A quick look through the pits here in Vila Real have revealed a number of new products being run and tested by some of the top drivers. Corally racer Marc Fisher from Germany is running some new prototype parts on his RDX Phi. There are new rear uprights that have 1mm lower top mounting points, also the front steering blocks have received some attention together with the new servo saver part that has simpler to adjust Ackermann.
Over at the Schumacher pit, the whole team are running the company’s new Mi3.5, which is much lighter than the original Mi3 and is better suited to rubber racing with the use of soft plastics in the car to help generate grip. Also seen on the car of Chris Ashton, is a new servo saver part, which is very similar to that seen on the RDX Phi, allowing for easy Ackermann adjustment. The steering round mounting positions are in the same position as on the original servo saver yet in this configuration it just seems to work better.
Our friend Taru from Xenon has made the trip from Japan to be here and he was showing us their tire additive ‘Tire Performa’, which is in extensive use by the racers on this track. While not new in Japan, released over a year ago there, in Europe the product has just become available.
As the drivers continue to get their laps in, in a bid to find those extra few tenths of a second and improve their run times, we took a look through the paddock to discover more new products and developments. Current European 1/10th scale Champion, Dario Balestri, is testing a new rear end on his Motonica. The car is using a prototype aluminium rear upper wishbone mount as well as prototype upper wishbones and the Italian is pleased with resulting changes in handling.
In the Novarossi cabin we were shown some new products that the company is testing, including a manifold. At the 1:8 Off Road Euros two weeks ago there were problems with the interputation of the new EFRA on manifolds and following clarification at the meeting on the Crete Island, Novarossi have been quick to exploit the new terms of the ruling which states the diameter of the inlet and outlet of the manifold should be 13mm. The prototype part complys to this regulation but uses a larger 15mm diameter tube (right) in an effort to gain more power. The company has seen some improvements but they say it needs further testing before they decide whether it should go into production.
Also new from Novarossi is this back pressure radiator that their team drivers are currently running on their cars. Mounted inline with the back pressure tubing, it helps cool the gases that are flowing through it with the device measuring upwards of 80 degrees celcius when measured after a 5 minute run. Early indications from their drivers show that it does help and using it gains them a small advantage in run time, however the Novarossi team are still coming up short in this area.
Also shown to us by French company KD Racing, are these machined aluminium and titanium parts. Available for Kyosho, Mugen, Serpent and Shepherd cars, these new chassis come in two versions, light and ultralight, with the difference being the amount of machining that has been done to it. The light chassis gives a saving of 50 grams, while the ultra light version, which is noticably lighter when holding it, saves 80 grams. KD Racing also have a number of other option parts including titanium mid axles, brake discs and and 2 speed oneway carriers, as well as full sets of ceramic bearings. Racers wanting custom machining can contact them with their request, with contact details being found on their website here.
While the action on the track is heating up as the drivers finalize their setups, we took a look through the pits to see what was new here at the event. Most interesting thing being tried is this back pressure adjustment needle on the car of Massimo Fantini. Mounted in the pressure line, it can be adjusted to best suit the present conditions and is currently being tested as a way to help conserve fuel. As always at gas races conserving fuel is super important and other racers are trying similar things, with many of the front runners adopting the CRF Constant pressure device in an attempt to make the 5 minutes.
Also new, and spotted on the Kyosho Evolva M3 of Alberto Picco, are these Collari made lightened spring steel axles that are designed to be used together with wheel nuts to keep the wheels perfectly true. Available for both the front and rear of the car, they have been lightened through the milling of small grooves around the outside of the outer edge.
Another interesting thing to note is that a lot of the Kyosho Evolva M3 racers are running with a different fuel tank to the standard version. It seems the Serpent tank is the most popular and helps cure the fuel pick up problems that the original tank apparantely suffers from.
New on the bench of Adrien Bertin are some new optional parts for the Evolva M3, some like the aluminium front upper suspension arm brackets we have seen before, but others like this steel battery plate are new and similar to versions on other cars, adding weight to this optimal place on the car.
Finally, for now, the front disks that come with the Matrix tires are in use by factory Kyosho racers Ilia Van Gastel and Adrien Bertin. Said to make the turn into the corner smoother, they remain as a seperate disk over the spoked wheel to retain the flex benefits of such a wheel combined with the better aerodynamics of the disk.
With the rain still coming down, we now have a chance to write about a number of new items in the pits that we have seen in the last few days. The first is this CAP spider from Capricorn RC, which was seen on Chris Tosolini’s Kyosho in the pits and used to help him claim his 4th position in the overall standings. Essentially its a carbon fibre rear body support that prevents the sides of the body shell from folding in under high speeds and also part of the set, which it not all on Toso’s car, are carbon side body stiffeners, but arent being used because IFMAR allows the use of normal lexan stiffeners.
