May 13, 2016

Chassis Focus – Kyle Branson

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Chassis – Capricorn TE 03
Motor – LRP X20 4.5T
ESC –LRP Flow
Batteries – LRP 5800 mAh
Tires – Volante (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Tesla
Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – Capricorn factory driver Kyle Branson is driving an updated version of the TE 03. His car features a new stiffening system that uses a single brace of 5mm thick carbon running the entire length of the car that totally changes the flex of the car and is meant to improve the traction and to avoid tweaks in the car thanks to the single fixing point in both front and rear end.

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May 13, 2016

Track Focus – Road Race Riccione

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Name – Road Race Riccione RC Circuit Marco Simoncelli
Country – Italy
Location – Riccione
Host Club – Road Race Riccione
Surface – Asphalt
Direction – Anti-clockwise
Key previous races hosted – ETS 2015

With Italy returning to the ETS calendar last season after many years of attempting to get a race back in a country so passionate about racing, a new gem in tracks was discovered by drivers from around the world when Road Race Riccione RC Circuit Marco Simoncelli hosted the race in April.  Located in the touristic seaside city of Riccione on the east coast of Italy, this time round the track hosts the race one round later marking it as the official start of the outdoor half of the season.  The race is also one month later than last year however Europe’s current uncharacteristic weather means the shorts packed by racers are looking likely to spend the weekend left in the suitcase.

Winner on the first visit to the circuit last year, then heading a Yokomo 1-2, VBC Racing’s Yannic Prumper is, like many drivers, a fan of the track saying, ‘I like the layout a lot’.  Asking what was the key to a good lap the German said ‘risking a lot going on to the straight’.  Covering an area 70 metres wide by 60 metres deep, a good entry onto the 56 metre long straight is made more challenging by a bump which last year caught out many drivers resulting in some spectacular crashes.  Commenting on the bump, Prumper said, ‘I thought they fixed the bump onto the straight but they didn’t’, adding his only complaint of the place was ‘it’s too bumpy’.  With it possible to avoid the bump by taking an outside line he added you have ‘to get it absolutely right as its a small gap, otherwise your done’.  Asked about the winds, which overnight managed to rip many of  the Yokomo banners from the fencing along the straight, he said ‘the wind is making it even more dangerous’ with it greatly increase the risks needed to get a quick lap.

Located not too far from the full size Mugello MotoGP circuit, the rc track was built in 1999 and is run by the Road Race Riccione club which has a membership of 50.  Originally a club for onroad nitro racers in recent years has seen electric become the main class.  With MotoGP legends such as Valentio Rossi, Loris Capirossi and the late Marco Simoncelli from the area it is not surprising that rc bike racing is also popular, the track having hosted the 2012 1:5 Bike World Championships.  The club is rather proud of the fact that Rossi has driven the track with a photo in the main building of the 9-time World Champion driving a 1:8 nitro car.  The club has an association with Marco Simoncelli Foundation after raising money for the charity during the 1:5 World Championships and remembers the #58 rider by officially incorporating his name in the track title and placing a tribute to him on the top of the drivers stand.

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May 12, 2016

Italy marks ETS switch to asphalt

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Following one of it’s most competitive season openings, the first three rounds all producing different winners, the Yokomo Euro Touring Series switches to asphalt this weekend May 13-15) with a trip to Italy. With the country’s long awaited return to the ETS calendar finally made a reality last year, once again it is the beautiful Road Race Riccione RC Circuit Marco Simoncelli track that will host the close on 290 entries that make up the fourth round of the championship. While last year’s race would result in the end of a 15-race, 3-year run of podium finishes for reigning champion Ronald Volker, the Yokomo driver rates the track as one of the best in the world. Having finally registered his first win of Season #9 at Round 3 in Austria, last year’s Italian encounter would see the German finish only fourth despite being Top Qualifier as himself and Bruno Coelho had the first of a number of clashes that created tension between the rival factory drivers. With relations since improved, the tension now between Coelho and Marc Rheinard after an exchange of words in Austria last month, Volker will be looking to carry the momentum of his first ETS win in 5-races and make amends for his 2015 result by kicking off outdoor proceedings with a victory.

With second ahead of Rheinard giving him the lead in the Volante Modified class standings leaving Wels, Coelho is relishing the switch to asphalt. Winner of 2 of the 3 outdoor races last year, Riccione marked a major turning point for the Portuguese driver after a disappointing showing at the indoor races. Having struggled on carpet in his debut season of ETS the championship’s arrival in Italy immediately marked him as a title contender. Claiming his first podium there, despite his clashes with Volker, the World Championship runner-up hasn’t looked back making the podium the last 5 races including taking a carpet win earlier this year at Round 2 in Germany. With a one point advantage over joint second placed Rheinard and Volker, Coelho wants to extend that by taking what will be an important psychological victory as the race will gauge the various teams competitiveness on asphalt.

Winner of the season opener in the Czech Republic, Rheinard struggled last year in Italy compared to his rivals but with a new car the Tamiya driver is more confident of improving on his 5th in qualifying and the race. Without his regular factory staff support from Japan this weekend, it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, this will have on the reduced TRF line-up with just Christopher Krapp joining him in Italy. Last year the race marked Krapp’s debut for TRF with the German qualifying & finishing 10th.

