Due to unforeseen events happened couple of months ago the most famous USA “classic” onroad race moved from Full Throttle Raceway in Kissimmee to HMRC location that recently hosted the Sedan 1/10 World Championship. Our official team travelled again overseas to attend the US NITRO CUP with Alberto, Carmine and Dario for 1/8 class with Jilles and Teemu lined up in 1/10 class.
Track conditions were lot different compare to worlds days due to different preparation of the track in typical “George’s Style”: tons of grip in&out the racing line for maximum fun of the drivers! Weather also was really different from late October with first days of practice marked out from a cold breeze and around 70 fahrenheit. From the beginning our drivers was very fast and spent most of time to get used to new conditions changing setup of their cars. Amazing was lap time difference that in 1/10 was almost 1 second faster than World’s.
Six Qualifying rounds see the dominance of Carmine Raiola in 1/8 and Teemu Leino in 1/10… They really impressed the audience with lot of confidence in this tight track showing an incredible pace. Dario in 1/8 wasn’t so far and also Alberto get closer and closer every round; Jilles improved also round by round and at the end we have 1-2-3 in 1/8 Open class and 1-2 in 1/10 Nitro class. The good news arrived from our US customers: in the 1/8 Open Christian Lopez gets directly Amain as CJ Townend do in 1/8 Master with Franco Machado, that travelled from Portorico, 5th in 1/10…
Sunday for Finals was really hot (90 fahrenheit) and humid compare to early days. CJ wasn’t lucky and closed 6th in 1/8 Master Amain that saw the win of our friend Marco Vanni. The 1/10 Amain start with Teemu in front and Jilles behind; both of them waiting to know which of their strategies works better for 45 minutes… Franco Machado had some contacts in the midfield loosing some time in the beginning but he drove a good Final. Back to lead guys and unfortunately during his tire change Teemu suffered of the lost of rear hex hub allowing Jilles to open a gap and cruising to the win. The “furious” recover of the Finnish driver pleased the audience that can see “how fast” a Sedan car could be driven on this track… The most awaited 1/8 Open class final saw a great performance of Carmine: he succeded to maintain the lead in the first minutes of the race when Dario spread maximum effort to pass him… Dario tried also a different tire strategy making 1/2 change after only 8 minutes but a damaged body shell due to a contact vanished his efforts. Picco was very regular and constant in his driving getting the last step of the podium after long fight with Christian that few minutes to the end must retire due to an engine failure.
Complete 1/8 Open podium, 1-2 in 1/10 gave us the perception of a work “well done”; highest point of the week was how our customers enjoyed the advice and sometimes the direct help of our team drivers. Working together is always better! What we can say… See you next year!
After its successfully launch at RCI V2 in Shanghai, Rounds 3 & 4 of the new Chinese based OneTen Series descended on Hong Kong for the 2nd stop on the 4-event/8-round calendar. Featuring a unique double header format Saturday's round is the more traditional race schedule of 3 qualifiers, albeit each 6-minutes long, followed by triple main while Sunday's round programme consists of four 4-minute qualifiers and a single 8-minute Main. For Akio adapting to the format at the first event proved no issue as he took the indoor carpet TQ & win on both days. With Hong Kong an outdoor event, he was hoping to take his IF14 to repeat performance result on the Tom Racing Circuit asphalt. On the podium in Shanghai, Jin was also back for more while Andy joined them for his OneTen Series debut in Hong Kong with, as usual, Kotonori on hand to support all Infinity drivers.
While only 3rd fastest in the single round of practice, Akio was right on it for Q1 topping the times by over 2-seconds. Despite struggling with the circuit's low traction and suffering a spin, Jin would post a P3 run with Andy completing the Top 6. The second qualifier would net a P2-3-4 for our guys led by Akio, a good result given all three were on used tyres and TQ was set by Nicolas Lee who opted to use up one of his allocated set of new tyres. With new tyres for the final qualifier, our guys would end qualifying with the perfect result of a 1,2,3, Akio topping the times ahead of Andy to claim the overall TQ while 3rd secured Jin P3 on the grid in front of Andy.
The opening final was a pretty clear cut affair from Akio's perspective. Keeping his composure as Lee tried to force a pass early in the opening lap, Akio quickly made the race his own. Behind Jin took advantage of a mistake from Lee to move up to second with Andy keeping him on his toes but unable to find a way by. A2 would be more of the same from Akio, as he won by 1.8-seconds to maintain his 100% percent series record - 3 TQs and now 3 race wins from 3 rounds. Unfortunately the second encounter was a tough one for Andy and Jin. Andy's race lasted just over a minute as he crashed on the track's main straight kerbing and retired on the spot. Holding third, Jin would also retire after stripping a spur gear with just over a minute left on the clock. Although he already had the overall win wrapped up, Akio ran A3 and again was the class of the field and the battle was for second. Unfortunately Andy would get punted off the track early on. Putting a lot of pressure on Lee, on the penultimate lap Jin got slightly off line allowing Jan Ratheisky to go by but at the next corner he made contact with Lee and waiting to give back the position it allowed Jin through for P2 and second overall - the second Infinity 1-2 of the series.
