Reigning Champion Marc Rheinard will defend his 1:12 World Championship from the best position possible, the Yokomo driver claiming the honour of Top Qualifier in China this morning. Having kicked off the final day of the 18th running of the championships with a second TQ run in Q5, the German initially looked set to take pole position with the perfect score of 0 points as he set the pace in the sixth & final qualifier. On target for a 40-lap run with 4 of the 8-minutes complete, a mistake in the fast chicane on the right side of the track would put him out on the spot as he popped off a trailing link. With Akio Sobue, the only one who could deny Rheinard the overall TQ, the new pace setter Rheinard would have to watch nervously from the drivers stand as his touring car team-mate looked on target to beat his Q5 which would have given him the overall TQ on the tie break but the CRC driver would make a mistake promoting Naoto Matsukura to the top of the timing screens. Taking the round by 1.6-second from Sobue, Matsukura’s second TQ run would also see the Top Qualifier of the last four World Championship bump his fellow countryman back to third on the grid.
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