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Main Photo: RACE RECAP: IFMAR 1/8 ON-ROAD WORLDS IFMAR 1/8 On-Road Worlds

(Scroll to bottom for most recent entries)

Sunday, Apr. 10, 2011

Hi everyone! After a long (LONG) drive from Wisconsin, the LRC crew arrived in Miami late last night/early this morning. We grabbed a few hours of sleep at our hotel, and then proceeded to spend all of Sunday setting up our gear!

It's been a long day so far, but we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and by the time you read this our live broadcast should be up and running! You can watch live video and scoring HERE!

Our first impressions of the track are that it is simply beautiful. The pavement is pristine and the pit area looks like it could easily pass as a part of a country club. The circuit is situated right next to Homestead-Miami International Speedway, and shares many of the facilities amenities (as you'll see from pics below).

Tomorrow night, the other half of our broadcast team will arrive in preparation for this week's All Access Pass event. We will have moving cameras and race commentary from Charlie Suangka and Barry Baker for all the races! All Access Passes will be available soon for $30 (or $25 for existing Bonus Lap members). For All Access Pass holders, the broadcast will run LIVE as the racing action happens, and will also be rebroadcast once again after racing is over for each day (excluding finals day).

Along with your All Access Pass, you can also purchase the official 2011 IFMAR 1/8th On-Road Worlds DVD!

So stay tuned, everyone! It's going to be a heck of a week! Make sure you bookmark our live broadcast page and photo gallery for this event!

Now posted: 2011 IFMAR 1/8th On-Road Worlds Photo Gallery

Monday, Apr. 11, 2011, 9:15 a.m. ET

Good morning, everybody! It's a bright and sunny day here in Miami (surprise), and we are just about to kick-off the first of two rounds of practice for the day! According to the schedule posted near race HQ, there will be two rounds today with a lunch break occurring in between, and then opening ceremonies will go off after that. The schedule says things start at 9am...but there isn't much going on yet, so the schedule may have changed.

Our announcers will be arriving tonight, and All Access Passes will be available before noon.

We'll be out and about with the camera again today, so if you have any picture requests, let us know by posting in the comment section below!

Monday, Apr. 11, 2011, 8:15 p.m. ET

Practice is over! (FINALLY)

The opening ceremonies are also history.

Tomorrow the race for the world title will begin! Racing action will start tomorrow morning at 9:30. All Access Pass members will be able to watch our full broadcast, complete with moving cameras and commentary from Charlie Suangka and Barry Baker!

Added: Photos from Monday practice and opening ceremonies

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011, 9:50 a.m. ET

Well, we started things off smoothly here this morning...but it only lasted one heat.

The issue of tire saucing evidently became so serious that IFMAR held an impromptu 'International Jury Meeting' followed by a meeting with every counrty's team manager and decided that one entire round of qualifying will be omitted from the schedule in order to implement new tech tules.

The new rules are as follows: tires going through pre-tech will be 'squeezed down to the rim' in an effort to see if any liquid (sauce) is visible. If liquid is visible, the tires will not be allowed to be used. If they are dry, they will have passed.

So an interesting development here on day one of qualifying. Make sure you tune into the live broadcast to hear all of the details as they develop!

The next (first round) will begin at 1:45 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011, 2:00 p.m. ET

At this particular time, there are continual meetings taking place to determine what should happen with tires for the event. The option we reported to you earlier seems to now be off the table.

AS OF RIGHT NOW (the situation seems to constantly change), there appears to be two options that are being discussed in the pits:

Option 'A' is to run 'Open Tire,' meaning that competitors are free to use whatever tires and additives they want.

Option 'B' entails all drivers using what is being referred to as a 'Controlled Environment Tire,' meaning that all tires used in competition would be trued and placed in tech only to be mounted and used as a driver goes out on to the track for their race.

We are hearing that if option 'B' is chosen, there may not be any racing today.

Stay tuned to for more info on this as it develops.

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011, 11:00 p.m. ET

Well, as you may or may not know, both of today's qualifying rounds were canceled due to the extended snafu regarding the protests to IFMAR that took place yesterday and today. The resulting meetings and meetings about meetings caused a delay in the race program that eventually became too long to conquer in one day.

Instead of qualifying, a round of free practice was run during the afternoon. The first round of qualifying is scheduled to go off tomorrow morning at its regularly scheduled time.


For a complete explanation of what happened with the tire sauce issue today, watch our day one wrap-up video:

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2011, 8:45 a.m. ET

Hey everyone! The LRC crew is on-scene and ready to bring you RACING at the IFMAR Worlds! (Finally!)

