A new arrival on the Chinese RC scene, the electric onroad based OneTen Series held its inaugural race weekend in the city of Shanghai. Organised by RedRC Events, it is made up of four events (2 in China and 2 in Hong Kong) but each weekend consists of two completely separate rounds. Another unique aspect to the series is that Saturday's opening round format gets changed for Sunday's second encounter. The first challenge of the weekend for drivers is the more traditional 3 rounds of qualifying, albeit they are 6-minutes long, followed by triple Mains of 4-minute duration. Sunday's schedule then puts drivers through four 4-minute qualifiers with a single 8-minute final. If qualifying didn't go your way there is the chance to bump up through Sunday's finals. Excited to be the title sponsor of the OneTen Series, we sent Akio and Jin to represent us with their IF14s and it turned out to be a very successful trip to the indoor RCI V2 track.
Round 1 - After topping the 2-rounds of practice on Saturday morning, Akio continued that form throughout the day. In the opening qualifier, he was the only driver to post 35-laps over the 6-minutes with his fastest lap 1/10th faster than anyone else. Behind, Jin posted the second fastest time, a result they would repeat in Q2. The final qualifier was to be the fastest of the day with Akio managing to complete a clean sweep of 35-lap runs, no other driver able to break that barrier. For Jin, he just missed out on another P2 in Q3 to Jan Ratheisky but it didn't effect the overall grid and he lined up second behind Akio. With the A-Mains 1-minute shorter than usual, it was important to get a good start and that is exactly what Akio did from the TQ quickly opening up a gap over Jin that meant he was never challenged. A2 again saw the leaders maintain position and even after having a few moments in traffic, Akio won comfortably with 3.1-seconds in hand over Jin to give him the overall Round 1 win. Choosing to run A3, even though he already had the maximum championship points, Akio was on target for the perfect race day until little after the half way stage when he made contact with a car he was lapping allowing Jin to get passed for the win to lockdown an Infinity 1-2 overall. You couldn't ask for a much better start to a new series - TQ in qualifier, 1-2 on the podium!
Round 2 - While Sunday's format included an extra round of qualifying it was still 2 to count. Continuing his previous day's form Akio again laid down the benchmark over 3-consecutive laps by topping the single round of practice from Jin. With Akio easily topping Q1, Jin felt he needed to improve the stability of his car opening qualifying with a P3 behind Ratheisky. Working with Kotonori San, he was to make changes to his car every run. After another P3 in Q2, he was happier in Q3 securing second but retiring from the final qualifier he had to settle for 3rd on the grid while Akio made his second TQ start having topped all four qualifiers. With just a single A-Main deciding the Round 2 outcome, Akio did all his work on the opening laps to pull clear of Ratheisky and once happy with the gap he just paced the rest of the race. Changes to Jin's set-up for the final resulted in his car being the best it had been all weekend. It allowed him to make a charge for second but given the tight track, overtaking was alway going to be difficult and he finished third. Two cars on the podium two days in a row is not a bad result to have in the books come Sunday evening and is the kind of form the guys will be aiming to maintain. Rounds 3 & 4 of the OneTen Series will take drivers outdoors and onto asphalt at the TRC track in Hong Kong in earlier December.