2019 - ETS ROUND 3

2019 - ETS ROUND 3


After a long winter of indoor racing in Europe, the third round of the ETS marked the start of the outdoor season and the destination was 'Sunny Spain' - Madrid to be more specific. An opportunity to air the shorts and supplement the body's Vitamin D levels while enjoying fluff free laps back on asphalt again - well maybe not. Unfortunately the weekend's weather couldn't have been any more polar to what was expected with winter coats and multiple layers of t-shirts underneath required for survival. Thursday, while cold, would at least be dry but Friday was to turn out to be a complete wash out with rain meaning no running at all. Instead it was a day for detailed car rebuilds, plenty of coffee breaks and numerous checks of various mobile phones to see if Saturday would present any opportunity to drive a dry track. Thankfully racers woke up to a dry but bitterly cold morning allowing for a round of practice in qualifying order, which had been arranged off Thursday’s free practice times. It wasn’t to last however and just a few heats into the first round of qualifying the first of a number of rain stops over the day happened.

With qualifying reduced to two rounds so, weather permitting, all drivers would still get to race triple finals, it was just one to count. Despite suffering a spin in the low grip and windy conditions, it was a good start for Marc on the large Asoger RC track as he posted the second fastest time in Q1. On only his second ETS outing with the team, Viktor put down the fifth quickest time just ahead of Akio with Yannic’s P8 making it four IF14s in the Top 10. Unfortunately Jilles’ return to ETS action didn’t get off to a good start as he had a problem just before his first heat which ruled him out of Q1 before his car even touched the track. With conditions improving considerably for Q2, the much faster track meant this would be a decisive round. Setting the fastest lap, Marc again was the second fastest time as Freddy Sudhoff took the round and the overall TQ.  With Ronald Volker fastest in Q1, this meant Marc would be lining up third on the A-Main grid. Fourth fastest on his second attempt, that was where Viktor would line up. Also improving their placing in Q2, Akio and Yannic were going to carry the No.6 and No.8 in the finals. Unfortunately Jilles’ luck was similar to that being had by the organisers with the weather and a Q2 DNF meant he was going to start out Sunday in the D-Main.

In Formula, having set the bench mark over Thursday’s seven rounds of free practice, Jitse was the top seed for qualifying after the rain resulted in controlled practice being cancelled. While Q1 netted a P4, in the second qualifier Jitse put together a TQ run but a late shower in the day meant that the time was not quicker than Q1 and he was going to start from second.

While Sunday’s skies were much clearer with the ‘Sunny’ making a welcomed appearance in Spain, it was still very cold as highlighted by the continued requirement for multiple layers of clothing. Making a great start, Marc quickly passed Volker around the outside for second and was chasing down Sudhoff. Suddenly half way into the race as he came to the loop Marc’s car did an unexplainable 360 costing Marc time before a second spin at the end of the straight dropped him to fourth and eventually last. Afterwards it was diagnosed as a tyre problem - a frustrating outcome given his pace. In the end Akio was our leading finisher in fourth followed by Viktor and Yannic. Knowing the speed was there to challenge for the win having set the fastest lap of A1 and with new tyres on Marc went into A2 in confident mood. It wasn’t to be his day however. Having to check-up to avoid contact with Volker, unfortunately Viktor, who was following behind, didn’t have time to react and made contact with Marc who came off worst. Only slightly delayed, Viktor would finish third with Akio in tow. P6 for Marc meant any chance of an overall podium was gone but now Viktor was in the hunt and P3 again in A3, this time behind Marc, would secure him his first podium with the IF14 and first ETS podium finish in quite some time. For Marc, the weekend which had showed promise in qualifying, ended with a 4th place. It would be a 6th for Akio and 8th for Yannic who had a DNF in A3.

While a Modified Touring Car podium at an ETS is a result to be celebrated, in Madrid the weekend belonged to Jitse and our IF11. A member of the team since before we even had our own Formula chassis and steering the development of our first Formula offering, it was only fitting that he claimed its maiden ETS victory. Starting behind the master of the Formula class Jan Ratheisky, in A1 Jitse took the lead at the first corner from where he pulled clear for a winning margin over 6-seconds. In the second A-Main, Jitse again attacked from the start and on lap-3 made a pass for the lead in a drag down the front straight but this time he had to work a lot harder to keep out front and it was only on the last lap when Ratheisky made a mistake that Jitse could resume normal breathing and cross the finish line and make a ‘dream come true’. All his hard work had finally to come to fruition and it was a very popular win.

