If you are a fan of motorsports, there is no greater weekend than the final weekend in May with the most prestigious NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar races all taking place. The model car racing scene is no different, with the world watching the best on-road racers competing at the Reedy International Touring Car Race of Champions.
The high-profile Memorial Day weekend event, now in its 17th year, made a triumphant return to Tamiya America Raceway in Aliso Viejo, California after a six-year absence. Thanks to Scotty Ernst and Tamiya’s Fred Medel, the return to this famous facility was possible and resulted in one of the most competitive fields in the history of the event.
In a return to the race’s traditional format, three classes were offered. A choice of two classes, Modified and 13.5, were open to all racers while the prestigious Invitational class featured the world’s top pro drivers in 12 head-to-head races over the course of the event. The open classes would compete in four rounds of qualifying with all main events run over three legs to determine the race winners and class champions.
After four rounds of qualifying in the Modified class, Gonzalo Cortes earned the pole position for Sunday’s A-Main event. Gonzalo parlayed excellent starts into wins in the first two legs to secure the Modified class championship. In addition to winning the impressive Reedy Race cup and kiss from the beautiful trophy girl, Gonzalo earned the most important prize — a spot in the Invitational class in next year’s event! Sean Williams joined Cortes on the podium thanks to a solid run that resulted in third place overall.
Reedy/AE drivers also fared very well and delivered impressive results in the other classes. Bob Stellflue, the engineer responsible for creating the TC6.2, finished third to join the champagne celebration in the 13.5 class. Rick Hohwart and Juho Levanen each earned hard-fought race wins on their way to 9th and 10th place finishes in the Invitational class.
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the participants, Scotty Ernst, Fred Medel, Tamiya America, and the event sponsors for making this memorable event possible.