Updated: Jun 11, 2018
Another great race for the IDRA 2018 Challengers Cup! We greatly thank Stefano Mirabelli, and all of the staff and volunteers at Model Drome, for his hard work and dedication to grow the community in Italy and establish a strong platform for pilots to compete in the growing international series. Additionally, IDRA would like to thank Gizmark for partnering with and lending support for the Genova Internationals, Race 5 of the Series, and giving the opportunity to showcase the sport and hobby to over 7,000 attendees. To those who saw the race, we welcome you to the international drone community!
Again, like the Denver Internationals, Race 4 at AUVSI Xponential, the lead-up to the Genova Internationals was very exciting. Several ranked pilots from Switzerland, who performed well at the Suhr Regionals, Race 3, were determined to compete in Genova and solidify their positions in the Top 32 Pilot Rankings. #6 Ranked Moritz Werffeli "Lazy," from Zurich, Switzerland, Race Champion of the Suhr Regionals, #15 Ranked Florian Gluszka "FloFPV," from Malleray, Switzerland, 4th Place finisher from Suhr Regionals, and #23 Ranked Maxime Guarnero "MadMax FPV," from Vevey, Switzerland, Semifinalist from Suhr Regionals, all registered compete in the Genova Internationals. Not only was it going to be interesting to see these talented pilots compete again, but to also observe how the rankings hold up against skilled Italian and French pilots.
Day 1 of the race was divided between the Team BlackSheep Oblivion Team Stock Race in the morning and Qualifying Rounds 1 & 2 in the afternoon. Teams competed head-to-head, each pilot aiding to the overall performance of the team. Team South France ended up as the champion of the race and Team West (Switzerland) finished as the Runner-Up.
After the first two rounds of qualifying Mirko Cesena "CesiX" was the Top Qualifier with a 28.562 sec E.T. for 3 laps. On Day 3, Emanuel Tomasello "EMA" would best that performance and solidify the Top Qualifier position with a 27.627 sec E.T. Qualifying performances made it questionable if the Swiss pilots would perform well in Genova. #6 Ranked Moritz Werffeli "Lazy" only had one good E.T., a 30.152 sec E.T. in Round 1, and struggled in the latter qualifying rounds. #15 Florian Gluszka "FloFPV" and #23 Ranked Maxime Guarnero "MadMax FPV" also struggling during qualifying rounds and placed 14th and 15th, respectfully, in qualifying rankings. Top E.T.'s per round, and the bonus points awarded for them, were moderately distributed among the higher ranked pilots; Emanuele Tomasello and Mirko Cesena earning the majority.
Round 1 of Eliminations adhered to qualifying performances and rankings. #6 Ranked Moritz Werffeli "Lazy" turned it around, leaving his qualifying struggles behind, and had two first place finishes and two of the top E.T.'s in Roune 1. Unfortunate for #15 Ranked Florian Gluszka "FloFPV", he wasn't able to improve from qualifying and was subsequently eliminated.
Round 2 of Eliminations, Quarterfinals, started to separate the men from the boys. #6 Ranked Moritz Werffeli "Lazy" continued to finish first in both runs, registering the top two E.T.'s in the round, a 28.48 sec E.T. and 28.676 sec E.T. Talk about consistent! Mirko Cesena "CesiX" was also super consistent during quarterfinals, placing first both runs and registering the third lowest E.T. with a 29.396 sec E.T. If that wasn't enough, his other time, a 29.667 sec E.T., would have sufficed. Other Gpilots, like Guido Fabbrini, Andrea Farina, and Maxime Guarnero, were also performing at optimal levels.
Round 3 of Eliminations, Semifinals, played contrary to the last statement. The majority of the pilots, who performed well in the Quarterfinals, were eliminated and performed worse. Perhaps the competition was tougher? Maybe the pressure got to some? Who knows. Even though #6 Ranked Moritz Werffeli "Lazy" didn't enjoy two first place finishes, he still advanced with 5 points, the round's fastest E.T. at 27.355 sec, and channel choice in the Final Round. Emanuele Tomasello "EMA" performed better than in the Quarterfinals, earning 4 points and registering the 3rd fastest E.T. at 29.021 sec. Benoit Couturier "SartoRuis" would also advance with 4 points, and Mirko Cesena "CesiX" gets lucky, after crashing out in Run 2 with 0 points, and has enough to advance to the Finals with 3 points. He also had the second fasted E.T. with 28.806 sec. Depending on how you look at it, the major upset of the Semifinals was the elimination of #23 Ranked Maxime Guarnero "MadMax FPV."
