July 10, 2010

Savoya inflicts 3rd successful ‘Shark’ attack

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Three is a magic number and today Renaud ‘The Shark’ Savoya entered the sport’s history books as he notched up his third consecutive EFRA 1:8 Off Road European Championship.  The 30th running of these championships, the French ace won here in Portugal from Robert Batlle, the man whom he took the title from back in 2008.  Having struggled by his standards in qualifying, ending up only fourth, Savoya bounced back on the day it counted most. Switching to a Proline combination of Crimefighters on the front and Bowties on the rear of his RB powered MBX-6, he kicked off the day with an easy win in his Semi final even though he ran out of fuel on the last lap.  This cost him pole for the Main race, which went to Batlle, but Savoya made his intentions clear during the practice start for the big race.  ‘I made sure I passed him during the practice start to add a little more pressure on him ahead of the race’.

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The race started out very much as a three way battle with Top Qualifier Yannick Aigoin joining the pair as they left the rest of the field behind.  Savoya, having found a way passed the pole sitter in the opening laps, described the conditions as very difficult and they caught him out handing the lead back to Batlle.  Having learnt his lesson the Mugen driver said he switched his focus to making safe clean laps rather than pushing hard to catch his Spanish rival and risk another mistake.  Knowing he had one less fuel stop to make he continued with his plan and it worked as he took the lead 1/3 of the way into the race and never looked back.  Delighted to become Europe’s most successful buggy driver he said the last lap was full of tension but once passed the line his body went through the most amazing release of pressure.  Achieving this great feat of three in a row, Savoya was quick to thank his father Jean Michel ‘Moustache’ and Antoine Bernardo for the great work in the pits and his main sponsors Mugen, RB, Proline and Ultimate Racing.  With one of his two 2010 objectives achieved, the Shark’s attention now turns to adding a World title to his CV later this year.

Another driver to really turn up the heat today, Batlle was very dejected at having come so close to getting back his 2007 title.  The Associated driver was very short on words saying they had a great car today but a clutch problem in the final meant he could do nothing about challenging Savoya once he got out front the second time.

Top 3 finishers

Completing the podium in front of a very enthusiastic home crowd, Miguel Matias said he was very happy with third. The tall Portuguese ace said as always the start was a problem with his Losi 8ight having ‘some special magnetic field that always helps it to find crashed cars on the track’, but coming from last twice in the early part of the 45-minute encounter he said third was a great result. This completes a full collection of podium trophies for the 2003 Champion having finished 1st, 2nd and 4th in previous finals.

Missing out on a repeat of his 2009 podium finish Martin Bayer said he didn’t choose a good set-up for the race and over the opening 15-minutes he didn’t drive very well either so at the end fourth was not all that bad.  The big shock of the race was Yannick Aigoin’s seventh place finish.  The Frenchman, who looked so in control yesterday, said he didn’t make a good start but still felt he had the package to take the win despite Savoya and Batlle stepping up the pace.  Unfortunately at 19 minutes the 2006 Champion, and a great ambassador for our sport, had a flame which as he put it himself ‘killed his brain’.

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Making his Main Final debut here this week, the new European Junior Champion David Ronnefalk was very please with finishing sixth and at being the top Kyosho driver.  Not in anyway phased by the pressure of competing in the big race for the first time, the 14-year-old ran as high as third in the race but damage to the rear right shock, which lost all its oil, hampered the pace of the Swede’s Team Orion powered MP9 .

So 30 years on from the first every European Championship race for 1:8 Buggy the race here in Portugal has been a historic one and shows that Off Road is in a very healthy state.  Red RC would like to thank EFRA’s Carlos Gomez for his support during our coverage of this event and also our sponsors Team Durango, LRP and Mugen Seiki who made our trip here possible.

