He’s the current World Champion and he’s been enduring a tough time in Portugal so far qualifying only 34th but Keisuke Fukuda has kept his title defence hopes alive by winning the 1/8 Final B which will see him progress to the final day of the 2008 competition. The Japanese ace looked as though his woes were to continue today as his car stalled during the count down to the start, the drama putting him last at the end of the opening lap.
The Mugen/Ninja driver made a great recovery to get back up front but was chased down throughout the 20-minute final by nitro newcomer Marc Rheinard who also makes it through to Saturday having bumped up two finals today. Fukuda’s Mugen team-mate Rick V completed the top 3 to the relief and joy of his pit crew. The Dutch driver is very fast but was out of luck in the qualifiers.
In the last race of the day, the 1/8 Final A, former 1:8 Buggy European Champion Miguel Matias took victory from Italy’s Niki Duina putting them both through to tomorrow morning’s 1/4 Final A. The battle for third was a rather heated affair between French driver Arnaud Chaussard and a slowing Brazilian Flavio Elias. The pair touched on the penultimate lap with Chaussard coming off the worst and once more on the final lap with Elias getting spun out. The Brazilian was called for a Stop & Go penalty for the first incident but continued racing and the Frenchman got the same penalty for the 2nd but had no opportunity to do his Stop & Go. With the race being over each driver had 10 seconds added to his finish times meaning the result didn’t change with Chaussard claiming the last bump up spot.
Big names to bow out of the 2008 World in the 1/8 finals include top French driver Jacky Mouton, Brazilian Eduardo Dulac, Manuel Huber of Austria and young English talent Kyle Branson.
Just five races remain before we will know who is the 2008 IFMAR 1:10 200mm World Champion with the first of those finals getting underway at 10:00 local time. Thanks to our event sponsors Kyosho, Xceed and Serpent for enabling us to bring you our coverage from the Portugal throughout the week.
1/4 Final – A Starting line-up
1. Concialdi Basile (FR) XRAY/JP/Enneti
2. Walter Salemi (IT) Mugen/GRP/GRP
3. Josue Artiles Santana (ES) Mugen/Sirio/Enneti
4. Mark Green (GB) Serpent/Mega/Exceed
5. Josh Cyrul (USA) Xray/Novarossi/Jaco
6. Oscar Cabezas (ARG) Serpent/Mega
7. Teemu Saarinen (FIN) Mugen/GRP/GRP
8. Miguel Matias (PT) Kyosho/Sirio/Kyosho
9. Duina Niki (IT) Xray/Max Power/Enneti
10. Arnaud Chaussard (FR) Xray/RB/Speedline
1/4 Final – B Starting line-up
1. Teemu Leino (FIN) Xray/Orion/Xray
2. Jessie Davis (AUS) Kyosho/Novarossi/Kyosho
3. Jerome Renaux (BEL) Xray/JP/GRP
4. Roland Strom (SE) Kyosho/GRP/GRP
5. Filipe Costa (PT) Xray/GRP/GRP
6. Adrian Berntsen Roseth (NO) Xray/Max Power/Xray
7. Hideo Kitazawa (JPN) Mugen/OS/Kawahara
8. Keisuke Fukuda (JPN) Mugen/Ninja/Kawahara
9. Rheinard Marc (DE) Team Magic/Novarossi/Jaco
10. Rick Vrielijnck (NL) Mugen/Ninja/Kawahara
Marc Rheinard has just had his first onroad nitro final and the former Electric World Champion will get to go again after finishing second in the 1/16 Final B. The German who is driving a Novarossi powered Team Magic G4 WC set the fastest lap of the race and pulled out a great overtaking manouerve on Thomas Desmaries on the very last lap and hopes he can continue to bump up and make it through to tomorrow. Up front Helge Johannessen took the win and now progresses to the 1/8 Final B.
Unfortunately for Barry Baker his roll came to an end in the 1/32 Final A when he ran out of fuel. The American had to switch to 5 minute stops instead of four after an earlier incident as he tried to make back time but unfortuntely he couldn’t go the distance. Making is race debut for Team Magic here in Portugal, Baker said that he really enjoyed his hour and 20 minutes of driving today and if he had had the Max engine he was running today earlier in the event he wouldn’t have been racing today but tomorrow. Baker was really appreciative of the help he got today from fellow US racer Josh Cyrul who he said did a great job pitting for him. Victor Pelaez who started from pole took the win in the Final from Carlos Barros and Walti Beat.
In the 1/16 Final A, Pelaez again drove another great race to take the victory and keep himself in the competition. Israel Solis Gomez and Mario Spiniello completed the top 3 to progress to the 1/8 Final A. Two casualities from the final were top Austrian racer Daniel Tomaschko and leading British Championship contender Mark Gilliland who stripped a gear while holding third.
We have spoken to a number of key figures here in the pits regarding the pipe controversy that broke late last night. The problem surrounds Sirio’s latest version of the Sirio #2611 exhaust pipe and in partictular the position and design of the stinger.
