With three days of practice complete at the 1:8 Offroad World Championships it is Ty Tessmann who holds the edge with the HB driver setting a new fastest time in today’s final practice. Having moved to the top of the time sheets in the first of the day’s 12-minute practice rounds, the Canadian improved that 1:52.143 time to a 1:50.580 to again set the pace over defending champion Robert Batlle. Having set the pace on Day 2, reigning European Champion David Ronnefalk was, after a sleepy start to the day, able to improve his overall time to complete the Top 3.
Running a longer chassis on his OS Speed powered D812, Tessmann said the change was better giving the buggy greater high speed stability. Again running Pro-Line’s Suburb tyre, the US National Champion plans to test the company’s Fugitive offering. In terms of set-up changes he said they will discuss tonight what they plan to try out over the three 10-minute runs that make up tomorrow’s schedule, which is officially the final day of open practice.
Running a time of 1:51.905 in the second practice, Batlle declared himself ‘quite happy’ with his day. Changing tyres during the run, going from Procircuit’s Hot Dice tyre to a new unnamed pattern tyre, he said they gave his Novarossi powered MBX7 super high grip and he preferred the Hot Dice. Feeling the buggy has too much weight transfer for the morning the Spaniard plans to make a shock adjust as he looks to get more forward traction off the landings.
Changing the set-up on his second Orion powered MP9, Ronnefalk said he had to learn the car again but by the end of the run he was happy with both the consistency and speed. Looking to test his car on slicks he switched to a soft set of AKA Typo tyres which he said on the abrasive surface were slicks after 5 to 6 laps. With the car very easy to drive and the tyres providing good traction he was happy to conduct the test but added care needed to be taken that the tyre wall didn’t wear so much as to make it fail technical inspection.
Changing to a harder insert in his AKA Catapult tyres along with a shock set-up change Martin Bayer was able to improve on his time to end the day fourth. The factory Xray driver said changes gave him an easier to drive car as well as giving him more overall traction. Admitting he was ‘still quite far of Ty & David’ he said he was still really happy with pace which he hoped to be able to improve on tomorrow with further small tweaks.
One of the finds of the 2010 World Championships in Thailand, Australia’s Kyle McBride completed the day with a Top 5 run. Making the switch to Pro-Line’s Suburb tyre for his second run, the 18-year-old Kyosho team driver found speed but at the cost of consistency. Feeling his OS speed powered MP9 was not set-up for the edgyness of the tyre he is confident a few adjustments will make it more comfortable. Asked about the track he said traction is nothing like the loose conditions he is used to running at home but he is happy with the rhythm he has found for the super high traction.
Completing the Top 6, today’s time set to determine a reseed for tomorrow’s final day of open practice and the next day’s two rounds of controlled practice, was Team Associated’s Neil Cragg. Debuting an all new car at the event, the former 2WD Offroad World Champion said it is much easier to drive and more forgiving than is predecessor. Still learning the car, the British ace said with every run it is getting better and better. Disappointed with his morning run the car having felt good to drive but that not being reflected in the lap times, for the second run he took a leaf out of Tessmann’s book and ran a set of Pro-Line Suburbs. A big improvement he said he is pretty happy with how the day ended up but added he has ‘no idea where Tessmann’s pace is coming from’. For his next run he will try heavier diff oils as well as again following Tessmann by try Pro-Line’s new lexan rear wing.
Behind Cragg, Kyosho’s Jerome Aigoin set the 7th fastest time followed by Adam Drake, both drivers times being set yesterday. 1:10 Offroad World Champions Jared Tebo and Ryan Cavalieri, the Associated lead driver setting his time in the final practice, completing the Top 10.
Chassis – TLR 8ight 3.0 Engine – Novarossi Keep Off 21 4S Tyres – JConcepts Diamond Bars Fuel – Sidewinder Radio/Servos – Airtronics/Hitec Body – JConcepts Silencer Remarks – Ryan Maifield is making is international debut with TLR and is performing well despite having some brake fade problems on Friday, which they managed to fix. The car is a standard 8ight 3.0 but Ryan has had stiffeners made for the lower wishbones and having tried them feels they make the car sharper. Having raced until this point with his basic US setup for the 2nd and final practice today he was going to make his first adjustments to the setup to make it more ‘European’. Ryan is also running the new Diamond Bars from JConcepts which we will have more information on tomorrow.
