By Tyler Hooks
The Semifinals and as well as the Final proved to be very interesting at this year's 200mm nitro onroad worlds.
In the even semifinal everyone except the top 4 would have some sort of issue in the 30 minute race. Andy Moore and Tony Gruber would suffer from car issues. For Moore it was a loss of brakes, for Gruber it looked to be a steering issue. We can not confirm what the issues were for Jesse Davis, Alessio Mazzeo, Shoki Takahata, and Meen Vejrak, but we suspect a flame out for at least one of them. This would allow Tadahiko Sahashi, Jilles Groskamp, and bump up from the 1/4 final, Kyle Branson, to bump directly into the final.
The odd semifinal, one of the event favorites, Simon Kurzbuch would fall under trouble. Despite that Naoto Matsukura and Dominic Greiner would battle for quite a bit of the semi. Naoto with a bit more pace, but Greiner with a better pit schedule. Naoto would eventually win with Greiner finishing 2nd and Teemu Leino finishing 3rd. 1/4th final bump ups Jeff Hamon and Eduardo Escandon would finish 4th and 5th, but would have a faster run than 4th in the even semi so they would also make the main.
In the main final there was controversy from the first corner of the first lap. TQ and 2nd place qualifiers Dario Balestri and Robert Pietsch would jump the start and end up having to come in for a stop and go each. Dominic Greiner, confused on what was being told, also came into the pits gifting Naoto Matsukura the lead. Also on the first lap Teemu Leino would attempt to make a pass on a car in front of him but would make a mistake and break his own car. Jilles Groskamp would suffer from trouble as well as Tadahiko Sahashi who would have engine trouble in the last 5 mintues after running 2nd majority of the race. Jeff Hamon would have an excellent start but ultimately fade back to 5th after possibly a flame out during one of his pit stops. Greiner and Balestri would never fully recover from the early race penalties. Each would have further trouble in the main. Naoto Matsukura would flnish the main a lap up on the field in 1st. Kyle Branson would benefit from Sahashi's misfortune to take 2nd, and a very emotional Eduardo Escandon would finish 3rd. Finally Robert Pietsch would do his best to recover from the stop and go as well as an incident with another car that left him upside down. He would end up 4th.
Congratulations to our new champion, Naoto Matsukura. See you guys at the races soon!
- Thanks, LiveRC