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Usually at a Worlds, we’d focus mainly on the goings-on at the event itself  however, at any Worlds there are always a few faces that are missed, absent for different reasons, more than geographic location last time around in Argentina 2012, there is a pretty well-stocked list of drivers who are ‘not in stock’ at Italy 2014.

If we start with the host nation, they have 25 drivers entered in the event (counting Mr Slovenia & Mr Monaco!) however there are two hugely talented future stars that are not entered; Riccardo Berton & Marco Baruffolo – who should be there, they are challenging for race wins already and will surely be challenging for Championships in years to come, there may not be another Worlds in Italy in their careers, the ideal platform for the young duo to make a name for themselves.

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Also absent for the Azzurri are the likes of Stefano Cantoni, Riccardo Perin, Eghlis Gallo & Walter ‘Konka’ Floris, maybe not headline-grabbing as often as Berton or Baruffolo but strong additions to the Italian team that are absent leaving a few holes. Having said that, seeing a Worlds in Europe with a 25-strong driver lineup from the host country is almost unheard of.

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The next long list of absentees are from the USA – next host of the IFMAR Worlds in 2016 – last year’s 10th place finisher Taylor Petersen unable to take such a significant amount of time off work to attend, Taylor’s smile and antics often serving as a refreshing change to the daily hum of a Worlds.

Also staying home are the AMain.com team with Chad Bradley, Austin Blair, Curtis Door, Dylan Rodriguez and Marty Korn – the Chico boys ran the numbers and the cost to attend a 10-day long event including travel days, hotel nights, rental cars, food not to mention equipment…. Was astronomical…

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Complimenting that N.American list we have of course Arizona’s Billy Fischer & Tanner Denney, Billy starred at the 2010 Worlds in Thailand and at the 2014 ROAR nats beat the likes of Tebo, Drake, Wheeler & Wernimont. Looking further south towards Venezuela was 2012’s 16th place qualifier Renato Tradardi Jr. – the likable Associated driver not attending sadly.

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The other names we have or have not forgotten include Zac Ryan & Matt Griffin of Australia not to mention Painy, Panic & CJ – you’re here in spirit boys! Who could forget Simon ‘Big Red’ Willetts, again most likely a case of the Worlds being too long to attend.

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Most events are 3 days in length, bigger ones 4-5 days, the Electric Offroad Worlds run two World Championship classes in six days, has Offroad morphed into 1/8 Onroad where its just about burning fuel and product for the top 10 to still be the same? Marathon events does not a Worlds make…

Removing the warm up event was a cost-saving suggestion, and whilst it means a bit less travel, 10 days in a row at a dusty track anywhere in the World is a serious test of man, machine and most likely one’s sanity. Not forgetting the poor tyre companies who’ve all been in the dark about what surface the track would eventually be, forcing them to ship over thousands of pair of tyres in order to cover every eventuality of tyre tread, compound and foam.

Expect madness, breakdowns, antics and stories as we all attempt to survive this marathon of a race, or is it in fact a rally? They say a week is a long time in politics, it seems a week isn’t long enough in RC Racing…

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