Ending a 3-year winning hiatus in Italy, 2015 Riccione winner Yannic Prumper returns to the site of his 3rd ever ETS win with a different package. Heading a Yokomo 1-2 last year ahead of Meen Vejrak, the 22-year-old is now leading up VBC Racing’s efforts to compete for success in the premiere class. Debuting the car on carpet in Austria but missing the cut for the A-Main due to errors in each of his qualifiers, the German has since been busy asphalt testing including doing a day at the Luxembourg track which will host the next round of the championship on June 24-26. Elsewhere Awesomatix team-mates Viljami Kutvonen and Freddy Sudhoff give the A800 it’s first asphalt ETS outing with high hopes for the now belt drive car. Kutvonen has had a solid start to the season on carpet with all A-Main results leaving him 5th in the standings behind Xray’s Alexander Hagberg.

In the biggest class of the ETS, Pro Stock, Xray’s Jan Ratheisky leads the standings after the indoor half of the season. Holding a 13-point lead over ARC’s Helge Johannessen, Ratheisky has the disadvantage of having not raced the event last year when team-mate and reigning champion Marek Cerny took the win. The reigning champion in the Serpent sponsored Formula class, which has attracted over 80 entries for the weekend, Ratheisky could once again become the first ETS champion of the season. Winner & Top Qualifier of the opening three races another win this weekend would see him claim a fourth consecutive title.


April 10, 2016

Coelho takes ETS points lead with 2nd in Austria

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Bruno Coelho leaves Round 3 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series as the new points leader, 2nd overall in Austria giving him a 1-point advantage over reigning champion Ronald Volker and Marc Rheinard as the championship moves onto asphalt.  With Volker wrapping up his first win of the season in A2 at the final carpet race to become the third different winner of Season #9, the third A-Main was all about deciding the podium order behind the Yokomo driver.  Leading away the field, Coelho would ultimately take a straight forward win over Rheinard an initially challenge fading over the race.  Finishing A3 second ahead of Alexander Hagberg, Rheinard who came into the weekend as joint leader of the championship with Coelho would complete the overall podium.

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Summing up the weekend Coelho said, ‘Its a good result. Second is not bad as it puts us top of the standings which is a very different position to where we were three rounds into the championship last year’.  On A3 the Portuguese driver, who had an exchange of words with Rheinard during qualifying, said his win over the German was ‘more or less easy’.  Trying to just run a clean run he said ‘a mistake early on let Marc catch me but he was not as fast as Volker and I was able to pull away again’.  Commenting on Volker’s pace this weekend he said ‘Having struggled in the first two races Yokomo have improved their car but we will have to wait and see how it is on asphalt’. A driver who claimed his first ever ETS win on asphalt adding a second one at the last season’s finale, Coelho said ‘we have tested our car on asphalt and it works very well but we need to see how it is compared to our competitors’.

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‘I wanted to be second but at least I got a podium’, was Rheinard’s reaction after A3, the Tamiya driver looking for confirmation that he was only 1-point behind Coelho and equal with long standing ETS rival Volker.  Having made changes to his soon to be released TRF419X, he said it was better than in the previous main but he ‘couldn’t attack’ as Hagberg was too close behind and he needed to maintain that gap to protect his podium result. Asked about Round 4, the ETS’ most winning driver said ‘I have no idea how we are on asphalt as we have a new car’, continuing ‘we did run it at TITC and it was good but that was high traction and on different tyres’.  Planning to attend the ETS Warm-up Race at Riccione in Italy later this month he said that would be their first big asphalt test and important track time’.

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Finishing third in A3 but missing out on the podium to finish 4th overall, Hagberg said the result was ‘the best I could do this time’.  Runner-up to Coelho at the previous round of the championship in Germany, the Swede said ‘I struggled finding a set-up that worked for the full 5-minutes. If the car was good at the start it fell off at the end and when it was good at the end it didn’t feel good at the start’.  ‘Looking forward to [racing on] asphalt’, like his team-mate he said testing on the surface had gone well so they where positive about the rest of the season.  Behind Hagberg, Awesomatix’s Viljami Kutvonen completed his best performance of the season to complete the Top 5.

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While the Volante Modified and Xray Pro Stock winners were decided after A2, the Serpent Formula class went to a showdown between Pro Stock winner Jan Ratheisky and Olivier Bultynck. In the end the reigning champion put in a perfect race to claim his second win of the year and maintaining his perfect winning form of Season #9 with a third consecutive victory.  Winner of A2, Roche driver Bultynck would claim second overall with Serpent’s David Erhbar filling the last step on the podium.

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View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


April 10, 2016

Chassis Focus – Giacomo Moretti

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Chassis – Fenix Mistral “Black”
Motor – Hobbywing (handout)
ESC – Hobbywing (handout)
Batteries – NVision 4500 mah
Tires – Ride (handout)
Radio/Servo – Futaba/Savox
Bodyshell – Fenix Phi-Gamma
Remarks – Team Fenix is running the newest version of their Mistral. The car features an interesting servo mount that can be either mounted in the floating position or fixed on the chassis. Fully equipped with titanium screws, Giacomo’s car features a gear differential and an aluminium black chassis specially made for team drivers.

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