A challenging weekend as mother nature introduced a new element to racing - trying to stay warm everyone to be able to drive - everyone is hoping next month’s first time ETS visit to  Wiener Neudorf, Austria, will be drier and less chilly affair.

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The finale of the inaugural Chinese based OneTen Series organised by RedRC Events took our championship regulars Akio and Jin to Hong Kong where they were joined by Marc. While Akio had already wrapped up the overall title at the previous event in Guangzhou, China, where he made it 6 wins from 6 rounds, the team was no less motivated. The goal was an IF14 clean sweep of wins. The series' second trip to Hong Kong, this time it was the turn of the PYC track to host the double header race weekend. Built almost 20 years ago, it is country's oldest surviving track. With Rounds 7 & 8 attracting one of the OneTen's most competitive gathering of drivers it was, believe it or not, going to be Marc's first time ever racing in Hong Kong! The opportunity to test at the track on Thursday and Friday was welcomed although rain in the evening cut things short on Friday - luckily that was the only time the wet stuff from the sky was unleashed!

Saturday consisted of Round 7, the format being two rounds of 4-minute practice, three 6-minute qualifiers and triple 4-minute Mains - so a full and busy day. After topping practice from Marc, Akio continued his form into Q1 with a TQ run ahead of Nicolas Lee with Marc, fading a little towards the end of the 6-minutes after a strong start, recording P3. Q2 would be a super close encounter with Akio just missing out on another TQ run by 0.005 of a second from Lee after a small error earlier in the run which left him with dirty tyres for 2-laps. Marc produced another third fastest time just ahead of Jin. With the overall TQ on the line in the final qualifier, Akio gambled on using his second set of tyres but Lee copied his decision. Not happy with the feeling of the second set, Akio couldn't match Lee and 2nd for the round was also going to be his starting position for the final. Opting to stick with his first set of tyres, Marc was never going to be able to challenge for a TQ run but third for the round secured third on the grid and with a fresh set of tyres at his disposal put him in a strong position for the finals. Jin was going to start 4th.

A1 produced contrasting races for Marc and Akio. With temperatures and wind rising, track conditions were getting more difficult but armed with his fresh second set of tyres Marc was able to get the win. A small error on the curb by Akio left enough room for Marc to go through and chase down Lee who he would passed with a nice move down his inside. Unfortunately for Akio he would end up with a DNF after more contact with the curbing launched his car into the barriers. Jin would complete the Top 3 in front of Naoki Akiyama and Meen Vejrak. A2 was to be another tough race for Akio. Looking to challenge Lee for the lead early on so as to try and maintain his OneTen winning streak, he unfortunately ran into the rear of the Top Qualifier. This allowed Marc through to the lead where he stayed ahead of Jin to take the win and overall victory. The perfect way to mark your race debut in a county! Finishing 3rd in A3 behind Marc, Jin would complete the podium. Unfortunately for Akio his day didn't get any better and another tough A3 encounter meant he ended up 5th overall but no time to dwell on the day as tomorrow would bring a brand new day of racing.

Sunday's Round 8 format presented drivers with the challenge of a single 4-minute practice, four 4-minute qualifiers and a single 8-minute final. Marc started out the day with TQ runs in the opening two qualifiers as Akio's Saturday formed looked to continue after he opted to run old tyres. However for Q3 & 4 with fresher tyres he re-found his form to TQ both rounds and take the overall TQ on tie break from Marc. Jin, with P2 runs in Q2 & 3, made it an all IF14 Top 3 on the grid. Despite a less than perfect first lap to the final, Akio was able to pull clear of Marc to win and secure the 100% winning record of the IF14 in the OneTen Series. Second in Round 8 was enough for Marc to be crowned the overall event winner at PYC capping off a great OneTen campaign from our EP team with Jin becoming the Vice Champion behind Akio. An interesting concept with its double header, mixed up format for each day of racing, it has been an enjoyable journey over the four OneTen events and we look forward to returning for the new season to again support racing in China. In the meantime its a quick turn around to get ready for the first asphalt round of the Euro Touring Series in Madrid, Spain this weekend (4-7 April).

