June 7, 2014

Chassis Focus – Elliott Harper

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Chassis – Team Durango DETC 410
Motor – Orca 4.5
ESC – Orca
Batteries – Orca
Tires – Ride (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa
Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – The British driver is running an out of the box example of the new TD touring car which he just built Wednesday night before setting off for Luxembourg. Even in terms of setup, he is using a standard configuration, the only noticeable things being the addition of weights to the front end and the dremeling of the c-hub steering travel stops to allow for a bigger steering angle.

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June 7, 2014

Volker gets spun but still takes Q2

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Even after being spun round by Marc Fischer, Ronald Volker was still able to take the second round of qualifying at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Luxembourg. Another glorious day at Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”, the result which was 1.6 seconds off his Q1 pace set in cool conditions looks set to give the Team Yokomo driver his 15th overall TQ of the championship as conditions for Q3 & 4 are expected to be hotter making for a slower track. Behind the reigning champion, local French star Lucas Urbain backed up his Q1 performance with another strong showing, second enough to secure VBC Racing driver a spot in the A-Main. The second of the four qualifiers would see a big improvement from Alexander Hagberg as his Xray took third ahead of the Tamiya of Jilles Groskamp, the Top 4 all having the benefit of using new tyres.

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‘Luckily I got away with that one’ was Volker’s response to his Q2 run referring to his incident with Fischer. Coming up on the Serpent driver at the track’s famous Laguna Seca corner with 1-minute to go, as they exited the corner down the hill Fischer having looked to let the BD7 through would clip the back of it causing Volker to do a complete 360 degree spin. Losing in the region of a second & a half in time, Volker was glad to survive the ‘small incident’ adding that his wider line through that corner may have been what caught Fischer out. Describing his car as feeling slower than yesterday’s Q1, he said the lap times were still good. Running his second set of allocated qualifying tyres, the only change the German made was to his LRP speedo trying a smoother setting. With it hard for his rivals to now deny him the overall TQ, for Q3 he plans to make further speedo changes having found that changing the settings depending on whether running new or used tyres helped a lot with getting a better time from used tyres.

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Urbain said he knew his Wildfire D06 would be good in the conditions of this morning’s first qualifier and so he chose to use his second set.  Having done all his practice runs on new tyres he said he knew exactly how the car would react and he was ‘super happy’ with his performance which puts him in with a chance of having his best ETS A-Main starting position. Opting to run no warm-up lap he said the car worked perfectly with it again very easy to drive. Playing safe through the corkscrew staying off the curbs up the hill he said there is more to come from the car and now that he has two strong qualifiers to his credit he can push harder for the next two.

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Staying on after qualifying last night to avail of open practice, Hagberg said they managed to improve his T4 quite a bit by adding more chassis flex. Describing the car as ‘better’ today he said the changes made had given him more traction but added he himself was also a big factor as he drove better today. Using up his second set of controlled Ride tyres, he said now they need to look at what to do for running the car on used tyres for the last two qualifiers.

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Having only ran two laps yesterday in Q1, Groskamp was another to take advantage of new tyres. Having to move position on the driver stand he said for the first few laps this bothered him a little but once he got his bearings he was OK. Describing his Orion powered TRF418 as being ‘a lot better’ than it had been throughout practice he said driving wise he can improve a lot. Still to run his second set of tyres, the World Champion said while he will make a few small changes for Q3 his main focus is on his driving feeling that there is time to be gained from that.

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Setting the fifth fastest time, Tamiya team-mate Viktor Wilck took the honour of being the fastest driver on used tyres. The Swede, who was also fifth fastest in Q1, said despite running his tyres for a second time at the start of the run his TRF418 was ‘OK in the beginning’ but that pace dropped out a lot by the end. With a brand new set of tyres at his disposal for Q3 & 4, he said he needs to decide on a strategy for when would be the best time to run them.

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Also running used tyres Marc Rheinard said his Tamiya ‘felt OK at the beginning’ but he lost time through a mistake at the chicane and then having to let the faster Urbain through. The ETS’ most winning driver he said the difference between new and used tyres is pretty big but with one set of new tyres left he said he should be able to capitalise on them for a good run from the remaining two qualifiers.

