Yannick Aigoin has completed a clean sweep at the 2009 Arena Offroad Meeting here in Italy by claiming victory in the main event heading home Riccardo Rabitti for a Losi 1-2 finish. Having had a bad start, which saw him drop to the back of the running order, the French racer worked his way up through the field to take the win adding to his earlier Truggy victory.
Starting from pole position it was Rabitti that led the way from Spain’s Richi Gomez as Aigoin and Borja Hernandez tangled wheels at the first corner dropping them to the back of the 12 car field. The Italian Buggy Champion maintained control of the race holding an 18-second lead over the recovering Aigoin at 15-minute mark. With the Frenchman’s Novarossi able to go 11-minutes between stops compared with the 9-minute stints of the leader’s Sirio the race was starting to play into the hands of the visitor. At the mid point Aigoin was on Rabitti’s rear wing and briefly passed the local hero before heading to the pits for his second of three stops.
The turning point of the race came minutes later when Rabitti had a costly tangle with a back marker and this allowed Aigoin through. Once in front the current European Vice-Champion stretched his lead, helped by the fact he had one less stop to make compared with his only real challenger. In the end the pair crossed the line separated by 16 seconds.
Commenting after his fourth win of the event, Aigoin said the opening part of the race had been hard for him as he worked his way through the traffic following the disastrous start. The only driver to stretch his stints between refuelling to 11-minutes, he said this played a major part in him claiming the victory. His first time to attend Italy’s best known international offroad meeting he said it had been a great result for his Losi team as they TQ’d and won in Buggy, Truggy and Brushless Buggy. Coming here fresh from winning the Pierrefeu GP, it was a busy four day event for the Pro racer who also won both of Saturday night’s ‘Race of Champions’ and he says he is now really looking forward to a well earned break when he returns home.
Runner up Rabitti said his car was fantastic throughout the race and that he felt really comfortable out in front but it was always going to be a tall order to compete with Aigoin especially when he had the advantage of one less fuel stop. Distracted during the race when the neck strap on his radio broke, he said his challenge for a second win, having won the Brushless Buggy title on Friday evening, was over when he tangled badly with the backmarker but overall he was happy to be on the podium at the biggest race in his country. The biggest battle of the Main was for the final step on the podium with Martin Karner, Gomez and Davide Tortorici having a thrilling battle. With 5-minutes remaining the trio were separated by just 7 seconds but in the end the Team Orion powered MP9 of Karner came out on top. Making a number of small set-up changes and a switch to heavier shock oil, Karner was very happy with his result. Keeping one eye on former two time European Champion Tortorici throughout the final he said he drove a calculated race and this helped him to his second podium of the event.
Top Mugen finisher was Elliot Boots. The young British racer was one of only three drivers to record a 41 second lap and in the end came back from a disappointing opening to the race to pass the GS Racing CLX of RB Engines team-mate Hernandez in the dying minutes to complete the Top 6.
In the Buggy F2 Main, Britain’s John Howell took a very narrow win over Italian Valerio Bellano. Switching from Reedy to an RB engine just before the 45-minute final Howell, who started from second on the grid, got bumped back to last on the opening lap but three laps later he was in the lead. The Hobao driver, who is running a pre-production version of the latest Hyper 9, was chased hard by Bellano but just managed to hold him off to win by a slender 3 seconds. Third place went to pole sitter Marco Baruffolo while Anthony Conroy, winner of the F2 ‘Race of Champions’ couldn’t repeat that form after he broke a wishbone on his Mugen 3-minutes in.
The second running of this long established event indoors, American Adam Drake winning it the last time it was held outdoors, the 2009 Arena Offroad Meeting was again a huge success with those making their first visit already looking forward to returning to Voghera next year. The organisers, MRC Crew, did a fantastic job constructing the huge US style track and ran a very smooth event. Red RC would like to thank Fast Race, Modellismo Fioroni, Sprint RC and A.M.R.C for making our coverage possible.
