November 4, 2019

Takahata crowned World Champion as Matsukura denied once again

‘To finish first, first you must finish’ was a phrase that rang true at today’s 1:8 Onroad World Championships in California as a rather sedate Main was turned on it’s head with 12-minutes to go with Mugen’s Shoki Takahata eventually crowned the new World Champion.  The 1-hour encounter started out with Top Qualifier Dario Balestri leading from Infinity team-mate Naoto Matsukura but during his second fuel stop defending Champion Balestri would collect a badly released Greiner, the impact braking the body on the Italian’s car and ending his quest for 2 in a row.  This allowed Matsukura to take control of the race.  Having shown the world the class of driver he is when he led in France on his nitro debut two years ago before a flat battery denied him the title, everything looked perfect for the reigning 1:10 Nitro World Champion to make history and hold both titles consecutively but it wasn’t to be. With just two fuel stops separating him from winning, a rear pulley stripped and once again there was heartbreak for the Japanese driver and his mechanic Masayuki Miura, his race was done.  Graduating to the lead it was another 1:10 World Champion who looked on target to finally match Adrien Bertin’s record as the only double champion in nitro onroad.  Having found himself almost a lap down at the start following contact at the on the first lap and then receiving a stop & go for his bad release in the pits, Dominic Greiner was out front.  Counting down the minutes he then hit trouble with just a little over 5-minutes left on the clock – the watching crowd in disbelief at the unfolding drama.  Always within sight of the lead, Takahata was now the fourth different race leader, well clear of now second placed Takaaki Shimo.  The manufacturer’s sole representative in the final, to the chants of ‘Mugen’ the 25-year-old crossed the loop to take a very popular first World title, while Balestri salvaged the final step on the podium behind the bridesmaid of nitro racing, Shimo.

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


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