Driver News News

Alsop continues with HPI/HB for 2015

Graham Also

After a quite successful racing season in 2014, HPI Racing and HotBodies is proud to announce that UK superstar Graham Alsop has extended his contract through 2015. Graham says, “Awesome car, unbelievable reliability, and an all-round fantastic product. Can’t wait to get my hands on the new parts, roll on 2015!”

Source: HPI Racing

RDRP signs Germany’s Carsten Keller

Keller Neo

Revolution Design Racing Products (RDRP) have announced today that German 1/8 offroad star, Carsten Keller, has officially joined the RDRP race team. The 2013 German 1/8 E-Buggy Champion and 2014 EFRA Euros top 5 finisher will use the full line of RDRP tools, wrenches and accessories to keep his Kyosho rides in top condition.

Source: RDRP

Aigoin goes electric with Team Orion

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1/8 offroad buggy star and and French National Champion, Jerome Aigoin, has announced that he will be using Team Orion brushless power for 2015. Jerome will be using an R8 ESC, VST2Pro 690 brushless motors, Carbon Pro LiPo batteries and the Touch Duo charger to power his cars. We saw Ryan Maifield make the switch to Orion brushless power, and shortly after he made the switch to Orion nitro power as well.

Could this be a sign Jerome Aigoin will also be joining the Team Orion nitro team in the near future? Cast your vote!

Casey Stoner signs with Bittydesign

Stoner Collage 2

Bittydesign is proud to announce their official partnership with MotoGP superstar and World Champion, Casey Stoner! Since his departure from MotoGP racing, the Stoner has become a true R/C enthusiast, driving almost all of the available offroad racing classes. Bittydesign’s new ‘Black Hawk’ short course body is Stoner’s pick for his short course trucks, and the BD crew have hooked him up with a signature Casey Stoner paint scheme to top off his entire fleet of vehicles.

Source: Bittydesign

Reno Savoya linked with HB HPI move

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Three-time European Champion Reno Savoya has been heavily linked with a move away from current chassis sponsor XRAY to join recently crowned World Champions HB HPI – the rumours surfaced just after the World Championships in Sicily after a disappointing result (due to servo horn coming loose in his final), the move would make sense given Savoya’s strong backing from Team Orion & engine maestro Adrien Bertin – who himself made the switch to the HB HPI earlier this year.

Info RC initially spilled the beans on a move we believe to be signed, and almost delivered, it would bring a three-year tenure with XRAY to an early end, however as we understand it Savoya is still under contract to race for XRAY at the present time.

We caught up with the Shark himself who was coy on the subject:

“At the present time, these are just rumours, I am still happily racing under contract with the XRAY family”

Jerome Sartel joins TLR & Horizon

Jerome Sartel TLR

After his departure from NEMO Racing, Team Losi Racing is very pleased and excited to announce that Jérôme Sartel has joined the Horizon Hobby and Team Losi Racing team.

TLR says, “Jérôme is well known worldwide for his professionalism, his offroad driving skills, and his excellent communication but also for his availability as a true ambassador to the R/C Industry both on and off the track. Jérôme will be in charge of developing our surface category brands as well as our marketing and event management in France. He will also be directly supporting our French Team Losi Racing drivers. Aside from these tasks Jérôme will continue his successful driving career under the Team Losi Racing colors! He fits the true persona of what it means to be a team driver for Team Losi Racing.”

Source: TLR

Martin Bayer responds to AKA exit

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After the public dismissal of Martin Bayer by tyre sponsor AKA, we thought it prudent to allow 5th place Worlds finisher Martin a response:

“I am very surprised and even more sad for the action & decision of my tire sponsor because I have worked very hard and acted very professionally representing AKA in the best possible way all the time.

After the World Championship semi-finals I have personally discussed in an open discussion with the AKA owner Mark Pavidis, presented at the track, my planned tire strategy for the A-main. Mark did not raise a single issue or concern of me planning to run different tires for the A-main final and as such I decided to use a different tire for the A-main final.

