NEILBUGGY

After a rather lengthy hiatus, Neil Cragg’s honest (sometimes brutally) take on race events is back!!

So Phil asked me to do a little report on each day. I’ll try my best to be entertaining, honest and even a little educational in them (OK, might be lying on the last one!)

I’m currently sat at 36,000ft on my way to the 2016 Worlds being held, as everybody knows, in Las Vegas, in the good old US of A. I remember being told we were going to Vegas back at the last worlds and being instantly excited, it’s America’s playground, it’s an awesome place and having experienced it a few times, it’s a real eye-opener.

I remember telling my wife Kloe where the worlds were being held and all of a sudden she was really interested in racing and supporting me…..I know, shocker right!

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Let’s jump in at the deep end then and talk about the somewhat controversial ‘qualifying race‘. I’ve got to be honest and say I’m not a big fan of this type of race, but then again there’s people who are having to take this route to get a spot in the main event.

Just at a quick glance there’s the guy who qualified 3rd at the last worlds, a couple of former worlds TQ guys and even a young Italian who was actually in the last worlds main final! These racers shouldn’t have to be doing a qualifying race, but what’s the solution? Maybe the top 50 from the last worlds get 1st refusal? I’m not the man to solve this problem but it’s something that needs looking at. 

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After having a good think about this I thought I’d take a look at the entry list for the main event and just where these spots are going and I was quite surprised by some of the numbers. I understand places have to be shared out and rightly so but here’s some of the countries that received more spots than some of the big European and Asian countries that compete at every worlds whether it’s in Las Vegas, China or even England: Brazil, Columbia, Israel, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa.

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Also America have over 60 entries! Come on guys, I know you have pretty much an entire bloc to yourselves and the host nation gets extra spots but this is too many!

I’m not blaming the racers from these country’s for going to the worlds, fair play, if I’d qualified I’d be going but I’m pretty sure these countries (obviously not America) haven’t been well represented at previous worlds but all of a sudden it’s in a world famous tourist city and everyone and his dog are going! It doesn’t seem fair to the racer’s who travel the world every year regardless of country.

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That’s another point, why is it every worlds has more and more entries every year and yet my entry fee goes up every year, where’s this money going? Is it just simply inflation? Am I funding someone’s holiday home? Is it the mafia?! I don’t want to cause controversy but a lot of us racers would like to know where this money goes. If it’s going to the host venue then I have absolutely no problem with that, that way it’s improving the event. Again I’m clearly not the smartest guy and I don’t want to be getting banned from future events or anything (alright JQ) but I think there’s some reasonable questions there?

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I’ll get off my soap box and get down to the most important part of this event, the racing. I’ve not been to the facility before but from videos and pictures it looks absolutely awesome, it looks like Chris Tocco and his crew have put together an excellent venue, more than worthy to host a world championship. The track looks dialed but word on the street is it could change dramatically between races so let’s keep an eye on that. All in all though I’m really looking forward to getting some laps in on what looks a fun track.

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Who’s going to win? I suppose if your a betting man you have to look at Tessmann. He’s the current WC, every part of his game is maxed out, he’s practiced at the track multiple times, it would take a brave man to bet against him.

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Then you have the Cavalieri’s, Maifield’s and the Rivkin’s who all have legitimate chances. Let’s be honest though, that’s the easy and boring answer, and in reality there are probably 10 people who if the stars line up could be walking away with the title. For me, it’s always nice to see a new winner at these events just to see their reactions and emotion’s, and it’s no fun if the same guy’s win all the time! I think we could see a good showing from the Europeans’s at this event with Ronnerfalk and Boots in strong form, along with the obvious threat of Robert Battle and the strongest Bloomfield I’ve seen in a while adds up to a good a chance as ever. Add in some slick Italian kids and we could be in for a cracker! 

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Me and Lee talked about this a few months ago and I said I fancied Kyle Mcbride for a surprise result, he’s a great driver, great kid, he’s been to the venue a few times and has a good all round package, hopefully I can be proven right! Gun to my head though? Ask me after the first practice day!! See y’all in a day or two for the next instalment of Neilbuggy!

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