This year’s Touring Car Reedy Race Champion looks set to be decided this evening in the 10th round of racing at new venue Steel City RC Speedway. Originally scheduled to run over 12 rounds of racing, rain is looking increasingly likely to wash out Sunday’s 2 remaining rounds meaning the Champion of the 22nd running of the legendary race will be decided between former champion Ronald Volker and Viktor Wilck in today’s final round of heads up racing. Just one point separates Wilck from longtime points leader Volker after the former finished 2nd in front of his rival in the Round 9 encounter – Brandon Clements winning the heat from the pole as the big battles happened behind the American. With Marc Rheinard finishing second in the other encounter behind second time heat winner Nicholas Lee, and Akio Sibue only fourth, the 7-time defending champion now looks almost certain relinquish the Mike Reedy perpetual trophy with a podium finish.
Needing nothing but a win to try to regain the title he won back in 2012, on his Round 9 performance Wilck said, ‘the car was really good but I just took too long to get to the front’. The Infinity driver continued, ‘the (grid) system is the problem because for the last round Ronald will drive alone again’ – the Swede meaning that his rival is in the easier of the two heats. He added, ‘It really a shame what happened in the morning run because with that result I would have already won overall. I will try my best in the last one but it’s a big ask as even if I win Ronald only needs a second and he will win on the tie break’.
Commenting on his race, Volker said, ‘At least Viktor didn’t get the win. When I was passing a few guys he got by me. I was still lacking steering so I couldn’t fight back and now it comes down to the last one’. The Yokomo driver concluded, ‘I hope we can improve the car and fight for the single point’ – 1 point awarded for a race win.
Having conceded defeat after the seventh round when, going head to head with Ronald Volker, him finishing second behind the points leader, Viktor Wilck has put himself back in the game with a win in Round 8 at the Reedy Race of Champions. The Infinity driver added his third win of the event when from fourth on the grid he found a way passed Meen Vejrak, Ryan Cavalieri and team-mate Marc Rheinard for the crucial win. Lining up in the other encounter, Volker could only manage 3rd from fourth on the grid, the result the Yokomo driver’s second worst finish of the event. On the points table, Wilck is now 2-points off Volker with 4-scheduled rounds of racing remaining however with bad weather forecast for tomorrow it is widely expected that the 22nd running of the Reedy Race will be determined on 10 rounds. For Wilck this means he needs wins from today’s remaining two runs, with Volker currently having the advantage of more wins should the tie break be called into play. Winning the race in which Volker was running, Akio Sobue’s second win of the day moves him into contention for a podium finish with that battle set to be between him and team-mate & defending champion Rheinard.
‘At least now we have a small chance. It’s still open’, was Wilck’s reaction after the latest round. The former Champion continued, ‘we just need some more rounds with Ronald. He has one more win than me so I need to go for wins. Again I start behind him in the next one but my car is really good, so I’ll be going for it’.
Volker said, ‘I had a lot of understeer for some reason. I couldn’t fight at all but at least I got a P3 on the last lap’. Looking to claim a 4th Reedy Race title, asked if he knew the reason for the understeer he replied, ‘it’s hard to tell if it was the change to the car or the track. This round was the highest the wind has been since we’ve been here’.
Sobue echoed Volker’s thoughts on the wind, the Japanese driver saying, ‘it was more windy and this made the track feel different’. He added, ‘my car was easy to drive but I was lucky that Nicholas, JJ and Ronald were fighting with each other as it took the pressure off me’. Only 1-point off third place in the points, last year’s podium finisher said, ‘the top two are out of reach but I will try to fight Marc for the podium’.
Ronald Volker has moved a step closure to a fourth Reedy Race of Champions title after taking an important win ahead of Viktor Wilck in the seventh round of heads up racing at Steel City R/C Speedway. With two drops from the 7 rounds run so far, Volker holds a 3-point lead over Wilck with the gap to third placed Marc Rheinard now up at 4-points. For the defending champion, his latest race was another disappointing run as he got a P4 which he is currently counting together with his P7 from the day’s opening round as his two drop scores. That encounter was won by RROC debutant Lucas Urbain, the Awesomatix driver winner from previous round winners, Ryan Cavalieri and Akio Sobue.
‘For sure that was an important heads up with Viktor to stay in front of him and get the single point’, was how Volker summed up win No.4 of this year’s event. The 3-time Champion, who went to the front when JJ Wang spun out in the sweeper with 6-laps to go, continued, ‘He put me under a lot of pressure so I’m just happy I was able to save that one. It was an important one’. Breaking Wilck’s run of fastest laps, the German concluded, ‘The car was for sure better than the 1st run but we will make an adjustment to get a little more steering under braking for the next one’.
Commenting of his battle with Volker, Wilck said, ‘I was unlucky again. They (Volker & Wang) crashed together and they still go out in front. And again he (Volker) started in front of me’. Lining up 5th with his title rival 3rd on the grid, the incident the Swede was referring to was when the two leaders made contact on the entry to the chicane but unable to avoid both cars he couldn’t capitalise and all three resumed in the same running order. Having looked very strong yesterday to battle for a second Reedy Race title, looking at the latest points table the 2012 Champion said, ‘Now its pretty much over actually. The heat before killed me when I hit two back markers. That should have been a win’.