Italian National Champion Riccardo Rabitti will start the 2009 Arena Offroad Meeting from pole position ahead of Losi team-mate Yannick Aigoin. Aigoin took the win in the first of the Semi Finals but Rabitti’s win in the second produced a faster time to see him carry the number 1 on his Sirio powered 8ight for the 45-minute Main here at the ‘Arena of Cowboys’. Both Rabitti and Aigoin had to work hard for their wins. Aigoin saw his Novarossi engine cut on the start due to the idle being set too low and once restarted he had to work his way up through the field. Running one fuel stop compared with the two of young British talent Elliot Boots he eventually found a way passed the Mugen/RB driver who will line up fourth on the grid.
Switching from a 7 to 3 port engine for his Semi, Sirio team driver Rabitti made a lot of mistakes as he had to readjust his style to suit the different power unit. Swallowed up by the pack in the early part of the 20-minute race the Italian found his rythm and came through to eventually pass the battling Spaniards of Borja Hernandez and Richi Gomez to take the win despite running out of fuel on his last lap. Rabitti will continue with the same engine but is opting for a different clutch.
Finishing second in the Semi B, GS Racing’s Hernandez will line up third on the grid but admits a podium finish will be difficult as the track doesn’t really suit his RB powered CLX. The main casualty of the Semis was Czech ace Martin Bayer who went out early when another car T-boned his Losi, breaking the cars steering. While Martin will play no further part in the event there will be Bayer interest in the final with younger brother Alex making it through to the Main lining up eight on the 12 car grid. Another of the big name to go down in the Semi was Kyosho/Novarossi team driver Fabrizio Teghesi when he retired three minute from the finish.
Saturday night at the Arena Offroad Meeting is ‘Race of Champions’ time and once again it was the yellow and black Losi’s of Yannick Aigoin that ruled proceedings winning both the buggy and truggy encounters while British driver Anthony Conroy enjoyed his first ever race win with success in the Buggy F2 category.
First up was Truggy and first to fall foul of the novel elimination style race format was Mugen driver Alessandro Magi who earlier in the day had enjoyed a place on the Truggy Main podium. Having started from the back of the grid due to the reversing of the Top 16 qualifiers Aigoin was quickly in front from where cruised to his second title of the day. Once again team-mate Martin Bayer, who posted the fastest lap of the 34 minute race, failed to go the full distant dropping out of second place 26 minutes in this time as a result of his receiver battery running out of power. This promoted Simon Willet and Fabio Boero to battle it out for second spot but in the end it was the English Kyosho driver who got the upper hand to make it onto the second step of the podium for a second time today. After problems with his throttle linkage denied him a place in the Truggy Main, Italian Boero was delighted to get his Mugen on the podium and celebrated by pulling off two perfect back flips with MBX-6T over the biggest jump on the track, unlike the attempts of other two podium finishers!
Buggy F2 class was next up and produced the closest race of the night. Starting second from the back of the 16 car grid, 19-year-old Conroy drove a real steady race taking full advantage of errors made by both fellow Englishman John Howell and young Italian Marco Baruffo. Ably assisted in the pits by the guys from DXR, the Raceprep UK supported Mugen/Ninja driver was delighted to take his maiden buggy win especially given the profile of this international event. The Top Qualifier in the F2 category young Baruffo got the better of Howell’s HoBao in the final few laps to take his RB powered GS to second.
Bringing Day 3 of the Italian event to a close was the Buggy ‘Race of Champions’. With Spanish drivers Richi Gomez and Borja Hernandez opting to sit out the race this meant a late call up for Irui Grassi and Stefano Cantoni, who were ranked 17th and 18th in qualifying, to take part. After what can only be described as 5-minutes of r/c madness, the 16 drivers eventually settled into a rhythm with Riccardo Rabitti holding the early lead, however he couldn’t fend off fellow Losi driver Aigoin who got past to take the win by 7 seconds. Davide Tortorici’s Crono claimed the final podium placing despite a flat receiver battery putting him out of action in the final minute of the race.
Asked afterwards if he could complete a clean sweep of the 2009 Arena Offroad Meeting by taking tomorrow’s blue ribboned Buggy Main, Aigoin said he would be trying for sure but for the moment his main focus was getting a good nights sleep after what has been a very busy and challenging day for the former European Champion.
