Live coverage from the IFMAR 1/10 Electric World Championships in Ishikawa, Japan starts today. You can expect multiple daily updates, photos, interviews with drivers and much more, so make sure to check it out. For more news, click here.
The permanent, outdoor off-road track is nestled in the mountains of the Icirino Hakusan Ski Resort, which was chosen as the site for the Snowboard World Championships not too long ago. The picturesque track is surrounded by mountain tops and plush woods that give it a fairy tale like ambience.
The first day was reserved for 2WD registration, the opening ceremonies and concourse event. With temperatures in the high eighties and humidity hovering at around ninety percent, the stage was set for sunny skies and warm weather not! Check out the ominous clouds. Where there are clouds, rain usually follows.
Bring on the Mud
Day two was reserved for 2WD practice. The first heat was scheduled to start promptly at 8:00, but rain delayed the start time. As the rain continued to poor down, the IFMAR officials decided to call a meeting with all the team captains to decide on a course of action. Since the rain had delayed the proceedings for so long, it was decided to scrap the first round of practice entirely and start fresh on round two at 1:45 PM despite the weather conditions. The track crew used squeegees and sponges to wipe off as much water from the surface. Unfortunately, the rain continued to come down despite their efforts.
The first round of practice was a joke, but it was sure fun to watch. The cars rolled out of pit lane shiny clean and after the first lap they all looked the same muddy. Heres Ryan Cavalieris Associated B4 after rolling out of pit lane.
and heres Cavs car after 1 lap.
That’s Ryan Maifields car I think
Yuk!! Talk about a traction nightmare.
Turn marshalling was a hazardous. For safety reasons, the IFMAR officials did not allow the drivers to turn marshal during the first few heats – Instead the IFMAR Officials turnmarshaled for the racers – talk about a dedicated staff.
A good way to fling the mud off your rear tires is to punch it in the air.
Masami Hirosakas B4
Jared Tebos Check Point powered B4.
The racers couldnt help but chuckle while their teammates struggled to get around the track.
How would you like to clean this car?
Some racers used tape to weatherproof their gear
Ryan Maifield used clay hey it works!
Ryan Cavalieri used some kind of gauze to seal up his motor.
The cleaning table was busy during the first practice day.
Some racers resorted to using a power washer to facilitate cleaning.
Team Kyoshos Gil Losi Jr., Mark Pavidis and Ronnie Gardner join forces.
Yokomo, Kyosho, Team Orion, Futaba, Team Much More, Futaba & KO Propo have booths to display their products. Theres another row of display booths on the other side.
Team Associated/Check point driver Jared Tebo. Jared has a broken foot to contend with, which cant be helpful.
Ryan Cavalieri with his dad Louis; Cavalieri is favorite in both the 2WD & 4WD classes according to the RCCA readers that responded to my IFMAR Contest on my blog.
Billy Easton won the Worlds warm up race on this very track early this year, with a Yokomo buggy, but he’s running for Serpent now. The prototype 4WD buggy looked really good on the track.
Team Kyoshos Mark Pavidis. Mark won his 4WD IFMAR World Championship in 1995. Do you think he could pull it off again? You never know.
Team Associated Ryan Maifield will be a threat in both classes.
World champ and Hot Bodies driver Atsushi Hara could surprise everyone once again.
Nice Weather At Last!
The racers were greeted with blue skies and warm temperatures on day three, which was a relief because it was 2WD qualifying day. The previous days control practice heats didnt help the racers get their machines dialed-in for qualifying due to the muddy track conditions. Fortunately they had one round of control practice before the qualifiers.
At the Worlds, the qualifying order isnt based on the fastest single heat times. Instead its based on a point system. The racers are awarded points according to their finishing positions in each round of qualifying (1st place 155 points, 2nd place 154 points, 3rd place 153 points, etc). The scores from the drivers best 3 out of 5 heat times are combined to reach a final score. The racer with the most points is the TQ.