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For a number of drivers the remaining two qualifiers are going to be critical, Fischer being one of them. Pulling up in Q1 to save tyres after two crashes, using his second set in Q2 he wasn’t able to capitalise on them either. On hearing that Wilck, on used tyres, was ahead of him on pace he pushed harder but his car was super difficult to drive leading him to taking his S411 ‘grass cutting’. On recovering it was at the start of the next lap that he had his incident with Volker. Surprised at how quickly Volker caught him having hoped to let him passed on the main straight he said he pulled over out of the corkscrew but expecting Volker to be much faster onto the straight he just pulled across on him to early tagging him into the spin which he said was ‘for sure my fault’. Finishing 19th fastest, for Q3 he said ‘I don’t know what but for sure we need to change something’. Another driver to have a second bad run was Andy Moore, HB’s former World Champion again getting a DNF. Having trouble still with getting his car to track correctly on the straight after an off and the dirt on his tyres causing him to spin a number of times the British driver pulled off on Lap 8. Fellow countryman Elliott Harper would also pull off after he put his Durango on its roof in the corkscrew on lap 3 after catching the curbing. With the marshal unable to get to the car as other cars went through the corner after losing so much time he opted to head for the pits early.

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In the Xray Pro stock class defending champion Marek Cerny TQ’d Round 2 from Martin Hofer and Lars Hoppe. Cerny said last night he got caught out by the choice of oil in his shocks as conditions got cooler than expected but leaving in the same oil for Q2 his T4 worked much better for the conditions. Pleased with his run the Czech driver plans to leave the car as is for the third qualifier. Former Champion Martin Hofer said his Schumacher ‘feels nice to drive’ but he had too many driving mistakes and that is ‘not good enough’. Having taken Q1 last night Lars Hoppe said his ARC went from’Perfect’ yesterday to suffering from a little understeer today leading to a ‘little mistake’ at the end straight. Putting the change down to running on the tyres for a second time he will reduce the rear toe in to try and get back some of the steering.

Ride Modified Round 2 Qualifying – Top 10
1. Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 16/5:05.221
2. Lucas Urbain – VBC Racing – 16/5:06.428
3. Alexander Hagberg – Xray – 16/5:06.702
4. Jilles Groskamp – Tamiya – 16/5:07.723
5. Viktor Wilck – Tamiya – 16/5:07.862
6. Marc Rheinard – Tamiya – 16/5:08.991
7. Loic Jasmin – Yokomo – 16/5:09.236
8. Nicolas Schwendimann – Team Magic – 16/5:09.551
9. Freddy Sudhoff – Awesomatix – 16/5:09.591
10.Magnus Vassmar – Xray – 16/5:11.223

Xray Pro Stock Round 2 Qualifying – Top 10
1. Marek Cerny – Xray – 14/5:04.783
2. Martin Hofer – Schumacher – 14/5:05.642
3. Lars Hoppe – ARC – 14/5:06.316
4. Mike Gosvig – Awesomatix – 14/5:08.185
5. Henrik Heitsch – ARC – 14/5:08.346
6. Jan Ratheisky – Xray – 14/5:08.520
7. Juian Borowski – Serpent – 14/5:08.666
8. Gilles Choque – Xray – 14/5:08.870
9. Max Machler – Awesomatix – 14/5:09.484
10.Philip Tschupp – TOP Racing – 14/5:09.484

View the complete event results here.

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June 7, 2014

From Race Control’ – Day 2 Qualifying/Lower Finals

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It is a beautiful morning here in Luxembourg for Day 2 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series at Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”.  On the cards today for drivers is three rounds of qualifying with the best 2 of 4, the opening qualifier taking place last night, to count. Following the conclusion of qualifying, drivers who don’t make the A-Mains will complete the first of their three Main Legs. The day will close with the now traditional running of the Saturday night Dash for Cash. All of today’s action can be followed live here.


June 6, 2014

No surprises in Luxembourg as Volker takes Q1

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The top of the time sheets for the opening qualifier of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Luxembourg contained no surprises as Ronald Volker capped off a perfect opening day to Round 5 of the championship with a TQ run.  The Yokomo driver, who is very much on target to secure a fourth consecutive ETS title this weekend, outpaced his rivals by over 2-seconds, the second fastest time being set by Tamiya’s Marc Rheinard with the only remaining title challenger Alexander Hagberg managing only 7th in the first of the four qualifiers.  Completing the top 3, only just, was VBC Racing’s Lucas Urbain who was 0.002 faster than fellow Frenchman  Loic Jasmin.  The qualifier saw a number of key non-finishers with Jilles Groskamp, Yannic Prumper, Marc Fischer and Andy Moore all having issues.