Final Round! #6 Ranked Moritz Werffeli "Lazy" was at his best during Round 4 of Eliminations, registering the two fastest E.T.'s in the round, a 26.557 sec and 26.58 sec E.T. Again, super consistent and more than enough to get the Race Championship with 6 points for the round. Emanuele Tomasello "EMA," the Top Qualifier, struggled in the Finals and finished with 0 points for the round. It was a battle for the Runner-Up spot! Mirko Cesena "CesiX" was running slower than usual, but consistent, with a 30.891 sec and 30.093 sec E.T. Benoit Couturier "SartoRuis" was very close to a 2nd place finish in Run 1, losing to Mirko by a tenth of a second, and improved to a 28.828 sec E.T. and 2nd place finish in Run 2. Mirko and Benoit both swapped 2nd and 3rd place finishing positions, attributing them being tied at 3 points. The tie was broken by Mirko Cesena (CesiX)'s higher qualified position at 2nd. Tough luck, but qualifying position is valuable!
The Genova Internationals, Race 5 of the IDRA 2018 Challengers Cup, had major implications to the season and the Top 32 Pilot Rankings. First, the race further validated the rankings heading into the race. Like the Denver Internationals, the majority or all the ranked pilots were successful in reaching the Semifinals and both races were won by the highest ranked pilot (Shaun Taylor "Nytfury" and Moritz Werffeli "Lazy"). After earning 247 points, Moritz Werffeli "Lazy" passed Shaun as the #1 Ranked pilot in the world, with a total of 408 season points. Runner-Up, Mirko Cesena "CesiX," is now #4 Ranked with 197 points. Mirko is the highest ranked Italian pilot. Maxime Guarnero "MadMax FPV" made the largest jump, from #23 Ranked to #6 Ranked, after earning 94 points to reach a total of 171 season points. Even though he had a bad performance, Florian Gluszka "FloFPV" earned another 45 points to make a total of 153 season points. He moved from #15 Ranked to #11 Ranked. 3rd Place finisher, Benoit Couturier "Sarto Ruis," is now tied for #14 Ranked with 123 points. He is the highest ranked French pilot. 4th Place finisher and Top Qualifier, Emanuele Tomasello "EMA," is #16 Ranked with 120 points. Emanuele is the second highest ranked pilot from Italy.
So what does this mean for the season and rankings going forward? Well, this weekend is another significant race at the San Bernardino County Fair, near Las Angeles, California. #3 Ranked Dallas Kemp "Murica FPV" will compete and is gunning to take away the #1 Ranked position away from Moritz Werffeli "Lazy." Dallas can do it if he wins the race and racks up a lot of points from registering the quickest E.T.'s and placing first during elimination runs. But, he has a problem. #17 Ranked Andy Marachilian "DolmaFPV" is competing as well and is hoping to get back into the Top 10. Don't let the rankings fool you; Andy is very fast. He finished 3rd at the Phoenix Regionals, Race 1, where Dallas was eliminated in the Semifinals; the caveat being that Dallas was Top Qualifier. Andy was also the World Champion of the 2017 Challengers Cup, winning in January; however, Dallas didn't compete last season. Lastly, Andy is coming off a significant head-to-head win over #2 Ranked Shaun Taylor "Nytfury" at Open Grove. One could say, although significant, the Open Grove race can't be referenced since it played no impact in any league's 2018 season. Whether or not you agree with that statement, #17 Ranked Andy Marachilian "DolmaFPV" is looking strong heading into the San Bernardino Regionals.
The San Bernardino Regionals will be live streamed on Saturday, May 19th, by Flite Factory and we will be posting results and updates throughout the weekend.
Join us on Facebook Live, on Monday at 4pm EST, for Justin Haggerty to release and discuss the new Top 32 Pilot Rankings and full results from the San Bernardino Regionals, Race 6 of the IDRA 2018 Challengers Cup.
As always, stay safe, have fun, and we'll see you at the next race!