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VIGO (SP) 15-17/03/2019

European Nitro season saw the start in the incredible track of Vigo in Galizia northern-west of Spain. The location was simply amazing with the track lay downed on a hill just in front of the Atlantic Ocean… The layout was funny and fast: a long straight opposite to rostrum, two big sweepers with an infield technical part that have the tough point in an hairpin… Surface wasn’t in good condition for the first day of practice as wind from the sea deposit lot of sand and dust on the track during the winter.

Friday the track was sensible better with better grip conditions every round drivers hit the track. Our team had good practice session with new comer Rick Vriljinck that topped the ranking for long time (he won 7 of the 9 heats); unfortunately some of the other drivers suffered the lost of some luggages as Francesco and Lamberto that have to share some stuff to can practice. Teemu was the unlucky one: his luggage with all equipment arrived only Friday night so he started directly from qualification heats. In 1/10 Dario and Carmine looking forward to learn the track and the setup to fight with some fast local drivers.

Saturday the qualifying of 1/8 was really exciting: in 5 rounds we had 5 different winner…  Drivers were really close each other and any little driving imperfection must be paid. The battle for TQ was open until last round between Gruber and Collari; Tironi was really close and Leino, that immediately found the “feeling” with the track, set the fastest time winning the 5th round gaining an unexpected place for superpole. In 1/10 Balestri was consistent and fast assuring an early TQ with Raiola not so far in second position.

In the superpole Tironi complete the job setting the fast time in front of Leino and Collari for 1/8 while in 1/10 Raiola won beating 3 times his best lap just to please the audience… Few minutes later schedule were modified to allow some lower mains because weather forecast for the night wasn’t good… And in fact rained a lot!

Sunday morning the track was wet and the start was postponed to 11.00 am. The numerous spectators that crowded the track all the days patiently wait to see the show; Organizers decided to declare wet conditions: in 1/4A Iñaki Otero won in shape with his IF18… In Semi B the other talented Spanish Infinity driver Victor Gonzalez drove the “perfect race” leading the phase for long time; unfortunately he run out of fuel in the last lap but his advantage was big enough to close in second position and step into the Amain. In Semi A Lamberto paid maximum attention to slippery condition that compromise the race of many other drivers trying to avoid any contact… After swapping the lead with Teemu in the early stage he won just in front of Finnish driver and Rick for a nice 1-2-3…  Iñaki Otero suffered some contact in the hard battle for 4th place and closed 6th. Five cars in the Amain: looks promising!

In 1/10 Amain Dario showed his skills starting first and he never looked back; he drove perfectly managing his speed with track condition and competitors… From outside we can felt the consistency of driving and with a good strategy he won lapping the field. Carmine  race was more tough with some problems; at the end he had to fight with local star Hidalgo Garrido managing to arrive second just in the last lap. Congratulations for the 1-2!

In 1/8 Leino fueled “maximum push” mode from the start: he passed Collari 2nd lap, Tironi at 3rd and took the lead during 4th lap thanks to Gruber mistake entering the straight; he lead the race for 50 laps briefly swapping position with Lamberto during pit stops. Unfortunately Victor Gonzalez had to retire soon when he was in good position due to engine failure; Tironi cannot found the pace of the qualification and Vriljinck suffered too many problem dropping down in the ranking. When Teemu pitted to change tires was Collari that took the lead and maintain the position until his tire change 25 laps after; thanks to his more “gently” driving style he can planned a strategy with only 1 tire change and the refueling stint of 5 minutes that put him in the conditions to win the race. Unfortunately, few minutes after stop, a lapped car don’t open for him and continuing forcing spin hitting Lamberto and putting his IF18 upside down; once marshaled Collari lost the front clips, body shell come out loosing more than 1 minute and the chance to win the race. Gruber comes back in the lead with Leino that spread all his efforts to challenge him for the lead; was a tight fight but a couple of mistakes advice Teemu to grab the second step on the podium… With this level of competitors we can’t wait to see next race in Gubbio… See you there!

