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Phend tops 1st Controlled Practice in Perth

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Actualité du 05/11/2018

Phend tops 1st Controlled Practice in Perth

With things finally getting official at the 1:8 Offroad World Championships after 6 free practice runs over 4 days, it was Dakotah Phend who topped the opening round of controlled practice in Perth, Australia. The TLR driver posted a best time of 1:39.697 for his fastest 3-consecutive laps to set the pace ahead of Xray’s Bruno Coelho. Running in the heat just before Phend, Coelho managed a time of 1:39.957 around the MORBC track with both drivers having an almost identical fastest lap. Running in Heat 13 of 18, Davide Ongaro would complete the Top 3 followed by Jared Tebo, Naoto Matsukura and Australia’s own Aaron Stringer. For reigning champion David Ronnefalk, who topped the final free practice yesterday, the first of the 2 seeding rounds would see him with the 7th fastest time, a full second down on Phend.

Reacting to topping the first seeding round, Phend, who was in the second last heat to run, said, ‘We made a lot of changes and we are a lot closer than yesterday. Running AKA’s Catapult Soft-Long Wear tyre, the American added, ‘the changes we made were really good but the grip came up too. We will try to get the car a little safer with a few more changes for the next one’. Asked his thoughts on the track he replied, ‘It flows well and its a little tighter and technical than other 1:8 tracks. It’s nice’.

‘2nd is very good’, was how Coelho summed up his pace. With his offroad super star team-mate Ty Tessmann only 45th fastest having had his run early in the round on a wet track, the newly crowned Touring Car World Champion added, ‘we are still working on set-up and tyre compound but overall it is looking very good’. Using Proline’s Buckshot tyre to set his time but also trying Fugitives during the 10-minute run the European Champion said, ‘we still need to improve the car because it is difficult to drive but we have a good team working on finding something to improve it’. Travelling to Australia straight after contesting the opening round of the Euro Touring Series in Vienna last weekend, asked about the change of track he replied, ‘It’s really fun. It’s not super difficult but it’s fast. It has a nice flow. There is no section that breaks the flow. I like it.’

A driver who shot to prominence at the last World Championships in Las Vegas, Ongaro was content with his pace saying it ‘was better than yesterday’. In yesterday’s single round of practice, the Team Associated driver had to contend with a wet track, ending up 24th fastest, a full 3-seconds off the pace of Ronnefalk who topped the times. Describing the track as ‘nice to drive’, the Italian added that he is still working on finding the best line through the steps section at the back of the track where if he can get the car to run more straight he can gain some time. The 17-year-old is currently running the new compound of AKA’s Catapult tyre but faced again with a wet track for the second of the two seeding runs on today’s schedule he will change the front sway bar.

Having ‘screwed up’ yesterday in the final free practice, Tebo describe his CP1 effort as ‘awesome’. The Kyosho driver said, ‘the car was really good and I finally picked the right tyre at the right time’. Using a new and as yet unnamed tyre AKA has brought to Australia, he added, ‘I was not the fastest on 3-laps but overall the 10-minutes was really good’. He added, ‘I screwed up my wet heat last night, hopefully it will be better today but they are watering the track less so the tyre choice should be similar. I will keep the car the same and just focus on tyre choice for a wet track and cooler conditions’. Describing the track as ’super fun’, he said, ‘it has a good flow which suits my driving style’.

Fresh from becoming the 1:10 200mm Onroad World Champion in Miami 9-days ago, Matsukura joked, ‘this is completely different’. The Infinity team driver, who has chosen to run a Mugen in Perth as his team have yet to add a 1:8 Offroad chassis to its ever growing product line-up, copied the set-up Mugen factory driver Ryan Mayfield for CP1 saying it ‘works good’ and that ‘the feeling of the car is good’. With his most recent offroad outing the 2018 Indonesian Challenge over 2-months ago, the Japanese driver added that is biggest issue is he ‘need(s) more practice to get back into offroad mode’. Running JConcepts Reflex tyre in blue compound the Japanese driver said another challenge is how much the track changes between each run – the gap between the two runs a day a common complaint among racers.

Ronnefalk put his P7 down to increased traction and traffic. The HB Racing driver said, ‘the traction was higher than it has ever been. We expected it to be grippy but not that high’. With his ‘set-up too soft in the shock oil we used and the also the diffs’, he added he also had ‘major issues with traffic’. Managing 4-clean laps at the start he said ‘every other lap I had issues but as long as your Top 24 your good for the Top 2 heats’. Using JConcepts R2 Stocker tyre he said they are his tyre of choice for the race but with his next run at 18:45 this evening right after the track’s scheduled watering he said they will have to see what they will do concluding ‘the track is not going to dry at that time’.

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Source : Red RC - RC Car News Nos autres news du 05/11/2018
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