Thailand International Touring Car Race

Race report by Jilles Groskamp

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This years TITC was held at the superb RCS speedway in the middle of Bangkok, Thailand. RCS speedway is one of the best RC facilities in Thailand and I would say the best in all of Asia. The track could be modified in many different layouts and is always very challenging. The pit area and the catering are simply amazing and the Thai people are very friendly and take care of all drivers at anytime. The weather is very nice, for some people a little bit too hot!

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Most top drivers from Asia and Europe made the trip as well as some Americans such as the famous race announcer Scotty Ernst and the always helpful Charlie Suangka from Novak USA. Also many drivers from Australia participated this race such as top stock XRAY driver Luc Botton and modified XRAY top gun Jake Zarb. Of course most drivers were from Thailand like local hero and world champ Surikarn. The biggest surprise was local driver Meen V also running an XRAY T2’007 for the first time and looking really strong in the modified class.

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The control tyres were the Ride 36R which was also used at last year’s Worlds.

I arrived on Wednesday morning after some hectic weeks of racing in the USA. Prior to this race I participated at the Snowbirds and Winternats. To come straight from the USA to Thailand was a bit difficult but soon I forgot the time difference and enjoyed the racing and the nice atmosphere.

In practice I struggled a bit with the set-up and of course running electric with rubber tyres instead of nitro with foam tyres was a bit difficult in the beginning. Soon I noticed that Meen V was really good on pace and I checked his set-up so I went on further from there.

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Differences between my set-up that I started with and his set-up were springs, roll center and droop setting. Meen V ran his T2’007 with the low rollcenter blocks and lower camber links to generate more traction. Also, a lot harder springs in front to get more steering in the tight section of the track and smoother steering in the long sweepers. Less downstop or more uptravel front and rear gave the car a better balance and the car drove very easily after these changes.

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On Saturday there were 4 qualification rounds. Early and in the middle of the day the track was very hot with track temp of over 65°C. This made it hard for tyres and motors. In the last qualification the track temp got a lot cooler and soon it was clear that the track was at least 0.4sec a lap faster. Up to this time I didn’t qualify for the A main so I needed a good run.

In this rocket round I did what I had to do and qualified 4th in the A main. Atsushi was very unlucky with a big crash in this qualifier which put him 5th on the grid. Current World Champ Andy Moore had a perfect run and really did kick everybody with an ultimate 21 laps!

In the last round of qualifying on Sunday nobody improved their best time anymore due to the hot track temp.

These were the results after qualifying for the Modified A main:

1. Andy Moore
2. Hupo Honigl
3. Ronald Volker
4. Jilles Groskamp XRAY T2’007
5. Atsushi Hara
6. Meen V XRAY T2’007
7. Marc Rheinard
8. Shin Adachi
9. Olly Jefferies
10.Thomas Pumpler

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Surikarn had the worst luck of all and finished in the B main due to a mistake in the rocket round on Saturday night; he was in the Top 3 all week until this round.

The first Main was not a good show and with many crashes only 5 drivers finished the race.
This final was won by Ronald Volker followed by Hupo and Thomas (starting from 10th). Marc and I were involved in a crash on the straight which ended our race soon, as well as Andy.

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Much unfair driving happened in this final so after the race some of the drivers sat together and decided that we needed someone to control the upcoming finals with a better referee. We asked Scotty Ernst – who has a lot of experience at big races – to keep us all under control for the upcoming mains.

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So the second main saw a nice clean start. Andy pulled away a bit from the pack followed by Hupo and Ronald. Last year’s winner Marc Rheinard and runner up Atsushi Hara were not on pace this year and struggled a lot in the mains. Andy won the second main followed by Hupo and myself. Ronald made a costly mistake which dropped him back to 6th in this final.

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So the last final was still very exciting as Andy and Ronald both had one win and Hupo had two 2nd place finishes. This final was controlled by Andy who led from beginning to end. Ronald pushed hard to get by but had to settle for 2nd place. I had a good battle with Hupo for 3rd and at the finish line I took 3rd followed by MeenV and Hupo.

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So the final result was Andy followed by Ronald and Hupo. I finished 4th and MeenV 5th.
We were very disappointed for Atsushi and Marc, who finished 9th and 10th, as they had dominated this event last year.

Luc Botton drove himself into the A main of the Stock class and finished in a strong 6th place overall. Well done Luc!

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Special thanks goes to Noppakao, the track owner for putting up a great event!
Many thanks goes to Luc Botton for all the help and putting my car on the grid.
I also want to thank Scotty for the help in the mains and making it a nice and fair race for everyone.

Jilles Groskamp Set-up sheet.

Source : XRAY

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