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.

View our event image gallery here.


June 6, 2014

Volker stuns rivals in opening Luxembourg practice

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Ronald Volker left his rivals stunned in the opening round of timed practice for Round 5 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Luxembourg. The Yokomo driver, who could secure his fourth consequence title in the world famous championship this weekend, was over 3-laps more than 1-second faster than his closest rival who was Viktor Wilck. From Wilck back the field was very closely matched around the spectacular Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” with 2nd to 10th covered by just half a second. Completing the Top 3 was Volker’s team-mate Yannic Prumper with French driver Lucas Urbain an impressive fourth with his VBC chassis.

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Having found ‘an issue’ in the second untimed practice which they were able to ‘figure out’ for the first of the two timed practices that will determine the seeding for qualifying, Volker joked his pace was ‘too good’. Making two mistakes on his run he said other than that his car and its power were perfect. Hinting that his issue was tyre related, the German said the move to drivers gluing their own tyres in a controlled area for qualifying was a good decision by the championship as it makes things the same for everyone. A glorious day, with the weather set to get even hotter tomorrow, the newly crowned Reedy Race Champion said the hotter conditions make driving in the already low traction conditions tougher. With the opening round of qualifying set to bring Day 1 of the event to a close he said the colder conditions should make it very interesting. For the final practice, which should be slightly cooler, he said he will make just some slight changes to account for the conditions.

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Despite setting the second fastest time while his team-mates were only 9th and 11th fastest, Wilck said his TRF418 is all over the track. Describing the track as ‘for sure more difficult’ than when he raced here at the European Championship in 2009 the feeling he has with the car is not completely down to the track, having no stability on power. At a loss as to how Volker can be so much faster over just 3-laps, the Swede plans to try a different shock set-up for the final practice in the hope he can make the car easier to drive.  Only 9th fastest, Marc Rheinard said his car was ‘really bad’ after he ‘tried a few things’. Happy with how he ran in untimed practice, the 3-time World Champion will revert back to the set-up he used then for the final practice of the event.

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Making a return to the championship and to the location of his 2009 European Championship win, Jilles Groskamp admitted that he is a ‘little lost with set-up’. Changing car for the first timed practice and managing only the 11th fastest time he will change to his other car for the next practice adding ‘at least now I know which car to run’. Struggling with a lack of overall traction the Dutch driver said the nature of the track makes it not so easy to find a good set-up as to get stability means losing corner speed and vice versa. As he searches for a final set-up he said he is going to be forced to work on finding it through qualifying which is never perfect. Echoing Volker’s comments, the World Champion also likes the change to the procedure for the hand-out Ride control tyre with drivers now having to glue up their own sets in a controlled area. This weekend also sees the introduction of a controlled tyre preparing area with Muchmore providing the tyre warmers but Groskamp feels having tested here previously both with and without additive that the difference once the tyre get three warm-up laps on them is almost unnoticeable and just having a tyre impound with no preparing would be a much simpler option.

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Prumper was also struggling with his own team-mates huge advantage over the field. The 20-year-old who had a thrilling battle with Volker at Round 4 in Austria last month said his car is ‘ok’ but on new tyres for the first 2-minutes it ‘pushes like hell’. Good after that he said the loss of time in those two minutes is a lot and could prove costly once qualifying starts. Having ‘already changed a lot’ on his BD7, the German said he doesn’t know what he can change to try and alleviate the problem.

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A driver who made a huge name for himself at the 2009 European Championships when using an ageing Losi JRSX-R he qualified 5th for the A-Main, Urbain was very happy with his run to the fourth fastest time. Living just 30-minutes from the track which while in a different country he calls his local track, he said his VBC Wildfire D06 is getting better and better every run but added that he got lucky too with the set of tyres he got for the the run.  On the subject of tyres he said that an issue he is facing for qualifying is that he suffers greater tyre drop off over the run than his rivals something he said is down to himself and how he is working the tyres. Changing to a different shock bladder for the run which he expected would make the car harder to driver he said it actually made it ‘super easy’ and with a cooler, faster track he will leave everything as is for the final practice.

