February 17, 2024

Zalewski on top as practice concludes at MIBO – Update

With two rounds of seeding concluding practice at the second edition of MIBO International in the Czech Republic this morning, it was Xray young gun Bartosz Zalewski who set the pace in both 2WD and 4WD.  Fastest over yesterday’s five rounds of free practice in 2WD, this morning the Polish driver up his pace in 4WD to go ahead of his own team-manager Martin Bayer with Schumacher’s Daniel Kobbevik completing the Top 3 as he had in 2WD.  In 2WD it was Micha Widaier who was second fastest, like many of the leading entries at this year’s event, the German is running a number of new parts on the car.  With Kobbevik P3, Team Associated’s Joona Haatanen made it four different manufacturers in the Top 4.

View our event image gallery here.

February 16, 2024

Volker tops MIBO practice while Xray leads Offroad

The second edition of MIBO International got underway at 17:00 this evening in the Czech Republic with Mugen Seiki’s Ronald Volker setting the pace on the onroad track as Xray led the charge on the offroad track.  Packing in 5 rounds of practice before drivers retired to the Sports V Hotel’s bar and restaurant to socialise & discuss a plan of attack for the rest of the event, defending Champion Volker set the fastest 3-consecutive laps ahead of Schumacher pairing Michal Orlowski and Pekko Iivonen.  On the track layout, which is getting a very favourable reaction from drivers, it was the Xray of Patrick Gollner that was fourth fastest ahead of Jan Ratheisky and the factory Yokomo of Christopher Krapp.  Over on the offroad half of the hall, in 2WD Buggy it was the star of last year’s inaugural event Bartosz Zalewski who set the pace from his car’s design Martin Bayer followed by a gaggle of MIBO International race debutants that included Schumacher’s Daniel Kobbevik, Sworkz’ Jörn Neumann, Team Associated’s Joona Haatanen and Sworkz’s Micha Widmaier.  Former European Champion Bayer was fastest in 4WD followed by veteran Hupo Honigl completing the Top 3 ahead of Haatanen and Zalewski.

Summing up his practice, Volker said, ‘It is great to be back at this familiar facility.  Michal Bok and the crew always put together a well organised event’. The former World Champion continued, ‘there is a really nice flow to the layout this year.  The grip today is still low put improving every run so we will see how the conditions come up tomorrow’. Running a slightly harder Rush 30 shore tyre this year, Volker said, ‘In general this is one of my favourite tyres.  With one or two runs they are good to go and then they last’.

Originally entered to race on both tracks, Orlowski explained, ‘The plan was to do touring car and buggy with two mechanics so we would each have a car to work on but they had other commitments and couldn’t come so I opted to go with the touring car as I am really racing that at the moment’.  While his first time attending MIBO International he said, ‘it is nice to be back here.  I have spent a lot of my early years racing here doing the Mibosport Series as well as ETS and EOS race Bok hosted’.  He continued, ‘The layout is very nice, it has a good flow.  The curbs are quite aggressive so you have to stay away from them and while the grip is still coming up there is a very narrow racing line’.  For Schumacher team-mate Iivonen it is his first time here and the 21-year-old likes the track layout a lot.  Described the curbs as being the same as what he used to back home in Finland adding he is having ‘no issues avoiding them’.

Describing the event as having ‘a great atmosphere’, Gollner said his X4 was working pretty good and he was running nothing different to his ETS Daun set-up, instead waiting for the traction here to come up.  Another fan of the layout, the Austrian said, ‘it’s a really good track, it has a nice flow and I think it will make for good finals as it’s got some good spots for overtaking’.

Making four different manufacturers in Top 6, having had a challenging weekend last year Krapp said, ‘I like the track better this year, it’s more flowing’.  Not wanting to build up expectations that this would automatically mean a better result, he explained, ‘we have many new parts again this year so I am more focused on the car than my driving.  This time of the year is part of the Yokomo cycle as we develop towards our new car so this is a great opportunity to test new parts with high competition like Michal and Ronald.’

Summing up his practice runs Zalewski, who last year was the double runner-up behind Bruno Coelho, said, ‘both his cars felt good’ and maybe he needs to focus on being ‘more consistent and smooth’.  The Polish teenager added, ‘Over one lap the cars are really good but I am not consistent over 5-minutes so maybe I need to adjust my driving style to be more consistent’.  Asked about the track layout he said, ‘It is similar layout to before but there is low grip’.

Flying to Warsaw, but six hours later than scheduled after he missed is connection from Norway, and hooking up with Haatanen where Orlowski then picked them up in his father’s car given they need the extra space for the 6-hour round trip to Hrotovice, Kobbevik said his cars were good at the beginning and he has just adjusted them as the grip comes up.  He is confident he will have a good package for tomorrow on the track’s ‘fun layout’.  Asked which of his buggies need more improvement, he replied that both his 2WD or 4WD ‘feel very good’.

