Pietsch on pole in Ettlingen

Robert Pietsch

Mugen’s Robert Pietsch will start on pole position for this evening’s 200m European Championship final in Ettlingen, Germany after he dominated his Semi Final in which he lapped the entire field.  The winner of the other Semi Final Dirk Wischnewski will line up second followed by Eric Dankel and 5 more Xrays in a grid that sees a total of 8 of the Slovakian cars represented along with just one car each from Mugen and KM Racing.  Having secured the honour of Top Qualifier with Mugen’s new MTX-5, Pietsch said he drove a safe Semi and there were no problems adding he was very happy with his tyre wear after the 20-minutes.

Groskamp

Both of the 20 minute semi Finals saw drivers call for a 10-minute delay. In the Semi B it was former Worlds Top Qualifier Jilles Groskamp who called time as his team made a last minute decision to change to a different Orion engine. As a result of making the call the Team Shepherd driver was forced to start 11th on the grid but worked his was up to a bump position only to loose second gear on his Velox V10 a third of the way into the race.  Groskamp’s team boss Patrick Schäfer, who looked extremely fast, also saw his chances of a bump go when he suffered a plug failure.  The German team were to suffer further bad luck in the second Semi when Ronald Volker was running competitively in the top 4 only to have his car go out of control shortly after his first fuel stop.  The electric touring car ace rejoined but was to far back to recover and finished last.

Dirk Wischnewski

Dirk Wischnewski looked to have the first Semi under control until he ran wide at the end of the main straight and rolled his Xray across the grass dropping him to sixth.  Working his way back to the front the 2009 German Champion had another moment when his car was hit in the pitlane after his mechanic put the car out into the path of another car.  The error resulted in a Stop & Go penalty but the German keep his head and went on to win by a lap from fellow countryman Rico Kröber and Italian duo Biagio Spataro and Dario Balestri. Unfortunately for Simon Balk who led for much of the race his tyres didn’t last the distance and he finished fifth missing out on bumping up as Adrian Bernsten and former Euro B Champion Top Qualifier Michael Derderian got in as the fastest two finishers outside the Top 4 of each Semi.

Adrian Bernsten

The Semi A Final got delayed when Norwegian ace Bernsten called time as he struggled to get his engine to run. Fitting a new plug to the Capricorn motor they got it back on song and the Xray driver was to reward his pit crew with a stunning drive from the back of the field. If starting from the 11th grid spot wasn’t a big enough challenge the 17-year-old put his Xray on the grass on the opening lap and needed to be marshalled. Getting his head down Bernsten said ‘he never gave up hope and drove at 110%’ and it was to pay of as he worked his way up through to finish 5th which sees him line up 6th for the main event.  Up front it was Eric Dankel who got the jump on pole sitter Pietsch at the start but the German National Champion clipped the end of the pit wall on lap six which allowed the 1:8 World Champion into a lead he would never give up.

A-main starting order
1. Robert Pietsch (Mugen/Novarossi)
2. Dirk Wischnewski (Xray/Orcan)
3. Eric Dankel (Xray/Novarossi)
4. Manuel Huber (Xray/Max)
5. Teemu Leino (Xray/LRP)
6. Adrian Berntsen (Xray/Capricorn)
7. Michael Derderian (Xray/RB)
8. Rico Kröber (Xray/Novarossi)
9. Biagio Spataro (Xray/Gi-Mar)
10.Dario Balestri (KM/Novarossi)

View the full event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

1/4 Finals Update

Martin Hudy

After a morning of many highs & lows the grid for this afternoon’s 200mm European Championship Semi Finals are set.  Having won his 1/8 final to bump up to the first of the 1/4 finals Xray’s Martin Hudy drove a great race to win ahead of Team Shepherd’s Jilles Groskamp.  German Dominic Greiner looked to have control of the race but just before his final fuel stops his Kyosho ran out of fuel ending his chances of moving up to the Semis.  Despite suffering a flame-out at the start of the race, as did Serpent team-mate Michael Salven, Daan Jacobs recovered to take the final bump position.  Along with two time champion Michael Salven, who had a second flame out, the other big casualty of the 1/4 B final was championship runner up for the past two years Alexander Hagberg who could only manage 5th.