Unless something unforeseen develops within the next hour, we should be officially on the race clock here in Miami and working on crowning the WC here very shortly.

As always, make sure you tune into the live broadcast! We will have lots of interviews today, both in the studio and in the pits, so if you don't have your All Access Pass already, make sure you sign up so you can have a front row seat to all of the action, AS IT HAPPENS!

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2011, 9:25 a.m. ET

BREAKING NEWS: The legendary Masami Hirosaka is here at the track! Expect an interview at some point today!

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2011, 5:45 p.m. ET

Round two of qualifying has officially been called off due to rain!

With only three races left to complete the round and make it official, the skies over Homestead opened and poured out a bit of the humidity we've been swimming through every day here so far this week on to the track.

At first it appeared the shower may pass and we could resume racing, but as time passed it became clear that there would be NO R/C cars on the track for the rest of the day (see pics below).

So with that said, here is how things will play out according to IFMAR:

Tomorrow (Thursday), racing will begin as normal at 9:30 a.m. local time. Round three will begin with race No. 4, followed by 3, 2 and 1; then race No. 13-5.

Round three will be followed by a two-hour lunch break. During this break, the final three races from R2 will be run, thus making round No. 2 officially count towards the overall qualifying order.

Once this has finished, round four will be run according to schedule.

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2011, 7:00 p.m. ET

Day two is history...or is it? Well, 3/4 of it is history and the rest lies ahead in the future.

After today's rain delay, the final three races of round two are scheduled to be completed during a two-hour lunch break tomorrow afternoon.

While the track *wasn't* underwater today, we were able to run through both rounds of the 'fast heats' (based on seeding from open practice).

Former IFMAR World's TQ Robert Pietsch (Germany) was the man to beat on day one, clocking in a 37/10:12 to sit in the top spot early on in qualifying. Dario Balestri also ran quick, coming in only a couple ticks back from Pietsch in R1. Rounding out the top three after day one is everyone's favorite mohawk-comb-overer: Atsushi Hara. Hara, who spent a majority of his day hanging out in the LiveRC trailer and also in the pits working on his Hot Bodies D8 buggy for the Neo Race next week, was one of few who attempted to eclipse the five-minute mark on a tank of gas. Well, he made it five minutes, but then needed to top off in order to complete the last lap, causing him to turn a 37/10:19. As many of you know, Hara has one of the best throttle fingers on the planet, and is known for his tremendous ability to conserve fuel. However, with as close of a window these guys have to make five minutes and then still finish the final lap, it will be interesting to see what Atsushi chooses to do in R3 and R4.
Perhaps the biggest surprise so far, is the lack of anyone named 'Lamberto' in the top ten.

Italy's Lamberto Collari (nine-time WC) has been off the pace so far, but you would be a fool to count him out now. He hasn't won nine world titles by a stroke of luck. Collari will be in contention when all is said and done.

So as we move into round three (and then briefly back to round two), here is how things look (assuming that R2 becomes official after it is completed tomorrow):

   1) Pietsch, Robert DEU (37/10:12.769 R1)
   2) Balestri, Dario ITA (37/10:14.446 R1)
   3) Hara, Atsushi JPN (37/10:19.342 R1)
   4) Shimo, Takaaki JPN (36/10:00.085 R1)
   5) Ielasi, Daniele ITA (36/10:00.890 R2)
   6) Terauchi, Takehiro JPN (36/10:01.206 R1)
   7) Morganti, Paolo USA (36/10:02.815 R1)
   8) Romagnoli, Michele ITA (36/10:04.437 R1)
   9) Verjak, Meen THA (36/10:04.739 R1)
   10) Salemi, Walter ITA (36/10:04.889 R2)

Thursday, Apr. 14, 2011, 9:00 a.m. ET

It's Thursday morning here in Miami, and the track is finally DRY! Races are set to begin any second, and our broadcast has just gone live.

Stay tuned all day for interviews, commentary, and live coverage of all of the racing action as we finish up qualifying here at the Worlds!

Here is how they will roll out for R3: ROUND THREE HEAT LISTING

Get more coverage here:



Thursday, Apr. 14, 2011, 12:30 p.m. ET

R3 update:

Everyone thought the track would be slow this morning for round three after the racing surface was washed clean during a brief but triumphant rainstorm, but several drivers proved that theory wrong and went on to better their overall times in R3.

Perhaps the most notable insance of this happening, would be Atsushi Hara, who pushed his O.S. powered Mugen from third on the grid up to second after running a 37/10:13 in R3.

Also improving their times and moving up in the top ten in R3, are Takaaki Shimo, Keisuke Fukuda, and Daniele Ielasi.