Asked how the first half day of the 2 and half day event had gone for him, Haatanen replied, ‘it’s really busy running 2WD and 4WD so I am not sure what I have changed on the cars over the day but hopefully I have a set-up for tomorrow’.  The Finn, who just recently completed his mandatory military service allowing him to make a racing comeback, added, ‘It is a pretty nice track but its less grippy than EOS so its a bit more challenging’.

In the Sworkz pits, both Neumann and Widmaier felt the track was ‘a tighter layout to normal tracks we race on’ calling it ‘fun to drive but difficult’. Neumann said the track required you to get both your driving right and the car which needs a lot of steering.  Widmaier said, ‘It’s not so easy.  Everything is tight so it is very easy to make a mistake so I think the key point is going to be getting as clean a 5-minutes as possible.’

View our event image gallery here.

February 13, 2024

MIBO International ’24 – Offroad track reveal

Ahead of this weekend’s second edition of the MIBO International Race, the organisers of the Czech Republic event has revealed the offroad track layout on which this year’s competitive driver line-up with battle it out for honours.  Unveiling 2-weeks ago the onroad track it will be built next to, the offroad layout is the creation of event organiser Michal Bok, with the carpet track featuring 10-jumps.  Taking place in the Sports V Hotel in Hrotovice and starting Friday evening, the stage for two & half day event is set for some great battles in 2WD and 4WD Buggy between Schumacher pairing Michal Orolwski & Daniel Kobbevik, Sworkz duo Joern Neumann & Micha Widmaier, Team Associated’s Joona Haatanen and Xray’s star of the 2023 MIBO International Bartek Zalewski.

Source: MIBO [mibosport.com]

February 12, 2024

Zalewski heads Xray challenge for MIBO International

Defending MIBO International Offroad Champions Xray has announced its team for the second edition of the upcoming Czech Republic based event.  At the inaugural running of the event Bruno Coelho won both 2WD and 4WD buggy ahead of young Xray talent Bartek Zalewski who kept the multiple World Champion honest.  Securing the 2WD TQ last year, now Zalewski will head the Slovakian’s offroad efforts.  Enjoying a podium double at the recent EOS Daun, the on-form Zalewski will resume his battles with Schumacher’s Michal Orlowki and Team Associated’s Joona Haatanen with Sworkz’ Joern Neumann joining the mix at the Sports V Hotel in Hrotovice.  The Polish teenager will be joined by Xray’s Max Gotzl and lead offroad chassis designer Martin Bayer.  An event that sees a double track build allowing offroad and onroad to race side by side, in the onroad competition Xray will be represented by Martin Hudy, Jan Ratheisky, David Ehbrar and newly crowned Snowbirds FWD Champion Stefan Schulz.

Source: MIBO [mibosport.com]

February 8, 2024

Associated confirm Haatanen for MIBO International

Team Associated has confirmed they will be represented at the upcoming MIBO International Race in the Czech Republic with the news that Joona Haatanen will make his debut at the second edition of the event.  The Finnish driver is the first team driver from the iconic offroad manufacturer to attend MIBO International and is the latest addition to what is turning into a very competitive field for the offroad side of the unique double track build.  A long time Team Associated supported driver, Haatanen had been absent from racing due to serving Finland’s mandatory military service but came back in impressive style with a strong showing at the recent EOS rounds.  Running from February 16-18, the event will see Haatanen fly the Associated flag against official team entries from Schumacher, Sworkz and Xray.  Having covered last year’s inaugural MIBO International, Red RC is looking forward to covering what is set to be much more intense offroad battle for top honours in Hrotovice.

Source: MIBO [mibosport.com]

February 7, 2024

Schumacher bolster MIBO entry with Kobbevik & livonen

Schumacher Racing has bolstered its entry for the upcoming MIBO International Race in the Czech Republic with the news Daniel Kobbevik and Pekko Iivonen will join Michal Orlowski at the second edition of the event on February 16-18th. Having the British manufacturer previously confirming Orlowski would be taking on the event’s unique double track build, racing for both the onroad and offroad titles, he will be joined by Kobbevik in offroad and Iivonen in Touring Car.  A multiple Norwegian National Champion and former European Championship Top Qualifier, Kobbevik will be in the mix for Schumacher against strong opposition led by Sworkz’ Joern Neumann.  The 2023 Finnish Modified Touring Car National Champion, Iivonen has had a strong start to the 2024 season making the A-Main at the recent ETS Daun and he will be hoping to build on that as he goes up against the likes of Orlowski, Mugen Seiki’s Ronald Volker and Yokomo’s Christophet Krapp at the Sports V Hotel venue in Hrotovice.

Source: MIBO [mibosport.com]