Ronnefalk holds overnight Euros TQ


Defending 1:8 Offroad European Champion David Ronnefalk leaves the Sand am Main track in Germany this evening in the best position possible after the Kyosho driver took his second TQ run of the first day of qualifying to hold the overnight TQ.  Having taken Q2 by 3 seconds over Robert Batlle, the Swede would again take the third qualifier by an almost identical margin this time from 2012 Champion Darren Bloomfield.  It would be a good Q3 for Team Kyosho as Ronnefalk’s team-mate Elliott Boots having not featured in the first two rounds took his Mp9 to the third fastest time.   In terms of the overall points standings it is Q1 pace setter Teemu Leino who sits second in the ranking followed by Batlle and Bloomfield.


A very composed and on form Ronnefalk said ‘for sure I’m happy to be leading overnight but I would be a lot happier if I had also TQ’d the first one’, a result that would have secured him the overall TQ for the event.  Only 3rd fastest time in Q1, as a result of his heat being the first to run on the damp track this morning, the 18-year-old said its not the securing of the overall TQ that concerns him but rather the chance to be able to use both of tomorrow’s qualifiers as a tyre test session.  Running AKA’s Catapult tyre in Super Soft compound on his MP9, to which he has made little or no set-up changes since early practice, he said the tyre is providing tons of traction and the buggy feels perfect on them but he is concerned about wear.  While good for the 5-minute qualifiers he said they will not last the distance of the Semi-Final.  While he knows a harder tyre will be slower he said its how it effects the overall feeling of the car that he is concened about.  Planning to go for a third TQ run in the morning he said he will use the fifth & final qualifier to test compounds.

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Enjoying his best performance of the day, Bloomfield put the improvement down to a change of his driving.  After two crashes in Q2 left him 12th fastest, the current British National Championship points leader said he ‘minimised (his) heroics’ and the time came to him.  The Agama driver said having struggled mentally with traffic on a track he says ‘always feels busy’, on watching his rivals face similar problems in their heats he really worked on trying to get it out of his head.  Feeling this did help his driving he said he still had some moments, jumping over ’3 cars that were going wrong’ as he went up the hill.  Unlike before he said the loss this time round was only fractions adding it certainly wasn’t the 3-seconds to Ronnefalk but looking to tomorrow he hopes to build on his Q3 approach.


Boots adapted a similar approach to his fellow Brit, also backing off a little in terms of his driving.  Making a number of changes to his Reds Racing powered MP9 moving closer to the set-up being run by Ronnefalk, he said this made the car easier to drive.  Conscious he needed a good round, 3 of 5 to count and his opening two not having faired out well, he drove more conservatively with the net result a competitive third.  Switching from Pro-Line’s LockDown tyre to a set of X2 compound Blockades, the World Championship Top Qualifier said this also added to the mix providing more side bit.  Pleased to end the day in the mix he said he hopes to build on that tomorrow and try go a little quicker.

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Suffering two rolls and again having issues with the same driver as he did in Q2, Leino said while 2nd was again possible he was happy to get 4th as this give him a third result that will lock him into a Semi-Final starting position.  The factory HB driver left his car unchanged between rounds and said he plans to continue that way tomorrow as running the same car is helping in terms of him improving how he is driving it.


Only 51/1000ths off Leino, Renaud Savoya claimed his second 5th fastest time of the day having started off with a sixth in Q1.  The Team Xray driver said his Orion powered XB8 is getting better every run although a clutch combination change for Q3, which used a softer spring, meant the power delivery was not as good as earlier in the day.  Going up in the centre diff oil, the French ace, who saw his run of three European title come to an end here in 2011, said this improved the buggy albeit at making it a little more nervous to drive.  Also switching to a harder compound Sweep Mirco Contact tyre he said while at the end they felt good they took time to come in.  With three solid runs in hand now he said tomorrow they will use the remaining qualifiers to test things for the Semi Final.  With the car already easy to drive, him ‘pretty happy’ at running all three qualifiers with no crashes he said the main focus will be to find a little more corner speed.


Ending up 7th in Q3 behind the Kyosho of former Austrian Champion Martin Karner, Batlle was rather annoyed with the driving of former World & European Champion Daniel Reckward.   Catching the RB driver on his 8th lap he said the German blocked him and when he did get alongside they made contact, the Spaniard coming off worst and losing over 4-seconds.  In terms of his MBX7 set-up, the reigning World Champion said they further improved the car for Q3 with it now more consistent adding tomorrow they will continue to test for the finals.