Also new in the pits, seen on the bench of Roelof Tooms, is a small engine project from a Dutch company called USE, who currently make optional metal parts like pinions and cooling heads. Made using molds from an old engine project to have a basis with which to begin development, this 3.5cc engine features some innovative thinking inside its rather old fashioned crankcase. Similar to the Sirio engines, the liner and the top part of the external crankcase are combined, while the cooling head features an integrated combustion chamber and the cranksahft has also been developed to be very small and light. There is a lot of work still to be done and it is currently being made as a side project outside of office hours, we will keep you informed on any further developments.
Tires are one of the most critical pieces of equipment at these races and all the top drivers are experimenting with different wheels and foam combinations. Seen on a number of racers cars are new lightweight wheels from ATS, Enneti and Kyosho, which have been made using a lightweight and opaque material which provides huge benefits for the car due to reduced rotating mass, but they are difficult to glue the tires to and are in very short supply, with some teams taking to removing the old foam from the wheels to use them for a new set.
Seen on the work bench of Michael Salven is Serpent’s new tool set which seems pretty complete in the amount of tools provided and it comes in a handy carrying case which has not yet been finalised. The tools feature hardened tips and orange handles and they are expected to be released before the end of the year.
While the new Shepherd Velox has been tearing up the tracks in Europe, this is the first time we have come face to face with it and we talked to Patrick Schaefer from Team Shepherd about the new car. Essentially the same as the prototype that was first shown earlier this year in Nuernberg, the latest version features new aluminium parts anodised in blue on all the cars that are present here and some of the plastics are now final such as front wishbones and the lower rear wishbones.
The main feature of this car that sets it apart from others in its class is the braking system, using a cable system it pulls levers on either side of the rear pulley which applies pressure to the mounted brake disk stopping the car, this system allows for more stable and later braking into a corner. Also on the rear end of the car, like on all the new generation 1/8th scales, the rear bodymout A-arms are mounted directly to the rear upright ensuring that the downforce from the body is transferred directly to the wheels.
On the front end of the car, the servo saver features a rather innovative Ackermann adjustment, which is done through the use of one screw, which when loosened allows you to slide the steering rod mount 3 steps forward or back, when selected simply tighten it again. Also new on the servo saver is its mounting which uses a slot on both the chassis and the radio plate instead of a hole which allows you to move the position of the servo saver forward or backward to compensate when you adjust the cars wheelbase.
The new shock absorbers consist of an open ended shock body with an assembly mounted to the bottom that contains the o-rings and holds the shock shaft. This composite part, along with having a built in bleed sytem, has also got a few milimeters of material on the base of where the shaft exits the shock which helps keep the shaft straight. Inside the shock, there is no membrane and instead it uses a floating piston with a spring that takes up any expansion. The photo above does not show the final shock absorber as the blue parts will be silver and the upper shock mounting point will have an open ball joint, similar to the lower one.
Expect to see the car hit the market in December.
View larger and more images in the event gallery here.
With everybody waiting for the track to dry, I took the opportunity to talk to Takashi Miyashita, head designer of the new Evolva M3 about his creation. Essentially a completely new platform in 1/8th scale from Kyosho, one of our event site sponsors, the new M3 has been designed to fix all the issues that the team had with the previous Evolva through strengthening and optimising the cars construction. When asked to explain what was new on the car, Takashi replied “only a few of the parts are existing parts”, with the main new part being the chassis which has been designed to accept a smaller receiver pack, making for a narrower chassis plate.
The geometry of this car is however the same as on the previous chassis but the car has just been made narrower, lower and lighter. Other changes are the use of a rubber foam seal for the fuel tank to prevent fuel leaking from the tank, and new eccenters in the front and rear steering blocks and uprights to allow the height of the axle to be adjusted easily, thus changing the cars roll center.
The rear of the car features completely new stronger plastics which also offer more adjustability than on the previous car, while as an additional feature, the car allows the rear wheelbase to also be adjusted through the use of spacers, similar to the front. The rear of the car now also has the rear body mount A-arms mounted to the center of the rear upright, similar to that seen on both the new Serpent rear end and Mugen MRX-4X, of which you can find images of in our gallery.
Another new feature of the car is the ability to mount the throttle servo in the stand up position, as well as the laydown position, something that offers great flexibilty and choice to the racer. Finally the car features carbon side stiffeners on both sides which, combined with the front chassis stiffener, allows the racer the ability to completely change the cars characteristics by mounting or removing these parts. The car will soon feature a new 2-speed clutch shoe which hasnt yet been completed, but it will be ready in time for the cars release in December.
View more high resolution images of the car in our event gallery.