For the day’s last round of practice (controlled practice round 2) Tebo reverted back to his ‘shaft’ 2WD buggy that he set his fastest lap with in Rd 3 of free practice (17.205), and he was fast from the off closely matched by Neil Cragg for pace as well as Kyosho team mate Naoto Matsukura who would go onto set the benchmark fastest lap of 17.089. Judging naively on laptime alone, it would seem we have a ‘top 3’ to watch Tebo, Naoto and Cragg.
Tebo finally made the call to go with the shaft car, we hear that he believed the laydown gear car had reached it’s potential limit (17.3 sec laptime), however the shaft car right from the off was just as fast, if not faster, and has even more pace in it.
Tebo started off his blistering run but perhaps adjusting to the character of the shaft car saw him make a few small errors including a huge off at the start of the straight, however the defending 2WD Champion recovered and raced closely with Cragg. Neil wouldn’t be so lucky as on lap 14 coming round the same corner he would clip the outside of the straight and break the rear of his car, not to worry as he will seed 3rd for tomorrow behind Naoto. That said, Tebo looked mighty quick with a car he drove only for the 2nd time round the Yatabe track…
Climbing up from 11th after Rd1 was Ryan Cavalieri, seeding himself in 4th with Jorn Neumann just behind driving the Serpent prototype, Ryan Maifield top TLR in 6th whilst Schumacher’s hopes rest with Poland’s talented Michal Orlowski, AE designer Kody Numedahl in 8th whilst Yusuke Suguira sits 9th and Spencer Rivkin impressing by taking 10th. Best of the rest going to Kyle McBride, not a 1/10th scale regular but proving the AE car works.
What is however rather alarming first and foremost is the total lack of Yokomo cars in the top 10 – Marc Rheinard hauling the team into 12th, whilst one of the favourites going into the event Lee Martin seeded himself an unlucky 13th, we hope his fortunes improve towards Tuesday. On the flipside a great run from 1/8th nitro European Champ Elliott Boots in 16th, dialling down his unforgettable style to a more restrained 2WD pace, we’re impressed.
A bit of tough day, potential event for HB team and their D216, Ronnefalk suffering issues in both rounds of controlled practice whilst Ty Tessmann finds himself in unfamiliar territory down in 21st, however the 5 min game gets going tomorrow which is rather different to stringing 3x 17 sec laps together.