Up next is the conclusion of R2 during the lunch break, and then the FINAL round of qualifying for the 2011 IFMAR 1/8th IC On-Road Worlds! The track could be cool and fast by the end of the race day, and that's when the A and B qualifying heats will be run. It looks like we could see some obliteration of previous times to close out qualifying.

The man to watch in R4 may very well end up being Lamberto Collari. Collari, who is currently sitting outside the top twenty, may be waiting until the final round to unleash whatever speed he has. We've heard he has been trying to make the 'one stop run' so far during qualifying, so he has most likely been holding back a little in an effort to conserve fuel. Stay tuned to R4 to find out what he will do!

Here is the top twenty going into round four:

   1) Pietsch, Robert DEU (37/10:12.769 R1)
   2) Hara, Atsushi JPN (37/10:13.653 R3)
   3) Balestri, Dario ITA (37/10:14.446 R1)
   4) Shimo, Takaaki JPN (37/10:15.456 R3)
   5) Fukuda, Keisuke JPN (37/10:15.730 R3)
   6) Ielasi, Daniele ITA (37/10:15.785 R3)
   7) Terauchi, Takehiro JPN (36/10:01.206 R1)
   8) Morganti, Paolo USA (36/10:02.815 R1)
   9) Romagnoli, Michele ITA (36/10:04.437 R1)
   10) Verjak, Meen THA (36/10:04.739 R1)
   11) Salemi, Walter ITA (36/10:04.889 R2)
   12) Shimazaki, Shinya JPN (36/10:05.307 R1)
   13) Salven, Michael DEU (36/10:05.691 R2)
   14) Kurzbuch, Simon CHE (36/10:06.193 R3)
   15) Vrielijnck, Rick NLD (36/10:06.710 R1)
   16) Elias, Flavio BRA (36/10:07.048 R1)
   17) Cyrul, Josh USA (36/10:07.384 R2)
   18) D'Hondt, Robin BEL (36/10:07.828 R1)
   19) Branson, Kyle GBR (36/10:08.063 R3)
   20) Dankel, Eric DEU (36/10:08.210 R3)

Thursday, Apr. 14, 2011, 6:30 p.m. ET

After much drama on day one (and much rain on day two), we finally had a smooth day of qualifying.

Smooth? Yes. But was it fast?

Some of the drivers improved their positioning, but top qualifier Robert Pietsch's time from yesterday withstood two rounds of drivers taking aim at it. In R3, Atsushi Hara almost toppled the TQ time, but fell just a second shy. Interestingly, Pietsch himself was unable to take aim at his time in R4 due to an engine failure early in his race (we heard that it was his 'good' engine, also). It will be interesting to see how an engine swap affects Pietsch come Saturday.

Another person everyone who has ever heard of 1/8th IC on-road racing has been keeping an eye on, is Lamberto Collari. Lamberto was on pace to put himself into the semi-final, but ran out of fuel two corners before the scoring loop. He will now have to race his way into not only the final, but the semi-final as well.

So that will do it for qualifying here at Homestead-Miami Raceway. Many fast drivers will look to advance their way into Saturday's final races during the lower mains which will be run tomorrow (Friday). We also have a lot special interviews and things of that sort to bring to you throughout the day, so make sure you tune in!

Final top twenty:

   1) Pietsch, Robert DEU (37/10:12.769 R1)
   2) Hara, Atsushi JPN (37/10:13.653 R3)
   3) Balestri, Dario ITA (37/10:14.446 R1)
   4) Shimo, Takaaki JPN (37/10:15.456 R3)
   5) Fukuda, Keisuke JPN (37/10:15.730 R3)
   6) Ielasi, Daniele ITA (37/10:15.785 R3)
   7) Morganti, Paolo USA (36/10:00.905 R4)
   8) Terauchi, Takehiro JPN (36/10:01.206 R1)
   9) Romagnoli, Michele ITA (36/10:04.437 R1)
   10) Verjak, Meen THA (36/10:04.739 R1)
   11) Salemi, Walter ITA (36/10:04.889 R2)
   12) Shimazaki, Shinya JPN (36/10:05.307 R1)
   13) Salven, Michael DEU (36/10:05.691 R2)
   14) Kurzbuch, Simon CHE (36/10:06.193 R3)
   15) Vrielijnck, Rick NLD (36/10:06.710 R1)
   16) Elias, Flavio BRA (36/10:07.048 R1)
   17) Cyrul, Josh USA (36/10:07.384 R2)
   18) D'Hondt, Robin BEL (36/10:07.828 R1)
   19) Branson, Kyle GBR (36/10:08.063 R3)
   20) Dankel, Eric DEU (36/10:08.210 R3)





Friday, Apr. 15, 2011, 9:30 a.m. ET

As our pit reporter/color commentator Barry Baker roamed the pits this morning searching for the latest scoop now that qualifying is over, he came across a couple of interesting tidbits:

-Mike Swauger has NEVER raced on Friday during a 1/8th IC Worlds. He will today.