Chassis – Mugen MBX7R Engine – Novarossi Keep Off 21 4S Tyres – Pro Circuit Hot Dices Medium Fuel – Nitrolux Radio/Servos – Futaba/Xpert Body – Kit Remarks – Reigning World Champion Robert Batlle is running the new MBX7R, which is the same as the car he ran at the recent Euros but with the latest chassis plate which has the bigger side plate angle. Like the other racers here he has changed his car to a stiffer setup in diffs and shocks to give the car less roll in the high grip conditions and is so far very happy with his pace.
Already into their third day of practice at this year’s extended 1:8 Offroad World Championships with still 2 more days of practice to go on the Italian island of Sicily, Ty Tessmann laid down today’s early marker running the fastest three consecutive laps from defending World Champion Robert Batlle. With David Ronnefalk setting the pace yesterday from Tessmann with a time of 1:53.211, in the first of today’s two 12-minute runs the Canadian lowered the benchmark to 1:52.143 with Batlle managing a 1:53.386 followed by a 1:53.842 from Martin Bayer.
With drivers appearing to be more focused on pacing themselves for the extra long event, the race hosts adding extra practice days to the timetable in lue of the fact they hosted no Warm-up Race, the atmosphere in the pits is rather relaxed for a World Championships. Having went up in the diff oils in his HB, Tessmann said today was a lot better than yesterday the change making his D812 easier to drive in the high speed sections as well as helping the buggy to push through the corners better. Running the same set of Pro-Line X1 Suburb tyres he ran yesterday, Pro-Line appearing to have a slight edge in the wear department on the high abrassion surface, he said overall the car was easy to drive. HB designer Torrance Deguzman has been on a bit of parts reduction exercise for the event with two key new parts being debuted. Following a pin failure in the diff input shaft that cost him the 2013 US title HB now have a single piece unit which they have adapted from the 1:10 electric buggy. Reducing 5 piece to 1, they have also done a similar redesign with the rear wing stay. Now a single molded piece the weight saving is the big benefit of this change which has been further complimented with a new lexan wing. Although happy with where he is at with his set-up, Tessmann said with plenty of practices still to run he wants to try a number of things but added he is at the same time trying to make sure he doesn’t get lost in terms of what direction he goes with the set-up.
‘Good’ was how Batlle summed up how the event was going so far. The Mugen driver ran a harder shock set-up today which he said made for a more stable car and for the second outing he plans to go even stiffer. Suffering a little with traffic today he said overall he was happy with his current pace echoing Tessmann by saying it was ‘important not to get carried away’ with set-ups changes. With Batlle like his rivals not yet busting out their game faces he said his game plan for the remaining practices was just to make small little changes every run.
Bayer was not reading much into his early form, the factory Xray driver quick to highlight ‘Its practice’. The Czech driver said he has been changing many things and so far the pace has been good so he is ‘happy for now’. Complimentary of the track surface he said conditions are very stable with the track changing little between the morning and the afternoon which he said helps in terms of working on tuning the set-up.
Despite being without his pitman and Kyosho Team-manager Joe Pillars, Jared Tebo posted the fourth fastest time this morning ahead of fellow American Carson Wernimont. Issues with the expiry date of Pillar’s passport meant while his team headed on out to Italy he got stuck in LA for two days as he arranged to have a new passport issued but we are glad to report he has made it in time to see his star driver run in the day’s second practice. Tebo said after he ‘struggled’ on the opening day, things have since got better with each run and as he ‘slowly’ gets used to the track declaring himself pretty happy with his opening run today. The reigning 1:10 2WD Buggy World Champion said he is not used to being on throttle in corners so much and he has had to work on getting confident with that but is getting there now.
Renaud Savoya set the sixth fastest time, the French ace finding the speed he was lacking yesterday to go with the consistency of his Xray. The multiple European Champion said the speed came from switching from Sweep’s Revolt to Exagon tyre. Happy with his car from the very first time he laid it down on the track, this morning he used the 12-minute run to back to back test bodyshells. Running Xray’s stock kit bodyshell he said the buggy was a little faster but switching to Sweep’s Muzzle he said it felt more stable on the grippy conditions. ‘Happy so far’, he said with ‘lots of pratice runs’ they are able to take a ‘step by step’ approach to working on the car set-up.
Dakotah Phend was fastest of the TLR drivers this morning the teenager posting the 7th fastest time. Having run Pro-Line’s Blockade tyres up to now he will test smaller pins tyres in his next outing with both a set of Suburbs and Fugatives ready to go in his 8ight. Although looking to improve his buggy in the fast sections while trying to keep it good in the tight corners he said he is more focused on trying to figure out the track for himself. Not used to such high bite conditions for 1:8 he feels he needs a bit more track time to master that. New team-mate Ryan Maifield said his buggy is really consistent but he needs to get more speed from it. Really comfortable with the track and getting good feedback from his team in relation to the lines he is running he said they now needs to work on making the car ‘a little more aggressive’.
