From September 18 – 27 the 1/8 off road nitro IFMAR World Championships took place over in beautiful Italy. One of the favorites going into the event, Ty Tessmann who wheels a HB D812, took home his first (probably of many) world titles. This week, on home solid in Florida, the 1/10 touring car and 1/12 pan car IFMAR World Championships are going on. At the previous on road worlds in 2012 Jilles Groskamp took home the touring car title driving a Tamiya TRF417 while Naoto Matsukura was victorious in repeating as 1/12 pan car champion driving a Yokomo R12.
These are phenomenal accomplishments for sure as it takes not just a phenomenal driver, but a capable vehicle (chassis), motors, batteries, tires, factory support, and so much more to win at this level. To win, everything must go right, but to loose, just one small thing might go wrong. Case and point, Ryan Maifield. The TLR driver started the 1/8 nitro a-main from the pole position and was leading the way when his steering servo broke. While we don’t know for sure if he would have won had his servo not checked out, I honestly feel that even if Ty took home the win it would have been a tighter battle had Maifield stayed in the race.
So, here is my question. What is a harder race to win? The 1/8 nitro off road world title, or an on road electric word title? Here is my take. While they are all extremely difficult, and costly to accomplish, the 1/8 nitro off road title is the hardest to win.
Here are just a few reasons why I feel this way. Not only is there a greater chance of mechanical failure driving an off road nitro powered vehicle, with an hour long main event, driver fatigue plays a significant role. Additionally, just making the a main at the 1/8 nitro off road worlds is much more difficult. One does not simply qualify well, make the main and go. There is a bump up/bump through system that taxes the driver and equipment. Case and point, Cody King, one of the nicest drivers I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with and the 2010 1/8 nitro off road world champion. He is one of only three drivers to make the a main the past four years (the other 2 being Ryan Maifield and 2012 champion Robert Batlle and his Mugen MBX7). In 2012 and 2014 Cody had to battle, and battle hard to make the a main as he did not qualify originally in the top 12 and thus was not automatically in the semis. The result, more time on the drivers stand, mentally taxing the driver, and more time and wear on his equipment. TQ at the 2012 1/8 nitro off road world championships, Elliot Boots and his Kyosho, seemed to have everything going their way. Unfortunately his servo let go in the semis and he never advanced to the a main.
Now, let me make clear, I am not taking ANYTHING away from 1/12 on road pan car and 1/10 touring car drivers and their pursuit of a world title. It is still a task that only a select few can drivers accomplish and only with the right equipment and perfect set of circumstances. Hats off to all who have the skill and are privileged enough to travel the world and and make r/c racing their living.