Typically, the only day off for the event’s fastest
qualifiers, lower mains are traditionally run on the
penultimate day of racing action, as only the 1/8 and
higher finals run on championship day. 2006 World
Champion Mark Pavidis was among the former winners
who kept his hopes alive, bumping out of the 1/16 Even
along with Jorn Neumann, Nicolas Reynaud, and Daniel
Vega to race on Saturday, while 2002 Champ Greg
Degani was not so lucky; neither was 2002 Top Qualifier
Richard Saxton, who missed the bump-up in the 1/16
Odd race behind A Main Hobbies compatriots Chad
Bradley, Marty Korn, and Curtis Door. Nuno Rebelo
finished fourth behind the freight train of teammates to
extend his week at the Worlds.
Just seven races were left for the final day, and by the
time the program reached the semifinals, it seemed
as though the surprises were over— 24 of the fastest
drivers on the planet were separated into 30-minute
semifinals with the race’s two most dominant drivers,
Elliott Boots on the Odd ladder and Robert Batlle on
the Even side, leading the charge into the first corner.
Only one would survive; a servo failure in the first six
minutes of the first semifinal knocked Boots out of the
race, who had to watch as Canadian Ty Tessman took
control ahead of Team Associated teammates Ryan
Maifield and Yannick Aigoin, with teenage Swedish
sensation David Ronnefalk, the warm-up top qualifier,
in tow. American racer Taylor Peterson was the final of
the race’s transfers, with the only two two-time U.S.
National Champions, Ryan Cavalieri and Adam Drake,
among those not to make it out of the first semi. Batlle
won his semi handily, and with the faster time of the
two also earned the first spot on the grid for the final.
He was joined by two World Champions, Hara and King,
along with Josh Wheeler, Lee Martin, Ryan Lutz, and
Dakotah Phend–who raced his way into his first nitro
The competition could have seen it coming, but the
60-minute final was over well before the clock expired;
Batlle took advantage of an early mistake by Tessman
to force the only lead change on lap 14 of the 76
completed, where he maintained a comfortable cushion
and got by for a victory lap as the only car to cross
the line for the 76th time. He also clocked the fastest
single lap of the event, placing an emphatic stamp on a
brilliantly dominating drive. The win was Mugen’s third
(1990, 2004) and Novarossi’s second (1990), but the
first for tire manufacturer Pro Circuit, for the country of
Spain, and for himself.
To the victor go the spoils -
and the champagne shower.
Runners-up Tessman and Hara
douse a very happy Batlle with
bottles of bubbly.