October 21, 2019

Asian Onroad Championship Rd5 – Report

Round 5 of the 2019 Asian Onroad Championship was held at the iconic Yatabe Arena in Japan this past weekend, attracting nearly 100 entries for the multiple electric on-road classes. The premier Touring Modified class saw a couple of IFMAR World Champions in the mix with local talent. Being true professionals, the Modified Touring Cars startsed were textbook and TQ Ryousuke Yamamoto led the way. In tow was another fellow local Akio Sobue keeping the pressure on and not letting Yamamoto get away being only a couple car lengths away the whole race. Yamamoto drover super tight keeping the door closed until the end tone taking the A1 win. In the A2 main, it would be disaster for Yamamoto when his car broke in a crash. Sobue said thank you very much and would cruise in for the A2 win. Unfortunately for Sobue, Yamamoto’s run would edge him out by one single second for the over all win.

Modified Touring top 5 results:
1. Ryousuke Yamamoto
2. Akio Sobue
3. Ronald Volker
4. Shin Sawada
5. Marc Rheinard

Going almost the same speed as the Modified Touring class, the Super Stock 13.5 division racing action was fast and exciting. There was one car that stuck out more than the rest and that would be the car of Takuma Sasaki. On a class of his own and putting on a clinic in the A1 final, Sasaki confidently threw down an almost textbook run so confident in fact that he felt he didn’t have to run his A2 final. With challenge accepted, second qualifier Toshiaki Hirata would attempt do the impossible and knock Sasaki from his thrown. The only thing standing in his way was the rest of the field. Hirata would drive a great A2 final but a couple of mistakes was enough to knock him off pace. Sasaki would take the over all win by four seconds.

Super Stock Touring top 5 results:
1. Takuma Sasaki
2. Toshiaki Hirata
3. Rei Anekawa
4. Issei Sasaki
5. Kazuma Murai

Pushing the boundaries of stock motor technology was the Stock Touring 17.5 Boosted class. You can either go wrong or right with the speed control settings and getting things right was Tsubasa Yoshimura. Having ran so strong during qualifying, few cars behind him were also on pace to make a move for the top podium spot. Issei Sasaki posed the biggest challenge in the A1 final as both him and Yoshimura threaded their way through traffic as the battled. There just simply wasn’t enough time or distance to set up a descent strike on Yoshimura to pull an overtake letting him take the first win. The A2 was a repeat of the first final as it was the Yoshimura and Sasaki show again. This time traffic played a bigger role that allowed Yoshimura to stretch his lead allowing him to cross the finish line right before the tone allowing him to pull off the only 25-lap run of the finals and earned him the over all win.

Stock Touring Boosted top 5 results:
1. Tsubasa Yoshimura
2. Issei Sasaki
3. Kousuke Taniguchi
4. Kitagawa Naoya
5. Kazuma Murai

The 17.5 Touring division were the biggest classes of the weekend in both boosted and Blinky. It’s no surprise in the blinky class with the spec aspect of the class evening the playing field leaving it only to the driving to determine the winner. Akira Kubo had some perfect drives that earned him the TQ spot, but would it hold up in the mains? Not if Hiroshi Maruyama had anything to say about it. Qualifying in the third grid spot can sometimes be the best place to be and when a racing incident took place in front of him, he seized the moment and never looked back taking the A1 win with the only 22-lap run. To prove his first win wasn’t a mistake; Maruyama would go almost a full lap faster in the A2 final to take the over all win.

Stock Touring Blinky top 5 results:
1. Hiroshi Maruyama
2. Naomichi Arai
3. Taiyo Sato
4. Akira Kubo
5. Haruyasu Ueda

The Front Wheel Drive class is booming and it is becoming popular all over the world. With that said, during qualifying the TQ position was just a formality as the top of the podium could go to any one of the racers in this class. Starts were fast and furious with Shogo Eida and Naomichi Arai quickly archrivals. With so many factors like time running down and traffic it would be Arai to strike first with a well-deserved 21- lap A1 win. The A2 final was almost a repeat of the first. There must have been at least a handful of lead changes with Eida regaining control and reclaiming his top spot. Eida go on to finish the race with 21 laps with a comfortable 4-second gap faster than Arai to take the over all win.

