April 15, 2011

Future of 1:8 Onroad discussed

Future of 1:8 Onroad discussed

Yesterday evening IFMAR held a 1:8 IC Track Section meeting here at the track in Homestead with a number of matters being raised including a discussion on how to ensure there is not a repeat of the tyre additive scandal that cost the opening day of qualifying. Section chairman Sander De Graaf said a number of solutions were discussed including the continuation of the controlled tyre preparation area that had to be implemented following protests that brought racing to a halt on Tuesday. While this appears to be working well De Graff said it has put extra pressure on the organisers due to the manpower which it requires.

Also discussed at the section meeting was the reduction of the length over which future 1:8 Onroad World Championship are run. Currently held over an 11 day period, a duration which most of the paddock agree is far too long, one of the Blocs that make up IFMAR are to propose that the Worlds runs from Saturday and Saturday making it an 8 day event. All the matters discussed yesterday can only be implement if first they are proposed by one of the Blocs and then are voted through successfully at the IFMAR AGM which will take place this year at the 1:10 Offroad World Championship that takes place in the middle of July in Finland.

Future of 1:8 Onroad discussed

With the corner speeds of an 1:8 car ever increasing, IFMAR want to address this and are looking at the introduction of a new Global Body Spec (GBS). Current bodyshells can run a maximum height of 165mm but IFMAR would like to see this reduced to 150mm. As part of creating the new body spec a new minimum thickness of the body will be set. Bob Ingersoll from ROAR and Franky Noens of EFRA will meet this evening with a number of bodyshell manufacturers including Dale Epp of Protoform and Fabio Domanin of SRC to discuss the matter further. The idea of GBS is to reduce corner speeds which should help to reduce fuel consumption and ultimately engine wear.

The ongoing matter of noise levels was again on the agenda with the reduction in carburettor size and nitro discussed. On a more extreme note it was mentioned that it a reduction in the engines displacement should be looked into. Currently the maximum carb diameter allowed is 9mm with a reduction to 8mm discussed. With everyone running 25% Byron fuel, control fuel having been introduced at the 1:10 Worlds in Portugal in 2008, it looks set that in the future 1:8 will run 16% nitro. Former World Champion and engine guru Rody Roem who attended the meeting believes only the nitro content should be reduced as it will have greatest effect.

We are glad to report that the matter of moving away from Top 4 direct qualifier structure was not raised. EFRA, the European governing body, passed a change to the rule which could mean that the Top Qualifier does line up for the main event with all drivers having to progress from the Semi Finals.

Robert Pietsch

Speaking to Robert Pietsch about the future of the class the Mugen designer said he believes one of the main changes that should be made is a reduction of the minimum weight currently set at 2525g including transponder. The Top Qualifier for the 18th running of the 1:8 Onroad Worlds said he has to carry 160 grams of weight on his MRX-5. The 28-year-old, who was a designer for Shepherd before moving to Mugen at the end of 2008, believes making the cars run at 2400g would mean less stress on parts and reduced tyre wear which is ultimately better for the customer. The MRX5 is the first Pietsch creation from the Japanese company and here in Miami it has taken 10 of the Top 18 places in qualifying including the Top 2 spots with Atsushi Hara setting the second fastest time with it on his 1:8 Onroad debut.

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