David Ongaro got his 2024 Italian 1:8 Offroad National Championship campaign under way with a perfect weekend at the season opener held at the AOL Club Policoro track in Southern Italy. The defending Champion opened the event by taking his Team Associated RC8 to the overall TQ after he topped the opening 2 of the 4 qualifiers. Fastest in Q3, the Sworkz of Mattia Polito claimed second ahead of the Infinity of recent Montpellier GP winner Riccardo Berton who took the final qualifier. Going on to win his 20-minute Semi Final, back to back World Champion Ongaro would line up on pole from where he would win by half a lap from Polito, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Qualifying P6, WIRC Racing’s Marco Baruffolo would complete the podium as Berton had issues and finished 5th in between Andrea Trevisan and Alex Zanchettin.
Willspeed, the British manufacturer best known for its billet aluminium buggy conversion kits, hosted the second annual edition of its Willspeed GP recently where Schumacher Racing’s Lee Martin took the win. Running of the event in partnership with 1066 Racing in Hastings, the event had 84 drivers book in and like last year the 2024 edition sold out within 24 hours going to show what a great meeting 1066 Racing put on and the racers were certainly keen to come back for more! The driver line up looked very strong with some of the top UK racers in attendance these included, Lee Martin, Kyle Moon, Nathan Ralls, Aaron Nash, Daniel Pole, Abe Lyons, Yasir Mughal and many more! We were greeted by a fantastic technical layout from the 1066 track crew with some great jumps which required precision and skill to get a clean fast lap in so consistency would be key to getting to the sharp end of the results!
Xray has released graphite extensions for the steering blocks of its XB2 1:10 Offroad platforms. Offered as a 1-dot or a 3-dot options, the 1-dot extension turns the outside wheels more making the car more aggressive and increasing overall steering. The 3-dot extension, marked with three dots for easy identification, turns the outside wheels less making the car less aggressive. The extensions work on either the left or right side blocks and allow for easy Ackermann position adjustment for fine-tuning on all surfaces and track conditions.
OGO, the offroad tyre brand of Spanish company XTR Racing, has announced an update to its tyre line. After the great achievements achieved in recent weeks, like victory at the Montpellier GP for team driver Riccardo Berton, OGO has presented new improvements in their range the most significant of which is their new 83mm rim, and its new slightly larger insert, which we have greatly improved the behaviour on bumpy track, as well as a significant improvement in traction. Regarding the new rubber, theu added the Pink compound (Clay Super soft), designed for wet, oiled and cold tracks.
Bruno Coelho has taken a record equalling fourth TITC win but his victory at the 20th edition of the race is set to be remembered for incidents rather than the result equalling record achieved in Bangkok. Having qualified second behind Top Qualifier Ronald Volker, the Xray driver would make contact with his Mugen Seiki rival in the opening two A-Mains resulting in a wide open race going into A3. This time however Volker would spin on his own early on allowing Coelho to take the leg ahead of team-mate Alexander Hagberg, winner of A2. Giving Xray an overall 1-2 in the legendary touring car race, it also sees Coelho join Atsushi Hara as the races most winning driver. The benefactor of the Top 2 qualifiers’ clash in A1 but retiring from A2, Marc Rheinard would complete the podium at RC Addict for Awesomatix with a P3 in the final encounter ahead of Volker. For Volker, the high of taking the TQ honours after his B-Main appearance last year was overshadowed by the disappointment of being classified 6th overall. As a race that has become the most significant in the World for touring car racing & its manufacturers, and which is on par if not exceeding the dept of competitiveness of the World Championship, going forward it might be time for ‘the World’s biggest local race’ to consider appointing a referee to ensure the amazing atmosphere that surrounds the TITC is not overshadowed by incidents on track.
Simon Lauter executed the perfect TITC race debut by taking the win in the Bangkok race’s biggest class Open Brushless realising a fourth consecutive win for his chassis sponsor Awesomatix. Having secured the overall TQ at RC Addict over the Xray of Adam Izsay, it took all three A-Mains to decide the overall winner with some intense and at times aggressive driving with even the crowd getting involved in expressing their disappointment for a lack of respect being shown by drivers. In A1, Izsay armed with new tyres would take the win ahead of Lauter after late contact from the Hungarian robbed the Top Qualifier of what was looking like a well defended win. In A2, Lauter capitalised on new tyres to take a convincing win by over 3-seconds from team-mate Louis Kretschmer as Izsay dropped down to 4th. With all to play for in A3, it was again advantage Izsay as he had new tyres. While the German again tried to defend from the front, Izsay made contact with him again ruining Lauter’s race and earning Izsay a Stop & Go penalty. With Kretschmer taking the third win, Lauter’s A2 winning time would give him the Title ahead of his fellow countryman with Izsay completing the podium. With an unwritten TITC rule that the winner of the Open Brushless can’t race the category again, Lauter has already confirmed his intentions to return to the TITC in 12 months time and step up to the Modified class.
Having made contact in A1 and handed the win to Marc Rheinard, A2 at the TITC once again saw a clash between Bruno Coelho and Ronald Volker only this time it was Alexander Hagberg who was there to pick up the pieces. A result that leaves the 20th edition of the legendary Bangkok based race wide open going into A3, the second encounter saw Top Qualifier Volker and Coelho again the class of the field with a much improved Hagberg able to hang with them as they pulled clear. Watched on by a huge crowd at RC Addict, as the race approached the final minute mark, Coelho was putting huge pressure on Volker who ran wide in a number of corners. As they exited the S section on the right side of the track on Lap 15, Coelho attempted a pass on the inside of the German with a tighter line but as they got on the power contact was made sending both cars into a spin. While Coelho again allowed Volker to resume position, with Hagberg going by to take lead, another broken anti tuck rod meant Volker’s race was done. Pulling up in front of the drivers stand the former World Champion vented his anger & frustration at Coelho, the current World Champion and defending TITC Champion continuing the final to finish P2 ahead of Infinity’s Naoto Matsukura.
Marc Rheinard has taken the win in the opening A-Main at the TITC, the Awesomatix handed the lead after Bruno Coelho made contact with Top Qualifier Ronald Volker as he challenged the Mugen driver’s lead. With the Top 2 quickly pulling clear off the field, Rheinard’s passage to the front started when he capitalised on a mistake from a struggling Alexander Hagberg to go to third. Starting third on the grid, Hagberg afterwards described his car as being ‘like driving on ice’ before contact from Naoto Matsukura put him out of the race with a broken car. With Volker and Coelho still locked in battle at the front as the race passed the half way distance, Rheinard would be gifted the lead as Coelho ran into the rear of Volker after the chicane. With enough of a gap to resume racing in the lead, unfortunately the impact had broken the anti tuck on Volker’s car and as the German tried to turn around having been spun his car flipped. As Coelho waited on Volker, Rheinard went to the front where he would stay finishing 1.6 seconds ahead of the Infinity of Matsukura. Battling their way back up through the order Volker would finished 3rd with Coelho right behind in 4th.