July 7, 2008

1/8th Buggy Euros – Full gallery online

1/8th Buggy Euros - Complete gallery online

As a wrap up to our coverage from the European 1/8th scale buggy Championships, which was brought to you thanks to Kyosho and LRP, we have now added 70 new images to our events gallery. Newly added are photos from all the finalists, action from the main final and the prize ceremony celebrations as well as close ups of the winning Mugen MBX5R of newly crowned European Champion Renaud Savoya.

Check out our event image gallery here.

July 5, 2008

Savoya is 2008 European Champion

Savoya is 2008 European Champion

French Mugen racer Renaud Savoya capped off a dominant performance at the European Championships in Crete by taking the European title ahead of former Champion Robert Batlle. The Spanish driver had taken the lead early in the race and pulled out a considerable lead, but a broken rear arm with 15 minutes to go meant that Savoya could come back in the late part of the race, and take the lead from the crippled Hobao driver with just over 10 minutes to go, and never looked back. Batlle ended the race in 2nd, only a few seconds behind, while new HongNor signing Richi Gomez from Spain rounded out the top 3.

The new European Champion commented following the race that ‘It was a very difficult race. At the start I saw Batlle pulling away and I made some mistakes. I think my tyres were better than his GRPs and I was faster, but his car broke and I was able to pass him for the win. I think if Batlle’s car did not break he would have won’. Savoya, who was on a different fuel strategy, had to make less stops than the defending Champion. Savoya believes the win will be good for his confidence ahead of the Worlds Warm Up race in two weeks time.

A clearly gutted Batlle, who had victory snatched away from him in the dying moments of the race, said ‘The car was really good and I had the pace to win but the rear arm broke. The car was then a struggle and I couldn’t hold onto the lead’. Batlle’s rear arm broke with 15 minutes to go but the Spaniard was not sure where or how it happened.

Third placed Richi Gomez was delighted with his Hong Nor debut ‘We only got the car last week and this was our first race so I am very very happy to finish on the podium. The car and engine worked really well.’ Fellow Spaniard Borja Hernandez was on for a podium placing but his receiver battery broke, losing him a lot of time, but the Spaniard admitted he did not have the pace to stick with Savoya or Batlle.

Jon Hazlewood, driving the only Xray in the final was pleased with fourth but said the heat was a struggle and his only drama in the race was an engine cut. Another Spaniard Miguel Almagro, driving a Mugen, had come up from the 1/8 final and was obviously delighted with 5th. He had a good race, and except for one engine cut in the pitlane as he came in for fuel, the rest of the race was pretty uneventful.

Finishing in 6th spot was LRP S8-BX racer Hupo Honigl, who lost a front shock absorber during the race, which his mechanics changed, only to then lose one on the rear. The Austrian racer said his car was the best it was all week and that fourth would have been a good finish, but it wasn’t to be. Former World and European Champion Daniel Reckward suffered a broken rear arm while running third.  His Kyosho team managed to fix the MP777, which the German said was working really good but the time lost meant he only finished 10th.

Another racer to run into problems, while in a good position, was Associated racer Neil Cragg, who saw his back pressure pipe split that caused his engine to run lean and with that fixed he then had to retire when his receiver battery broke.

Although just missing out on making the final, young British racer Elliot Boots claimed the Junior European title, the 15 year old Team Associated racer finishing in 20th overall.

European Championship podium

Final standings (unofficial)
1. SAVOYA Renaud – 88 Laps in 01:00:01.434 (Mugen MBX5)
2. BATLLE Robert – 87 Laps in 59:25.638 (Hobao Hyper 8.5)
3. GOMEZ MALAGON Richi – 86 Laps in 01:00:34.825 (HongNor)
4. HAZLEWOOD Jon – 85 Laps in 01:00:24.298 (Xray XB808)
5. ALMAGRO Miguel Angel – 84 01:00:31.698 (Mugen MBX5)
6. HoNIGL Hubert – 83 Laps in 01:00:29.816 (LRP S8-BX)
7. HERNANDEZ Borja – 81 Laps in 01:00:15.163 (Hobao Hyper 8.5)
8. LUIS Rodrigo – 80 Laps in 01:00:21.792 (HongNor)
9. BAYER Martin – 77 Laps in 01:00:02.935 (Losi 8ight)
10. RECKWARD Daniel – 73 Laps in 01:00:33.522 (Kyosho MP777)
11. CRAGG Neil – 68 Laps in 49:05.507 (Associated RC8)
12. PERIN Riccardo – 59 Laps in 51:15.366 (Mugen MBX5)

Complete final results can be found here.

