Ronald Volker came out best on tricky track conditions this morning at Steel City RC Speedway, as the first round of racing on Day 2 of the Reedy Race of Champions produced two new winners. With the first heat of Round 6 loaded with three title contenders after yesterday’s action, it looked like Viktor Wilck was going to close the gap on overnight points leader Volker with a win but at the 3-minute mark while holding a comfortable he collected a car that spun out in front of him in the sweeper pulling the front right corner off his Infinity. This gave the lead back to Ryan Cavalieri who would see of a late challenge from Volker who ended up P2. Ending yesterday with a win but not happy with his set of tyres, having to use the same tyres again this morning Marc Rheinard would spin out twice in the race and end up 7th. The second encounter would see Akio Sobue register his first win, finishing ahead of early leader Rick Hohwart, Kyle Klingforth and Round 3 winner JJ Wang.
‘It was a hard one. The traction was terrible out there. It was hard for everyone’, was how Volker summed up the first race of the day. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I crashed by myself once trying to just keep the car on the track’. A good round for the 3-time champion in terms of his rivals, he said, ‘I’m happy I beat Marc and Viktor. It was an important 2nd place’. Looking to the next race, all drivers having new tyres for Round 7, he said, ‘we will try to make the car more comfortable. Everyone is looking for better balance from their car’.
Commenting on his first win, Cavalieri said, ‘the track was very slimy. After the first few lap I was just trying to hold on for the rest of the race but I managed to squeeze a win out of it’. The Offroad ace, who has become a regular of the the Touring Car Reedy Race in recent years, continued, ‘the lap times and pace was so bad right now. What ever they sprayed on the track is making it worse. It’s going to be a tough day’.
Explaining how he lost an almost certain win, Wilck said, ‘two cars were stopped in front of me and I hit them. I was cruising and they spun out at the end of the straight and I couldn’t avoid them. It’s a shame. I was an easy win’. Continuing to set the fastest lap for each round, the pace this morning much slower, the Swede shared the general feedback from drivers that the track was ‘more slippery’ than yesterday.
‘Super difficult’, was Sobue’s reaction after his first win of this the 22nd running of the legendary race. He said after I over took Jan and had to drive safe and even driving like this I spun out at the end of the straight. It was super difficult to stay on the racing line.
Ronald Volker is the points leader at the end of the first day of racing at the Reedy Race of Champions, the Yokomo driver capping off the day with his 3rd win from the five rounds of racing. With weather effecting the legendary race’s move to Steel City RC Speedway it was a busy first first day with 2 rounds of practice and the five rounds of heads up racing crammed into the schedule as the rain that washed out yesterday’s practice looks set to return on Sunday. Having opened the day in the best way possible with a win the first round, Volker’s closing win ahead of team-mate Randy Caster gives him a 2 point advantage over the Infinity pairing of Viktor Wilck and defending Champion Marc Rheinard. Rheinard finally doubled up on his Round 2 win in the final round but afterwards was less than happy with the performance finishing ahead of team-mate Akio Sobue. After claiming the first win of the 22nd running of the event, Meen Vejrak’s day went slowly downhill, ending the day with a P7, which as his dropped score still leaves him 4th but a massive 6 points off the leader.
Reacting to his lead, Volker said, ‘Overall it was a good day for sure as I wasn’t sure what to expect coming to this track and how the different kind of format would play out’. A three time champion of the event, he continued, ‘the way they choose the starting grid is not perfect and not 100% fair. Sometimes you need to be lucky’. Despite registering the most number of wins, one from last on the grid, the German feels they could be getting more from his car. ‘Tomorrow morning we have free practice and we will make further changes again. Then we will see what happens but it has been a good day for me and the team’.
Classified second in the overnight standings as he has a faster winning time than Rheinard, Wilck didn’t hold back on his thoughts about the new format for making the grids for each round. With the winners from each round gridded in the same race and on the same row for their next encounter, the Swede said, ‘I got f**ked by the system. When I got the win we started from the back but now the winners got the front row. I think that system is not far’. Asked about his fifth round encounter, the former Champion said, ‘I was side by side with Randy (Caster) but got stuck in the pipe. The marshal was really fast but when he lifted the car the body got stuck and then I couldn’t catch the leaders anymore’. Again posting the fastest lap for the round he said, ‘I think the car is good and hope I get to use its full potential tomorrow’.
‘I was lucky I was not in the heat with Viktor and Ronald. My car was so loose. I was lucky I started from the front row and could get the win’, was Rheinard’s reaction after winning the less loaded of the two heats. He continued, ‘It must have been the tyres because my set-up is almost the same as Viktor’s. He had the fastest lap but I had to fight to keep the car on the track’. Asked about his position in the points table the 7-time Champion replied, ‘At this stage I would be happy to just finish on the podium’.
Ronald Volker has added a second win to his tally on the opening day of racing at the Reedy Race of Champions, the Yokomo driver coming from the 12th on the grid to win ahead of pole sitter Eric Albano and Randy Caster. The win puts the three time champion equal on points with Viktor Wilck, the Infinity driver having his worst run of the day with a P3 after suffering a body tuck. For Yokomo it was their second double for a round as Nicholas Lee held defending champion Marc Rheinard at bay from previous round winners Wilck and JJ Wang.
Reacting to his impressive drive through the field, Volker said, ‘I started last and nobody was crashing so I had to get by everyone which eventually worked out perfect’. Last winning the Reedy title in 2016, he continued, ‘We improved the car from the last round and I was able to drive more confident which is important for heads up racing. We will still make a small change for the last run of the day but it’s hard to think about the set-up too much as there is minimal time between runs’. With rain stopping yesterday’s practice day and more rain showing for Sunday, the schedule has been condensed to get in at least 5 rounds of racing each day which means quick turnarounds between rounds.
Lee was pleased to register his first win saying, ‘we improved the car and were closer to the rest of the guys. At the beginning of the run I was under a little pressure but then I pulled away but towards the end I made a mistake and was under pressure again from Marc so it was good to get the win’. Looking to the final round of racing for today, the Singapore driver said he hopes he can get more front grip into the car so it will be even better for racing.
Starting 11th on the grid and making up four places by the second lap but dropping back to last on lap 4, explaining his up & down race Wilck said, ‘I got a body tuck after a few laps and dropped to last’. Touching off Ryan Cavalieri as he put a pass on the Yokomo driver, it was enough to result in a bodyshell tuck. Again with the fastest lap of the round, he was able to put in a strong recovery saying, ‘the car worked good so I was able to come back to 3rd’.