March 4, 2023

Coelho doubles Q1, Zalewski doubles Q2

There were double TQ runs in each of the opening two rounds of Offroad Qualifying at the MIBO International, Q1 being ruled by Bruno Coelho, and Bartosz Zalewski making his mark in Q2.  Opening the action with 2WD, top seed Coelho took a very convincing TQ run from Xray team-mates Martin Bayer and Max Gotzl before topping the 4WD times from Zalewski for the perfect start to qualifying.  Retiring from Q1 in 2WD, Zalewski made amends second time round capitalising on many mistakes from Coelho to secure the TQ.  With his confidence running high, the Polish driver then added a 4WD TQ run again taking advantage of mistakes by Coelho who finished well down the order, as Bayer claimed P2 ahead of Gotzl.

Summing up the opening round Coelho said both cars were very good and everything went as expected.  For Round 2 however he decided to ‘try something totally different in the geometry’ and which wasn’t good and with the car difficult to drive this lead to many mistakes.  Leaving his 4WD unchanged for Q2 he said his result was simple down to his driving which he described with a smile as ‘mucking around’.  Planning to go back to the previous set-up on his 2WD and just make some small adjustments to that, he said with his 4WD he just needs to drive it better.

Describing both cars as ‘perfect’, Zalewski was quick to put his 2WD DNF behind him and said despite having to start Q2 9th he had a clean track and put together a nice run that was enough to top the round.  The No.2 seed in 4WD, he said Q1 was a good run ‘but Bruno was faster’.  With his XB4 ‘stable & fast’, he said it was nice to go one better in Q2 and the only thing he needs to work on for the rest of today’s qualifying is to drive them well.

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March 4, 2023

Volker takes Q1 from Dankel at MIBO International

Ronald Volker has taken the opening round of qualifying at the MIBO International Race, the German topping the times from fellow Mugen driver Eric Dankel.  Behind, No.2 seed Antoine Brunet would set the third fastest time from Xray team-mate Oliver Havranek, the latter having been at the top the timing screen for the early part of the heat.  Third fastest in seeding Christopher Krapp suffered with his driving in Q1, report his Yokomo as working fine he made three mistakes that left him only 15th fastest.  Summarising his run, Volker said, ‘it started off slow, I’m not sure why, but then I had a nice clean run’.  Topping the first of the five qualification rounds by 1.1 seconds from Dankel, the former World Champion plans to try a different tyre prep for his second attempt in the hope of getting his car to to speed quicker than in Q1.  He said, ‘Unlike other races the additive and cleaner here is open so I will slightly change my tyre prep plus I will also switch to a harder diff.’

‘A solid run’ was how Dankel summed up Q1 adding, ‘I had almost no mistakes,  I just overshot twice’.   Pleased that the ‘gap to Ronald is not too much’, he will run his car unchanged for Q2.  ‘I can run super consistent laps and the car is the same from the start to the finish so I just need to drive it’.

Setting the fastest lap of Q1, Brunet said he ‘lost a lot of traction in the last minute’.  The French driver said as a result of the lack of grip he pushed harder leading to make a mistake that cost him close to 1-second.  For Q2, he will change his tyre prep in the hope of preventing the drop over in traction towards the end of the run.

Havranek was pleased with his efforts but was at loss to explain a spin that cost him the TQ.  ‘It start quite good, I started fast even though I had an overshoot on the first lap.  I was leading but then I had a mistake, I did hit a dot but must have been a bump and it caused me to spin’.  The 18-year-old continued, ‘4th place is OK but the car is perfect so I will just check over it and try again’.  Behind the Slovak driver IRIS Racing’s Dionys Stadler completed the Top 5.

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March 4, 2023

Coelho leads way in Offroad at MIBO International

Bruno Coelho leads the way at the MIBO International Race, the Xray driver the top seed for both 2WD & 4WD Buggy in Hrotovice.   The World Champion’s first race on indoor carpet in more than 3-years, he has quickly found his rhythm on the 30 metre wide and 19 metre deep track topping 2WD from Martin Bayer and 4WD from young Polish talent Bartosz Zalewski.  Commenting on his morning’s work he said, ‘We have been making a lot of changes, testing & testing to make it faster and faster. Everything works good both in 2WD and 4WD’.  Asked if they had made any significant key changes he explained all the changes have been big to see if this is the right direction to go and if it is then the rest of the rest test it adding ‘this is a god race for this (approach)’.

Second fastest in 4WD and P4 in 2WD, Zalewski said his XB4 is ‘really smooth to drive and fast’.  The 16-year-old from Warsaw said he is pleased with the car set-up and has been more focused on his driving.  Describing his 2WD, in which his was 4th fastest, as a little unstable he said this feeling is probably more about how he is driving it then a set-up issue and so he will ‘work more on the driving’ for the opening qualifier.

Third fastest in 2WD, Max Gotzl summed up practice with ‘so far it’s good’.  The Czech driver continued, ‘both cars are good and most of my work has been on my hands (driving)’.  For 2WD he said the focus has been on a consistent 5-minutes while 4WD started off not so well a change to the car has since put in ‘back in the game’ with him seeding 4th behind his Xray/Elceram team-mate Martin Bayer.  Using the new Nitride speedo from Czech company Elceram, he said they have been doing some work on this also and he believes they have a good base set-up now for qualifying.  Overall Gotzl believes tyre management is going to be the biggest factor  to the outcome of qualifying.