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Serpent’s Marc Fischer posted the 5th fastest time but the German said his car ‘feels shit to drive’. Struggling with a lack of traction he said for last practice he will change to a harder shock as well as adjusting the front roll centres just to see what difference that makes. Having tested here 2-weeks ago alongside Volker, describing the Yokomo driver’s advantage as a ‘crazy difference’, he said the track had more traction and he was able to run 18.5 lap times something which today is a struggle.

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Completing the Top 6 was Alexander Hagberg, the Xray driver saying it was ‘not perfect so far’. ‘Close to everyone except Ronald’ he said as they did not do pre-event testing like their rivals it was not bad considering their lack of track time. Looking for more high speed steering, the Swede plans to make a roll centre change on his ORCA powered T4 for his next run.

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‘Difficult’ was how HB’s Andy Moore summed up his run to the 7th fastest time. Describing it as a ‘great track’, the former World Champion said the traction is ‘very low’ and he is struggling to get the power down his prototype parts filled TCXX. Asked what he planned to change to try cure this he said he would discuss it to his mechanic and team boss Hiroyuki Kasuya who said their first goal was to make the car more stable and they would then work from there.

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Making his ETS debut this weekend, having arrived in from the UK in the early hours of this morning, David Spashett said he came here not expecting much and he is pretty much living up to that. Driving an ARC chassis, for which he is the UK distributor through ZEN Racing,  he said he is having great fun on what he said is a fantastic track. The 4-time World Champion has raced here before when he ran 2004 1:8 Onroad European Championships but the track has since had its famous Laguna Seca corkscrew added.  Delighted to finally being racing at an ETS event he said he is just here for fun and said ‘don’t expect me to be put any moves on anyone only maybe a move to the bar later’.

View the complete event results here.

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June 6, 2014

Chassis Focus – David Spashett

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Chassis – ARC R10 2013
Motor – G-Force 4.5
ESC – LRP Flow
Batteries – Trinity
Tires – Ride (handout)
Radio/Servo – Spektrum
Bodyshell – Blitz TSX

Remarks – The 4 time World & 13 time European Champion is at his first big race with his ARC chassis with the event also marking his debut in the ETS, one of the sport’s all time greats having stopped racing touring cars just the season before the series took life back in 2008. His R10 features a brand new chassis that is still at a prototype stage. Sporting a different outer shape, the design of the new graphite platform is meant to drastically change the flex, taking it away from the front and rear end and bringing it to the centre of the car. This solution also provides a single flex instead of two different movements, and it’s meant to make the car handle more precisely especially in the sweepers.

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June 6, 2014

Track Focus – Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”

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Track Name – Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”
Country – Luxembourg
Location – Luxembourg City
Host – Luxembourg Model Car Club (LMCC)
Surface – Asphalt
Direction – Anti-clockwise
No. of ETS Races hosted – 0

It might be a country with a population of only half a million people but Luxembourg can claim to be the home to one of the best tracks in Europe – Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”. Run by the Luxembourg Model Car Club, which started out on a nearby ‘Park & Ride’ car park, the track was built in 1999 after the club reached a long term agreement to rent a plot of land from the City of Luxembourg. Funding the building of the track themselves, the club hosted its first race in May 2000. Since then LMCC, which has a membership of 50, has hosted European Championships for 1:5 (2003), 1:10 Electric Touring (2009) and twice for 1:8 Onroad (2004 & 10). Playing host to Uwe Rheinard’s 24 Hour race for the first time last year, which it will do again later this year, this is the first time the ETS has travelled to Luxembourg with the decision to add it to the calendar for Season #7 hugely popular with racers.

With a 310 meter long lap, the track is most famed for its Laguna Seca corkscrew style corner which was added in 2007 when part of the infield was also modified. The drop of the corkscrew is in the region of 2 metres and is only truly appreciated when one physically walks back up it. At the end of the straight the track also features a 10 degree banked corner and its a track that modified cars can really come into their own. Last year the surface underwent a polishing using 1mm steel balls after chemicals used to spray the track during 2010 EFRA 1:8 Euros left the track with generally lower traction in particular for the clubs large percentage of 1:5 scale drivers.