Sunday was a fresh start but Akio maintained his previous day's pace to yet again get things underway with a TQ ahead of Andy and Jin. Andy would finally hit the top in Q2 as he gambled on using new tyres to produce a TQ run ahead of Lee & Ratheisky who were also on new tyres. Jin would end up the best driver to opt to run used tyres with P5 while Akio squeezed a P9 out of his third run tyres. In Q3 Jin was quickest for the team with a P2 ahead of Akio and Andy before Akio resumed his authority in Q4 to secure pole for the single 8-minute final. The only driver to run a 13-second lap in the final, Akio took a more than convincing 8-second margin victory ahead of Lee with Jin third. Andy looked like leaving his first OneTen weekend with a podium trophy until a big moment coming onto the main straight launched him into the wall. He somehow survived the impact and lost just two places to finish 5th.
Another successful OneTen performance for the IF14, the guys are already looking forward to Rounds 5 & 6 in Guangzhou on January 12/13. Also an asphalt event, Akio will aiming to maintain his 100% winning ways.
Having conquered the 1:8 Onroad World Championships in France one year ago, our team travelled across the Atlantic to Miami to put 12-months of preparation for the 1:10 200mm Onroad World Championships to work. The newer of the two nitro onroad categories, 1:8 being the founding class of our sport, the 8th running of the nitro touring car Worlds would be our second attempt. Putting a car in the final as a brand new 1:10 project 2-years ago in Italy, the team arrived at the Homestead RC Raceway much more experienced and with much higher expectations for the IF15.
For some of the team, the International Practice Days would be their first opportunity to get a feel for the typical US boards style track. A tight infield layout that required precision driving and punished mistakes, the track also featured a long 100 metre straight. For our drivers who attended the World's Warm-up race earlier in the year they could only spectate during the two IPD days and once they did hit the track they realised it was like starting from scratch. A difference in the tyre compound compared to what they used at the Warm-up and a bigger difference between front and rear shores had created lower traction. Also overnight rain washed off any traction that had been laid down by 120 competing cars on the first day of free practice. At the end of the first day of practice, track conditions at their best, it was Jesse who led the Infinity challenge with the third fastest time. Following the overnight rain, things went better in the more challenging conditions with Naoto topping the times for the day ahead of Tadahiko and Lamberto as more rain forced the cancellation of the 8th & final free practice. With this strong perform, the trio went into the four rounds of controlled practice on Tuesday feeling very confident of a good seeding. For Dario he was less happy as he was still trying to find his way having had to discard 90% of the set-up data he compiled at he Warm-up Race due to how much the traction had reduced.
Naoto, a 200mm racing virgin, got Controlled Practice underway with the fastest 3-consecutive laps with Tadahiko and Lamberto also showing well with a P5 and P6. In the next of the 7-minute runs, Lamberto improved to go fastest as the IF15 filled the Top 3 times. In the third run, Naoto posted the 2nd fastest time but it was the final practice that was the most impressive. Both Naoto and Lamberto set an identical fastest time which were also to be the quickest three-laps of the day. Not a scenario anticipated by the creators of the timing software, once a tie breaker was written into the coding it was Lamberto who came out of the day as top seed for qualifying even admitting himself to be surprised by his pace given 3-consecutive laps are not his speciality. Joining him in the top heat, this being Lamberto's first attempt at 200mm World Championship, Naoto would carry No.2, Tadahiko No.3 and Teemu No.9 with Dario just making the cut with P10.
With the arrival of Wednesday morning, there came a distinct change of atmosphere as qualifying time had arrived. Unfortunately for Lamberto the No.1 seeding status for qualifying was not to bring much success. A plug issue left him 12th in Q1 before issues prevent results in the next two. In contrast, Dario was back with a bang having finally find a workable set-up allowing him to TQ the first round ahead of Naoto. In Q2 it was Dario again this time ahead of Andy. Running in the second fastest heat, Andy then went on to cap off the day with an impressive TQ run in Q3 ahead of the reigning champion Dominic Greiner. A great first day. The guys continued that form into the final day of qualifying. Naoto registered his first TQ run in Round 4 to join Andy as the main challengers to stopping Dario from taking his third consecutive overall World Championship TQ in as many years. Setting the pace in Q5, Naoto was on target to force the decision of pole position to go to the final round but at the halfway mark he made a mistake handing Dario the round and the first direct spot into the final. Finishing off qualifying with a TQ run ahead of Teemu in Q6, Naoto would end up 2nd and Andy third meaning they would both take part in Super Pole while in the overall Top 16 we had a total of 10 cars. Luckily for Dario he would suffer a battery connector failure Q6. Why was this?, well due to the timing because it was better to happen now than in the final.
Following a short break after Q6, the 4 drivers qualifying from 2nd to 5th faced into Super Pole - 6 attempts each to set the fastest single lap time to secure the second direct spot in Saturday evening's 1-hour Main. Sadly, unlike in France at the 1:8 Worlds, it wasn't to be a Super Pole success for us. Going last, the fading light at the track prevented Naoto from bettering the lap of Robert Pietsch, the difference just 0.028 of a second - that is a tenth of the time it takes the average human to blink! A somewhat disappointing finish to an otherwise brilliant qualifying, an IF15 having topped all six rounds. For the majority of the team, Friday was a down day and the opportunity to have an easy morning before heading to the track to go over everything on their cars with a fine tooth comb in preparation for the finals.
After the long journey of preparations, the day that would create the latest chapter in the 1:10 200mm World Championship history books was here. Getting underway with the 1/8 Finals, the 1/4 Finals saw Shimo boost the Infinity line-up in the two Semis to 50% of the grid as he bumped up. In the first of the 30-minute Semis, Andy led the field from pole position until suffering brakes issues that dropped him down the order. Tadahiko took over control of the race to win by half a second from Jilles for both to progress to the Main. On pole for the second Semi, Naoto had the 'perfect' race winning comfortably from Greiner. Teemu, despite getting crashed at the start, completed the Top 3 giving himself a chance to add the World title to the European title he won for the first time earlier this year. The grid was now set for an intense 60-minutes of racing.
