Rabitti takes Q4, Bloomfield Top Qualifier at Arena

Rabitti

TLR completed a clean sweep of buggy qualifying this morning with Riccardo Rabitti taking the fourth and final round of heats ahead of team-mates Darren Bloomfield, who set the pace in Q2 & 3, and Yannick Aigoin who TQ’d yesterday’s opening qualifier. Overall Bloomfield secures his second honour of being the Top Qualifier having dominated yesterday’s Brushless Buggy action.

Italian National Champion Rabitti, who set the fastest lap of qualifying in Q3 and was on a TQ run before losing 4-seconds with a mistake at the final corner of the last lap, ran his Picco powered 8ight exactly the same as last night focusing instead on driving an error free run and the approach paid off. The only member of the team running the prototype radio tray set-up that features the throttle servo moved to the front of the chassis, he said after this morning’s run he is feeling very confident for this evenings ‘Race of Champions’. Together with engine guru Alberto Picco, Rabitti has been working hard on maximizing his run time and believes 11-minute stops are on the cards for tomorrow finals.

Darren Bloomfield

Bloomfield reported better grip levels over yesterday but trouble with traffic resulted in an error on lap 3 which cost him 3 seconds. Switching from Losi Kingpin to Blockhead tyres for the final round, the British Champion said he should have stuck with the Kingpin as these would have suit this morning’s condition better. Overall happy with his Nitrotec powered 8ight, Bloomfield will run the buggy as is in tonight’s stand alone ‘Race of Champions’ event saying it was far too early to predict how track conditions will be for tomorrow’s finals.

Aigoin

Completing a clean sweep of Truggy qualifying this morning with his fourth TQ run, reigning champion Aigoin said he was a little slow in the final buggy qualifier. Struggling a little with understeer in his nVision powered 8ight he said it was very hard to go fast and he will use the ‘Race of Champions’ to try a number of set-up changes in preparation for his title defense tomorrow.

Fourth fastest in Q4 and the best placed non TLR driver in the final qualification ranking Elliot Boots said his time was better than he thought. The talented British driver, who is out of a chassis contract and running a borrowed Kyosho MP9 here this weekend, said the track felt really slow and lost time with a couple of spins. Looking to improve the back end of the buggy, the RB team driver will, like Aigoin, use the Race of Champion to try some set-up ideas he has discussed with the buggy owner Mick Cradock.

Enjoying his best run of qualifying with the fifth fastest time in Q4, Italian TLR driver Alex Zanchettin completes the overall Top 6 splitting the Mugens of team drivers Simon Willets and Julien Lattanzio.

Rabitti takes Q4, Bloomfield Top Qualifier at Arena

In the F2 Buggy class, who ran two qualifiers this morning, British driver Ashlee Owen got the better of his Hobao team-mate & defending champion Jon Howells to secure the overall TQ honours.  The 19-year-old backed up his Q1 run by setting the pace in Q3 while Q4 went to Austrian Durango driver Gerd ‘RTR’ Pfeifer.

Overall Buggy Qualification – Top 16
1. Darren Bloomfield – TLR/Nitrotec – 400 pts
2. Yannick Aigoin – TLR/nVision – 398
3. Riccardo Rabitti – TLR/Picco – 397
4. Elliot Boots – Kyosho/RB – 394
5. Simon Willets – Mugen/Orion – 392
6. Alex Zanchettin – TLR/BP – 389
7. Julien Lattanzio – Mugen/Ninja – 388
8. Valerio Bellano – Xray/RB – 385
9. Federico Bellano – Crono/OS – 385
10.Eghlis Gallo – Mugen/OS – 385
11.Davide Rabitti – TLR/Picco – 383
12.Daniele Chicca – JQ/Precirotate – 381
13.Stefano Cantoni – Kyosho/Orion – 381
14.Alessandro Stocco – Hot Bodies/Alpha – 380
15.Riccardo Perin – Agama/Novarossi – 379
16.Andrea Giorgetti – Mugen/Novarossi – 377

View the event image gallery here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Video – Buggy qualifying action

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Friday, October 14, 2011

First title of Arena 2011 goes to Bloomfield

First title of Arena 2011 goes to Bloomfield

Making his first appearance at the Arena Offroad Meeting TLR’s Darren Bloomfield has notched up the first title of the weekend at the Italian event with a dominant performance in the Brushless Buggy class.  Topping three of the five 7-minute qualifiers ealier in the day the British ace secured TQ honours ahead of fellow countryman Simon Willets and his Mugen and Italian Xray driver Valerio Bellano.

First title of Arena 2011 goes to Bloomfield

With the finals decided over three 10-minute legs the rest of the field were no match for Bloomfield and his LRP powered 8ight E.  Winning the opening leg from Willets by almost 13 seconds he secured the title previously held by team-mate Riccardo Rabitti, who is this year just focusing on nitro buggy, with a second win over the Mugen driver in Leg 2.  Despite sewing up the overall win Bloomfield ran the third leg which he duly went on to complete the perfect result. Having a poor third leg Willets took second with Bellano completing the podium.

