Viktor Wilck is the first driver to double up on wins at this year’s Reedy Race of Champions, the former champion benefiting from a last lap contact between race leader Lucas Urbain and Marc Rheinard who finished 2nd & 3rd. Going into the round sharing the points lead with Meen Vejrak, Wilck has now pulled two points clear with Vejrak claiming a third from 7th on the grid in the second of the Round 3 encounters. That race was won by JJ Wang, the Xray driver becoming the first US driver to register a win at the 22nd running of the legendary touring car race after he held off immense pressure from Ronald Volker.
Commenting on his strong start to this year’s event, which has seen it move to the new Steel City RC Speedway, Wilck said, ‘that was a lucky round. They touched on the last lap and I could get by’. He continued, ‘It took me some time to get by Cav and that lost me time to Marc but my car was not too bad actually and I could close up’. Setting the fastest lap of the race once he got by Cavalieri, the Swede was not reading too much into his early lead saying, ‘there are so many runs left I just have to wait and see what happens’.
‘That was super fun for me’, was Wang’s reaction after his race. The college student added, ‘it’s Volker so I had to defend everywhere. I was happy to get that done and it was entertaining for everyone to watch’. Volker said, ‘I took a lot of opportunities to pass JJ but he defended well. We made a change to the car but it made it way too stable. I pushed really hard but I had understeer so I couldn’t get by. We will try to get more steering for the next one’.
Defending Champion Marc Rheinard and his Infinity team-mate Viktor Wilck put wins on the board at the Reedy Race of Champions with Rheinard winning the more interesting of the Round 2 encounters at Steel City RC Speedway. Starting third on the grid, Rheinard took almost the entire race to get by pole man Jan Ratheisky, the pass coming with two laps to go. With contact during the pass hampering Round 1 winner Ronald Volker who was running third, it would be the the other of the Round 1 winners Meen Vejrak who would finish second with Ratheisky third and Volker 4th. Wilck would take his win from fifth on the grid ahead of Akio Sobue and Ryan Cavalieri. Starting on pole, Cavalieri built up an early gap helped by Wilck making contact with team-mate Sobue and having to wait while the battled over second. The offroad star soon had the touring car Pros back on his case with them each going through on separate occasions when the Yokomo driver ran wide.
Summing up his comfortable win over Sobue, 2012 Champion Wilck said, ‘It was an easy heat this time. I got together a little with Akio and had to wait for him but I could then make a clean pass and and when Cav had a slide I could pass him.’ Second in the opening round behind Vejrak, Wilck now shares the early points leads. Asked about the traction, the Swede replied, ‘It was a lot better this time but I think the second heat is helped by heat 1 because they cleaned the track for us after the wait before invite (class) starts’.
‘It’s a win’, was Rheinard’s reaction after his second round encounter, the 7 time winner still unhappy with the feeling of his car. He continued, ‘Jan did a good job. He is a hard fighter. The whole field was closing so I couldn’t do anything stupid to pass him. Finally I could make a pass down his inside’. Having changed his set-up between rounds, the German said, ‘It still feels like driving on ice’, adding it was ‘hard to say if car was any better or it the traction that is strange’.
The 22nd running of the Reedy Race of Champions is underway, with the sun finally turning up after rain washed out yesterday’s practice day. With just two heats of racing per round for the 22 car field, it was Meen Vejrak who registered the first win on the events debut at the Steel City RC Speedway. Starting from pole, the Yokomo driver managed to stay out front throughout the more stacked of the two races despite pressure from Viktor Wilck who made contact with the Thai driver on more than one occasion. Behind them defending champion Marc Rheinard would open his campaign with a P3 after Jan Ratheisky got the jump on him at the start that saw a good battle between the two Germans. In the other encounter, which featured no less than 8 US drivers, it was the visitors that came through to complete the Top 3. Starting 10th on the grid Ronald Volker was up to third by the hairpin on the opening lap and soon after was out front for a dominant win. Lining up 11th for the start, RROC debutant Lucas Urbain would take his Awesomatix through to second with young up & coming Japanese star Takuma Sasaki third.
Commenting on his win, former podium finisher Vejrak said, ‘it is great to start the Reedy Race with a win but I had a lucky draw’. He continued, ‘starting from pole was super risky because its our first time here and we have very little running so the track is different every time’. On his battle with Wilck, he said, ‘me and Viktor were super close but I was able to control the race until 3-minutes. Then my car slowed down and I had to block him’. With a new format putting the race winner of the previous round in the same race for the following round, Vejrak will line-up alongside team-mate Volker for Round 2 saying, ‘I hope we can both get a good result’.
On his race Volker said, ‘I was drawn to start 10th on the grid but at the first corner I was able to gain 7 spots around the outside line and I was up to 3rd by the hairpin.’ He continued, ‘It was great team start with Meen winning his heat which had the stronger line-up. On his car, the former champion said, ‘it was good but the grip was a little down again because of the gap between the last race and the wind. We will make a small adjustment now to get more stability in the rear’.
Chasing his 8th Reedy Race title this weekend, Rheinard summed up his 3rd place by saying, ‘I lost the start to Jan (Ratheisky) and then got stuck behind him. We had a good battle but by the time I got passed the others were gone’. A huge fan of the Tamiya track, the Infinity driver said he didn’t get the Reedy Race feeling from the opening race but is hoping for a better second run. He said, ‘I am still struggling with the car. It doesn’t feel right. The grip is strange but I have a big change I will try for the next one’.