Chassis – Mugen MBX-7R Engine – Ultimate M3T Tyres – ProCircuit Addictive P2 Compound Fuel – Nitrolux Radio/Servos – Sanwa/ Highest Body – Ultimate Remarks – Spanish upcoming talent Juan Carlos Canas is running the MBX-7R from Mugen, equipped with a number of option parts such as Ultimate shock pistons and bladders, high traction differentials and front & rear CVD’s. He is also using a 40g rear weight on the chassis and a JConcepts lexan wing.
Chassis – Associated RC8B3.1 Engine – LRP ZZ.21C Square Stroke Tyres – AKA Moto Soft Long Run Fuel – Runner Time Radio/Servos – Sanwa Body – JConcepts Remarks – Young Italian star Davide Ongaro is running a B3.1 from the Team Associated powered by the latest LRP square stroke engine fitted with an old traditional style cooling head instead of the standard low profile one. His car is only equipped with a couple option parts, such as +5mm FastRace rear shocks standoffs and JConcepts titanium steering turnbuckles.
Elliott Boots has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Sweden. The reigning champion took the first of the five scheduled qualifiers at the Gröndal Ring from top seed David Ronnefalk, the Swede costing himself the TQ after tangling with Neil Cragg on the last lap, the final separation 2/10ths of a second. Behind the two established title contenders, Davide Ongaro would open with a P3 run ahead of fellow up & coming teenager Juan Carlos Canas. The big turn around from his pace in controlled practice yesterday would come from Darren Bloomfield, the former champion posting 5th fastest ahead of 2015 Euro B Champion Riccardo Berton.
‘Better than expected’, was Boots reaction to his opening qualifier. The Kyosho driver continued, ‘I didn’t think it was a good run. I had a mistake on the straight which needed a marshal and I had a few sketchy laps’. The British driver said however he did benefit from having ‘a clear track most of the run so I stayed out of trouble’. Having struggled yesterday to decide on which tyre to use, he would choose Pro-Line’s X1 Suburb tyre for Q1 saying, ‘they felt pretty good, it made it easier to drive which I was looking for. It’s still edgy but that’s just the track’. In terms of his MP9 set-up, he said, ‘we changed a few things and went back more to our basic set-up and it was good’.
Ronnefalk summed up Q1 as ‘overall a good run’. The World Champion added, ‘on the last lap I caught cars which was bad timing. I thought I was alright and I would be ok to pass but I was too close to Neil (Cragg) and we touched in the air. It was totally my fault and I’m sorry for that. It was a good run till then as my laps were all 40-seconds before that’. Having ran all his practice runs in the No.10 spot of the tracks rather large driver stand, he said it took a bit of time to get used to being over on the opposite now in the No.1 position, he continued, ‘Overall I just wanted to put in a decent run. It’s a bummer but 2nd is still good if you look at the big picture’. In terms of his car, the HB Racing driver said, ‘I felt the shock package was too hard in the shakedown this morning but we left it as it was because the temperature would go up and it came good’. On tyres he used JConcepts’ Metrix tyre for Q1.
‘Good, we improved the tyre and the car’, was Ongaro’s view of his first qualifying attempt. The Team Associated driver said switching from AKA Enduro tyre to their Moto had made the car more easy over the bumps. Feeling the rear of his car is rolling too much for Q2, the World Championship finalist will change to a harder rear roll bar. While making ‘2 0r 3 small mistakes but nothing major’, the Italian was happy with his driving over the 5-minutes.
Fourth fastest Canas reported the feeling of the track was more aggressive today making his Mugen more difficult to drive. The Spaniard also had to deal with brake issues with the brakes set too much to the front and this gave him issues at the end of the straight as they locked up braking caused him to lose steering’. For Q2, the 2016 Euro A Finalist & Euro B Champion will switch to a harder front rollbar to improve the steering. On his driving over the 5-minutes, the 15-year-old said, the approach for today is too be ‘very smooth & safe’ to get into the Semi and then tomorrow he can push.
Bloomfield described his P5 time as, ‘Pretty good compared to yesterday’. The Agama driver continued, ‘we changed quite a bit but the biggest change was to go back to the standard shock caps’. Having run prototype Emulsion caps he said the lack of rebound with that set-up had caused the car to be lazy and ‘not very accurate’ but now with 50% rebound it ‘stops all that rolling around’. Also going down in the centre diff oil, the British driver said with it now ‘driving more like a front wheel it’s more driveable’. Having crashed 4-times in the warm-up for his heat, he said ‘when I came in for fuel I told myself don’t crash and see where I end up’. With no set-up changes planned for Q2, he will ‘clean it and watch what the track is doing’, drivers in the Top 3 heats having almost 5-hours between their first and second runs due to a change in the running order for Q2. Bloomfield said because it was a brand new car just a few days ago he’ll use that time to check over everything.
