The opening day of the 2008 EFRA European 1:8 off Road Buggy Championships has come to a close and as the dust settles here in Crete the drivers had little to report as they eased themselves in to the event over the single 15 minute practice session that made up today’s timetable.
The track was the biggest talking point today with many of the top drivers saying the surface was their main concern. It would appear from drivers who took part in the Warm up race earlier in the year that the track surface has remained largely untouched since that event.
One interesting story in the pits is Joesph Quagraine is back running a Habao 8.5 that has been given the JQ touch with a number of modifications, the biggest of which is the placing of the receiver over the steering servo. Quagraine is also running his own shock towers on the car along with JQ Products lower suspension brackets.
Two times European Champion Davide Tortorici said after his run that his car was OK. The Crono team leader has reverted to standard kit shocks saying he prefers them to the prototype big bores and the Italian is also running a new front shock tower on his RS7. Top Kyosho driver Daniel Reckward said his first run went off OK but said while the track looked easy it was in fact quite challenging mainly due to the surface conditions. The German will make some changes to the diffs on his MP777 for tomorrow’s timed practice.
Top British driver Neil Cragg had a steady run but was another who reckoned the track is not as good as the Warm-up. The leading Team Associated runner now has Big Bore shocks on his RC8, which he didn’t have at the Warm-up, and is running new V2 Proline wheels which he says smooth the car out over the bumps. American star Richard Saxton has crossed the Atlantic to support the Associated team and was busy in the pits giving driver tuition to one of the team’s top drivers on the best lines to take.
Adrian Bertin is here supporting Team Orion drivers running the new CRF .21 engine and is also mechanic for electric touring car ace Teemu Leino. After the Finn’s run Bertin said the Xray/Orion combination was working really well and Leino was putting in really good lap times. Asked by Red RC about the dust levels, Bertin told us this is normal for off road saying ‘welcome to Buggy racing’.
Drivers will start Day 2 of the 2008 Euros with two timed runs tomorrow which will determine the reseed ahead of the first qualifying round in the evening. We will bring you more coverage, which is sponsored by Kyosho and LRP, throughout the day.
The final countdown is under way here in Crete for the start of the 2008 EFRA European 1:8 Off Road Championship with the sunshine beating down on the IMC track.
The whose who of European off road are here and they are all looking to get their hands on the title currently held by Robert Battle. The young Spaniard is looking forward to the challenge of trying to retain his crown here on the Greek Island but is a little concerned over the small pebbles coming through the track surface. A concern raised by many of the drivers here. In terms of new parts on his GRP Hobao a slighted revised body shell is the only significant change.
The biggest news here is the all new Serpent prototype car that Joern Nuermann is running. The German who has tested the car already and says it a major step forward on the previous prototype and appears very confident that it will show well here. Unfortunately the car is being kept under wraps for the moment.
Other product news from around the pits includes new big bore shock from LRP which are being run on Hubert Honigl car and leading Mugen driver Daniel Vega is trying some lightweight parts on his Mugen. News from the Kyosho team is that they will stick with the tried and trusted MP777. No MP9 will run as the car that won the recent Kyosho Masters was the C prototype version of the new car with a few small changes planned for the production model.
The first free practice run is due to get underway in just under an hour after which we will bring you the drivers first impression of the track as they settle themselves into the event.
The best 1/8th scale buggy drivers in Europe are converging on the Greek island of Crete this week to battle it out on the fast and tricky IMC Club track in Iraklio and see who will become the 2008 European Champion. Robert Batlle will be of course be there to defend his crown, won last year in France, and he is up against some strong competition with the top factory teams pulling out all the stops to try and wrestle the title away from the Spanish Hobao driver. Red RC reporter Oisin O’Briain will be present all week reporting live trackside, bringing you our usual blend of quality reporting, photographs and interviews from this exciting event. Baring any last minute hiccups, the reporting will begin Tuesday afternoon and carry through to Saturday’s main final. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for the event, Kyosho and LRP, without whose support this would not be possible.