A big thank you to our Sponsors Kyosho and LRP, without whom our coverage would not be possible.

More photos to follow in our image gallery tomorrow, our reporter needs to get out of the sun and cool off first.

July 5, 2008

Final is GO in Crete – Live Coverage

Top 12 finalists

Start – The Main Final is under way with Savoya the early leader from Batlle.
7 minutes – Batlle currently fastest driver on the track.
10 minutes – Batlle leads from Savoya by 6 seconds – Reckward third. Perin has hit trouble.
14 minutes – Savoya makes mistake on back straight allowing Reckward into 2nd. Batlle extends lead to 10 secs.
19 minutes – Battle just broke lap record now leading by 15 sec from Savoya who is back up to 2nd – Reckward third, Hernandez 4th, Gomez 5th, Halzewood 6th.
25 minutes – Batlle from Savoya by 13 seconds. Reckward is 3rd, now a lap down.
26 minutes – Batlle, Savoya, Reckward, Hernandez, Gomez, Hazlewood, Hupo, Bayer, Alamagro, Cragg, Luis, Perin. – All cars still running.
30 minutes – Still Batlle from Savoya by 15 secs. Hernandez now 3rd and Gomez 4th. Reckward in trouble.
33 minutes – Places still remain the same at the front.
45 minutes – Batlle leading by just 2 seconds form Savoya who appears to be on a different fuel strategy.
49 minutes – Savoya takes the lead. Hernandez has hit trouble.
50 minutes – Gomez moves up to 3rd following the problems of Hernandez.
51 minutes – Savoya extends lead to 5 seconds from Batlle.
52 minutes – Running order – Savoya, Batlle, Gomez, Hazlewood, Hupo, Alamagro, Hernandez, Bayer, Luis, Cragg, Reckward, Perin (out).
56 minutes – Savoya looks set to take win from Batlle, Gomez safe in third from Halzewood.
59 minutes – Savoya 5 seconds clear.
Finish – Savoya is the 2008 European 1/8th scale buggy Champion from Batlle in 2nd. Richi Gomez 3rd.

 Renaud Savoya is 2008 European Champion

Final standings (unofficial)
1. SAVOYA Renaud – 88 Laps in 01:00:01.434 (Mugen MBX5)
2. BATLLE Robert – 87 Laps in 59:25.638 (Hobao Hyper 8.5)
3. GOMEZ MALAGON Richi – 86 Laps in 01:00:34.825 (HongNor)
4. HAZLEWOOD Jon – 85 Laps in 01:00:24.298 (Xray XB808)
5. ALMAGRO Miguel Angel – 84 01:00:31.698 (Mugen MBX5)
6. HoNIGL Hubert – 83 Laps in 01:00:29.816 (LRP S8-BX)
7. HERNANDEZ Borja – 81 Laps in 01:00:15.163 (Hobao Hyper 8.5)
8. LUIS Rodrigo – 80 Laps in 01:00:21.792 (HongNor)
9. BAYER Martin – 77 Laps in 01:00:02.935 (Losi 8ight)
10. RECKWARD Daniel – 73 Laps in 01:00:33.522 (Kyosho MP777)
11. CRAGG Neil – 68 Laps in 49:05.507 (Associated RC8)
12. PERIN Riccardo – 59 Laps in 51:15.366 (Mugen MBX5)

July 5, 2008

Champion Batlle wins Semi Final B

Champion Batlle wins Semi Final B

Defending European Champion Robert Batlle has won the second of the Semi Finals here at a very very hot Iraklion Model Centre track.  The Spaniard completed the same number of laps as Semi A winner Savoya and managed a faster lap time but was almost 30 second off the pace of the Frenchman who has looked so in control throughout the 5 days of this championships.

