Report from HBeurope.com
Hayato Matsuzaki of the Hot Bodies electric off-road racing team won the IFMAR 2WD Off-Road World Championships yesterday in Japan!
Young Hayato ran several Hot Bodies parts and options on the Associated B4 buggy, including Cyclone D4 shocks front and rear, large HB wing, upper arm parts and more.
The race weekend was plagued with periodic heavy rains, making the primarily clay surface very slippery and dangerous to drive and marshall on. The opening ceremony and tyre tech went ahead flawlessly on day 1, however the practice rounds were delayed by the rain on day 2, and the track staff did a valiant job to keep the water off the track as much as they could but lap times only improved after the rain stopped late in the day.
The next day consisted of several qualifying rounds after a single practice round, which many drivers needed to get used to the changing track conditions! In Round One Travis Amezcua and Hayato Matsuyaki finished 2nd and 4th overall, and in Round Two Hayato topped the time sheets with his modified B4. Round Three had 14-time World Champion Masami Hirosaka at the top of the time sheets but Hayato was in second, improving his run consistency with every go. 2005 World Champion Ryan Cavalieri and his teammate Ryan Maifield were also improving and there were a couple of other American racers that looked like they could threaten for a podium position.
In Round Four Ryan Maifield topped the timing, with Cavalieri in third position, but Hayato finished in 6th spot, giving him equal top points with Masami at the end of the day. Ryan Maifield and fellow American Mike Truhe were tied a single point behind Masami and Hayoto, and Cavalieri was 3 points further behind. Things were tightening up, and there was just one more official round before the Finals were to start!
For the final day of the 2WD Championships, the day started off wet again, an overnight rain shower had left the track soaking but with work from the track staff and a strong showing from the sun in a nearly cloudless sky, the track was almost dry and ready to race after the morning practice round. Hayato and Travis did well in this final round, finishing third and fourth, however very few other drivers improved their times or scores.
1 Hayato Matsuzaki Japan
2 Mike Truhe USA
3 Ryan Maifield USA
4 Ryan Cavalieri USA
5 Masami Hirosaka Japan
6 Lee Martin GB
7 Jared Tebo USA
8 Paul Bradby GB
9 Travis Amezcua USA
10 Mark Pavidis USA
Before the actual Finals race, a practice final was organized. Consisting of a single lap around the track, the idea was to allow the A Final drivers to acquaint themselves with their starting position. Starting from pole, Hayato led the way and built up a fantastic lead and at the end of the lap was well ahead of the pack. The A Finals were looking good!
First A Final
Hayato led from pole but Ryan Maifield slowly caught up to him. A mistake by Hayato at the end of the straight got him hung up on a barrier and Maifield sped away with a slight lead. American teammates Jared Tebo and Ryan Cavalieri were now behind Hayato and he made the same mistake again, letting them by, and a series of mistakes by Hayato as he was pushing to catch up dropped him further down the field. It seemed that making up time on the track was quite difficult.
Second A Final
Hayato led away again, with Mike Truhe just behind. There were no mistakes from Hayato as Mike stayed with him. Maifield suffered a huge crash that dented his bodyshell and wasn’t able to catch up to the leaders. Masami was carving through the field and eventually worked his way past Truhe to take second, however Hayato had built up quite a lead and was cruising to the finish line even as Masami was closing the gap. With two clear passing opportunities on the last lap, Masami wasn’t able to make room or get enough traction to get by, and Hayato took his first A Final win.
Third A Final
Hayato headed the chasing pack, with Truhe and Maifield closest to him. As the battle for second place heated up, Hayato was able to simply pull away, take his time and let everyone else fight it out. He crossed the finish line in first place, taking the World Championship win!
Congratulations to the latest member of the worldwide Hot Bodies Racing Team to earn a World Championship trophy!
Check back soon to see how the Hot Bodies team does in the 4WD Off-Road World Championships, which starts soon!
Source : HBeurope