Jilles Groskamp has taken the Runners-Up spot at the 2010 IFMAR 1:12 World Championship after securing victory ahead of Ronald Volker and Marc Rheinard in the third leg of the finals. After a disastrous opening leg which lasted just 3 laps, the factory CRC driver said this was the perfect ending to the event for him and although he finished Runner-Up it feels like a win given that Naoto Matsukura was in a totally different league to the rest of the field.
Completing the podium was Touring Car World Champion Rheinard who will defend his title here in Burgdorf later this week. With Matsukura sitting out Leg 3, the German led from the start but with an ill handling car he made a mistake allowing Groskamp, and Volker, through and had to settle for third both on the track and on the podium.
So with the name of the 1:12 World Champion decided for another 2-years we now move outdoors for the Touring Car World Championships which gets underway on Thursday. Our coverage which is being supported this week by LRP, Speed Passion and Kyosho, will resume then, at what is expected to a be sizzling hot event.
Overall final standings
1. Naoto Matsukura (Yokomo/Nosram)
2. Jilles Groskamp (CRC/Team Orion)
3. Marc Rheinard (Associated/Speed Passion)
4. Ronald Völker (Associated/LRP)
5. Simo Ahoniemi (Corally/GM)
6. Paul Lemieux (Xray/Trinity)
7. Elliot Harper (CRC/Speed Passion)
8. Josh Cyrul (CEFX/Speed Passion)
9. Keven Hebert (Associated/LRP)
10.Marc Fischer (Corally/GM)
Naoto Matsukura has retained his World title after an amazing performance in the second A-Main here at the 2010 IFMAR 1:12 World Championships in Burgdorf, Germany. Making a mistake in the opening section of corners, the Top Qualifier dropped to last but the driving display that was to follow shows just why the 16-year-old is a truly worthy winner of his second World title.
Following his error Matsukura literally sliced his way through the World class field and by lap 16 had his Yokomo R12 back out front where he would stay to wrap up the event. Successfully defending his crown the Japanese youngster becomes only the 3rd driver in the history of the fifteen 1:12 World Championships to achieve this feat, one of the other drivers being his mentor and rc legend Masami Hirosaka.
Afterwards Matsukura said he felt ‘unbelievably happy’ with the result and it was a great reward for his hard work and preparation over the past two years. He said his biggest worry coming to German was the new car but early on he proved that it was a capable package. Asked about his mistake, the hugely popular character said everything went blank for a split moment but he regained his composure telling himself he was faster than the rest of the field and he could still win the Leg. That exactly what he did.
Rheinard who led the field briefly paid great respect to Matsukura for his spectacular drive. ‘I thought when he crashed I could push the title out to the third leg but I could hear Scotty (Ernst) announcing lap after lap that he had made up more places and I knew he was going to do it.’ The German said that even without his mistake he would not have been able to hold off Matsukura saying he was just the class of the field at this event.
Although the World title is decided it is all still to play for in the 3rd leg of the final with the remaining two spots on the podium up for grabs. Rheinard has two second place finishes but Paul Lemieux took third in Leg 1 and Jilles Groskamp was third for Leg 2 and so the place is not guaranteed yet. With Matsukura set to sit out the last race of the day we can expect a very close fight to decide the final ranking of the Top 10 1:12 drivers in the world.
Defending 1:12 World Champion Naoto Matsukura made it look easy as he cruised to a very convincing victory in the first leg of the A-Mains here in Burgdorf. The Top Qualifier led from start to finish winning by almost 5 seconds from Marc Rheinard to move a step closer to retaining the title he won 2-years in Bangkok, Thailand. The young Japanese ace made the race look like a formality but afterwards admitted he was very nervous for the opening part of the race finding it hard to run a tight line, but as he opened up a gap over the chasing pack he was able to relax and get into his regular rhythm.
Rheinard was the only driver who looked like he might be able to take the chase to Matsukura but that quickly faded as he fell 3.7 adrift by the mid way point. The German, who will defend his Touring Car World title later this week, said a lack of traction meant he was unable to do anything about the pace of the 16-year-old, something he is putting down to a bad set of tyres.
One man who really should buy a lottery ticket this evening is American Paul Lemieux. Having just scraped into the final this morning, the RC America driver took his Xray from 10th on the grid to 3rd by the end of the 8 minutes. Battling hard with his fellow countryman Josh Cyrul for the position, Lemieux got third as Cyrul crashed, with 30 seconds to go, into the foot of a marshal who was recovering Ronald Volker’s dead car which had come to a halt on the racing line. Speaking about the incident Cyrul said this was typical luck for him. Recovering, the US Champion eventually crossed the line in 5th position behind the Corally of Finland’s Simo Ahoniemi and ahead of Elliot Harper.
The first big casualty of the race was CRC’s Jilles Groskamp. The Dutch driver was running third but pushed too hard in an attempt keep pace with the top 2. Hitting a board he broke a rear wheel bringing his race to an end after just 3 laps. With Groskamp gone Volker held the third spot but 2 laps from home his race came to a sudden stop after the end bell came off his motor after fairly light contact with the boards leaving him with no drive.