Second to Batlle was former World and European Champion Daniel Reckward.  Finishing just 8 seconds off the winner the German Kyosho driver has really turned things around having struggled to get a good set-up on his MP777 but having also run a faster lap time than Savoya he looks good for the one hour Main.

Martin Bayer from the Czech Republic who was one of the big surprises of qualifying is proving that wasn’t a once off, claiming third ahead of Austrian RC racing ace Hupo Honigl who ensures LRP will be represented in the final. Claiming the last two places in the race that will decide the 2008 EFRA European Champion are Spanish driver Miguel Almagro and Portuguese HongNor racer Luis Rodrigo.

Semi B saw the demise of some big names with Darren Bloomfield missing the cut in seventh, Bergonzoni driver Raul Peris 8th, while brothers Jerome and Yannick Aigoin both failed to finish the race as did former World & European Champion Alessandro Laffranchi, who did just two laps.

The Main Final will get underway in just over 30 minutes.

Top 6 finishers Semi B
1. BATLLE Robert (ES) – 44 Laps in 30:29.844
2. RECKWARD Daniel (DE) – 44 Laps in 30:37.896
3. BAYER Martin (CZ) – 43 Laps in 30:15.126
4. HoNIGL Hubert (AT) – 43 Laps in 30:27.215
5. ALMAGRO Miguel Angel (ES) – 43 Laps in 30:28.313
6. RODRIGO Luis (PT) – 42 Laps in 30:26.279

Main Final Starting order
1. SAVOYA Renaud (FR) – Mugen MBX5
2. BATLLE Robert (ES) – Hobao Hyper 8.5
3. RECKWARD Daniel (DE) – Kyosho Inferno MP777
4. CRAGG Neil (UK) – Associated RC8
5. BAYER Martin (CZ) – Losi 8ight
6. PERIN Riccardo (IT) – Mugen MBX5
7. HERNANDEZ Borja (ES) – Hobao Hyper 8.5
8. GOMEZ MALAGON Richi (ES) – HongNor
9. HAZLEWOOD Jon (UK) – Xray XB808
10. HoNIGL Hubert (AT) – LRP S8-BX
11. ALMAGRO Miguel Angel (ES) – Mugen MBX5
12. RODRIGO Luis (PT) – HongNor

July 5, 2008

Semi Final only a formality for Savoya

Semi Final only a formality for Savoya

The first semi final of the 2008 EFRA European Championship has just taken place and Top Qualifier Renaud Savoya made the 20 minute encounter look like just a formality ahead of the main job in hand, winning the Main Final which gets underway here in Crete at 16:00 local time.

Savoya made little or no mistakes during the race and lead from start to finish setting the fastest lap on the way to a 1 lap winning margin over Associated driver Neil Cragg who’s best lap was 7/10th off that of the French Champion. ‘The run was fine and I will stick with the same set-up for the final’, said the very confident Mugen driver. ‘The track is getting tricky over the jumps and there are now holes at the end of the straight which is making my car jump around a lot but its ok.’

Third in the A Semi was Riccardo Perin, the Italian Mugen driver finishing just ahead of Hobao’s Borja Hernandez who will switch engine for the final as he is not happy with the fuel run time. The Spaniard had to make an extra stop in the race and will revert to the GRP engine he ran earlier in the event.

Completing the Top 6 and securing their places in the Main Final after bumping up from the 1/4 Finals where new Hong Nor signing Richi Gomez and British Xray driver Jon Hazlewood.

Failing to finish the race Daniel Vega, who managed only 8 laps, Elliot Boots and Jerome Sartel can all take an early shower, the former having his 2.4Ghz system shut down due to the heat. Also finished up early is former European Champion Guillaume Vray, Ari Heinonen and Kyosho’s Linus Thern.