With the cars going to the grid it was to be a troubled start for Dario. Due to long wait following the cars being placed down on the track, to prevent his engine cutting, Dario had to give some throttle which resulted in his car jumping forward. Although he stopped before the start tone, it was deemed a jump start and he had to visit the pits to serve a penalty. Having made a great start to get ahead of Pietsch, who together with Greiner was also penalised for a jump start, Naoto was quickly able to take control of the race. By his first fuel stop he already had a 6-second lead. Refuelling earlier than his rivals with 4:30 stops, such was his pace that by his tyre stop in the middle of the race he already had over a lap on the entire field. With this advantage, Miura was able to switch to an even safer 4:00 fuel strategy allowing Naoto to focus on driving a controlled second half of the race. After his issues at the start, attempts to recover would come undone for Dario when he suffered a flame out with Tadahiko's race also hampered by engine cuts. They would be classified 6th and 7th in the final result. At the end however we achieved the one result all the team had strived for for the last year - the World title.
Another special moment in our short company history, it was also an amazing day for Naoto to win as a complete class rookie and join a very exclusive club for drivers to have won World titles in three different disciplines. Such results don't come easy and without a lot of hard work. To everyone in our family who was part of the IF15's journey to being crowned World Champion we are deeply thankful. Of course we can enjoy a few days to celebrate the result but we are already set to begin working on the journey to defending our titles!
After being successfully included for the first time on last season's Euro Touring Series calendar, Messe Wien was again the destination for the opening race of the new season. Entering into the 12th season of the ETS, the weekend would put our hobby in front of huge crowds attending the ‘Modellbau 2018’ hobby exhibition. For our EP drivers, while racing in front of big crowds brought about a special atmosphere ultimately their goal was on getting results on the track. Last year Marc took the victory in Austria and together with Akio and Yannic the goal was to repeat that result as a step towards achieving Infinity's first ETS title. In Pro Stock, it was a home race weekend for Dominic and he wanted to impress while in Formula Jitse would represent us with his IF11. In terms of the carpet track, its narrower than normal layout made it challenging to drive.
Friday opened the new season with 3 rounds of free practice for the 216 entries which was followed by 2 controlled rounds that would determine the qualifying heats. In free practice, Akio led the way with the fourth fastest time while Yannic was P6 and Marc, who tried a lot of different set-ups, ended up P9. Improving his car for controlled practice, being particularly pleased with his set-up for the final run of the day, Marc would improve to P4 in seeding just ahead of Yannic while Akio ended up 8th.
With four rounds of qualifying providing the action on Saturday, Q1 resulted in a P3 for Marc after further improving his set-up but he was less happy with his driving after putting in number of rough laps. He made up for it in Q2 with TQ run despite a crash ahead of him on the last lap costing him 1-second. Switching tyres for Q3 he didn't have the same traction as before and ended up 5th fastest ahead of Akio. Switching back to his first set of tyres for the final round unfortunately a first lap driver error denied him the chance to vie for the overall TQ and he would start second in the A-Main behind Top Qualifier Ronald Volker. With P5 in Q1 his best run of qualifying Akio would end up a disappointing 8th on the grid. In Pro Stock, with a best run of a P3 in Q2, Dominic lined up 7th while in Formula Jitse took advantage of the new for Season #12 bump up system by winning the opening B-Main to start 11th in the A.
The first round of finals didn't start so well as a mistake in the middle of the run cost Marc a position to Alexander Hagberg. Also suffering with more understeer than before he had to protect the third place from Bruno Coelho. Making a small change for A2 to improve the car, Marc didn't drive the best opening laps allowing Volker some breathing space but by mid race he was on his rear bump however the tight nature of the track meant a pass wasn't possible. Taking the A3 win, Marc secured 2nd overall, a result he was happy to open the season with as the speed was there to win but ultimately Volker make less mistakes. For Akio 7th overall wasn't the result he had aimed for but he'll put that right at the next ETS. Dominic improved one position to finish 6th in Pro Stock while Jitse had to settle for 11th. With a rather lengthy gap to the second round of the ETS which will take drivers to Daun, Germany, in February, each of the drivers will use the time to make improvements so as to be in the mix of electric onroad's most competitive championship in the world across all categories.
A new arrival on the Chinese RC scene, the electric onroad based OneTen Series held its inaugural race weekend in the city of Shanghai. Organised by RedRC Events, it is made up of four events (2 in China and 2 in Hong Kong) but each weekend consists of two completely separate rounds. Another unique aspect to the series is that Saturday's opening round format gets changed for Sunday's second encounter. The first challenge of the weekend for drivers is the more traditional 3 rounds of qualifying, albeit they are 6-minutes long, followed by triple Mains of 4-minute duration. Sunday's schedule then puts drivers through four 4-minute qualifiers with a single 8-minute final. If qualifying didn't go your way there is the chance to bump up through Sunday's finals. Excited to be the title sponsor of the OneTen Series, we sent Akio and Jin to represent us with their IF14s and it turned out to be a very successful trip to the indoor RCI V2 track.