After an impressive third in Q2, Joseph Quagraine completed a successful day with the 8th fastest time in the third qualifier which sees the Finn sitting 6th in the overnight ranking.  The JQ driver felt the day had gone ‘kind of how (he) expected’ and he was happy with how his creation is performing, French team driver Rayan Medjoubi taking his similarly Reds Racing powered example of ‘The Car’ to 12th in Q3.   Running everything the same as he did in the second qualifier he said due to the warmer condition of the day’s final qualifier the track was slower and should it be the same tomorrow he is going to have to find a better compound.


Behind Quagraine, the Top 10 was completed by Christoffer Svensson and 1:10 Electric European Champion Joern Neumann.  Having missed the first day of practice due to a lip infection, Neumann quickly got to terms with the track in seeding practice yesterday posting a Top 3 time in the second round but struggled in the opening two qualifiers.  Finally breaking into the Top 10 in Q3, the Team Durango driver will be hoping to build on that over tomorrow’s remaining two qualifiers.

Round 3 Qualifying Top 12
1. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho/Orion – 11/5:13.193
2. Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt – 11/5:16.123
3. Elliott Boots – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 11/5:17.700
4. Teemu Leino – HB/Novarossi – 11/5:19.608
5. Renaud Savoya – Xray/Orion – 11/5:19.659
6. Martin Karner – Kyosho/Alpha – 11/5:21.966
7. Robert Batlle – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:22.349
8. Joseph Quagraine – JQ/Reds Racing – 11/5:22.463
9. Christoffer Svensson – Kyosho/OS Speed – 11/5:22.463
10.Joern Neumann – Team Durango/FX – 11/5:22.704
11.Alex Zanchettin – TLR/Novarossi – 11/5:23.011
12.Rayan Medjoubi – JQ/Reds Racing – 11/5:23.148

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 - add a comment

Commanding performance sees Ronnefalk take Q2


David Ronnefalk put in a commanding performance in the second round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Germany to top the times by an impressive 3-seconds over arch rival Robert Batlle. Having been hampered by a damp track for his opening qualifier, ending up 3rd fastest, the defending champion send a clear message of his intentions here at Sand am Main as he posted the first and only 27 second lap of the track.  Behind the two champions an impressive drive by JQ boss Joseph Quagraine gave him third for the round, the Finn just pipping fellow countryman & Q1 Top Qualifier Teemu Leino by 87/1000th.


Running everything the same as he did in Q1, only changing back to AKA’s Catapult tyre for the dry track, Ronnefalk said his Orion powered MP9 was ‘so easy to drive it, so it was very easy to push’.   Getting away with one mistake when he landed on the track border coming up the hill having over compensated for touching the opposite side a lap earlier he said the rest of the run was good.  Looking to Q3, which brings Day 2 of the 34th running of the Championships to a close, he said he was going to ‘just keep driving it’ his father & mechanic joking that the are almost afraid to change anything the buggy is performaning so well.


Batlle said they were able to find even more steering from his Novarossi powered Mugen and he declared himself happy with another second place run adding that other than some traffic the run was quite clean.  Describing his MBX7 as ‘consistent & easy to drive’, the Spaniard is already starting to focus his attentions to adjusting the car in preparation for the Semi Finals.


Ninth fastest in Q1, declaring afterwards that there was a lot more to come from the car which he designed himself, Quagraine was understandable pleased with his competitive run to 3rd.  The straight talking JQ Racing boss said his White Edition of ‘The Car’ has been really good all along and up to now the problems have ‘all been mental and nothing else’.  Describing Q1 as a ‘nervous’ drive he said he got it together for the second one and he hoped to be able to repeat it again now in Q3.  Running what he called a ‘standard set-up’ on his Red Racing powered buggy he said he will leave it the same and just choose the most suitable compound of AKA Impact tyre based on the weather conditions nearer the time of the run.


Leino was content with his fourth for the round describing it as ‘pretty good’.  Leaving his HB unchanged other than going to a harder compound Megabyte tyre, he said without a last lap incident with traffic it would have been very close between him and Batlle for second.  Leading his heat, on the last lap he twice got balked by the same backmarker resulting in the loss of almost 2 seconds.  He said the traffic here makes it hard to get a clean run but planning to leave everything the same for Q3 he said hopefully he can end the day with one more good result which would lock him into the Semi-Finals and give him the opportunity to use tomorrow’s Q4 & 5 to prepare for the finals.

