October 8, 2007

In the pits – Kyosho Evolva M3

Kyosho Evolva M3

With everybody waiting for the track to dry, I took the opportunity to talk to Takashi Miyashita, head designer of the new Evolva M3 about his creation. Essentially a completely new platform in 1/8th scale from Kyosho, one of our event site sponsors, the new M3 has been designed to fix all the issues that the team had with the previous Evolva through strengthening and optimising the cars construction. When asked to explain what was new on the car, Takashi replied “only a few of the parts are existing parts”, with the main new part being the chassis which has been designed to accept a smaller receiver pack, making for a narrower chassis plate.

Kyosho Evolva M3

The geometry of this car is however the same as on the previous chassis but the car has just been made narrower, lower and lighter. Other changes are the use of a rubber foam seal for the fuel tank to prevent fuel leaking from the tank, and new eccenters in the front and rear steering blocks and uprights to allow the height of the axle to be adjusted easily, thus changing the cars roll center.

Kyosho Evolva M3

The rear of the car features completely new stronger plastics which also offer more adjustability than on the previous car, while as an additional feature, the car allows the rear wheelbase to also be adjusted through the use of spacers, similar to the front. The rear of the car now also has the rear body mount A-arms mounted to the center of the rear upright, similar to that seen on both the new Serpent rear end and Mugen MRX-4X, of which you can find images of in our gallery.

Kyosho Evolva M3

Another new feature of the car is the ability to mount the throttle servo in the stand up position, as well as the laydown position, something that offers great flexibilty and choice to the racer. Finally the car features carbon side stiffeners on both sides which, combined with the front chassis stiffener, allows the racer the ability to completely change the cars characteristics by mounting or removing these parts. The car will soon feature a new 2-speed clutch shoe which hasnt yet been completed, but it will be ready in time for the cars release in December.

View more high resolution images of the car in our event gallery.

October 8, 2007

Rain has arrived in Cordoba

Rain has arrived in Cordoba

The final day of practice for this years World Championship has been hit by rain, the downpour which has stopped running after only a few rounds of practice, looks to be pretty steady but hopefully will clear later in the day, however there is currently no sun and little or no wind there is little indication on when it will. Our first day here and we have already taken a number of photographs which are currently in the Image Gallery and we have spotted a lot of new things in the pit area, with more still to see.

MRX-4X of Rick V

On the bench of top Mugen racer Rick V is the new MRX-4X which among other things features rear CVD’s, adjustable front and rear axle height, new battery holder and different rear uprights. Also on the same bench, and seen in the car of Keisuke Fukuda, is the new 2nd generation lightweight magnesium team cooling head which has better heat dissipation and thanks to its material, and extra holes in the cooling head, means its extremely light.

Nnja Cooling head

Over at the Kyosho team benches is the new Evolva M3 which is looking good on the track as well as the bench. We will do a more indepth interview with the cars designer later on as well as supply you with lots of photos.

 Kyosho Evolva M3

More updates to follow. 

October 8, 2007

The Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony

We are finally in Cordoba, after 20 hours of airtime in the last 2 days, 3 seperate plane journeys and far too much waiting around for connections I got to the hotel at 7.15pm on Sunday. Managing to miss the opening ceremony I was kindly given photos of it by Franky Noens, who is staying in the same hotel, and which you can see in the Image Gallery by clicking the banner in the top right of the page. The ceremony was your usual presentation of drivers, speeches from people in suits and drivers wishing they could be using this track time to find a better set up for their cars. One rather cool part of the ceremony however was 4 parachutists who dropped down on to the track with flags and although one of them missed the track and crashed into the fence, the other 3 managed to pull it off perfectly.

Tomorrow sees the drivers last chance to get their setups sorted and engines tweaked, with each driver only getting 2 sessions of 10 minutes, they dont have much time left. We will be at the track first thing tomorrow to begin our coverage.

October 7, 2007

Thanks to our Sponsors

Thanks to our Sponsors

Red RC would like to announce that our live trackside coverage from the 2007 IFMAR 1/8th scale World Championships, in Argentina, has been kindly supported by Kyosho, Xceed RC Products, Serpent / Mega and R/C Car Magazine. We would ask that you support these companies because without them it would not have been possible to cover this event.

Event coverage begins on Monday October 8th.