Round One Qualifying Results
1. Mike Truhe (USA) 11/5:04.725
2. Travis Amezcua (USA) 11/5:09.210
3. Ryan Maifield (USA) 11/5:09.106
4. Hayato Matsuzaki (Japan) 11/5:11.046
5. Hiroshi Suzuki (Japan) 11/5:13.114
6. Lee Martin (Great Brittan) 11/5:14.522
7. Ryan Cavalieri (USA) 11/5:15.231
8. Masatsugo Ido (Japan) 11/5:15.384
9. Jason Ruona (USA) 11/5:16.336
10. Paul Bradby (Great Brittan) 11/5:18.051
You can see the look of concentration on Mike Truhes face.
Mike Truhe laid down a smoking fast 11/5:04.725 heat time in the first round of qualifying.
Round Two Qualifying Results
1. Hayato Matsuzaki 11/5:05.279
2. Masami Hirosaka (Japan) &n
3. Mike Truhe 11/5:08.976
4. Paul Bradby 11/5:09.069
5. Mark Pavidis (USA) 11/5:09.182
6. Satoshi Maezumi (Japan) 11/5:09.303
7. Ryan Cavalieri 11/5:09.767
8. Billy Easton (USA) 11/5:11.168
9. Kiyokazu Suzuki 11/5:11.704
10. Craig Drescher (Great Brittan) 11/5:12.895
Round Three Qualifying Results
1. Masami Hirosaka 11/5:04.600
2. Hayato Matsuzaki 11/5:04.631
3. Ryan Cavalieri 11/5:06.586
4. Jared Tebo (USA) 11/5:08.900
5. Mike Truhe 11/5:09.851
6. Shinnosuke Adachi (Japan) 11/5:10.935
7. Mark Rheinard (Germany) 11/5:11.000
8. Lee Martin 11/5:12.324
9. Hengil Hupo (Austria) 11/5:13.219
10. Brent Thelke &nb
It was great seeing Team Yokomo driver and multi IFMAR World Champ Masami Hirosaka back on the track and in top form. Masami had the fastest heat time after round three.
Mark Pavidis’ Kyosho RB5 was hooked up!
New in the Pits
Kyosho has some new parts for the Ultima RB5. Mark Pavidis and several other Kyosho drivers got the first batch from the factory to run at the worlds. Longer suspension arms and driveshafts bring the car up to the maximum width, and a new shorter, carbon fiber rear shock tower and shorter shocks optimize the suspension geometry. Marks car is also equipped with a new heat sink motor plate and Inferno hard steering turnbuckles.
Dave Church from Great Brittan had two prototype cars from Atomic Carbon. The Slim 2 shown here is a 2WD mid-motor chassis thats based around the Associated B4 suspension. I really dig the narrow body.
The slim 2 features a 4-gear transmission with machined Delrin gearbox and B4 internals and slipper clutch. The prototype has a carbon fiber chassis, but the production units will be molded composite. The chassis will be sold as a complete kit with all the necessary B4 parts, or as a conversion kit that will allow you to convert a B4 into a Slim 2.
The Atomic Carbon Slim 4 is based around the J-Concepts BJ4/Associated TC3 drive train.
All the chassis components are as close to or directly on the chassis centerline for quick steering response. Like the Slim 2, it will be available as a complete kit or a conversion.
Yokomo had this 1/18-scale Quad on display and I just had to show it to you. It’s only be available in Japan at the moment, but it should be available shortly under another banner.
Also new from Yokomo is this 1/12-scale 4WD electric truggy called the SD12-TR. It features a shaft driven 4WD system, oil-filled shocks, ball diffs and its powered by what looks like a 400-size motor.
No word on whether this bad boy will be available in the States, but I want one!
ks at Sanwa thats Airtronics in the US had their new M11R radio system on display. According to Sanwa, the radio features a faster response time than the M11 and it features a new RF module with heat sink. It also has a smaller and narrower steering wheel.
Jason Ruona from J-Concepts had some new tires and rims tucked away. The Double Dees rear buggy tires are based on their popular 1/8 scale tire and they should work equally well. There new Groovy tires are traditional ribbed buggy fronts and a few drivers were testing them at the Worlds. The tires shown here are mounted on J-Concepts new Rulux spoke rims.
