November 19, 2018

2018 International Indoor Championships – Report

The prestigious International Indoor Championships were held in Las Vegas, Nevada over the weekend. As usual the event attracted both drivers from the US and also a lot of guests from abroad. The race was held in the usual Modified and Stock class mix and in the premier class of Touring Modified, it was the Alexander Hagberg and Ronald Volker show. Hagberg wanted to make it perfectly clear he was the fastest in this class with an exclamation point. Being the only one to throw down 24-lap runs, along with some extraordinary talented driving, he was able to capture the over all win in the Modified Touring class from the German duo of Ronald Völker and Jan Ratheisky. Paul Lemieux and Drew Ellis would complete the top 5 result.

Competition was tough in the Super Stock Touring 17.5 class with half the field being able to churn out 22-lap runs with only mere seconds separating each racer. This made possessing the TQ position critical and Brandon Clements knew this taking full advantage of it. At the sound of the start tone, the freight train of cars would stay together for most of the race until traffic started to factor in. Good sportsmanship was show letting the leaders pass, but making that happen in a timely manner mattered. Luck was on Clements’ side allowing him to make it through traffic with little to no problems. He would take the first two main wins and sit out the A3 main, leaving Ray Darroch to snatch the runner-up spot from Jan Ratheisky in third. Germany’s Max Mächler would come in 4th and in front of Broc Champlin.

In Stock Touring 21.5 2nd qualifier Armand DeForest and TQ Luke Pitman the fast guys in this class and had battling all weekend. Deforest drew first blood taking the win in the A1 main. A bit of controversy though in the A2 main when Pittman had a sizeable lead, but got turned around on the back when trying to make his way through back traffic. DeForest wrapped things up by taking his second win and over all win. Pittman would settle for the overall 2nd with Darren Shank finishing in the overall 3rd. Eric Epp came in 4th as David Zorn had to settle for 5th overall.

The Amateur Touring handout motor class is a group that has been bitten by the racing bug and competition while at the same time still in the process of honing their skills. TQ in this class was Eddie Shaffer along with second qualifier Johnathan Lee putting on a show for the spectators in the mains. Never being more than a couple car lengths from each other, the two would use the track as their battleground swapping positions many times. Both took A-Main wins, but in the end Eddie Shaffer would collect one more than Lee earning him the over all win. Johnathan Lee came in 2nd from James Oliva, Cliff Beck and Michael Donovan.

The Spec GT class uses beautiful scale bodies along with big sidewall rubber tires, which arguably made them one of the best looking class cars on the track this weekend. It was Max Mächler putting on the clinic in this class going a whole lap faster than the rest of the field. He opted to sit out the A3 main after winning both the A1 and A2 mains. David Zorn came in 2nd from Johnathan Lee 3rd. Marc McGurren and Eddie Shaffer completed the top 5.

Quite possible the most fun class to watch this weekend was the Euro Truck class. Clumsily agile, winning this class required an extreme amount of patience, skilled driving and a tremendous amount of luck! Fender rubbing and paint swapping all race long, Beni Stutz was the luckiest guy in this class capturing the TQ and the first A1 and A2 wins. And no, he did not sit out the A3 main to let the rest of the field battle for a podium spot. He ran and although he didn’t make it a clean sweep, he did manage to finish second behind Darin DeForest who in turn cemented the overall runner-up spot. Johnathan Lee ended the race on the 3 spot from Germany’s Stefan Klein 4th and Gus G 5th.

The World GT Rubber cars looked awesome on the track and had the speed the to match. These precision machines carved up the turns like a 1/12 scale and it was Larry Bradshaw leading the charge. Scoring a TQ position, Bradshaw would use it to his advantage getting clean starts at the sound of the start tone. So much so that he effortlessly built up a huge lead that took him a full lap ahead of the field at the end of both the A1 and A2 mains giving him the over all win. Kevin Creaser finished 2nd with George Brewer taking the 3rd podium spot, leaving behind Scotty Ernst 4th and Bill Deras 5th.

Hailing from Germany, Jan Ratheisky is known to be one of the fastest Stock racers in the world in both Touring Car and Formula. The competition was definitely tough in the Formula class and it definitely wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for Ratheisky. Not if Andrew Knapp and EJ Evans had anything to say about it. Both were in his rear view mirror, it was just going to be a question of who had the best luck in traffic. The answer to that question was Ratheisky. He managed to squeeze out the first two main wins just a couple turns ahead of Evans in both the A1 and A2 mains for the over all win. Andrew Knapp would ultimately grab the runner-up spot from EJ Evans 3rd, Aaron Lewis 4th and Bob Stellflue 5th.

Alexander Hagberg is the current 1/12th scale Modified World Champion and he was showing exactly why he owns that title. One of the big spectacles in this class was to see if anyone could turn a sub 11-second. There were plenty of 11.1 and 11-flats and Alexander wasn’t able to turn one or two sub 11-second laps, but four in the second A-main, which he won along with the A1 main to give him the overall win from Kevin Hebert 2nd and Andrew Knapp 3rd. Ray Darroch
and Eric Anderson completed the top 5 results.

Top Qualifier Ray Darroch had his hands full in the Super Stock 13.5 1/12 division. With pretty much everyone in the A-main being on pace with Darroch, it could be anyone’s race for the taking. Top Qualified racers winning their first two mains were a trend on main’s day and Darroch was just following that trend. He did take the over all win opting to sit out the A3 main. After the dust settled, Eric Anderson would end up in the over all 2nd and Walter Henderson would grab the last remaining podium spot.

TQ John Wiita was fast all weekend and looked to be the man to beat this weekend in this ultra competitive 1/12 17.5 class. In a class where everyone is evenly matched on speed and one little mistake can cost you the race, luck wasn’t on Wiita’s side during the mains whether it was mistakes or traffic, a win in the main was elusive for Wiita. Andrew nap took advantage of this capturing two A-main wins scoring him the overall win from Kevin Van Ert and John Wiita.

Source: International Indoor Championships []


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