The organisers behind the 2015 IFMAR 1/10 EL Offroad Worlds in Japan have launched the official event website, there isn’t a whole lot on there apart from a rather useful stage 1 report, complete with info, timetable and lots of details for the event in October.
The website also has limited information about the JMRC warm up event 5-7 June
The ‘Astrogate’ story continues today as an official announcement from IFMAR has been made regarding the surface rules for the 2015 IFMAR 1/10 World Championships at Yatabe Arena. The controversy as to whether or not the event can be held on an all astro covered track has been decided by majority vote.
The existing IFMAR rule states:
“5.1 SURFACE Pack able rock free dirt – preferably sifted top soil/clay compound with minimum amounts of sand. Surface should be able to be easily broken and repaired to ensure a consistent and wide racing line. Such conditions have shown to yield excellent racing due to width and consistency of the racing line. Additionally qualifying is fairer as the ability to maintain a consistent surface gives all competitors an equal track that can be enjoyed by those in heats before as well as after his own.”
(Photo by Fuminori Saito)
IFMAR then issued a ‘revised’ ruling for the surface of the track which states:
“5.1 SURFACE The track surface can be dirt, or else partially or entirely covered with artificial turf. (Commonly referred to as Astro turf) Other materials can be used in sections of the track such as table tops and jumps to assure the durability of those sections for the entire event. Such other materials must be limited to less than 20% of the total track length. Dirt sections should be of screened top soil / clay free from rocks and debris with only a minimum amount of sand and hard packed to provide a durable consistent racing surface for the duration of the event.”
(Photo by Masami Hirosaka)
The revised ruling was sent to the various sanctioning blocs to be voted on whether or not it should replace the existing surface rule. No surprise (as there are very few astro tracks in North America) ROAR voted against the rule change, however, EFRA, FAMAR, and FEMCA all voted ‘YES’ to changing the rules. IFMAR decided by majority vote that the rule will in fact be changed, and allows for what could become the first all astro offroad Worlds in 2015 at Yatabe Arena.
Former 1/8 Buggy World Champion Cody King attended last weekend’s grand opening of the new ‘RC Tracks of Las Vegas’ facility which has been selected to host the 2016 IFMAR Worlds – Cody published a sweet lil’ report on his site:
The much anticipated new Las Vegas off-road facility had its grand opening last week, and what a grand opening it was! You could really feel the excitement at the new facility. There was a ribbon cutting, awards for the workers who have been at it day and night to get ready, and of course, racing!
Chris Tocco and his partner David Tally have built an amazing facility, and invigorated not only the Vegas RC community, but all the folks at the Sports Center of Las Vegas. They are already talking about upgrades to the other parts of the facility. There is no lack of things to do around the track, with a go-cart track, batting cages, and a food vendor inside the main building.
This weekend there was a gun show at the facility and many racers walked through and even bought things. The track lighting is fantastic with great visibility provided by several large lighting fixtures on very tall poles. Other features include Direct TV on 4 large flat screens in the pits, first class pit spaces on new tables, a great sound system, one of the best hot pit lanes you can imagine with big screen race data…. all things have been considered in the brilliant plan to bring this facility to life.
The World Famous indoor Yatabe Arena in Tsukuba, Japan will be hosting the 2015 IFMAR 1/10 World Championships, the event looks set to be a trendsetter not only the first ‘indoor’ Worlds in 1/10th but also with the current layout and track made up of astroturf. Somewhat of a topic for discussion between the various world blocs (EFRA, ROAR, FAMAR, FEMCA) within IFMAR, which will likely be voting on whether to allow the Yatabe track to be 100% astro or otherwise.
Our sources tell us the host bloc have proposed to go with astro/carpet, however we already hear that some manufacturers are already working on cars ‘specifically’ for that eventuality – designed and developed only for that surface… The current IFMAR rule is clear & pretty strict; only natural dirt, free of rocks etc.
The proposal included limiting track time to avoid any local favoritism, turning the indoor onroad track at Yatabe into the Worlds-only offroad track however with certain nationalities much more experienced than others on astro/carpet type surfaces it conjures up questions not dissimilar to those faced last year when high-bite sugared tracks seemed to favour other driver nationalities and cars!
