July 11, 2009

Savoya on pole for Main Final

He was the top Qualifier here in Austria and now thanks to victory in his Semi, with the faster time of the two, defending Champion Renaud Savoya will start from pole position over Spain’s Robert Batlle.  Setting the fastest lap of the Semis, the French ace cruised to the win and despite one mistake finished four seconds clear of Batlle and now the pair will line up in the same 1-2 order as in Crete last year. Afterwards Savoya said the race went to plan except for his roll in the last two minutes.  Batlle felt his Associated, which had a problem in the 10 minute warm-up, was not so bad but now plans to change to a heavier oil in the shocks for the 45-minute final.

The other Semi saw Yannick Aigoin lead home the very fast Czech driver Martin Bayer who briefly passed his Losi team-mate for the lead. Afterwards Aigoin said Martin was very quick but that this was good for the Losi team. Not wanting to give too much away about his race strategy for the Final the Frenchman said he may try something different with the tyres.  Bayer said he drove a safe race so as to ensure himself a spot in the final and feels he can go faster in the all important event. Riccardo Rabitti was very happy to progress to the Main. The Italian Champion said his Sirio engine was slightly too lean and this made it hard to drive out of the corners.  One heart breaking moment in the Semi B was that of Christoffer Svensson when the Swede’s car cut out right before the loop on the last lap while he was holding sixth.  The benefactor was LRP driver Hupo Honigl who will now take part in his third final of the day having progressed from the 1/4 Finals.

Final Starting order
1. SAVOYA Renaud (FR) – 27 Laps in 20:29.090 (Semi A)
2. BATLLE Robert (ES) – 27 Laps in 20:33.267 (Semi A)
3. AIGOIN Yannick (FR) – 27 Laps in 20:39.660 (Semi B)
4. BAYER Martin (CZ) – 27 Laps in 20:44.739 (Semi B)
5. RABITTI Riccardo (IT) – 26 Laps in 20:01.047 (Semi B)
6. BLOOMFIELD Darren (GB) – 26 Laps in 20:03.633 (Semi A)
7. LEINO Teemu (FI) – 26 Laps in 20:07.019 (Semi A)
8. VEGA Daniel (ES) – 26 Laps in 20:09.064 (Semi B)
9. RECKWARD Daniel (DE) – 26 Laps in 20:10.626 (Semi A)
10.AIGOIN Jerome (FR) – 26 Laps in 20:14.028 (Semi B)
11.CRAGG Neil (GB) – 26 Laps in 20:19.247 (Semi A)
12.HÖNIGL Hubert (AT) – 26 Laps in 20:23.396 (Semi B)

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July 11, 2009

European Semi Finals – Live Coverage

Follow our lap by lap coverage of the semi A and B finals, which begins at 14:00, LIVE right here. Click the button to start the application and just keep watching. This application will automatically update, so there is no need to refresh the page.


July 11, 2009

1/4 B Final Update

The Semi Final grids are complete with electric off road ace Hupo Honigl, Christoffer Svensson, Jorn Nuemann and Simon Willetts progressing from the second of the 1/4 finals.  The Semi Finalists now have a 10-minute practice with the Semi A, for which reigning Champion Renaud Savoya’s Mugen will start from pole, due off the line at 14:00 local time.  Our live lap by lap coverage will also start then.

Semi Final B Lineup
1. AIGOIN Yannick (FR)
2. BAYER Martin (CZ)
3. RABITTI Riccardo (IT)
4. AIGOIN Jerome (FR)
5. KARNER Martin (AT)
6. LAFFRANCI Alessandro (IT)
7. GOMEZ MALAGON Richy (ES)
8. VEGA Daniel (ES)
9. HONIGL Hupo (AT)
10.SVENSSON Christoffer (SE)
11.NUEMANN Jorn (D)
12.WILLETTS Simon (GB)

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July 11, 2009

1/4 A Final Update

The first of the 1/4 finals has just been run and the four drivers progressing to the Semi are Mugen driver Fabio Boero, Sebastian Leonard along with British pairing Lee Martin and Elliot Boots.  Two big casualties in the race were former Champion Miguel Matias, who was right behind Boots at the end, and 2004 World Champion Guillaume Vray. There has been a big change in weather here following a glorius start to the day with very dark looking clouds closing in on the track. Other news is that 2004/2005 Champion Davide Tortorici will play no further part in the event after the factory Crono driver hit trouble and retired from the 1/8 B Final after just 4 laps.  The 1/4B Final is just about to go out on track now with LRP team driver Hupo Honigl starting on pole.