Also new from J-Concepts is their new Hi-Flow body for the Associated B4. Several drivers are using this body including Ryan Maifield.
Round Four Qualifying Results
1. Ryan Maifield 11/5:05.575
2. Masatsugu Ido 11/5:05.600
3. Ryan Cavalieri 11/5:05.723
4. Steve Hartson (USA) 11/5:05.954
5. Jared Tebo 11/5:06.669
6. Billy Fischer (USA) 11/5:08.871
7. Hayato Matsuzaki 11/5:06.766
8. Hiroshi Suzuki 11/5:08.991
9. Shinnosuki Adashi 11/5:08.670
10. Mike Truhe 11/5:10.408
Day four is here and it looks like the weather is cooperating. The blue skies and warm weather should hold up for the rest of the day. Round five of qualifying started without a hitch, but the track was wet and slippery for the first few heats. Most drivers were unable to exceed 10 laps during the first 4 heats, but by fifth heat the track started to dry up and the fastest drivers were posting 11 lap runs once again. Naturally the drivers and captains of the teams that had to contend with the less than perfect track conditions werent very pleased and they protested to the IFMAR officials. Running the first few heats over again was not an option due to the tight schedule, so the qualifying round was unchanged.
Round 5 Qualifying Results
1. Naoto Matsukura (Japan) 11/5:08. 437
2. Lee Martin 11/5:10.150
3. Hayato Matsukura 11/5:10.923
4. Travis Amezcua 11/5:13.923
5. Paul Bradby 11/5:14.056
6. Mark Pavidis 11/5:14.053
7. Rick Howhart 11/5:15.618
8. Ryan Maifield 11/5:15.840
9. Jared Tebo 11/5:15.988
10. Joe Pillars 11/5:16.722
Top 10 Qualifying Order
1. Hayato Matsuzaki 460
2. Mike Truhe 457
3. Ryan Maifield 454
4. Ryan Cavalieri 452
5. Masami Hirosaka 450
6. Lee Martin 449
7. Jared Tebo 447
8. Paul Bradby 446
9. Travis Amezcua &n
10. Mark Pavidis 443
After five grueling rounds of qualifying, Team Hot Bodies driver Hayato Matsuzaki was awarded the TQ. He drives a Team Associated B4, in case your wondering. Rumor has it that Hot Bodies is working on a 2WD buggy project, but the prototypes weren’t ready in time for the Worlds.
Team Yokomo driver Masami Hirosaka was one of the unfortunate drivers to be stuck in heat number one during the fifth round of qualifying. Because of the wet track conditions, Masami was only able to turn in 9 laps.
Team Novaks Charlie Suangka was on hand to help his team drivers and any one else who was racing with a Novak speed control and brushless motor system. His team mates Godzilla and Rodan pitched in, but that stupid dragon just kept getting in the way.
Team Hot Bodies driver Travis Amezcua qualified ninth in the A-main. His lovely new bride Christina joined the adventure.
Team Associated driver, Ryan Cavalieri also had to drive in one of the first heats of round five, which didnt help his score any. Motor man Oscar Jansen from Team Orion is on duty to support his team.
Ryan Maifield Wins the 2WD A1 Final!
TQ Hayato Matsuzaki got off to a good start in the A1 final and led the way for a few laps. Ryan Maifield soon closed the gap on the leader and was all over his tail. On lap number 4, Matsuzaki cut a corner too close and got hung up on a pipe, which allowed Maifield to sneak by to take the lead. Matsuzaki ended up in second place and bunched up with drivers Mark Pavidis, Jared Tebo, Masami Hirosaka and Ryan Cavalieri who were all contending for position. Another bobble sent Matsuzaki even further back and Jared Tebo in second followed by Cavalieri in third.
