Boots is Top Qualifier at 35th Euros


Elliott Boots is Top Qualifier at the 35th running of the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Italy. The former World Championship Top Qualifier secured his first Euros TQ when he posted the second fastest time in the final qualifier ahead of defending champion David Ronnefalk – the only driver who could deny him the honour.  With different drivers taking the opening four qualifiers, Robert Batlle would be the only driver to top the times twice when he set the fastest 5-minute time around the Ongaroring in the fifth & final qualifier. That result would promote the former champion to second in the final ranking ahead of Ronnefalk with young Davide Ongaro best of the many local talents, ending up fourth. With all 12 drivers for the 45-minute final having to progress from the Semis, the Top 16 direct Semi qualifiers includes the last 5 champions who have reigned over the class for the past 9-years setting the stage for some tough racing in Sacile tomorrow.


‘Well happy’ was Boots’, a multiple Junior European Champion, reaction to securing the overall TQ in what was an interesting two days of qualifying with not one driver dominating.  The 22-year-old Kyosho/Reds Racing backed driver said it was consistency which got it for him. Winner of the warm-up Race, the British ace said looking after tyres was going to be key to success come the final. With most finishing the Warm-up Race Main with slicks and the track conditions getting near to how they were for that event back in May, he said it was ‘happy days’ for him. Very comfortable with his Pro-Line shod MP9 he said the track suits his driving style and having focused on consistency from the start of the event on Tuesday he is feeling confident for the finals. Asked about his rivals, he said Ronnefalk looks to have to drive really hard to be fast and Batlle while fast is making more mistakes than usual. While planning to leave his car unchanged for the Semi practice he expects the track to change a lot by then following the running of the lower finals.


Pleased to TQ the final qualifier, Batlle said ‘It was a good battle with David and Elliott’ but added his Mugen is ‘not 100% ready’.  Winner of the last of his two titles in 2011, the former World Champion after his clean final qualifier feels his Ultimate engined MBX-7R is maybe too comfortable and they need to change it to get more speed for the final.  Predicting racing tomorrow to be ‘really tough’ he believes there will also be a lot of crashes, adding he wouldn’t be immune to making mistakes as the track is now ‘so difficult’.


Switching to AKA Impact tyres for the final qualifier, Ronnefalk said he was a bit slower, lacking the speed to keep up with Batlle.  The HB driver, who was Top Qualifier for the previous two years, said the set-up of his Orion powered D815 ‘really good’ and they just now needed to think about tyres.  Predicting a ‘pretty close race’ and a much tougher race than the previous two years he said tyres were going to be key to the final.  Chasing a third consecutive title, him missing out on a first title in 2012 to Darren Bloomfield after a thrilling close race finish, the 19-year-old said he is going to have to stay on ‘top of (his) game’ from start to finish as the track gets more and more difficult.


One of five of Italy’s emerging offroad talents to qualify directly for the Semis, Ongaro said after how practice went he was expecting worse.  The 14-year-old said coming into the event he had set himself as a high target and ending up fourth was no better than he expected. Top Qualifier when the track, which is owned by his father, hosted the Euro B Championships in 2013, the Mugen driver said qualifying fourth showed he could match some of the best drivers in the world.  He said while he knows the track better the others have got it figured out now so he has no advantage that way.  Asked about the final he said it was going to be tough but unlike his rivals he said it wasn’t going to be due to the track but down to the quality of drivers.  He said qualifying fourth showed he can match them and with his car and LRP engines working good its all down to him to get it into the final.  Behind Ongaro, newly crowned Euro B Champion Riccardo Bertin secure 5th with his Kyosho after P8 in the final qualifier moved him ahead of Serpent’s Joern Nuemann and the highest placed TLR of Q4 pace setter Alex Zanchettin.


‘I say I am happy with sixth’, was how Neumann summed up his qualifying.  His first European Championships with Serpent, the German described his final qualifier as ‘medium’ adding ‘maybe the driver was too aggressive’.  Also his first season with Maxima engines he said everything was good for the finals as he had been working from the start of the event towards the longer races rather than 5-minutes.  Expecting the race to be tough on the cars he said it is easy to make mistakes everywhere and due to the high speed of the track that’s going to be hard on equipment.



View the complete results here.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Chassis Focus – Joern Neumann


Chassis – Serpent S811 Cobra 2.2
Engine – Maxima B2
Tyres – Pro-Line Suburbs X2
Fuel – Maxima
Radio/Servos – Futaba
Body – Kit body

Remarks – Serpent Factory driver Joern Neumann is running the latest 2.2 version of the S811 Cobra buggy. Alongside running readily available optionals the German is also using a pre production carbon plate on the steering rack which gives the car a different Ackermann setting. In terms of setup it is the same as when he tested here with the exception of the rear toe which has been reduced to help give the car more steering. He has also been playing around with tires and while he has been using mostly Suburbs in qualifying he may switch to Blockades for the finals.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Zanchettin TQ’s penultimate Euros qualifier


Alex Zanchettin has TQ’d the fourth & penultimate round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad European Championships in Sacile.  On an increasingly difficult Ongaroring track, conditions catching out both David Ronnefalk and Robert Batlle, the Team Losi Racing driver set the pace from Kyosho’s Elliott Boots. Behind them, qualifying having so far produced a different driver at the top of the time sheets each round, Serpent’s Joern Neumann would enjoy his best qualifier to complete the Top 3.