Round 1 - After topping the 2-rounds of practice on Saturday morning, Akio continued that form throughout the day. In the opening qualifier, he was the only driver to post 35-laps over the 6-minutes with his fastest lap 1/10th faster than anyone else. Behind, Jin posted the second fastest time, a result they would repeat in Q2. The final qualifier was to be the fastest of the day with Akio managing to complete a clean sweep of 35-lap runs, no other driver able to break that barrier. For Jin, he just missed out on another P2 in Q3 to Jan Ratheisky but it didn't effect the overall grid and he lined up second behind Akio. With the A-Mains 1-minute shorter than usual, it was important to get a good start and that is exactly what Akio did from the TQ quickly opening up a gap over Jin that meant he was never challenged. A2 again saw the leaders maintain position and even after having a few moments in traffic, Akio won comfortably with 3.1-seconds in hand over Jin to give him the overall Round 1 win. Choosing to run A3, even though he already had the maximum championship points, Akio was on target for the perfect race day until little after the half way stage when he made contact with a car he was lapping allowing Jin to get passed for the win to lockdown an Infinity 1-2 overall. You couldn't ask for a much better start to a new series - TQ in qualifier, 1-2 on the podium!
Round 2 - While Sunday's format included an extra round of qualifying it was still 2 to count. Continuing his previous day's form Akio again laid down the benchmark over 3-consecutive laps by topping the single round of practice from Jin. With Akio easily topping Q1, Jin felt he needed to improve the stability of his car opening qualifying with a P3 behind Ratheisky. Working with Kotonori San, he was to make changes to his car every run. After another P3 in Q2, he was happier in Q3 securing second but retiring from the final qualifier he had to settle for 3rd on the grid while Akio made his second TQ start having topped all four qualifiers. With just a single A-Main deciding the Round 2 outcome, Akio did all his work on the opening laps to pull clear of Ratheisky and once happy with the gap he just paced the rest of the race. Changes to Jin's set-up for the final resulted in his car being the best it had been all weekend. It allowed him to make a charge for second but given the tight track, overtaking was alway going to be difficult and he finished third. Two cars on the podium two days in a row is not a bad result to have in the books come Sunday evening and is the kind of form the guys will be aiming to maintain. Rounds 3 & 4 of the OneTen Series will take drivers outdoors and onto asphalt at the TRC track in Hong Kong in earlier December.
The Euro Nitro Series reached a conclusion at a favourite among racers - Mini Autodromo Jody Scheckter, Fiorano. Having claimed the first title of 2018 after Arie was crowned the inaugural 1:8 40+ champion at the previous round in Austria, the team travelled to the fourth & final round in the hunt for top honours in 1:10 and 1:8. After securing his second win of the season at Round 3, Jilles was going for his second ENS title with Dario, the winner of Round 2 in Germany, also vying for his second title in 1:8. Despite it being the end of September, the weather in Italy was to bring glorious sunshine over the weekend with temperatures hitting 30 degrees. The stage was set for a thrilling finish to what is already the fifth season of the ENS.
As is tradition on ENS weekends, Thursday is a day of free practice but for Dario it was to bring a frustrating start to an important weekend. Unfortunately he would collect a car that after having its own came across the track and into Dario's path with the impact destroying his race car. Not what you want on only your second run of the day. It would take some time for Dario to get back up to speed with him only 11th fastest at the conclusion of free practice at midday on Friday. Carmine however ensured the IF18 was at the sharp end posting the 2nd fastest time with Jessie also up there in P5. In 1:10, Jilles finished free practice fourth quickest with Teemu taking his IF15 to the the second fastest time.
With two controlled practices to determine the heats for qualifying, Friday's action to end the first of the four rounds, Carmine maintained his form with the 2nd fastest 3-consecutive laps. Getting his car more & more close to what he had before his previous day's crash, Dario showed he was back in contention as he improved to the 3rd fastest time. In 1:10 it was a similar story with Teemu again the fastest Infinity driver in P3 as Jilles seeded 5th in the 11-car top heat for qualifying.
With the evening timing of Q1 making for a cooler track, Jilles kicked things off with a P3 run ahead of Teemu. Francesco put in the fifth fastest time with Andy completing the Top 6 for a strong start to qualifying. In 1:8 40+ Arie opened with a TQ run while Dario capped off the days action with a P2 in front of Carmine. Alberto made it three cars in the Top 6.
With another sunny day greeting drivers on Saturday, an early mistake from Jilles left his with a P5 for Q2 but a strong performance from Teem netted him second with Francesco improving to go 4th fastest. Unfortunately in 1:8 it was to a be a frustrating finish to second qualifier for Dario as he was hampered by traffic over the final two laps while on the TQ pace. Having been on for the fastest time of the weekend, his car enjoying the cool morning conditions, he ended up P2. The third round netted a clean Infinity sweep with Teemu, Dario and Arie all topping the times. Arie's third TQ run of the weekend, it secured him pole for the A-Main while the result gave Teemu and Dario a chance of the overall TQ. Warmer track conditions fir Q4 however meant getting the time needed to take the tie breaker would increase the difficulty of the challenge. In the end, Teemu was 3rd fastest on his final attempt while a 110% push from Dario, knowing he needed the quickest time of the weekend, resulted in a mistake. Overall both drivers would start 2nd while Jilles would go for the title from 4th on the grid. Doubling the number of IF15s on the grid, Francesco and Andy secured 6th & 7th respectively. In 1:8 the IF18 was even better represented with Carmine starting 4th, Alberto 7th, Lamberto 9th and Jesse 10th. In 40+, while Arie completed a 100% TQ record for the season securing his fourth pole position and Bo starting directly behind him, the big news was that Kenji had made his first ENS A-Main qualifying 9th!
