May 28, 2016

RROC Day 2 opens with wins for Krapp, Volker & Kutvonen


With California’s ‘June Gloom’ delaying the start of the second day’s action at the Reedy Race of Champions, when racing did get underway on the low traction conditions it was Christopher Krapp, Ronald Volker and Viljami Kutvonen who took the wins.  With the 5th round again seeing Volker line up against defending champion Marc Rheinard, the main attention would be on Race 2.  Starting side by side on the second row,  Rheinard having the advantage of lining up on the inside, the prospects of a repeat of the great battles yesterday would be short lived.   Coming out of the sweeper, Rheinard’s Tamiya would spin out dropping him to the back allowing Volker to bide his time in getting passed early leader Andrew Hardman.  Hardman would hold on to finish second as an attempt by the recovering Rheinard to pass the Canadian saw him get spun out by the lapped VBC of Ryan Maker.  Having established a lead Volker’s race wasn’t without drama,  holding comfortable lead the Yokomo driver somehow survived a huge impact when he collected Keven Hebert’s Associated which suffered a shutdown on the main straight.  In the opening race, Krapp registered his second win as he capitalised on his pole starting position to win easily ahead of Ryan Cavalieri.  In the third race, RROC Rookie Viljami Kutvonen also made the most of a P1 grid position to win but couldn’t let up as Tamiya’s Akio Sobue chased in second.  World Champion Naoto Matsukura would finish a distant third.


‘Oh my god’, was Volker’s reaction after the race, the German still trying to get around how he survived the impact with Hebert.  Running back over the race, he said, ‘I had a better opening lap then Marc and that gave me the advantage.  Once first I was just pacing myself but then Keven Hebert’s car shutdown on the straight when I was a few metres behind him. It was a huge impact’.  The ETS Champion added,’ I was unlucky to hit him but lucky not to break only tweak the car.  Such a heavy impact it could have easily been a DNF’.   Chasing a third RROC title, the 2009 & 2014 Champion described track conditions after the morning’s misty rain as ‘very bad’, adding ‘I hope for a better track the next time to make for better racing’.


Asked about his Race 5 start Rheinard said ‘I just spun out’.  With his car crossing the barrier and into the oncoming field facing the wrong way, the 5-time Champion was forced to wait to rejoin.  He said, ‘I waited but two cars were fighting so I went but got called to give up position to them which left me at the back’. While his TRF419X ‘felt good’ in the low traction conditions, ‘it took a while to get back to the front’ and any chance of capitalising on Volker’s tweaked car ended when he ‘spun out again after (he) was hit by a backmarker’.  Summing up the result which drops him from the points lead he held overnight, 3rd his worst finish so far, the German said, ‘I lost the race at the beginning’.


Commenting on his win, Krapp said it was ‘a good morning run’ adding ‘I got lucky the guys behind me crashed. After that I just dd laps’.  A title contender on his RROC debut last year until a mistake in Race 10 of 12 at the Tamiya Raceway’s famous kink, the Tamiya Racing Factory driver said for Race 5, ‘again the track was different but like last year his car was better in the colder conditions’.  With the clouds slowly clearing, the multiple World Championship finalist said he needs to work on getting his TRF419X better for when the track heats up.


After a solid run yesterday with three 3rd place finishes and a 4th, Kutvonen said Race 5 ‘was good’ adding that starting from the front row for the first time he was able to ‘drive a clean race’.  The factory backed Awesomatix driver said while ‘(he) had a small gap after 2-corners (he) noticed Sobue was second so he had to push for the full 5-minutes’.  Commenting on his A800, he said ‘the track was more slippy this morning but my car is improving every run and I will try something different again for the next one’.

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