October 27, 2018

Greiner to defend title from 4th in Miami

Dominic Greiner will defend his 1:10 200mm World title from 4th on the grid in Miami later this evening.  Starting second in the Semi finals, the Serpent driver maintained that position behind pole man Naoto Matsukura to progress to the 1-hour main event at Homestead RC Raceway.  In the first of the two Semi finals, it was Tadahiko Sahashi who took the win ahead of Jilles Groskamp and Kyle Branson.  Starting from pole and holding an early lead, Andy Moore’s impressive campaign came undone when he lost the brakes on his car.  After his demise, No.2 starter Shoki Takahata took control but after building up a lead the Mugen driver’s race faltered when he had the first of a number of flame outs.  Flame outs also ended Vice-Champion Alessio Mazzeo’s event while former Champion Meen Vrejrak’s attempt at a second title ended when he had issues with wheels coming off his car.  In the second of the 30-minute encounters, Matsukura led home Greiner by a comfortable gap of 4.7 seconds with Teemu Leino completing the Top 3. With their fourth & fifth place times the next fastest two times outside the Top 3 of both Semis, Jeff Hamon and Eduardo Escandon, both having bumped up from the 1/4 finals, complete the Top 10 that will battle to become the 1:10 200mm’s 8th World Champion.  Unfortunately for former 1:8 World Champion Simon Kurzbuch there will be no repeat of the result as he came the second 2016 podium finisher to fall by the wayside in the Semis after suffering a number of flame outs.

‘It was OK’, was Greiner’s reaction after the race.  The German continued, ‘at the start me, Naoto and Simon pulled away a bit but having watched the previous Semi and seen a tyre stop was no advantage I then had to drive safe to save my tyres to the end’.  He said, ‘It was a clean run and now the first step is done’.  Asked about the pending final, he replied, ‘Management of the tyres is important.If you push too much they are finished. I think there will be many strategies but I think 1-stop for sure is needed’.

Matsakura described his race as ‘perfect’.  The 200mm Worlds Rookie said, ‘the car is good and the speed is good but I also made a safe run for the tyres’.  The Infinity driver, who will line up 3rd on the grid behind Top Qualifier Dario Balestri and Super Pole winner Robert Pietsch, added, ‘I had to make one extra (fuel) stop but I still lead. I have an engine that will do 5-minutes but the feeling of the Semi engine is better so I think I will keep (for the final)’.  The multiple Electric onroad World Champion concluded, ‘Me & car today are good so I can go for the win’.

Describing his race, Leino said, ‘I had a shit start because two times I got taken out but I had a very good car and could recover.  The next one with a better start all will be good’.  The Infinity driver and reigning European Champion added, ‘After the bad start I then catch a lot the leaders so I’m very confident for the final’.

Winner of the first Semi, Sahashi said it was important to manage the tyres in the race.  The former 1:8 World Champion, who along with Balestri and Pietsch will be vying to become only the second ever driver alongside Adrien Bertin to be both a 1:8 and 1:10 World Champion, said ‘I made a safe run’ adding on run time he was just making the 5-minutes but he was looking forward to a competitive showing in the final.

Commenting on his race Groskamp said, ‘I started super slow and let others passed. They were super aggressive at the start and maximum push’.  The Infinity driver continued, ‘I drove really safe for the tyre because I knew 30-minutes was going to be critical.  I also made my first stop one lap later than the others to have a clean stop.  After my mechanic told me the fuel was good and that I could push’.  The newly crowned Euro Nitro Series Champion added, ‘after the third pit stop I was already in the bump up position and started to be safe. I was surprised how close I was to Tadahiko. I had one spin at the end of the straight but my car was really good on small tyres’.  The Infinity driver concluded, ‘I stayed out of trouble. It was one of my better races ever and I’m excited for the final’.

Having made his final debut at the previous Worlds in Gubbio, Branson was delighted to repeat the feat.  The Capricorn driver said, ‘I knew once we found our set-up earlier in the week that it would be good for the finals. It was not the fastest but it was good for long runs’.  The British driver added, ‘I drove my own race but I was down on run time compared to the others so I had to make one extra stop.  It’s strange, the race is a bit like a mirror of Gubbio. I’m super happy I made it’.  Looking to the 1-hour final he concluded, ‘I’m going to enjoy myself. You come to the Worlds looking to make the final and I have achieved that so I’m going to drive my own race’.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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