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‘A good finish to the day’ was how Volker summed up his dominant performance.  With his car feeling a ‘little more stable’ due to the cooler conditions of the late evening run, the 10 time ETS race winner said he was able to focus more on running clean lines over the 5-minutes.   Unable to gauge how close his rivals were for the first two minutes of the run, the size of the track making it hard to keep drivers behind him in view, even when he did know the gap he still kept pushing. Aware that with tomorrow expected to be an even hotter day at Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”, of the four qualifiers this would most likely be the fastest due to the temperature so he went for a time so that should qualifying go to a tie break he would have the fastest TQ time in hand.

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Only 7th fastest in practice, Rheinard said his TRF418 was easy to drive but it was ‘missing some steering’.  Much happier with the self glued tyres Modified drivers got to run for qualifying, he said second was an ok start but he hoped to be able to find some speed for tomorrow. Over a 10th off the fastest lap set by Volker, he said he needs to chat with his engineer Kiyo Suzuki to discuss what plan of attack they will take for tomorrow morning’s Q2.  Having been the leading Tamiya in practice team-mate Wilck set the fifth fastest time.  The Swede said while his car suffered from a little understeer through right hand corners his main issue was two mistakes over the run.  Following behind Yannic Prumper at the start he said when the German made a mistake it lead him to make a mistake also and on the last lap he had a ‘not so good line through the chicane’.

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Urbain, who made his international name here at the Luxembourg track at the 2009 European Championship, was clearly delighted with his opening qualifier.  Having shown himself to be competitive in practice, he said he changed nothing on his Wildfire D06 and from start to finish it worked perfectly.  Posting the second fastest lap of the round he said he was ‘super happy’ with his run the only moment being when he got the car up on two wheels.  He said for now he just wants to enjoy the moment, helped by the fact he beat his good friend Jasmin by such a narrow margin, but looking to tomorrow he believes there is so much more in the car as he didn’t drive it at near 100%.

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With his LRP powered Yokomo BD7 being transformed for the final practice after a shock rebuild, reigning multiple French National Champion Jasmin was delighted with his ‘super close’ opening qualifier.  Describing his car as OK in the beginning, it struggled a little on fresh tyres, he said from the middle to the finish it was really good.  Running on the second fastest pace for a time behind Volker he said nerves kicked in a little towards the end but overall his car was ‘super fast’ and he plans to stick with the same set-up for Q2.

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Making his return to the ETS having not raced in the championship since a tough season opener last November, Team Durango’s Elliott Harper completed the Top 6.  The British driver described his qualifier as steady saying his DETC410, which is a standard kit car that he only built on Wednesday before coming out to Luxembourg, had ‘too conservative a set-up.’  Having changed the car for the final practice to get more rear grip for the hotter conditions he said he left it the same for Q1 but in the colder conditions this resulted in him being in a position where he ‘could have done with more steering’.  Pleased to get Day 1 under him with a good first run, his main goal for the weekend to make the A-Main for the first time since joining Team Durango from Tamiya, he said he hopes to be able to build on that tomorrow.

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The only driver left with a chance, albeit very slender, of denying Volker from taking the overall title this weekend, Hagberg summed up his Q1 performance as ‘slow & steady’.  With his ORCA powered Xray T4 ‘too stable’, the Swede will revert to his final controlled practice set-up and go from there as he looks to make the handling ‘a bit more aggressive’. Behind Hagberg, newly signed French Team Magic driver Leo Arnold posted the 8th fastest time with Awesomatix’s Freddy Sudhoff and Capricorn’s Kyle Branson rounding out the Top 10.

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Return to the ETS this weekend, the first qualifier didn’t go well for World Champion Jilles Groskamp.  The former 2-time ETS Champion who doesn’t have a mechanic preferring to do all the work on his own car, lasted just 2-laps after forgetting to tighten the suspension blocks on his Orion powered TRF418.  The Dutch ace who has flown in from Thailand for the race, said leaving his car prep to go glue his qualifying tyres in the controlled area on his return he just forgot to tighten the screws fully. After he ‘drove like shit’ Fischer decided to call time on his run after his second mistake to save his tyres.  Moore lasted only 2-more laps after the inside of a front tyre came unglued on his Hobby Wing powered HB TCXX causing the car to pull badly to the right on the main straight from the second lap.  Second fastest in practice Prumper said his Yokomo had ‘no forward traction’ as well as ‘pushing like hell’ and having made only slight adjustments to the car he said he can only put it down to a bad set of tyres.

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In the Xray Pro Stock class, leading German 1:8 Onroad driver Lars Hoppe took the opening qualifier with his ARC chassis over the Xray of defending Champion Marek Cerny with the Schumacher of former Champion Martin Hofer third.  In Formula Oliver Bultynck took the first qualifier but only after class debutant David Ehrbar made a late mistake with his Serpent.