Ninth fastest this morning behind Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz, Ronnefalk said he was still asleep for his run. Happy with the car he ran the previous two days, the Swede used today to run his second car for the very first time and although built identically they end up feeling different with this one too soft making it hard to drive. Planning to fix the set-up he will run the second car again this evening adding that tyres have been his big focus. Running AKA’s Catapult tyre he said he has tried soft & medium compound, new versus used adding that while wear is high his MP9 works well on slicks ‘so its not too bad’.
Elsewhere this Worlds marks the debut of 2008 Champion Atsushi Hara with S-Workz. An all round RC great, Hara said he is not fast but for him that is normal so early on in an event adding that his races starts in the Semi-Finals. After an ok start to yesterday he said a change by his long time mechanic Masayuki Miura for the final run made the buggy terrible. Although better this morning he said the car is stable adding he thinks it is overall too soft and they will now go for a harder set-up.
Chassis – HB D812 Engine – OS Speed 2101 B Tyres – Pro-Line Suburb X1 Fuel – Nitrotane Radio/Servos – Airtronics/Savox Body – Pro-Line Type R Remarks – Ty Tessmann is running the D812 with a number of new option parts on the car including a new rear diff case, new one piece input gear, new radio tray with a larger battery box and new rear hubs with updated geometry. The Canadian has been working on making the car easier to drive with his focus on thicker diff oils and thicker shock oils. He has also been trying different tires and looks to have settled on the super hard Pro-Line Suburb. Also new on the car is the Pro-Line lexan Trifecta wing which comes with 2 different plastic trim strips and new wheel nuts which work with the new magnetic wheel wrench from 110% Racing.
Track Name – Naxos World Owner – Rosario Venuto Country – Italy Location – Giardini-Naxos, Sicily Direction – Anti-Clockwise Surface – Hard dirt with tile sections
The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily plays host to the 15th running of the IFMAR 1:8th Offroad World Championship with the small 10,000 population town of Giardini-Naxos home to the Naxos World track, a facility that covers 25,000 square metres. A track that consumed an inordinate amount of bandwidth with endless speculation about its surface, three days into the extended event both the surface and the track layout is generally getting a thumbs up all round from drivers. Covering an area of 25,000 square metres the track, which is overlooked by the active Mount Etna volcano, has only been in existence since 2012 but after hosting the opening round of this year’s Italian National Championships back in March has been closed for much of this year as track owner Rosario Venuto together with event organiser Salvatore Schepis and their team completely rebuilt the track for the World Championship, the event unlike previous Worlds not having a Warm-up race. An indication to how big of a rebuild the track has undergone, the press room is what used to be the old tracks pit area.
A very hard packed track surface has been finished with specially mixed dirt that is dirt from the site which has been cleared of stones and finely sieved before water and 5% resin is added. In turn this has then been laid similar to that of concrete. Shown the process by Mr. Salvatore he said the reason was that should it rain during the event, as it did overnight before the opening day, using the natural dirt the track would be washed away. Having experimented with a higher percentage of resin this left the surface too brittle causing it to scatter and break up.
Defending World Champion Robert Batlle said while tyre wear was ‘super high’ he said the surface has been very consistent making it much easier to work on car set-up. In terms of the layout the Mugen driver said it was typical Euro style and for him it was ‘super good’ to drive. In terms of challenges he said the double before the straight was one of the keys to a good lap. US National Champion and runner-up to Batlle 2-years ago in Argentina, Ty Tessmann said while the layout was different to what he would be used he was adapting well to what he described as was a ‘pretty fun layout’. In addition to the double before the straight he said the chicane on the back of the track was another tricky area. In terms of the surface the HB driver said it was ‘very consistent’ and provided a ‘ton of grip’.
In addition to the Worlds track the large well spaced out facility also has a 1/18 Dirt track which is part of Mr. Schepis’ ongoing efforts to introduce young people to the sport. Owner of well known Italian model shop Schepis Model which is based 50km away in Messina city, in the pits is the shop’s rather impressive 40ft trailer which they bringing around to schools to introduce kids to r/c and for the opening ceremony one of the schools that it has visited will be involved in the official proceedings. Plans are already in place to add an asphalt onroad track to the facility so as to cater for the interests of all racers.