ATS Pilot Race
 

November 20, 2011

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.

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