Top 6 finishers Semi A
1. SAVOYA Renaud (FR) – 44 Laps in 30:00.206
2. CRAGG Neil (UK) – 43 Laps in 30:04.230
3. PERIN Riccardo (IT) – 43 Laps in 30:15.529
4. HERNANDEZ Borja (ES) – 43 Laps in 30:16.394
5. GOMEZ MALAGON Richi (ES) – 43 Laps in 30:20.048
6. HAZLEWOOD Jon (UK) – 43 Laps in 30:20.820

July 4, 2008

Robert Batlle TQ’s final Heat

Robert Batlle TQ’s final Heat

Defending European Champion Robert Batlle has just TQ’d the fifth and final heat doing so in style by setting the fastest 5 minute run of the championships. The Hobao/Ultimate Racing driver tried a radial shock set-up for the heat and the Spaniard was very pleased with the result and will stick this for his Semi Final.

Second fastest, but some 6 seconds off Batlle’s blistering pace, was fellow countryman and Bergonzoni driver Raul Peris. The Spaniard appears to have found a good set-up on the prototype R1 chassis and the result ensures the Italian made car will be represented in tomorrow’s Semi Finals.

Renaud Savoya

Having dominated the first four heats cool operator Renaud Savoya found himself for the first time not at the top of the time sheets. The French driver said he was over driving his Mugen but that the car was working really well.

Neil Cragg continued to make progress and was top Associated setting the fourth fastest time to claim fifth in the overall ranking but says he can go quicker. Behind him it was the steady Alessandro Laffranchi at the controls of his Mugen and he qualifies fourth overall.

Riccardo Perin

Completing the top 6 was Italian Riccardo Perin. Switching to new shocks from Italian company GPS for the last qualifier Perin said his Novarossi powered Mugen was transformed and that he will stick with them for his Semi Final.

Three times European Champions Crono finally had a top 10 run as British team driver David Crompton set the 8th fastest time after a steady run. Reverting to the set-up he ran in Heat 3, the multiple UK National Champion said the car was better but that he still needs to lower the RS7. Qualifying for the 1/4 Finals he is confident of bumping up to the Semi Final but after that he thinks luck will determine which drivers make the Main Final.

David Crompton

So qualifying for the 2008 European Championship has come to an end. The lower finals are about to get underway but it will not be until tomorrow evening that we will know the name of the 2008 Champion. One element that is likely to play a big part in the out come of that race is engines. The high temperature and 1 hour Main Final are sure to make engine settings critical.

Top 16 (Semi Finalists)
1. SAVOYA Renaud (FR) – 8 Laps in 05:17.839 / 519pts
2. BATLLE Robert (ES) – 8 Laps in 05:20.606 / 509pts
3. HERNANDEZ Borja (ES) – 8 Laps in 05:23.597 / 508pts
4. LAFFRANCHI Alessandro (IT) – 8 Laps in 05:24.779 / 504pts
5. CRAGG Neil (UK) – 8 Laps in 05:23.396 / 503pts
6. AIGOIN Yannick (FR) – 8 Laps in 05:22.120 / 498pts
7. BOOTS Elliott (UK) – 8 Laps in 05:22.832 / 497pts
8. BOERO Fabio (IT) – 8 Laps in 05:25.290 / 495pts
9. SARTEL Jerome (FR) – 8 Laps in 05:25.081 / 495pts
10. BAYER Martin (CZ) – 8 Laps in 05:20.708 / 492pts
11. VEGA Daniel (ES) – 8 Laps in 05:26.756 / 491pts
12. PERIS Raul (ES) – 8 Laps in 05:22.422 / 487pts
13. VRAY Guillaume (FR) – 8 Laps in 05:29.371 / 487pts
14. BLOOMFIELD Darren (UK) – 8 Laps in 05:30.097 / 486pts
15. PERIN Riccardo (IT) – 8 Laps in 05:28.034 / 485pts
16. LUIS Rodrigo (PT) – 8 Laps in 05:25.470 / 483pts

Check out our event image gallery here.