ATS Pilot Race
 

November 30, 2011

Video – ATS Japan Highlights

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November 20, 2011

Video – Modified A-main Leg 3

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Video – Mod & Pro Stock A-main Leg 2

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Volker & Laptev victorious at Asian Touring Series pilot race

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Team Yokomo’s Ronald Volker and Awesomatix’s Ivan Laptev are the winners of the inaugural Asian Touring Series event held at the Yatabe Arena in Japan as part of the grand opening of the extension to the World famous r/c facility.  Top Qualifiers of their respective classes Volker and Laptev backed up their wins in the opening A-Main with a second win in Leg 2 to become champions of the pilot race that is a precursor to a full multi round ATS series similar to the successful ETS that already runs in Europe.

Having dominated qualifying with TQ runs in all five rounds of qualifying Volker came under intense pressure from Juho Levanen for the win in the opening leg managing to hold on by just 15/100th of a second.  Putting the performance down to running a fresh set of tyres the German ace reverted to his qualifying tyres for the second A-Main, the switch allowing him to take control of the race and win by a more comfortable one second advantage. Adding the ATS win to his domination of the opening round of the ETS in Germany three weeks ago, Volker said while he car was more edgy on the older tyres it was the right decision.  More edgy to drive he said he pushed hard for the opening few laps and once he had a one second gap over Levanen he just focused on maintaining it.  With Levanen putting in his fastest lap of the race on lap 10, Volker immediately responded with his fastest lap on lap 11 but said afterwards such a pace would not have been possible every lap as his tyres were starting to suffer.  Able to sit out the third A-Main, which Levanen went on to win ahead of Tamiya’s Akio Sobue, he said it was a good thing he wrapped up the win in Leg 2 as the tyres would not have been able for anymore laps which had done 7 runs.  Volker said he was delighted to win the first ever ATS event and it was especially nice to win in front of the large gathering of Yokomo staff that were in attendance at the race, Yokomo being the owner of the amazing Yatabe Arena.

Securing second overall and being the only driver to challenge Volker all weekend, Levanen was very pleased with the performance of the new suspension parts Associated have created for the TC6 which he said are a huge step forward for the car.  Unlike Volker, the Finn rotated his tyres from left to right each run allowing him to use the same set of tyres for three practice runs, the five qualifiers and all three legs of the A-Main, a rather impressive endorsement of the controlled Ride 28 tyres used here this weekend.  Commenting on the second main, the winner of the first ever ETS race, said his car was good but Volker just had the edge in the opening laps and try as hard as he did there was nothing he could do to close the gap.

Taking the honour of being the highest placed Japanese driver, TRF driver Sobue put in an impressive display of driving in the finals.  Qualifying fifth, third in the opening race and second in Leg 3 secured the talented 17-year-old a well deserved 3rd overall for a prize presentation that saw three different manufacturers step onto the podium.

Having got the better of Sobue in Leg 2 when he snatched third from the Tamiya driver in the closing laps, Japanese National Champion Naoto Matsukura missed out on the podium after a hectic closing race in which he finished 5th.  Having shown well in qualifying Team Xray’s Alexander Hagberg will be disappointed with fifth overall.  Starting third on the grid his opening race lasted just two laps and in the second encounter he struggled to keep his car on four wheels eventually finishing 5th. Setting the fastest lap of Leg 3 Hagberg finished third ahead of Lucas Urbain, a result that would move him ahead of the French driver in the final overall result.

In Pro Stock Laptev said it was very satisfying to add another international win to the CV of the unique Awesomatix chassis.  Having struggled in the opening Main in which Radek Flek looked like he was going to get him for the win until he made a mistake, the ETS Pro stock race winner said with the A700 back on the set-up he used in qualifying the car was a lot more comfortable to drive.  Having also programmed his speedo correctly it was also a lot more controllable now that he had brakes.  Sitting out the final leg, this left Flek to take his Yokomo to a very comfortable win over Japan’s Kyoichi Matumoto who was also driving a BD5.  Repeating his third place finish in the opening leg in A-Main No.3 Swiss driver Sandro Kuriger made it an all European podium in the 17.5 Pro Stock class as he took the final step alongside Laptev and Flek.