-Also, Lamberto Collari has NEVER been qualified in anything less than the semi-final...until this year.

We will be in the pits all day today, so if we find any more nuggets of info we will bring them to you in our LIVE BROADCAST which you can see HERE!

Friday, Apr. 15, 2011, 1:30 p.m. ET

2011 IFMAR 1/8 On Road Worlds Finals Day Schedule.

There have been a lot of questions in the chat wondering about the schedule, here are the


Lower finals, the 1/256th, through the 1/8 finals. 20 Minute races.

Races go off every 30 minutes starting at 10 AM.

After race 4, there is a 1.5 hour Lunch Break.

Race 5 (1/64th) starts at 1:30 PM, and the event continues as before with races every 30 minutes.

Race 12 (the 1/8th) is the final race of Friday.


Racing kicks off at 10 AM Race 13 and 14, these are the ¼ Finals. 20 minute races.

At 11 AM, the Top 4 Qualifiers get a 60 minute practice session, this runs from 11AM-12PM.

Race 15 (Starts at 1PM) and 16 (Starts at 1:45PM) are the Semi Finals, these are 30 minute races.

3:00 is the official presentation of the drivers.

3:45PM is the start of the A Final.

Friday, Apr. 15, 2011, 3:00 p.m. ET

We caught up with 14-Time World Champion Masami Hirosaka yesterday. In case you missed it, here it is!

Watch more videos on the LiveRC YouTube Channel!

Friday, Apr. 15, 2011, 11:30 p.m. ET

Charlie Suangka's Friday Finals Day Recap!

So Friday arrived under clear sunny skies with a great day of racing ahead of us. Most of the drivers were looking forward to day of hot, side-by-side racing action.

This year’s IFMAR Worlds race program sees the top three of each final moving forward throughout the day.  With 20-minute races, we saw plenty of new pit and tire strategies being tested. Most drivers worked with a four minute fuel clock, with only a handful even attempting five minutes runs. 

As with most events, the early mains saw lots of great “side by side contact,” but as the afternoon moved forward the game plans of this year’s competitors started to shape up.  In several of the finals, the top three runners were able to stretch out sizable leads as the drivers chasing them often made small mistakes and minor miscues that lead to insurmountable deficits.

Only two drivers were able to complete double-bump-up finishes.  Italy’s Nicola Smaldone was able to win the 1/128th  even final to move him to the 1/64th. Nicolo won the 1/64th but, unfortunately, his charge was cut short by technical difficulties before the start of the 1/32nd finals, leaving him with no laps completed.

Paul Becattini started his Friday from the 1/128th odd final and was also able to take the top spot to move forward. His performance in the 1/64th only yielded him a fourth place finish, but with a stroke of ‘race luck’ for Becattini, winner Raiolo was dq'd for an oversized tank.  This issue actually slowed the event as the tank was checked and rechecked by IFMAR only to come the same conclusion: Raiolo's tank did not pass post race tech.  This gave Becattini one more chance, but unfortunately his Worlds would end there as he had difficulties through the run and finished 8th in the 1/32nd  final. 

For a few anxious minutes, the skies over Homestead opened up once again to make the 1/32nd odd final extremely slippery.  A light sprinkle was all that the drivers had to deal with, but it still made for some very tense moments. But significant rain would ultimately hold off and the afternoon completed under partially cloudy skies.

American favorite Mike Swauger had struggled all through qualifying to find pace, but pulled it together to move through the field in the 1/16th odd final to finish first. Technical inspectors were questioning his tank as well, leading to delays in the preparation of his vehicle as it was checked and rechecked to determine to its legality.  Maintenance to his car was not completed and he ended up having mechanical difficulties end his worlds only two laps into the 1/8 final.
The 1/8th Even final saw one of the United States’ top qualifying drivers Scott Kimbrow take the lead on the first lap and never look back.  Japan's Masau Tanaka and Tsuyoshi Baba rounding out the drivers moving to Saturday.

Wisconsin's very own Paul “Lights Out” LeMieux (the electric on-road specialist) won his final in front of fellow American DJ Apalaro, and Slovenian driver Jernej Vuga. Much to the disappointment of Jernej Another tank violation saw him DQ'd.  Fourth place finisher Charlie P. from Thailand moving on forward in his place.

