TRF Make it a 1-2-3 in the 2013 Reedy Race Touring Car!
TRF (Tamiya Racing Factory) drivers put in an awesome display to dominate the podium in the 2013 Reedy Race of Champions Invitational class, held from May 23-26 at Nor-Cal Hobbies in California, USA. Racing the TRF417V5 chassis, Marc Rheinard took home a well-deserved victory and was followed in 2nd by rising Japanese star Akio Sobue with last year's champion Viktor Wilck making it a TRF 1-2-3 under the watchful gaze of mechanic Kiyokazu Suzuki.
Viktor (left), Marc (center), Akio (right)
The Reedy Race line-up includes 17.5T and 13.5T motor touring car classes and an F1 class, but the star of the show is traditionally the Invitational class which is only open to a select few drivers invited by the event organizers. The pressure-cooker atmosphere of the format sees eight races with a new grid order each time: every corner of every race is vital to the drivers and consistently high finishes are the order of the day.
With the cars running on unfamiliar control tires and taking into account the sugar water coated track, car set-up was always going to be tricky, and the TRF drivers took advantage of the first half of the race week to get to know the Nor-Cal circuit, with timely feedback from Suzuki helping to get the cars in top shape. And when the racing started, Marc showed that the testing had been worth it as in a blistering display of driving he won 5 of the 8 rounds finished second in the other 3, leaving the field in his wake.
All told, TRF drivers competed in 15 of the 16 races (8 rounds of 2 heats each) and left no room for doubt as to their dominance by winning an incredible 11 of them, Viktor and Akio taking 3 apiece to add to Marc's 5. That included three back-to-back wins for Akio in rounds 6-8 and a 1-2-3 finish in the final round to punctuate the supreme TRF display. Akio may be an unfamiliar face to international race watchers, but he is a rising star in the world of Japanese R/C touring car races, a fact confirmed by a recent victory in a domestic meet.
With next year's IFMAR Touring Car World Championship looming on the horizon and Tamiya gunning for an unprecedented 4th consecutive victory (6th overall), Tamiya's driver line up of reigning World Champ Jilles Groskamp, Marc, Viktor and Akio is looking good!
2013 Reedy Touring Car Race of Champions Results
Place Driver Car
1 Marc Rheinard TRF417V5
2 Akio Sobue TRF417V5
3 Viktor Wilck TRF417V5
4 Christopher Krapp Kyosho
5 Paul Lemieux Xray
6 Rick Hohwart Associated
7 Keven Hebert Associated
8 Eric Albano Associated
9 Juho Levanen Associated
10 Tyler Vik Yokomo