Supported by Yokomo, the Asian Touring Series pilot race couldn’t have selected a more perfect location than the Yatabe Arena to showcase the concept behind a full series next year.  In addition to the main touring car event, the weekend also featured an off road event run on their indoor clay track and a huge r/c Drift event creating a great atmosphere.  Attracting drivers from 15 nations, the inaugural ATS has set the stage for a series that will hopefully give electric touring car racing a much needed boost in Asia similar to the positive effect the Euro Touring Series has had on the class in Europe over the past few seasons.

Modified Overall Result
1.(1) Ronald Völker (DE) – Yokomo/LRP – 2 pts
2.(2) Juho Levanen (FI) – Associated/Reedy – 3
3.(5) Akio Sobue (JP) – Tamiya/Speed Passion – 5
4.(4) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo/Nosram – 7
5.(3) Alexander Hagberg (SE) – Xray/LRP – 8
6.(6) Lucas Urbain (FR) – Yokomo/Speed Passion – 9
7.(7) E.C Kim (KR) – Kyosho/Muchmore – 12
8.(9) Yuugo Nagashima (JP) – Yokomo/Nosram – 13
9.(10)Yamauchi Takehiro (JP) – Yokomo/Yokomo – 15
10.(8)Martin Hudy (SK) – Xray/LRP – 16

Pro Stock Overall Result
1.(1) Ivan Laptev (RU) – Awesomatix – 2
2.(2) Radek Flek (CZ) – Yokomo – 3
3.(6) Sandro Kuriger (CH) – Yokomo – 6
4.(4) Yuta Koike (JP) – Hot Bodies – 7
5.(9) Kyoichi Matumoto (JP) – Yokomo – 8
6.(3) Kiyoto Kanno (JP) – Xray – 10
7.(5) Toni Mateo (ES) – Yokomo – 10
8.(7) Francesco Martini (IT) – Xray – 14
9.(8) Yoshihiro Abe (JP) – Tamiya – 15
10.(10)Siegel Toki (JP) – Yokomo – 18

View the complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.

Video – Mod & Pro Stock A-main Leg 1

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Levanen comes close to denying Volker in first A-Main

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Juho Levanen came very close to ending Ronald Volker’s domination of the Asian Touring Series pilot race at the Yatabe Arena in Japan with the Team Associated driver finishing just 15/100th behind the Team Yokomo driver.  Japanese talent Akio Sobue put in a very competitive race making it three different cars in the top 3 as he secured third with his Tamiya TRF417.

Starting from pole position it was expected that Volker would quickly check out but once Levanen settled into the race he was able to close down on the German.  The only driver to beat Volker on carpet last season during his successful campaign to become the Euro Touring Series Champion, Levanen really put the pressure on the Top Qualifier who would make a mistake but trying to avoid the out of shape BD5 the Finn was forced to go around the outside and couldn’t pull off the pass.  Not aware that the loop had moved from the main straight position used in qualifying to in front of the timing tower for the finals due to the griding of the car, Levanen had his last lap challenge cut short.

Switching to his second set of race tyres for the opening A-Main Volker said this together with it being a lot warmer in the Yatabe Arena meant his car lost a lot of corner speed. Planning to switch back to his qualifying tyres for the second A-Main he said he hopes this will ensure he doesn’t have to work as hard for the win this time round.

Setting the fastest lap of the race, Levanen said during the opening laps he thought his TC6 wasn’t good but noticing the rest of the field was also slower he focused on catching Volker.  Reeling him in he was to show great patience as he ran on his rival’s rear bumper.  Clearly faster through the sweeper at the end of the main straight which leads into the timing loop, the former European Champion said had he known the loop had moved he would have thrown his much improved TC6, which is running new suspension parts at the ATS, down the inside of his rival on the final run to the line.

