In any discipline of motorsport, there is a flagship event or series that all look up to - the biggest superstars, the fastest machines, the wealth of history. The Mini Autodromo Internacional Zeca Elias is ready to welcome the world’s flagship R/C race - the original, the legendary, the fabled.
It is, of course, the 2015 IFMAR 1/8 I.C Track World Championship.
1/8 On Road is the category that first launched R/C racing almost 50 years ago. The height of technological advancement is what this category is founded on - although manufacturers have come and gone, and the dwindling entry lists have forced media coverage to focus elsewhere, it retains the irresistible charm of a deeply rich history, with a certain sense of class, grandeur and purity.
The venue itself is of interest. Having only opened in December 2013, it is a modern layout - instead of winding corners with sweeping kerb sections, it makes use of a very fast series of straights linked by a number of awkwardly angled corners in the infield section. Still being a wide circuit, and a very open one at that, the infield section could produce a massive amount of overtaking.
In terms of drivers and cars, there is only one person who has managed to remain the centre of attention - the indomitable Lamberto Collari. Searching for a tenth Worlds win, he will be doing so within a brand new team and a brand new car, switching from long-time sponsors Kyosho to the relatively unknown newcomers of Inf1nity. The likes of Pietsch and Sahashi will be looking to defend and retain their recent titles respectively, but several other drivers have an equal chance of making history.
38 years on from Butch Kroells’ first IFMAR Worlds win with the Team Associated RC100, 1/8 On Road has stood firmly at the top of the scale motorsport ladder.
Long may it continue.