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Final results
1. Renaud Savoya (FR) – 65 Laps in 45:13.018 (Mugen/RB)
2. Robert Batlle (ES) – 65 Laps in 45:31.867 (Associated/NR)
3. Miguel Matias (PT) – 64 Laps in 45:28.502 (Losi/RB)
4. Martin Bayer (CZ) – 63 Laps in 45:00.230 (Losi/NR)
5. Jérôme Sartel (FR) – 63 Laps in 45:09.122 (Xray/RB)
6. David Ronnefalk (SE) – 63 Laps in 45:20.342 (Kyosho/Orion)
7. Yannick Aigoin (FR) – 63 Laps in 45:25.102 (Losi/NR)
8. Elliott Boots (GB) – 63 Laps in 45:34.519 (Mugen/RB)
9. Lee Martin (GB) – 63 Laps in 45:38.030 (Losi/NR)
10.Jérôme Aigoin (FR) – 62 Laps in 45:05.695 (Kyosho/NR)
11.Alberto Garcia (ES) – 60 Laps in 45:16.068 (Mugen/Reds)
12.Rodrigo Luis (PT) – 50 Laps in 37:16.472 (Mugen/OS)

Full results can be found online here.

View our event image gallery here.


July 10, 2010

Renaud Savoya makes it 3 in a row

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Renaud Savoya has made history here in Guarda by winning his third 1:8 Off Road European Championship in a row.  The Mugen driver won from Spain’s Robert Batlle, who lead for the first 1/3 of the race, with Portugal’s Miguel Matias completing the podium.  Title favourite after TQ’ing the event, Losi’s Yannick Aigoin could not match the pace of Savoya and Batlle early on and after suffering a flame out struggled, eventually finishing only 7th.

Final results (provisional)
1. Renaud Savoya (FR) – 65 Laps in 45:13.018 (Mugen/RB)
2. Robert Batlle (ES) – 65 Laps in 45:31.867 (Associated/NR)
3. Miguel Matias (PT) – 64 Laps in 45:28.502 (Losi/RB)
4. Martin Bayer (CZ) – 63 Laps in 45:00.230 (Losi/NR)
5. Jérôme Sartel (FR) – 63 Laps in 45:09.122 (Xray/RB)
6. David Ronnefalk (SE) – 63 Laps in 45:20.342 (Kyosho/Orion)
7. Yannick Aigoin (FR) – 63 Laps in 45:25.102 (Losi/NR)
8. Elliott Boots (GB) – 63 Laps in 45:34.519 (Mugen/RB)
9. Lee Martin (GB) – 63 Laps in 45:38.030 (Losi/NR)
10.Jérôme Aigoin (FR) – 62 Laps in 45:05.695 (Kyosho/NR)
11.Alberto Garcia (ES) – 60 Laps in 45:16.068 (Mugen/Reds)
12.Rodrigo Luis (PT) – 50 Laps in 37:16.472 (Mugen/OS)


July 10, 2010

Savoya takes Semi B but Batlle on pole

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Renaud Savoya has won the second Semi final of the 2010 Euros despite his car flaming out on the last lap.  The defending Champion was on target for a 29 lap run but his RB powered Mugen came to a stop a third of the way around the final lap. A marshal got the car but then ran across the loop giving him a faster run than Batlle but the time keepers removed the rapid 36 second lap and he will now start second in the final.  Pole sitter Jerome Aigoin took second ahead of 14-year-old Kyosho team-mate David Ronnefalk who makes his first Euros Main and has already secured some silverware as he is the only Junior in the Top 12 meaning he is the new European Junior Champion.  Xray’s Jerome Sartel is back in the final for the first time since 2007 after he finished fourth ahead of Rodrigo Luis who is on a real roll having started out the day in the 1/8 final.  The final driver to make it into the 30th European Championship final is Alberto Garcia.  The Spaniard called time delaying the start of the Semi B but still managed to bump up for a second time today.  We lost another three of last years finalist with Daniel Vega, Teemu Leino and British Champion Neil Cragg not making the cut.

