VRC CHAMPIONS BERMAN AND YELLE BATTLE AT MESSINA AS AMERICANS SWEEP PODIUM
“Juggernaut” Joshua Berman of the USA earned another victory in the 1:8 Nitro Sportscar Event at Messina. Berman has been an unstoppable force (aka Juggernaut) in both the 1:8 Nitro Sportscar Modified and Spec classes as of late. The Juggernaut’s recent successes includes victories in the final three races of 2016 Season 3 for both 1:8 Nitro Sportscar and Spec series; victories in the last four races of the current series in both 1:8 Nitro Sportscar and Spec; a second-place finish in the 2016 1:8 Sportscar World Championships and is the reigning 2016 1:8 Sportscar Spec VRC Pro World Champion.
However, the Juggernaut was pushed to the limit at the recent 1:8 Sportscar event at Messina as VRC welcomed back VRC World Champion, Rick Yelle (USA). Yelle, who has won multiple VRC World Championships, including the 2014 1:8 Sportscar Spec class, returned to VRC after nearly two-year hiatus. Yelle quickly returned to his previous form and took the second qualifying position in the opening round. He improved his position in the semi-final round and was the only racer to complete 51 laps taking the top qualifying position into the final.
Berman (Blue/Pink) and Yelle (Orange/Gray) raced side by side for much of the 20-Minute Final
In the final Berman and Yelle were out of the gate quickly and separated themselves from the pack almost immediately. The pair stayed close throughout the final swapping the lead seven times. Berman slowly pulled away from Yelle after the first pit stop and had his biggest lead of 1.9 seconds by lap 64. However, Berman made a small mistake on his final pit stop followed up by his slowest lap to allow Yelle to close the gap to .4 seconds by lap 69 and eventually allowing Yelle to pass on lap 73. But Yelle had a slight fault of his own experiencing his slowest lap on lap 81 which allowed Berman to retake the lead before time expired. Berman finished .39 seconds ahead of Yelle with a time of 83 laps 20:07.176 to Yelle’s 83 laps 20:07.566.
Kevin Bacon (USA) finished third with a time of 82 laps 20:11.332 to complete the podium.
Ireland’s Austin Elliott, UK’s Graham Raistrick and Germany’s Oliver Meuiner all finished with 81 laps. Meuiner and Elliott battled for the first 46 laps, swapping positions five times; neither ever leading the other by more than 1.7 seconds. In fact, after 46 laps Elliott and Meuiner were separated by a mere .06 seconds. However, on lap 47, Meuiner crashed requiring assistance from a turn marshal resulting in a 21 second lap. This gave Elliott a half lap of breathing room. Meuiner refocused after the crash and posted some fast laps and began to gain a little ground on Elliott, but another crash on lap 63 added six more seconds to Meuiner’s time and proved to be overwhelming with less than five minutes remaining. Elliott finished 4th, Raistrick 5th and Meuiner 6th.
Alvaro Cuesta (ES), Maurizio Mazzocchi (IT), Mugen Mrx-5 (BE) and Jim Turner (US) finished 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively. All four racers finished with 79 laps. Mazzocchi and Mrx-5 were separated by only .5 second after the 20-minute final.
Patrick Nieuwenburg's Sport Level Winning Serpent
Patrick Nieuwenburg(NL) won the Sport level A-main. Nieuwenburg was the only Sport level driver to finish 79 laps. Nieuwenburg finished the race about a lap and a half ahead of his closest competitor, Eckart Blau (DE). Nieuwenburg’s final time was actually 7th fastest overall. He finished with 79 laps in 20:01.880. Blau finished second with a time of 78 laps in 20:08.158. Blau was about 3.5 seconds ahead of the Sport level series point leader, Gene Sears (US). Sears finished third to complete the Sport level podium.
Gary Crowell's Kyosho Ride
Separation was the theme in the Club level A-main final. The top three drivers each finished about one full lap apart. Gary Crowell (USA) took the win with a 77 lap run in 20:04.660. Second place went to another American, Manuel Weber. Weber finished a little more than one-lap behind Crowell with a run of 76 laps in 20:06.260. The final podium position went to France’s Romain Delaunay. Delaunay was a little less than one-lap behind Weber. Delaunay finished the final with 75 laps in 20:02.616.
|7||Hans Guenther Heitsch||75||20:04.968|
|8||Max La Barack||69||20:14.974|
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(Total posts: 6)
Juggernaut indeed! nice report & great racing guys
Thanks guys, this was a fun race. The replay of Josh and Rick is great. Unfortunately, I'm no good at making/editing videos. That is Jupe's area of expertise, so my reports don't have videos.
Thank you Jupe and thank you Kevin.
Kevin Bacon has wroted this, Kevin is one great "motormouth". Keep it going!
Yes jupe i agree fantastic report.
Anyone know who wrote this ?
To whoever did well done and also great win Joshua.
And welcome back Rick.
Great report, just fantastic!
Unbeliavably tight battle between two great talents, well deserved from Joshua....opponent wasnt easiest.
WELLCOME BACK, RICK THE GREAT!!!!