First of the A-Mains on Sunday would be the 40+ and it would be incident packed for our guys. Starting to pull clear, Arie was denied taking win No. 4 after contact with a lapped car. Dropping him to the back and having to pit for repairs he found himself 3-laps down but over the remainder of the 30-minute final he was able to recover to grab the final podium position only 1-lap down on winner Andrea Hächler. Unfortunately for Bo, having taken the lead from Arie, his hopes off a first win ended rather suddenly with contact with the pit wall with 10-minutes to go. Still, having missed Round 3 in Austria, the points for being classified 9th in Fiorano would lead to Bo becoming Vice Champion. For Kenji, while it was a rather hot A-Main debut, he progressed two places to finish 7th.
With a noticeable heightening of tension ahead of the 1:10 final, given the title stakes, for Jilles the approach to the race was 100% strategic. Even his rivals predicted a very calculated race from him. At the start, with Top Qualifier Dominic Greiner running wide into the second corner, Teemu seized the opportunity to make a pass for the lead. Getting down the inside under braking he didn't have enough brake to get stopped resulting in contact with Dominic that dropped him to the back. For Jilles the start was trouble free and he set about his 'long game' which even if Greiner took the win required him to only need second. The first to pit for tyres, Jilles opted to change just one side and when his rivals later changed all four tyres with no significant advantage in their pace, Jilles knew he just needed to keep the car on track to get the P2 he needed. Unfortunately for Teemu, while he would set the fastest lap of the race, an off resulted in a flame out and he finished 7th. Up front however Jilles and his pitman Felix executed the perfect race to give us our second ENS title in 1:10.
Now the question was could we do the triple? For Dario the scenario was simple, he needed to win. At the start Dario shadowed Top Qualifier Simon Kurzbuch with both drivers pitting at the same time for fuel. On the second stop however his pitman Massimo found Dario a few tenths with a super fast stop. Coming out right on Simon's rear wing it was enough to make a pass possible on the out lap and once in front Dario never looked back. The race later became a matter of finishing once Simon hit mechanical problems. Our third ENS title of the season, it was extra special as it was our first time to lift the 1:8 Championship, the class in which our company's journey began. Also adding to the celebrations was that Carmine made it a 1-2 to finish out our amazing 2018 season.
The legendary International Reedy Race of Champions for touring cars is traditionally held annually in the USA at the end of May but 2018 presented the opportunity for a European edition of the unique heads up race format event. With the Euro Offroad Series returning to the world famous mecca of motorsport that is the Nurburgring, running as part of the full size Blancpain GT Series weekend, the use of the 1,950 square metre Ring Arena meant enough space for a unique rc event. Building an offroad and an onroad track side by side. Looking to showcase the hobby in the best way possible, the Reedy format fitted the bill perfectly. As back to back reigning champions of the International Reedy Race of Champions with Marc, Infinity was excited to be part of European edition and the challenge to go to Germany and do the double.
18 invited drivers would do battle over 12 races with Thursday a practice day to get used to the carpet track. With the iconic Tamiya track in California bidding farewell to the Reedy Race this year, the track sold to become a self storage facility, the organisers at the Nurburgring tried to replicate the layout of the outdoor asphalt track and while not quite the same as the real thing the carpet kink copy did manage to catch out many drivers. Joining Marc, who knows a thing or two about winning the Reedy Race as he has been champion a record 7 times, to represent us was Yannic. The event marked both his international race debut with the team and his first ever Reedy appearance.
Day 1 began with the perfect start for both drivers, them each winning the first of the day's four rounds of racing. Yannic backed that up with second places in the next two rounds while Marc got a fourth and a second. The day ended with Yannic adding another P2 as Marc finished second behind Freddy Sudhoff in his final race. Sudhoff held the overnight points lead but Yannic's consistency meant he was second overall with Marc third with a long 8 rounds of racing to go.
Saturday was to be Yannic's shining day as he completed a clean sweep to register the best score possible of 4 points from the four races. This put him top of the points and he further endorsed that position by opening the final day with another win. A tough Heat 10 followed with a P5 but able to drop two rounds, this would be the first potential throw out. Coming back with a third from his 11th race, the final race of the event was to be his worst with a P6 but counting as his second dropped result it didn't matter - he was champion with a total of 15 points. Behind it was a three way tie for second with Marc ending up on 19 points along with Ronald Volker and Sudhoff. After many calculations and re-checks of the points table it was Volker who was declared second with Sudhoff completing the Top 3. Unfortunately Marc was one win short in the tie break to make the podium.
For Yannic the result is a great start to having him onboard our EP team and comes as a great boost ahead of the start of the Euro Touring Series which gets underway next month on carpet in Austria. Yannic has at least a now to remind Marc that he has the better Reedy Race record. You can't better a 100% winning record!
In the first weekend of September Italian season restart after the holiday break… In the beautiful location of the club Automodellismo 5 Colli was held the last round of National Championship to decide “who’s the fastest” of 2018. Our team drivers seemed in good position to bring home both titles but “racing is racing” and we never know what could happened during the weekend.
The track, that already host the 1:10 Worlds in 2016 was complete resurfaced with an amazing job of the organizers that completed the job only one week prior the event. Not a lot of entries this time probably because the date was too much close to vacations. Dario decided to attend 1:10 scale with Francesco while Carmine and Lamberto tried to secure the Championship after their 1-2 in Fiorano.
