2015 1/8th IC IFMAR World Champs – Americana, Brazil
In November Luke and I set off to Americana, Brazil to attend our first IFMAR World Championships. Growing up RC has been a huge part of our lives, and attending a World Champs was seen as the pinnacle. Dad (Selwyn) had attended his only Worlds 26 years ago in Heemstede so it was awesome that we could take him along as mechanic to relive this experience.
The track was flat, high speed and very smooth which is totally different to what we are used to running at our local tracks. Square concrete curbs outlined the whole track, while a steel fence surrounded the perimeter of the circuit. This rewarded consistent driving while also seriously punishing any minor errors.
We had received our cars only hours before boarding our flight to Brazil, so were very keen to get to the track and iron out any issues. Thankfully we didn’t have any major issues in practice and it didn’t take long before we were up to speed and doing consistent lap times.
Having the first two days with only international competitors allowed us enough time to establish a base setup and start learning the track. The next three days were controlled seeding based on your best three consecutive laps. By the end of day five we had very few issues and were feeling very confident heading into qualifying.
Qualifying was done using the best 3 rounds out of 6 by points. Due to the track being so unforgiving our aim was to go for consistency and accumulate points early in qualifying. The first day of qualifying was definitely the hardest day for both of us as we struggled with technical failures and driver fatigue. By the end of the day we had both only registered 1 result each and collated a large collection of broken parts.
This put extra pressure on day two of qualifying as we each had register 2 decent runs or face the chance of having to bump up through the lower finals. Thankfully we were able to put the issues of the previous day behind us and have a great day, each registering 3 good runs each.
1/8th B Final (Jayden)
After just meeting the cut off for the 1/8th finals I had little to loose and went out to enjoy the experience. I started off grid 7 in the 20min final and made a perfect start, avoiding all the early carnage and was in 4th within the first minute. At the first round of pit stops I was sitting in a comfortable 5th matching the pace of the drivers ahead of me.
At that point it became apparent that pit strategy was going to play a part as a variety of 4min and 5min strategies were being used. I was able to apply a 5min pit stop strategy while the leaders couldn’t get the tank time so had to resort to a 4min strategy.
Some slick pit stops and cautious driving meant I was able to run a perfect race. I finished 5th, not quite enough to bump up to the next round of finals however very satisfied that I was able to run an error free final. It wasn’t until after the race that I realised how close I had got to bumping up to the ¼ finals. After 20 minutes the top 5 all finished on 65 laps separated by 12.4 seconds.
¼ A Final – Luke
Qualifying 25th meant I started 5th in ¼ Final A tucked in behind some world class drivers.
P1 – Shoki Takahate was off P1 who is a young Japanese driver racing for KM
P2 – Patrick Shaefer in P2, the owner of Shepherd
P3 – JJ Wang the winner of the worlds warmup race
P4 – Henrique Winik, a Brazilian driver who eventually made it all the way to the main final.
Because of rain delays on the Friday the quarters, semis and main were all scheduled to run on the Saturday. In the morning the track was wet which meant my race was delayed until 1:40pm. Lamberto Collari (9 times world champion) was roped into placing my car on the grid as a photo opportunity before swapping over with Jayden to help with the rest of the race. The plan was to use the same pit strategy used in Jayden’s final as it seemed to work well and we were able to do 5min runs in qualifying (just..).
Things started smoothly with a quick jump up to P4 as Patrick Shaefer hit troubles. I was able to keep a nice gap back from Henrique and I had a comfortable lead back to 5th. I was happy to sit in 4th and see how things played out. Unfortunately at lap 13 I hit trouble as my body got tucked up under the rear inside wheel causing the car to be erratic, it slowly improved but I decided to pit early so that it could be untucked.
It got tucked again within a lap so there was little that could be done. As the body stabiliser wore itself down it was more manageable. With those troubles I gave up one spot and knew I had my work cut out for me. On lap 31 my car ran out of fuel on the far side of the track and it was game over. Flaming out on this particular track had huge penalties as there was nowhere for marshals to run around the side of the track. I got back out but it was only for fun as I had lost almost 3 laps. I finished the race in 7th, hugely disappointing considering the potential possibility of bumping up if I was able to run a clean race.
We would like to thank everyone that supported us to attend this event. As this was our first Worlds and first event outside Australasia we had little idea of how we stood comparable to professional drivers that race RC cars for a living. Being able to stand our ground against the best in the business and meet so many people that have the same passion as us made the whole trip worth while.
Thanks to the following people / businesses that helped us;
– Team Infinity / Creation Models
– Trevor and Sandy Reid
– TSB Community Trust
– Pit crew – Kim and Selwyn Duthie