Track Name – RC Circuit Jean Nougier Club – Association Monte Automodelisme Club Country – France Location – Monteux Direction – Anti-clockwise Surface – Asphalt
Monteux, France is the location for the 21st running of the IFMAR 1:8 Onroad World Championship. The third time the French have put on the sport’s original World Championship, the track is located in the south of the country and is named after the grandfather of the man responsible for its creation. Built in 1999, the Association Monte Automodelisme Club (AMAC) run facility came about from a childhood passion for cars of former club president Eric Nougier. Eric’s grand father specialised in building motor bikes and after his father took that over they also added rc products to their shop. While Eric’s initial interest was in RC planes he soon discovered cars and as they say the rest is history. Expanding to two shops, the second of which was opened in the nearby city of Avignon, they added a location for control line flying and also a small track for cars. Built next to a river however after it was flooded several times the search began for a new location.
Approaching a local kart track it was agreed that rc racing would run perfectly alongside and on land given to them by local government the track was born. Also the location for Motoball, football with the players riding on specially built motorbikes and trying to score goals with an oversized ball. A sport close to the Nougier family, the grandfather having built over 300 of these bikes, it was appropriate that the rc track be named after him, hence it being called RC Circuit Jean Nougier.
As a track it covers a total length of 327 metres. A regular stop on the French National Championship calendar, prior to the Worlds the biggest event it has hosted was an EFRA GP in 2013. With a club membership of around 100 with a 50/50 split of nitro and electric racers, in preparation for the 2017 Worlds the track was completed resurfaced in February. While the layout wasn’t changed putting down new asphalt allowed them to increase the level of banking on the track. During the work the old, rather high and ‘dangerous’ curbing was removed and replaced with new flatter curbs.
While facilities around the track are not on a par with those of last year’s 1:10 Onroad Nitro World Championship held at Gubbio, the most important thing, the track, is proving popular with drivers. Reigning champion Simon Kurzbuch said while it is ‘a very difficult track’ it is a track that is ‘worthy of a World Championship’. The Swiss driver said the layout allows and rewards risk. The back sweeper seems to be one key area in which time can be made or lost. Adding to the difficulty of the layout are the conditions drivers have faced so far. Kurzbuch said, ‘everyday is different’ with wind causing drivers a lot of difficulty yesterday as it carried a lot of dust from the surrounding countryside onto the track. Former Champion Robert Pietsch said while the day yesterday, the first day of official practice for all drivers, ‘was for nothing’ because the wind changed how the car felt every lap he said, ‘I like the track, it is a very good 1:8 track’. Describing it as technical he said the sweeper is not a regular corner in shape and as a result it is not easy to place the car in the right line but like Kurzbuch he likes the fact you need to take risks to find speed.