As often in 2018 main character of the race was again the bad weather: as we had super nice conditions Thursday and Friday for Saturday and Sunday the forecast carried tons of water… For this reason the timetable was modified starting qualifying on Friday afternoon to finish all the Amains before 17.00 when a big thunderstorm is expected.
In the three rounds we have a dominance of our drivers with Balestri fastest in 1:10 and Raiola fastest in 1:8; both secured the TQ winning all the rounds. Tironi wasn’t completely satisfied of the matching car/engine on his IF15 and after the podium spot at EC in Portugal again finished 3rd. Collari tried different things to challenge Raiola at his best and took the 2nd spot for the Main. In F2 category the young Antonio di Martino, already semifinalist at EuroB in Cassino succeed to place the number 9 on his car for the final.
1:10 Expert Amain started at very strange hour for our hobby: at 11.30 in the morning the drivers were called on the rostrum and few minutes later Dario “take off” at the tone with an evident supremacy… Francesco stay in his roots together with Mazzeo for a while before flipping the car entering the main straight… This accident suggested more “care” and safer pace to our driver as he need only to control his competitors for final win. Tironi dropped 7th but in 15 minutes the chase for the podium was completed. Position were stable, strategy almost the same for all when entering the straight other candidate to final title Giliberto “spun” just in front of Balestri that hit him full speed… Dario retired, Mazzeo took the win and Francesco with 2nd place is the new Italian Champion! Well done Franci!
In 1:8 F2 Antonio makes a really good first half of race driving constantly in the midfield with good pace and consistent driving… unfortunately the 2nd set of tires wasn’t good as the first one and after a big accident at the end of the straight he must retired when a final 5th place still be possible… Will be for the next year…
The 1:8 Expert Amain confirmed the good intuition of organizers as 3 minutes to end of previous F1 Main a shower wet deeply the track… Race director decided to start any weather conditions after few minutes as forecast was even worse for the rest of the day. Raiola repeat the same theme of Dario getting the lead at the tone; Collari wasn’t comfortable as his team mate but stay in second until the first pit stop; Carmine open the gap driving fast and consistent whit Salemi that recovered strongly from the back of the field. As often happened Lamberto choose the “long run” strategy to try to fight swapping leading and position for first 25 minutes when Carmine suffered couple of episodes that we could define as “bad luck”: he hits a stone and of the straight going longer close to the wall and few minutes after an umbrella used by Marshall to repair from the rain, due to the wind cross the track hitting the orange Infinity IF18… Fortunately nothing really happened aside little time lost and even with a bit of heartache for his pit crew he quickly recover the lead to win the race and the title finalizing the “perfect” weekend. Lamberto succeed to step on the podium in 3rd for another 1-2 this time on the overall ranking. IF15 and IF18 are Italian Champion… congrats to Francesco, Carmine and the whole team for the efforts and the very good result!
Creation Model is proud to welcome Yannic Prümper as new member of INF1NITY Racing Team. The German talented driver already proven his ability with important results in the last years and will be a great asset at race & development side to EP touring staff for the future. He will run the IF14 platform from tomorrow at EWS series in Aigen and for upcoming years. Good luck Yannic and welcome onboard!
INF1NITY staff is really happy to announce the addition of Sahashi brothers to official Racing Team. The "fastest" family of R/C community is well known for their racing results in both categories 1:8 and 1:10 and we are confident they could achieve new trophies worldwide using our nitro platforms. We can't wait to see them at next WC in Homestead late October using the new IF15. Welcome to the team Tadahiko & Yuya!!!!
After one year “jump” due to World Championship held in Europe in 2017 the most important continental race come back in one of well known “speed temples” located in Italy… RME Cassino is, without doubts, a beautiful track in middle of Italy and its club President Gianluca one of the “media innovators” of our hobby with all the organizers really passionate and dedicated. Almost 100 entries for an A & B Euro champs combined with a nice surprise of 9 under16 new drivers. Infinity attended the event with good part of European team looking to confirm the latest good results of our IF18…
Monday and Tuesday practice all drivers had to face the track little bit dusty that cannot give the necessary grip for 1/8 category; most of them mainly concentrate choosing engines and body shells. Even the weather doesn’t helped with some brief showers that stops practice heats often… As happened frequently in last races our fastest guy was Dario already engaged in an hard fight for the lead with Simon… All lap times are VERY close; a blink of an eye can decide five positions difference.
In hot weather conditions (average 35˚C whole week), after two Control Practice that see our drivers seeding in fastest heats, Thursday Qualifying starts again with that duel: first round go to Swiss driver with Italian 2nd (0.041 sec) due to a lack of fuel in the last corner followed by Teemu in great shape for the 3rd position. The second round of the day saw Balestri super fast getting 18 laps but in the last lap a misunderstanding between him, Pietsch and Haclër (already stopped) in the sweeper probably costs him the overall best performance in 4 minutes. Leino 4th, Picco 7th and Raiola 8th the other Infinity drivers classified in top10.
Friday morning the battle starts again with Simon faster six tenths on Dario… a good 10th place for Francesco that improve a bit his ranking. In the fourth round Balestri restore the tie situation postponing to last and “hottest round” the final verdict for the TQ; Leino, Picco and Raiola again in the top10 to secure their semis. As often happens when the expectations are high something happens… Pietsch takes the 5th round gifting to Kurzbuch the TQ and relegating Dario to SuperPole. Teemu for 1point was 6th, Alberto 8th and Carmine 9th. In semis also Nicola 11th and Francesco 14th. Lamberto had to start n˚1 in the quarter finals due to some setting problems.
