JMRCA 2017 ALL JAPAN NATIONALS
SAGAMIDO RACING TRACK 4-5/11/2017
Everyone in their life have some preferred moments; something linked to proper feelings, bad or good doesn’t matter, that reminded the signs in their soul. JMRCA Championship is the race where our journey officially started a couple of years ago with our platform Infinity and for this reason it will have a special place in our hearts.
Infinity Team was composed by Takaaki Shimo, Naoto Matsukura, Kenji Taira, Trin Tanongsakchaikul and, for this event, Lamberto Collari as JMRCA member decided to travel overseas to support the Japan team.
Organisers spent lot of efforts to prepare the SRT location in the best way possible and we could say that the track was in beautiful shape; even the rain dropped on saturday night can’t stop the efforts of the track crew that really spread all their energies to allow the drivers to enjoy the race 100%. Well done Komuro San!
Track was open the whole week for practice; rules are little bit different from Worlds with 25% nitro fuel, 5 minutes heats, 5 qualifying rounds; 2 drivers directly in Amain. For the first time in Japan was applied an handout tire system provided by Jurugyx with only 4 sets of tires for control practice and all qualifications. 1 more set for Semis and 3 more set for Amain.
Compare to his first time in 2015 things went really better for Lamberto that topped the practice ranking three days in a row showing awesome speed and great consistency; he feels comfortable on the track and the car support him perfectly. Matsukura, Shimo, Takahata, Terauchi, Yokoyama and Fukuda weren’t far but “sounds” a bit strange to have an european driver in the lead…
Saturday the race officially started with one round of free practice, one round of control practice and then four qualifying heats. Last one will be for the Sunday morning. In CP Shimo dropped on the second heat but in the first round he was the fastest almost 1 second in front of Collari. The second heat was again Takaaki that grab the TQ with the first round closed at 21 laps in front of reigning champion Yokoyama that runs out of fuel last lap and Lamberto that, to avoid an accident, go slow two laps to end. After an ashtonishing WC final Naoto Matsukura was one of most attended drivers but technical problems damaged his performance and at the reseeding (every 2 rounds) he dropped to last heat. In the third round was Takahata that set the pace in front of Shimo and Matsukura with Collari that lost confidence for a 6th overall. In the fourth round Takaaki definitely secured his TQ with another perfect run with Shinnosuke and Lamberto respectively third and fourth; the overall ranking show Yokoyama and Collari tie points with Japanese in second place due to fastest runtime.
Sunday morning Shimo San puts his wheels again in front of the whole field but the real challenge is between Shinnosuke and Lamberto to grab last direct spot in the final; Collari was faster than his rival but not enough as Matsukura and Takahata finished in front of him. With only the 4th place was Yokoyama that bumps in the Amain directly.
In the lower mains Trin bump up in the Semifinal as Kenji had to stop in the quarters. In the semiA Lamberto and Matsukura start 1-2… Lamberto takes the lead but from the beginning is clear he’s testing the strategy for final controlling tire consumption and refuelling; Matsukura takes the lead but once again he had an engine problem that take him out of competition. Lamberto cruise for an easy win when 2 lap to end of the 20 minutes he makes one of the few mistakes of the week hitting a kerb and badly crash in the net ripping his body shell and completely destroying rear end. Fortunately the gap gained in advance allowed him to close third bumping in Amain with number 7. Young driver Norito Hirano was the nice surprise of the day passing the semi and grabbing the last spot for the final. 3 cars in the Main is a good result: well done guys!
In the Amain Shimo pull away at the start followed by Yokoyama, and Takahata; Collari start was very good and gained couple of positions… Yokoyama had a problem at early stage with Collari and Terauchi that were very close for some minutes giving lot of excitement to the audience. After 10 minutes Takaaki’s car begin to understeer preventing the Japanese to maintain his pace while Lamberto seemed to improve his performance supported by a 5 minutes fuel strategy. Hirano was very fast but some mistakes heavily conditioned his result… at the fourth pit stop Collari jumps in second place and few minutes later he takes the lead thanks to longer tire strategy but only two laps later he burns the glow plug loosing every chance to fight for a podium spot… Once restarted in the pits he fights to recover the field improving his laptimes many times but he could only manage a 7th overall. Shimo San had to deal with some problems of handling the car but thanks to his experience he can control the race and closed second overall… Hirano San finish 8th. Not the best result possible but was, once again, an amazing race fulfilled of good feelings for our team. See you next year!!!