If Mark  issued during our discussion any concerns or would disagree with my plan I would of course professionaly and fairly follow my sponsorship agreement. To follow any agreement in a professional way has been always my personal absolute priority and like until now during my entire racing career and in personal life I would never break any agreement.

Thanks to everyone in AKA for supporting me during all years together.

I wish them all best for future. Martin Bayer

Update: A final response from AKA’s Mark Pavidis:

“I want to clear things up as the story Martin tells in his statement is NOT how this scenario happened. First off I have a ton of respect for Martin both on and off the track. With that being said Martin did come to me after the semi with questions about tires for the final. He said he was getting pressure from Xray to make a tire change and run the Proline tires.

He asked me his thoughts. I said “I cannot make your decisions for you and you need to make this decision”. Going back even further to when I was in Germany for the Euros he had some pressure about tires and I agreed he could try Proline tires in a qualifier to get his opinion. I watched his car all week so it was easy to see the advantages and disadvantages when he tried this. This was his worst qualifier all week and I think it even surprised himself.

David Ronnefalk won the Euros on Catapult tires that weekend. I never once pressured Martin to switch cars seeing that his car was clearly off pace. Now with all this being said I have an email from Martin explaining in his own words why he did what he did and completely understood why we had to do what we did. AKA has supported Martin for a long time and it was one of the hardest decisions to let my friend of so many years go from the team. There will be races when your stuff wont be perfect if its your tires, car or engine. But they are your sponsors thru the good and the bad”

Jerome Sartel leaves NEMO Racing

Jerome Sartel

In a bit of shocking news today, NEMO Racing has announced that Jerome Sartel will be leaving the NEMO staff. Jerome has been with NEMO Racing from the start, but a new job opportunity has come his way, and after a tough decision he has decided to take it. Sartel has brought much success to the NEMO Racing team and company over the years, and it is said his racing future is undecided at this time.

NEMO Racing extends their best wishes to Sartel saying, “We wish Jerome the upmost success with his new job, and great future.”

Pink Panther

Will Jerome Sartel continue his racing career, or is he stepping away for good? We certainly hope this is not the last time we see the Pink Panther parading around the race track, but only time will tell.

Austin Blair joins SWORKz USA team

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SWORKz is happy to announce the signing of top American driver Austin Blair to our expanding list of pro drivers. Austin brings a very impressive resume to our U.S based team including 5 ROAR Nationals podiums as well as his well known driving style. Austin will join U.S team manager Marty Korn at major U.S off-road events through 2016. 

“I have been testing the S350 EVO, S350-BE, and S104 for many months now. The SWORKz cars allow me to drive aggressively without the worry of failures and they respond very predictably to setup changes.”

The news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise given Amain.com’s influence as the company behind SWORKz distribution in N.America, the move a logical one with Austin’s status as Amain.com’s #1 competitive ‘in house’ driver (judging on the recent ROAR 1/8 Offroad results) and their desire to promote & sell the brand in the N.American market.

“I felt comfortable with the the SWORKz cars very quickly and I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to join such a passionate and devoted company.”

Orion announce Maifield nitro deal

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8 months since the news of Maifield opting for Novarossi power in 2014, comes the sudden announcement from Team Orion that the TLR star will also be running their nitro line as of 2015, having signed for the electric side back in June.

Orion’s timing of the news is no coincidence, the news coming just a couple of days after Maifield lined up on pole for the IFMAR Worlds final, many tipping him for victory in a tense showdown with nationals rival Tessmann, it wasn’t to be however. The news comes as a slight surprise given Adam Drake’s influence in the TLR team and masterful knowledge when it comes to engine tuning and mileage, Maifield joins the likes of Phend, former team mate Cavalieri & Tebo running the CRF nitro powerplants.

 Adrien Bertin said, “Drivers of the caliber of Ryan Maifield have their choice of engines to run. It is with great satisfaction that we welcome Ryan in our team and admire his decision to run with Team Orion CRF engines. It is another confirmation of our successful product and team strategy.”

Is a reshuffle on the way for Team Orion with Maifield going 100% with the Swiss company ? Watch this space.