Behind Tamiya Racing Factory’s Sobue, who started 5th on the grid, Naoto Matsukura recovered from a moment on the opening lap that dropped him down the pack to finally get passed Yokomo team-mate Lucas Urbain to claim fourth. For Alexander Hagberg his race ended early when he hit a board which caused his Xray to bounce back out in front of the pursuing pack. Hit hard by another car his race was over with the impact causing a rear hub to break.

In the opening Pro Stock final Ivan Laptev took the win over Radek Flek but the Russian came under pressure from the Czech driver until a mistake on the penultimate lap.  Laptev said afterwards he had made the wrong set-up for the race and will revert to his qualifying set-up on the Awesomatix A700 for Race 2.  A winner in the Euro Touring Series Pro Stock class which uses a Speed Passion controlled speedo rather than the Yokomo Unit being used here, he said he just discovered that settings he put into the speedo are not the same as on the unit he uses in Europe and now with the correct brake settings he is confident he will have greater pace next time out.  Switerland’s Sandro Kuriger enjoyed a good opening race finishing third from 6th on the grid.

Modified A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(1) Ronald Völker (DE) – Yokomo – 19/5:00.141
2.(2) Juho Levanen (FI) – Team Associated – 19/5:00.318
3.(5) Akio Sobue (JP) – Tamiya – 19/5:02.153
4.(4) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 19/5:06.656
5.(6) Lucas Urbain (FR) – Yokomo – 19/5:07.585
6.(7) E.C Kim (KR) – Kyosho – 19/5:08.633
7.(9) Yuugo Nagashima (JP) – Yokomo – 19/5:13.168
8.(8) Martin Hudy (SK) – Xray – 19/5:13.906
9.(10)Yamauchi Takehiro (JP) – Yokomo – 19/5:15.622
10.(3)Alexander Hagberg (SE) – Xray – 2/0:20.023

Pro Stock A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(1) Ivan Laptev (RU) – Awesomatix – 18/5:12.589
2.(2) Radek Flek (CZ) – Yokomo – 18/5:16.304
3.(6) Sandro Kuriger (CH) – Yokomo – 17/5:01.419
4.(4) Yuta Koike (JP) – Hot Bodies – 17/5:02.539
5.(5) Toni Mateo (ES) – Yokomo – 17/5:05.557
6.(9) Kyoichi Matumoto (JP) – Yokomo – 17/5:08.064
7.(3) Kiyoto Kanno (JP) – Xray – 17/5:17.174
8.(8) Yoshihiro Abe (JP) – Tamiya – 17/5:17.571
9.(7) Francesco Martini (IT) – Xray – 17/5:17.865
10.(10)Siegel Toki (JP) – Yokomo – 13/5:03.654

View the complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.

Volker completes perfect quali at Yatabe

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Yesterday he wrapped up the honour of being Top Qualifier for the inaugural Asian Touring Series and this morning at the Yatabe Arena Ronald Volker got even faster, completing the perfect qualification by making it five TQ runs from five rounds. Running the only 15 second lap of the Japanese event in the final qualifier, the Euro Touring Series Champion said his BD5 WXi was a lot more difficult to drive this morning with the car feeling very edgy but the end result was the fastest 5-minute run of the weekend.  The German said the run gives him even more confidence for the final and the only change they will make to the car is a new set of tyres that he scrubbed in in this morning’s open practice session.

Setting the second fastest time in Q5 to secure second on grid for this afternoon’s A-Mains, Team Associated’s Juho Levanen says his tyre strategy might now not have been the right decision.  Not happy with the feeling of his TC6 on new tyres the Finn has ran the entire qualification on one set of the control Ride tyres along with running three practices.  With seven runs on the tyres, Levanen said in the final qualifier he felt they were starting to go off.  With his second allocated set of tyres still new he said he must risk continuing with his first set of tyres for the finals as up to now they still offer a better performance than fresh tyres but the former European Champion admits he is not sure they will survive three more runs.

