Japan – Offroad Winter Championship Report

Incorporating new classes such as the 1/18th
Mini Buggy class, the event turned out to be quite big, with a large
turnout of 227 entries.

The MR-4BX(tentative name) will be released early next year. It is sure to be worth the wait.

The quadruple jump after the banking was tough for even the Monster Trucks.

The ‘High Jump Class’, a Yatabe specialty,
featured 6 participants brave enough to subject their cars to the
massive jump. Kenji Tsuruta and his RC-10B4 set the event record with a
massive 14m 20cm (46′) jump!

The connected-M washboard section featured 4
small diagonal jumps. Some took it as a double-double, others
approached it as a triple-single.

Picture of the track taken from the banked section. The track featured a technical yet high speed layout.

Masami Hirosaka’s 4wd buggy. The lone car to do 16 laps with consistent 18 sec laps.

Shinya Kimura’s 4wd buggy. Kimura qualified 2nd, and battled with Hirosaka in the finals.

It’s winter, and Offroad fans once again gathered at the winter festival
known as the Winter Championships held at Yatabe Arena. Traction was
fairly good, as most of the surface gaps were removed when the layout
was changed. While the layout featured several flat sections, other
parts of the track were quite technical, with sections such as a
connected-M washboard, and a high-banked corner followed by a quad
jump. Overall, the layout required both speed and technique. Controlled
tyres were used for both 2WD and 4WD buggy classes to help maintain
lower running costs, as well as providing equal conditions, in hopes
that everyone would find the racing more enjoyable. Classes such as
Stock Buggy, Vintage Class, High-Jump and 1/18th Mini Buggy, were also
offered to entice entry-level participation. The event turned out to be
quite popular, with a large turnout of 227 entries.

Hirosaka
and Kimura of Team Yokomo bought in their MR-4BX(tentative name) 4WD
prototypes to race test the cars against a fairly tough field of
compeititors. Although small revisions have already been made from the
testing data already accumulated, we will be working hard to improve
upon it’s race worthiness, and to meet the expectations of everyone
patiently awaiting it’s release.

Featuring
many of the best Offroad drivers in Japan, the atmosphere in the 4WD
class was liken to a Japanese Nationals. As expected, Hirosaka showed
class-dominating speed with the new 4WD buggy. The 4WD drivetrain in
the new car features equal length front and rear belts for greatly
improved controllability, and the refined supension geometry generates
high traction even with the use of control tyres. Hirosaka’s speed was
especially impressive in the 2nd round of qualifying, by being the only
one to lap in the 18 sec range, and finishing with 16 laps to earn the
TQ spot. Kimura qualified 2nd, also with a good time, for an all Yokomo
front row for the final.

The final starts in dramatic style, as Hirosaka makes a mistake on the
second lap going through the washboard section, allowing Kimura into
the lead. Hirosaka catches up to Kimura, and a crowd-pleasing battle
develops between the two. Leaving the field far behind, the pair head
into the last minute, where Hirosaka makes a pass on Kimura heading
onto the straight. Kimura soon makes a mistake, but recovers quickly to
end the final in a Yokomo 1-2 finish.

The MR-4BX(tentative name) will be released early next year. It is sure to be worth the wait.

The 2WD final was won by Kimura and his Associated RC10B4, defeating pole-sitter Adachi in the final.

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