Two time ASIA Contest Champion Atsushi Hara pulled it out of the bag in the superpole event (used to determine the final grid) – Time and time again we’ve seen Hara unleash another gear when it comes to finals day, he looked racy in the semis, crushing his semi, Witsarut R. winning the other in a slower time. Aussie Zac Ryan had a scare as a loose clutch nut stopped him from even starting his main, transferring to the main final via the LCQ along with Manabu Takashiro. However the main story so far was Hara’s 36sec laptime -
Event Coverage News
In the midst of our ASIA Contest event coverage, one of the most immediately obvious features was the ‘new look’ logo and styling from event creators Bittydesign – a fresh new looking logo complimenting the ambiance and vibe of the event not to mention underlining Bittydesign’s credentials as one of the leaders in design and brand in the RC market.
We spoke with Bittydesign frontman Davide Rabitti about the rebrand, Davide explaining that it was time for a ‘freshen up’ and a ‘big change’. With the 10-year anniversary coming next year, it was time to improve the image for a cleaner, simpler and stronger brand identity – Davide & his brother Stefano not content with the old style, not truly representing the brand ethos anymore.
The rebrand includes new distinctive logo as well as new ‘Bd’ icon – the new look a departure from the previous graffiti / grunge style and represents a new ‘higher level’, Davide going on to say, “the past is over, the rebrand is a new era – Bittydesign 2.0 – innovation will come through a full rebranding, the name is the same for the World’s #1 Italian RC body manufacturer but it is like a new company.”
Along with the rebrand is a brand new website on it’s way, Bittydesign have released a landing page which will countdown till their shiny new site goes live – its set to be a ground-up professional design with interactive features for customers and partners alike. Expect bodies galore, sweet design flowing through the brand new responsive website & more.
After 9 years the Bittydesign rebrand comes at the perfect time, the company with a worldwide reputation for high quality products – here’s hoping ‘Bittydesign 2.0’ brings even more innovation & style in the future.
Q1 TQ: Zac Ryan, Q2 & Q4 Witsarut R., Atsushi Hara Q3, Wataru Takashiro Q5 & Q6
Wataru Takashiro overcame a slightly sluggish start to his 6 round qualifying campaign but hit his fullspeed stride TQ’ing Q5 & Q6, the only man to manage a 12 lap run during qualifying, after switching from medium to soft AKA Impact tyres after a few drops of rain, it made his car faster and he capitalised thus denying Agama’s ‘Boy’ Witsarut R. a fairytale TQ having occupied that spot for so long until Wataru crescendo’d. Atsushi Hara lines up 3rd, under the radar as he suffered setbacks in qualifying from a broken engine to mystery issues, a recovery drive from him, questions remain as to the strength of his package, but can anyone match Hara’s long-run pace ?
Limited internet connectivity limits us to very short videos.
4th Q1 TQ Zac Ryan, the Aussie racer delighted with this morning’s result but feeling his car was finished before qualifying was over, its fair to say the PRC track is brutal on cars, high speed, large jumps, sandpaper surface, it eats chassis’ making them razor sharp with small scorings.
Round 5 and Wataru Takashiro lit the MP9′s afterburners setting the fastest time of qualifying despite the slowly deteriorating track, provisional TQ Witsarut R. looked on form however he got taken out by car #6 of Charlee P. in a bit of a robust move damaging Witsarut’s hopes of a TQ shot, ending up a strong 3rd though behind a resurgent Atsushi Hara, the first man in the top 3 not to be doing triple single, rather preferring the double double (slower) option.
Wataru Takashiro – 19 - Japan
Chassis: Kyosho Inferno MP9 TKI3
Engine: OS Speed B2101
Tyres: AKA Impact
Fuel: Rapicon (Klotz in Japan)
Radio & Servos: Sanwa M12, Sanwa SRG-BZX (steering & throttle)
Notes & more: Practice TQ at ASIA Contest 2015.
Practice TQ went to Japanese youngster Wataru Takashiro – setting a time in round 1 that would remain unbeaten in round 2, Zac Ryan one of the few drivers to improve on their time climbing to 4th overall as Witsarut R impressed in 2nd demoting defending Champion Atsushi Hara to 3rd, however the Pattaya veteran may simply be playing the long time, not chasing practice pacesetting times.
Saturday brings 6 rounds of qualifying, with faster times expected as the PRC track crew will work during the evening to repair jump faces, landers as drivers struggled to click off even three clean laps.
The 3rd annual ASIA Contest got off to a sunny Friday morning start as drivers took advantage of the morning’s free practice, most travelling racers arriving a few days early to take advantage of the pre-event practice and get to grips with the brand new layout at Pattaya RC Powerboat. From the start, one of the biggest differences is the lack of any track additive – in years past at Pattaya we’ve seen different surface prep techniques used – diesel/oil back around the Worlds, followed more recently by molasses giving the track a crème brulee type surface – not so at PRC 2015 – a significantly ‘au natural’ surface dirt track, with some bonding agent producing a few concrete-esque sandpaper sections – tough on tyres and tough on chassis’.
86 drivers are racing this weekend, with the pre-race practice only natural to see some wear, with jump faces and landers pretty heavily battered in places as drivers struggled to get into a practice groove, 3 consecutive laps used for qualifying seeding on Saturday.
The Pattaya track has always carried a bit of a ‘car-breaker’ reputation however over the year’s the ‘veterans’ have developed their own techniques of bullet-proofing their buggys – Aussie Kyosho racers Ben Panic and Zac Ryan coming equipped with steel skid plates which slow down overall chassis wear. Laptime is another major difference, mid to high 30 secs rather than 45 sec plus – it’s a fast track where getting your line right is critical otherwise you’ll case a jump, land in another lane, fence – basically ruin your day.
Rd 1 of controlled practice saw 19 year old Japanese ace Wataru Takashiro set the pace with a 1:57.906, Witsarut R half a second back followed by two-time ASIA Contest Champion Atsushi Hara in 3rd.
A small rain shower delayed the start of controlled practice, however with a very efficient self-draining track, an hour was only lost from the program, with two rounds of 10 mins run instead of two 15 min sessions.
This weekend sees the welcome return of the annual ASIA Contest – once again staged at the PRC facility in Pattaya, Thailand. Join us from Friday onwards as we bring you official coverage from the event, a new fresh track layout has just been installed with a huge variety of jump sections which will surely test drivers. As always expect the locals to be super quick, whilst some doubt remains whether we’ll see two-time defending Champion Atsushi Hara actually race or not having missed NeoX, however SWORKz own Scott Yang dispelled rumours when asked whether Factory ambassador would watch from the sidelines, saying “he will race”!
Join us Friday!
Here is the flyer for the upcoming (fast) USProCup race in Texas at the famous Thornhill racing circuit! Joey Christensen of The Dirt & his ever loyal buddy Aaron will be there putting on this race along with fun other activities like horseshoes and Frisbee contests! We will be also racing on the NEW Thornhill Jr indoor track! Joey will rebuild the outdoor track and condensing it down a bit for closer racing action!
You can sign up the day of the race and we look forward to having a relaxed fun event. It is race #2 of the USProCup with races 3 at the St Louis DirtBurners track July 10th -12th and the “Pro-Line USProCup finals” at world Famous Thunder Alley in Southern California Sept 18-20th. We look forward to seeing you all there!!