April 16, 2011

Collari still in hunt for 10th World title

Lamberto Collari

Defending 1:8 Onroad World Champion Lamberto Collari is still in the hunt for a 10th World title but it was a close call for the Italian legend after a incident caused by American Paul Ciccarello on the entry to the pitlane cost him 6 seconds and the lead of the race.  The 1/4 Finals saw the demise of some big names in Miami with 2009 direct qualifier Mark Green, 200mm World Champion Ralph Burch and Japanese Champion Masao Tanaka falling by the way side.

Nicola Marrone

The final day of the 18th running of the World Championships, there was a delayed start to the opening race after Italian driver Nicola Marrone put his Serpent in the barrier at the end of the straight and called a time delay.  With his Serpent fixed he then pulled off almost an action replay of the incident crashing in the exact same spot when the warm-up got underway for a second time.  Although he made the race start he lasted just one lap.

Eric Dankel

The top Xray in qualifying and starting the race from pole Eric Dankel was dominating the race but a wrong fuel strategy meant the talented German had to stop for fuel with just 2 of the 20 minutes encounter remaining, dropping him to fifth and out of contention for a Top 3 bump placing.

Collari Fuel

The bizarre incident that very nearly cost Collari a place in Semi was caused when Ciccarello missed the pitlane entry and drove in the wrong direction back to the pitlane entry.  Just making it in in front of Collari, who was making his penultimate fuel stop, the Serpent driver hit the chicane and bounced out in front of the Italian causing both cars to need marshal assistance.  Collari rejoined in 5th position but setting the fastest lap of the race was able to work his way back into the top 3 eventually finishing second behind the Motonica of Spanish Champion Oscar Cabezas with Tsuyoshi Baba, who bumped up from yesterday’s 1/8 final, taking third to take his Mugen into the Semi.

Andrea Cristiani

The second of the 1/4 finals produced a less dramatic race with 2007 podium finisher Andrea Cristiani taking the win from 17-year-old British talent Kyle Branson.  A factory Sirio driver this is Branson’s first 1:8 Worlds having only this season returned to the category after a number of years focusing on 1:10 nitro.   Having won yesterday’s 1/8 final, US touring car ace Paul Lemieux claimed the final spot for the Semis and is the sole remaining Xray.  Retiring on the spot after a big crash with Team Shepherd driver Andrea Pirani, RC America boss Burch said contact with the track boards had broke the steering linkage on his car and this resulted in him being unable to avoid the Italian.  Having enjoyed huge joy at Texas nine months ago when he claimed his & Xray’s first ever World title, Burch said he didn’t have high expectations for the brand new RX8 coming here and that the event had been a 10-day test for the team.  With a difficult week over for the American he said, ‘roll on 2 years time’.

With the Top 4 qualifiers now running their 1-hour practice session the next race action will be the first of the 30-minute long Semi-finals which is scheduled to get underway at 13:00 local time.

Semi Final Even Grid
1. Daniele Ielasi – Shepherd/Picco
2. Takehiro Terauchi – Mugen/Novarossi
3. Meen Verjak – Mugen/Novarossi
4. Shinya Shimazaki – Mugen/Novarossi
5. Simon Kurzbuch – Shepherd/Max
6. Flavio Elias – Mugen/Max
7. Robin D’Hondt – Motonica/G-mar
8. Oscar Cabezas – Motonica/VOX
9. Lamberto Collari – Kyosho/Novarossi
10.Tsuyoshi Baba – Mugen/Novarossi

Semi Final Odd Grid
1. Keisuke Fukuda – Mugen/Novarossi
2. Paolo Morganti – Serpent/Novarossi
3. Michele Romagnoli – Shepherd/Novarossi
4. Walter Salemi – Motonica/Max
5. Michael Salven – Serpent/Xceed
6. Rick Vrielijnck – Mugen/Novarossi
7. Josh Cyrul – Shepherd/OS Speed
8. Andrea Cristiani – Serpent/Max
9. Kyle Branson – Serpent/Sirio
10.Paul Lemieux – Xray/Max

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