FEMCA Taichung 2006

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Day 5 - Sunday

Picture Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phlim

Well this is the day of semis and main finals. It was fantastic. The weather was great. The racing was keen and dramatic. Once of these days, if I can find enough paid subscribers, I'll rig up a live video streaming service to show the race live online. But, today, that will stay as a dream.

Okay first off, about our very own Mr Tay, he qualified 4th in the 10th scale qualifiers. That means he do not need to race in the semi finals. Tay told me that his best results came from Run 4, where he used his own GQ tires, so for the final, that is what he will use. But Alas, during the final, his radio glitch problems came back to haunt him. He had it in Run 2, but was okay thereafter, so he thought it would be okay, but well, that's racing. Tay finished 6th overall. A very decent effort, especially when he had to fight off his radio glitching for a full 60 minutes. After the final, I found out from him that his radio is already more than 2 years old, I told him that RC fliers gets their radio checked every year, and this was a hugh track.

A few drivers were using the Spektrum DSM modules in the M8s and M11s, they all had no problems. Most common radio brand is Sanwa, followed by Futaba.

10th scale was won by Bertin. He put on a superb performance. He placed his bet on 45 degree tires, so he ran the full hour on 1 set of tires. He started off rather badly, starting postion was 2nd but ended up 8th in lap1, he had about 2 flame outs and I think, the 45 degree tires also means that he has to be careful on the trottle, while all the rest of the drivers were flying around with 37 degree tires. By the 30th minute, Bertin was already caught up to 2nd and was 3 laps behind the leader Iwamoto. Iwamoto had to change his tires and that's where his problem starts. His team took almost 4 laps to complete the tire change and by the time Iwamoto got back onto the track, he was already 1 lap behind Bertin, on top of that Bertin was just 1 straight behind him. His fresh tires were not warm enough - these GP drivers don't seem to believe in tire warmers, so he lost 2 more laps. By then, Bertin's 45 degree tire is running at optimum size and temperature, so he was pacing Iwamoto all the way till the end. So the final reuslts are:

Adrien Bertin, Kyosho, Sirio, 219 laps, 1 hour 0.502 seconds, best lap 15.074s - he is awarded the title of International FEMCA Champion.

Toshiyuki Iwamoto, 215 laps, 1 hour 6.313s, best lap 15.077s - he was awarded the title of 2006 FEMCA Champion.

2nd Tadahiro Ando
3rd Taiwan Chang Chia Chuang
4th Masao Tanaka
5th Qiong Zhi Chen
6th Singapore C. H. Tay
7th Philipine Pancho Clemente
8th Philipine Abello Raffy
9th Taiwan Lee

Abello told me that his name is spanish so the proper pronounciation is "A-bell-yo".

The 8th scale champion is Masao Tanaka. He drowe a brillant race, clocking a fastest lap time of 13.637s. However, it was Kazuya Yuruki that really crack up the taiwan local drivers with his fastest lap time of 13.371s - a new track record for the Titan Speedway. The old record was a 13.4XXs. In the final results:

1st Masao Tanaka (TQ), 243 laps, 1 hour 11.583s
3rd Kazuya Yuruki, 232 laps, 1 hour 11.057s
8th Choi Nak-Sung, 128 laps, 34:58.356
10th Leigh Dytor, 92 laps, 23:02.220

All the rest of the positions were won by Taiwan drivers.

I'll add in the pictures a little later.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Day 4 - Saturday, 20th May 2006

10am sharp and we kick off the last run; Run 4 of the Heats got off nicely. We finished off as scheduled and had a nice hour for lunch. We decided that the participants have had enough warnings on Day 3, so no more warnings, especially the pit lane violations. We dished out a couple of simple stop and go peanlties. Trevor had his digital camera as proof of the pudding and a simple area was used for the whole procedure. Nice, everyone was falling into line and we had a great Run 4 to wind up the entire qualification thingy by noon.

C.H.Tay went with CQ tires on Run 4, his fastest lap was a 15.4 and averaged around 15.8. He wasn't too happy and would switch back to Zac tomorrow.

Looks like we are not the only one tightening the noose. The organizers got out their equipment for fuel capacity measurement; very clever, they simply use a fish tank air pump to push the fuel out from the tank to the measuring cylinder. Voila!, cheap, simple, readily available. Now, only if someone can help us get hold of those 125cc and 75cc BioLab flask, that would be fantastic. All semi finalists and all finalsts will have to pass the test.

We had a nice one hour lunch break, which allowed the race director to sort out the results.

There weren't enough 8th scale drivers for the quarter finals, so we only had the 10th scales. We started on schedule and had the quarter finals A & B done by 2:20pm, all wrapped up.

If my memory serves me right Iwamoto TQ the 10th scale and Tanaka TQ the 8th scale. What I just heard is that the HPI/HB Engineer that used to accompany Hara will be here tomorrow to help Team Japan out. So tomorrow is going to be real exciting.

Good Night everyone.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Day 3 - Friday - 19th May 2006

D-Day: Heats started off a little off 10am after a very simple briefing and photo taking session. Trevor gave a simple speech and sent a nice lady off with a camera to capture the nicest body shell.

We had great weather today, nice gust of wind and the sun was smiling on us all day.

Bertine had one good run while Tanaka was best in 8th scale with the sole 43 lapper.

Okay, enough writing, I'll do the videos and I only had a couple extra shots and they are included in the original link below. Scroll down and search for the big CLICK HERE link.

