July 7, 2015

Track Focus – Ongaroring


Track Name – Ongaroring
Organiser – Mauro Ongaro
Country – Italy
Location – Sacile (80km north of Venice)
Direction – Anti-clockwise
Surface – Dirt/bricks
Previous events hosted – 2013 Euro B Championships, Italian Nationals

The Ongaroring plays host to the 35th running of the 1:8 Offroad European Championship.  Built in 2008, the track is the work of Mauro Ongaro, the father of young up & coming Italian talent Davide.  Taking up the hobby himself in 1989, the track is built on land once used to grow corn by his parents who still live next to the track.  With the facility covering 9,000 sq metres, the track itself is built in an area 60 metres wide by 40 metres deep.  With the lap covering 400 metres the raised track is mainly dirt with four brick sections all of which are 180 corners.  A good early lap time for the track is around 38-seconds.

Describing the fast track layout as typically ‘European style’, back to back defending champion David Ronnefalk said its ‘fun’ to drive adding he ‘like(s) it’. The HB/HPI Racing driver said the back section of the track is quite hard to see and a good lap time requires being ‘precise’ and ‘staying on the line’.  With the brick sections leaving cars with ‘no steering’, the Swede said its not a huge issue as they are all slow corners and once the car is set-up well for the other 95% of the track’s dirt surface its just something you deal with.  Having attended the Warm-up Race back in May which was won by former Kyosho team-mate Elliott Boots, the Swede said the track, while unchanged in layout, is ‘a lot different’ due to the watering the track has been getting in the build up the the actually Euros.  A ‘high bite’ track at the Warm-up, Ronnefalk said the track is now loose and dust is a problem that will continue if they keep on watering.  Hoping they stop watering it, the track having a plumbed in sprinkler system, he said that would help bring in traction but it would also mean the track would break-up something he would prefer to deal with than the high dust conditions.

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May 25, 2015

Record fifth Reedy title for Rheinard


Marc Rheinard has claimed a record 5th Reedy International Touring Car Race of Champions title, the 18th running of the event being decided in the 36th and final race at Tamiya Raceway in California. Leading the points from the opening round right through the 3 days of heads up racing, the Tamiya star secured his first major touring car title for some time when he finished on the tail of outgoing champion Ronald Volker. Needing to win the race and have Rheinard finish 6th or lower, Volker could only manage second behind Yokomo team-mate Meen Vejrak, that win securing the Thai driver the final place on the podium.


‘Finally a win again’, that was Rheinard’s reaction to the victory at a track the German rates as the best in the world.  Coming into the event sharing the honour of being the most crowned champion of the famous race together with Barry Baker, the 4-time World Champion said after opening the final day’s racing with a 9th place, this left him worried for the rest of the day.  Even after his win in the penultimate round when his only potential rival Volker finished third, that getting him one hand on the trophy, he ‘still wasn’t sure’ he was going to get the job done.  Getting a good start and patiently working his way to 3rd he said once he got in behind Volker he just cruised to the end but got a little concerned when Ryan Cavalieri started to close in case an attempt to pass might put him off.  Having claimed one of his two previous Reedy titles at Tamiya Raceway witnessed by the late Mike Reedy, the rc pioneer who created the World famous race format, he said ‘luckily it worked out’ and it was ‘nice to win big in touring cars again’.


Volker said ‘overall I am happy how all my races went and to get 11 Top 3 finishes from 12 races I am proud of that’ and that he ‘delivered his best’.  Congratulating his long time arch rival on his win he said ‘even though he may have had easier heats than me in the end he delivered’.  Commenting on the deciding race the ETS Champion, who will go up against most of the field again next weekend in Luxembourg at round 5 of the championship, said after the race settled with Vejrak in the lead, him second and Rheinard third everyone cruised to the finish.  Needing Rheinard to be at the back of the field to have any chance of the title he said he also knew that Vejrak needed a Top 2 in order to get a podium finish so he didn’t risk challenging for a win that would have not changed his own overall finishing position. He said with the final step of the podium wide open going into last round he was very happy for Vejrak to secure the podium.


Having finished 4th last year, Vejrak was delighted to go one better.  The 30-year-old former nitro touring car World Champion, having had a bad second race of the event, said he was glad to come back from that against a much higher quality field than last year and make the podium.  Having got to watch his main rival for an overall Top 3 he said he knew going into the last race what he had to do and he described his drive to his fourth win of the event as a ‘safe drive’.


Missing out on the podium, Krapp was ‘super disappointed’ adding ‘I messed it up myself’.  He continued ‘fourth is ok for my first time at the track, the Tamiya driver being the highest placed first time visitor, ‘but I’m a racer and I want to make the podium’.  The German said in ‘Race 10 I messed it up’, referring to his off through the track’s famous kink in Round 10 that led to a DNF. Happy for his TRF team and Rheinard for taking the win he vowed to ‘come back stronger next year now that I know the track’.  Behind Krapp, Serpent’s Viktor Wilck, the driver he replaced at Tamiya, finished 5th overall with Japanese driver of the moment Akio Sobue completing the Top 6.

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May 25, 2015

Chassis Focus – Ronald Volker


Chassis – Yokomo BD7 2015
Motor – LRP 4.5
Batteries – LRP 5600mah
Tires – Sweep (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa
Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R
Remarks – Yokomo ace Ronald Volker is running a pretty out-of-the-box version of the BD7 2015 as usual beautifully prepped by Yokomo’s engineer Yukijiro Umino. The only changes featured are a titanium screw set and a different weight distribution to match the rules of the Reedy Race.

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