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Date of the Event: 09.13.2007Illuzion Sweeps IFMAR World Championships

Event: 1/10th Electric Off-Road IFMAR World Championships
Location: ICIRNO HAKOSAN-Shi, Ishikawa, Japan
Dates: Sept. 9-17, 2007   

IFMAR World Championship – arrival and registration - September 9, 2007
For most, a big R/C car event is a local series, regional event or given the year perhaps a national championship event is within reach.  The IFMAR World Championship represents the highest form of radio control car racing available.  With 2 years in-between championships in each division, drivers and manufacturers test and tune at regional and national events to lead up to what has become the ultimate who’s who of competition.  Looking down the list of past champions really brings perspective as to just how difficult and important these events are to the R/C industry and racing in particular.  

This year’s 1/10th electric off-road world championship was nothing short of spectacular.  Held in Ishikawa, Japan, this was not your normal R/C racing facility.  Ishikawa is a winter ski resort that is normally reserved for snow skiers and snow enthusiasts.  Many drivers commented that it was the most scenic place they have visited surrounding an R/C track and event.  Photos follow for the proof :)

Our hotel accommodations courtesy of the APA hotel were located about 40 minutes from the track in Ishikawa.  This made for early 5:00am awakenings and late 7:00pm returns.   Driving through the mountains to and from the track each day made for great in- van commentary and great photography.  The trip was simplified for us because Robert Itoh and Team Yokomo was our “tour guide” which made our trips much more pleasurable and direct without getting lost.  A routine trip to the quickie mart in the mornings and McDonalds or KFC in the evenings became the standard for food stops.

IFMAR World Championship – practice - September 10, 2007
The track itself was very challenging because for many drivers it was a first visit to the Ishikawa track and the surface was very demanding.   Rain was always a threat and the local drivers seemed to be more familiar with the rain forecast and what to expect.  For those of us traveling in from the U.S.A. we were not prepared for practice or racing in rain conditions.   Many drivers skipped the first round of controlled practice due to the track conditions being extremely wet.  

After round 2 of practice most of us realized that the practice conditions were not going to change.  If we wanted to practice we would have to get the cars down and dirty in the mud.   For rounds 3 through 8 we practiced on complete mud and water conditions.   Sealing the electrical equipment was critical to finishing each practice session.  It was normal to see drivers cleaning the suspension on their vehicles with pressure washers after each practice session.  Not something normally associated with meticulous vehicle preparation in electric off-road.

Round 1 – 2wd qualifying – September 11, 2007
With his Losi XXX-CR buggy Mike Truhe took advantage of being in heat number 1 and blistered the track laying down a TQ run for the round.  Mike’s buggy looked so good especially in the downhill triple jump section. Mike was able to drive into the first jump at a medium speed and land into the face of the second jump and complete the double jump coming out, land and turn in rhythm the 180 degree turn and then tackle the mogul section.   Rounding out the top 3 in the first round were Travis Amezcua and Ryan Maifield.

Round 2 –
17 year old Hot Bodies driver Hayato Matsuzaki, driving the Associated B4 took fast time in the 2nd round of qualifying.  Hayato a very skilled driver from Japan looks extremely comfortable and knows the Ishikawa track very well as he TQ’ed and won the warm-up race roughly a year earlier in the 4wd class.  Masami Hirosaka and Mike Truhe finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in round 2. 

Round 3 –
13- Time World Champion Masami Hirosaka pulled out all the stops in round 3 and ran the fastest run of the event to TQ round 3 with 11/5:04.600.  Hayato was just a tick off Masami with 11/5:04.631 finishing in second for the round.   2-time World Champion Ryan Cavalieri put in his best qualifier to date and finished 3rd for the round.  

Round 4 – 
Ryan Maifield hit the “Game On” switch in round 4 and posted his fastest run of the event with 11/5:05.575.  Ryan experimented with ribbed front tires in round 4 and his buggy looked extremely balanced and fast.  Masatsugu Ido and Ryan Cavalieri finished in the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.  An interesting note, with back to back 3rd place finishes for the round it seems as though Ryan Cavalieri found his rhythm on the track.  Everyone was expecting big things from Ryan Cavalieri in round 5 and again in the main events. 