The provisional overnight Top Qualifier in the premiere nitro Buggy class with one round of Buggy qualifying still to run, Bloomfield will be hoping to continue his form through the rest of the weekend at the Cowboy’s Guest Ranch in Voghera.

Brushless Buggy Overall Result
1. Darren Bloomfield – Losi/LRP – 2 pts
2. Simon Willets – Mugen/Orion – 4
3. Valerio Bellano – Xray/Mamba – 6
4. Walter Floris – Losi/Mamba – 8
5. Stefano Cantoni – Kyosho/Orion – 9
6. Stefano Rabitti – Losi/LRP – 9
7. Federico Sala – Losi/LRP – 10
8. Luca Passarini – Mugen/Hobbywing – 13
9. Alex Zanchettin – Hot Bodies/Tekin – 15

View the event image gallery here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bloomfield holds overnight TQ in Italy

Darren Bloomfield

TLR driver Darren Bloomfield holds the overnight Buggy Top Qualifier honour at the Arena Offroad Meeting in Voghera, Italy, after securing his second TQ run of the day in the third of the four scheduled qualifiers with team-mate Yannick Aigoin the only one capable of denying him in tomorrow morning’s final round of heats.

Bloomfield set the pace in the penultimate qualifier by 2.6 seconds from Aigoin with the third of the TLR National Champions Riccardo Rabitti making it an 8ight 1-2-3 for the round. The British Champion, who has done little to his buggy all day even running all three heats on the same set of Losi green compound Kingpin tyres, said driving the track he feels like he is slow but the time sheets prove that this is not the case.  With two TQ runs and a second to his credit there is only an outside chance that Bloomfield will not claim the honour of overall Top Qualifier.  With two rounds to count Bloomfield just needs to finish in the Top 5 while 2009 Top Qualifier and race winner Aigoin needs to top the time sheets of the final round.

Switching from Procircuit’s Square Impact in extreme compound to a Super Soft Hot Dice tyre for the third round, Aigoin said the harder compound was not the right way to go.  Describing Q3 as clean run, the French Champion said it was good to test the different compound to see how it worked and he can use that information to help with his tyre choices for the rest of the weekend.

Ricki Rabitti

Rabitti, who set the fastest lap of qualifying in his third run with a 39.417, said his Picco powered TLR was much better following changes made after Q2.  The Italian champion was on target to TQ the round but lost 4 seconds at the final corner of the last lap following a ‘stupid’ mistake.  Running AKA super soft compound Impact tyres throughout the day fitting a fresh set for the penultimate qualifier, Rabitti said he will leave the car as is for tomorrow Q4.

Behind the TLR trio Simon Willets was best of the rest.  The Mugen driver said his modified MBX-6 continued to feel good but another mistake this time on the last lap when he flipped the Orion powered buggy lost over 3 seconds.  Driving for Agama Riccardo Perin had his best run of the day with fifth followed by Elliot Boots who lost a massive 7 seconds on his second lap due to some slow marshalling.

Yannick Aigoin Truggy

In Truggy, Aigoin completed a hat trick of timesheet topping runs with his nVision powered 8ight T to wrap up the overall TQ honour just as he did here at the Arena in 2009.  Also with one final qualifier scheduled for the morning, Italy’s Walter Floris, also driving a TLR, sits second in Truggy with France’s Julien Lattanzio holding third.

View the event image gallery here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bloomfield takes Buggy Q2

Darren Bloomfield

Darren Bloomfield has upped the pace in Buggy qualifying at the Arena Offroad Meeting in Italy with the British ace topping Q2 from fellow countryman Elliot Boots.  Fastest in Q1, defending champion Yannick Aigoin could only manage the fifth fastest time in the second round of heats after he made two mistakes during the 5-minute run.

Moving to the top of the qualification ranking, Bloomfield said his Nitrotec powered 8ight was still lacking steering but unlike his TLR team-mates he has good forward traction.  Bettering Aigoin’s morning TQ time by 4 seconds and running 3 seconds faster than Boots, the British Champion said he is going to stick with what he has rather than go chasing a set-up.

Elliot Boots Kyosho

Switching to a harder front spring on his borrowed Kyosho along with using a narrower rear wheel hex Boots said the changes had made the RB powered buggy much safer to drive.  Fitting a fresh set of tyres for his second run he said this caught him out a little at the start but once they scrubbed in he was more comfortable with it than in Q1.  Working closely with Mick Craddock on his set-up Boots has disconnected the front anti-roll bar for the final qualifier of the opening day and has also switched to a softer and self modified tyre insert which he hopes will give him further confidence with the MP9.