Ride Modified Round 1 Qualifying – Top 10
1. Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 16/5:03.575
2. Marc Rheinard – Tamiya – 16/5:05.809
3. Lucas Urbain – VBC Racing – 16/5:06.375
4. Loic Jasmin – Yokomo – 16/5:06.377
5. Viktor Wilck – Tamiya – 16/5:06.386
6. Elliot Harper – Team Durango – 16/5:07.418
7. Alexander Hagberg – Xray – 16/5:08.092
8. Leo Arnold – Team Magic – 16/5:08.270
9. Freddy Sudhoff – Awesomatix – 16/5:09.085
10.Kyle Branson – Capricorn – 16/5:09.314

View the complete event results here.

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June 6, 2014

Chassis Focus – Marek Cerny

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Chassis – Xray T4 ’14
Motor – MuchMore (handout)
ESC – MuchMore (handout)
Batteries – LRP 6000 110C
Tires – Ride (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox
Bodyshell – Protoform Mazda Speed6

Remarks – Czech ace Cerny is running a pretty standard version of the T4’14, even though he has made several changes from the last race in Mattsee in terms of setup. The biggest changes are lower roll centres in the front end and a narrower track width meant to make the car more aggressive and confer more steering and therefore corner speed. A noticeable equipment choice is the 6000 LRP LiPo pack which Marek prefers over the heavier 7200 versions.

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June 6, 2014

Yokomo 1-2 in final practice

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Team Yokomo claimed a 1-2 in practice at Round 5 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series, with Yannic Prumper moving up to second fastest in the final practice in Luxembourg behind Ronald Volker. Having completely outclassed his rivals in TP1, Volker would again be fastest in the second & final seeding practice albeit in a slow time, his advantage only 4/10ths rather than the over 1-second advantage he had over 3-laps in the previous run. Improving his time by a 10th of a second, Prumper would move ahead of Tamiya’s Viktor Wilck who again ran a 57.5 pace the second time being just fractionally slower. On the timing sheets the second best improvement came from French driver Loic Jasmin, who jumped from 10th to 4th fastest demoting fellow countryman Lucas Urbain to fifth.

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Volker said while he didn’t have the same ‘crazy pace’ as he had at the start of TP1, his LRP powered BD7 was overall pretty much the same with it feeling very consistent over the 4-minutes. The only driver to run an 18-second lap in TP2, he said he is happy to leave the car as is for the opening qualifier, for which he will be the top seed, even though the track conditions should be a lot cooler than those of both rounds of timed practice.

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Despite improving his time, Prumper said he is still struggling at the start of the run with his best time coming from his final three laps. Lost for ideas on what to change for TP2, he copied a set-up from Volker’s car reducing the spacer under the rear bulk head by 1mm. Making the car roll more his mechanic Toni Rheinard said it didn’t suit his driving style and for Q1 they will revert back changing instead to a softer shock oil and droop adjustment with the aim just to get in a solid first qualifier.

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Having changed the shock set-up on his TRF418, Wilck said while it gave the car a slightly different feel in terms of lap times it was almost identical to earlier. The Swede plans to play safe for Q1 saying he will leave the car as is for now. The third quickest driver to improve in the final practice, team-mate Marc Rheinard said reverting back to his free practice set-up improved his MuchMore powered TRF418 but tyre quality was an issue. Cutting open his pre-glued tyres after the run in which he posted the 7th fastest overall time, the German, who has come in for criticism over complaining about tyres, found that parts of the inserts had become glued to the rim something which Wilck described as causing a similar feeling to driving a real car with a puncture. The 3-time World Champion said hopefully the gluing of the tyres for qualifying themselves will cure the issue pointing out that the gluing issues had cost Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp both of his timed runs, the former race winner managing only the 20th fastest time.

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Getting outpaced by the Yokomo of multiple French Champion and good friend Jasmin, Urbain said his problem was that he overdrove for the conditions. Expecting the track to have more grip due to the cooler temperature he said he drove too aggressively. Looking forward to Q1 he said he will leave his VBC as is as it should be fine for the ‘happy hour’ conditions. Behind Urbain, Marc Fischer completed the Top 6 with the Serpent driver unable to improve his time. Making changes to his car he said they had little or no effect on the handling and he has no idea how this is possible. For Q1 he will revert back to the set-up he ran in the first timed practice and just try to end day 1 with a solid qualifier.

View the complete event results here.

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