Mark Green

In the second of the 1/4 Finals there was hard luck for 2007 podium finisher Alessio Mazzeo. Having bumped up from his 1/8 Final, which he won comfortably, the Italian teenager had a clear lead over fellow Serpent driver Mark Green but coming up to the last round of pit stops his 733 ran out of fuel.  Green, who lost 6 seconds during his first pit stop, as his car got spun twice as he tried to leave the pitlane, fell to sixth but recovered the take the win ahead of French RB team driver Michael Derderian and German Dirk Stammler’s Serpent.  Unfortunately an engine flame out ended European B Champion Patrick Nähr’s event.  Other drivers of note to drop put where former World finalist Francesco Tironi and British Champion Kyle Branson who had bumped up from the 1/8 Finals.

Elsewhere former World Champion Adrien Bertin looked set to bump up from his 1/8 Final but with just a lap and a half to go his Orion powered Kyosho came to a halt.

View the full event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Video – Qualifying Round-up

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Pietsch Top Qualifier with new Mugen

Robert Pietsch

Mugen designer Robert Pietsch gave his latest creation the MTX-5 its first accolade by securing Top Qualifier honours at the 200mm European Championships in Ettlingen, Germany.  Top Qualifier at the World Championships using the MTX-5′s predecessor, the German ace claimed his first Euros TQ with his time from yesterday’s second round of qualifying as no one could take advantage of the dry Q4 conditions to better his time.  The main improvements in the final qualifier were Xray pairing Dirk Wischnewski and Eric Dankel who set the 2nd & 3rd fastest overall times respectively to demote Q1 pace setter Patrick Schäfer to fourth in the final ranking.

Delighted to put the brand new MTX-5 top in qualifying on its race debut, Pietsch used the fourth & final qualifier to test ‘super big’ tyres in preparation for tomorrow’s finals.  While the car was expectedly a little harder to drive on the larger diameter foam, the 1:8 Onroad World Champion said he could not get the car to traction roll, something that was a problem with the MTX-4.  Very happy with the test and the amount of tyre wear over the 7-minutes of the heat, last year’s podium finisher added that the overall feeling of the car is really good for the Semi.

Wischnewski

Top Qualifier at the Euros for the last two years, Wischnewski said he ran a little safe and was relieved to finally complete a full run having run out of fuel in both of yesterday’s qualifiers.  The 2009 Champion said his chances of securing a third consecutive TQ were lost yesterday and while happy to be on pole for the Semi B Final he really wanted to be Top Qualifier.  Getting to within less than a second of the TQ time, he described his Orcan powered NT1 as ‘OK’ saying there was a little less traction than yesterday but with the glorious weather that arrived on the final day of practice set to return tomorrow he is not concerned about his set-up.  Backed by Matrix tyres, the 200mm specialist said his focus for now is on calculating tyre wear so he can work out his strategy for the finals.

Dankel, who made two small mistakes in Q4, said today’s cooler conditions suited his Novarossi powered NT1 much better.  Switching from a solid front axle to a diff as a test for the finals, the German National Champion said the diff was a much better option for the finals in terms of tyre wear.

Schäfer

Having tried in Q2 to run 5-minutes between fuelling, and failed, Schäfer again tried for the magical distance.  Switching to a different Novarossi engine he said it went the distance but got too lean loosing power and over a final the risk was too high.  Planning to switch back to a 4 minute 30 second engine for the finals the Team Shepherd boss said he is hoping for hotter conditions tomorrow as they suit his driving better.

Teemu Leino

The quickest non-German with the fifth fastest time was 2007 Top Qualifier Teemu Leino.  The Finn, who sat 3rd overnight, tried a different set-up on his LRP powered Xray in Q4 but said it wasn’t good and plans to revert back to the set-up he used on the opening day of qualifying.  Making it four Xray’s in the Top 6 local talent Simon Balk was delighted with how his Euros debut is going.

Ronald Volker

One of the best electric touring car drivers in the World, Ronald Volker was one driver who pulled off a major turn around of fortunes in the final qualifier.  A newcomer to nitro racing, having only signed with Team Shepherd at the start of this year, the former electric European Champion was sitting third from last heading into his final heat after two days of off track matters he would rather forget. Taking the approach of a safe run so as to try and make the Top 14, Volker actually managed the 3rd fastest time for Q4 which moved him up 111 places to 7th overall.

