well, but which was mounted with Muchmore electronics, his sponsor being Trion. Using a new prototype 0.5mm higher rear shock tower that allows more up travel on the shock, he has also changed his shock setup from the standard setup to harder oil all around and stiffer springs on the rear.

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February 25, 2017

‘A perfect Day 1’ as Volker takes Q1 in Germany

Ronald Volker has taken the opening round of qualifying at Round 2 of the Euro Touring Series, the former champion capping off a dominant first day in Germany.  Opening the day by setting the pace in free practice, the Yokomo driver would back that up by topping seeding practice before going on to close the evening with an authoritative TQ in the first of the four scheduled rounds of qualifying.  Coming into the weekend on the back of his longest run of ETS races without a win, the rejuvenated German took Q1 with ease ahead of reigning champion Bruno Coelho, even surviving a tap from Olly Jefferies that got him out of shape when he lapped the British Xray driver.  Marc Rheinard would set the third fastest time making the first qualifier a repeat of the Top 3 form seen in controlled practice.  The biggest change in Q1 would come from Alexander Hagberg, who having been only 10th in practice just scrapped into the top heat, ended the day with a P4.

‘A perfect Day 1’ was Volker’s reaction after his TQ run.  Once widely recognised as unofficial World Champion of carpet racing, the reigning World Champion added, ‘we worked a lot to get back on top as I have mentioned before it meant a lot that Arena 33 opened a month ago because we could test a lot’.  A 2-time winner in Muelheim Kaerlich, he continued, ‘even though the conditions are not the same as here we benefited from this testing’ highlight that the use of Yokomo’s RTC rear system and the use of LRP’s LCG batteries where the two biggest changes since ETS Czech Republic, all as a result of having a venue to test extensively at.

‘For sure not very good, ok 2nd is not bad but we still need to work on the car’ was how Coelho summed up the first qualifier.  The current championship points leader thanks to his TQ and win at the season opener in December, the Portuguese driver explained the issue was that his car ‘feels that there is no traction overall’ adding, ‘we will try to improve our base for tomorrow and see what happens’.

Rheinard said, ‘results wise it was ok but the gap is too big’.  The former Muelheim Kaerlich winner who is only on his second outing with Infinity continued, ‘the car is is just floating around, it just not getting any bite and I’m not sure what to do’.  While finishing only 8/100ths of a second off Coelho looking at Volker’s time the 4-time World Champion said, ‘I just have no idea why he is so fast’.

Describing his 4th as ‘a decent start’, Hagberg achieved the time with his spare car.  The Swede said, ‘I wrecked my good car in the last practice round and had to run my back up car because the compressed schedule didn’t give me enough time to fix my good car’.  Switching to a spare car, which he said he was as good as his race car he said the approach for Q1 was to ‘just try to get a run’ and that ‘worked out alright’. Aiming to have his good car fixed for tomorrow, when the ETS will revert to its normal scheduling, the 2014 ETS Germany winner is confident for Q2.

Posting the fifth fastest time, Yannic Prumper said it was ‘a good run and a good start for all the VBC team’.  While he didn’t drive so good at the beginning himself, the German said he is also ‘still looking for just a little more steering’.  Asked what changes he planned to achieve this he pointed at the car’s designer saying, ‘I hope Carven (Chow) can find something’.

Completing the Top 6, Lucas Urbain was delighted with his opening qualifier.   The popular Frenchman said, ‘I had a bobble two or three laps from the end which lost me 4th to Alexander and Yannick but I didn’t expect to be that competitive.  I’m super happy’.  After a set-up change left him to struggle in the final practice, he said ‘the car is good now but there is a tiny drop off towards the end which is fine but I think we can improve that for tomorrow’.  Posting the 9th fastest time Marc Fischer would make sure all three VBC Racing’s team driver where in the Top 10, a marked improvement for the manufacturer.

View the complete event results here.

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February 24, 2017

Volker tops seeding at ETS Germany

Ronald Volker is the top seed for qualifying at the ETS Germany, the Yokomo driver’s time from the first timed practice remaining unbeaten. While Volker would fail to improve on his time his closest rivals would but only by the slightest of margins. Improving his fastest 3-consecutive laps by 0.004, Bruno Coelho would stay second fastest with the highest improver being VBC Racing’s Marc Fischer who would knock team-mate Lucas Urbain from P6. Improving by a more significant 0.161, Infinity driver Marc Rheinard would again complete the Top 3 ahead of Yannic Prumper and Akio Sobue, the second & final controlled practice a carbon copy of the Top 5 in CP1.

Making a front end set-up change to his LRP powered BD8 after reporting too much steering in CP1, Volker said the result of the change ‘was worse’ and he would ‘go back to the CP1 set-up’ for the opening qualifying.  Describing final practice as ‘still a fast consistent run’, the World Champion concluded, ‘everything is looking promising for Q1’.

While his time improvement was negligible, Coelho said, ‘for sure its much better now but we are still not on the pace’.  Asked how he felt his Hobbywing powered T4 was on 5-minute pace going into the first qualifier, last year’s Muelheim-Kaerlich winner replied, ‘for sure we are a little slower than Volker I I think we will be better for qualifying as we found something on the car that was not perfect so we definitely can improve from that’.

Rheinard put his improved pace down to his handout Volante tyres getting better after another run.  With this a home race for the German, who lives just 15-minutes from the temporary track, he said his prototype SMJ ‘still doesn’t feel right’ and for qualifying he will ‘check it is all straight’.  Planning no set-up change, he said his aim was to ‘try put in a safe Q1’. Team-mate Sobue, said a change to lighter oil shock oil made little change with the car still ‘difficult’ and for Q1 he will go the opposite direction with the shocks and go to a heavier oil.

Changing to a softer diff in his VBC, Prumper said, ‘It actually felt the same and the time was almost the same’.  The former ETS race winner is still confident he has a good car for 5-minutes concluding, ‘my target is a clean run for the first qualifier’. Team-mate Fischer summed up his improved performance with ‘it was ok’. His first ETS outing with VBC, he said a shock set-up change had made the car ‘easier to drive’, it having been ‘too edgy before’. Having tried a front shock set-up change on his WildfireD09 Urbain said ‘it was worse’ and now ‘too difficult to drive’ he will go back to his CP1 set-up for Q1.

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