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.
Chassis – Kyosho MP9 TKI 4 Engine – Reds WR7 Diamond Tyres – Pro-Line Fugitive X3 Fuel – MLC Radio/Servos – Sanwa Body – Kyosho MP9 TKI 2 Remarks – The current European Champion Elliott Boots is in Sweden defending his back to back title driving the TKI 4 version of the MP9 platform. His car is equipped with the new emulsion shock caps, and also features some new brake pads that are meant to smoothen the braking, especially at high temperatures.
Elliott Boots is fastest at the end of the opening day of the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Sweden. The Kyosho driver eventually beat David Ronnefalk’s FP2 time in the fourth & final practice with the European and the World Champion separated by a little more than 4/10ths of a second over their fastest 3-consecutive laps. Making it an all European Champions Top 3, Darren Bloomfield would close the day with an improved time to remain third quickest. Knocking almost 3-seconds off his time, young Spanish talent Juan Carlos Canas Carrasco would be one of the key improvers in FP4 with his time putting him fourth fastest ahead of Yannick Aigoin and Robert Batlle who both failed to better their FP3 times.
Summing up his first day at the Gröndal Ring track as ‘not bad’, Boots said, ‘I didn’t think it was that quick because the car was still comfortable to drive’. Having changed to a newer car for FP3 but reporting it felt strange at times, the reigning champion said they stuck with the new car but just reverted to the same set-up as they ran at the Warm-up Race. Winner of that event and happy with his car set-up, the British driver feels he now needs to start ‘switching up a few lines’ adding ‘me and David were holding each other up a bit running next to each other that time’. Suffering a flame out in the extended 9-minute run, he said they had planned to run the full run without stopping and the engine cut was his own fault and not a lack of fuel, as he ‘gunned the throttle’ after a roll. Using the same set of Pro-line Fugitive tyres on his MP9 for all four practice runs he said, ‘they lasted which is good too’. Asked about track conditions he replied, ‘the bumps are appearing, they’re not there yet but I think the they’re going to come out in big pieces’.
While only 4th fastest in the times for FP4 and unable to beat his quickest time set in the first half of the day, Ronnefalk said, ‘Overall it was a good day and the car is working really good’. The HB Racing star driver continued, ‘we tried a bunch of different tyres and now we know what to try in different conditions. Tomorrow I’ll work on consistency’. In terms of the track surface the Swede, who walked the track together with mentor Adrien Bertin immediately after the final practice, said, ‘I walked the track and it is less bumpy than it feels on the driver stand. It is getting bumpy out there so we’ll see if I have to look at changing some of my lines’.
‘It was a good day’ was Bloomfield’s summary of the opening day, the Agama in a hurry to check out a Speedway event taking place within the Gröndals Motorsport Arena in which the RC track is also located. Opting to not change to Beta’s Freeride tyre for the final practice, he instead ran a set of prototype emulsion shock caps reporting them as having ‘mellowed out’ the car over the bumps and ‘help it carry more speed’. With Day 2 opening with a quick 3-minute shakedown run for drivers before going into the two rounds of controlled practice, the British driver will use this to try the different tyre having ran V-Max’s all day.
15-year-old Canas said after his day started out quite bad with him well off the pace he worked his way up declaring himself ‘happy now’. Having attended the Warm-up race, the Mugen driver said there were two problems starting out today, one being his head not being in the game and the other being his engine. Changing to a slower engine he said this helped a lot, the quicker engine having made his car too aggressive to drive. Asked for his thoughts on the track he replied, ‘I like the layout but it is too bumpy’.
Aigoin would opt to make his Xray a little more aggressive for the final practice but said ‘it was too aggressive for me’. On the podium at last year’s championships he continued, ‘I have to accept the Warm-up set-up and drive it’. Describing the track as ‘breaking up a little slower (than at the Warm-up)’ he added, ‘but it will end up as the same bumpy track’. In terms of tyres, the multiple champion said, ‘I’m running (Procircuit) H Block, it works, it’s my favourite tyre and it’s what I always test on’. Endorsing his confidence in the tyres he would switch tyres during the final practice to a smaller pin but said ‘they didn’t feel right’.
Rounding out the Top 6 in Free Practice, a slightly dejected Batlle wasn’t happy with his final run. The Spaniard said, ‘we tested different things, we changed the anti-squat and camber links and it was slow and not consistent so we will go back’. The Spaniard concluded, ‘the base set-up is not bad but we need to improve it a little bit so we will try again tomorrow’.
Chassis – HB Racing D817 Engine – Team Orion CRF Factory RS V3 WC Tyres – JConcepts Stalkers R2 Compound Fuel – Runner Time Top 25 Radio/Servos – Sanwa/ Highest Body – JConcepts Silencer Remarks – Reigning World Champion David Ronnefalk is running a D817 equipped with carbon radio tray stiffeners that are meant to improve the responsiveness of the servos under stressful conditions. He is also using 20° caster blocks and the new HB wing.