Multiple 1:12 World Champion Naoto Matsukura is being linked with a possible move in to 1:8 Onroad Nitro with the Japanese driver taking part in Infinity’s pre-season team test this week at the Marine Paradise Radio Control Modellers Club track in Singapore.
Recently revealed as part of the new driver line-up for the Japanese company’s new EP Touring Car project, Infinity is evaluating Matsukura for a future involvement in the 1:8 Onroad class. While the former Electric Touring Car World Champion has previously driven a 1:8 car in a fun capacity, this will be his first serious attempt at the sport’s founding category as the team concludes the test by racing in the Singapore Series. Running on foam tyres appears to fit the Japanese stars driving style and with a huge wealth of experience he can call on from the likes of Lamberto Collari, Dario Balestri and Takaaki Shimo, this is sure to help him develop a quicker understanding of the class’ critical clutch and gearbox set-up.
A World Championship year, with France hosting the 21st running of the 1:8 Onroad Worlds, Infinity already has an impressive driver line-up making it a serious contender for the title but that could be bolstered by Matsukura. Following his test in Singapore it will be decided if a mix of an electric and nitro program could work in the best interests of r/c racing’s youngest World Champion.