Las Vegas, Nevada has been chosen as the host for the 2016 IFMAR Worlds, the 2nd time the bi-annual event has been hosted there (previously back in 2000 at the Silverton Casino parking lot where Yuichi Kanai took a memorable victory, the event organised by Richard Saxton and race run by the BRCA). N.American bloc ROAR last hosted the 1/8 Offroad Worlds back in 2008 in Charlotte N.Carolina however the bright lights of Las Vegas are likely to prove a popular international selection given the amount of choice available in accommodation, food not to mention entertainment and nightlife.
Originally it looked as if both Silver Dollar RC Raceway in Chico, CA (host of the 2013 IFMAR 1/10 EL Offroad Worlds) and Thornhill RC Raceway in Hutto, Tx (host of the 2014 ROAR Offroad Nats) had strong cases – Silver Dollar with IFMAR experience and Thornhill having just put on a professional event with future ambitions, however it was a 3rd bid under the radar from former professional Motocross rider Chris Tocco (veteran MX track builder as well) that would go onto win the bid and granted the chance to host the 16th 1/8 Offroad IFMAR World Championships.
The organisers behind September’s 15th IFMAR 1/8 Buggy World Championships have triumphantly been in contact sending the ‘official brochure’ for the event, suggesting that Catania on Sicily is the most convenient airport to fly to, address of the track, a reminder that they staged an onroad Worlds here some 9 years ago on the Messina beachfront.
Last but not least suggestions of various attractions and cultural excursions which will no doubt be of zero interest to the majority of professional racers that descend on the island just across from the mainland.What is interesting is the new information that the organisers have posted a photoshopped version of the Naxos worlds track which might suggest an all organic dirt track surface (there is no comment on this officially).
“The new track will be 350m long, about 45 sec per lap”
Towards the end of July the area will be closed for works in preparation for the main event in late September, and encouragingly,
“when the works will be finished no driver will be allowed to practice/race till the official start of the Worlds”
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you might have missed the thought-provoking open letter by a certain Joseph Quagraine, asking questions about the forthcoming 1/8 buggy IFMAR Worlds which are due to be held in Messina, Italy in September.
In the letter which produced a tsunami of responses, JQ questions the increasing of the event duration by 4 extra days as well as the lack of public information for the event and lastly the suspected unchanged layout and surface.
We try to be as fair as we can here at NeoBuggy and give the Worlds organisers a chance to respond:
Our organisation, Messina Worlds, has already organized in Messina, year 1992 the Onroad Team World Championship. Then, in the same location (year 1991), the 1/8 Onroad EFRA European “B” Championship. Last, but not least, we have also successfully taken care of the 1/8 Onroad IFMAR WC Championship in 2005. Not to mention the several Italian Championship races organized since the Eighties. Furthermore, we pay lots of attention to local R/C events, in order to promote our sport among young people.
Its been the topic on everyones’ lips in the last few months as the questions and scrutiny mount with only 5 months until the 2014 IFMAR Worlds is due to get underway at the ‘urbanised’ Giardini Naxos track in Sicily, Italy. The lack of any official published information for travelling drivers raises doubts about the event as well as the organising hosts’ credibility.
Very little information is coming out of EFRA (the European host bloc), under pressure internally to deliver an event worthy in scale of being called a ‘World Championship’ – something that those who attended Argentina ’12 would question.
Ever the outspoken underdog, Joseph Quagraine has captured a bit of the industry zeitgeist with his ‘open letter’, asking the questions which remain unanswered…
OPEN LETTER TO RC COMMUNITY
I am writing this as JQ the RC Driver, JQ the Pro RC Driver, and JQ the RC company owner. The more I think about this, whatever position I think of myself to be in, the end result is the same. Something is wrong right now, and we have to fix it. We, as in the people actually racing at these events can do so, if we just voice our opinions together!
So what is the problem, it is pretty simple. I wanted to book my flights for the 1:8th Offroad Worlds, but I realised that I do not actually know which days the event is going to be! I have heard that the worlds will be extended, running for 12 days instead of 7, I have also heard it is just a proposal, I have heard that it will be just one week because “everyone complained”. But the point is, I have not heard anything official, and I would really like to book my flights and hotel!
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.