Shepherd Racing reports – “From November 5th till 7th the Hobbypro-Open took place in Hongkong, organized by HobbyPro owner and Shepherd importer Stephen Shih. With 160 Drivers in 3 classes (1/8, 1/10 and 1/10 220mm) it’s one of the biggest races in Hongkong. After a long flight Team Shepherd arrived on Thursday, including Italian top-driver Daniele Ielasi, Swiss talent Simon Kurzbuch and for the first time driving a nitro touring car electric superstar Ronald Völker. After a first small talk at this years Touring Car Masters in Eppelheim Ronald was very eager to test a nitro touring car in the 2010 season but there were full calendars on both sides so there was only the race in Hong Kong left to try it. Also the Worlds finalist 2009 Robin d’Hondt from Belgium found the long way to Hongkong. Normaly the race should start on Friday with free practise, continuing with 4 qualifications á 7 min on Saturday and finally ending up with the finals on Sunday. But the weather wasn’t as good as everybody hoped it would be and on Friday and Saturday there was a lot of rain.
However the “TRC-Track” also includes a roof covered electric track, where Ronald finally drove the Velox V10 for his first time and he was very happy with the result. In spite of the bad weather 140 drivers started with the qualifications on Sunday at 07:30am without any practise! To save some time the organizer changed the length for the qualification from 7 to 4 minutes and for the A final from 45 to 30 minutes. The track was still damp till 10:00 am, so everybody actually had only 2 good qualification runs on a dry track.
Top qualifier in 1/8 was Daniele Ielasi (14laps – 4:18,30) who also made the fastest lap (18,085) and second Simon Kurzbuch (13laps – 4:05,921) both with a “Velox V8” In third position was Robin d’Hondt (13laps – 4:06,724). The fastest 1/10 driver after 2 out of 3 qualification-runs was Ronald Völker with 12 laps in 4:13,325. After 2:30 minutes in his 3rd qualification-run he had a forecast for 12 laps in 4:10 but another car crashed into his Velox V10 so he had to start from second position in the final.
At 2:30 pm the 1/10 A final was started. From the beginning Ronald was very fast. To be safe, he refuelled every 4 minutes. Because of his constant laptimes and fast fuel-stops, he took the lead after 22 minutes. Unfortunately he had a flame-out during the last pitstop and he lost 1 lap. In the end he was in 3rd position and the winner was Hung Cheung Hang from Hongkong.
At 4:45pm the 1/8 A final started. It was already dark and the floodlights were switched on. After 8 minutes Daniele was 1 lap in front of all other drivers. 10 minutes later his car lost more and more steering because there was no more rubber on his left front tyre. As there was no possibility to practise, the tyre wear was much higher than expected and he had to do an unscheduled tyre change. In the end Daniele finished in 3rd position but with his good laptimes he showed everybody how fast his Velox V8 is. The winner in 1/8 was Luk Chi Hung from Hongkong also driving a Velox V8. Simon Kurzbuch ended up in 4th position, because he made some mistakes caused by the unfamiliar conditions under the flood light. At the end of the day Stephen Shih organized a huge raffle with a Velox V8 and a Velox V10 as top prices sponsored by Shepherd Micro Racing. Afterwards there was a big Asian buffet with some additional pasta for the European people.”