Official event details

2017 VRC WORLDS 1:8 NITRO SPORTSCARSstatus: FINISHED

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Race:from 23.12.2017 [10:00] to 01.01.2018 [10:00]
Class:1:8 Nitro on-road
Track:Cincinnatti 1
Direction:  Official O
Series:not selected
Rankings:  1:8 nitro sportscars modified, OVERALL COMBINED, Overall nitro on-road, Overall on-road combined
Points:Level 5 ABC (1 - 300) with DNS* factor 90%
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Cincinnatti '03, the 2003 IFMAR World Championship lay-out. A fast wide open track with fast and slow sections, a real challenge to find the fastest line on this track!
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BERMAN MAKES IT 4 AT CINCINNATTI

04.01.2018

Report by Kevin Bacon

2017 marks 40 years since the first ever IFMAR World Championship. In 1977, Butch Kroells drove a Team Associated RC100 to the first ever official IFMAR RC World Championship; 1/8 Nitro Sportscars. Thus, it seems only fitting, that the final event of the 2017 VRC On-Road Nitro Worlds, be the 1/8 Nitro Sportscar class. RC racing has evolved over the years, and VRC has played its part in the evolution. In the early years, both racing and knowledge sharing was limited to the handful of racers at your local club. Eventually, the internet allowed racers from around the globe to communicate their various setup/driving tricks and tips. However, it was VRC that brought our hobby instant global racing competition. So, it only seems appropriate, that we celebrate 40 years of world championship racing, by closing out the 2017 VRC Worlds with the same class that started it all… 1/8 Nitro Sportscars.

PRO LEVEL

Qualifying
In qualifying it was Jeffrey Rietveld (NL) who was the man to beat. Rietveld, who won nearly all of the events at the VRC On-road World Championships in 2015, including 1/8 Nitro Sportscars, set the benchmark in qualifying with 32 laps in 10:16.408. He was the only racer to turn 32 laps. The next three qualifiers, Joshua Berman (US), Andrea Giordano (IT) and Kevin Bacon (US) were late arrivals to qualifying, having just finished the 1/8 Nitro GT3 Event. Berman, who won the 1/8 Nitro GT3 event, as well as both of the 1/10 Nitro events this year; was second fastest in qualifying with 31 laps in 10:02.602. Giordano who finished second to Berman in all three of the aforementioned events; was the third fastest qualifier with 31 laps in 10:06.614. Bacon was 1.5 seconds behind Giordano with 31 laps in 10:08.142. Alex Guillot (FR) was fifth in qualifying. Guillot was 7.8 seconds behind Bacon with 31 laps in 10:15.988. Qualifying was very tight behind Guillot. In fact, only 3.2 seconds separated Guillot and 9th place qualifying Oliver Meunier (DE). Nuno Lourenco (PT) was just 0.2 seconds behind Guillot; Giorgio Mingotti (IT) was just 0.2 seconds behind Lourenco; Austin Elliot (IR) was 1.1 seconds behind Mingotti; and Meunier was 1.8 seconds behind Elliot. Meunier was just 0.4 seconds ahead of Graham Raistrick (UK) at the end of lap 30. Meunier just made it across the line before time expired; Raistrick did not. Raistrick completed the top 10 qualifiers with 30 laps in 10:00.206.

Semi Finals
The semi finals again featured Rietveld in first. Rietveld’s time of 93 laps in 30:02.538 was the fastest time of the round, but this time it was much closer. Berman, who found additional time to practice during this round, posted an extremely close second place qualifying run of 93 laps in 30:03.190, just 0.6 seconds back after 30 minutes of racing. The two swapped positions 8 times in the semi final round! Neither ever leading the other by more than 1 second! Exactly what you would expect from two world class pilots. Third went to Bacon, who was about a lap and a half back with 92 laps in 30:13.552. Fourth through sixth were close between Raistraick 91 laps in 30:03.606; Mingotti 91 laps in 30:09.912 and Elliot 91 laps in 30:13.450. Seven through ten all qualified with 90 laps; (7) Guillot in 30:03.984; (8) Nuno Lourenco 30:07.724; (9) Gary Crowell (US) 30:19.234 and Alvaro Cuesta (ES) in 30:20.228. Giordano did not post a run during the semi final round.

