With New South Wales Radio Controlled Racing Car Club set to host the 2024 IFMAR Large Scale World Championship, the Sydney, Australia based club has announced dates and the opening of entries for the official Pre-Worlds Race. Just weeks after it successfully hosted the 1:8 GT World Championship at The John Grant International Raceway, the club has confirmed March 7-10th as the dates for the Pre-Worlds race with the actual World Championships taking place from October 20th to 27th. In addition to the World Championship 1:5 Touring Car category, the Pre-Worlds will cater for Large Scale Mini, F1 and 1:5 Bikes. Registration is now open and can be completed here.
Well known international Korean 1:8 Buggy racer Dani Choi hit a landmark result over the weekend when he clinched the Korean National 1:8 Nitro Buggy Championship for a 10th time. Held at ‘The Track’ indoor dirt track in Gimpo, the Kyosho driver dominated qualifying to take the overall TQ after topping all 5 rounds with the Mugen of Tony Jeon second and young talent HyunKyu Jung third. In the hour long final, Choi would set the fastest lap as he built up a 4-lap lead to take the title ahead of Jung, this being his final race with Xray, with Jeon completing the podium.
After a four year wait the IFMAR 1:8 Onroad World Championship was back and what a final we would witness at Infinity International RC Speedway in Japan. Following more than a week of action on track it was Infinity’s Dario Balestri who came out on top winning the World title for a second time and in doing so became only the second driver in the history of IFMAR’s original category to be a repeat winner. In terms of manufacturers it was great to see three different manufacturers represented on the podium. During our coverage of the race we managed to photograph 15 cars from 8 different manufacturers and have compiled them all in our latest Chassis Focus index.
Infinity’s Dario Balestri is back on top of the World after taking victory at the 1:8 Onroad World Championship in Japan. Having relinquished the title to Mugen Seiki’s Shoki Takahata in the USA in 2019, after a forced 4-year-old wait, the Italian took the title back today and becomes one of the greats of the sport. Having often been referred to as the fastest onroad nitro driver in the World without a World Title before he finally got his breakthrough win in France in 2017, today’s win see him join legendary 9-time World Champion Lamberto Collari as the only other driver to hold the title more than once in the 23 editions of IFMAR’s original World Championship class. Unfortunately for Takahata after a brilliant Semi final win that put him 3rd on the grid, his title defence came to a very premature end in the final when his engine broke after just two and a half minutes. Having enjoyed a good stint as leader of the race, Capricorn’s Toni Gruber would finish 2nd just 7.5-seconds behind Balestri after the one hour of intense racing. Top Qualifier Simon Kurzbuch, who lead for the first 10-minutes until his first tyre stop, would complete the podium for Mugen in a dramatic end of race battle with Infinity’s Jesse Davis that led to a long delay in the prize presentations as it was reviewed by the officials. When the prize giving did get underway Takahata, who changed engine and finished the final, gave himself a better reason to remember his home World Championship by using the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend and she said yes.
Mugen Seiki’s Shoki Takahata is to defend the 1:8 Onroad World Championship title he won in California four years ago from P3 on the grid in Japan after a near perfect Semi Final performance. Starting the second of the half hour encounters from P2 on the grid, the Japanese driver would win from the Capricorn pairing of pole sitter Toni Gruber and Dominic Greiner, the later having to start from the back of the grid after calling time in the warm-up to change engine. In the first of the Semi Finals, Jesse Davis executed a text book race to repeat his 2019 performance when he booked himself into his first World Championship final. Behind the Australian, Infinity team-mate Naoto Matsukura secured his place in the 1-hour final ahead of a delighted Francesco Tironi, the Italian having bumped up from the quarter finals. As the drivers with the fastest two race times outside of the Top 3 Semi Final finishers, 2013 World Champion Tadahiko Sahashi and 1:8 Onroad World Championship debutant Kouki Kato complete the 10 car line up that will compete for the 23rd IFMAR World Title here at Infinity International RC Speedway.
Eight years on from TQ’ing in Brazil on en-route to becoming the 2015 World title, Mugen Seiki driver Simon Kurzbuch is again the Top Qualifier at the IFMAR 1:8 Onroad World Championship. Four drivers, all World Champions, went into the sixth & final round of qualifying at the Infinity International RC Speedway in Japan with a chance of the overall TQ. Q1 winner Dario Balestri was the first driver to go by the wayside, his car coming to stop half way through the qualifier. Next it was Q2 pace setter Toni Gruber who came to a halt a minute later. That left just Kurzbuch and Shoki Takahata in the battle although the later wasn’t on a good run. All the while 17-year-old World Championship debutant Kouki Kato surprised them all snatching the TQ for the round ahead of Kurzbuch but with two TQ runs to go with his P2 it was the Swiss ace who goes into the history books as the Top Qualifier of the 23rd running of the sport’s original World Championship. With his TQ run, him being the fifth different driver to do so over the six rounds, Offroad racer Kato put his Infinity into the Super Pole. This was duly won by Dario Balestri who denied defending World Champion Takahata a direct spot in the final alongside Kurzbuch. First to go the Mugen driver ran a best lap of 13.633 which neither Kato or Toni Gruber could better but last to go Balestri needed just three laps to produce a 13.518 to win a feat he also achieved at the 1:10 World Championship in Thailand 12-months ago.
Mugen Seiki’s Simon Kurzbuch has become the first driver to repeat a TQ run at the 1:8 Onroad World Championship as he made it two in a row in the penultimate round of qualifying in Japan. The Swiss driver managed the run perfectly as Infinity’s Naoto Matsukura pushed him for the TQ but on the last lap the Japanese driver once again ran out of fuel. This handed Dario Balestri the second fastest time, the Infinity driver just 3/10ths off. More than a second back, a big margin at these World Championships, Toni Gruber would complete the Top 3 just ahead of defending Champion Shoki Takahata with everything still to play for in the sixth & final round of qualifying at the Infinity International RC Speedway.
In a thrilling first day of qualifying at the 1:8 Onroad World Championship, Mugen Seiki’s Shoki Takahata has TQ’d the third round of qualifying becoming the third different driver/manufacturer combo to top the times in Japan. The reigning World Champion capitalised on the cooling evening conditions to set the fastest time of the day ahead of Infinity’s Dario Balestri with Capricorn’s Toni Gruber completing the Top 3. Opening qualifying with a TQ run, it is Balestri who holds the overnight TQ at Infinity International RC Speedway ahead of Gruber who topped the second round of qualifying. With Takahata holding P7 in the ranking, his day not starting out well with a crash in Q1 and DNF in Q2, it is 17-year-old Kouki Kato who is the top Japanese driver sitting in third following an impressive second fastest time run in Q2.