The 21st running of the 1:8 Onroad World Championships is down the final 22 drivers with the 1/4 finals completing the line up for the two Semi finals which will decide the 8 drivers to join Dario Balestri and Naoto Matsukura in the fight to become the World Champion. In the first of the 1/4 encounters it was JJ Wang who took the win ahead of Takaaki Shimo after the 2015 Vice Champion was given a penalty for bad refuelling. Behind them John Ermen was holding third but the ARC driver came under intense pressure from 2013 World Champion Tadahiko Sahashi in the final laps. With the Serpent driver all over the Dutchman the pair made contact at the final corner with Ermen ending up on the grass. While Ermen protested the result, after watching video footage of the pass officials deemed the result would stand with Sahashi progressing to the Semis.
In the second 1/4 final, Alberto Picco was the winner from Infinity team-mate Carmine Raiola who was another to be penalised for bad refuelling. Behind them Takehiro Terauchi would complete the Top 3 of a race that would see reigning 1:10 European Champion Toni Gruber and former finalists Rick Vrieljink and Flavio Elias go out. Losing second gear on his WRC, Gruber tried to continue but it was too much for his engine and it expired. For Vrieljink his chances of progressing ended when he ran out of fuel and for Elias, who was running his 5th final after a bad qualifying, his run ended due to a broken steering servo.
‘Very happy’ was how Wang summed up progressing to the Semis. The Mugen driver continued, ‘qualifying was so so, so I’m happy to still be in the mix’. On the 20-minute encounter which he started 4th, the Chinese American driver said, ‘The start was good for me but the conditions were very difficult. The Top 3 were evenly spaced but then the drivers behind started to attack. When Shimo got the drive through I took the lead and just tried to drive a safe race to the end’.
Echoing Wang’s comments of conditions being more difficult today, Picco said, ‘the track was not as good as yesterday. It was slippery and more difficult to drive’. He continued, ‘I just tried to keep a good pace without pushing because I didn’t have the same confidence as before because of the dust on the track’. Otherwise, the Italian veteran said the rest of the race was good and while conditions are more difficult he will leave his Infinity unchanged for the longer 30-minute Semi Final.
Lamberto Collari is out of the 21st running the 1:8 Onroad World Championships. The driver who has been World Champion a record 9 times, saw his attempt for a 10th title end when he suffered a glow plug failure while leading his 1/8 Final with 2/3rd distance complete. The Italian’s last Worlds Final appearance was when he won the last of his titles in Switzerland in 2009. Losing 3-laps as a new plug was fitted, Collari eventually finish 8th while up front it was former Finalist Rick Vrielijnck who took the win to progress to the 1/4 Finals. Also joining the Capricorn driver by completing the Top 3 would be Thomas Desmaries and Paphon Chanyasah. For 2013 and 2015 Finalist Shinnosuke Yokoyama it was the end of his run of final appearances with the Japanese driver finishing 6th.
In the first of the 1/8 finals which got the final day of action in France underway, it would be Serpent’s Merlin Depta who took the win having started 8th on the grid. Behind the German, former European Champion Oliver Mack would follow him home having start the the 20-minute directly behind his fellow countryman. One of the standouts, having had a bad qualifying when he ended up qualifying in the 1/64th final, 2015 Finalist Flavio Elias completed his run of bump ups with third. As a result the Brazilian Capricorn driver will now make his 5th race start here in Monteux. Casualties of the race included Michael Salven who went out after a crash at the start and his Serpent team-mate & 2009 Finalist Mark Green who could only manage P5.
Chassis – ARC R8.1 Engine – OS Speed R2102 Gold Edition Tyres – Matrix (Handout) Fuel – Runner Time Radio/Servos – Sanwa/Savox Body – Xtreme Aerodynamics R18 Remarks – Highest ranked within the ARC team after qualifying here in Monteux, Swiss driver Silvio Hachler is using a pretty standard version of the R8.1 from the Taiwanese factory using only an optional set of Team Titan titanium screws.
Chassis – Mugen MRX-6 Engine – OS Speed R2103 Tyres – Matrix (Handout) Fuel – Runner Time Radio/Servos – Sanwa Body – Xtreme Aerodynamics R18 Strong Remarks – Japanese Mugen driver Shoki Takahata is running a few new parts on his MRX-6. The new chassis features a carbon weights slide and has a different shape to bring the rear bulkheads closer to each other enabling the use of longer suspension arms. The clutch bell is also new, with an updated shape that allows for the use of 4 ball bearings instead of the usual two.