Team Xray’s Alexander Hagberg lines up third on the grid but the Swede said his T3 2012 felt very different and slow in the final qualifier and he is not really sure why.  Hagberg said he didn’t want to make any excuses for his lack of pace but said the only change he made was to run his second set of tyres.  A mistake on lap 14 cost him almost 3 seconds but Hagberg said even without this he didn’t have the pace to challenge Levanen for second spot on the grid.  Asked about his chances in the finals he said it was going to be an interesting race but feels he can give Levanen a run for his money but said both Naoto Matsukura and Tamiya Racing Factory’s Akio Sobue are quick and can’t be counted out.

Third fastest in the last qualifier with his fastest run of the weekend Matsukura will be the highest placed Japanese driver on the grid lining up 4th just in front of another of the country’s young talents Sobue.  The Japanese National Champion said his Yokomo suffered a little with understeer but planning to switch to softer shock oil for the opening A-Main the 18-year-old said he is feeling confident for the final and with the track layout offering good opportunities to pass he is aiming for second on the podium behind his team-mate Volker.

Making his first A-Main appearance at an international event for some time France’s Lucas Urbain said it was a great feeling to be back as it been a long time.  The Yokomo driver, who will start 6th, switched to a lighter oil in the rear diff of his BD5 WXi for the final qualifier and said it cured the snap oversteer he had suffered yesterday.  Now lacking a little steering he said he will fill the diff with more oil for the finals which should give him more turn in.  Getting his confidence back after a very tough season the former European Championship finalist said he still needs has to work on his driving but said for now he happy to be heading in the right direction.

Completing the grid for the main event will be multiple Korean Champion E.C Kim driving a Kyosho, Team Xray’s Martin Hudy and Japanese youngsters Yuugo Nagashima and Takehiro Yamauchi both driving Yokomos.

In Pro Stock factory Awesomatix driver Ivan Laptev is the Top Qualifier after he topped Q5 ahead of the Yokomo of Radek Flek who will start second on the grid.  Laptev said he expects a good race with the Czech driver.  The Russian said the balance of his A700 is always changing which can be tricky and so he needs to be careful not to push too hard from the start.  Driving an Xray, Kiyoto Kanno is the top Japanese qualifier starting third on the grid which features six different nationalities.  In GT500 Kouji Okumura secured pole position with a TQ run in this morning’s final round of qualifying.

Modified A-Main Grid
1. Ronald Völker (DE) – Yokomo – 310 pts
2. Juho Levanen (FI) – Team Associated – 306
3. Alexander Hagberg (SE) – Xray – 305
4. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 303
5. Akio Sobue (JP) – Tamiya – 302
6. Lucas Urbain (FR) – Yokomo – 298
7. E.C Kim (KR) – Kyosho – 297
8. Martin Hudy (SK) – Xray – 297
9. Yuugo Nagashima (JP) – Yokomo – 297
10.Yamauchi Takehiro (JP) – Yokomo – 293

Pro Stock A-Main Grid
1. Ivan Laptev (RU) – Awesomatix – 310pts
2. Radek Flek (CZ) – Yokomo – 310
3. Kiyoto Kanno (JP) – Xray – 305
4. Yuta Koike (JP) – Hot Bodies – 304
5. Toni Mateo (ES) – Yokomo – 303
6. Sandro Kuriger (CH) – Yokomo – 303
7. Francesco Martini (IT) – Xray – 302
8. Yoshihiro Abe (JP) – Tamiya – 298
9. Kyoichi Matumoto (JP) – Yokomo – 298
10.Siegel Toki (JP) – Yokomo – 295

View the complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.

