‘From Race Control’ – Day 5, Finals

‘From Race Control’ – Day 5, Finals

The day has arrived to crown the 34th 1:8 Offroad European Champion and while a sunny morning in Sand am Main there is a very strong wind blowing. Starting the day with the 1/32 final, the serious action gets underway with the 20-minute Semi Finals with the Top 6 finishers in each becoming the 12 drivers who will battle it out for the title. In a change to the normal Euros format this year, a World Championship year, the Main final with be extended from its traditional 45-minute duration to 1-hour.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ronnefalk caps off qualifying with 4th TQ run

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Having secured the overall TQ for the 34th running of the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in the penultimate round of qualifying and using the final qualifier to test a harder tyre for the final, the change did little to stop David Ronnefalk from dominating qualifying.  Failing only to TQ the first of the five qualifiers yesterday due to his heat being first up on a damp track following overnight rain, even with a 4-second crash the defending champion took Q5 by over 5-seconds from Team Durango’s Joern Neumann.   Again it was Elliott Boots who completed the Top 3, the British driver turning around his form in the final three qualifiers to secure 4th in the final qualification ranking behind Ronnefalk, Robert Batlle and Teemu Leino.  Running a harder compound of AKA’s Catapult tyre, Ronnefalk said while the tyre took longer to come in by the end it felt really good. Having been the only driver to run a 27-lap time when on the ‘super soft’ compound qualifying tyre and worried about how the harder compound might effect his Kyosho MP9 the time sheets proved he had little to be concerned about as he again ran four of the 27 laps his rivals unable to break passed 28-sec laps.

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Having only registered one Top 10 run, when he was 10th fastest in Q3, Neumann after his P2 run in Q5 said that the pace was always there but traffic and crashes meant he never registered a competitive time.  Feeling he was on a similar pace in Q4 before losing about 7-seconds with an incident two laps in succession, he said his FX powered prototype Durango has been good all week, a fact he highlighted early on when he ran a Top 3 time in the second seeding practice despite missing the opening day of practice due to being stuck in hospital with a lip infection.  Ending qualifying in 11th position, for his Semi Final the double 1:10 Electric Offroad European Champion will reduce the kick-up on his buggy for a little more steering.  Having run Pro-Line’s Suburb tyre in X2 compound in qualifying the German plans to run these also in the Semi-Final.  Should he bump up to the main event he will then switch to the new Fugitive tyre which he said while offering a very similar feel to the Suburb is ‘so durable’.  In pre event testing here for the event, he said they were about to run a set of the Fugitive tyre for a total combined run time of around 2-hours.

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Mixing it up with the European Championship establishment in Q5, 16-year-old Marco Baruffolo enjoyed a strong final qualifier taking his RB buggy to the 6th fastest time.  Unfortunately the performance came too late for the 2013 Euro B Champion with him missing the Semi-final direct qualification cut by 4 places.  The honour of top Italian instead goes to Kyosho’s 2013 National Champion Fabrizio Teghesi who secured the 16th and final position.  Interestingly the 5 champions of the last 8 years have all directly qualified for the 20-minute Semi-Finals Ronnefalk and Batlle being joined by 2012 Champion Darren Bloomfield qualifying 5th, 3-time champion Renaud Savoya 6th and 2-time champion Yannic Aigoin 14th.

Overall Top 16 (direct Semi-Final Qualifiers)
1. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho/Orion – 522 pts
2. Robert Batlle – Mugen/Novarossi – 516
3. Teemu Leino – HB/Novarossi – 514
4. Elliott Boots – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 513
5. Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt – 512
6. Renaud Savoya – Xray/Orion – 506
7. Joseph Quagraine – JQ/Reds Racing – 502
8. Carsten Keller – Kysoho/Bullitt – 499
9. Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 497
10.Christoffer Svensson – Kyosho/OS Speed – 497
11.Joern Neumann – Team Durango/FX – 494
12.Lee Martin – Mugen/Beat – 490
13.Jerome Aigoin – Kyosho/Novarossi – 490
14.Yannick Aigoin – Associated/Ultimate – 490
15.Martin Wollanka – Xray/FX – 488
16.Fabrizio Teghesi – Kyosho/OS Speed – 487

Round 5 Qualifying Top 12
1. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho/Orion – 11/5:13.391
2. Joern Neumann – Team Durango/FX – 11/5:18.825
3. Elliott Boots – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 11/5:19.185
4. Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt – 11/5:19.985
5. Teemu Leino – HB/Novarossi – 11/5:21.578
6. Marco Baruffolo – RB/RB – 11/5:22.387
7. Robert Batlle – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:22.699
8. Miguel Matias – Xray/RB – 11/5:23.392
9. Martin Wollanka – Xray/FX – 11/5:23.521
10.Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 11/5:23.870
11.Christoffer Svensson – Kyosho/OS Speed – 11/24.681
12.Davide Ongaro – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:25.231

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ronnefalk is Euros Top Qualifier

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Defending Champion David Ronnefalk is Top Qualifier at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships. The Kyosho driver claimed the honour with a third convincing TQ run in the penultimate round of qualifying at the Sand am Main event in Germany this morning.  Again the only driver to run a 27-second lap time, the Swede took the round 3.1-seconds up on Mugen’s Robert Batlle with Koysho team-mate Elliott Boots backing up his Q3 performance with another Top 3 time.