So as the sun set over the Homestead RC Raceway, the crew headed off into the sunset with a day of racing still a head.  Tune in Saturday for day full of great racing action and the crowning of a new World Champion. The field is very anxious to see what 9 Time World Champ Lamberto Collari has in store for his competiton as he starts from his first ever World Championship ¼ Final. Hot on the minds of all watching is what exactly second place qualifier Atsushi Hara will do as his first 1/8th Scale On-Road IFMAR World Championships.  See you all tomorrow! Racing starts at 10 AM EST.

Saturday, Apr. 16, 2011, 11:30 p.m. ET

Quarters and semis

The most talked about driver in the pits this morning was not the TQ Robert Pietsch, but rather a participant in the first ¼ final. 

Nine-time IFMAR World Champion Lamberto Collari has never needed to race his way into the semi-finals in the past, so today was a first. After the ¼ finals, Collari's day appeared as if it would be a long one. Despite an incident in pit lane that caused him to momentarily plummet through the field, Collari calmly drove through the field and picked off enough drivers to advance to the semi.

As the cars rolled out for the start of the even semi-final, all eyes were on the #8 car of Collari.  He pressed hard early on, but as he fell into his rhythm, Collari was bitten by a stroke of bad luck.  Lamberto's Kyosho rolled to a stop on the track with mechanical issues.  The car was restarted, and Collari continued, but by this point he had gone several laps down and was out of contention. Collari's race ended for good at the 21 minute mark.

Fellow Italian driver Daniele Ielasi lead the race handily and was easily moving forward, but a crash late in the race damaged his car and ended his efforts to advance to the final. 

Takehiro Terauchi would move from second to first on lap 51 and would not look back.  His race time secured him a sixth place spot on the A-Final grid. Fellow Japanese driver Shinya Shimazaki would follow in his footsteps and easily finish second to start seventh on the grid.   

Bumping from Friday’s 1/8th finals, the United States’ Paul Lemieux started his ¼ final from eighth on the grid and would ultimately finish in the third spot. His Xray teammates pulled together and executed a flurry of setup changes to make his car very competitive. Lemieux moved from the ¼ and started from 10th on the grid, and much to his own surprise found himself in second position behind Japan's Keisuke Fukuda as the semi came to a close.  Lemieux would start ninth on the grid for the A-Final.  Fukuda would start fifth.

Some of Lemieux's good fortune came his way due to other racers having some terrible luck.  Youngster Kyle Branson was in a solid position to transfer, but technical difficulties ended his semi final early. Another U.S. talent, Josh Cyrul, was off the track before the end of the race due to a failed two-speed. Front runners Rick Vrielijnck and Walter Salemi were running side by side through the sweeper when their cars came in contact with one another sending them hard into the outside wall.  Both drivers seemed to think it was simply a ‘racing deal.’  

Serpent's Michael Salven called for a 10-minute grace period before the start to repair his vehicle as what appeared to be a radio-problem related crash damaged it severely.  His team got the car repaired to make the start, but radio problems struck once again and damaged his Serpent ending his week at the worlds in disappointing fashion. 

The next two fastest times would come out of the first semi final. 19-year-old Simon Kurzbach from Switzerland ended up starting 10th, and the Belgian Robin D'hondt would end up starting eighth. 


After some minor delays, the 60 minute A-Final kicked off at 4:30 under rain-threatening cloud cover. 

TQ Robert Pietsch would lead the early laps, but third place qualifier Dario Ballestri's pace was too much to match as he moved past Pietsch and began to pull away.  Turning laps that were consistently several tenths faster then the rest of the field, Ballestri found himself with a sizable lead at the 20 minute mark. His lead was short lived as he would need new tires fairly quickly while the rest of the field seemed to be on a 30-minute tire strategy. Pietsch would regain the lead, but it was clear to everyone that Ballestri was charging hard. 

The only real drama for Pietsch was a minor miscue in the pits where his mechanic had a little trouble with the fuel tank lid, but it only cost him 2-3 seconds.  He ran smooth and looked strong all race long. 

Atsushi Hara had a pit strategy in place that would see him running 4:30 between stops. The plan for his team was to put him in place to be right with the leaders at the end of main. A gamble that would prove to not pay off, as the skies opened up with roughly 13 minutes left to go, causing the race to be halted and ruled as an ‘official result,’ rendering Robert Pietsch the new IFMAR World Champion, followed by Keisuke Fukuda and Dario Ballestri.

Congratulations to the 2011 IFMAR 1/8 On-Road Champion Of The World: ROBERT PIETSCH!

That's going to do it for our coverage here in Miami!

Thanks for tuning in!

-LRC Crew


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