Finals
It looked like it was going to be a battle for the ages between Rietveld and Berman. However, Rietveld was absent from the starting grid, so Berman cruised to victory. Berman finished the rewarding 60-minute final with 185 laps in 60:14.978. Berman led from start to finish and was never really challenged. Berman ran a unique strategy. All of the other finalists changed tires midway through the final. Tire changes take an additional 12 seconds. Thus, racers need to balance the time gained from new tires against the substantial time loss for the extra time in the pits. Berman must have considered this and decided not to make the change. It appears to have been a smart move as Berman was still able to rip sub 19 second laps as late as lap 123. He was still able to hit a 19.0 as late as lap 165… all on the original tires! Berman also used a fuel-efficient setup that allowed him to make 9 pit stops, where everyone else needed 10. These two combined strategies translate to a savings of 18-19 seconds, or nearly a full lap.

The real action in the Pro level final was the battle for the final two podium positions between Bacon and Raistrick. In fact, for the first 150 laps Bacon and Raistrick were never separated by more than 3 seconds. Bacon spun on the just second lap and parked his Kyosho in the wall experiencing his slowest lap of 22.136. The mistake sent Bacon to the back of the pack and gave Raistrick his biggest lead of the race at just over 3 seconds. But Bacon reeled in Raistrick by the first pit stop and regained the lead on lap 18. Bacon extended his lead to 2.5 seconds by lap 25 when Raistrick found a rhythm and reeled Bacon back, regaining the position on lap 46. Bacon took it back on lap 49, but Raistrick stayed close and slipped by on lap 66. Raistrick stayed just ahead of Bacon until lap 107. The two remained extremely close and swapped positions 6 additional times before Bacon took the lead for good on lap 135. Raistrick was able to stay close, but tire wear, and the fatigue of a 60-minute race, caught up to him. On lap 148 Raistrick spun and gave Bacon a 3 second lead. Then on lap 162 Raistrick spun again on one of the “Cincinnati Curbs” resulting in his slowest lap of 21.418. This propelled Bacon to a nearly 7 second lead. The tires and fatigue got to Bacon too as he spun on lap 176, costing him about 2 seconds. But he had built enough of a lead and time expired just six laps later. Bacon held on to claim second place with 182 laps in 60:05.980. Raistrick claimed the final podium position with 182 laps in 60:12.604.

While not a podium battle, the battle for 4th and 5th between Mingotti and Elliot was also good. Elliot built an early lead and by lap 55 was 7.7 seconds ahead of Mingotti. But the veteran Mingotti slowly closed the gap. On lap 131 Mingotti passed Elliot and took his first lead. Elliot retook the lead on lap 136 when Mingotti came in to the pits. Then Mingotti took the lead back on 144 when Elliot came in for fuel. The two continued to swap positions based on whomever was the last in the pits. So, it came down to who would get stuck with having to come into the pits last. It looked like Elliot was going to take the position, but on his penultimate lap he needed fuel. Mingotti slid by and took the position as time expired.

Congratulations to Joshua Berman! 2017 VRC PRO 1/8 NITRO WORLD CHAMPION!

Pro Level

1Joshua Berman(US)18560:14.978
2Kevin Bacon(US)18260:05.980
3Graham Raistrick(UK)18260:12.604
4Giorgio Mingotti(IT)18060:00.978
5Austin Elliot(IR)18060:06.316
6Alex Guillot(FR)17960:01.526
7Gary Crowell(US)17860:11.088
8Alvaro Cuesta(ES)17860:19.884
9Nuno LourencoPT301:21.246
10Jeffrey Rietveld(NL)DNS


SPORT LEVEL
In sport level it was another American driver that drove to victory. Manuel Weber (US) was the only racer to turn 173 laps at the Sport level. Weber started the race strong but fell out of rhythm as his tires started to wear about 50 laps in. In fact, Weber actually slipped to third between laps 61 and 70. But Weber came in for fresh tires on lap 96 and never looked back. At that point Weber was in second behind Jacques Blanchin (FR). Blanchin stayed on the track until lap 102 when he came in for tires. But when he exited the pits on lap 102, Weber had regained the lead and would not let it go. Weber slowly extended his lead over the next 70 laps and finished 15.2 seconds ahead of Blanchin. Weber finished with 173 laps in 60:11.594.

Much like the pro level, the sport level final featured a battle for the final two podium positions. Blanchin and his fellow countryman Tony Delmastro swapped positions 12 times over the first 70 laps. But on lap 72 Delmastro came in for fuel and Blanchin took an 8 second lead. Just 8 laps later, Delmastro crashed and suffered a 25.204 second lap giving Blanchin a 14 second cushion. But Delmasrto worked his way back and had closed the gap to 1.3 seconds by lap 119. But a few additional mistakes set him back. Delmastro was closing the gap on Blanchin but ran out of time. Blanchin took second place with 172 laps in 60:06.266; Delmastro completed the podium with 172 laps in 60:09.964.

