November 10, 2022

Matsukura to defend World title as Top Qualifier

Naoto Matsukura is to defend his 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World title from pole position, the Infinity driver becoming Top Qualifier after his TQ time from Q3 gave him the tie breaker over team-mate Dario Balestri.  Three drivers went into the sixth & final qualifier vying to secure the pole position for the 9th running of the World Championship. With Balestri delivering an impressive performance his IF15 cornering on 2-wheels through out the 7-minutes as Matsukura tried to match his pace.  While Matsukura couldn’t do so, unfortunately a slower track mean’t Balestri’s time was 1.2 seconds short of what he needed to repeat his 2018 TQ start.  The other contender for the top spot, Jilles Groskamp would get a P4 for the final effort behind Tadahiko Sahashi, a result that would count towards his third overall ranking.  Having TQ’d the second round of qualifying yesterday Dominic Greiner would flip in the warm-up, although not in contention for the overall TQ he damaged his car and had a DNF but overall ends up fourth so get so second chance to book a direct spot into Saturday’s 1-hour final with Super Pole.  Qualifying 5th in the final ranking ahead of the countryman Shoki Takahata, Sahashi is the final driver who will try to lay down the fastest lap later this evening in that Super Pole shoot out to try join Matsukura in the final.

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