Semi Final B results
1. Renaud Savoya – 28 Laps in 19:48.702
2. Jérôme Aigoin – 28 Laps in 20:11.912
3. David Ronnefalk – 28 Laps in 20:25.987
4. Jérôme Sartel – 28 Laps in 20:28.868
5. Rodrigo Luis – 28 Laps in 20:29.401
6. Alberto Garcia – 28 Laps in 20:41.493
7. Javier Puche – 27 Laps in 20:00.929
8. Daniel Vega – 27 Laps in 20:04.212
9. Bruno Coelho – 27 Laps in 20:36.168
10.Teemu Leino – 26 Laps in 20:02.022
11.Carlos Duraes – 26 Laps in 20:04.969
12.Neil Cragg – 24 Laps in 20:26.819

Final starting order
1. Robert Batlle (ES) – Associated/Novarossi
2. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Mugen/RB
3. Yannick Aigoin (FR) – Losi/Novarossi
4. Jérôme Aigoin (FR) – Kyosho/Novarossi
5. Elliott Boots (GB) – Mugen/RB
6. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho/Team Orion
7. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Losi/Novarossi
8. Jérôme Sartel (FR) – Xray/RB
9. Rodrigo Luis (PT) – Mugen/OS
10.Miguel Matias (PT) – Losi/RB
11.Lee Martin (GB) – Losi/Novarossi
12.Alberto Garcia (ES) – Mugen/Reds

Full results can be found online here.

View our event image gallery here.


July 10, 2010

Big come back from Batlle

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Robert Battle has made a huge comeback in the the first of the Semi finals, the Associated driver getting the better of Top Qualifier Yannick Aigoin who made a number of mistakes during the 20-minute encounter. Aigoin set the fastest lap of the race but Batlle, who started 6th, was really on form and was the only one to record 29 laps which means he now holds provisional pole for the 45-minute title deciding race which is due to start at 16:00.  Having bumped up from the 1/4 finals, outgoing Junior Champion Elliot Boots has secured himself a place in the Main for the first time finishing third ahead of 2009 podium finisher Martin Bayer. After a disastrous opening few laps to the race which saw him fall right back down the order, No.2 starter Miguel Matias worked his way back up to 5th, with massive encouragement from the local crowd, to ensure Portugal’s only European champion is still in the game here in Guarda.  The final driver of this Semi to book himself a place in the final is British driver Lee Martin.  The race saw the demise of two more of last year’s finalists with Darren Bloomfield finishing only 8th while Daniel Reckward failed to finish.

Semi Final A results
1. Robert Batlle – 29 Laps in 20:40.247
2. Yannick Aigoin – 28 Laps in 20:04.621
3. Elliott Boots – 28 Laps in 20:16.459
4. Martin Bayer – 28 Laps in 20:28.177
5. Miguel Matias – 28 Laps in 20:31.740
6. Lee Martin – 28 Laps in 20:32.273
7. Linus Thern – 28 Laps in 20:36.607
8. Jörn Neumann – 28 Laps in 20:41.007
9. Darren Bloomfield – 28 Laps in 20:44.182
10.Antonio Jesus Gomez – 27 Laps in 20:11.684
11.Daniel Reckward – 25 Laps in 18:34.027
12.Borja Hernandez – 25 Laps in 20:05.208

Full results can be found online here.

View our event image gallery here.


July 10, 2010

1/4 Final B Update

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The second 1/4 Final has been run and it is Alberto Garcia, Rodrigo Luis, Javier Puche and Carlos Duraes who progress.  A slower race than the 1/4 A Final, Garcia headed a Mugen 1-2 taking the win by just over a second from local driver Rodrigo Lusi who started 11th having bumped up from the 1/8 final. Driving a Bergonzi, Puche took third followed by Euro B Championship Runner-up Duraes who is driving an Xray.  The big casualties of the 1/4 B were two times Champion Davide Tortorici, 2009 finalist Riccardo Rabitti and former World Champion Guillaume Vray.

Semi Final B Lineup
1. Jérôme Aigoin (FR)
2. Renaud Savoya (FR)
3. Jérôme Sartel (FR)
4. David Ronnefalk (SE)
5. Daniel Vega (ES)
6. Teemu Leino (FI)
7. Neil Cragg (GB)
8. Bruno Coelho (PT)
9. Alberto Garcia (ES)
10.Rodrigo Luis (PT)
11.Javier Puche (ES)
12.Carlos Duraes (PT)

Full results can be found online here.

View our event image gallery here.