Third fastest in Q2 and sitting third in the overall ranking behind Aigoin, Italy’s top international offroad racer Riccardo Rabitti said other than a mistake on the opening lap the run was pretty good. Finding the rear end of his Picco powered TLR 8ight a little loose the runner-up in Buggy at the 2009 Arena Offroad Meeting will change to a softer shock set-up for Q3 along with changing the rear geometry.

Simon Willets

Setting the fourth fastest time and currently the best placed non TLR driver in the qualification standings in fourth, Mugen’s Simon Willets said his MBX-6 is good but the driver needs to improve as he lost time following a mistake at the jump in front of the rostrum. Team-mate and former French Champion Julien Lattanzio sits fifth in the ranking having set the 5th and 7th fastest times in his respective heats.

In the Brushless Buggy class, which will see the title decided tonight at the Arena, Darren Bloomfield is clearly the man to beat.  After his sensor lead came off in Q3, the Arena race debutant posted a rocket fast 5-minute round in Q4 that was 18 seconds clear of the fastest time set by Simon Willets who is his closest challenger.

Jon Howells

Elsewhere in Truggy Aigoin took his nVision powered 8ight T to a second TQ run while in the F2 Buggy class defending champion Jon Howells heads proceedings from his younger Hobao team mate Ashlee Owen who topped the opening qualifier.  21-year-old Austrian Mugen driver Reinhold Gruber holds third after the two qualifiers.

View the event image gallery here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Defending champion Aigoin tops opening Arena qualifier

Arena Track

Having taken a year out so as to avoid a clash with last November’s 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Thailand, Italy’s leading international offroad event is back and has taken over from the cowboys again with defending champion Yannick Aigoin opening qualifying with TQ runs in both Buggy and Truggy. The third running of the Offroad Meeting at the Arena Rodeo ring, which is situated 1- hours drive south of Milan, the two biggest changes to the indoor event are the weather and new title sponsorship from Sweep tyres. Two years ago drivers had to brave the cold but this weekend milder weather are making for much more comfortable conditions at what is a great place to hold an r/c event as the facility has its own hotel, restaurant and bar.

Riccardo Rabitti

Defending champions TLR Racing, who also won the 1:8 Brushless class last time round with Riccardo Rabitti, are here in force in Voghera with three of their newly crowned 2011 National Champions. Along with French and Italian Champions Aigoin and Rabitti, the team have also brought along British Champion Darren Bloomfield. Bloomfield’s first time at the Arena, he is very impressed by the venue and got his morning off to a strong start to top Brushless Buggy from Mugen’s Simon Willets after two rounds of qualifying. Running LRP electrics in his 8ight E for first time, having just got them while he waited on his flight to Italy from the UK, Bloomfield said the power delivery from the IX-8 Speedo and new Dynamic 8 motor are really nice which is allowing him to push harder than he could with the now discontinued Xcelorin 1:8 Brushless system which was sensorless.

Yannic Aigoin

Aigoin was pleased with his opening run despite all the top drivers finding the conditions difficult following overnight work to track which made for very low traction. Happy with his N-vision powered 8ight and 8ight-T in practice yesterday the French ace said he expects the traction to come up again and so for now will not make any set-up changes. With little competition in Truggy this year Aigoin said he expects the buggy race to provide the main excitment. With this year’s track layout design less challenging than previous years, Aigoin said the easier track should make for much closer racing. Expecting tough competition from his TLR team-mates, with Bloomfield and Rabitti 2nd & 3rd fastest respectively in Q1, he also expects Elliot Boots to be in the mix come the finals.

Elliot Boots

Having departed Team Durango following the European Championship at which he made the final, the Team RB driver is currently out of contract with a chassis manufacturer and so is running a borrowed Kyosho this weekend. The MP9 is that of Kyosho Europe’s Mick Cradock and the multiple 40+ European Champion has made the trip to Italy to pit for the former European Junior Champion. A finalist here in 2009, Boots said he is really happy with his buggy on which he is running a Bittydesigns Force body for the first time. Really liking the new shell design he said it helps ‘hook’ the corners better.

Along with Willets, Mugen Seiki have brought along former French Champion Julien Lattanzio and young up & coming French talent Guillaume Hebert who is the current National B Champion.  Running a number of new parts on the MBX6 here in Italy, which are expected to be released as part of a new edition of the European Championship winning chassis, Willets was happy with the new bits in practice yesterday but said the conditions this morning were very different and he just tried to put in a steady run which was good enough for the 4th fastest time, 5 seconds adrift of Aigoin’s TQ time.

View the event image gallery here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Introduction

Red RC are in Chico, California at Outback Raceway for the 2014 JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals. Some of the best racers from around California (including some World Champions), as well as neighbouring states, will be attending this event to battle it out for victory in this electric offroad event. Red RC's coverage of the event begins in full on Friday morning (11th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the event.

Local time in Chico, USA

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