LRP Electric Touring Car Masters
April 23, 2005
Event Name: LRP Electric Touring Car Masters
Event Location: Eppelheim, Germany
Each year LRP invites the top drivers in the world to compete in Eppelheim, Germany at the Electric Touring Car Masters. With 8 of the 10 A Main finalists from the 2004 IFMAR World Championships in attendance, it was assured to be a competitive event. Drivers from all over the world flocked to the gymnasium racetrack to compete for the title, and in the end they weren't disappointed.
With the A final grid set, World Champion Marc Rheinhard sat on pole with Atsushi Hara second and Team Associated/Reedy driver Juho Levanen in the third grid position. In the first A final Marc, Atsushi and Juho distanced themselves from the rest of the field within the first two laps and began to battle among themselves. An unfortunate incident between Atsushi and Juho allowed Marc to pull away, and created an opportunity for Yokomo/Reedy driver Masami Hirosaka to take over the second position. Juho captured the third position.
At the start of the second A final Marc, Atsushi, and Juho again separated themselves from the field and settled in to a blistering pace. As Marc lead, Atsushi bobbled and Juho moved in to the second position, only a fraction of a second behind Marc. Continuing to apply pressure, Juho and Atsushi keep pace with Marc for the next few laps until Marc hit a series of corner markers and unfortunately broke his car. With the World Champion out of the contest, Juho and Atsushi prepared for a race to the finish. As the two drivers began entering the back-markers, the race tightened up and Atsushi was only a few feet behind Juho. In typical form, Juho drove with ice in his veins as Atsushi applied constant pressure to pass, yet never touching the Finnish driver. At the finish line, Juho crossed less than half a second ahead of the hard-charging Hara. An instant classic was created.
Going in to the third A final with a win by either Rheinhard or Levanen secured the TC Masters title. The battle for the other podium positions, however, were still very much up for grabs. As the first minute expired, the battle for the win was shaping up to be a head-to-head battle between Rheinhard and Levanen. As Marc was leading and Juho was following in second, Atsushi sat in the third position waiting to take advantage of any misfortune. Marc again hit a series of dots that allowed Juho to nearly make a pass for the lead. As it played out, Juho had to back off and ended up getting out of the narrow groove, which allowed Atsushi to close in. Again the two tangled and allowed Masami and the sneaky Jilles Groskamp to assume the second and third position respectively. Jilles and Masami were in a position to fight for the third overall position. In the end, Marc crossed the line first securing the title, Jilles second and Masami in third.