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Today, Saturday 27th September 2014, a World Championship will be decided.

There are favourites for it, outsiders who have a chance and racers who are all still in it, the final day at these World Championships kicks off at 10 AM with the 1/8 A & B finals, followed by the quarters, semis and then the 60 min Grand Finale. With the semis at 30 mins in length, the drivers who do make the show will end up almost doing a full rebuild of their cars, as pit action will be frantic as friends and mechanics all pitch in to support the effort of getting the car ‘fresh’ for a 1 hour challenge.

Expect drama, upsets, surprises and twists and turns as stars are made and egos crushed along the way. Strange things tend to happen at World Championships, that extra bit of fairy dust sprinkled ontop adds pressure and expectation, it weighs heavier on some shoulders than others.

We’ll quickly take you through how the day works, the sub finals of the IFMAR Xmas tree format are 30 mins in length, 12 drivers per final, the top 4 bump [See Finals setup]. Bumping from last night’s 16 A & B finals were Bruno Coelho, Jo Bacro, Ale Stocco & Hannes Kaufler and from the B side, Carlos Duraes, Marcel Guske, Federico Ruggeri & Lorenzo Crolla. They’ll feature in the first two finals of the day.

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Who makes the main Final

Everyone has to race their way into the final, no one qualifies directly, not even Ty Tessmann as top qualifier. We’ve seen in the past as recently as 2012 when a broken servo ruined TQ Elliott Boots’ shot at a world title during the semis, Ty will be hoping his programme is solid and things are straightforward.

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The top 5 finishers from semi A and B will make it to the final, plus the next two fastest drivers from either Semi A or B – i.e. 6th & 7th from a ‘faster’ semi could make it, so not losing time is critical, just as much as finishing in the top 5 is to assure yourself you’ll be on the grid. The next point of importance is starting grid position, this is determined on the semi result, and usually does play a key role in how things might play out to start with in the final. The drivers with a true shot at the title ideally want to be starting at least in the top 5 in order to stay at the front.

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After that anything can and probably will happen, 60 mins is a long ol’ time for equipment to hold up as well as nerves and mental discipline. In place for this specific IFMAR Worlds is the abandonment of the minimum tyre diameter rule – IFMAR deciding that given the highly abrasive track surface, such a rule might see several drivers DQ’d after 60 mins of track time on even the hardest tyre compounds.

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Its nigh impossible to make predictions on who might take the title, the safe money is on Tessmann, he’s had a stunning Worlds so far, the whole car / engine / tyre package working in unison, Maifield is the man with momentum and eyes maybe his best shot at the title since 2010 ? Ronnefalk has struggled his way through quali, not driving at the level he’s shown and known for, Lee Martin is the man under the radar, slowly marching his way upwards but does he have the raw speed to challenge over 60 mins ? Jared Tebo has emerged as a contender after a slow start to practice, Rambo will be fired up after missing out on the main last time. Don’t discount Kyle McBride either, the Aussie proved the find in 2010 and likewise Elliott Boots, might benefit from the ‘softer’ track conditions and really find his groove. That leaves us with Robert Batlle, the reigning Champion, he had his bad luck in Q6, and is known for being a specialist when it comes to the semis and the final.

Watch the semis, they’ll give you a good idea who will be fast for the final.

So we hope you’ll join in today and follow some of the action, we’ll do our best to provide some of the best coverage we can, it’s been a long 9 days in Sicily so far and we wish all the drivers today the best of luck at the 15th IFMAR 1/8 Offroad World Championships.

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