TC5 Wins At Reedy Touring Car RaceMay 24, 2007
Event Name: Reedy Touring Car Race Of Champions
Event Location: Tamiya America, Aliso Viejo, CA
For the tenth year in a row, the top touring car drivers have assembled to compete in the Reedy Touring Car Race of Champions. The event has three categories of racing. The 19 Turn Spec class is the largest and filled with both sportsman and semi-pro drivers. The Open Modified class included some of the best touring car drivers in the country vying for a position in the prestigious Invitational class. The event is highlighted by thirty-two of the best touring car drivers from around the world in an eight-round battle for position.
In the Open Modified class, it was Team Associated/Reedy/LRP driver Kyle Skidmore taking his brand new Factory Team TC5 to the top qualifying spot. With two TQs he secured the pole position ahead of nine other A-main contenders including TC5 teammates Brent Thielke (third), Christer Andersson (fourth), Ryan Cavalieri (ninth), and Tommi Torikka (tenth). Going in to the third leg of the triple A mains, both Skidmore and Cavalieri had an A-main victory. Cavalieri needed to get through the field clean from his ninth qualifying spot to have a shot at the title.
As the tone sounded to start the race, Cavalieri worked his way in to the top 3 by the end of lap one. Contact between race leader Skidmore and second qualifier Kiyo Suzuki gave the lead to Cavalieri and Skidmore slipped back. A hard charge from fourth qualifier Christer Andersson paid off with a pass for the lead. Cavalieri, knowing that he didn't need the win to get the overall, held his position in second and claimed the overall title.
Among the thirty-two qualified drivers for the Invitational event, Team Associated fielded a small yet powerful team of Craig Drescher, Juho Levanen, and Rick Hohwart. Having their production TC5 kits for less than a month and limited testing beforehand put the teammates at a disadvantage. However, with such a small team and with the help of TC5 designer, Bob Stellflue, the drivers worked together to hone individual setups that suited each of their driving styles.
Great results from each driver saw them sitting 1-2-3 at the end of day one of racing. With such a strong start, each of them knew the second day would be difficult. As round 7 came close, it was apparent that if anyone else other than Rheinard were to win, someone had to do it now. Unlucky starts from the three drivers in round 7 took them out of contention for the overall victory, so now the focus shifted to the final round.
In the first heat of round 8, Juho Levanen blasted from the grid in to the lead and never looked back. With a win in the last round he needed a bit of luck from the other races to secure a podium position. All he could do now was watch the remaining three heats.
As Drescher lined up for the final round, in the final heat for the final race at the Tamiya America facility, a moment of surrealism passed over the crowd. They were about to witness the last race at the beloved facility. As the tone sounded, Drescher took advantage of his front row-inside starting position and left the competition in the dust. With the victory in his last race, Drescher secured the second spot on the podium dropping team mate Levanen to 3rd.
Hohwart didn't fair so well on day two. Some untimely crashes while in the top three dropped him back to fifteenth overall and third American overall, still not too bad considering this was the most competitive field ever at the Reedy Race.
As the book is closed on another Reedy Race, it's truly sad to see the location change from the Tamiya facility. Over the past five years, Aliso Viejo over Memorial Day weekend has been the destination for hundreds of RC racers. Plans are already in the works for the 2008 Reedy Race in Southern California, so be sure to clear your calendar for next year to attend the first Reedy Race in its new location.
On behalf of Team Associated, Reedy Modifieds and RC racers all over, "Thank you, Tamiya" for your hospitality and commitment to hosting the Reedy Touring Car Race Of Champions.