Event Coverage News

Team Associated’s Worlds-winning modded B5M 2WD


We kicked off our reporting of the 2015 Worlds with a very popular ‘Spy Shots’ story, it would prove the only opportunity to get an inside look on Team Associated’s well-hidden 2WD cars. Having dominated the 2WD final with 4 of 10 cars in the final, not to mention Spencer Rivkin racing to a deserved victory, unfortunately press were denied the request to shoot the ‘winning 2WD buggy’ bodyshell off.

Longterm rivals TLR took the bold and proactive move after the posting of our story to release their own pictures of their 2WD prototype, showing the world what was ‘under the hood’ for this special race – the first 1/10 Worlds not on dirt in it’s history. Thats not to say we didn’t thoroughly enjoy using Yatabe Arena’s unique balcony view vantage to full effect, allowing those sneaky paparazzi style photos!

We thought we’d give viewers another look at the car that ended up winning 2WD, with photos shot earlier in the week.

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“Team Associated are sporting a heavily modified B5M with a 3 gear laydown handmade gearbox which has been updated since the pre worlds, the rear shock tower has been moved forward over the top of the gearbox and thus the shocks are mounted to the front of the rear arms à la Yokomo. Rear hubs and front caster blocks appear to be different/new – leading us to believe a roll center change in the car”

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Under the Hood: Top 3 – Coelho, Naoto, Ronnefalk

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Click here to see the Top 3 cars

Video: 2015 Worlds: 4WD A2 & A3

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Click here for A1 Video

Bruno Coelho takes dominant 4WD Worlds title victory


Worlds Coverage Links:
Coverage Page | Videos | Photos | History | – Day 7 Photo Gallery 
Overall Finals Results | Final Standings (4WD) | Video: A1, A2, A3

Those readers who haven’t followed our 4WD Worlds coverage may be a little unfamiliar with the name Bruno Coelho, better known for his touring car prowess, it’s fair to say that the 2015 IFMAR Worlds have produced two new ‘surprise’ World Champions – few would have picked them as favourites prior to the events, but during them, they came to be dominant forces.

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More Photos here

Coelho’s march to the top was evident as he was immediately setting the pace already from early practice, going onto TQ 4/5 rounds of qualifying and take A finals one and two, the first slightly controversial with Coelho misjudging the blind table top up ramp, landing on the wrong side of the track, waiting for just long enough to satisfy himself and the head referee, rivals called for justice and blood after the final, a protest was lodged, later withdrawn and the A1 result made official.

Watch Videos of: A1, A2, A3

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All this only served to fire up the quiet 22 year old Portuguese star, rare to show emotion, he went onto crush the field in A2, an anticlimax of a final but only goes to show how Coelho had everyone beat on the day. The 3rd A final going to warm up winner and 4x World Champion Naoto Matsukura securing himself the runner up spot and David Ronnefalk taking the final spot on the 4WD Worlds Podium. Disappointment for 2nd placed qualifier Michal Orlowski, at only 14-years old suffered nerves in A1, he was out driven and out muscled by those around him.

Watch Videos of: A1, A2, A3

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To sum up Yatabe Arena put on a brilliantly professional event, we thank Hiroshi Suzuki, his staff, IFMAR, Masami Hirosaka and Miura-san for their kindness, hospitality and hosting us. The astroturf surface provided a completely different challenge to drivers compared with past ‘dirt’ World Championships and perhaps different Champions as well, they are however both very worthy Champions – the right guys won in the end Spencer & Bruno.


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Naoto wins final 4WD A final


Worlds Coverage Links:
Coverage Page | Videos | Photos | History | – Day 7 Photo Gallery | Watch Live 
Results: A1 | A2 | A3

With a World Championship already decided, Bruno Coelho heeded advice to sit out A3 and allowed his fellow finalists to determine the rest of the final positions and all important podium. With Michal Orlowski starting infront he led round until the triple and 180 corner, where Naoto got a bit of an opening and expertly set him up to switch back and claim the inside line into the rumble strips corner, Orlowski caught napping slightly by the aggressive Naoto who was making sure he was going to start lap 2 out front. Orlowski’s unfortunate showing in the finals continued as a repeat of A1 saw him land on the bott dot infront of the drivers stand and clip the corner, allowing Ronnefalk to sweep past as well as the yet-again fast starting Ryan Maifield.

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The order out front would stay the same until Naoto made a mistake and allowed Ronnefalk to close, however he would go onto take the win in A3 ensuring himself 2nd and Ronnefalk claiming 2nd in A3 and 3rd overall.