A1 Final Results
1. Ryan Maifield 11/5:11.984
2. Jared Tebo 11/5:13.703
3. Ryan Cavalieri 11/5:17.000
4. Masami Hirosaka 11/5:18.240
5. Mark Pavidis 11/5:21.722
6. Lee Martin 11/5:23.602
7. Hayato Matsuzaki 11/5:24.199
8. Mike Truhe 11/5:24.829
9. Paul Bradby 10/5:00.087
10. Travis Amezcua 5/2:38.778
Hayato Matsuzaki Wins the A2 Final
There was no stopping Hayato Matsuzaki in the A2 final. He led from the start and didnt give any of the other drivers an opportunity to pass him by like he did in the first main. Mike Truhe was in second through the first half of the race followed by Ryan Cavalieri when Masami Hirosaka made a bold pass through the triple jump and leaped over Truhe and Cavalieris cars to take over second. Hirosaka started reeling in the leader and soon was all over his bumper. As the final seconds clicked off, Hirosaka drag raced with Matsuzaki down the straightaway, but his tires lost traction and his car went sideways. He had to let off the throttle to prevent looping out completely and jeopardizing his second place finish.
A2 Final Results
1. Hayato Matsuzaki 11/5:06.146
2. Masami Hirosaka 11/5:07.201
3. Jared Tebo 11/5:09.179
4. Mike Truhe 11/5:10.413
5. Ryan Maifield 11/5:11.708
6. Ryan Cavalieri 11/5:12.285
7. Paul Bradby 11/5:15.117
8. Travis Amezcua 11/5:16.862
9. Mark Pavidis 11/5:18.722
10. Lee Martin 11/5.25.471
The finalist on the drivers’ stand – ready for the A3 final
The A3 Final Grid
Hayato’s car on the pole
Hayato Matsuzaki Wins the IFMAR 2WD Championship
It all came down to the final main with Hyato Mats
uzaki, Masami Hirosaka, Ryan Maifield and Jared Tebo all having a shot at winning the championship. Hayato Matsuzaki had a simple strategy, get out in front and stay there And thats exactly what he did except Ryan Maifield gave him a run for the money for 5 laps before a bobble going though the triple jumps put Maifield out of the race. Jared Tebo took over the second position while Mike Truhe and Ryan Cavalieri sorted out who would take third. Matsuzaki ran a perfect race and crossed the line a full 2 seconds in front of Tebo to take the win and the 2WD World Championship.
A3 Final Results
1. Hayato Matsuzaki 11/5:05.603
2. Jared Tebo 11/5:07.635
3. Mike Truhe 11/5:07.718
4. Ryan Cavalieri 11/5:12.433
5. Mark Pavidis 11/5:17.860
6. Paul Bradby 11/5:18.841
7. Lee Martin 11/5:19.616
8. Masami Hirosaka 11/521.421
9. Travis Amezcua 11/5.28.082
10. Ryan Maifield 5/2:30.676
IFMAR 2WD World Championships Final Results
Pos. Driver Country Chassis Final score
1 Hayato Matsuzaki Japan Associated B4 20
2 Jared Tebo USA Associated B4 18
3 Ryan Maifield USA Associated B4 16
4 Masami Hirosaka Japan Associated B4 16
5 Mike Truhe USA Team Losi Triple X 15
6 Ryan Cavalieri USA Associated B4 15
7 Mark Pavidis USA Kyosho RB5 12
8 Paul Bradby Great Brittan Associated B4 9
9 Lee Martin Great Brittan Associated B4 9
10 Travis Amezcua USA Associated B4 5
Hayatos World Championship winning Associated B4
More New Stuff
Hayato as well as a few other drivers were using KO Propos new VFS-1 speed control. According to KO Propo, it has a smoother throttle response and provides greater top speeds. Hayato used a 13-turn motor, while most of the other drivers ran motors with 12 or fewer winds.
Team Much More
This off-road tire balancer is sure to be a hot item no more need for prop balancer. It features heavy-duty aluminum construction and powerful magnets to keep the balancing axle perfectly balanced.
These new car stands are made from T6 aluminum and theyre compact and lightweight and the have the Team Muchmore logos proudly displayed on the top.
This pit mat is also a new item from Team Muchmore. Its large and has many compartments to stash your parts. Its also made from a self-healing material so you can cut on it with a hobby knife.
