Marc Rheinard’s winning run continued at the Reedy Race of Champions as the Tamiya driver took a third consecutive victory despite starting his 3rd race of the event from last on the grid. Giving the German a perfect score so far, the round would see Meen Vejrak become the only other multiple winner as the Thai driver held off the challenge of reigning champion Ronald Volker. In a re-run of Heat 1, Japan’s Naoki Akiyama notched up a first win with a tone to tone victory over Andrew Hardman. The same heat would see Round 2 winner Christopher Krapp suffer a huge off at end of the straight heavily damaging his Tamiya. For World Champion Naoto Matsukura the day didn’t improve with Freddy Sudhoff making contact with the Tamiya driver in the sweeper on lap 12, the impact forcing the Japanese ace to retire 3-laps later.
‘Not so bad, not so bad’, was Rheinard’s reaction to his win which was impressive considering drivers complaints about the narrow line making it difficult to overtake and the fact that Rheinard started the race 10th. The first race up after a break from racing, he said there was ‘no grip’ making his Much More powered TRF419 ‘not so easy to drive’. With a ‘good start’, he ‘just waited to see how the battle out front worked out’ knowing that Matsukura was slower than Sudhoff. After the pair crashed he said he was able to take it easy and save his tyres for the day’s final encounter. Starting 6th in Round 4, the German said it would be great to do a clean sweep but with team-mate Akio Sobue retiring at the start he should have the advantage of almost new tyres. He also said with JJ Wang and Sudhoff proving very fast it was going to be a competitive heat.
Taking the lead when Volker got out of shape through the track’s famous kink, Vejrak said his day was ‘going a lot better than last year’, when the Thai driver found himself last in the points ranking at the end of the first day of racing. Making contact with Volker’s car when he got out of shape, the former 200mm World Champion said the impact popped in the front of his bodyshell causing his BD7 to understeer slightly. Driving it safe he said he just stuck to his lines and this was enough to see off Volker’s challenge to retake the lead. Starting from 5th on the grid Volker said he ‘got a lucky start (and) came out of the sweeper in first’. With his car loose for the first 2-minutes he said he got out of shape at the kink for a couple of laps before he finally lost it. Although his car was ‘faster’ than Vejrak’s going off line to try and pass saw his tyres pick up dirt and he struggled for the next few corners. With Vejrak making no mistakes he said he had to settle for second. Disappointed with the result considering arch rival Rheinard got a third win he said at least his Yokomo team managed 1-2 finish in 2 of the 3 races.
With the Reedy Race his first race in the US, 15-year-old Akiyama was delighted with his win. The Yokomo supported up & coming Japanese driver said he was under a lot pressure from fellow teenager Hardman towards the end of the race but luckily he was able to control his nerves to the finish.
Chassis – Xray T4 2015 Motor – ORCA 4.5 ESC – ORCA Batteries – Reedy 6200mah Tires – Sweep (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R Remarks – At his first outing on the World famous Tamiya Raceway, TITC Champion Alexander Hagberg is running a T4 2015 equipped with a number of option parts such as graphite wishbones, steel outdrives and aluminium servo horn and steering arms. The Swede is also using AVID titanium ballstuds & ceramic bearing, Hiro Seiko screws and for the heads up racing format has decided to fit a Protoform’s anti-body tuck stiffener in the back of his LTC-R.
Marc Rheinard has got his Reedy Race of Champions off to the best possible start with the Tamiya driver making it two wins from the first two rounds of racing at Tamiya Raceway. Starting up front in the same heat as the other two winners from the opening race of the event, Rheinard led from start to finish as Ronald Volker worked his way up to third with Meen Vejrak managing only 6th after a mistake while trying to avoid hitting his Yokomo team-mate. In the other two races Xray’s Alexander Hagberg and Christopher Krapp capitalised on front row starts to clock up their first wins.
Commenting on his race, Rheinard said he pushed hard at the beginning to ensure he had a good gap over Volker in case his rival got through the pack early and after that ‘just kept it on the track’. Set to start Round 3 of 12 from 10th on the grid, the 4-time Reedy Race champion said ‘let’s see what happens’ pointing out the track’s narrow racing line this year is greatly reducing the opportunities to pass.
Defending Champion Volker said from 7th to 3rd was not a bad result considering normally something happens on the first lap to help you gain a few places. The ETS champion said because ‘you can’t do different lines like last year’ all he could do was wait for mistakes as he caught each driver ahead of him. Describing his LRP powered BD7 as ‘awesome’ he said by the time he got to third the gap was too much to catch second placed Akio Sobue. Winner of Heat 2 in the opening round, Meen V said his BD7 was good and his mistake was a result of braking too hard to try to avoid contact with the back of Volker’s car on lap 6 of 24.
In the second encounter it was Naoto Matsukura who would take up the early lead. The World Champion would come under pressure from a recovering Krapp but on lap 5 a mistake by the Japanese driver would allow his team-mate to go to the front. Commenting on his win, Krapp said ‘in the end it worked out pretty good’ highlighting his 360 spin at the start that dropped him to third. Describing his TRF419 as ‘brilliant’ he said he expected to come under pressure from Matsukura once he recovered from his mistake but instead he was able to easily pull away for the win.
Matsukura said his Tamiya was ‘difficult to drive’ and this led him to catch the curbing. With his TRF417 ‘too loose’, he said every run they have been forced to make big set-up changes and they will do it again for Round 3.
Hagberg said his win was helped by starting up front while ‘others got in trouble’. Describing his Xray as ‘a little better’ he continued he is ‘still struggling with the feeling of the car’. His first time to race at the Tamiya track, the Swede said with the ‘narrow racing line’ making it ‘so hard to overtake’ starting up front is a big advantage.