As the 2013 season slowly draws to frosty close, one of the biggest headlines of the year remains Atsushi Hara’s shock departure from HB / HPI – relations having soured and a split hastily arranged which released Hara into the driver market as a free agent back in August. Three months later and Hara has given very little away as to his grander plans – immediately after the split he raced and won the FEMCA Asian Championships with the Mugen MBX7 however, describing the car as ‘aggressive’ and not quite suited to his style.

“Hara the privateer Kyosho driver beating the best drivers in the World”

This weekend at C-Netic in Indonesia against a much stronger field of talent two current World Champions, the wily Hara – seemingly a master of making sure his car lasts the distance came out on top after a nail-biting finish with Australia’s Kyle McBride.

Hara the privateer Kyosho driver beating some of the best drivers in the World – Kyosho factory boys included rounding out the podium, he was quick to recognise the MP9 designer Yuichi Kanai, calling him (the), “Best car designer!!!” –  higher praise than that is hard to come by, not to mention incredibly rare from a multi-class World Champion.

Kyle McBride & Atsushi Hara during the last 5 minutes at C-Netic 2013

Despite his TQ & win at C-Netic doing no harm for his reputation and credentials as one of the best free agents to ever become available for such a length of time, there might be several companies salivating at the thought of the trophies, accolades, PR and sales his signature would bring, but one wonders whether any single car manufacturer has the financials to keep a heavyweight like Hara on their books. Kyosho have themselves a formidable winning machine of a team already assembled worldwide; Jared Tebo, Cody King, David Ronnefalk, Elliott Boots, Jerome Aigoin, Kyle McBride & highly rated Japanese youngster Wataru Takashiro – hard to believe there would be enough spare cash in the race team budget to bring him on board.

Last month Hara was tight-lipped on the subject of starting his own brand – a feat few have managed successfully, however meetings with Kingstar in Taiwan appear to point to something in the works. Usually with this type of article we finish with a ‘watch this space’ line, but we’d rather you keep note of the size of those A Main Hobbies & Protek RC logos …