Winner of the 2009 1:10 EP European Championship here, World Champion Jilles Groskamp describes the track as ‘exciting to drive’ adding the up & down elevations make it really interesting and different. Although the cars now have more power than in 2009, the Tamiya driver said they are now lapping slower as the polishing had reduced the overall grip. Loving the Laguna Seca section, he said while the sweeper at the end of the straight is good you need to be careful not to carry too much speed through it as a bump just after you come off it can unsettle the car. The Dutch ace said the fast chicane in the middle of the track is also a key point as you carry a lot of speed and it’s easy to lose time if you don’t get the curbing right. Reigning ETS Champion Ronald Volker called the track ‘one of the best in the world’ again because of its ‘unique up & down layout’. The German, who finished 3rd here in 2009, said the run out ot the Leguna Seca corner so as to get the best line onto the main straight is key with the fast chicane also a place where time can easily be lost. Like Groskamp, the Yokomo ace said the traction is not as good as before due to the polishing. A good lap time in the Ride Modified class is expected to be in the lap 18-second bracket.

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June 4, 2014

World Champion returns as ETS makes first visit to Luxembourg

World Champion returns as ETS makes first visit to Luxembourg

In contrast to the tight boards style track of Round 4 held at the fahr(T)raum Museum in Mattsee, Austria, the Yokomo Euro Touring Series travels for the first time to Luxembourg this weekend (6-8th June) to what is rated by many drivers as one of the greatest outdoor tracks in Europe – Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”. The penultimate round of the championship, the event marks the return of former champion Jilles Groskamp, the reigning World Champion having some great memories of the track as it was where the Tamiya Racing Factory driver won his first major title back in 2009. Another significant name on the 240 plus entry list is that of r/c racing legend David Spashett who despite many years of being involved in the championship as a sponsor will make his first race outing. Amassing an impressive 4 World Championship titles and 13 European crowns, Spashett will go up against the biggest current day names of the sport including Groskamp having entered the Ride Modified class in which he will be driving an ARC R10.

While there will be much interest in how both Groskamp and Spashett get on, in terms of the overall championship the weekend is set to focus on Team Yokomo’s Ronald Volker who could secure his fourth consecutive ETS title come Sunday evening. Winner of Round 2 of the championship, only Xray’s Alexander Hagberg can deny the German ace from wrapping things up before the season finale at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia next month.

A two time champion of the ETS, winning the first two seasons, Groskamp returns the championship for the first time since 2012 when he made his last appearance during Season #5 at Apeldoorn where he was part of an all Tamiya podium. A staunch early supporter of the ETS concept and still the championship’s third most winning driver, last season was the first time the now Thailand based Dutch ace missed a complete season, but his return comes at a track he relishes. The venue of his 2009 European Championship title when he beat Marc Rheinard and Volker, the only two drivers who have more ETS race wins to their names, he will be hoping he can repeat that success again this weekend.

A season that has produced three winners from four races, Volker’s win at fahr(t)raum making him the first double winner, the large Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” should make for super close racing. Most famous for its Laguna Seca corkscrew style corner, it is the perfect stage for producing winner number 4 of Season #7. Yannic Prumper put in one of the drives of the season in A2 at Round 4 putting his Yokomo team-mate Volker under immense pressure. In A3 the 20-year-old then saw off a strong challenge from 3-time World Champion Rheinard. Both drivers are hungry for their first win of the season and having nothing to lose in terms of the championship can go all out to achieve it.

Rheinard was much improved in Austria, despite losing his way a little in qualifying, and this weekend he will again have the support of TRF418 designer Kiyo Suzuki and top Japanese racer/Tamiya employee Takayuki Kono. He should also benefit from Groskamp’s presence, his team-mate known for technical input. Serpent’s Marc Fischer, still in search of that first Modified win for both himself and his team, has shown he has the speed finishing fourth in Mattsee and the German will be one to watch. Although he didn’t have a good return to the series at Round 4, Freddy Sudhoff should be another to watch as Awesomatix continue to improve their car on asphalt.