By Aaron Waldron
The IFMAR Electric Off-Road World Championships has determined separate titelists for the 2WD and 4WD category every two years since 1985 - even though that year, the "Stock" and "Modified" classes were technically open to cars of either drivetrain configuration. While four drivers have managed to win IFMAR titles in both classes, and three did so at the same event, it's not entirely uncommon for a racer to do vastly better in one class than the other. This year was no exception, with just four drivers making the A-Main in both divisions.
For the sake of curiosity, I fired up Apple Numbers (Mac's quirky Microsoft Excel equivalent) and opened up the results of both 2WD and 4WD classes from last week's Worlds in Japan. I recorded the finishing position for each of the 145 drivers that competed - 142 in 2WD, and 128 in 4WD. If a driver did not compete in 2WD, he received 143 points for that class, and those who didn't compete 4WD received 129.
Then, I sorted by lowest total. To break any ties, I chose the driver who had the single-best finish in either category.
Unsurprisingly, many drivers' finishes were within ten positions of each other. Peter Forster finished 50th in both classes.
Some drivers, however, had significant changes in fortune after the completion of 2WD. Shinya Kimura finished 89 spots better in 4WD than he did in 2WD. Travis Amezcua's luck, however, went the opposite direction - he was 80 positions worse in 4WD than in 2WD.
Masatsugu Ido, the Japanese driver who skipped 2WD to care for his mother after an accident, was the top finisher who only ran one class (71st overall).
The four drivers who made both A-Mains are the top four drivers when both classes are combined, with Ryan Maifield taking home the unofficial title of "best overall" racer at last week's Worlds.