Novaks Velociti L Brushless Motor
Many of the Novak team drivers were using a new lighter Velociti brushless motor during the 2WD competitions. The windings inside of the motor are a smaller gauge, which shaves off nearly an ounce of weight. Some drivers also used lighter16 guage wire on the outside (stock is 14 guage) to save a little extra weight. The Velociti L version motor will have a black ring (instead of purple) and a new decal and it will be available soon.
Kyosho Laser ZX Upgrades
The Kyosho drivers were experimenting with a new Laser ZX5 prototype. The car features a new chassis with a saddle-pack battery configuration and mid-motor placement. It also features new C-hubs and steering knuckles and the shocks are mounted further inside on the suspension arms in a custom mounting hole. It also features a new body that looks considerably narrower than the stock ZX5 body.
Day 5 4WD Practice
The track was closed on day four for 4WD registration, so not much was going on. Although most of the drivers worked on their cars and prepared for the next day, a few got to relax or went sight seeing.
The temperatures were warm and humid when the track opened up on day five, but the skies were overcast and there were a few dark clouds overhead that looked threatening.
The first rounds of practice went on without a hitch. The drivers ran the track in a counter-clockwise direction during the 2WD competitions, but they now had to run the course clockwise. There was a bit of carnage during practice due to switch in direction. I saw more than a dozen cars come off the track with broken suspension pieces.
4WD electric off-road is much more popular in Japan and Europe, and there are more chassis choices, so it wasnt surprising that there were more contestants in 4WD than in the 2WD class.
Masami Hirosaka looked good on the track during practice and so did the two Ryans (Miafield & Cavalieri). Mark Pavidis also looked good after some wrenching time with the new Kyosho Lazer mid motor chassis, and so did Jared Tebo.
The track started to get beat up really bad toward the end of the day. Some cars would suddenly catch air or loop out completely when a tire would get hung up in rut or crack, so finding t
he right line was crucial .
Here are a few action shots from day five qualifying.
Messed up feet!
Jared Tebo had to deal with having a broken foot for the first few days and on day five he woke up with a huge bug bite on his other ankle. His foot swelled up to practically twice its size, so he had to strap an ice pack on it to help the swelling. Jared is a trooper, so it shouldnt affect his performance.
This Tamiya TRF 501X belongs to Japanese driver Ono-P. He had all of the aluminum pieces pink-anodized to be a little different. His body and car stand follow the pink theme as well.
Now thats what I call a huge beetle. Anyone hungry? I bet Survivor Man would eat this beetle for breakfast without hesitating.
The Team Associated represented the largest racing team at the Worlds next to Hot Bodies and Yokomo.
J-Concepts driver Jason Ruona and Team Associated driver Jared Tebo mount up some tires for their 4WD cars in the battery and tire control room. To keep things fair, control tires were used at the Worlds. Panther Switch tires were the only tires that could be used at the event, but any front tire combo was allowed in 2WD. The drivers were allotted 6 pairs of tires (12 in 4WD) to last during practice and qualifying, but they were allowed to purchase as many sets as they wanted for the mains. The drivers were not allowed to bring their own tires; they had to purchase them at the event, and they also had to be assembled in front of an IFMAR official. The tires were given a serial number and they had to be turned in every night after the day
The track was thrashed after a full day of practice, so the track crew went to work fixing the track immediately after the last practice heat.
Day 6 4WD Qualifying
The racers were greeted with a fresh track on Saturday morning to run the last round of 4WD practice and the first 3 rounds of qualifying. The chances of rain looked slim because the day was sunny and warm and there were beautiful blue skies overhead. A few low clouds blocked the sunshine every few minutes, but that was actually a relief because the temperature dropped a few degrees as a result.
Many racers were able to break the 11 lap barrier with their 4WD machines, and Ryan Maifield posted a super fast 12/5.01 during the practice. If the weather holds up we may see a few drivers go 13 laps during qualifying then again, maybe not.
