The first semi final is now over and after 30 minutes of hard racing, it’s Serpent 960 driver Andrea Cristiani that has taken the win. At the beginning of the race it was Dario Balestri that could make it to the front after a great start and he was followed to the front by Cristiani who managed to pass the racers ahead of him and make it to 2nd. A long stop by Balestri for an engine adjustment, lost him the lead and this promoted Cristiani to first in front of Mark Green and Robert Pietsch in 3rd.
During the race Bruno Coelho managed to move up the order to 5th using the track experience gained in the 2 previous finals he raced. During his 4th stop pitstop Cristiani crashed coming into the pit lane allowing Mark Green to take the lead but Cristiani was able to work his way back up the order from 3rd to 1st, helped in part by having one of the fastest cars on track. Midway through the race Robert Pietsch had contact with another car and this caused something to go wrong with his car, dropping him down the order. In the end Cristiani won by half a lap from Green in 2nd, with Balestri half a second behind in 3rd, despite getting a stop and go for bad refuelling.
We will now have to wait until the second semi to see who progesses into the main final. The second semi final is now running.
Semi Final Even results (unnofficial)
1. Andrea Cristiani – 97 Laps in 30:16.406
2. Mark Green – 96 Laps in 30:06.195
3. Dario Balestri – 96 Laps in 30:06.876
4. Michele Romagnoli – 96 Laps in 30:11.665
5. Bruno Coehlo – 96 Laps in 30:16.154
Nothing much to report on this as its the usual trying and testing of some setup tweaks, tires and engine settings. All 4 drivers were out on the track and they all seem to be working on long distance performance settings. Here are a few photos from the session.
The first Semi final will begin at 1pm local time, which at time of writing is in about 30 minutes. Here is the run down of both semi final participants.
Semi Final even Line-up
1. Robert Pietsch – Shepherd
2. Dario Balestri – Motonica
3. Michele Romagnoli – Serpent
4. Mark Green – Serpent
5. Stefano Solaroli – Mugen
6. Tadahiko Sahashi – Serpent
7. Fabio Domanin – Serpent
8. Andrea Cristiani – Serpent
9. Bruno Coelho – Mugen
10. Keisuke Fukuda – Mugen
Semi Final odd Line-up
1. Daniele Ielasi – Kyosho
2. Takaaki Shimo -Kyosho
3. Hideo Kitazawa – Mugen
4. Michael Salven – Serpent
5. Walter Salemi – Mugen
6. Jernej Vuga – Mugen
7. Andrea Pirani – Mugen
8. Yuya Sahashi – Serpent
9. Mike Swauger – Mugen
10. Francesco Tironi – Kyosho
In an exciting quarter final odd, it was Yuya Sahashi that came through from mid pack to take the win. The Serpent driver was in 4th early in the race behind Tironi, Swauger and Tanaka, who was leading, but then the Japanese driver lost pace and was passed by Tironi and then when Yuya passed Swauger in the pits he then managed to get passed Tanaka, bringing Swauger with him. The race was essentially over for Jilles Groskamp at the very start, his car stopping and taking 2 laps to restart and rejoin, he did go on to record the fastest lap of the race at 17.943. The pairing of Sahashi and Swauger went after Tironi and managed to get passed after the Italian was given a stop go for bad refuelling. He rejoined in 3rd and had huge pressure from Morganti, who again started badly but had regained composure and was on it, but couldnt get passsed and came home 4th only 1 second behind.
1/4th Even final Top 3
1. Yuya Sahashi – 64 Laps 20:06.835
2. Mike Swauger – 64 Laps 20:07.706
3. Francesco Tironi – 64 Laps 20:16.401
The cars took to the track in warm and sunny conditions for the 1/4 finals and in the even final, run first, it was Andrea Cristiani that came out on top after dropping back to 4th at the start, he got his head down and went into the lead a few laps later. Steven Cuypers was an innocent victim in a collision that included Keisuke Fukuda, the Japanese racer continued but Cuypers was out before the first lap was over. Young Portugese driver, Bruno Coelho, who had moved up from yesterdays 1/8th final has now moved up into the semi finals, a solid drive meant that he followed Cristiaini home only 7 seconds back. The final bump up spot went to Keisuke Fukuda who had worked his way up from last at the start to 4th with just 2 minutes to go when Scotty Gray, who held the 3rd spot, had to go in for a final stop dropping him down to 5th behind another Japanese racer Ken Furukawa.
1/4th Odd final Top 3
1. Andrea Cristiani – 64 Laps in 20:02.113
2. Bruno Coelho – 64 Laps in 2009.382
3. Keisuke Fukuda – 63 Laps in 20:03.628
Finals day has arrived and the sun is out, the organisers are cleaning and prepping the track, and with all the quick drivers coming to the track to get their cars ready for the last 5 races of the event, it’s shaping up to be a great day. First up today, at 10am local time, we have the quarter finals which sees the winners from yesterdays 1/8th final try to move up again into the semi finals. In between the quarter and the semi finals we will have practice for the top 4 qualifiers and then the semi finals will be run to determine the final 6 that will join the top 4 direct qualifiers to battle it out for the World title. As with yesterday we will bring you a report after the 2 quarters and then after each semi and during the final we hope to keep the a post updated with up to the moment happenings on track. Stay tuned.
An amazingly competitive round of finals that started off with the even final that was won by Steven Cuypers who managed to come home ahead of Serpent team mate Scotty Gray as both drivers were able to pass early leader Bruno Coelho who ran out of fuel at the half way mark. The young Portugese Mugen racer dominated the early half of the race and would have come out the clear winner had he not stopped. It was Cuypers however came out won easily at the end with a margin of 9 seconds from Gray who was being heavily pressured by Coelho at the end, with the pair finishing only 1 second apart.
In the 2nd 1/8th final, it was Paolo Morganti that came from nowhere after a terrible start and anaged to take the win by 2 seconds at the end of the 20 minute final. The 2nd position belonged to Carlos Peracho, the Spanish Shepherd racer inherited the lead after long time race leader Vincent Jackson ran out of fuel and even though he fought back and actually passed the eventaul 3rd place, it wasn’t enough for the young American and he ended up 3 tenths of a second behind 3rd place finisher Kazuya Yuruki. After the final however it was found that the fuel tank of Yuriki was too big and then Jackson, who would take his place, was also found to have his fuel tank to large and this allowed Takayoshi Tanaka to inherit the last bump up position.
1/8th Even Top 3
1. Steven Cuypers – 64 Laps 20:03.210
2. Scotty Gray – 64 Laps 20:12.234
3. Bruno Coelho – 64 Laps 20:13.584
1/8th Odd Top 3
1. Paolo Morganti – 63 Laps 20:04.648
2. Carlos Peracho – 63 Laps 20:06.753
5. Takayoshi Tanaka – 62 Laps 20:00.661
One big name racer to unfortunately be out already is Rick V, whose car didnt look on the pace and he retired at the half way point from a mid field position.
Racing is completed for the day and tomorrow will see the running of the quarters, semis and the all important 1 hour long main final, which at the end we will see who the new World Champion is.
Click here for the results from today (.txt) and here for the overall sorted results after todays finals (.xls).
We will be adding more pictures from today to our gallery so check back often.