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March 4, 2023

Volker tops seeding at MIBO International

Ronald Volker has topped seeding at the inaugural MIBO International, the factory Mugen driver quickest from Antoine Brunet and Christopher Krapp on a track all drivers are finding challenging.  Opening the second day of action in Hrotovice with two rounds of controlled practice, Volker put together the fastest three consecutive laps in both with his second attempt quicker by over 2/10ths.  Running a test version of Mugen’s next kit release, the German said they are ‘doing well’ and ‘testing every run new things with the flex’ of the car.  Looking to qualifying he added ‘a clean 5-minutes will not be that easy’.  He continued the end of the straight is only boards which is not forgiving, so a mistake here can cost you the whole run’.

Brunet summed up his morning as getting ‘better & better’.  The 25-year-old from France said the most significant change he has made so far is to switch from Xtreme’s Twister Speciale body to the original Twister resulting in more grip and in turn him having more confidence on the track.  On his chassis, the Xray driver said he has only made small adjustments and if he could now get a little more rotation mid corner the car would be perfect’.

Asked about his timed practice Krapp replied, ‘I’m still adapting to the track and conditions. We have lots of new parts on the car here so we are trying many things to get new data’.  Running a a new top deck and mid motor mount set-up on the car,  the Factory Yokomo driver said the key area needing work at the moment was a ‘lack of overall steering in the 180 corners’ adding the car is ‘lazy’ and resulting him lacking the pace to the two ahead of him.  The German added he also made a mistake by running his new tyres too late.  While they are getting better by the end of the final practice, he feels he should have run them earlier.

Seeding P4 for Qualifying, four of the five rounds on today’s schedule, Eric Dankel said his Mugen was ‘easy to drive, which is important for 5-minutes’.  Like Volker, he said track layout is challenging.  He said, ‘some spot are very dangerous if you want to go fast.  When you see the top guys like Ronald and Krapp making mistakes you know it is a challenging track’.  In saying that the German said his plan for Q1 is to change nothing on the car and just try to put together a clean run.  He said if the car proves difficult to drive them he will put glue on the tyre wall.

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March 3, 2023

Inaugural MIBO International is GO!

1 Race, 2 Tracks, almost 250 entries, and tons of action – the inaugural MIBO International Race is GO with drivers easing themselves into the busy weekend schedule with an evening of free practice in Hrotovice, Czech Republic.  The central double sided drivers stand has had a constant flow of both onroad and offroad drivers since the 17:00 start, all eager to dial in their cars ahead of the five rounds of qualifying, four of which make up Saturday’s schedule.  In touring car a lap is running at 13-seconds while over on the the buggy track quick laps are running in the late 17-seconds for 4WD and mid 18-seconds for 2WD.

Fresh from last week’s TITC in Thailand, Mugen’s Ronald Volker described the track as ‘different to normal’ adding ‘it’s not an easy track’.  A regular of the pre Covid MIBO Cup Series, the German said it was great to back in an ‘old familiar facility’.  Adding to the nostalgia of the weekend, Volker has made the trip from Germany with accomplished former Stock Touring Car and 1:10 Nitro Onroad star Eric Dankel who has returned for a weekend of racing fun at the Sport V Hotel.  Volker added the track layout features ‘a lot of hairpins’ creating a ‘different flow to usual’ which most tracks have evolved to lately.  Christopher Krapp, who is here with Dominic Vogl, summed up the track as ‘tight and technical’.  Like Volker, he said, ‘it’s very different to recent tracks’ describing driving it as ‘shooting from corner to corner’.  The Yokomo driver said his focus so far has been to get the right steering for the 180 corners.

For Coelho this weekend is all about being back with his Xray Offroad team-mates after a long break.  Seated between Martin Bayer and Hupo Honigl in the pits here at the Sports V Hotel, Coelho said, ‘It’s great to be back with the team again and at fun race like MIBO’.  Explaining it is more than 3 years since he last raced on carpet and while he did the Euros last year on Astro the two surfaces are very different.  Travelling to the Hudy Arena after returning from his TITC victory last weekend so as to get used his buggies on carpet again, he said having so much traction felt so different for the first few runs but it’s all come back to him now.  Asked his thoughts on the track he said, ‘It’s super fun’ adding ‘it’s not so difficult but it’s technical’.  Making the trip from Sweden where she is involved in running his local indoor carpet offroad track and the Euro Buggy Masters,  Jessica Pålsson said the track presented by the Mibosport team this weekend is a lot bigger and wider than her home track.  The Schumacher driver said the key to the track is the mid section jump describing it as a spot where it is ‘easy to win or loose’.  Asked if the track suited 2WD or 4WD better she said for her it felt better to drive with a 2WD buggy but added her preferred class has alway been 2WD.

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November 18, 2022

Video – Main Final

Watch how the 2022 IFMAR 1:10 Nitro World Championship unfolded over 60-minutes of intense racing at the RC Addict track in Bangkok, Thailand, where a number of drivers take turns at the front. Commentary from the one and only Scotty Ernst.