Yannick Aigoin put in a dominant display in the Truggy Main at the Arena Offroad Meeting to claim the 2009 title at Italy’s most prestigious off road event. Having secured pole for the 45 minute final the French ace made a rare mistake in the warm-up that resulted in a broken lower shock pin. Calling for the start to be delayed the Team Losi driver would have to line up on the back of the grid but he made light work of the 12 car field. By the end of the opening lap he was up to fifth and by lap 5 he was up to second and on the tail of his team-mate Martin Bayer. Two laps later he was by the Czech driver and once in front he left the pack trailing. Just after the mid point of the race Aigoin’s Novarossi powered 8ight was a full lap up on Bayer with third placed Simon Willet from the UK a further lap back in third. Setting some impressive 41 seconds lap times, his fastest being a 41.239, Aigoin eventually took the victory by a 4-lap margin. The only real drama came 36 minutes in when Bayer’s steering servo packed up putting him out of a strong second place. This promoted Willet’s Kyosho to second and the Mugen of Alessandro Magi into a podium position and the ordered stayed this way for the final 7 minutes of the race.
The Truggy Semi Finals have been run and it was pretty much as expected with Losi’s team drivers Yannick Aigoin and Martin Bayer winning their respective races by a 2-lap winning margin. First to secure his place in the final and pole position thanks to his fastest race time was Top Qualifier Aigoin. The Frenchman completed 28 laps in his 20-minute Semi heading home Kyosho UK’s Simon Willets. Bayer completed 27 laps on his way to an easy win over the Mugen of Alessandro Magi. Biggest casualty of the Semis was Italian Championship front runner Fabio Boero who lost almost 2-minutes as his pit crew replaced a nut which had come loose on his Mugen’s throttle linkage.
With a break in the action following qualifying we have a collection of new products showing up at the Offroad Meeting in Italy. First up from our sponsors Fast Race is a new range of optional chassis plates for the Associated RC8, Xray XB808 and Mugen MBX-6. Made from 4mm thick high quality aluminium, they are heavily and strategically machined to be lightweight yet retain their strength and stiffness. Another nice feature is that the plates feature a groove below the front and rear differential casing that can be fitted with an o-ring to retain the transmissions grease as well as keep dirt out. Another nice feature is the use of small steel balls under the downstop screws, that protect the chassis and over time offer a more consistent setting, due to the prevention on wear in this area.
Fast Race also showed us the new range of Alpha engines that they have the exclusive distribution for in Italy. Available in a 5 port and two 7 port versions, they are a good quality and high performance engine. As seen in Austria Fast Race also have new wheels, which are now finally in production and available for sale in both white and fluorescent yellow.
Kyosho are present with the first batch of newly arrived Inferno conversion kits to turn the regular MP9 into the MP9e. The cars did very well on their debut, taking 2nd and 3rd in the Brushless buggy final last night. Also seen on these and the gas powered Kyoshos are the new light blue springs that fit between the current blue and lime versions and new light green springs that fit between the current lime and purple springs.
Bitty Design have a big presence here at the event. The Rabitti brothers are showing off their new range of Fighter buggy bodies that we wrote about a few days ago as well as their new range of BD branded clothing. The body painting specialists also have a great selection approximately 100 pre painted bodies, all featuring a unique design.
New brand EZ Power from Italy are showing off their wares including this Novarossi made XS engine, a 5 port motor that features their own internal specifications. EZ Power also have a complete range of exhaust systems in the works to go with their new motors as well, with a range of manifolds, fuel tubing and air filters also available. For electric racing, with whom they supply Fabrizio Teghesi, there is a complete and extensive line of LiPo packs, from RX versions all the way up to competition packs for touring cars as well as brushless powered 1/8th scale buggies. They are currently looking for worldwide distributors.
Hobao driver Jon Howell is here with a lot of prototype parts on his Hyper 9. New straight front and rear lower wishbones, as well as new front upper wishbones and steering knuckles, currently in plastic, all help to to reduce low speed turn in and increase high speed turn in by giving the car more caster. Other new parts include new diff casings with extra mounts for attaching rubber boots on the driveshafts, new rear shock tower, new rear uprights and new one piece aluminium shock tops.