TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg

645

TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg

Xray team driver, Alexander Hagberg reports after his recent time at the 2014 TITC… The Thailand International Touring Car Championships is one of the biggest races in Asia with 300+ entries from many different countries, divided into 5 classes – Non-boost, open brushless, FF, F1 and Modified. The event was held at the brand new HUGE R/C facilities in the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. The track was fairly big with a technical layout. Unfortunately the surface was a bit bumpy, which made car set-up difficult for everyone. 

Open brushless was by far the biggest class, and it serves as what we in Europe know as the Pro Stock or Stock class, but it allows boosted settings in speedos and thus goes very fast compared to normal 13.5T blinky classes. In this class, our hopes came down to Andreas Myrberg, who despite his late arrival, showed a strong pace from early on, being seeded as #3 before qualifying. Andreas went on to win Q3 and setting the fastest run/lap time of the event in the process with a really impressive run. Unfortunately he wasn’t consistent enough in the remaining runs and thus had to settle for 5th position on the grid, which was still a respectable result, considering that all the Thai locals had been practicing for weeks at the track.

TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg (3)

In Modified, I had plenty of time to prepare, arriving a full week before the race. I worked my way towards a well handling set-up. Different suspension geometry and shock settings helped to counter the bumps. The trend seemed to be leaning towards a very thick rear diff as well, with some drivers, myself included, using a 10-15K rear diff. As controlled practice commenced, we could get a true indication of the pace. I was 3rd at this point, 1-2 seconds behind the front runners, Naoto and Ronald. I knew that I had a good chance to perform well in qualifying. I had various small issues throughout qualifying, back markers, own mistakes, as well as an ESC shutdown in Q5 when I was on a TQ pace, hindered me from qualifying higher than 5th. It was going to be difficult to fight for a top position, but at least I had a good chance for the podium.

TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg (8)

Andreas had a good start to his finals by finishing 2nd in A1. The 2-3-4 positioned cars took themselves out, allowing him to secure the 2nd spot as the TQ man pulled away. Andreas had made a couple of set-up changes for the first final which didn’t work out too well. In A2 he was again on for a good run but eventually made a few mistakes which set him back. The overall winner was going to be decided in A3 as Araya and Stick King both had a win and Andreas had a 2nd place finish. Again, crashes happened up front and Andreas was able to sneak through, following the leader Mongkolpan.

TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg (4)

Clearly faster, Andreas tried everything he could to make a pass but eventually made a mistake in the process, leaving the leader with some breathing room. Andreas had to settle for 2nd which was also his overall finishing position! This was really a well-deserved result, coming so close to the win and showing an absolutely blistering pace at some points of the race, setting a quickest lap by .2 faster than anyone else.

In the Modified class, I was stuck behind a Yokomo freight train in A1, leaving no room to pass as I started and finished in 5th position. In A2 and A3 I struggled with the handling of the car, even without any set-up changes made. I was really frustrated with the outcome of the finals as I believed that I had a shot at the podium, judging from my earlier pace. Eventually I had to settle for 7th, which is still an improvement from last year. The TITC is a very difficult race, as most pro drivers arrive exceptionally early, to do extensive amounts of testing. It is also difficult as Bangkok is the home of a number of pro drivers, with all of them having very good knowledge of the track there.

TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg (6)

Australian XRAY pilot Antoni Caretti put on a strong performance to finish 13th overall – which is a very respectable result in this strong field, racing door to door with European- and World Champions in the B-final. Paphon Chanyasak (Benz) also showed good pace and ended up in the B-main as well! And for everyone’s attention, unfortunately, the tyre problems overshadowed this event, with many drivers upset about the quality differences between sets, wheel breakages and so on. I hope for the future of the event, that the organizer will sort out all problems from its tyre supplier.

In the Non-Boost class, Suruth Vataniyapramote, driving an XRAY T4’14, managed to take the overall win from 2nd on the grid, congratulations Suruth! I want to say many thanks to all XRAY drivers present at the race. Thanks especially to the Australian team, Paphon C. (Benz) and his father, as well as Suwich V. for the hospitality.

TITC 2014 Report by Alexander Hagberg

Modified Top 10:

  1. Ronald Völker
  2. Naoto Matsukura
  3. Meen Vejrak
  4. Chavit Sirigupta
  5. Marc Rheinard
  6. Atsushi Hara
  7. Alexander Hagberg
  8. Nicholas Lee
  9. Andy Moore
  10. Wai Hang Feng

Open Brushless Top 10:

  1. Araya Ingwethvongsa
  2. Andreas Myrberg
  3. Mongkolpan Lomrose
  4. Kittipong R.
  5. Natee Tirapipattanakul
  6. Salton Dong
  7. Pan Sik Yoon
  8. Stick King
  9. PY Tang
  10. Trin Tanongsakchaikul

Non-Boost Top 10:

  1. Suruth Vataniyapramote
  2. Thanet S. Singha
  3. Jung Deok Lee
  4. Supawoot Poldoke
  5. Hiroki Kawase
  6. Amir K.R.
  7. Joe S.
  8. Watchararit Tanasansittikon
  9. Tony Neo
  10. Yingyos Y.