Okay, that's it for today.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Day 2 - 18th May 2006

Arrived at the track at around 9am. It was drizzling and there was also a very strong gust. Throughout the day, it was a drizzle, wind, sun, wind cycle. Some drivers manage some practice time, but in general, it was a wet day. Bertin & Rossi was in the paddock. Mr Toshiyuki Iwamoto of the Japanese Team Active guys was by far the fastest. It was overheard from the paddock that Bertin estimates that he can do a 13.8s - as fast as the 8th scale.

Tanaka did had any track time, he was experiencing quite a bit of radio problems. His Kawahara teammate was spotted trotting up and down the track with Tanaka-san's car in hand to check his radio range.

Leigh Dytor of Oz didn't had much track time too. He couldn't make a lap and had a minor runoff in the middle of the track. I couldn't remember his name, but this Korean driver was said to have came in 2nd in the Mugen Cup last week in Korea. He was seen helping out the Philipine team; tuning their Rossi Plus engines. I heard him advising the team to remove the head button after every run and clean it to a shine. And the plug that came in the box is only meant for running in, not for racing. Tay and I watch this guy tune up the Rossi Plus, it is all in his head, he basically tune the engine with his ears. Nice fella, and all he asked for was a cigarette.

The 8 member Kawahara team didn't do much track time too. It seems that they came straight after the Mugen Cup in Korea and they already had enough earlier in the week. But they seem very passionate about racing, hanging around the paddock and ocassionally mingling around. They probably had a language problem like most other japanese drivers I've met.

Tay came in with the kit of the new G4 and was building it up at the track. But he seem intend on running his original car. He told me that the Titan Mazada 6 body was very cheap, so he got one to try out, but I don't think he got enough track time to tell any difference.

Jones (Race Director) confirmed that the typhoon has moved off and out of Taiwan's way. We are all crossing our fingers for good weather from tomorrow. But Jones already have backup plans

Okay, so much for Day 2, we should start racing tomorrow. Okay, I didn't forget about the pictures, here's a few:

Oops... it didn't quite work, the picture size was too big, I'll need some time to resize them, so hang in there.

Okay, got one up, this is a very short video of Iwamoto-san's Team Active 10th scale coming down the straight and turning at the 90 degree left corner into the mini S straight on the left:

I shot this one at the mid level of the driver stand, Adrien Bertin was still pushing the track, but you get one lap of him, I lost him down the straight, but manage to catch him back after the left 90 degree turn into the mini S:

Okay, here's the link to the pictures:

Now, this would be the final one for today, this is a video taken, standing in the centre of the driver stand, starting off from the pit lane. So this is as close as you could get to being here:

Okay, I lied, I just couldn't let you miss this one. This should show you how strong the wind is. You see, trouble is, wind is invisible. One of the paddock tents almost flew off. In fact, Tay told me this had happen at the Raffles Marina Track:

Okay, this had got to be the final one. This is phlim signning off.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Day 1 in Taichung

This is my first time in Taiwan, so everything is new and interesting to me.

I booked my SIA ticket online, check in online and even printed my ticket. So all I need to do thereafter is get to the airport and endorse my ticket at Row 9. I even pack all my stuff into 2 handy bags. Well, I forgot my credit card; I told the guy at the counter, he has my passport and my printed ticket and his system confirms it. However, his system also needed my credit card (I brought a different one and left the one needed at home) for security purposes. He finally helped by asking me for the last 4 digits of my credit card. Does anyone of you ever remember the last 4 digits of your credit card? Well, I didn't.

But he is nice, he helped get the power up on my computer, registered for a $6 for half an hour Internet usage with Starhub. Login to my maybank2u internet banking site and viola, they show me my last 4 digits of my credit card.

My flight was 8:35am, when I pass the custom it was only 7:55am. But when I check the Departure screen, it says GATE CLOSING. I take a look at my printed ticket and the ticket says 7:35am boarding. Wow, when did they start letting us board an hour before departure. I trotted off quickly to the gate E4 and realised that the gate is far from closing.

On the flight, I got a chance to chat up with the gentleman next to me. He is a Prof. at NTU's school of biz, going on a conference with a few of his colleagues. The flight was largely uneventful, Got to watch 3 movies; The Promise, Memoirs of a Geisha and a Japanese one about a Maths Prof who lost his memory after an accident. This one was interesting, at least I get to learn something interesting about maths; Perfect numbers: 6 & 28. The definition is that the Perfect number is the sum of consecutive numbers starting from 1 AND it is also the sum of its possible divisors, so 6 is the sum of 1+2+3 and the divisors are 1, 2 & 3 and the sum of them is also 6. 28 is even more interesting, it the the sum of 1 to 7 but I wasn't too clear about the divisors.

I arrived at Taipei CKS Airport a 1:06pm, got out and went off to the bus station, bought a Taichung bus ticket for NT220 and reached the "Chong Ching" bus station by 4pm. Jones of Titan got his assistance to pick me up at 4:30pm. I finally reached the track at 5:30pm. It was drizzling. I didn't get to meet Mr Tay (Singapore driver), he had left earlier. The whole Kawahara team was there (8 of them), I also met the 5 member Philipine team lead by Ricky, the 1 member Oz team and a couple of Taiwan drivers.

Temperature was a cool 26, light drizzle which comes and goes. The good news is that the typhoon that hit Hong Kong has weaken and moved off towards mainland China. Jones say that this is the first time they had rain in May. This is usually a very hot month. We are keeping our fingers cross for fine weather tomorrow and the days to come.

Will post more and picture later. The sky was so gloomy, I didn't take my camera out at the track. The official race website is at http://www.team-titan.com.tw/femca/