We asked Sirio boss Andrea Rossi for his position on the situation and his reply was brief saying that there appears to have been a communication breakdown with IFMAR regarding the submitted drawings for the new pipe design. IFMAR claim to have not recieved any submission for the changes. Rossi says they will revert to the older spec design for the #2611 pipe. Sirio will use the same pipe as used in qualifying but with a new stinger fitted and this will now be tested in the lower finals in the car of Davide Gallesi to see how it performs.
Novarossi who unearthed the problems with the pipe spec are very disappointed with how the matter has been dealt with and say it sends out bad signals for the sport. Novarossi plan to issue a full statement regarding the matter after the event but say they have no more confidence in those running the sport. We will bring you that statement as soon as we get it.
One other manufacturer made the comment that the descision is bad for the sport and in particular the privateer drivers who may get disqualified for a very small techincal infringement like a body shell being 1mm too low yet leading professional drivers can run an exhaust that doesnt meet the rules and yet the result stands.
A leading driver who was at the IFMAR 1:10 section meeting last night says the exhaust controversy may be a blessing in disguise as it looks like it may lead to a big shake up in the sport and see big changes in the standardising of the rules and a more professional approach being taken in the running of rc racing.
He had a torrid time in qualifying eventually claiming a very lowly 103rd but Barry Baker is on a roll here in Lisbon bumping up two finals so far today. Starting on pole for the 1/256 Final A, the Team Magic driver took third in the race to secure the final spot on the grid for the 1/128 Final A which he went on to win from Takehiro Terauchi who kept the American on his toes. In both finals, the first of which was won by Rafael Angulo, the US Pro racer recorded the fastest laps.
Baker says he is being very careful and as he discovered in the 1/128 final you need to be as he got collected while trying to pass Winik Henrique but luckily no damage was done and he could continue but Henrique got a stop go penalty for the incident. Bakers current rise through the finals is an real American team effort, Josh Cyrul is acting as his pitman and Paul Lemeiux is on tyre truing duties athough Lemieux said, while handing over a set of fresh tyres, that just because he was helping out didn’t mean he wanted Barry to keeping bumping up!
In the 1/128 Final B Brandt Mickael took the win having bumped up from the 1/256 Final B which was won by Pedro Silva who also bumps up to the 1/64 Finals. One big casualty so far is that of World 1:8 Semi Finalist and local ace Bruno Coelho who will take no further part after finishing 8th in 1/128 Final B.
We have put together some more new products from the pits here in Lisbon. We were expecting more new items but it seems most manufacturers are happy with their current cars and so its down to the engine and after market parts makers to come up with the goods. As posted in the gallery yesterday, O.S. engines have released their all new Max 12 XZ, which is currently in use by Takaaki Shimo and Hideo Kitizawa. Only in prototype form now, this completely new engine has performing well in the hands of both drivers and it is expected to be released a short period after this event.
More new parts from Capricorn RC with the release of a new IDM made exhaust pipe. It is in use by a large number of racers using Picco based engines, including Mega drivers Yuya Sahashi and Mark Green as well as Team Orion driver Adrien Bertin. Also new from the Italian company is this pinion tool which accepts a lot of different diameter pinions regardless of teeth number, while also included in the set is a tool for gripping both a 1/8th and 1/10th scale clutch bell.
Hong Kong based GQ Products are running with their new version rim. Seen in use by team drivers Teddy Syah, Per Ola Hard and others, the new rim is lighter than previous versions and following some further development should be available for release in the coming weeks.
Following an official protest by the Italian team during the final round of qualifying yesterday, Sirio drivers, who make up 3 of the top 4 drivers will no longer be allowed to use the latest version of the Sirio #2611 exhaust pipe. The protest which was pushed by Novarossi was originally not accepted however at what we understand was a very heated 1:10 Section meeting last night at the official hotel for the event, IFMAR made the descision to issue the following statement late last night which means that the new version of the #2611 pipe, as used by Jilles Groskamp to TQ, may no longer be used. This statement was only received by team managers this morning at the track –
During the end of the last round of qualifying IFMAR received a protest against the Sirio 2611 muffler.
The Protest was not accepted due to the wording in the Protest.
However, based on a discussion at the 1/10th Section meeting, held on Thursday evening the IFMAR committee has decided that from Friday 15th, on the pipe 2611 in its new version/layout is not allowed.
There are 2 versions in the market from the 2611 pipe, but IFMAR has no information about a changed in the design of this muffler and will only accept the old version.
The results from qualifying will remain as it is.
The old version has a normal tailpipe of about 16mm with a striaght design.
The new muffler design has a shorter tailpipe of abut 12mm and a thicker wall with a conical design.
On behalf of IFMAR
Dallas Mathiessen, President
Sander de Graaf, IFMAR IC Section Chairman
We looked for a statement from Andrea Rossi but the Sirio boss asked us to come back later and he and his support team worked on a solution for their driver for the finals. Jilles Groskamp who is TQ for the event ahead of his Sirio team mate Chris Tosolini said he did not know enough about the situation to comment, but did say all he wants is to race a legal car and enjoy a fair race for the World title.
We will bring you further news and comments as thing unfold but right now things appear rather hectic in the manufacturers village.