May 27, 2018

Rheinard closes on 7th Reedy title as Volker suffers DNF

Marc Rheinard is looking good for his 7th Reedy Race of Champions title after the 10th round of racing saw the Infinity driver claim a 2nd place while rival Ronald Volker suffered a mechanical DNF.  Having eked out a 1-point lead with a win in the previous round, the duo lined up in the same race with Volker starting third and Rheinard 7th but unfortunately for Volker his race would last only 7-laps while he was running 2nd.  Having just put in the fastest lap of the race, the Yokomo driver suffered a front drive shaft failure, the World Champion conceding afterwards the his title hopes are now over despite two races remaining.  For Rheinard, who just ran out of time to put a move on race winner Rick Hohwart, the result gives him a two point point advantage meaning Volker needs to win the remaining two races.  In the other battle of this, the final running of the Reedy Race at the iconic Tamiya Raceway which will no longer be after September, it was also a bad round for Volker’s team-mate Christopher Krapp. In a fight with Viktor Wilck for the final podium place, he momentarily took the lead from Akio Sobue only to make a mistake and end the race 6th. Sobue would take the second win of the morning ahead of Wilck, moving the Infinity driver into contention for the overall podium.  In the opening race of the round Brandon Clements took full advantage of his pole starting position to register his first win of the event ahead of fellow Americans Julian Wong and Sam Isaacs.

‘Not perfect but still good points’, was Rheinard’s view on his latest race.  Chasing the legacy of being the last driver to win the Reedy Race at Tamiya Raceway, a track that has given him 4 of his 6 Reedy titles, he said, ‘I took it easy at the start but someone hit me in the front. I eventually got to second and tried to catch Rick but ran out of time’.  With his 2nd place one of his current drops, he continued, ‘Ronald had a DNF, so it gives me a 2-point lead at least’.  Asked if he was thinking about the title win yet, the 3-time Touring Car World Champion replied, ‘I will just drive the next one and see, I start again from the back’ – his starting position for the penultimate round P5.

A clearly frustrated Volker said, ‘the car was awesome. We changed to a softer rear spring but the front drive shaft gave up’. A 3 time winner of the Reedy Race, his last title coming in 2016, he continued, ‘It basically ended my chance for the win. I can only battle for the podium now’.  Team-mate Krapp was also looking dejected after his race.  The 2016 Reedy Race runner-up said, ‘It was stupid on my side. I passed him (Sobue) already but my line was not normal and I hit the kink’.  He continued, ‘my pace was awesome and I could pass every corner. Anyway there is still two more race to come and it is wide open.  I will try to stay calm and see what happens’.

On his race, Wilck said, ‘we changed back the set-up and the car was much better. I got the most out of the heat’.  Starting from 6th on the grid, the Swede added, ‘When Chrissy went out I didn’t want to crash with Akio and drove to save the second place points’.  For the next round, he will again start in the same race race as Krapp, lining up fifth as his rival again starts on the front row.

Moving up 2 places in the standings and ahead of Krapp with his third win of the weekend, Sobue said, ‘today is not so bad, I am having my best results today’.  He continued, ‘my car feels so so, it was better yesterday but I was unlucky’, this a reference to him going out of the lead of the day’s final race when his camber link came out.  The Japanese driver added, ‘I want to get on the podium but all the Infinity team are in the next one but I want to win this because in the last round I am racing against Viktor and Christopher’.

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