Thursday, 14 April 2011

Day 7 - Qualifying IFMAR 2011 1/8 On road World Championships

Day 7 now is over and 2 rounds of qualifying have been completed.
Current standings are below:
Bare in mind that in 1/8 onroad qualifying is not based on points but on outright best time for each driver out of 6 attempts (well 4 for this event due to the cancelation of day 1) so this means that today if conditions are better than yesterday the standings may change completely or if the track is worse than yesterday they might remain exactly as they are. In other words, nothing is final yet. 

1) Pietsch, Robert DEU (37/10:12.769 R1)
   2) Balestri, Dario ITA (37/10:14.446 R1)
   3) Hara, Atsushi JPN (37/10:19.342 R1)
   4) Shimo, Takaaki JPN (36/10:00.085 R1)
   5) Ielasi, Daniele ITA (36/10:00.890 R2)
   6) Terauchi, Takehiro JPN (36/10:01.206 R1)
   7) Morganti, Paolo USA (36/10:02.815 R1)
   8) Romagnoli, Michele ITA (36/10:04.437 R1)
   9) Verjak, Meen THA (36/10:04.739 R1)
   10) Salemi, Walter ITA (36/10:04.889 R2)
   11) Shimazaki, Shinya JPN (36/10:05.307 R1)
   12) Salven, Michael DEU (36/10:05.691 R2)
   13) Fukuda, Keisuke JPN (36/10:06.490 R1)
   14) Vrielijnck, Rick NLD (36/10:06.710 R1)
   15) Elias, Flavio BRA (36/10:07.048 R1)
   16) Cyrul, Josh USA (36/10:07.384 R2)
   17) D'Hondt, Robin BEL (36/10:07.828 R1)
   18) Pirani, Andrea ITA (36/10:08.615 R2)
   19) Green, Mark GBR (36/10:09.140 R1)
   20) Branson, Kyle GBR (36/10:10.884 R2)

During the day LiveRC had the chance to interview Atsushi Hara and they would read questions posted from viewers on the chat room and ask Hara.
I will point out whatever  I can remember that Hara said:
• Friends and family are fine following the big earthquake, but north east Japan is suffering. They are showing their support with special decals / stickers all the Japanese team have made and wear on their clothes and on their cars
• Only drove for 2 days his Mrx-5 prior to this race
• Reason he chose Mugen is because of his close friend who manufactures tyres, Zac Project
• To make better runtime you actually need to drive harder on the throttle in order to maintain 2nd gear engaged as frequent use of 1st gear eats up fuel
• He runs Protoform P909 ‘Pro-Lite’ bodies 0.025” thick.
• He only sent std lightweight bodies to his painter “BrainSpeedGraphix” so he is not sure if he will use them as the ‘Pro-lite’ bodies do make the car a bit faster, more responsive. If he qualifies in top 4, he will test the std lightweight body 0.030”thick with his popular colors and if it does not affect his laptimes or runtime he will use it in the main final.
• Next time to race 1/8 onroad: in 2 years at the next WC
• Will HB/HPI built a 1/8 onroad car: Cannot say they won’t, but its not in their near future plans. They would really like to though, if they could find the time to develop it.
• He will attend the Ready Race 1/10 EP Touring
• He will attend the next IIC race
• He will not race the new HB CR8 buggy at the NeoBuggy Race and he doesn’t know when it will be available. They still have a few more months of testing to do.
• Favorite class: 1/8 scale buggy
• Reason?: Driver is the biggest factor
• Will race 1/10 nitro touring in the upcoming WC which take place in Asia (Thailand I think.)
• Missing the 2010 1/8 buggy title by less than 2 seconds to Cody King made him feel the opposite to winning in 2008 by the same margin from Truhe. He won it when he was the outsider and Truhe the favorite and he lost it when he was the favorite and Cody the outsider or at least not as hot favorite as himself, Tebo and Mayfield.
In addition to Hara, Masami Hirosaka is also present at this race, as a spectator, enjoying the show. He was interviewed by Barry Baker but being near the front straight the noise made communication difficult so it was not easy to make a good conversation. If I understood correctly he mentioned something about retirement and helping IFMAR but I am not sure.
He did say he is excited by this class and the performance of fellow country man, Atsushi Hara.
So far, watching from I think the most impressive run in qualifying was Dario Balestri’s run in round 1. Not only his Novarossi is ballistic, his car could handle the power, drifting less than what we usually see in 1/8 and being very consistant in every lap. The only reason he lost TQ was due to a slow stop. 

Robert Pietsch is also very impressive, with very quick pit stops and a lot of fun to watch him drive the car by its…

Atsushi is certainly the smoothest of all and that may be playing a part to his great runtime on one tank. His car doesn’t slide a bit and his lines are inch perfect and consistant. His 2nd run was going to be a fast one but he lost time when he overturned trying to lap Fantini.
The rest are yet to put in 37 laps but I am sure this will change this afternoon.
Final note: DO NOT COUNT OUT COLLARI.. I bet he is just thinking whether to nail a good run in the last qualifier and promote himself in the top 4 or make things more exciting and advance to the main final through the semis or even quarter finals like he did in Messina in 2005 when he won one of his 9 titles from 10th spot on the grid.
Qualifying rounds 3 & 4 just started.
Here are the heat lists
Round 3
Round 4 

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