‘It was a safe run. Sixth is not so bad’, was Berton’s view of Q1. The Kyosho driver continued, ‘the car was better than yesterday. We changed back to the CP1 set-up because it worked better’. For Round 2 of qualifying the teenager will run anti-squat saying ‘the other Kyosho drivers are using it and like it so it should make my car better on the bumps. Behind Berton, Mugen’s Robert Batlle posted the 7th fastest time ahead of Xray’s Martin Bayer and TLR’s Renaud Savoya with Yannick Aigion completing the Top 10 with his Xray.
David Ronnefalk is the top seed at this year’s European Championships in Sweden, the HB Racing driver topping controlled practice with his time from the first of today’s two runs. Also topping the second 9-minute run, the Swede would end Day 2 of the event fastest from reigning Champion Elliott Boots. Second fastest in CP1, like Ronnefalk, the British driver would also fail to better that time posting third fastest time for the final practice. After a troubled opening seeding run, Robert Batlle would be the only driver in the Top 6 to set their in CP2 posting the 2nd fastest time for the round which was good enough to seed the Mugen driver third. Batlle’s improvement would demote fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Canas Carrasco from third to fourth with Portuguese duo João Figueiredo and Carlos Durães completing the Top 6 ahead of French driver Rayan Medjoubi.
Producing another sub 2-minute time for his 3-consecutive laps, the only driver to do so throughout both free & controlled practice, Ronnefalk summed up his day as, ‘Pretty good’. The World Champion continued, ‘I tried two different sets of tyres. The best where the Metrix in a harder compound and I also ran Reflex in R2 compound. We left the car as is and I think this one was better than the last one. The track is even more rough and I basically had the same speed, and the consistency is there’. On the track surface, the 2-time European Champion said, ‘the track is getting rougher but it’s still way better than the Warm-up (race). They will fix some spots and put more material in the worst parts but I like it as it is’.
Well short of matching his CP1 time, Boots said, ‘we changed quite a lot on the car and it wasn’t better, it was worse. We also tried a different tyre’. He continued, ‘the track is fast, grippy and edgy so it’s hard to find the right set-up on tyres. For the shakedown in the morning I will try something else again and decide (on what tyre to use). We need to find something to get on the pace’. While feeling he is missing out on outright speed compared to Ronnefalk, asked if he still felt he had the better consistency, the Kyosho driver replied, ‘not too much in that one, my consistency was better before’.
Having flamed out twice in CP1 due to a glowplug problem, Batlle said, ‘this time we figured out everything’. Changing to a different shock set-up on his MBX-7R, the former World Champion said, ‘it helped me a lot, while it is impossible to drive comfortably on this track the car as now as comfortable as I can expect it too be’. Winning the last of his two European titles in 2011, while the Spaniard feels he is ‘missing a few tenths’ the base set-up is now good and on consistency he said ‘it is super nice, I could do 8 or 9 40-second laps in a row’.
Using the final practice to try a different tyre, Canas didn’t like the feeling it gave. Switching from Procircuit’s Addictive tyre to their H-Block, the teenager said it gave him too much side grip for his liking and he will go back for the start of qualifying tomorrow. Last year’s finalist would also use CP2 to try running a carbon front shock tower switching away from the alloy one he had been used with the chance of giving him smoother steering and he will stick with this for Q1. In terms of consistency, Canas believes he is not only fast over 3-laps but that the speed and consistency is there for qualifying but was quick to emphasise how running 5-minutes on the track is ‘not easy’.
Opening CP2 with two good laps, Figueiredo said, ‘At the beginning I was super fast and was on for a 2:00 but had a small mistake on my 3rd lap’. Having changed to heavier shock oil in his Kyosho, he said overall the car was better and faster but as the run went on the car got more difficult. Putting this down to his diff oils, he will for tomorrow do as he did with the shocks and go up in the oil weight.
