July 7, 2016

Chassis Focus – Darren Bloomfield

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Chassis – Agama A215
Engine – Bullitt B220
Tyres – Beta V-Max Medium
Fuel – Piranha
Radio/Servos – KO Propo
Body – Standard

Remarks – Nemo Racing’s top driver Darren Bloomfield is sitting in third after day 1 of Qualifying here in Redovan, driving an Agama A215. Fitted with a rear under-drive gearing, his car is also equipped with 16° caster blocks and a top servo saver plate that moves the body post to a more solid spot on the body. The radio tray features carbon fibre covers, which will possibly be available in the future as an option part.

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July 7, 2016

Ongaro TQ’s 2nd Euros qualifier

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Young Italian talent Davide Ongaro has TQ’d the second round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad Euros.  After a disappointing opening qualifier, the Mugen driver put in an impressive run setting a new fastest time around the Redovan RC track to top the times ahead of Q1 pace setter Elliott Boots.  Running in the same heat as Boots, Ongaro would improve on his own pace a massive 11-seconds ending up 8/10th quicker than the reigning champion. Behind them Robert Batlle would post the third fastest time with an almost identical time to his Q1 pace with Davide Ronnefalk again completing the Top 4 in Spain.

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Asked were his improvement in Q2 came from, Ongaro replied, ‘No wind and better driving’.  Also changing to a softer insert in his Procircuit Road Runner tyres, the 15-year-old said this also helped make his MBX7R ‘more stable’ and therefore ‘more consistent to drive’.  The reigning European Junior Champion, finishing 4th overall at the Euro last year at his home track in Italy, said other than ‘a little bobble at the whoops’ it was a clean run and his aim was to try repeat a similar drive in Q3.  Asked if he planned any changes to his car looking at his mechanic he replied ‘definitely not’.

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‘A bit of a scruffy start’ was Boots response when asked about Q2. The Kyosho driver continued, ‘On the first lap I caught the piping on the straight which put me out in the dust, the first few laps were a little scatty’.  Going on to post the fastest lap of the round with a 52.358, he would later get his MP9 up on two wheels saying it was ‘difficult out there’ but complimented Ongaro on his TQ saying he ‘drove well’.  Putting his P2 down to the driver rather than his car, the British ace was pleased that he was already racing in his finals tyre adding this was his third run on the same set of Pro-Line Fugitives. For Q3, the last qualifier of the day, he added he will ‘probably run new ones for the next one’.

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Changing to a harder compound tyre, Batlle said traction was better but a rear shock change to improve steering on his Mugen was ‘so so’.  With the car ‘still pushing a little’, the 2012 World Champion said they need to work on the set-up more to get more steering.  The Spaniard concluded, ‘At least we have 2 good qualifiers and have three more to get another good one’.

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‘I felt I was driving good but the pace just too slow compared to Ongaro and Boots’, that was reaction of Ronnefalk.  The HB Racing driver continued ‘Yannick (Aigoin) had a crash and I caught his car which lost me time but anyway I still wouldn’t have been fast enough for TQ’.  Winner of the Warm-up Race, the Swede said ‘I was happy with my driving, I was hitting all my lines so we need to find speed in the car’.

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Posting the fifth fastest time, Bloomfield said ‘it feels good and feels like I can go faster but when I do it all gets a bit wobbly’.  Making one mistake in the whoops, which he said was unusual as his Agama ‘has been really good through there’, the Bullit powered A215 got turned around costing him over a second and a potential Top 3 for the round.  For Q3 the former Champion said he is ‘just going to stick with it (the same set-up)’ adding ‘Elliott looked like he was going to have 3 crashes on a lap and mine don’t look like that, I was just unfortunate to have one’.

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Completing the Top 6, Bryan Baldo put his improvement down to better driving.  The host of the race, who after each days racing has to carry out track repairs, the Mugen driver said his MBX7R was very good in the first qualifier but he made two driver errors.  Starting off with a more cautious pace in Q2 looking to get in a banker he said by the end of the 5-minutes he was starting to push.  Saying ‘I don’t think I will make any changes for the next one’, he will try for one more safe run adding ‘then I can push tomorrow’, the final two qualifiers making up Friday’s schedule.

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July 7, 2016

Chassis Focus – Daniel Bernabe

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Chassis – Soar 998 TD1
Engine – OS Speed
Tyres – ProLine Fugitive X2
Fuel – Merlin
Radio/Servos – Futaba / Xpert
Body – Handmade prototype

Remarks – Surprise top seed after yesterday’s practice, Spanish Soar factory driver Daniel Bernabe is using an updated front end on his 998 with a different upper link system that confers a different King Pin angle. He is also using a high precision, lightweight clutch bell, softer clutch shoes made from a similar material that engine pistons are made hence they are more consistent in the whole temperature range, vented brake discs and optional brake pads.