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The new Nitro Series, organized by well known Scotty Ernst, awaited for long time in Asia area finally see the first race completed at TRC in Hong Kong. Unfortunately the weather was the real character of the race with rainy conditions that affect the overall results. In fact first day of free practice was cancelled due to wet on the track and later on Organization had to cancel also the Mains… In the few time spent on the track, using also flooded lights on Friday, during control practice and three qualifying rounds was Jesse Davis that showed his potential taking second and third round and securing the TQ with Takaaki Shimo, winner of the opening round, and Chavit Saligupta respectively 2nd and 3rd for a full INF1NITY podium in 1/8 category. In 1/10 Sedan class TQ & win was for Andy Moore that confirmed his “shape”  in this category after a great World Championship with Jilles Groskamp that closed 3rd on the podium. Looking forward to have good weather for the next round in Melbourne at the end of April for another epic battle on the track… See you all there!

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2019 - TITC 2019

2019 - TITC 2019


After spending the previous few months mainly racing indoors on carpet, the TITC in Thailand has become the race that starts off the outdoor racing season and as always is hugely popular event with drivers from around the world. Last year the race was one of the highlights of the 2018 season for our EP team as Akio took the biggest win of his career there. Now the 17th year of Asia's biggest and most famous race, the team made the trip to the 30+ degree temperatures of Bangkok looking to defend the title.

While the majority of factory teams take advantage of the week of testing at the RC Addict track, it is not until the Thursday that the race officially starts and it was to prove a positive first day. Having made his debut for Infinity 3-weeks previous on carpet at ETS Daun in Germany, Viktor put his IF14 top of the practice time sheets. Not a bad start to his first asphalt outing! Marc backed up the performance with the second fastest time so overall things looked strong. Akio would also seed in the top heat with the 7th fastest 3-consecutive laps just ahead of Jilles with Naoto 11th quickest.

Friday consisted of a not so busy day for the drivers with 2 of the 4 rounds of qualifiers on the schedule. With the high temperatures, the big challenge was maintaining consistency over a full 5-minute run with many drivers suffering a big drop off towards the end. Naoto was able to best manage this in the opening qualifier with the second fastest time that split the Xray team. Setting the fastest lap of Q1, his overall time was half a second off the TQ set by Hagberg. Marc had a solid opener putting down the fourth fastest time ahead of Jilles. Akio kicked things off with a P7. With a two hour turn around between rounds, Naoto managed a more consistent Q2 with a faster TQ time than the first one putting him as the provisional overnight TQ holder. After his slow start in Q1, Akio would improve to complete the Top 3 ahead of Viktor with Marc coming out with a 6th for his efforts.

On to Friday, the Modified qualifying schedule now moving from the morning to the evening, Q3 & 4 where always going to be the critical ones, especially the final round due to better, cooler, track conditions. Naoto picked up from where he left off the day before registering his second TQ in round 3 ahead of Hagberg, leaving him as his only remaining challenger for the overall TQ. As usual Q4 lived up to its 'Rocket Round' status with the first 20-lap runs of the weekend. Unfortunately for Naoto his run started badly but Akio rose to the challenge pushing Hagberg for the best time but he missed it by less than 2/10th tenths. With 2 TQ runs each, Naoto would lose out on the tie break due to the faster track conditions of Q4. Overall it was still a good grid for the team. Naoto was starting second, Akio 3rd, Viktor 5th, Marc 6th and Jilles 7th for a 50% IF14 A-Main line-up. Saturday night called for some well earned beers to cool down ahead of Sunday's A-Main action. Qualifying would also see a strong performance from Jitse in the Formula class as he took his IF11 to P2 on the grid with Trin securing P4. Unfortunately the single 15-minute A-Main race which features a mandatory tyre change didn't go to plan for either driver so they didn't get to challenge for the podium. In the biggest class at the TITC, Open Brushless 13.5, Dominic qualified 8th out of the 103 entries and managed to convert that into a 6th place in the triple A-Mains.