September 30, 2007

2007 IFMAR 1/8th scale Worlds – Preview

2007 IFMAR 1/8th scale Worlds - Preview

Argentina is the host country for the 2007 IFMAR 1/8th scale World Championships and as the elite of the RC World descend on the country’s 2nd city, Cordoba, we bring you our event preview.

This year’s event takes place on a recently completed track at the Complejo Ferial Cordoba, the same venue as used by the Argentinean round of the World Rally Championships. Favourite for this years event has to be the 7-time World Champion Lamberto Collari of Italy, the Kyosho driver will be trying to further cement his legendary RC status with an 8th IFMAR World title. Lamberto was present at the warm-up race in March but despite a good qualifying he had radio problems in the final, which meant he retired after only 50 laps, a problem I’m sure that will be sorted in time for this year’s main event.

The winner of that warm-up race was Mark Green, the English Serpent driver has been tearing up the tracks in the UK all year and with experience in World and European Championship Finals, Mark can surely be a strong contender for the crown.

Another racer on the podium at that warm-up race was the charismatic Italian driver Dario Balestri, who as our coverage of this years European 1/10th scale Championships showed you can never discount him to make a come back. Supported by the Novarossi factory means that power will certainly not be a problem and as we know, his driving is up to scratch, with the only uncertainty being the performance of the so far largely unproven Motonica chassis on the International stage.

Japan has produced some World Champions in the last few years of gas on road racing and as always they are strong contenders. Current 1/10th scale World Champion Keisuke Fukuda could be in with a strong chance for Mugen, the 2001 Vice Champion, has the experience of the big occasion and knows what it takes to win. Also from Japan with high hopes is former Japanese Champion and 2003 & 05 podium finisher, Takaaki Shimo, the Kyosho racer is always in or close the finals at the big races. The Sahashi brothers will also be there for Serpent, with Yuya having just won the Japanese Nationals, and Tadahiko placing 3rd, meaning that they are definitely not going there to be spectators. Another racer from Japan looking to get his hands on the silverware is Motonica racer Masao Tanaka, the Novarossi backed driver finished 3rd in 2001 and was in the final in 2005, so expect another strong performance this time around.

Another number of drivers from Europe that could take the win would be Italy’s Danielle Ielasi for Kyosho, 2007 Italian Champion Alberto Picco also racing for Kyosho (UPDATE: Alberto will not be travelling to the event due to work commitments), another multiple finalist Walter Salemi for Mugen and Serpent driver Andrea Cristiani, expect all the Italian racers in the top 30 at this event. From Germany is multiple European Champion, Michael Salven for Serpent as well as previous Worlds finalist and current German National Champion Robert Pietsch, racing the Shepherd Velox. Finally from France, racing for Luxembourg, is multiple World Champion Adrien Bertin, the Kyosho racer will perhaps be debuting the CRF .21 motor at this event which is meant to have really good fuel consumption, important for 10 minute qualifiers.

Finally from the USA there will be title contenders in the form of Kyosho drivers Chris Tosolini and Josh Cyrul, the latter recently switching to Novarossi engines, Mugen racer Mike Swauger and for Serpent, Paolo Morganti. All 4 drivers have been in winning form this year with Morganti going to the event with prior experience at this track, having taken part in a test session during the summer.

Red RC will be live at the track from Monday the 8th and will carry on right up until Saturdays finals day with Red RC bringing you reports, insights and of course lots of photos directly from the track throughout the week.

Image: WC Argentina [argentina2007wc.com.ar]

August 20, 2007

Balestri defends EC title the hard way

Balestri defends EC title the hard way

Dario Balestri, best described as rc racing’s answer to Valentio Rossi, has successfully defended his European 1:10 200mm Championship title in Madrid. While many may have ruled the young Italian out after he qualified just 26th fastest, Balestri pulled off one of the greatest title defences the sport has seen.

Lining up in the 1/4 Finals due to his poor performance in Friday and Saturday’s heats the Team Magic driver finally found the set-up he had so desperately been seeking all week. Starting from fourth on the grid he quickly took charge of the 20 minute encounter winning by four seconds to bump up to the Semis and now Balestri had a real chance of keeping the crown he had won a year earlier in Heemstede, The Netherlands.

