Round 1 of the 2014 Italian National Championship is underway this weekend at the Naxos track in Sicily – host track for the 2014 IFMAR World Championships, our mates over at RC Revolution posted lots of photos showing the current ‘state’ of the track and facility, which with 6 months to go until the Worlds will surely need a significant amount of work to bring it to a standard expected for a World Championship.
Looking at the surface, it looks extremely hard packed even concrete-like with astroturf covered jump sections, nice and wide lanes although a narrow pitlane, all in all slightly old-fashioned looking we think, it needs a bit of ‘TLC’ before September if Naxos wants to prove itself a worthy track for a World Championship. The Worlds will be held 18-27th September 2014.
Thailand, a country that shouldn’t require the most formal of introductions to our well-versed readers, a brief biased summary – a tourist favourite for its climate, culture, moderate cost and flourishing sex trade. However whilst off-track delights may entertain racers, Thailand does present itself as a sort of ideal home for RC already, the nation’s RC industry bolstered by serious investment into world class facilities and in offroad, world-leading track designs.
Welcome to the world of 2014, still shiny, new and relatively untarnished aside from the customary New Year’s Day hangover, anyway that aside we’re now in a Worlds year for 1/8 Offroad. Thankfully memories of Argentina in 2012 have faded slightly and a cautious optimism surrounds the 15th 1/8 Buggy IFMAR Worlds which will be held in Messina, Italy on the island of Sicily at the Naxos World Track.
The first rumour we plan to address is the actual location, its not Messina, but rather a few kilometres south of Taormina, the Naxos track is 60km South of Messina, and north of Catania, Calling it ‘Taormina’ would be much more accurate! Track Location in Google Maps
As a destination, Messina won’t be the most internationally friendly destination we’ve had the pleasure of travelling to & unlikely to match the spectacle & grandeur that former hosts Buenos Aires or Pattaya offered, however the organising team led by the powerful Salvatore Schepis has laid out some very promising plans for the facility.
According to sources the track in its current state has an unpopular concrete surface, according to the recently published ‘stage one report’ the track’s surface and layout will be completely changed and “closed from the moment its definitive layout is in place (Aprox. May 2014)”.
The removal of the traditional ‘warm up event’ is the result of industry pressure – viewed as an unnecessary expense with very little return on investment at the actual World Championship, not helped by the difficulties companies faced when importing material for the 2012 Warm up.
“No World Championship driver will drive over the track at any moment since then until the IFMAR World Championship event takes place”
A promising statement to ensure a level playing field come Worlds-time in September, however one wonders if there is a loophole for teammates not qualified for the Worlds to ‘test’ at the track… ?
That said, details of improvements to the facility look good on paper and we look forward to reporting on progress and completion in time for September.
The main news is that of Worlds practice commencing on Thursday 18th rather than the Saturday, bringing the event to 10 days in length, a minimum of 12 days counting travel days. That’s quite a long time to decide a World Champion for Radio Control Cars?
Lamberto Collari – one of the alltime greats in the history of RC racing despite a few controversies over the years, a massive 9 World Championships to his name, all won in his signature class – 1/8 onroad, not even the great Masami comes close to matching such domination in a single class (Hirosaka has 14 titles but spread over multiple classes).
Our friend Luigi over at RCRevolution.net spotted Collari making a cameo appearance at the Italian indoor facility IBR Padova, according to the article Collari has half an eye at taking part in next year’s IFMAR World Championships in 1/8 buggy, which are due to be held in Messina on the Italian island of Sicily (22-28 Sept 2014).
With the majority of European countries picking their national teams for the Worlds based on the previous year’s national results (2013) it remains to be seen whether the Collari name will be competing with fellow World Champion peers such as Robert Batlle, Jared Tebo, Atsushi Hara & Cody King. Interestingly, having ended his long term association with Kyosho by joining Capricorn last year Collari has been brushing up on his dirt skills with a Mugen MBX7 / Novarossi/Collari engine and VP Pro tyres. Watch this space.
Unofficial news from the EFRA AGM currently underway this weekend in Zagreb, Croatia – our insiders tell us that the 2014 Euros will NOT be held at the Rhein Main track near Frankfurt airport, but is set to return to Sand am Main – host of the 2011 Euros and venue of Robert Batlle’s 2nd Euros win. The date has also been altered, changed from 30th June -5th July to a much later slot; 4th-9th August. At present no reasons given for the change in venue. Lastly the 2015 1-10th Offroad Euros look like they’ll be hosted by Robin Hood Raceway in the UK.
We also hear that the Worlds dates for next year have been set; 22-28th September, according to our sources, it will be Messina, Sicily.
12-13/4 EFRA GP, France, Noeux les Mines
16-18/5 Euro Warm up
4-6/7 EFRA GP, Portugal
11-13/7 +40, Fehring, Austria
Lee Martin reports after a very eventful week at Silver Dollar Raceway… Last week the 1/10th 2013 IFMAR World Championships were held at the fantastic Silver Dollar Raceway, owned by A Main Hobbies in Chico, CA, USA. The first thing you think of when you arrive in Chico is that its a small farmers town with not much going on, until you see the mecca of RC tracks that it homes! Silver Dollar is a simple sublime facility with the huge backing of A Main hobbies it really is the Carlsberg of RC tracks! The drivers stand is vast and very inviting for racers and spectators, the pits are very well engineered and a comfortable place to be and the track? Well the track speaks for itself. Beautifully crafted dirt to make not only a fantastic looking track, but also one that was great to drive on. Continue reading here.
The World Famous indoor Yatabe Arena in Tsukuba, Japan have been announced as the host hosts of the next 10th scale Offroad electric IFMAR Worlds, the news came as IFMAR held their AGM for the electric section on September 26th while attending the Worlds last week in Chico, CA – The dates have also been set September 26th – October 3rd 2015.
Expect Yokomo and Naoto Matsukura to be strong as Jared Tebo and Steven Hartson will travel to the land of the rising sun to defending their respective titles!