Category Archives: JQ Europe Tour

Nordics/Bitty Contest/Euros Warm Up Day 1

When tax money is spent right…..

Practice, we talkin’ about practice! Today was a good day. Track is “motocross”, and I love it. It’s balls out, punch it, go fast, but it’s rough and loose, so you have to pick your lines carefully, and you have to hit each section at the right speed. That speed is fast, but it needs to be the right fast. And you can’t avoid all the bumps, you just have to power through them. Exactly the sort of surface I enjoy the most. It’s a case of, either you go fast, or you go slow. Medium will catch out you, and don’t let off if you get in trouble or it will end up worse, just smash the throttle. Like motocross, but safer.

I got both my cars really good, and I’m still basically using a standard bumpy track setup. Only minor changes from track to track, regardless of surface, really happy about that. Things to look at, swaybars, antisquat, toe in, droop.

Lee Martin is running both the JQ cars, nitro and electric, so I hope he will do well. It’s tough because he has very limited track time with nitro, and got the electric at the race, and with the track being “special”, let’s see how it goes tomorrow. Fingers crossed we get them how he likes his cars!

Real food at the track. That’s special!

So you are telling me I should put this red donut into the rubbery thing?

Infinity BLACK Edition

Carlos Duraes was forced to limit his manspreading to 1 meter.

That’s just ridiculous. Bigger than in America.

Max “Full Throttle” Johansson smashed the throttle and seeded 6th in Nitro! Amazing job! He also glues his tyres full throttle, so he needs protection.

You know how you told me to put that red thing in the rubbery thing? It was waaaay better.

Prittydesign

 

Eskilstuna – Nordic Contest/Euros Warm Up

Another race! This time the Euros will be in Sweden. As long as I have been racing, there has never been a 1:8th scale Euros in Scandinavia, so this is going to be really nice. Above you can see a video of a lap from last summer, and below you can see a track walk by David Ronnefalk. The track is really nice, and it’s looking like the weather is going to cooperate. It should be a lot of fun!

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#thefuture

  
I have to admit there have been times when I have seriously been worried about my lack of maturity. According to my birth certificate I am now an adult, but I definitely don’t feel like it. However, there are some signs. One such thing that has happened over the past few years is the fact that I really enjoy supporting kids who are motivated and want to race RC Cars, and hope to provide them with opportunities that I didn’t have.

1:10th Euros 2016 – Wrap Up

1st 10th Euros, 11th place. His future right behind him, it's all down to his ambition and willingness to put in the work. It's possible.....

1st 10th Euros, 11th place. His future right behind him, it’s all down to his ambition and willingness to put in the work. It’s possible…..

The 2016 1:10th Euros are now over, and after a week of fannying around with 10th scales on an 8th scale track, I have gathered some thoughts here. I am too uninspired to write a structured and coherent report, so below you can read my observations, random stories, stats, and pluses and minuses. You know like dolphins or sharks, green light or red, under weight luggage or over, 4wd or 2wd, there are always some positive and some less positive things to write about.

+ Weather was great, sunny and hot. A dry heat – survivable.

+ Track was a return to offroad, got a bit rough and nasty. Good to see.

– It was an 8th scale track. 8th scale tracks just don’t promote the close bumper to bumper racing associated (no pun intended) with 10th scale. Please let’s race 10th scale on 10th scale tracks.

One thing we learned is that breast milk really helps with concentration and focus. Max proved this after enjoying some during the week. On the topic of food:

+ The facility was decent. Not the best ever, not terrible. Kind of like my driving. Average. We had food, beverages, air pressure most of the time, pits in the shade..

– I wish they served more than dry bread and roadkill. BUT it’s better than nothing, and we can’t all be fans of Spanish food.

+ I only did 4 involuntary donuts in 2wd. This is a record.

+ I only took out one driver in 2wd…

-…3 times. Sorry Joel Valander.

In 10th scale driver etiquette is very apparent. For the less talented drivers, it is more a question of things happening too fast and mistakes leading to contact, but when it comes to the elite, it is possible to tell a difference. They are all capable of racing close without contact most of the time, and minimising the contact if an error does occur. I think Jorn Neumann and Neil Cragg are two of the cleanest drivers out their. They respect the car in front no matter who it is. You have to admire that. And if you think you have to be dirty to win, just remember that between them they have 17 European Championships. Something to keep in mind when you are behind a driver you feel you deserve to be ahead of….

