April 12, 2024

Hara ‘excited’ for Philippine Masters return

A former winner of the Philippine Masters, legend of the sport Atsushi Hara will make his return to the famed Manila based 1:8 Offroad event next week (April 18-21).  The offroad and onroad World Champion, last contested the race in 2019 and will return to the Circulo Verde track at the controls of an Sworkz Buggy, a decade on from when he raced for manufacturer full time during the 2014 season.  Joining the international entry that includes reigning World & Philippine Masters Champion Davide Ongaro, multiple Worlds finalist Kyle McBride, Asian Buggy Championship points leader & PM debutant Ryan Lutz, and another PM debutant Joern Neumann, on his return to the Asia’s biggest annual 1:8 Offroad race former FEMCA Champion Hara said, “I am so excited to be back at Philippine Masters, because Philippine Masters is one of the best organizers in the world.  This time, Sworkz and Cayote have helped me to enter the race!  I am also looking forward to seeing my many friends and fans in the Philippines!  See everybody at the track!”

April 6, 2024

Ongaro late confirmation for Philippine Masters

Having originally looked set to miss this year’s Philippine Masters due to Warm-up Race commitments for the IFMAR 1:8 Buggy World Championships, the cancellation of Brazil hosting the Worlds means reigning back to back World Champion Davide Ongaro will return to Asia’s biggest annual 1:8 Offroad race for a fourth time.   A winner of the event event prior to Covid, the Team Associated star successfully returned to the famous 3D layout Circulo Verde track located in the heart of Manila last year as the Philippine Masters made its return to the international stage after the forced 2 year break.  Taking the TQ ahead of the Mayako of former World Champion Robert Batlle and the win ahead of Sworkz’ Micha Widmaier 12 months ago, this year the Italian’s competition for the April 18-21 event is set to come from an entry list that includes Kyosho pairing Ryan Lutz & Kyle McBride and Sworkz’ Joern Neumann.  The 12th running of the Philippine Masters, the race is also the second round of the ambitious four round Asian Buggy Championships which is currently lead by American Lutz who won the opening round in New Zealand in February.

March 7, 2024

2024 TITC Chassis Focus Index

Last weekend thanks to the support of Hobbywing, Red RC made a return to the TITC for the 20-edition of this legendary Bangkok race.  The biggest one yet, it has truly become the most significant annual electric Touring Car race in the World.  It was extremely positive for the category to see so much manufacturer support for the race.  Of all the major car brands, only Schumacher had no official team presence but here’s hoping the British manufacturer gives us the opportunity to see Michal Orlowski take on the challenging RC Addict track conditions for the first time next year.  Such was the quality of the field, the B-Main was full of World Championship Finalist drivers and it was great to see six different manufacturers represented in the A-Main of Modified.  Call us old school, but putting the iconic Tamiya logo in our results graphic was a nostalgic moment.  In another positive for electric touring car we had three new cars at the race.  We had the latest prototype from Yokomo, the Japanese brand going for a name change as the BD name is dropped in favour of MS for Master Speed.  Nicolas Lee did try to get us permission for a chassis focus but we couldn’t get it across the line.  Kyosho had two prototypes of what is expected to be their TF8.  That news generated massive excitement, so much so Kyosho requested we take down the story we ran on their return to the category.  Finally Ryan Maker debuted his exciting new SP1 that will see him realise the dream of his RC Maker brand becoming a fully fledged car manufacturer.  While both RC Maker and Kyosho allowed us to look at their new creations, we were not granted permission to photograph them for a Chassis Focus which we fully understand given the cars’ designs are still to be fully finalised.  Over the event we did however photograph 12 cars from seven different manufacturers and we have compiled them all here in our latest Chassis Focus index.


