|2006 KYOSHO MASTERS in JAPAN|
Reigning world champion adds special excitement to Nagano!
|■ October 28 (Sat) / 29 (Sun)
NABEYA IIYAMA Off-Road Circuit (Nagano-ken, Iiyama-city, former Iiyama International Ski Ground)
|The 3rd Kyosho Masters held in Japan|
|The Kyosho Masters began in France in 1999. As one of the most popular events in Europe for Inferno 1/8 buggy drivers, Japan also held its own event again this year. The stage for the 3rd Kyosho Masters in Japan was in Iiyama-city Nagano-ken at the Nabeya Iyama Off-Road Circuit. Known as a Mecca for skiers in winter, the Madarao Plateau features majestic scenery and views, and the expansive layout of the race circuit built here has many spectacular jumps. Constructed on the mountain, this course can be particularly muddy, but the fine, dry weather with moderate humidity in the lead up to the Kyosho Masters produced a relatively high-grip track. Against this beautiful location, the world’s top drivers gathered to battle it out for glory. No less than the recently crowned IFMAR 1/8 Buggy World Champion, Mark Pavidas, joined the field. The air of excitement could be felt everywhere around the track. This is because the Kyosho Masters is one of those rare events where everyday buggy drivers rub shoulders with the world’s best. Whether competing or there as a spectator, the opportunity to meet and talk to top drivers like Mark Pavidis adds that extra excitement to the event. There were many scenes of the Kyosho works drivers sharing Inferno tips and advice with other Kyosho Inferno owners throughout the Masters.|
|1st day features 3 rounds of qualifying. Afterwards ? the party!|
| Again this year, in addition to the Sports Class and Expert Class, a special Invitation Class involving the top drivers was included the program. Entries were Sports Class: 24; Expert Class: 17 and Invitation Class: 14 (9 internationals and 5 Japanese).
Qualifying in all classes was done through a staggered system with drivers starting from their relative positions on pit road. This was determined by a 5-minute trial round. Each class completed three rounds on the first day and a final round on the next day with the results determining the schedule for the 1/4 final, 1/2 final and Grand Final. The stability and features of the permanent race course was perceived relatively quickly by all drivers. Setup was found easily and lap times improved with each round.
|During the lunch break, top drivers including Yuichi Kanai, demonstrated the latest R/C Truggy craze and the Mini-Inferno 09.|
|After the 1st day of qualifying, guests were welcomed with the traditional Kyosho Masters bash at the Madarao Kogen Hotel. This provides another venue, away from the track, for friendly interaction between the international and local guests. Great prizes in a huge raffle heated up the room. One of the most sought after prizes was a personally painted body by the professional painter Mr. Takashima. Great prizes will have to be arranged for the next Kyosho Masters to keep up the standard, so make sure to book your place.|
|A TV station was on hand to cover the dramatic events that would follow.|
| The nice weather continued into the second day, and the fun and comaraderie between the top international drivers and the local racers from the previous night continued over into the following day. This atmosphere is unique to the Kyosho Masters.
Cameramen from the TV show RC Style to be shown on BS Fuji from December 7th were there to film the action, and this added to the excitement. Before racing started, the director of the TV program judged the Concorde de Elegance. We were all looking forward to the telecast of this result.
After qualifying, 1/4 and 1/2 finals were complete; it was time for the Grand Final to be run. Sports Class and Expert Class were decided over 20 minutes. From the start to midway through the race, the results were reflective of the qualifying standings. The racing was intense right up to the finish line. The Sports Class was won by Eiji Nawama and the Expert Class was won for the 2nd time by Atsuhiro Ono in spectacular hard-fought victories.
Finally the 40-minute Invitation Class Grand Final got underway. Expert Class was fast, but the World’s top drivers in the Invitational Class posted lap times about 5 seconds faster. This put them about a lap faster for every five minutes of qualifying.
Yuichi Kanai led the field from the start through to the mid-term of the race, but was marked all the way by fastest qualifier Kazuya Tanaka, who took the lead from that point. Tanaka’s form in qualifying was spectacular and even the top international racers expected him to go all the way. However, pressure from Atsushi Kawamoto and Yuichi Kanai saw them overtake Tanaka. Hideki Kobayashi joined the fray and the ensuing battle was aggressive and breathtaking in its intensity. This was the first all-Japanese battle for the finish in a long time. From the international racers, Raoul Peris and Daniel Reckward started to make their move towards the final stage. The high expectations on newly crowned World Champion Mark Pavidis weren’t able to be realized due to damaged front suspension that forced his retirement from the race. The race continued with the same intensity and only milliseconds separated Kawamoto and Kanai. In end, Kanai was first over the line by just 0.7 seconds. Yuichi Kanai posted his first victory at the Kyosho Masters, followed by Atsushi Kawamoto with Raoul Peris coming in third almost a lap behind.
Next year’s Kyosho Masters in Japan is already in planning. The Master’s is great event to race and to watch, and it’s also a great opportunity to communicate with the world’s best. We look forward to your participation in the life-long memory and fantastic experience that is the Kyosho Master’s.