Race report by Felix Law:
This was the first time ever the city of Yongkang hosted a radio control event. The city that is well known as “the Hardware Capital of China” made the effort along with the help of FS Racing (a large radio control car OEM manufacturer) to build an amazing track facility in a short period of time. In order to showcase the best of show, the organizer decide to build an onroad and offroad track for this special event. While the 1/8 GP & 1/10 EP offroad classes were the main event, organizers decided to add in other classes to make this race the best of show, as it was the first ever national event for the city & grand opening of the track facility. With this being such an important event, FS Racing invited world champion Hayato Matsuzaki from Japan to join the Open Touring & 1/10 EP offroad race to show case the skills from outside of China.
Due to extreme weather conditions within the week of the event, the offroad track was never finished with the dirt intact. With rain continuing during the week of the event, the organizer hosted a meeting to turn the dirt/clay off road track into a carpet track just before the start of the event on Friday. With the last minute decision of the carpet change for the huge 35-sec per lap offroad track, the organizer was able to collect many hotels used carpet to cover the loose & muddy track. On Friday morning, possibly the most expansive carpet outdoor track in the world was finally ready to be raced on.
With a full day of practice on Friday, many 1/8 drivers struggled running on carpet, having no idea about the type of tires to use and setup changes to make. Many drivers suffered as they tractioned rolled into the mud. Due to the limited supply of carpet, the only part of the track covered was the race line. If a driver made a small mistake, they would get stuck by the muddy dirt below. With 1/10 drivers able to quickly find the right carpet tires due to the availability, the 1/10 drivers main struggle was the bumpy track instead. With 1/8 driving on the same track, the track was super abrasive on the 1/10 chassis.
In 1/10 qualifying, special guest Hayato Matsuzaki from Japan driving the all new Yokomo YZ4 was able to lay down a dominate run, setting the fastest run in qualifier. With his best lap even faster than the 1/8 GP, he clearly put on a show for the spectators. 2nd place was a young driver from Hong Kong Jonathan Yeung driving the Tekin power HB D413, with his consistent lap time, he was able to start second behind Hayato. 3rd was also a driver from Hong Kong driving the G-Force Power RGT.
In the 1/10 Final, all top 3 drivers quickly pulled away from the field. With the battle of the top 3 going on, the lower position suffered from a big crash and got held back. On lap 2 on the far side of the track, Hayato made a mistake and crashed. The accident took his camber link out of his car cost him the win with a DNF. The new leader Jonathan also suffered from a crash and got held up on the far side of the track without a turn marshall, allowing G-Force driver Felix Law to cruise to the finish. With the track suffering from damage in the qualifiers, keeping the car in one piece was hard. It was ultimately a huge challenge for the small 1/10 vehicles. In the end it was Felix Law 1st, Jonathan Yeung 2nd, and Liu Shuo 3rd.
In 1/8 qualifying, the all-time favorite driver in China, Hu Wei Ping, had a bit of tough luck. HB Driver from Beijing, Liu Shuo, surprised everyone with insane fast lap times, taking TQ. 2nd was a father & son team driving HN name Zhan Wei.
In 1/8 final there was a huge accident, resulting in the favorite driver Hu Wei Ping dropping to dead last. 2nd qualifier Zhan Wei was able capture the mistake of Ping and get in front with almost a lap lead. TQ driver, Liu Shuo, also got stuck in between the fight for 2nd and 3rd in the beginning of the 30 min final. At the 15 min mark, the SWorkz driver Hu Wei Ping was able to recover from his bad luck and charge hard up to 2nd place. While still being about 3 turns away from the leader, the HN driver Zhan Wei suddenly lost control of the car and handed the lead to Hu Wei Ping. After Zhan Wei car was returned to the pit, they found out his receiver battery had disconnected from the receiver to cause the malfunction. With Zhan Wei out of the race, SWorkz driver Hu Wei Ping continued his pace to finish 1st with 2 laps ahead of field. HB Driver Liu Shuo, who had the TQ, was able to recover from multiples crashes and finish 2nd, with local driver Xiao Xin 3rd.