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Fifth fastest was Renaud Savoya.  The 3-time former Champion said from the first lap he knew it was going to be a difficult run.  The French ace said the main problem was he went for too soft a compound Sweep tyre but also having discussed set-up changes they played it too safe and opted against them when they would have suited the conditions.  With two solid runs he said this would allow them to go risky with the set-up for the next round. Behind Savoya, Kyosho driver Carsten Keller completed the Top 6.


Team Associated’s Yannick Aigoin claimed the 7th fastest time, the former Champion saying he was also on for a similar run in Q1 until he messed it up himself.  Catching a slower car he said in his own mistake he crashed into it result in him losing 5-seconds.  Describing his prototype RC8, similar to the one he raced at the World Championships in Argentina, as good in both runs, having left it unchanged, for Q3 he will run a different diff set-up to try and improve corner speed.  In terms of tyres having run Pro-Line’s X2 Diamond Backs, the compound being too hard, he will switch to LockDown feeling the new tyres extra side wall flex will be an advantage.

Round 2 Qualifying Top 12
1. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho/Orion – 11/5:14.193
2. Robert Batlle – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:17.130
3. Joseph Quagraine – JQ/Reds Racing – 11/5:19.521
4. Teemu Leino – HB/Novarossi – 11/5:19.608
5. Renaud Savoya – Xray/Orion – 11/5:21.596
6. Carsten Keller – Kysoho/Bullitt – 11/5:22.094
7. Yannick Aigoin – Associated/Ultimate – 11/5:22.172
8. Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 11/5:22.558
9. Dominic Bauer – Mugen/Alpha – 11/5:22.844
10.Fabrizio Teghesi – Kyosho/OS Speed – 11/5:22.886
11.Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt – 11/5:23.386
12.Davide Ongaro – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:23.834

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Chassis Focus – Teemu Leino


Chassis – HB D812
Engine – Novarossi Keep Off 214S
Tyres – HB Megabyte Pink
Fuel – Runner Time
Radio/Servos – Sanwa
Body - Pro-Line
Remarks – Finnish racer Teemu Leino is running a pretty standard HB D812 here in Germany. Under the body there is little change from the stock car apart from the battery box has been removed from the radio plate which he says helps the flex at the rear and helps reduce weight. Using basically the same setup as when he ran here after the Warm up race the only change he has made has been to lengthen the rear camber link which he says helped smooth out the car.

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Leino TQs opening qualifier in Sand


Teemu Leino took a surprise TQ in the opening round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad European Championship in Germany this morning, the factory HB driver setting the pace in the first of the five 5-minute qualifiers ahead of the championship’s last three champions Robert Batlle, David Ronnefalk and Darren Bloomfield.  Overnight rain made for a slightly damp Sand am Main track as qualifying got underway with the conditions leaving those in the first two heats, among them Top Seed Ronnefalk and Battle, at a disadvantage.  Running in Group 5 and with a more grooved up track Leino was able to go to the top of the timesheets .236 up on Batlle’s Mugen.


Having ended up 15th in seeding practice, Leino put his improved performance down to his tyre choice.  The Finn said he wondered why non of the drivers ahead of him chose a mini pin tyre and decided to take the gamble based on the damp start.  Fitting his Novarossi powered D812 with HB Megabyte tyre he said they worked ‘really good’ giving him a car that was ‘pretty easy to drive’.  Although he suffered one mistake on the double double which cost him around 1-second, he said he ‘didn’t go for a crazy time’ instead focusing on just keeping it safe for the 5-minutes.   Asked if he planned any changes for Q2, he said with a 5-hour gap before his next round he said he would wait to see how the track develops between now and then before deciding if he needs to adjust his set-up.


‘Much better than yesterday’ that was how Batlle summed up his opening qualifier.  Having reported a lack of steering in yesterday’s seeding practice he said they found the steering by changing to a lighter oil in the front diff of his Novarossi powered MBX7.  Asked about the conditions the World Champion said there was a huge difference but added that for sure himself & Ronnefalk had a slower track to contend with than their rivals who ran later.  Switching to a Super soft compound of Procircuit’s Hot Dice tyre for the conditions he said with the track already getting better for Q2 he will switch to soft compound but in terms of the car he plans no major changes.


