2017 JMRCA ALL JAPAN CHAMPIONSHIP
JULY 21-23 KEITUNE RACING SPEEDWAY, JAPAN
The 2017 JMRCA All Japan Championship took place at the former 1:8 Onroad World Championship circuit of Keitune Racing Speedway in Ichihara, Japan. A race that decides the Japanese National Champion, Akio Sobue and Naoto Matsukura had the honour of representing Infinity on it’s debut in the championship. Racing in the Super Expert class, Naoto would get the weekend off to the perfect start by TQ’ing the opening two rounds of qualifying on Friday afternoon to hold the provisional overnight TQ ahead of Ronald Volker.
With 3 from the six rounds of qualifying to count, Day 2 would open with another TQ run from Naoto as he moved a step closer to the wrapping up the overall TQ for Sunday’s finals. Again it was Volker who would be his closest challenger but Naoto posted his fastest run so far in Q3 and took the heat by the biggest margin yet with over 3-seconds in hand over Volker. The third qualifier would also see Akio finally break into the Top 3 times for the first time after a not so good first day.
Q4 would be the perfect round for the team, with Naoto heading an Infinity 1-2 result that would declare him Top Qualifier. With one qualifier left on the day’s schedule, Q6 taking place Sunday morning, Naoto signed off the perfect day by again topping the time sheets in the fifth round. For Akio his improved form over Q3, 4 & 5 had moved him up to third in the overnight standings behind Volker with P2 up for grabs if he could put in a strong final qualifier and that is just what he did. Opening Sunday morning with the fastest TQ run of the weekend ahead of Naoto, he secured second on the grid for the A-Main.
In the open final Naoto made best use of his TQ to take the win while it was a more difficult race for Akio. Running second for more than half the race an incident on lap 10 of 17 would drop him back to finish P5 behind another of the race's international visitors Christopher Krapp. In a much closer A2 encounter, Akio would bounce back to deny Naoto the win meaning everything was to be decided in A3. Naoto would make a great start to the decider but 4-laps in both Akio and Ronald would get by. Once in front, Akio made sure he stayed there to take the win and the Japanese National title.
As a Japanese manufacturer this JMRCA title win is a particularly special one for the entire team behind our EP project and which was made all the sweeter thanks to Naoto making it a 1-2 for the IF14 on the podium. Weekends don’t get much better than this, thank guys.