A quick look through the pits here in Vila Real have revealed a number of new products being run and tested by some of the top drivers. Corally racer Marc Fisher from Germany is running some new prototype parts on his RDX Phi. There are new rear uprights that have 1mm lower top mounting points, also the front steering blocks have received some attention together with the new servo saver part that has simpler to adjust Ackermann.
Over at the Schumacher pit, the whole team are running the company’s new Mi3.5, which is much lighter than the original Mi3 and is better suited to rubber racing with the use of soft plastics in the car to help generate grip. Also seen on the car of Chris Ashton, is a new servo saver part, which is very similar to that seen on the RDX Phi, allowing for easy Ackermann adjustment. The steering round mounting positions are in the same position as on the original servo saver yet in this configuration it just seems to work better.
Our friend Taru from Xenon has made the trip from Japan to be here and he was showing us their tire additive ‘Tire Performa’, which is in extensive use by the racers on this track. While not new in Japan, released over a year ago there, in Europe the product has just become available.
Second practice for the 2008 EFRA 1:10 EP Touring Euros has been run here in Vila Real but with no official timing the picture of who is doing what is still uncertain as drivers continuing to still settle themselves in.
Elliot Harper, winner of the Warm-Up Race back in June, says it is a lot hotter and as a result the track characteristics are very different now. The emerging UK talent, who just took his first British National win two weeks ago, says his Nosram powered Xray is working well but with the extra heat it is going off slightly at the end of the run. Harper will make a few changes to fine tune the car for the first of the two timed runs this afternoon.
One of Harper’s British Championship rivals Chris Grainger is having a rough start to his Euros. The current British Champion and Yokomo’s best title chance here in Spain, is very ill with suspected food poisoning and is struggling to focus on his car with the heavy heat in the pit area not helping. Having completed both practice runs he is pleased with the car but would prefer if the track had better traction. Grainger tested at the track back in May buy believes this was too early in the year and that the drivers who came here two ago will have enjoyed more beneficial testing for the current conditions.
Corally ace Marc Fisher has a number of new steering parts on his RDX Phi and is reporting that the car has better traction and less roll. The German is also running GM’s new Genius 120 speedo which he says gives a better feeling than the previous model.
Schumacher team manager Chris Ashton tells us that while they don’t have the big name racers like some of the other manufacturers they are happy with their drivers who so far are putting in decent lap times. Unfortunately the British manufacturer is without their Swedish ace Jonas Andersson, who was unable to travel for personal reasons, but local team driver Marc Esbri and Ashton himself should put in a good showing with the new Mi 3.5.
Austrian Hupo Honigl, who scored a double podium at the recent 1:10 Buggy Euros in Italy, is reporting that his Tamiya is running pretty good but says that while the track looks easy some parts are tricky and if gotten wrong could cost you a lot of time. Hupo has made some tiny changes between P1 & 2 but will switch to a new car for the first timed run.
Practice Runs 3 & 4 will be timed and used to reseed the heats for tomorrow when drivers will have two more practice runs followed by the first two of the five qualifiers.
Drivers have had their first official practice run at the 2008 EFRA Euros here in Vila Real with most drivers reporting an incident free run.
Jilles Groskamp suffered the biggest drama of the morning when he lost a front wheel off his Tamiya. ‘I adjusted the front camber just before my run and when I put on my front wheels I tightened the nuts by hand and then afterwards forgot to do them up properly. It was a novice error but then I am a novice driver.’ With all four wheels on his car, the Dutch racer said his Speed Passion powered car felt pretty OK.
Current World Champion Andy Moore had to interupt his run. Having reset the speed controller on his Hot Bodies Cyclone TC he forgot to set the brakes. The UK racer was however pleased with his car which has been fully rebuilt since testing here two weeks ago. For the next run Moore will make some adjustments to reduce roll as the track appears to have more bite than during pre event testing.