Starting 8th on the grid in the Semi B, which had a quality line-up of drivers including Kyosho’s Adrien Bertin & Francesco Tironi, Serpent’s Mark Green and Xray’s Martin Christensen, the Novarossi supported driver was getting quicker and quicker as he fine tuned his G4’s settings. Storming through the field he made it win number two of the day beating Bertin to secure that all important place in the Main Final.

With all of the sports five major manufacturers represented in the Main Final with 5 Xray, 2 Serpent, 1 Mugen, 1 Kyosho and 1 Team Magic, the stage was set for a titanic battle between established names and some of the sports emerging young stars.

Top Qualifier Teemu Leino made the most of his No.1 starting position to lead the field but it was short lived and after just a few laps local ace and crowd favourite Oscar Cabezas got past the Finn and began opening up a comfortable lead. Coming up to the second round of pit stops the Serpent SDD driver’s car came to a halt, a costly mistiming of his pit stop resulting in his car running out of fuel and loosing 2 laps a terrible turn of luck for the man with the fastest lap of the championships .

This allowed another young star and fellow 720 driver Alessio Mazzeo to take the lead. The current EC-B Champion in 1:10 200mm, the personable teenager has impressed so many people with his pace in Madrid. Keeping a cool head, Mazzeo was looking good as he led the way but double championship success was not to be as he started to struggle in the corners in the later half of the race.

While all this was going on at the front Balestri had been cutting his way through the field and with the fastest car on the circuit he was now the new race leader a lead he would not relinquish to cross the finish line over a lap in front of runner up Jilles Groskamp of the Netherlands.

Lean with his words, a smiling and rather relieved looking Balestri said afterwards, ‘I am delighted. We changed the general set-up of the car for today and from the start of the 1/4 final I knew that I could win this. This is a great result for me, Team Magic and Novarossi.’

Balestri defends EC title the hard way

After 45 minutes of racing that had the hundreds of onlookers glued to their vantage points, Jilles Groskamp was pleased with his first full nitro A-main final despite loosing the feeling in his left arm, ‘It was a long final for me, just half way through the final I had no feeling in my arm because I hold me radio up very high. I could not believe it was happening to me. I had no feeling in my finger so I had to do the throttle more with my hand and I missed some corners. My car was not the fastest as my engine was quite rich because of the temperature. I just drove my own race and with three minutes to go I was suddenly in second only a lap behind Dario and he was really really fast in the Final. I am super happy as it was the maximum I could do cause if you see the lap times I was for sure not the fastest car on the track but I just ran my own race and got second so I’m really really happy and for me it was the first time I ran a 45 minute final.’

Asked whether he would have a new training program to prevent future loss of feeling in his arm the Team Xray driver said, ‘I told my mechanic Denis already that on Tuesday I will go to the gym and work on my arms.’

Completing the podium Mazzeo was upbeat about his result, ‘The race was good and I finished on the podium. I’m happy, I’m very very happy. ‘ In addition to finishing third, the Italian was also crowned EFRA European Junior Champion, making it a remarkable year for the Serpent driver.

Having TQ’d for the event Teemu Leino was understandably disappointed to miss out on a podium finish on his Nitro Euros debut, ‘Yeh I am a little disappointed for sure. Maybe the set-up was not right for the 45 minute final. The two speed was not right, I did not adjust it properly and that was a problem for the whole final.’

With big names like Salven, Green, Tironi, Vrielijnck and Johnson failing to make the final, Adrien Bertin may have looked a strong bet for the title but the former World Champion was to be the only retirement of the race. ‘I think we were in a position to win, we were quite unlucky with the fuel tank. I had a problem with Martin (Hudy) on the rostrum he just put his head in front of my view and I had a crash and lost almost one lap. Then I was catching the leading group and was running with Dario and we were very fast but then the fuel cap remained open and I lost all the fuel from my car. I am really disappointed cause when you can smell the victory it is even more difficult. Anyway I am satisfied cause we have demonstrated now that our engine is very competitive.’

Balestri defends EC title the hard way

One thing to come out of the 2007 EFRA Euros is the number of future stars that are emerging in our sport and this bides well for many more thrilling events like what was experience here in Madrid this week.

Red RC would like to thank the AECAR and ARCA for their hospitality during the championships and in particular the timing crew who assisted us in bringing the huge number of site visitors coverage of what has been a thrilling 7 days of rc racing.

Download the complete final results here (PDF). Qualifying list is also available here (PDF).

View our image gallery here.