May 27, 2017

Rheinard gains as Vejrak has tough start to Day 2 of Reedy Race

Marc Rheinard made the biggest gain as Day 2 of the Reedy Race of Champions got underway with Round 5 of racing at Tamiya Raceway, a third place moving the Infinity driver to within 2 points of overnight leader Meen Vejrak and Akio Sobue.   The opening heat of the day’s four rounds of racing would see Eric Albano capitalise on his pole position, the Yokomo driver winning by over 3-seconds from fellow American Ryan Cavalieri as Bruno Coelho snatched 3rd from Juho Levanan in a drag race to the finish line.  The second encounter was the most heavily stacked heat of the round, Rheinard joined by reigning champion Ronald Volker and points leader Vejrak with Nicolas Lee on pole.   Lee would take the win with all eyes on the battle behind for second.  Starting second Naoki Akiyama drove a great race as Rheinard overshadowed him, the German eventually getting by with a forceful move only to be called to give it back by the referee.  Getting by the young Japanese driver for a second time, the 5-time Champion would then make a mistake entering the kink with Akiyama there to take back second and hold it to the end ahead of Rheinard, Volker and Vejrak.  Heat 3 would see a great battle between Viktor Wilck and Sobue with Wilck going to the front after a questionable move on the Infinity driver in the kink.  Sending Sobue flying of the track, Sobue with drop to 5th as the Serpent driver registered his second win of the event.  While no call came from the referees the general opinion of the invitation class drivers watching was the Swede was at fault for the incident.

‘Overall I made some points I guess compared the leading driver in the points’, was Rheinard’s reaction to his P3.  With a DNF & 8 points, in his tally, he added, ‘2nd would have been good but 3rd is ok given the result of the others’. Commenting on his race, he said, ‘I was in a Yokomo sandwich, I was faster than both of them but had to be careful not to touch them and Naoki was driving really well’.  On his first pass on Akiyama, he said, ‘We touched but I didn’t hit him so I don’t think the call was fair, there have been worse crashes and no penalties’.  Explaining his error in the kink he said, ‘I was pushing trying to catch Nicholas but ran too much inside and slid up the curb on the green and got dirty tyres and that’s how Naoki got back by’.

The only triple winner so far along with Rheinard, Vejrak summed up his P5 with, ‘not a good start this morning’.  The Thai driver said, ‘Marc opened in the sweeper and I went for the pass but we touched and my tyres got dirty so I lost a few positions’.  The 2015 podium finishers continued, ‘the car feeling changes every round so it really difficult to know how it will react in the race’.  Vejrak’s worst round so far, if taken as one of the two rounds drivers will drop, the former nitro touring car World Champion sits 1-point behind Rheinard in the points.

Giving his view of his incident with Sobue, Wilck said, ‘It was a tough battle with Akio.  It is way different when you go defensive driving.  I tried to pull away but hit the kink. Then we went into the kink side by side, I lifted a little but we touched. It was side by side’. Asking Sobue for his view of things, the friendly Japanese driver was ultra PC describing it as ‘unlucky’.  Commenting on his heat win Lee said, ‘That was the most difficult heat so far in terms of the level of drivers in it.  My car was a little difficult in the beginning but the others fighting helped me get away’.

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