Going to the pitlane with AKA’s Catapult fitted to his Kyosho a light shower just before the start of Q1 made Ronnefalk make a last minute switch to City Blocks on the front and iBeams on the rear.  With the astro turf section slippery he said the change worked out well.  Despite describing conditions as ‘kind of tricky’ the defending champion said the speed was there but he let the run down with two mistakes of his own doing.  Expecting the round to be one of his throw outs due to the conditions he said he just wanted a solid run and 3rd was a good result.  Other than changing to Catapult tyres for Q2 the Swede plans to run his Orion powered MP9 as is.


‘A consistent run’ was how Darren Bloomfield described his run to fourth for the round.  The Agama driver said driving too cautious on the final lap due to traffic cost him a Top 3 but overall he was pretty happy.  Changing to a super soft compound of Beta’s Freeride tyre for the conditions, the 2012 Champion felt a 2-minute practice round to start the day would have been a good idea after the rain as it would have created equal conditions for the opening qualifier.  Describing his A8 as ‘prett much set’ in terms of set-up he said the only thing he is likely to change is tyre compound but added unlike at the Warm-up and what he ran a number of times in practice he would not go back to medium with soft the most likely choice he will make.


A finalist the last two years, Christoffer Svensson posted the 5th fastest time.  The Swede said he drove a safe round adding he had some issues towards the end with traffic that forced him to drive a little safer than he would have planned.  Running AKA’s Catapult tyre on his OS Speed powered Kyosho he said the car felt really good with plenty of room to push it harder saying his driving will be the only thing he will be changing for Q2.


‘For first round not too bad’, that was Renaud Savoya’s reaction to his run to the sixth fastest time.  The Xray driver said he could have pushed harder but opted to play safe adding that the track for the first three heats was slower due to the overnight rain, the 3-time Champion running in Group 3.  Describing his Orion powered XB8 as ‘moving around a little too much’ for Q2 he said he is considering going up in oil weight but with his run not until 15:00 he said he needs to monitor how the track changes.


Xray team-mate Martin Bayer said he should have softened the set-up of his LRP powered XB8.  Describing the run as ‘not too bad’ he was a little frustrated by being held up on lap 10 by a slower car despite calls from the referee feeling the time lost cost him a potential Top 5 run.  In terms of his plans for Q2 like the rest of the front runners the Czech ace said with such a big gap between rounds he would have to wait to see how the track is closer to his Q2 run.


Top German for the round was Carsten Keller, the Kyosho Germany supported driver setting the 8th fastest time with his Bullitt powered MP9.  The 25-year-old said having had plenty of steering yesterday he got caught out by a lack of it this morning. Suffering a mistake on lap four of 11 when he traction rolled on the concrete section up the hill this lost him around 2-seconds.  For Q2 he plans to go down in oil in the front diff as he looks to improve the steering. Behind Keller, outspoken JQ Racing boss Joseph Quagraine set the ninth fastest time with the Xray of Austrian National Champion Martin Wollanka completing the Top 10.

Round 1 Qualifying Top 12
1. Teemu Leino – HB/Novarossi – 11/5:22.734
2. Robert Batlle – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:22.970
3. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho/Orion – 11/5:23.275
4. Darren Bloomfield – Agama/Bullitt – 11/5:23.651
5. Christoffer Svensson – Kyosho/OS Speed – 11/23.828
6. Renaud Savoya – Xray/Orion – 11/5:23.998
7. Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 11/5:24.777
8. Carsten Keller – Kysoho/Bullitt – 11/5:25.366
9. Joseph Quagraine – JQ/Reds Racing – 11/5:26.273
10.Martin Wollanka – Xray/FX – 11/5:26.793
11.Lee Martin – Mugen/Beat – 11/5:26.871
12.Byran Baldo – Mugen/Novarossi – 11/5:27.390

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 - add a comment

Video – Qualifying Rd1

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Chassis Focus – Riccardo Rabitti


Chassis – Radiosistemi RR8
Engine – OS Speed Spec II
Tyres – Procircuit Square Impact Green
Fuel – Nitrolux
Radio/Servos – Futaba
Body - Kit
Remarks – Former Italian National Champion Riccardo Rabitti is running the latest version of the self designed Radiosistemi RR8 buggy. Featuring a new front shock tower and plate it mounts the upper pivot pin higher which helps give more steering mid corner by reducing dynamic camber. The mounting arm on the steering knuckle has also been moved to the bottom of the mount which reduces bump steer on the car and to cater for the increased steering throw the top plate has been modified.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 - add a comment


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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