Team Associated are here with a big and experienced team and we took a look at Ryan Maifields car to see what the US company brought to the race in terms of equipment. To protect the shock ends they have removed the lower shock riser and placed them into modified wishbones. As this would affect the shock angle, they have produced new front and rear shock towers with different mounting holes.
Other changes on the car included a new longer chassis plate that allows the rear uprights to be moved more forward for more dogbone swing. The rear chassis brace has also been beefed up with a carbon fibre insert running along its entire length. Maifield has also chosen to run the old steering configuration used in the original RC8, which gives the car a more twitchy feel, an idea from their Spanish team mate Robert Batlle who has been running this setup for a while.
For Losi, apart from the chassis plate with steel inserts front and rear that we showed you previously, they have very little changes to the car. The made update is the new aluminium shock spring cups which are made from aluminium, that wont be affected by the heat, are stronger and sport a taller inside collar to prevent the spring from popping out. This part is held onto the shock shaft with a set screw.
Losi also have a new fuel tank that is 7cc bigger thanks to a new process that they use to bring the two ends of the tank together. Finally the team drivers are using a new lightweight body that is half the weight of the standard kit version.
Daniel Vega is here with his update Agama chassis, which features some updates including a new 10 degree front caster block, something he has been waiting for, for some time. A big improvement according to the Spanish team driver is the new pivot pin mounts which are no longer captured but held in place with nuts.
A new braking system helps improve the track performance, which now uses a steel disc along with Ferodo type pads. Something Daniel is trying, that we have seen on the car of Mike Truhe, is the replacement of the rear chassis brace with a shock absorber, which he believes will help the cars performance coming off the jumps. The car also has a new carbon radio plate and a number of aluminium option parts throughout including the wheel axles and drive cups.
Following the World Championships in Burgdorf a few weeks ago, new items in the pits are hard to come by however we have managed. Andy Moore is present racing and also showing off the first offerings under his own Moore-Speed brand, a complete range of LiPo batteries. The full line up utilize a cool matt black hard case and all packs are rate at 50C. Andy himself has chosen his 5600mAh pack but there is also a 5000mAh pack that is good for stock racing as well as 4600mAh saddle packs and 1S packs for pan car racing and all packs are available with either tube connectors or pre wired with Deans connectors. Available now from Ardent Racing in the UK, and in 2 weeks from the official Moore-Speed website.
Yokomo factory driver and front runner here Ronald Volker is using a new LiPo chassis plate on his BD5 World spec car. The new plate is the same 2.5mm thickness as the standard plate but has been milled out with additional holes to help aid flex on this low traction surface. The chassis is still in its prototype phase so the final design may change but they are aiming for an October release.
Also in use by Volker and other Yokomo team members here is the new Yokomo gear differential that was seen for the first time at the World Championships in Germany last month. The version here is the final production test piece and production of this item has now begun back in Japan. Suitable for the front and rear of the BD5, it is expected to available for sale in September.
Xenon Racing from Japan showed us their all new touring car wheel suitable for indoor carpet racing. Expected to make its debut at the Euro Touring Series season opener in Kastellaun in October, it uses a softer Nylon material compared to the previous ABS material which makes it more durable. The softer wheel also changes the characteristics making it easier to drive and also helping reduce traction roll and because it is opaque the organisers can control if the racer uses the correct insert or not.
Reds Racing are here with their latest ZR12T touring car engine. Released earlier in the year, this Mario Rossi tuned engine features an updated porting designed specifically for this track and conditions. Reds Racing have also presented their all new glow plug that uses an INOX pin, new plug body material and a platinum coil that all makes for a plug that performs better t in hotter temperatures.
Kyosho are present with team drivers Adrien Bertin and Takaaki Shimo who are using an updated version of the V-One RRR chassis. The new parts consist of a new two piece radio plate, separated at the front for more flex as well as a new rear shock tower with the holes moved 1mm more towards the centre for more roll. The result is a car that has more steering in the corners and Japanese driver Shimo has put the parts to good use as he currently lies 3rd overall in qualifying.