Having crashed out of Q3, Zanchettin said he just tried to drive a safe 5-minutes in search of getting a good third run.  With three from five to count towards the final qualifying order, the result should see the Italian Champion go directly into the Semi finals.  Switching to a harder rear spring on his 8ight 3.0, the 20-year-old said it ‘was easy to drve and so fast’.  Suffering just one small error when he bounced off the pipping and spun on the entry to the main straight, he said the track now had a lot of grip and ruts describing it as being now very similar to how it was at the Warm-up Race.  Also switching from Pro-Line’s Suburb to Holeshot tyre, with the 1st to go with his 5th and 12th from the opening two qualifiers, he will use the last qualifier to test for the final with a rear camber link and tyre pattern change planned.


Boots, who can now only be denied his first overall Euros TQ, said ‘the start was a bit messy’ as he had problems with cars that didn’t want to give each other space.  Also catching a backmarker, who did want to give way, he said it ‘was challenging to get by him’.  Otherwise the British driver said things were ‘very good’ in terms of his Reds Racing powered MP9 and from his point it was a ‘clean run’.  Commenting on track conditions he said it was getting a ‘bit strange’. Starting to break up making it loose he said while this made the car moving around more, the growing ruts would catch the car making it a little unpredictable.  Having had his car tested for a gyro on completion of Q4, it passing the test, he said in terms of set-up there was ‘nothing wrong with the car’ and he would leave it unchanged and go all out for the TQ.


Having got his Maxima powered Cobra 2.2’s more steering on the brick sections, Neumann said the biggest improvement came from his driving.  Having one ‘small bobble’ on the corner double after the loop, the German said the track was more difficult now.  With the growing number of exposed stones causing the rear of the cars to kick up, he said it was difficult to do anything to the car to change that and instead he would adapt his driving and his lines.


Setting the fourth fastest time, Alessandro Stocco was ‘not expecting such a good result’.  Apart from a couple of small bobbles, the 21-year-old said he was very happy with the run, a change to a harder rear spring on his TLR making it easier to drive and giving it better rotation in the corners.  Needing another good run to try and book a direct starting position in the Semis, the Italian will not risk making any changes to his 8ight and instead just focus on trying to put in a clean 5-minutes.


14-year-old up & coming Italian star Ongaro said a change to a cold plug in his LRP engine was a wrong call as the cooler conditions lead it to run rich after 4-minutes. Very happy with his Mugen he said the more the track ruts up the better his MBX-7R is performing and he will leave it unchanged for Q5.


‘Safe and conservative’, that was how Renaud Savoya summed up his sixth fastest time.  His best qualifier, the HB/HPI Racing team driver said having seen ‘so many top guys crash there’ he opted to roll the double.  Running on JConcepts’ blue compound Remix tyre, the 3-time Champion felt he should have went with a harder compound with him losing around 3-seconds over the last three laps as the tyres went off.  With the track ‘really tough now in some sections’, the Shark said he needs to find new lines and push where you can and be cautious everywhere else.


Ending up only 17th fastest, defending champion Ronnefalk said he knew he had a good first lap but went and cased the double after the loop.  Losing over 4-seconds, he said he was happy he has three good rounds yesterday.  The only driver who can deny Boots the overall TQ, him winning both his titles as Top Qualifier, he said his tyre choice, soft AKA City Block fronts & iBeam rears was maybe too soft for the temperature.  The HB driver said with the track getting rough and the ruts coming up its catching the side of the tyre too much.  He said while ‘of course he wanted to go for the overall TQ’ he would use Q5 to test for the Mains with him planning to run Impact tyres.


Taking yesterday’s closing qualifier, Batlle described Q4 as ‘super bad’.  Setting the 20th fastest time, the Mugen driver said he crashed at the double just after the heat started and ‘things didn’t improve’.  Happy with his lap times when he did get a clean lap, the Spaniard said ‘some stuff (they) tested with tyres worked as expected’.


View the complete results here.

View our event image gallery here.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Video – Elliott Boots Qualifying Rd4

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Chassis Focus – Alex Zanchettin


Chassis – TLR 8ight 3.0
Engine – Reds R7 Evo
Tyres – Pro-Line Holeshot X2
Fuel – MLC Fuel
Radio/Servos – Spektrum
Body – Optional Cab Forward shell

Remarks – World’s Finalist and Rd4 Top Qualifier Alex Zanchettin is running the 8ight 3.0 with a number of small changes. At the rear he is using the shock tower from the electric version of the 8ight as it allows the upper camber links to be mounted lower thanks to the additional holes, while in the transmission he is using the Reds Racing clutch which he says gives him smoother power delivery. In terms of setup he is reverting back to his warmup setup as the track gets bumpier.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Chassis Focus – Elliott Boots


Chassis – Kyosho MP9 TKI3
Engine – Reds R7 Evo
Tyres – Pro-Line Diamond Back X3
Fuel – Byron Fuels
Radio/Servos – Sanwa
Body – Optional Cab Forward shell

Remarks – Winner of the Euros Warmup on this track earlier in the year, Elliott is running a different configuration on his car as well as setup here at the Ongaroring this week. Up front he is using the new MS taller shock tower and longer shock absorbers as well as the new low downforce rear wing mount, which helps the car turn better. In terms of setup compared to when they tested here the conditions have changed from high grip to medium and so they have reverted back to one of their UK setups. Also having run Blockades back in May, he has now settled on PL Diamond Back tires, going for the relatively soft X3 compound.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

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