The Euro “B” had some of our customers fighting for the top positions: Kammer drove really well his Infinity winning 2 rounds and get overall TQ for 1 point in front of Mazza a fast local driver. On third spot sits another Infinity car of Wehiert that improved every phase and won the last round of qualy. Bo Nielsen from Denmark sits in semis and young Di Marino (14 years old) in quarters so will be the first to start in late afternoon helped by Raiola’s family.
Superpole Challenge: Dario starts as last and needed only few laps to set the best chrono jumping directly in the Amain. In the B championship Dennis suffer a technical problem in the warmup of his timed laps and loose his chance to bump up direct in the final. In lower mains Di Marino succeed to bump up for another Infinity in semifinals.
Saturday morning weather is still fine with sun and hot temperature; Lamberto was the first to hit the track winning his B quarter in style tone to tone. B Semifinal went really bad as all our drivers cannot bump up for different problems: Leino stripped a gear when was easy 2nd, Francesco lost his Amain spot crashing while trying overtaking a competitor in front and Lamberto suffered a lack of performance compare to his 1/4 pace. In B Semifinal was the opposite: all our Infinity drivers managed to bump up with Picco 2nd, Marrone 3rd and Raiola 4th even if they had to face some critical moment during the competition. In the EuroB Antonio had a terrible crash at the end of the straight while Dennis dominated the field managing a number 4 for the Amain; in the other semi Bo wasn’t lucky enough to solve some problems happened.
EURO B AMAIN: the race was intense and not extremely lucky for our colors… Kammer loose the lead in the first lap but followed Mazza with good pace until lap 72 when he had to retire for some radio problems. Wehiert unfortunately was hit by other car around lap 40 and he had to pit to repair the body shell: also with lot of time lost he comes back to track pushing maximum hard to recover as much possible… His chasing saw an happy ending when, almost one minute to go, succeed to pass Wintzerith for the 3rd place. Congrats!
EURO A MAIN: the most awaited 45minutes of race was delayed first and cancelled later after few laps due to a storm that wet the track for a while… In that slippery conditions Dario showed good confidence overtaking the leader and controlling the pace but couple laps later race director stopped the race setting a complete new start for the 17.00 in any weather conditions. At the new start Balestri was again in the tail of Kurzbuch sometimes giving the feeling to can overtake in some points of the track; Nicola wasn’t far in fourth when he has to retire after only five minutes. Unfortunately Dario’s race didn’t last longer and come to an end after only 9 minutes for an engine failure. Picco showed a good pace and lap by lap recovered many positions until to arrive at 2nd place; meanwhile Raiola had to fight hard in the back to recover a decent position… at this level is really hard to overtake even if you’re the fastest on the track (13.927 for Carmine). With different pit strategies position can vary every minute: Alberto after his tire change was 4th with little gap from 3rd when also his engine stop. Carmine was again the first of our team (5) while Simon and Robert fight for the win till the last lap with less a second distance.
See you in 2 weeks for 1/10 EFRA EC in Portugal!
Just couple of weeks after 1/8 Euro’s in Cassino the other bigger appointment for European Federation was held at Vila Real in Portugal… Race location was very nice, laydown in the mountains, not so far from Porto, that was already theater of 1/8 championship few years ago. The track was huge, especially for 1/10 Nitro touring cars, with very fast layout and many different racing lines options. From first day of practice on monday the biggest problems to face was an overall lack of traction and some wind breeze that suddenly arrived without notice to disturb the drivers. Entries was around 60 with the best European drivers in attendance. Our Official team attended to shake down the new IF15 for first time; Teemu, Dario, Francesco, Jilles, Carmine and Andy spreads many effort in practice days to collect as many info possible to prepare the World’s Championship in late october.
After three full days of practice and opening ceremony Wednesday afternoon on Thursday morning the race officially started with 2 control practice and 2 qualifying rounds. After reseeding all our drivers was classified in the 2 best heats with surprising 15 years old Milan Holthius from NL that get a place in fastest one. In qualifying Pietsch looked as the most comfortable driver on the track TQing 4 rounds and jumping directly in the final. The closest driver to challenge his speed seemed Leino that in some occasions was really close (in 3rd round only couple of tenths with faster laptime) and was second overall. Balestri, after struggling a bit in first heats, improved a lot seating in 3rd once gained the last round moving straight to superpole… Groskamp also struggling searching best setting of his materials on the track but with good driving consistency finished 7th just in front of Tironi 8th and Moore 9th… 5 cars in top ten looked very good but was even better looking at Raiola that finish 11th after a bad start and Holthius that get a Semi’s spot 15th nine days after he finished to build the car. All IF15 are in semifinals!
Superpole was a very competitive show… Highlights start with Alessio that repeated his trick to cross the line full speed (as he makes in Gubbio 2 years ago) setting 20.8 in hot early afternoon conditions… but the best had to come: Dario was confident to have a chance to jump in front “cutting” as much possible the racing line of the big sweeper: in the two first attempts he suffer the loosing of the rear-end but at third lap he hold on FULL throttle sliding a bit for an astonishing 20.6! Teemu had safer approach and was forced to pass trough the semis.