Seen before in CAD form on our site, Sirio have their new .12 Power Clutch System V in action here. The new clutch system features ‘reversed’ clutch fly weights that increases the performance and acceleration of the engine and is in use by factory Sirio driver Francesco Tironi and Reds Racing’s Giuseppe D’Angelo.
Factory Team Magic driver Mario Spiniello is here using the latest wheels from Hot Race Tires. The only driver using the Italian brand here in Texas, they feature an all new spoked wheel design that comes in soft white material or the harder carbon reinforced black material.
We have finally arrived in Houston and going through the pit lane we have come across a number of new products, most stand out item being the Serpent DLS system. This new system uses links that through a simple rocker system ensures that when the car rolls both the rear tires remain evenly on the track on both sides. This gives consistent handling and provides more grip in the corners. The system was given to all Serpent drivers present, with the majority of the team drivers using this new system, with the exception of Chris Tosolini who stays with the standard 733 rear end.
German company Orcan have their new low CG cooling head in use here. A much flatter and lower design than the conventional cooling head seen on engines, in testing it actually cooled the engine better and because the weight is now a lot lower, the chances of grip roll when the traction comes up is reduced. This new system in use by all the Orcan drivers including Dirk Wischnewski.
New from LM, makers of the Sirio engine, is this optional chassis plate for the Mugen MTX-4. Seen on the car of Francesco Tironi it is 3mm thick, yet is wider than the standard plate and is said to provide a better feeling mid corner. The engine mounting has also been changed and now uses 4 fixed position holes which gives the perfect mounting position for the gear mesh, making it simpler to mount of dismount the motor.
Team Durango is at the European Championship with Hupo Hönigl, Gerd Strenge and British driver Kevin Brunsden to give the production prototype of the DNX408 1/8 scale nitro buggy its first major race outing. According to Strenge, who designed the buggy, they are running pretty much the final kit design here in Portugal and are now ready to go into production.
We have covered the car before on our site, but looking at the car up close, one of the neat features is the position of the receiver battery pack which routes underneath the rear centre dogbone rather that beside it or even in the front part of the chassis as seen on other buggies. This makes for very centralized weight distribution and helps make for agile handling characteristics. The super slim chassis design features wider and more inclined side pods than usual and the matching narrow body shell which appear much taller and sleeker than the average 1/8 scale body shell.
Talking to Stenge the team hasn’t got to terms with the challenging conditions of the Guarda track. According to Hupo the rutted surface makes it hard to find a good line, lap after lap, as a lot of the holes appear before you take off for jumps. After a difficult time in qualifying the 2009 finalist is confident that he can do better in the finals today as the conditions are the same for every driver and therefore chances are that the team can get it together and bump up into the Main race.
LRP has the new S8 BX R Evo buggy here with redesigned chassis layout in terms of weight distribution. The Radio tray is now of a split design with the battery compartment beside the steering servo rather than in the receiver box as seen on the previous buggy. It also features a revised front and rear shock tower geometry, a more forward mounted engine and an updated reactive caster front suspension. The buggy is being driven here by by Jörn Neumann, Moritz Gaul and Jamie Booth.
The LRP team is also running the new ZR.21X Spec 2 engine which is easily identified by the newly designed cooling head. The head features a bowl-shaped design, large holes for better heat dissipation and lower weight as well as a ribbed combustion camber insert. The ability to dissipate heat could become vital with the current weather situation and very high temperatures here at the track. The 7+1 port engine is being run by Team Durango driver Hupo Hönigl as well as Jörn Neumann and others.
In combination with the ZR.21X Spec 2 engine the LRP team uses the Enduro-46 exhaust system that allows for less fuel consumption and considerably longer run times compared to the previous system. The exhaust stinger is reinforced to prevent it from becoming bent during a side impact. LRP also has a new tyre insert with them that promises improved traction and durability due to the ribbed design and purposeful hardness of the foam. Talking to the LRP team they are not quite sure yet if the new insert is going to be used at the Euro’s as everyone expects the track surface to brake up and become bumpy requiring a softer insert over the new harder blue ones.