The man everyone wants to beat, Ronald Volker, appears very relaxed and said his LRP powered Cyclone has the same good feeling as it did in testing. The German driver won Euro title last year in France and like most of the drivers was here two weeks ago testing in preparation for this event.
Top Xray hopeful Teemu Leino reported his car was good and traction was better than his last visit to the Nitro 15 track. The Finn will try a second car for the second practice run.
Kyosho Factory driver Steen Gravesen, who has Shin Adachi on hand for support, said the track already feels as good as the best run during testing. The Danish ace will change the front wishbone angles on his car for the second round but overall is happy with the handling of the Shin prototype chassis.
If the number of countries represented here at 2008 Euros is a sign of the health of the sport, then electric touring cars is looking very healthy with drivers from 23 different nationalities taking part in the event with host nation Spain topping the table with 27 drivers. At the other end the Greek team is made up of just one driver – Nick Nikolakopoulos.
Drivers have three more practice outing today which will be followed by the official opening ceremony at 18:15.
After just a few days between events, Red RC are now here in Vila Real, thanks to our sponsors LRP and Speed Passion, reporting on the 2008 EFRA European 1/10th scale Electric Touring Car Championships. Held at the beautifully presented Nitro 15 track, just on the outskirts of the town, most drivers have now arrived and the first round of practice has just got underway. Our coverage of the latest track action as well as the newest items from the paddock begins now and continues until Sunday evening when the 2008 European Champion will be crowned.
Jernej Vuga is the new 2008 EFRA 1:8 Onroad European Champion after a thrilling final lap of the championships here in Valencia, Spain. The former Euro B Champion took the victory in dying moments of the very last lap as a very unfortunate Daniele Ielasi, who lead for most of the race, went off on the third last corner due to a flat receiver battery.
Italian ace Ielasi took up the lead of the race after early leader Andrea Pirani rolled out of the lead and then new leader Oscar Cabezas was collect in the pits by Robert Pietsch, after the Spaniard’s pitman placed his car out in front of the German’s Shepherd Velox. The incident ending both drivers chances of victory along with that of Top Qualifier Massimo Fantini who also got caught up in the incident.
Once out in front Ielasi’s IDM powered Shepherd took control of the race with the former Champion stretching his lead to a full lap over the chasing group of Vuga, Cristiani and a hard charging Dario Balestri. The sole Motonica representative in the final and the current 1:10 200mm European Champion, making a great recovery having missed the start of race after his back pressure pipe came off.
With Ielasi clear in front, getting himself a lap up on the entire field, the big battle looked to be on for the final two placings on the podium with Vuga, Cristiani, Balestri and Salemi all in the hunt at one point but how it was to unfold could only have been written by Hollywood.
Two laps from home Ielasi was in trouble, his car struggling to get around the Autet track. Balestri was the first man to pass the limping Shepherd but he too was to hit trouble, his Novarossi engine stopped caused by a broken fuel line. Back in the lead with just half a lap to go Ielasi was desperately trying to nurse his car home as Vuga, Salemi and Cristiani charged down on him. Unfortunately his receiver batteries had no more and at the end of the straight the Italian went off the track allowing Vuga through to take a dramatic victory by less than 2 seconds from Salemi with Cristiani only a further 4/10th behind.
Failing to make the finish a devastated Ielasi was classified 4th ahead of Balestri who too failed to make the full 45 minutes with Serpent’s Michael Salven completing the Top 6 after a difficult race.
After the race a delighted Vuga said, ‘This is a very special moment for me. I had a steady pace but I was not the fastest but all the time I was in a podium position. I saw Daniele go off at the end of the straight but thought he had already finished as he had been a lap up on me. I crossed the finish line delighted to be on the podium but I had no idea I won until my mechanic saw it the result come up on the timing screen and started shouting to me. I am so happy.’
