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Worlds Organisers respond to JQ


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.

Continue Reading here…

JQ questions IFMAR Worlds ’14 plans


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…



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!

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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!

Continue reading JQ’s open letter

Naxos Worlds track photos


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.

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2014 IFMAR Worlds: Preview


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.

ifmar_champions_offroadAccording 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?

 See the Report here

Lamberto Collari goes offroad

Collari IBR (8)

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.

Collari IBR (1) Collari IBR (5) Collari IBR (6)

2015 IFMAR Worlds at Yatabe Arena


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!

See: Yatabe Arena

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1/10 Pre Worlds: Sugar coated


Bit of controversy at the 1/10 Offroad Pre-Worlds in Chico, CA as the best drivers in the World struggled to make it round with a lack of traction – more evident in 2WD than 4WD the decision was made to apply sugar to the track to help bring up traction, Team Associated’s Brent Thielke showed his feelings on this on Facebook in a statement:

Let me be clear, I am against adding a substance like sugar to a track surface not because Associated doesn’t have a mid-motor vehicle, but because of the precedent it sets. As an industry, people look to the major races as guidelines and using a substance that rusts cars and increases tire wear causes a ripple effect throughout events. There are many short term benefits that sugar provides, however the long term effects when you consider club racing, potential weather conditions and the inconsistency that arises when not maintained on a daily level, I feel it’s the wrong direction for any track/event. Off-road is on dirt. Add the magic ingredient (water) and go race.

I was in a minority of manufactures that voted to continue watering the track today and then soaking it tonight. The track hadn’t seen water in over a week and in my experience adding water would allow the track to naturally wear in and for a racing groove to develop; however much grip it had.  The decision has now been made to sugar the whole track and not just the straight. If the one application of sugar makes the track consistent and “raceable” then I guess it worked. I just don’t want to have to see them add hundreds of pounds of sugar to make the surface consistent when I feel a good night of water would of done the same.”

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Tamiya driver Lee Martin had this to say:

Long day at the track… 14 hours! The surface at the start was crazy loose! But now after the sugar it’s coming around. I don’t know what will happen for the worlds, all I know is that how loose the track was this morning was impossible to drive and so far it’s been a good call to get some traction into it. Tyre wear is a little high, but I’m willing to take that in exchange for traction. The facilities here are super Dialed and I’m sure they will so all what is in their power to make a good race. Another practice day tomorrow so lets see how things go!!”

Video: Steven Hartson in practice, via Paul Wynn / Facebook

World Champions past & present meet


Robert Batlle meets the first ever  1/8 Buggy WC, Fredric Veysseyre

Over the weekend at the Montpellier, the organisers laid on a special surprise for everyone – a one off display of vintage restored Yankee cars from the 80s era of 1/8 Buggy, and if that wasn’t enough they tracked down the first ever 1/8 Buggy World Champion from 1986 – Fredric Veysseyre.

After his triumph in 1986 on home turf (Grenoble) France – where he took the win in front a very young Pedro de la Rosa – future star of Formula 1. Veysseyre would go on to feature in three further World Championship finals, taking the last podium spot whilst defending his title at the ’88 Worlds in Mantua, Italy finishing behind eventual two-time World Champion Maurizio Monesi.

Back on topic we quickly rounded up reigning Champion Robert Batlle for a ‘Vettel-esque’ photo opportunity of the first ever Champion, and Batlle the 13th 1/8 Buggy World Champion. Have a gander at the photos below of replica versions of the old Yankee cars and then check out this article with a load of vintage videos from the era.

Read More: World Champions [Fan Guide]

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