Round One 4WD Qualifying Results
Pos. Driver Country Time
1. Jared Tebo USA 12/5:05.345
2. Ryan Maifield USA 12/5:08.159
3. Ryan Cavalieri USA 12/5:09.050
4. Billy Easton USA 12/5:09.312
5. Masami Hirosaka Japan 12/5:10.674
6. Atsushi Hara Japan 12/5:10.868
7. Shnnosuke Adachi Japan 12/5:13.350
8. Billy Fischer USA 12/5:13.883
9. Rick Hohwart USA 12/5:15.398
10. Mark Pavidis USA 12/5:15.484
It started to rain briefly at around noon, but the rain didnt last enough to cause any problems. A few threatening clouds remained overhead, so more rain might fall before the day is over. Theres a 90 percent chance of rain forecasted for Sunday, which may cause some problems during the main.
Round Two 4WD Qualifying Results
Pos. Driver Country &nb
1. Jared Tebo USA 12/5:06.240
2. Ryan Cavalieri USA 12/5:09.376
3. Atsushi Hara Japan 12/5:12.412
4. Hayato Matsuzaki Japan 12/5:12.661
5. Naoto Matsukura Japan 12/5:15.440
6. Steven Hartson USA 12/5:15.556
7. Rick Hohwart USA 12/5:16.272
8. Honigl Hupo Austria 12/5:16.538
9. Billy Fischer USA 12/5:16.587
10. Tatsuya Sanpei Japan 12/5:16.902
Academy SB V2 Pro Saddle Pack Conversion
Academy had several drivers competing at the Worlds in the 4WD class with their SB V2 Pro chassis. A couple of them were testing a new saddle-pack, mid-motor conversion chassis that looked very promising. It features a carbon fiber chassis and upper deck, an aluminum motor and center diff mount, and carbon fiber battery straps with knurled thumbscrews. Academy is distributed in the US by MRC; no word yet on whether MRC will offer a conversion kit, or release an all new car based on the prototype.
Heres the Academy 4WD mid-motor buggy on the track.
Academy GV2 2WD buggy
Academy also unveiled their new GV2 2WD buggy at the worlds as well. The car did not arrive in time to compete in the 2WD class, but they had one on display at their pit area. The car features an adaptable front and rear suspension with adaptors to accommodate Associated, Pro-Line and Team Losi front and rear wheels. Other features include aluminum front and rear suspension arm mounts, aluminum rear hex hubs, threaded-body, aluminum shocks, ball differential, Universal driveshafts, steel turnbuckles, double-disk slipper clutch, full ball bearings and much more.
Round Three Qualifying Results
Pos. Driver Country Time
1. Masami Hirosaka Japan 12/5:08.863
2. Ryan Maifield USA 12/5:11.802
3. Ryan Cavalieri USA 12/5:12.376
4. Mike Truhe USA 12/5:14.405
5. Naoto Matsukura Japan 12/5:13.722
6. Atsushi Hara Japan 12/5:13.722
7. Shnnosuke Adachi Japan 12/5:15.218
8. Jorn Neumann Germany 12/5:15.555
9. Neil Cragg Great Brittan
10. Hayato Matsuzaki Japan 12/5:16.184
Round Four 4WD Qualifying Results
Pos. Driver Country Time
1. Jared Tebo USA 12/5:07.365
2. Ryan Maifield USA 12/5:08.006
3. Ryan Cavalieri USA 12/5:08.894
4. Masami Hirosaka Japan 12/5:10.808
5. Atsushi Hara Japan 12/5:11.453
6. Steven Hartson USA 12/5.08.894
7. Billy Easton USA 12/5:11.635
8. Naoto Matsukura Japan 10/5:01.564
9. Shnnosuke Adachi Japan 11/5:17.469
10. Hayato Matsuzaki Japan 12/5:15.103
Thats it for day 6. Fortunately the weather held up for another day, but with a 90 percent chance of rain and thunder storms forecasted for Sunday day 7, things look like theyre going to get ugly. Although there is still one more round of qualifying scheduled, Team Associated driver Jared Tebo has the TQ locked up, but the qualifying o
rder might change from positions 2 through 10. That is if they run the final qualifier. There were rumblings at the end of the day that the last round of qualifying might be scratched if the rain comes down in buckets. They may start the mains first thing in the morning depending on weather conditions, and if the track is wet and muddy and there looks like there may not be a break in the weather, the mains might get scratched too. I guess well just have to see what happens. Of course Ill keep you posted.
More to come!