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July 7, 2016

Chassis Focus – Marco Baruffolo

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Chassis – TLR 8ight 4.0
Engine – Picco 5TB – Team
Tyres – HotRace Amazzonia Medium
Fuel – Runner Time
Radio/Servos – KO Propo
Body – Standard / Bittydesign Force

Remarks – Best of the TLR drivers in Q1, young Italian talent Marco Baruffolo is running the 4.0 version of the American buggy. His car is fitted with aluminium steering knuckles and uprights and an Option Team servo saver plate. He is also using Option Team’s double effect shock pistons and an aluminium throttle link. In terms of setup, he is running thicker diff oils than usual to cope with the high temperatures.

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July 7, 2016

Boots takes opening qualifier in Spain

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Elliott Boots has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Redovan, Spain.  The reigning champion was fastest over the first of the five 5-minute qualifiers from fellow British driver Darren Bloomfield, the former champion just under a second off the Kyosho driver.  Turning out to be an all Champions affair at the top of the time sheets, former back to back champion David Ronnefalk would post the third fastest time followed by former double champion Robert Batlle.  Having topped seeding yesterday Daniel Bernabe would struggle in the opening qualifier with a combination of running on new tyres that left him with an aggressive car and not getting the set-up on his SOAR correct for today’s cooler overcast conditions.  The Spaniard would also have a 4-second mistake on his last lap.  This left João Figueiredo to be the surprise of Q1 with last year’s Euro B Top Qualifier getting a P5 ahead of Neil Cragg who completed the Top 6.

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‘The right start’, was Boots reaction to taking the opening qualifier adding, ‘we’ll try continue like that and hopefully get two more’.  Pleased with his Reds Racing powered MP9, leaving it unchanged from yesterday after it ran good in the morning shakedown despite yesterday’s beating sun being blocked today by clouds, he said the wind & traffic were his only issues.  With dust clouds sweeping across the track, he said, ‘the wind was really strong and was blowing the car around a lot so I was jumping low to be safe and get a banker in’.  Coming up on ‘a lot of traffic’ in the latter part of the qualifier, he said while ‘they didn’t hold (him) up much’ it did effect his rhythm a little leading to him catching the pipe once leading to a roll but luckily his car landed back on its wheels.  Running on Pro-Line’s Fugitive tyre, when asked if he planned any changes for Q2 he replied, ‘we’ll stick with it’.

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‘I put qualifying tyres back on but to be honest I didn’t think I’d get second, I really happy with second’, was how Bloomfield summed up Q1.  Using the two seeding practices to test a final tyre, a Beta Hurricane, the Agama driver said this lost him between half and 1-second a lap and ending up P12 it was a ‘downer day’ but the focus was always on doing his own thing and working towards the final.  Switching to a medium compound V-Max tyre this morning, the 2012 Champion had the speed again but added ‘the tyre got a bit soft and chewing gummy at the end but you need this compound for the speed’.  Asked about his plans for Q2, he replied, ‘just keep clicking them rounds off so leave the car the same’.

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Batlle declared Q1 as ‘not bad’ adding ‘1-second off TQ is almost nothing’.  Switching to a softer compound of Procircuit’s new prototype tyre, the 2007 & 11 Champion said ‘in the beginning it was OK but the last 2 laps were tricky’.   With ‘a lack of traction’ from his MBX7R, the Spaniard said while the tyre was one factor he feels some of the lack of traction was in the set-up.  Planning to go to a harder compound he added ‘we will also make a few (car) changes for the next one’.

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‘A pretty good start’ was Ronnefalk’s view of his P4 time.  The HB Racing driver added, ‘I didn’t have any big mistakes, just touched the piping but I did have a big coming together with the wind which cost me a few tenths’.  The Swede said after a not so good shakedown, the ‘driver made a big improvement’ for Q1.  Continuing to run on AKA’s Zipps tyre, the Warm-up Race winner said the plan for Q2 in terms of his D815 was to ‘keep it like it is’.

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‘Awesome’ was Figueiredo’s reaction to his posting the fifth fastest time adding, ‘I did expect to be a good’.  The 19-year-old Kyosho driver said adding weight to his MP9 had improved the car but running in the same heat as Bloomfield, Batlle and Ronnefalk he said the key to his run was to ‘keep rhythm with the others’.  Using Hot Race’s new Amazzonia tyre in medium compound the Portuguese driver will leave everything unchanged for Q2 and focus on his driving.

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Team Associated’s Neil Cragg said his improved performance was down to ‘finally getting used to the track’ continuing ‘it’s a daunting track to learn’.  The former electric offroad World Champion said the aim has been to ‘keep improving, keep improving but (they) made a big step yesterday evening (with set-up)’.  Describing his drive to the P6 time as ‘nothing special’ he said it was an ‘80% drive to get a banker and (they will) pick up from there’.  In terms of his LRP powered RC8B, he said ‘on track it feels dialled’ but added ‘I’m loosing time on the whoops and I’m not sure if its me or the car but there is time to be got there. Right now its not easy on the eye (in the whoops)’. Behind Cragg, Spanish driver Jorge Soler, Italian Marco Baruffolo, event host Oscar Baldo and former champion Yannick Aigoin completed the Top 10.

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