Round 5 – 2wd qualifying and main events – September 12, 2007
Round 5 started in the morning as some rain fell overnight and into the early morning.  Masami Hirosaka had potential along with a few others for TQ of the event.  The biggest question was how consistent was the track going to be as it dried out considering the amount of water that had hit overnight.    In the 2nd heat Masami and Ryan Cavalieri finished 1st and 2nd.  However, after only 3 more heats their times fell considerably as the track got faster and faster.  At the end of round 5, upcoming Yokomo driver Naoto Matsukura driving the B4 showed his future potential by TQ’ing the final round of qualifying by turning 11/5:08.437.  Lee Martin and Hayato Matsuzaki rounded out the top 3.    

2WD A Main - Leg 1
From the pole position Hayato got off to a great start and pulled a small lead on 2nd place.  Ryan Maifield performed some nifty passes early on and was able to pull into second place very early into the race.  Maifield set his sights on Hayato and was able to rip off some very fast laps as he pulled up onto the back of Hayato.   Hayato made a small mistake on the mountain turn entering the infield and Maifield got around the outside of him and continued to cruise.   With Maifield out front and cruising, Hayato started to push but made the same mistake as earlier on the mountain turn and got out of shape and Tebo and Cavalieri got through cleanly.   Finishing order in A1 was Maifield, Tebo and Cavalieri. 

2WD A Main - Leg 2
Silence fell on the crowd before the start as everyone was excited to see if a winner would be decided in A2.  Hayato got away cleanly, with Mike Truhe in 2nd.  Mike did his best to shadow Hayato around the track but found himself losing ground to an obvious calm Hayato.   Masami pulled up for a look onto the back of Mike Truhe and made a brilliant pass after the triple jump section.   Masami put on a serious drive trying to get closer to Hayato. 

The official clock was winding down and Masami was on a full charge pulling right up behind Hayato.  On the final lap the 2 went through the downhill jump section, Hayato left a small opening and Masami went inside trying to overtake.  Hayato carried good speed on the outside line and Masami backed off to avoid a collision.  With only 2 corners to go Hayato held a brilliant inside line and crossed the finish line in 1st place with Masami taking 2nd and Jared Tebo taking 3rd.  

2WD A Main - Leg 3
Hayato got off to a great start understanding a win would bring him the championship.  Mike Truhe was in second place and pacing Hayato.  Maifield closed in on Truhe and made a pass to pull into second and chasing Hayato.  With Truhe now just a few inches behind Maifield they entered the downhill triple section and Truhe jumped the triple as he had all weekend and pulled even closer to Maifield.   Maifield and Truhe made the 180 degree turn together but Maifield made a mistake in the mogul section that required a turn marshal.  

Truhe was out clean in 2nd and Maifield continued to drop back while Tebo powered into the 3rd position.   Tebo put down some of his best laps of the weekend as he pulled right onto the back of Truhe.   Tebo and Truhe swapped places several times on the last lap.  A great last lap battle that would eventually go to Tebo who would finish 2nd and Truhe would finish 3rd.   Hayato was out front cruising the whole main on his way to his first IFMAR World Championship! 

Round 1 – 4wd qualifying – September 15, 2007
Jared Tebo took his B44 to the front of the pack with a quick 12/5:05.345.  Ryan Maifield followed in second about 3 seconds back with Ryan Cavalieri finishing 3rd for the round about a second back of Maifield with a 12/5:09.056.
Round 2 -
Jared jumped out to a quick start again with a super quick 12/5:06.240 which put him on top of the pack.  Ryan Cavalieri turned in a 12/5:09.376 to put himself in 2nd.  Atsushi Hara put in a great run in the same qualifier as Jared Tebo that put him 3rd for the round with a 12/5:12.412.