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Video: 2015 IFMAR Worlds: 4WD A1

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Bruno Coelho 4WD Worlds TQ

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Worlds Coverage Links:
Coverage Page | Videos | Photos | History | – Day 7 Photo Gallery | Watch Live 
Results: Q1 | Q2 | Q3 | Q4 | Q5 – Qualifying Standings

With the top 6 unchanged overnight it was Jared Tebo with his 3rd place result in Q5 that proved to be the big mover that shook things up a little in the top 10, having sat 12th overnight after a strong Q4, Tebo’s result saw him tie on points with Ryan Maifield and Yusuke Sugiura both whom had good showings in the final round. The unfortunate man to get pushed out of the top 10 was Lee ‘Rocky’ Martin, unable to punch through his 25 points score of yesterday, the Brit will start top of the B with Ty Tessmann right behind – the Canadian driver able to haul himself up from 19th overnight to 12th after taking 8th for the round in Q5.

Not taking any of the headlines away from Bruno Coelho’s showing, four TQs out of five is mighty impressive, not to mention his 17.0 laptime in Q5 will likely have rivals head scratching.

Honourable mention to young Kaito Kodera however, the young driver rueing his bad luck in Q1 which in the end cost him – two mistakes on the final straight on the final lap dropping him off a top 5 points result which would have seen a likely A final potential start sees him Top of the C main…

Also to the current 4WD World Champion Steven Hartson, who’s reign will come to a disappointing end – unable to defend his title having qualified a lowly 35th, after the highs of 2WD, the Team Associated struggling in 4WD with Kody Numedahl the highest placed qualifier in 16th.

Ultimately Hayato is the lucky man to make it into the A, had he been 3/10ths slower in Q5, he would have missed the cut.



Coelho goes even faster in Q5


Worlds Coverage Links:
Coverage Page | Videos | Photos | History | – Day 7 Photo Gallery | Watch Live 
Results: Q1 | Q2 | Q3 | Q4 | Q5 – Qualifying Standings

With TQ/pole already settled in yesterday evening’s closing Q4, pressure was off Bruno Coelho however the Portuguese driver still delivered impressively setting the fastest time so far in qualifying, the only man to manage 18 laps as well. Naoto Matsukura failed to repeat yesterday’s heroic turn of speed, limping home after some mistakes with a 17/ 5:06.568, not so for Michal Orlowski, who earns the nickname ‘Mr Consistent’, and could be one to watch should there be any mistakes from Coelho or even fireworks in the A final.

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Also having a great run was Jared Tebo with 17/5:01.511, much needed to haul the 2WD TQ into the A final to start 7th, the opposite however for his good mate Ryan Cavalieri, having a minor issue even before the heat began, summing up Team Associated’s struggles here in the 4WD portion of the Worlds.


The top 10 of round 5 saw a few more unfamiliar names scrape it through, after a mixed quali practice pacesetter Yusuke Sugiura managed 6th whilst Ryan Maifield won the B heat after Tom Cockerill made a few rare errors. Hayato Matsuzaki wasn’t far behind and managed to do just enough to make it to start  10th in the main.

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Video: 4WD Q4 Top Heat – Drama!

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Drama in Q4 as Coelho just sneaks it


Worlds Coverage Links:
Coverage Page | Videos | Photos | History | – Day 6 Photo Gallery | Watch Live 
Results: Q1 | Q2 | Q3 | Q4 – Standings after Q4

Drama arrived in Q4, but more on that a little later – first of all, we have an overall TQ for 4WD, the deserving Bruno Coelho.

Once again Tom Cockerill dominated his B heat, setting a time only bettered by the top 4, starting first in the top heat was Naoto, from the off Bruno Coelho appeared to reel him in and Naoto looked a little uptight with a couple of minor minor errors, but enough to see Coelho come steaming up behind. Naoto, after a small error at the start of the straight pulled off an extremely sporting move allowing Coelho to sweep past at the end of the straight early on, almost to the extent of getting out of his way, but rather Naoto latched onto Coelho and seemed to pressurise the Portuguese driver somewhat towards the latter stages of the heat.

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With a minute left and Coelho securely in the lead and Matsukura back up to 2nd on pace by about 2 secs over Matsukura, head referee Dallas made the rather bizarre call and asked pace leader and probable Q4 TQ to move aside for the car behind – 2nd placed Naoto Matsukura – also his main challenger for TQ of the event (had Naoto gone onto TQ Q4…), Coelho thought initially Dallas had been advising Naoto that the car infront was the leader and beware, however the surprise call resulted in him losing focus and dropping concentration.


The strange official call enabled Matsukura to light the afterburners after being let by, he shot off whilst Coelho lost some of his momentum, it was only yet another turn of events that would swing the balance back in Coelho’s favour…

With Coelho still on course to TQ, by a projected half a second with a lap left, Naoto suffered an issue halfway through the lap, as poor gear mesh saw him lose some drive, and he limped over the line with an 18.994, Coelho himself had a poor last lap – 18.118, without that problem, and Naoto doing another 17.2 lap and with Coelho’s tardy last lap, Naoto would have TQ’d and taken it to the decider in Q5.

Asking around in the pits, many seasoned veterans failed to understand the call – many summing it up as, you don’t ask the leader to move aside, we understand the referee had said to Bruno that ‘everybody’ is racing the clock – however given the unique circumstances of the call and the two pacesetting protagonists involved it seems unusually high-profile and under scrutiny.