Congratulations to Manuel Weber! 2017 VRC PRO 1/8 NITRO WORLD CHAMPION! – Sport level

Sport Level
1Manuel Weber(US)17360:11.594
2Jacques Blanchin(FR)17260:06.266
3Tony Delmastro(FR)17260:09.964
4Oliver Gurdebeke(BE)16960:20.160
5Laurent Edet(FR)16860:02.096
6Mike Bridges(CA)16760:00.734
7Pedro Pozo(ES)16760:13.530
8Davide Casadio(IT)16760:25.394
9Yuri Meshkov(RU)16460:12.206
10John Payson(US)DNS


CLUB LEVEL

It was a strategic battle at club level between Johann Jury (AT) and Frank Hempel (DE). Jury built nearly a 17 second lead in the first 92 laps. On lap 93 he came in for fuel and tires. Hempel opted to run the entire race on one set of tires. As a result when Jury exited the pits on lap 93 he was 4.5 seconds behind Hempel. Jury would regain the lead a few laps later when Hempel came in for fuel, but Jury was out of sync and adjusting to his car’s fresh tires. Jury eventually got used to his new tires and got into rhythm and began to chip away at Hempel’s lead. With Hempel’s tires wearing thin, Jury retook the lead on lap 157. He extended the lead to 7.7 seconds by lap 163. Hempel was running on fumes as time expired and needed to come in for fuel just to make it to the finish line. The extra pit stop let Jury cruise to victory. Jury finished with 164 laps in 60:00.464. Hempel finished second with 164 laps in 60:16.126. Michael Zappa (UK) claimed the final podium position with 161 laps in 60:14.206.

Congratulations to Johann Jury! 2017 VRC PRO 1/8 NITRO WORLD CHAMPION! – Club level

Club Level
1Johann Jury(AT)16460:00.464
2Frank Hempel(DE)16460:16.126
3Michael Zappa(UK)161 60:14.206
4Marcos Garcia(ES)16060:05.466
5Gregory Molinas(GR)16061:15.468
6Curtis Damm(US)15760:12.758
7Pavel Pernica(CZ)15660:05.698
8Goran Martensson(SE)15360:09.706
9Marek Baumerth(SK)DNS
10Yuriy Tantsura(UA)DNS


The Overall Nations Cup was won by USA, France in 2nd and Germany 3rd.

Comments

Only active members can post comments
(Total posts: 8)
08.01.2018 [00:50]
Posted by: michael Zappa (GB) on 4.1.2018 19:24:17 (UTC)
Very well done all.. One of the best races I been in so far very enjoyable...
congratulation to:
Joshua Berman
Manuel Weber
Johann Jury

thank you it was some fun racing this worlds
06.01.2018 [20:11]
Congrats to Joshua and the other winners and podium finishers. It's great to see a report done right! Helps to be a racer and to be well-informed about what's really going on & to write it-- awesome job Kevin. Mike: always entertaining too!
05.01.2018 [09:24]
Thanks to Kevin and Mike for such a great report....special thanks to Mike though for pronouncing my name spot on...now I just have the rest of the world to get it right.
Wish I had done my second run now without tyre change...might have got me a 2nd. 3rd us great though....shame Mr R couldn't make it...would have been a hell of a battle for top spot.
Congrats to Josh and Kevin...great race :)

Edited by author: 5.1.2018 9:26:10 GMT
04.01.2018 [22:39]
Excellent work Kevin and Mike.
And of course congrats to our 2017 podium finishers.
04.01.2018 [22:12]
Well done Johann, that finished up a great 2017.
04.01.2018 [21:25]
Fantastic to see 2 World Champions fighting so close and "at their best" in the 30 minutes semifinal only for the spot of top qualifier!! That's what i like!

Unfortunately Jeffrey was not on the grid for the epic battle. Well done guys anyway.

Great report and congratulation to all.

Edited by author: 4.1.2018 21:36:57 GMT
04.01.2018 [19:25]
Very nice video and commentary
04.01.2018 [19:24]
Very well done all.. One of the best races I been in so far very enjoyable...
congratulation to:
Joshua Berman
Manuel Weber
Johann Jury

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