Round 3 -
Jared could take the TQ for the event with another TQ in this round.  On another super quick run Jared’s motor moved slightly stripping his spur gear on what was going to be another TQ run.  If Jared was going to TQ the event he was going to have to come back strong in the 4th and 5th round.  Masami Hirosaka took advantage and blistered the track himself.  Masami’s time of 12/5:08.863 held up for TQ for the round.  Ryan Maifield finished in 2nd and Ryan Cavalieri 3rd.

Round 4 -
Jared had no problems in round 4 and again set the pace with 12/5:07.365.  With this Run Jared assured himself of TQ for the event.  Finishing in 2nd once again was Ryan Maifield and 3rd was Steven Hartson the youngest of the drivers from the U.S.A.

Round 5 – 4wd qualifying and main events – September 16, 2007
Jared again jumped on everyone in round 5.  Jared put an exclamation point on to TQ by turning his fastest run of the event 12/5:02.573.   In the same qualifier Atsushi Hara put in another great run with 12/5:03.537 for 2nd.  Masami Hirosaka took 3rd with 12/5:03.768. 

4WD A-Final - Leg 1
From the start, there was some serious drama as Joern Neumann’s motor moved on the warm-up lap.  As the crowd cheered him on, Gerd Strenge looked like a sprint runner as he ran up the hill and tightened the mesh and got Joern onto the starting line just at the IFMAR count down had began.  Awesome! As the horn went off Jared got away clean.  Maifield and Cavalieri pursued Jared as the 3 flew around the track.  Masami was having an extremely hard time as he had to get marshaled twice on the first lap and dropped way back.  

Maifield started to pull some on Jared as the two got close coming toward the end of the race.  Maifield and Tebo were flying as everyone else seemed to be battling in the back of the pack.   Coming into the last lap Maifield rolled his car and Jared almost had a free run to the finish line but he crashed himself putting Maifield right back up behind him.   The two came through the moguls section and Jared managed to keep Maifield behind to take the first leg.   Hard charging Maifield finished in 2nd and Ryan Cavalieri finished in 3rd.

4WD A Final - Leg 2
Jared Tebo was in great shape, another win would give him the title.  Getting off to a great start, Jared looked on point.  Maifield and Masami would challenge Jared at the beginning but Maifield suddenly made a mistake.  Masami was now in second position but also made a mistake allowing Tebo plenty of breathing room.  Cavalieri and Masami put on a short battle for 2nd but Cavalieri eventually pushed past Masami to finish in the 2nd position dropping Masami to 3rd.  Jared put his B44 in complete cruise control on his way to his first IFMAR World Championship!

4WD A Final - Leg 3
Jared Tebo was already the World Champion after winning A-main 1 and 2.  Ryan Maifield now stepped into the pole position.  Ryan pulled a fantastic start with Cavalieri right behind him.  Cavalieri looked to make a pass on Maifield early on but made a mistake coming over the mogul section.   Maifield was out front cruising while Cavalieri put it into an extra gear and was really on a mission trying to catch Maifield.   Coming down with only 2 laps to go, Cavalieri was now only a few feet behind Maifield who was driving very poised.  

On the last lap coming over the triple and double section Cavalieri had his sights on the victory in the last main.  Cavalieri closed the gap and was now challenging Maifield on their way through the mogul section.  As they came onto the right sweeper leading onto the main straight Cavalieri made his move and completely pushed his B44 to the inside of Maifield at full throttle.  At the last second Cavalieri lost the rear end of his car as it stepped out giving Maifield enough cushion to cross the finish line in 1st place.  Ryan Cavalieri finished in the 2nd position and Hayato Matsuzaki finished 3rd.  

JConcepts Products in Focus:

0001TQ – Illuzion – RC10B4 Scoopless body (World Champion)
0050 – Illuzion – RC10B4 Hi-Flow body
0051 – Illuzion – B44 / BJ4 Hi-Flow body
0106 – Illuzion – 6” High Downforce wing
0107 – Illuzion – 7” High Downforce wing (World Champion)
0114 – Illuzion – 6” High Downforce V-wing
2026 – JConcepts – 1/10th ball cups - white (World Champion)
3305 – Rulux – RC10B4 front wheel
3306 – Rulux – RC10B4 rear wheel
3307 – Rulux – B44 front wheel