By Aaron Waldron
IFMAR first recognized the Large Scale World Championships in 2001, when Marcel Strauch drove his FG Modelsport car to the win in front of the home crowd in Ettingen, Germany. The 1/5-scale touring cars are modeled after the full-size sedans that compete in popular series in Britain, Germany, and Australia, and they’re the largest vehicles that can contest an IFMAR title. Hosted by the Kuala Lumpur International Radio Control Circuit, the eighth running of the Large Scale Worlds is being accompanied by the first-ever IFMAR exhibition race for the 1/8-scale 4WD GT category, combining two of RC’s most unique racing categories at one of the world’s most incredible facilities.
The KLIRCC was built by the city of Kuala Lumpur within the Metropolitan Park Kepong ten years ago, and it was completely rebuilt in 2011. The city council tapped Thompson Chong to organize races at the location, and in 2012 the first KLIRCC International Championship was held. Until this past February, the track was not open to the public unless there was a race going on, but the events held here regularly draw entrants from surrounding Southeast Asian countries. In response to the success of the track, Chong opened Racer Hobby within the drivers’ stand of the track in 2014.
The drivers’ stand is absolutely massive, standing two stories tall with nearly enough floor space for a basketball court. There’s a large scoring room, a viewing deck below the drivers, and a full roof over the top. Along with Racer Hobby, an additional suite on the bottom floor of the stand is being used this weekend to allow entrants to store their gear overnight. There are 200 covered concrete pit spaces, and a covered trackside spectator area opposite a large scoreboard.
The asphalt track features large radius curbs at the corners with a grass infield, spanning 180 x 200 feet with a racing line of 360 meters. The track gently slopes upward from pit lane to the back straightaway. The track records for both classes at the event have fallen this week, as Mathew Kellet recorded a 20.988 in the Large Scale class while Meen Vejrak turned an 18.677 in the GT category.
Practice for both divisions began on Friday. Unfortunately, the location of this year’s event led to a much smaller turnout than expected - so IFMAR decided to add additional rounds of qualifying, as per a long-standing rule intended to fill out the running schedule. The large-scale touring cars ran 12 rounds of qualifying, with only the fastest single time counting, in order to arrange the semifinals to determine the main event starting grid. For GT, each driver’s fastest three of nine rounds was added together to sort the Odd and Even ladders.
In both divisions, the Top Qualifier far outshadowed even his nearest competition.
Large Scale (all 16 drivers - eight will go to each semi):
In the tenth round, which was the second to run on Thursday, track record holder Mathew Kellett set a blistering run that held fast through the rest of the day to secure the front row for semifinal A. Kellett and fellow Australian Russell Grenenger were the class of the field nearly all week - they were the only two drivers to record 29-lap runs as well as a sub-21 second lap.
Full results (all 16 drivers will be split evently among both semifinals):
- Mathew Kellet - 29/10:06.115
- Russell Grenenger - 29/10:16.624
- Satoshi Takesako - 28/10:13.219
- David Murdoch - 28/10:16.480
- Tomoaki Okuda - 27/10:04.418
- Kuniharu Ujima - 27/10:07.660
- Chiu Chieh - 27/10:10.481
- Michael Knemeyer - 27/10:13.142
- Trent Aquilina - 27/10:15.256
- John Prijs - 27/10:16.122
- Paul Leaf Milham - 27/10:19.834
- Michael Siow Boon Fong - 25/10:03.405
- Kunitoshi Minegishi - 25/10:06.665
- Yeo Seong Leng - 25/10:23.094
- Patrick Ong - 24/10:14.726
- Pason Phua - 24/10:17.935
Open GT (top 22 drivers - top two go to final, next 20 go to semis)
Despite having just a week's worth of testing his Mugen Seiki MGT7, 2010 IFMAR 200mm World Champion Meen Vejrak cleaned up during qualifying - he was the only driver to score a 32-lap run, and he did it twice. In addition to the honor of being the race's Top Qualifier, Vejrak earned a direct transfer to Saturday's 60-minute final.
He'll be joined by 15-year-old Kuala Lumpur native Lim Kai Liang, who provided the event's biggest surprise so far. Like Vejrak, the fastest runs for "KL Lim" came in rounds 6-8, and he edged former ISTC World Champion Jilles Groskamp for the all-important director transfer by nearly three seconds.
Top 18 drivers (top two go to final; 3-18 split evenly among both semifinals):
- Meen Vejrak - 95/30:38.507
- Lim Kai Liang - 93/30:41.904
- Jilles Groskamp - 93/30:44.712
- Paolo Morganti - 92/30:18.592
- Paphon Chanyasak - 92/30:32.730
- Surikarn Chaidajsuriya - 92/30:42.565
- Mongkolphan Lomrose - 91/30:33.135
- Ong Chee Yong - 90/30:17.820
- Anthony Wee Boon Aun - 90/30:31.034
- Witsarut Ruamlarp - 90/30:40.584
- Charvit Sirigupta - 90/30:42.767
- Nick Chong - 88/30:34.832
- Tan Yeo Lek - 88/30:35.444
- Ongsanit Simaraks - 87/30:19.439
- CH Tay - 87/30:37.573
- Abedey Mahathir - 87/30:41.851
- Billy Cheah - 87/30:46.822
- Kenny Ow - 87/30:52.728
All of Friday's lower finals, as well as the world championship-deciding races on Saturday, will be broadcasted live - for free - via YouTube. Here is the estimated broadcast scheduled based on the timetable provided by IFMAR:
|LOWER FINALS START TIMES||Local (MYT GMT+8)||GMT||ET (US)||PT (US)||Japan||AEST (Aus)|
|Open GT 1/8 Final A (30 min)||9:00||1:00||9:00 PM||6:00 PM||10:00||11:00|
|Open GT 1/8 Final B (30 min)||9:30||1:30||9:30 PM||6:30 PM||10:30||11:30|
|Open GT 1/4 Final A (30 min)||10:00||2:00||10:00 PM||7:00 PM||11:00||12:00|
|Open GT 1/4 Final B (30 min)||10:30||2:30||10:30 PM||7:30 PM||11:30||12:30|
|GT class practice (20 min)||11:30||3:30||11:30 PM||8:30 PM||12:30||13:30|
|Open GT Semifinal A (45 min)||13:00||5:00||1:00 AM||10:00 PM||14:00||15:00|
|Open GT Semifinal B (45 min)||13:45||5:45||1:45 AM||10:45 PM||14:45||15:45|
|Large Scale Semifinal A (45 min)||15:00||7:00||3:00 AM||12:00 AM||16:00||17:00|
|Large Scale Semifinal B (45 min)||15:45||7:45||3:45 AM||12:45 AM||16:45||0:00|
|FINALS START TIMES||Local (MYT GMT+8)||GMT||ET (US)||PT (US)||Japan||AEST (Aus)|
|Open GT Presentation||10:30||2:30||10:30 PM||7:30 PM||11:30||12:30|
|Open GT Final||11:00||3:00||11:00 PM||8:00 PM||12:00||13:00|
|Large Scale Presentation||13:30||5:30||1:30 AM||10:30 PM||14:30||15:30|
|Large Scale Final||14:00||6:00||2:00 AM||11:00 PM||15:00||16:00|
We look forward to bringing the excitement of another world championship race to your PCs, smartphones, and tablets, especially for such an interesting form of racing. Hope you enjoy the show!