Semi Final A Lineup
1. SAVOYA Renaud (FR)
2. BATLLE Robert (ES)
3. BLOOMFIELD Darren (GB)
4. RECKWARD Daniel (DE)
5. RONNEFALK David (SE)
6. CRAGG Neil (GB)
7. LEINO Teemu (FI)
8. HERNANDEZ Borja (ES)
9. BOERO Fabio (IT)
10.LEONARD Sebastien (FR)
11.MARTIN Lee (GB)
12.BOOTS Elliot (GB)

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July 11, 2009

The Big day arrives in Austria

For Europe’s top buggy racers today is the culmination of months of testing and preparation and in just over seven hours from now one of them will be crowned the 2009 EFRA 1:8 Off Road European Champion here in Wolbling, Austria.  While weather was the big talking point at the start of the week, the sun is now beating down on the track for the big day. Currently the lower finals are underway with our coverage, which is supported by Team Orion, Mugen Seiki, LRP and Kyosho, getting underway with a round-up of the 1/4 Finals.  For the Semi Finals and Main we will be bringing you live lap by lap updates as Top Qualifier Renaud Savoya looks to defend his title.

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July 10, 2009

Savoya on target in Austria

He took TQ honours on his way to the European title last year and if that pattern is anything to go by it is looking good here in Austria for defending Champion Renaud Savoya with him being crowned the 2009 Top Qualifier. The factory Mugen driver claimed the honour when his only challenger Yannick Aigoin rolled during his final attempt at being the No.1 qualifier.  With his second European TQ safe in the bag, Savoya wasn’t quite finished however, going on to put in another superb drive to take his third 185 points maximium of the five qualification rounds.

Following a week which he felt did not start off well, Savoya said he was delighted to have turned things around and claim the TQ honours.  The French ace reckons he is getting more and more confident with his set-up for the Wolbling track and will leave the car the same for tomorrow’s Semi. His immaculately prepared MBX6 will just get some fresh Ultimate Racing diff & shock oils and a thorough going over in preparation for tomorrow’s all important finals. Asked about fuel run time the RB team driver was very tight lipped but we expect him to pit somewhere between 9 and 10 minutes.

Taking second for the round to end up fifth in the overall ranking, Darren Bloomfield seems to have found his promised form. Running Revolver M3 tyres for the round the British driver felt they got hot near the end but was happier with the rear of his Losi after switching to a heavier oil.

He impressed us in the third qualifier yesterday but 13-year-old David Ronnefalk’s performance in the last heat was spectacular with American ace Richard Saxton going as far as saying that EFRA is about to get its first ever B and A Champion.  The Swede was super fast at the controls of the Adrien Bertin engineered Orion Alpha powered Kyosho.  During the run the European B Champion touched the rear of Savoya’s car a number of time so fast was his pace.  A definite star of the future this confident youngster has already made his mark by qualifying directly into the Semi on his EC-A debut but he’s determined to be one of the 12 that line-up for the Main Final here tomorrow at 16:00.

Taking fourth for the round was Miguel Matias but the former World Champion missed out on a direct Semi final starting position following a tie break with Daniel Vega who claimed the 16th and last spot. Fifth fastest was very fast Czech driver Martin Bayer. The 2008 Finalist was on a potential TQ run for the round but rolled losing six seconds. Without such mistakes Bayer, whose younger brother is also competing here this week, could be one of the surprises tomorrow evening. Completing the Top 6 was Austrian National Champion Martin Karner with his Kyosho/Team Orion combination.

Elsewhere Robert Batlle missed his last qualifier after the pin fell out of his front CV shaft as his crew warmed up the engine in the assembly area. Despite the best efforts of his pit crew who did manage to get a new pin fitted to his RC8, it too fell out and the Spaniard was forced to retire. Having had three strong opening heats the former Champion will line up second in the semi A behind the man who took away his title last year.

Semi Final A Lineup
1. SAVOYA Renaud (FR)
2. BATLLE Robert (ES)
3. BLOOMFIELD Darren (GB)
4. RECKWARD Daniel (DE)
5. RONNEFALK David (SE)
6. CRAGG Neil (GB)
7. LEINO Teemu (FI)
8. HERNANDEZ Borja (ES)

Semi Final B Lineup
1. AIGOIN Yannick (FR)
2. BAYER Martin (CZ)
3. RABITTI Riccardo (IT)
4. AIGOIN Jerome (FR)
5. KARNER Martin (AT)
6. LAFFRANCI Alessandro (IT)
7. GOMEZ MALAGON Richy (ES)
8. VEGA Daniel (ES)

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