November 1, 2019

Matsukura first to TQ for a second time at 1:8 Worlds

After an opening day of qualifying at the 1:8 Onroad World Championships yesterday that produced four different TQ drivers, this morning Naoto Matuskura became the first driver to go fastest for a second time. Having TQ’d Q1 in cool morning conditions, the Infinity driver repeated the result on what is again a cold morning at Steel City RC Speedway.  Pursuing top seed and team-mate Dario Balestri, a slight mistake from the Italian in the final minute of 4-minute run was enough for Matsukura to move to the top where he would stay to the end.  Finishing 9/10ths ahead of Balestri who held on for another P2, the Q5 result means the honour of Top Qualifier at the 22nd running of Championship is looking like a two horse race between the defending Champion Balestri and the reigning 1:10 Champion Matsukura, although former champions Simon Kurzbuch and Dominic Greiner still have a chance.  For the round, Greiner set the third fastest time followed by JJ Wang, Jesse Davis and Kurzbuch.

Summing up his TQ run, which was just 2/100ths off the quickest TQ time set by Balestri in Q4, Matsukura said, ‘my car was pretty good but we changed engine for today and it was very good.  I almost traction rolled but I wont change anything on the car as it will be more hot so the traction should be lower’.  He continued, ‘Dario had a little bit of a mistake so I can get the TQ.  Without (the mistake) I think I would be 0.5 off so I think we need to work on the bottom end of the engine tuning’.

Commenting on his run, Balestri said, ‘I just made a small mistake and it was finished’.  Securing the overall TQ on the way to his World title in France two years ago, he continued, ‘Naoto always start behind me so there is a lot of pressure but it is OK.  We have one more to go’.

Greiner described his performance in the penultimate qualifier as ‘so so’.  The Serpent driver explained, ‘the engine got lean and more lean in the run so at the end I had no power.  It was the same yesterday so I think we will change the engine for the last one.  The car was pretty good and I think the track will be better so we change nothing just the engine’.

A driver impressing a lot of people with his pace and consistency throughout qualifying, Wang said, ‘I guess it was another solid run.  It was not quite enough to fight with the guys at the front and I had a bobble at the end which cost me a few tenths’.  Looking to the final qualifier, the Mugen driver said, ‘I will do some calculations and see what I need to do in the last one but I’m going for making the Super Pole’.

View the complete event results here.

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