For the final day temperature raised a bit giving to all drivers more concerns about fuel milage and tire strategies… 21 sec lap times didn’t allowed any risks in pit stops and due to fast layout (amazing sweeper before finish line airpin) the different wearing of tires inside/outside was unusually high. All solutions are possible: 1 full, 1full and 1 outside, 2 full. SemiB was the first with only Francesco for Infinity that start safe, drive smooth and consistent with a super 5minutes refueling strategy… 3rd place and Amain bump up for him! SemiA saw five of our cars at the start… Teemu put “cruise control mode ON” and drove safely first place tone to tone. Unfortunately for Andy first and Jilles later a stop caused them to finish here their race. Carmine suffer a problem in the beginning but he managed to arrive at his first refueling, tuned the engine and then started to chasing the field with nice pace having clearly in mind the overall time limit of SemiB… the 4th place with faster time gave him the Amain spot; even Milan was faster than other semi but he finish only 6th slightly missing the Final but bringing home the European Junior Title; congrats to you and your father!
AMAIN: Four drivers with IF15… after presentation and warmup, Final starts in the hottest hour of the day… As described before the strategies will have maximum importance in these conditions hoping to avoid any failure. At the start Dario passed Robert in two corner showing great confidence in his package; Teemu avoid any problem or contact early stage and drop down 2 position just behind Francesco and in front of Carmine. At 6th lap a little fault of Balestri allowed Pietsch to lead again the field; at first fuel stop Dario’s race was decided by a lack of fuel (or power) forcing him to get marshaled and loosing lot of time… Tironi with his fuel strategy quickly recover positions taking the lead often when rivals go to the pits and Leino drives his way to the front with consistent pace. Raiola suffered couple of stops in the pits that didn’t allowed him to express all his potential. Tire change was the turning point: Robert, Francesco and even Dario that chasing the group trying to recover positions planned 2 full set change. Teemu and Alessio that were in front only 1 full… And was the winning choice; smooth driving of Leino with used tires compared to competitors on fresh set show the great consistency of the Finnish driver; a great pit work completed the job. Pietsch hold on fighting for a while then he had to pit long time to fix a problem; Mazzeo spread all his energies to fill the gap but when he catched Leino, 3 minutes to go, he had to “splash” to complete the 45 minutes. Francesco sure of podium spot cruised to finish line taking care to avoid any problem and Dario finalized his chasing with a final 4th place. Congratulation Teemu! And Thank You Very Much to you and Milan for this European Titles! See you at the Worlds in Homestead!
The Japanese National Championships are particularly special for Infinity. As a Japanese company, given that the JMCRA title is the top prize RC racing has to offer in our home country, we take extra special pride in this prestigious title. Having made our JMRCA EP debut in the event last year, the introduction year of our IF14, we achieved the perfect result. Akio became the champion with Naoto making it an Infinity 1-2. So no pressure then as the team travelled to the 2in1 Circuit in Takahara Resort as the defending champions. This year however we bolstered the team with the addition of Jin Sawada and that was to reap the rewards.
After the single round of seeding practice it was Naoto who led the way for the team with the second fastest time over 3-consecutive laps. Behind, Akio managed third fastest with Jin right behind so everyone was feeling confident ahead of the six rounds of qualifying that lay ahead. In the opening qualifier it was Akio that had the best pace posting the 2nd fastest time by less than 3/10th of a second ahead of Jin with Naoto fourth following a late error. A solid Q1 performance, the drivers could push harder for Q2 and that is exactly what they did to take control of the remaining 5 qualifiers. Naoto claimed the first Infinity TQ when he led a 1,2,3 for the IF14 ahead of Jin and Akio in the second round. Next it was the turn of Jin to go to the top while Akio added a TQ run in Q4. The penultimate round saw Jin again go fastest to become the first to double up as Akio had a P3 run.
With 3 from 6 rounds to count, the final qualifier would decide who was going to be Top Qualifier with four drivers in contention. Akio would come out on top taking Q6 in front of Jin to put the pair equal on points. Jin's time from the previous heat however was the quickest of the weekend and he was the one who would start the triple finals from pole ahead of Akio with Naoto lining up 4th.
The opening A-Main started with Jin and Akio pulling clear of the pack but on his third lap Jin lost the rear of his car spinning out and allowing Akio go to the front. While Naoto had got passed 3rd place qualifier Yugo Nagashima for 2nd, the gap to Akio was considerable. With a super fast car he closed him down to run on his rear bumper, even giving Akio a tap to doubly make sure he knew he was there. With four laps to go Akio clipped the curbing entering a corner causing him to run wide on the exit as Naoto slipped through for the win.
After ending A1 down in 5th, Jin made sure he didn't repeat his error in A2 and claimed a tone to tone win despite also getting a tap from behind from Naoto. Naoto again had another strong race from fourth on the grid to finish second having got by Akio on the third lap with a nice pass down his inside coming off the main straight. Closing right in on Jin, he couldn't find away through and soon found himself under attack from behind from Akio but the order stayed unchanged to the end. So like qualifying it was all going to come down to the last race to decide the winner.
Jin again made a good start but so did Naoto who was quickly battling with Akio for second - Akio having to work hard to keep him behind. Lap 4 brought the change as Akio ran over the curbing in the section before the main straight spinning across the bow of Naoto. While Naoto somehow avoided contact the following pack was less lucky. Hunting down Jin, Naoto would close the gap but not as quickly as he needed, eventually running out of time. Jin took the A3 win and with it the JMRCA title. A successful defence of the title as a manufacturer, the result was even more special than last year because we achieved a dream full Infinity podium with Naoto finishing second and Akio third. In the open class we also had a strong representation in the A-Main with Ion Shionoya and Shin Sawada, Jin's younger brother, finishing 7th and 10th respectively.
A brilliant performance from all the team, it is going to be hard to better the result in 2019 - but we sure will try!