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Having taken the overall TQ on the way to his first European Championship title in France last year, Darren Bloomfield also Top Qualifier when he took his first title a year earlier in Austria, Ronnefalk was pleased to wrap up qualifying with one round to go.  Full of confidence in the performance of his Orion powered MP9, the 18-year-old said he just went into his heat aiming for a clean run as he knew the car had the pace to get the job done. Having left his car unchanged throughout qualifying including sticking with AKA’s Catapult tyre he said with qualifying decided he could now change his focus to tyre options for the final which he was surprised to find is listed as being 1-hour long, the European Championship traditionally decided over a 45-minute encounter.  Asked about his advantage in qualifying, he said ‘as always come the final the same guys will have found some extra pace’ and he is expecting a ‘tight race’.

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Having qualified only 5th when he won his second European title here in Sand am Main, Robet Batlle is not concerned by Ronnefalk’s distinct speed advantage.  The Mugen driver is focused on working on his set-up for the finals adding that in Q4 they further improved his MBX7 with the World Champion describing it as ‘so comfortable’ to drive.  For Q5 he will make some minor tweaks to the set-up which he said is already ‘very good for a final’ with him seeking just a little more rotation in the tracks 180 degree corners.

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Describing the traffic as an ‘absolute nightmare’, Boots said other than that it was a good run.  Having struggled in the opening two qualifiers, mainly due to his style of driving, he said having backed it off a little together with little improvements to his Reds Racing powered MP9 he feels he is now ‘there or there abouts’ in terms of overall pace.  Switching from Pro-Line’s Blockade to Suburb tyre in X2 compound for Q4 he said the change worked well and he will continue with everything as is for his final heat.  With only two good rounds to his credit the British driver is conscious that he needs another strong round so cant afford to take many risks.

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Setting the fourth fastest time Teemu Leino described Q4 as a good tyre test.  Running a used set of HB Megabyte tyres on his Novarossi powered D812 he said it felt ‘pretty good’ highlighting that the run was his quickest of the event.  Having done little with the set-up on his buggy throughout both practice & qualifying, the Finn said the buggy is already good enough for a final and so for his last heat he will just continue his tyre testing.

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‘I put on the right set of tyres’, that was how Ari Heinonen described his sudden form.  Posting the 5th fastest time, the Finn made the switch from soft to medium soft compound Beta Freeride tyres which he said gave his Alpha powered Kyosho a lot more stability.  Planning a small camber adjustment for his final heat he said with the buggy now more comfortable to drive he will also push a bit harder.

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Top Qualifier the first time the track held the Euros in 2011, Jerome Aigoin described his Kyosho as ‘much better’ as he got his first Top 12 run with 6th for the round.  The French National Champion completely copied the set-up of Kyosho/AKA team-mate Ronnefalk describing his Novarossi powered example of the MP9 as now being ‘so easy & fast’ to drive.  With no intentions of changing anything for Q5, his focus is on repeating the result so as to give him the best possible starting position in the Semis after some poor earlier qualifiers.

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Jerome’s twin brother Yannick Aigoin would go seventh fastest.  The 2-time former champion said the run was ‘OK’ as while his prototype Team Associated was good he had to drive safe due to two bad rounds yesterday.  A ‘stupid’ mistake in Q1 and the loss of a shock pin in Q3, he said while he has a good car with such problems things can quickly become a ‘critical situation’ leaving him with no option but avoid any risks and drive safe today.  Running Diamond Back tyres he said having watched fellow Pro-Line drivers enjoy good Q4 runs on Suburb’s he will switch to them for his final heat.

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Better known for his electric offroad racing exploits, racing for Team Yokomo, Mugen’s Lee Martin enjoyed his first Top 10 run of the qualifying.  Setting the 8th fastest time, the British driver said he his MBX7 has been good but he just keeps making ‘stupid mistakes’ finding the shouting on the driver stand a big distraction to his concentration.  Having done a lot of work with shocks over qualifying and reverting to a standard Mugen bodyshell they have got the buggy now very balanced.  Having run Pro-Line’s LockDown tyre, like Yannick Aigoin he said having seen some good runs on Suburbs he will switch to them for the last qualifier.  Behind Martin, German’s Carsten Keller and 2011 Podium finisher Daniel Reckward, now racing an RB buggy, completed the Top 10.

Round 4 Qualifying Top 12
1. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho/Orion – 11/5:11.729
2. Robert Batlle – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:14.834
3. Elliott Boots – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 11/5:16.160
4. Teemu Leino – HB/Novarossi – 11/5:16.574
5. Ari Heinonen – Kyosho/Alpha – 11/5:18.986
6. Jerome Aigoin – Kyosho/Novarossi – 11/5:18.999
7. Yannick Aigoin – Associated/Ultimate – 11/5:20.924
8. Lee Martin – Mugen/Beat – 11/5:21.029
9. Carsten Keller – Kysoho/Bullitt – 11/5:22.5:22.562
10.Daniel Reckward – RB/RB – 11/5:22.651
11.Fabrizio Teghesi – Kyosho/OS Speed – 11/5:22.876
12.Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt – 11/5:22.920

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Video – Batlle & Bloomfield Rd4 qualifying

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Video – David Ronnefalk Rd4 qualifying

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Friday, August 8, 2014

‘From Race Control’ – Day 4, Qualifying/Lower Finals

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It is a beautiful sunny start to Day 4 of the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Sand am Main, Germany, with the continuation of qualifying getting proceedings underway.  With 3 of 5 rounds to count the remaining two qualifiers mean that there is still a lot up for grabs in terms of directly qualifying for the Semi-Finals. Once qualifying has been completed the first finals of the 34th running of the championship’s will get underway running up to and including the 1/128 finals.

Friday, August 8, 2014

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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