Second placed Salemi was also delighted with his result which saw the Mugen MRX4 secure the top two placings. ‘I am very happy to have this result. My car was fantastic and really easy to drive. My only incident was running out of fuel one time but I am really happy to be on the podium.’
Cristiani took the final podium placing for Serpent but the Italian said he feels he could have won the race if he didn’t suffer a number of pit incidents, ‘I lost a tyre during my pitstop for new tyres which cost me a lot of time and my engine cut during one of my fuel stops. Without these problems I think for sure I could have won.’
So, seven days of action have come to an end in the most dramatic way possible with a new name entering the EFRA history books for being European Champion. A very well organised and run event, Red RC would like to thank all the race officials and the entire Autet club for making us feel so welcome and for their kind hospitality. We would also like to thank our sponsors Kyosho and Merlin Fuel for supporting our live race coverage.
1. Jernej Vuga (SI) – 145 Laps in 00:45:16.628
2. Walter Salemi (IT) – 145 Laps in 00:45:18.210
3. Andrea Cristiani (IT) – 145 Laps in 00:45:18.612
4. Daniele Ielasi (IT) – 144 Laps in 00:44:53.799
5. Dario Balestri (IT) – 144 Laps in 00:44:54.794
6. Michael Salven (DE) – 142 Laps in 00:45:15.307
7. Robert Pietsch (DE) – 135 Laps in 00:45:18.116
8. Andrea Pirani (IT) – 134 Laps in 00:45:03.198
9. Massimo Fantini (IT) – 118 Laps in 00:39:37.360
10. Oscar Cabezas (ES) – 115 Laps in 00:45:09.736
Full results can be found on the official timing site here.
Race is GO!!!! Lap 1 – Pirani leads from Cabezas. Balestri misses start as back pressure pipe comes off
Lap 7 – Pirani rolls out of lead. Cabezas leads from Pietsch 5 Minutes – First pitstops. Cabezas, Pietsch and Fantini clash in pits. Cabezas car damaged. Ielasi leads from Salemi, Vuga and Salven.
7 minutes – Fantini hits problems – pits for repairs.
9 minutes – Second pit stops – Lesali still leads by 4 seconds from Vuga. Crristiani 3rd.
11 minutes – Ielasi extending lead over Vuga.
12 minutes – Fantini makes unplanned pit stop. Crew not ready. Cabezas rejoins race.
15 minutes – Ielasi still leads. Only four cars on lead lap (50) – Vuga, Cristiani and Salemi
18 minutes – No change up front. Balestri up to 6th.
21 minutes – Still Ielasi out front. Cristiani fastest man on track. Salemi stops for tyres.
23 minutes – Balestri changes tyres. Ielasi leads from Vuga by 6 seconds. Plug gone in Salve’s car as he pits for tyres.
25 minutes – Vuga and Cristiani make tyres stops. Only Top 3 on lead lap.
26 minutes – Pietsch rolls still running. Ielasi leads from Vuga, Cristiani, Balestri, Salemi and Salven. 29 minutes – Ielasi just about to lap second placed Vuga. Salemi up to third.
32 minutes – Balestri all over Cristiani for third. Fantini makes tyre stop.
34 minutes – Ielasi a lap clear up front from Vuga, Cristiani, Balestri, Salemi, Salven and Fantini.
36 minutes – Cristiani second, Balestri up to third after Vuga made mistake.
37 minutes – Ielasi hits Pirani in pits. Rejoins but gets hit by Fantini.
38 minutes – Ielasi in trouble. Engine running very rich.
39 minute – Fantini has to change tyres after chunking a rear.
40 minutes – Fantini retires
41 minutes – Pirani stops on straight
42 minutes – Ielasi still leads from Vuga. Balestri third. 43 minutes – Balestri and Vuga clash.
44 minutes – Ielasi 8 seconds clear of Balestri. 45 minutes – Vuga is Champion. Ielasi loose radio and crashes on last lap. Balestri runs out of fuel.