‘So far so good’ was how Durães summed up his P6 in seeding. The Serpent driver said having struggled yesterday, a change of shock pistons for controlled practice as well as a change of tyre made his car ‘more comfortable’. Switching from AKA Zipps to Impacts, for the final practice he would try running a softer shock oil but said, ‘I think I will go back as it was easier to drive before’. Asked if he feels he can match his 3-lap seeding pace with a strong qualifying run, Durães said, ‘single lap times are not my goal as being consistent is most important and I think my consistency is OK’.
Chassis – Xray XB8 ’17 Engine – Ultimate M3T Tyres – ProCircuit H-Block P2 Compound Fuel – Nitrolux Radio/Servos – Sanwa/ KO Propo Body – Xray High-Speed Remarks – A podium finisher in last year’s Euros, Yannick Aigoin is proving strong here again in Sweden running a pretty standard XB8 ’17, the only options being front & rear CVD’s and composite brake pads. After trying many things on the car, he went back is using the pretty unique setup that he ended up with at the warm-up, and he has further removed the screw that links the rear stiffener with the differential case.
David Ronnefalk has topped the first of the two rounds of seeding practice at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Sweden. The HB Racing driver would become the first driver to run a sub 2-minute time for their fastest 3-consecutive laps around the Gröndal Ring track with yesterday’s Free Practice pace setter Elliott Boots his closest challenger. Improving on his sudden finding of speed in yesterday’s final practice, Juan Carlos Canas would complete the Top 3. With some of yesterday’s pace setters struggling this morning, Darren Bloomfield 12th and Yannick Aigoin 9th fastest, P4 would come from João Figueiredo followed by fellow Portuguese driver Carlos Durães with Italian youngsters Riccardo Berton and David Ongaro 6th and 7th respectively.
Summing up CP1, Ronnefalk said, ‘We knew yesterday the car is good and like I said before it was just a matter of finding the right tyres’. With JConcepts’ Jason Ruona on hand for support in Eskilstuna, the Swede would run a Metrix tyre which he found very much to his liking saying, ‘(it) worked really good. It gave good drive and is easy on the side’. Describing the track as ‘getting more bumpy’ the World Champion continued, ‘we are going to have to change the set up from now on but we’ll have a talk first and decide what to do for the next one. I don’t think we’ll change too much for the second practice or we might leave it the same to see how the car is when it is even rougher’.
Running a very similar 3-times lap to that with which he topped the four rounds of free practice yesterday, Boots said, ‘we are playing around with tyres because we haven’t made our final decision yet, the grip is more up now’. The Kyosho driver continued, ‘I think David has a little advantage with grip but perhaps I’m a bit more consistent. I didn’t see his car out on the track but I think while it’s quicker it’s on the edge. My car is edgy but its not undriveable’. For the final practice run, both of the controlled rounds 9-minutes long, the back to back reigning champion plans to ‘make a couple of changes to get it right for qualifying’.
Canas said running a brand new set of tyres left him with a difficult to drive car at the beginning but once the tyres came in ‘it was perfect after that’. Sticking with Procircuit’s Addictive tyre in P2 compound as he did yesterday, the Mugen driver plans to use the final practice to try the Spanish company’s H-Block tyre. With Yannick Aigoin running competitive times on the tyre yesterday, the 15-year-old wants to see how the tyre works for him. Leaving his car unchanged from yesterday, when he 4th fastest, the Spaniard will again run the car with the same set-up with just a shock rebuild planned. In terms of the track conditions, the 2016 Euro B Champion said, ‘there are some new holes but overall its similar to yesterday’.
‘Pretty good’ was how Figueiredo described his CP1 performance. The Kyosho driver said having had a car that was ‘too edgy’ yesterday, he went back to his Warm-up Race set-up and his MP9 which is running on Hotrace’s Amazzonia tyre ‘feels super good now’. One change however he will make for CP2 is the shock set-up saying, ‘I was a little soft in the shock oils’. Asked about how the track surface is holding up, he replied, ‘Compared to Warm-up (Race) it pretty good now so I think it should be ok’. Just making the Top 20 in free practice, Serpent’s Durães would make a huge improvement for Day 2 to set the 5th fastest time from the third fastest group.
Also in the same heat, Berton was pleased with his 3-laps. The teenager said his Kyosho was ‘quite easy to drive and the pace is not so bad’. 9th fastest yesterday, he said switching to a higher shock tower made his MP9 better on the bumps and also gave it less steering, the former Euro B Champion saying, ‘the track has a lot of grip’. Having run Pro-Line’s Fugitive tyre he will continue on that pattern but choose a harder X2 compound for the final practice.