Lee Martin wins Indoor Italian Job Race

Lee Martin took an emphatic win at the weekend’s Italian Job Race held at the unique World-class indoor facility in North Eastern Italy. Qualifying witnessed World Champion Robert Batlle stamp his authority however it would be Lee Martin who would start on pole after the semi finals. Fellow Brit Neil Cragg had a tougher time as he was running comfortably in the top 3 however a series of silly crashes lost him 20 secs and despite pushing only recovered to 7th, which put him on pole for the ‘LCQ’ – the Last Chance Qualifier for the main final, Neil Cragg set off and made no mistakes during the 5mins taking lucky P13 on the grid.

Overall standings F1 | Overall standings F2
F1 Final Result | F2 Final Result

The hour-long final started with Alessandro Stocco calling a brief timeout before we were underway, Lee Martin led away with Robert Batlle chasing him only to let Boots by, Boots caught up to Lee and harried him for several laps, the pair unfortunately tangled with Lee coming off worse, showing exceptional class and sportsmanship Boots waited until the marshal set down Lee’s car. This played into the hands of Robert Batlle who shaved several seconds off the lead. Due to the high-speed nature of the track the final felt like it was running at a furious pace, a single mistake could cost you acres of track position and drop you down, whilst fighting in the lead Batlle exited the pits and his car stopped, he lost a lap and came out in 8th/9th and would eventually recover to 2nd in a drive that would have been awesome were it not for being cut short again due to a wire coming loose in his battery switch. Elliott Boots was another early casualty, despite showing some awesome speed and driving capabilities as always the Worlds TQ suffered bad luck as his car retired with rear diff problems having an altercation with the pit exit, having made the main via the LCQ Neil Cragg’s chances were hurt as he ran out of fuel unfortunately.

This promoted Lee, who would go onto rightfully win; the semi finals usually pre-empt the final story in terms of who’s quick and so it was Lee kept his MBX7 together and pounded round and round to take a deserved victory. Reno Savoya would finish 3rd after a pretty disastrous qualifying having seemingly raced everyone at some point of the race – likewise Yannick Aigoin who took a great 2nd, experience the key behind those two results. After the final we caught up with a clearly delighted Lee who seems to be enjoying his 1/8 buggy racing more than ever, no doubt spurred on by this latest victory, also delighted was his acting mechanic and team manager John-Yves Ferte who emotionally dedicated the win to ‘all those who have doubted his and his teams’ ability’ to perform, he would have preferred a 1,2, but Lee securing the win proved very sweet.

All in all a very successful event despite the cold weather and hints of additive usage, we’d like to thoroughly thank our very kind and generous hosts Mau & Evlin of Maugrafix, Nicola of IBR Padova and everyone who helped us along the way! The brand Italian Job is taking forward strides along with the status of the IBR indoor facility!




Boots Italian Job Champion (September 2012, Asti)

In what might have turned out to be simply a race weekend ruined by rain turned into a great recovery for the organisers of the ambitious Italian Job race. Heavy rain set in over Friday night into Saturday morning which rendered the universally praised track saturated with standing water, and a gloomy outlook. Qualifying was postponed with the plan to wait until Sunday to see if the track would dry out with better weather on the horizon. At this point several drivers decided to jump ship and drive east to the indoor facility IBR Padova – a move that was seen as disrepectful towards the event organisers after having invited them to the event. However, weather is an unpredictable mistress… The event was billed as a re-run of the Euros with Champion Bloomfield set to attend, until he was forced to pull out only days prior due to illness, whilst Kyosho’s Swedish contingent raced over to get some practice at Padova, they made the effort and returned for the 7AM start on Sunday for qualifying, not so for others who were missed.

The drivers that did hold fast were rewarded with plenty of running on Sunday with 3 rocket rounds of qualifying, Boots TQing overall with Reno Savoya 2nd. The semis would see bad luck for Jerome Aigoin – his engine cutting as his car lay on its roof for a moment too long in the dying seconds of his semi, Dani Vega meanwhile was hit by a switch issue, he was superfast but failed to make the cut, the result however wasn’t too bad as he said he’d found a setup sweetspot with his Agama A8. The 45 min final looked like it would be the Boots show, Elliott having dominated his semi and Reno in P2, however it quickly turned into Boots vs. Ronnefalk, the pair chasing each other swapping positions for most of the final. Whilst Ronnefalk looked the quicker of the two, he suffered multiple flame outs in pitlane as each time he’d pit for fuel it was touch and go whether he’d make it out. Despite this and a tyre coming loose in the last 10 minutes he would finish 2nd, Savoya might have had a shot at Boots in P1 if it hadn’t been for his own flame out correction: throttle servo issues, relegating him to P4, the 3rd place going to Italy’s Alberto Papa. Weather is a constant threat for any event be it outside or even indoors, the Dirt Race track crew, Diego Fuser & Maugrafix team coped well in difficult circumstances and deserve the praise.