Not the fastest but the smartest and therefore the 2014 VRC World Champion 1:12 Open Class. Rick Yelle (US) had the patience to come out on top after the 16 minute A-Main, with Dana Bailes (US) 4 seconds and Martin Wollanka (A) one lap down completing the 2014 podium.
Rick knew that he had to come up with something smart for the double-length A-Main and to try to go the whole distance on just 1 battery charge as that could save you almost 20 seconds or about 0.3 seconds a lap on average. So he did a number of quarter distance runs to measure the amp usage with different settings on the speed controller, 97% power, low braking, optimized gearing etc. until he found a set-up that would get him to the finish on one charge.Also Atsushi Hasegawa, Graham Raistrick and Hiroyuki Shoda had opted for this strategy. Having a milder set-up than in his qualifying run (2nd), Rick had an incredible consistent run with just one small crash which cost him 3 seconds, to finish with a race average of 15.553 seconds with a fastest lap of 15.210! That’s tight!
Wollanka dominated the final until he came in for his LiPo change in lap 29, which pushed him back to 8th with Bailes in 2nd and Yelle in 3rd. Bailes came in 3 laps later which threw him back to 8th with now Bertuzzi leading, Yelle in 2nd, Hasegawa 3rd and Wollanka 6th. Bertuzzi held the lead till lap 48 where he had 3 crashes and probably then changed his strategy to come in for a fresh LiPo pack which threw him out of contention for the Worlds title.
Yelle had settled in 1st position at lap 48 with Hasegawa 2nd, Bailes 3rd and Wollanka 4th. Hasegawa was clearly lacking power towards the last quarter of the race and had to let Bailes and Wollanka go to settle for 4th. With 90 seconds or 6 laps to go the gap with Bailes and Wollanka was under 6 seconds so he had a few seconds in hand for the last laps. Bailes and Wollanka had to battle it out for 2nd. Just before going into the last lap Wollanka went a bit wide and bounced from the left barrier to the right barrier letting Bailes by and… missing the last lap by 0.2 seconds to give 2nd to Bailes and to settle for 3rd himself.
A-MAIN FINAL OPEN CLASS
1 Rick Yelle US Pro 62 16:11.558
2 Dana Bailes US Pro 62 16:15.700
3 Martin Wollanka AT Pro 61 16:00.144
4 Atsushi Hasegawa JP Pro 61 16:06.232
5 Graham Raistrick GB Pro 61 16:08.784
6 HIROYUKI SHODA JP Club 61 16:13.982
7 Brian Poliseno IT Pro 60 16:10.334
8 Michael Bertuzzi IT Pro 59 16:05.030
9 Borys Nitschke PL Pro 59 16:16.040
10 Robby Engelen BE Pro 58 16:12.140
2014 NATIONS CUP
With a strong 1-2 finish with Yelle and Bailes USA secured victory in the Nations Cup standings. Italy with 2 A-Main finalists settled for 2nd and Germany with no racer in the top-10 came 3rd.
1. USA 552 R. Yelle (1.), D. Bailes (2.), B. Seay (33.), H. Connolly (35.), N. Cummings (36.)
2. Italy 460 B. Poliseno (7.), M. Bertuzzi (8.), M. Tanturri (18.), A. Zanchettin (20.), L. Martini (38.)
3. Germany 371 R. Vey (11.), M. Kreuzberger (24.), J. Hoormann (26.), B. Franz (41.), H. Heitsch (45.)
Source: VRC World