Alexander Hagberg (2nd Overall) – Xray X4 ’24

Jilles Groskamp – Infinity IF4 II TE

Marc Rheinard (3rd Overall) – Awesomatix A800R

Ronald Volker (Top Qualifer) – Mugen Seiki MTC2R

Kato Kouki – Infinity IF14 TE

Akio Sobue – Axon TC10/3

Bruno Coelho (Champion) – Xray X4 ’24

Souta Goto – Tamiya TRF 421

Naoto Matsukura – Infinity IF14 TE

Lucas Urbain – Awesomatix A800R

Atsushi Hara – Xpress XQ11 “Hara Edition”


Open Brushless

Simon Lauter (Top Qualifier & Champion) – Awesomatix A800R


March 3, 2024

Record equalling 4th TITC win for Coelho

Bruno Coelho has taken a record equalling fourth TITC win but his victory at the 20th edition of the race is set to be remembered for incidents rather than the result equalling record achieved in Bangkok.  Having qualified second behind Top Qualifier Ronald Volker, the Xray driver would make contact with his Mugen Seiki rival in the opening two A-Mains resulting in a wide open race going into A3.  This time however Volker would spin on his own early on allowing Coelho to take the leg ahead of team-mate Alexander Hagberg, winner of A2.  Giving Xray an overall 1-2 in the legendary touring car race, it also sees Coelho join Atsushi Hara as the races most winning driver.  The benefactor of the Top 2 qualifiers’ clash in A1 but retiring from A2, Marc Rheinard would complete the podium at RC Addict for Awesomatix with a P3 in the final encounter ahead of Volker.  For Volker, the high of taking the TQ honours after his B-Main appearance last year was overshadowed by the disappointment of being classified 6th overall.  As a race that has become the most significant in the World for touring car racing & its manufacturers, and which is on par if not exceeding the dept of competitiveness of the World Championship, going forward it might be time for ‘the World’s biggest local race’ to consider appointing a referee to ensure the amazing atmosphere that surrounds the TITC is not overshadowed by incidents on track.

Reacting to his A3 win, Coelho said, ‘It was a clean run for me’, but the back to back World Champion felt Volker’s spin highlighted he wasn’t fully to blame for the A2 contact.  He continued, ‘It is easy to blame crashes on the person behind but this time we see how difficult Volker’s car was to drive.  He spun out himself.  I am sorry it happened before (incident in A1) but it’s easy to point the finger at me but look at his car, it was super difficult to drive today and had to avoid many times to not crash him.’  On claiming his fourth TITC, this being his second time to defend the Title having previously achieved the back to back in 2017,  he said, ‘Like I told you before I don’t care about records but I do like to finish races without drama and when drivers assume their part in an incident.’

‘I am really happy with 2nd given how things were at the beginning of the week’, was how Hagberg summed up his podium finish.  The Swede explained, ‘I changed the car a little bit for A3 as I expected grip to be very high and maybe I made it too easy to drive and I couldn’t challenge Bruno.  That was kind of good as it kept it safe and as a team we could finish 1-2.’  Hagberg would tie on points with his team-mate but with A3 a faster race that gave Coelho the win.

‘I’ll take it but it was shitty that my car shut down in A2’, was Rheinard’s response when ask about his podium finish explaining his electrics had a problem during the run before completely shutting down.  A driver known for speaking his mind, the multiple World Champion continued, ‘I would love if this race had a proper referee.  For today’s winner this is a bitter sweet win. He should not have got P2 in the second one.  He should have at least got a Stop & Go for what he did.  Saying that Ronald braked too early is not an excuse.  The guy in front controls the pace.  You can’t drive through him, you need to find a way around him that is clean.  For me the wrong person won today.’

Spinning out on the third lap of A3, Volker said, ‘I was on used tyres and unfortunately the balance was not perfect and I lost it in the chicane.  I knew I needed to win (A3) in a good time to have a chance but I knew from the start that this was going to be a big challenge.’  Having vented his frustration at Coelho following their A2 clash, the normally PC German said, ‘I should not have sweared so I want to apologise for that, the fact he believes it was not his fault shows his disrespect to the other drivers.  I don’t want to discredit his talent or hard work but this isn’t a race he should be proud of’.  Enjoying a crowd pleasing three way battle of World Champions with Rheinard and Naoto Matsukura after his early spin, Volker said, ‘I just feel really disappointed to end up with this result after our great start and getting the TQ.  We were Top 3 or fastest all week.  Big credit to Robert (Pietsch) and Jürgen (Lautenbach) for the great job.’

View our event image gallery here.

March 3, 2024

Chassis Focus – Simon Lauter (Awesomatix)

Chassis – Awesomatix A800R
ESC – Hobbywing G2S Pro XR10
Motor – Hobbywing G4 Bandit 13.5t
Battery – Nosram 6100mah
Tires (handout) – Sweep
Radio/Servo – Sanwa M17/  MKS HBL575 SL
Body – Xtreme Speciale

Image Gallery