October 29, 2018

Matsukura adds first nitro title to World Championship tally

Multiple Electric Onroad World Champion Naoto Matsukura has added a Nitro Touring Car World title to his tally with a very convincing performance at the 1:10 200mm World Championships in Florida.  After a messy start which saw Top Qualifier Dario Balestri, Super Pole winner Robert Pietsch and reigning champion Dominic Greiner receive penalties, the Infinity driver quickly stamped his authority on the 1-hour final.  By the first round of fuel stops the 200mm rookie, who stopped early at 4:30, had already pulled out over a 6-second lead and such was his lead at the mid race tyre change his crew was able to switch to 4:00 stops ensuring his massive lead was never at risk.  At the end the Japanese driver becomes the 8th different World Champion of the class by almost 2-laps.  Battling with Tadahiko Sahashi for second place before the Infinity driver suffered a flame out in the final minutes of the race Capricorn’s Kyle Branson would finish second with Team Shepherd’s very quick Eduardo Escandon coming through from the back of the grid to complete the podium at Homestead RC Raceway.  Half a lap back Pietsch would recover from his penalty and a bad tyre stop to finish fourth ahead of Mugen team-mate Jeff Hamon, with Greiner, who got a second penalty completing the Top 6.  Ending up 9-laps off the lead after running out of fuel, Balestri ended up 7th but his biggest frustration was the length the cars were held on the starting grid.  He said his penalty was a result of him trying to make sure his engine didn’t cut.

Continue reading this report here or view our complete event coverage here.


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