November 19, 2011

Volker Top Qualifier for inaugural ATS event

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Ronald Volker is the Top Qualifier for the inaugural Asian Touring Series event after the German dominated today’s four rounds of qualifying at the World famous Yatabe Arena in Japan.  With two of the five rounds to count, the Team Yokomo leader put pole position beyond the reach of his closest rivals Juho Levanen and Alexander Hagberg with his fourth straight TQ run and the focus for tomorrow morning’s final qualifier will now be on who will line-up second on the grid behind the ETS Champion.

While the order at the top of the time sheets was familiar with Volker heading Levanen and Hagberg, Akio Sobue enjoyed his best result on what was a slower run for most of the drivers.  Benefiting from a troubled run for Naoto Matsukura who was classified 16th, the Tamiya backed 17-year-old took the fourth fastest time. Behind the Japanese National finalist was three times Korean National Champion E.C Kim. A member of the Much More backed team that has traveled to Japan for the ATS event team, he didn’t have a good start to the day as he was disqualified from Q1 after a change of battery left his Kyosho underweight.  The 24-year-old’s day has since improved and he sits 8th in the overnight qualification ranking, one point behind Martin Hudy.

One of the few drivers to produce their fastest time of qualifying in the fourth round, Lucas Urbain matched his 6th position placing from Q2. Leaving the Team Yokomo driver sixth overall the former European Championship finalist should make tomorrow’s A-Main line up putting an end to what has been a lean season for the French driver.

Another driver to end his day with his fastest time is young Central RC Team Xray driver Takayuki Inoue. Runner-up to Matsukura at the Japanese Nationals in September Takayuki took his T3 2012 to the 8th fastest time and currently holds the BQ position and so will be hoping for another good run in the morning’s fifth and final qualifier.

In the Pro Stock class Radek Flek secured his second TQ run of the day and sits second overall tied on points with Ivan Laptev.  The Czech driver took Q4 by over 4 seconds from the Awesomatix of Laptev after the Russian lost four seconds on his opening lap.  Swiss driver Sandro Kuriger who has changed from a Tamiya to a Yokomo chassis since arriving in Japan took third in the penultimate qualifier ahead of Italian Xray driver Francesco Martini with Kiyoto Kanno, also driving an Xray, once again the fastest Japanese driver in the 17.5Turn Speed Passion handout motor class.  In the GT500 class Kato Takashi who TQ’d the first two qualifiers, holds the overnight Top Qualifier honours from Tadashi Hattori who topped Q4 with the fastest time so far for the very detailed looking GT class which is based on a controlled extended 1:12 Yokomo chassis.

Modified Qualification Ranking (after Round 4 of 5)
1. Ronald Völker (DE) – Yokomo – 310 pts
2. Juho Levanen (FI) – Team Associated – 306
3. Alexander Hagberg (SE) – Xray – 305
4. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 302
5. Akio Sobue (JP) – Tamiya – 301
6. Lucas Urbain (FR) – Yokomo – 298
7. Martin Hudy (SK) – Xray – 297
8. E.C Kim (KR) – Kyosho – 296
9. Yuugo Nagashima (JP) – Yokomo – 296
10.Yamauchi Takehiro (JP) – Yokomo – 293

Pro Stock Qualification Ranking (after Round 4 of 5)
1. Ivan Laptev (RU) – Awesomatix – 310pts
2. Radek Flek (CZ) – Yokomo – 310
3. Kiyoto Kanno (JP) – Xray – 305
4. Yuta Koike (JP) – Hot Bodies – 304
5. Toni Mateo (ES) – Yokomo – 303
6. Francesco Martini (IT) – Xray – 302
7. Sandro Kuriger (CH) – Yokomo – 301
8. Kyoichi Matumoto (JP) – Yokomo – 297
9. Yoshihiro Abe (JP) – Tamiya – 296
10.Keita Toki (JP) – Yokomo – 294

View the complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.

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Spektrum Hot Bodies Kyosho LRP Orion Much More Tamiya Thunder Power Associated Protoform Tonisport ETS Red RC MyRCM