Dario Balestri

The best of the Italians, former back to back Champion Dario Balestri claimed the 8th fastest time thanks to his opening qualifying run.  The KM Racing driver got a Stop & Go penalty in the final qualifier for bad refueling but said a quick time was never on the cards as a change of diff oils in his Novarossi powered H-K1 was the wrong way to go.  The star of the 2009 Euros in Gubbio, fellow Italian Biagio Spataro also failed to improve his Q2 time, which included a Stop & Go penalty, saying his Xray was better in the hotter conditions and he dropped from 7th to 10th.

Adrian Berntsen

Inbetween the two Italians Norwegian National Champion Adrian Berntsen improved his time in Q4 by 1 second but still dropped two positions to ninth.  Unlike previous years when the Top 4 qualifiers went directly in to the Main, everyone must now secure their spot in the title deciding race by coming through from the Semi finals.  The drivers completing the magical Top 14 and securing a starting place in those Semis are Giuseppe D’Angelo, Giorgio De Felici, Manuel Huber and Rico Kröber.  In terms of cars Xray have secured nine of the Top 14 places with two Shepherds and one car each from Mugen, KM Racing and Capricorn.

Mark Green

Inaugural champions of 200mm, Serpent just missed out on the Semis with multiple British Champion Mark Green bumped out of the Top 14 by 2009 podium finisher Huber in the very last heat.  Green will start pole in 1/4 A Final while former World finalist Jilles Groskamp will start at the front of the 1/4 B grid.

Our coverage of the finals, which is supported by Team Shepherd, Matrix Racing Tyres and Mugen Seiki, will start in the morning with updates from the 1/4 finals through the main event when the 9th EFRA 200mm European Champion will be crowned.

Final Top 14 Qualifiers
1. Robert Pietsch – Mugen/Novarossi – 31/7:06.232 (Q2)
2. Dirk Wischnewski – Xray/Orcan – 31/7:07.487 (Q4)
3. Eric Dankel – Xray/Novarossi – 31/7:11.365 (Q4)
4. Patrick Schäfer – Shepherd/Novarossi – 31/7:11.444 (Q1)
5. Teemu Leino – Xray/LRP – 31/7:11.708 (Q2)
6. Simon Balk – Xray/Orcan – 31/7:12.029 (Q2)
7. Ronald Völker – Shepherd/LRP – 31/7:12.085 (Q4)
8. Dario Balestri – KM Racing/Novarossi – 31/7:12.297 (Q1)
9. Adrian Berntsen – Xray/Capricorn – 31/7:12.482 (Q4)
10.Biagio Spataro – Xray/Gi-Mar – 31/7:13.131 (Q2)
11.Giuseppe Dangelo – Xray/Max – 30/7:00.411 (Q1)
12.Giorgio De Felici – Capricorn/Novarossi – 30/7:00.610 (Q1)
13.Manuel Huber – Xray/Max – 30/7:00.734 (Q4)
14.Rico Kröber – Xray/Novarossi – 30/7:00.821 (Q2)

View the full event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Drivers sit out Q3 following overnight rain

Ronald Volker

Overnight rain in Ettlingen, Germany, meant few drivers took to the track for the third round of qualifying for the 200m European Championships.  Although the rain stopped before the commencement of the penultimate round of heats and the track looked dry but conditions were extremely slippy.

After a disastrous day yesterday world class electric touring car racer Ronald Volker set the pace for Q3 with a 19 lap run compared with yesterday’s 31 lap TQ time set by Robert Pietsch showing just how slow the track was.  Suffering an engine bearing failure in Q1 and then setting the 7th fastest time in Q2 only to be excluded after his exhaust stinger was found to be marginally outside the permitted 200mm track width, Volker said some corners didn’t actually feel too bad but other parts of the track had just ‘zero traction’.  With the overhead clouds looking very threatening at the moment, the Team Shepherd driver is praying for a chance of a dry run in the final qualifier otherwise he said he is in for a busy afternoon as he looks set to qualifying third last of the 120 entries.

Jilles Groskamp

In the top heat the only driver to venture on track was Jilles Groskamp.  The 2008 World Championship Top Qualifier did just three laps in the warm-up to check a different Orion engine in his Shepherd Velox V10 but said afterwards the car looked like it had done a full final after it picked up all the loose tyre foam.

View the full event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Video – Qualifying Rd1 action

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Introduction

Red RC are in Sand am Main, Germany for the 2014 EFRA 1/8th scale gas offroad European Championships. The best racers from around Europe, will be in attendance to battle for the title which was won last year in France by David Ronnefalk. Red RC's coverage of the event begins in full on Tuesday morning (5th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the event.

Local time in Sand am Main, Germany

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