With the arrival of Modified A-Main No.1, Naoto was fully up for it and early in the race got alongside Hagberg on a number of occasions with Akio close in toe. Having to check up to avoid contact with Naoto, this allowed Coelho to get by Akio. Contact from Coelho on Naoto in the sweeper leading onto the straight soon after would end hopes of an A1 win - Akio coming home second and Viktor 4th. With two and half hours to put A1 frustration behind him, Naoto knew what he need in A2 - all or nothing. Unfortunately with Akio this time having his race spoiled by contact from Coelho, this left Naoto some breathing space to take the fight to Hagberg. Again shadowing the leader's every move he just couldn't find a way passed and so Hagberg secured the win again in A2 and the title was decided. With the forced bad result for A1, Naoto still had to deliver a result in A3 and he duly did. Posting the fastest 5-minute time of the weekend he led an Infinity 1-2 from Akio that would secure them 2nd and 3rd respectively on the overall podium. Jilles, Viktor and Marc made it five IF14s in the Top 7 a result that bodes well for the rest of the outdoor racing season with the next big one the third round of the ETS in Madrid Spain in a months time.

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2019 - ETS Rd.2

2019 - ETS ROUND 2


After a long break, the opening round in Vienna in October now a somewhat distant memory, our EP team travelled to Germany for their first major international race of 2019. On the back of the success of a Yannic/Marc 1-2 result at GP3F in France, the team was in confident mood. Adding to the anticipation of the ETS weekend that lay ahead, Daun marked the debut race for our newest EP team signing Viktor Wilck in Infinity team colours. For Marc, Yannic and Akio it was also the reunion of the same team that enjoyed much success in the early days of the ETS well before Infinity's arrival into the world of electric touring car competition. While snow greeted the drivers outside in the hilly German countryside, inside the warm sports hall at Sporthotel & Resort Grafenwald one of the biggest indoor carpet tracks was ready to challenge the world's best drivers. The second hosting of the event in Daun, the popularity of the venue was evident by the huge entry of over 320.   

Making use of the hall's cross spaced floor space, the large track again featured a unique layout with the centre section as deep as many indoor tracks are long. The busy 15-second laps contained many 180 corners and this combination was to challenge the team in terms of finding the perfect set-up balance along with the arrival of some extreme new bodyshells on the market. With just a single round of free practice followed by two seeding rounds, each only of 4-minutes duration due to the large entry, track time was limited. Yannic came out top in seeding ending up 4th fastest ahead of Marc while Viktor and Akio (who only got 1-lap in the first timed practice due to an electronics issue) ended up seeded in the second fastest heat.

Q1 on Friday night summed up a tough day with Marc quickest for the team with only a P7! Not exactly the form the team had imagined 12-hours earlier in the day.  Saturday marked a new day with the final three qualifiers on the schedule and things got off to a much more positive start with Yannic posting the fourth fastest time in Q2. He would repeat that in Q3 and then capped off the day with a Top 3 run in the final qualifier to put the possibility of a podium finish on the team's radar albeit from 5th on the grid. With his best qualifier coming in the Q3, a P6, Marc would qualify 8th on the grid with Viktor concluding qualifying with his best run to make it three IF14 on the A-Main grid for Sunday. In Pro Stock, the IF14 was also to be represented in the A-Main with Dominic qualifying 7th - the same position he would finish in the finals.

In the first A-Main, Yannic made up one position to finish fourth but Viktor gained the most places going from 9th to 5th. A last lap crashed cost Marc four positions as he recovered to cross the loop 10th. A2 would be a most static affair upfront with the Top 5 finishing in the same order as they started, so a P5 for Yannic while behind Marc made up 2 places to finish 6th. With the overall win decided in A2, for Yannic A3 still presented the opportunity of an overall podium finish. Planning to play the patient game at the start, contact ahead on the opening lap between Ronald Volker and Alexander Hagberg would scupper his aim to salvage a podium from the weekend as he got caught up in their incident. This would help Marc however who avoided the pile-up to get a third for A3, enough to secure 5th overall ahead of Yannic with Viktor ending up 7th overall. While developing a better set-up as the weekend progressed, the guys never got 100% to terms with the track layout. Given the level of competition at the ETS, missing that 1% meant the result was far from what everyone had their sights set on. Such weekends however are what build a stronger team. The last indoor carpet race of the winter season, the team is now highly motivated and excited about moving outdoors and onto asphalt and what better way to do so than to travel to Thailand for the TITC as the defending champions.

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2018 - US NITRO CUP 2018

2018 - US NITRO CUP 2018


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!

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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.

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2018 IFMAR 1:10 200mm ONROAD WORLDS



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!

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2018 - ETS ROUND 1

2018 - ETS ROUND 1


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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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