FWD Touring top 5 results.
1. Shogo Eida
2. Naomichi Arai
3. Takuya Matsuo
4. Tsutomu Arakawa
5. Naomasa Kanemoto

In 4WD Mini the racing was close and the fight for position was fierce with these tiny machines. Pushing it to the max and just enough to score the TQ spot was Naomasa Kanemoto. Not all things are for sure as in the A1 main and not willing to lay down the win was Kouji Simada making a power move all the way from the 4th starting position. In the early stages of the first final, Simada took advantage of incidents that boosted him to the lead. Building his lead up to 3-seconds, Simada would cruise in for the A1 win. This win was enough to light a fire in TQ Kanemoto. Remember the faster run is the tiebreaker and just to make this presence known, Kanemoto would go on to lay down a 21-lap run in the A2 final to take the overall win.

4WD Mini top 5 results:
1. Naomasa Kanemoto
2. Kouji Simada
3. Taiyo Sato
4. Kazuhiro Yanigisawa
5. Akihiro Kiraoka

The 2WD Minis were tiny little cars with a big car race attitude and Masakatsu Kinoshita was the fastest of all in qualifying and seem untouchable. 19-laps was the magic number and Kinoshita was the only one to do it in the finals for the over all win. Another story was brewing mid-pack between Tomotak Iguchi and Seiji Watanabe who were banging doors and trading paint. By the end of the double mains, one of these guys was going to take the final podium spot and Watanabe would say me first in the A1 main finishing in third. Iguchi would answer right back in the A2 main finishing in the third position. The tie-breaker would go to Iguchi simply for going 1-lap faster. The final finishing order would be Masakatsu Kinoshita taking the overall win, Kei Hama second and Tomotaka Iguchi rounding out the top three.

2WD Mini top 5 results:
1. Masakatsu Kinoshita
2. Kei Hama
3. Tomotaka Iguchi
4. Seiji Watanabe
5. Akihiro Hiraoka

The Formula cars were a treat to watch with so many of the drivers meticulously spending so much time perfecting the livery on their cars. With a full field going down into a B-Main final, well-known local and fast guy Toshi Yanagisawa would take the provisional pole. Toshi is no stranger to perfect starts and you know he would take full advantage of his TQ spot and this was the case in the A1 final. Toshi would run away with it to take the A1 win and was the only one to run 22-laps. In the A2 final, second qualifier Satoshi Yamazaki would follow Yanagisawa to a great start. The following 5-minutes would be a display of brilliant racing as the two would never more that a few car lengths apart. Things were coming to a close and it would come down to the last lap! By the end of the race, Toshi would take A2 win being separated from Yamazaki by only half a second.

Formula top 5 results:
1. Toshi Yanagisawa
2. Satoshi Yamazaki
3. Hiroshi Sekiguchi
4. Yuichi Tsukada
5. Junichi Okuma

In 1/12th Modified the man on the point in the TQ position in this class was Ollie Payne. Hailing from the UK, this Brit was setting the track on fire during qualifying and this tremendous momentum carried into the finals. With a very talented field behind him, Ollie threw down two perfect runs scoring two wins with the overall win. Brothers Yoshi and Toshi Yanagisawa would finish second and third respectively.

1/12th Modified top 5 results:
1. Ollie Payne
2. Yoshi Yanagisawa
3. Toshi Yanagisawa
4. Hayato Ishioka
5. Hideo Kitazawa

There was a battle brewing in the 1/12th Stock final and it was between the two Seiji’s. Throughout Saturday qualifying the two were going back and forth for the top spot pushing their cars towards the edge. Seiji Usui would be the victor in that battle with the war still to be fought in the finals. Barely cooling off from the qualifiers, the Seiji’s were at it again in the finals. With evenly matched speed, it would be the finer driving that would be successful and over a long 8-minute race, this was crucial. So which Seiji won? It would be Usui running almost identical runs and was the only one to turn 41-laps to take the overall win.

1/12th Stock top 5 results:
1. Seiji Usui
2. Seiji Arimori
3. Gou Matsumoto
4. Hayate Yoshimura
5. Akihiro Kawasaki

Source: Asian Onroad Championship [aocrc.com]


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