Bruno Coelho has taken a record equalling fourth TITC win but his victory at the 20th edition of the race is set to be remembered for incidents rather than the result equalling record achieved in Bangkok. Having qualified second behind Top Qualifier Ronald Volker, the Xray driver would make contact with his Mugen Seiki rival in the opening two A-Mains resulting in a wide open race going into A3. This time however Volker would spin on his own early on allowing Coelho to take the leg ahead of team-mate Alexander Hagberg, winner of A2. Giving Xray an overall 1-2 in the legendary touring car race, it also sees Coelho join Atsushi Hara as the races most winning driver. The benefactor of the Top 2 qualifiers’ clash in A1 but retiring from A2, Marc Rheinard would complete the podium at RC Addict for Awesomatix with a P3 in the final encounter ahead of Volker. For Volker, the high of taking the TQ honours after his B-Main appearance last year was overshadowed by the disappointment of being classified 6th overall. As a race that has become the most significant in the World for touring car racing & its manufacturers, and which is on par if not exceeding the dept of competitiveness of the World Championship, going forward it might be time for ‘the World’s biggest local race’ to consider appointing a referee to ensure the amazing atmosphere that surrounds the TITC is not overshadowed by incidents on track.
Simon Lauter executed the perfect TITC race debut by taking the win in the Bangkok race’s biggest class Open Brushless realising a fourth consecutive win for his chassis sponsor Awesomatix. Having secured the overall TQ at RC Addict over the Xray of Adam Izsay, it took all three A-Mains to decide the overall winner with some intense and at times aggressive driving with even the crowd getting involved in expressing their disappointment for a lack of respect being shown by drivers. In A1, Izsay armed with new tyres would take the win ahead of Lauter after late contact from the Hungarian robbed the Top Qualifier of what was looking like a well defended win. In A2, Lauter capitalised on new tyres to take a convincing win by over 3-seconds from team-mate Louis Kretschmer as Izsay dropped down to 4th. With all to play for in A3, it was again advantage Izsay as he had new tyres. While the German again tried to defend from the front, Izsay made contact with him again ruining Lauter’s race and earning Izsay a Stop & Go penalty. With Kretschmer taking the third win, Lauter’s A2 winning time would give him the Title ahead of his fellow countryman with Izsay completing the podium. With an unwritten TITC rule that the winner of the Open Brushless can’t race the category again, Lauter has already confirmed his intentions to return to the TITC in 12 months time and step up to the Modified class.
Having made contact in A1 and handed the win to Marc Rheinard, A2 at the TITC once again saw a clash between Bruno Coelho and Ronald Volker only this time it was Alexander Hagberg who was there to pick up the pieces. A result that leaves the 20th edition of the legendary Bangkok based race wide open going into A3, the second encounter saw Top Qualifier Volker and Coelho again the class of the field with a much improved Hagberg able to hang with them as they pulled clear. Watched on by a huge crowd at RC Addict, as the race approached the final minute mark, Coelho was putting huge pressure on Volker who ran wide in a number of corners. As they exited the S section on the right side of the track on Lap 15, Coelho attempted a pass on the inside of the German with a tighter line but as they got on the power contact was made sending both cars into a spin. While Coelho again allowed Volker to resume position, with Hagberg going by to take lead, another broken anti tuck rod meant Volker’s race was done. Pulling up in front of the drivers stand the former World Champion vented his anger & frustration at Coelho, the current World Champion and defending TITC Champion continuing the final to finish P2 ahead of Infinity’s Naoto Matsukura.
Marc Rheinard has taken the win in the opening A-Main at the TITC, the Awesomatix handed the lead after Bruno Coelho made contact with Top Qualifier Ronald Volker as he challenged the Mugen driver’s lead. With the Top 2 quickly pulling clear off the field, Rheinard’s passage to the front started when he capitalised on a mistake from a struggling Alexander Hagberg to go to third. Starting third on the grid, Hagberg afterwards described his car as being ‘like driving on ice’ before contact from Naoto Matsukura put him out of the race with a broken car. With Volker and Coelho still locked in battle at the front as the race passed the half way distance, Rheinard would be gifted the lead as Coelho ran into the rear of Volker after the chicane. With enough of a gap to resume racing in the lead, unfortunately the impact had broken the anti tuck on Volker’s car and as the German tried to turn around having been spun his car flipped. As Coelho waited on Volker, Rheinard went to the front where he would stay finishing 1.6 seconds ahead of the Infinity of Matsukura. Battling their way back up through the order Volker would finished 3rd with Coelho right behind in 4th.
Having found himself lining up for the B-Main 12-months ago, Mugen Seiki’s Ronald Volker has bounced in style to become the Top Qualifier at the 20th edition of the legendary TITC in Thailand. Opening Day 2 of qualifying in Bangkok with a TQ run after a mistake from defending Champion Bruno Coelho, Volker added a second TQ in the slower than expected fourth & final ‘Rocket Round’ on Saturday evening. With the huge entry of drivers from around the world watching on in anticipation of a thrilling conclusion to qualifying from the top heat, the showdown between Coelho and Volker would all be over in a matter of seconds. As Volker led out Q4, Coelho would make a false start going off at the same time as team-mate Alexander Hagberg. Backing off the throttle after realising his error, getting back on the power he traction rolled his Xray in the first corner. With the Portuguese driver who took both of yesterday’s qualifiers now out of contention for Q4, the pressure was still on Volker to TQ the round in order to deny his rival pole for tomorrow. With Infinity driver Kouki Kato putting in an impressive run in the fourth fastest of the five Modified heat group, Volker couldn’t let up and in the end delivered a second TQ run followed by Kato with Hagberg third from the Awesomatix pairing of Marc Rheinard and Lucas Urbain. That finishing order his how they line up on the grid behind Volker and Bruno with Kato, a C finalist on his TITC debut last year, completing the Top 6.
Ronald Volker has taken the third round of qualifying at the TITC, meaning the final ‘Rocket Round’ of qualifying in Bangkok will decide the Top Qualifier for the 20th running of the famed race. Top Seed for the event, the Mugen driver would take his first TQ run as Bruno Coelho traction rolled his Xray with 1-minute to go while on TQ pace. This promoted Volker to the top of the timing screens followed by Alexander Hagberg as Coelho ended up with a P3. Behind the leading trio Awesomatix’s Lucas Urbain finally posted a strong run after a difficult first day of qualifying at RC Addict yesterday. Behind the Frenchman was team-mate Marc Rheinard with Axon’s Hayato Ishioka completing the Top 6 in today very humid afternoon conditions.
With Day 1 of qualifying at the 20th edition of the TITC complete it is Bruno Coelho who holds the overnight TQ in Bangkok. The Xray driver would take both rounds of qualifying on today’s schedule helped by top seed Ronald Volker having a 360 spin while on TQ pace run in Q2. The second of the four qualifiers would be a repeat of the opening round in terms of the Top 3 with Alexander Hagberg 3rd fastest having been the pace setter for a time during the 5-minute run. After an early mistake and a bad set-up choice in Q1, Naoto Matsukura would get a P4 on his second attempt ahead of Souta Goto driving the new Tamiya TRF421 which is making its race debut here. With many of the leading drivers having moments it was the Xray of Shin Sawada who was running in the second fastest along with Goto who completed the Top 6.
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