Argentina is the host country for the 2007 IFMAR 1/8th scale World Championships and as the elite of the RC World descend on the country’s 2nd city, Cordoba, we bring you our event preview.
This year’s event takes place on a recently completed track at the Complejo Ferial Cordoba, the same venue as used by the Argentinean round of the World Rally Championships. Favourite for this years event has to be the 7-time World Champion Lamberto Collari of Italy, the Kyosho driver will be trying to further cement his legendary RC status with an 8th IFMAR World title. Lamberto was present at the warm-up race in March but despite a good qualifying he had radio problems in the final, which meant he retired after only 50 laps, a problem I’m sure that will be sorted in time for this year’s main event.
The winner of that warm-up race was Mark Green, the English Serpent driver has been tearing up the tracks in the UK all year and with experience in World and European Championship Finals, Mark can surely be a strong contender for the crown.
Another racer on the podium at that warm-up race was the charismatic Italian driver Dario Balestri, who as our coverage of this years European 1/10th scale Championships showed you can never discount him to make a come back. Supported by the Novarossi factory means that power will certainly not be a problem and as we know, his driving is up to scratch, with the only uncertainty being the performance of the so far largely unproven Motonica chassis on the International stage.
Japan has produced some World Champions in the last few years of gas on road racing and as always they are strong contenders. Current 1/10th scale World Champion Keisuke Fukuda could be in with a strong chance for Mugen, the 2001 Vice Champion, has the experience of the big occasion and knows what it takes to win. Also from Japan with high hopes is former Japanese Champion and 2003 & 05 podium finisher, Takaaki Shimo, the Kyosho racer is always in or close the finals at the big races. The Sahashi brothers will also be there for Serpent, with Yuya having just won the Japanese Nationals, and Tadahiko placing 3rd, meaning that they are definitely not going there to be spectators. Another racer from Japan looking to get his hands on the silverware is Motonica racer Masao Tanaka, the Novarossi backed driver finished 3rd in 2001 and was in the final in 2005, so expect another strong performance this time around.
Another number of drivers from Europe that could take the win would be Italy’s Danielle Ielasi for Kyosho, 2007 Italian Champion Alberto Picco also racing for Kyosho (UPDATE: Alberto will not be travelling to the event due to work commitments), another multiple finalist Walter Salemi for Mugen and Serpent driver Andrea Cristiani, expect all the Italian racers in the top 30 at this event. From Germany is multiple European Champion, Michael Salven for Serpent as well as previous Worlds finalist and current German National Champion Robert Pietsch, racing the Shepherd Velox. Finally from France, racing for Luxembourg, is multiple World Champion Adrien Bertin, the Kyosho racer will perhaps be debuting the CRF .21 motor at this event which is meant to have really good fuel consumption, important for 10 minute qualifiers.
Finally from the USA there will be title contenders in the form of Kyosho drivers Chris Tosolini and Josh Cyrul, the latter recently switching to Novarossi engines, Mugen racer Mike Swauger and for Serpent, Paolo Morganti. All 4 drivers have been in winning form this year with Morganti going to the event with prior experience at this track, having taken part in a test session during the summer.
Red RC will be live at the track from Monday the 8th and will carry on right up until Saturdays finals day with Red RC bringing you reports, insights and of course lots of photos directly from the track throughout the week.