+ Control tyres. It’s good, it makes racing more fair for everyone, and a lot easier to pack for a race.

– The ProCircuit tyre cleaner provided surely gave some of us some form of cancer. That shit should be banned. Those poor girls who sat in that hot box all week had their brains soften to the extent that they could not comprehend numbers even in Spanish by Thursday evening. By Saturday they were just mumbling unintelligibly.

+ A lot of young drivers attended, and many of them were very fast. This is good for the future of the sport. Very good!

– The lack of atmosphere is quite appalling during the mains. Hush hush everyone has to be quiet. For what? We didn’t even have any announcing during the mains. I guess that’s why no penalties were handed out either, as the referees weren’t allowed to speak. We need to be able to cheer and yell ”Come on Neil!” every once in a while. It just makes it more fun, and I am sure the drivers can handle it. Even though we did have the strict decibel limit and emotion ban during the mains, when Jorn pulled that move on Coelho in the last main the crowd erupted into a 2.7 second unstoppable cheer, followed by complete silence. Get an announcer and let’s put on a show!

Some Last Thoughts

There is a thing called luck, but it’s not what most people think it is. It isn’t bad luck to rock up to the main with 1 number on your body instead of 3, and then end up starting at the back of the pack, or Craig Drescher putting a diff in the wrong way and you having to start at the back of the grid after scrambling to get it fixed. It doesn’t really apply there, that’s just stupid mistakes made at the wrong time. But when the same driver snaps an outdrive in warm up and misses the first main, and a few years back after TQ:ing the worlds rolls and breaks in warm up, and misses a main, you have to begin questioning where the line of ”you make your own luck”, and plain old uncontrollable bad luck is. You have to feel for Neil Cragg even though he has more championships than most. How often do you snap an outdrive? How often do you roll and break at that level in warm up?

Xray have got it going on right now. The crazy old man from Slovakia has done well and has built great cars and a formidable team in just about every category. Very impressive to see and one of the few companies that I feel are doing a great job in the RC industry, making a positive impact, instead of just messing around for unknown reasons. There are a lot of brands in RC at the moment, and it makes sense to support the few that are making a difference and doing more than simply selling another car.

After the Alfonso Pineda incident at the 8th scale Euros, I had a bit of a sit down with Pineda and Paul Worsley as moderator at the 10th Euros. Basically I apologised for my behaviour getting my panties in a twist over him not letting Max race, due to not marshalling his race. Pineda explained that the rule in question is not very accurate, and did not in fact cover the situations where you marshal before you race. This is why it had been decided at the team manager meeting, that the penalty for missing your marshalling would be a disqualification from your final. I accept the explanation, although I do not agree with those sort of penalties.

I apologise again publicly for losing my cool, writing some bullshit and filming some epic video isn’t the best thing to do in these situations, but I do feel like I do have a point where I am coming from. RC Racing is supposed to be fun, and every decision should be made in a way to further enhance the enjoyment of racing. When a rule is vague, how about taking the more positive conclusion every time, and then re write the rule for the future. Let’s remember that this should be fun!

On that note, I hope I never ever see someone put at the back of the grid because they aren’t in their grid spot 30 seconds before the start of the main, or see someone not allowed to race because they missed their marshalling. As drivers we put a lot of time and effort into this sport, and I feel that the rules should be made so your aren’t punished unnecessarily for small things like these.

So in short, I’m sorry for being a dick, and will not be one in the future. How about race directors do the same.

1:10th Euros 4wd Day 2 – Just a tiny bit too slow…

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Today was the first qualifying day for 4wd. It proved to be a lot harder than expected. 2wd went so well that I was hoping for more from 4wd. Max did great, and is actually faster than me on raw pace, but makes bigger mistakes. He is 12th overall right now with 8 and 11 scores. I am 11th with 7 and 9 scores. Either one of us could make the main tomorrow with one or two perfect runs.

For me I am just a bit too slow. If I could find a few tenths more pace, I would already be in the main. That’s all we are talking about here. 0.2secs x 12 = 2.4secs. Pretty much all I need. The margin of error is tiny when you are a bit too slow. The car is ok, but I’m just not comfortable with it. The link between me and the car is missing so I’m not driving it very well. I don’t really know what to change on the car to improve it. For next year it’s easy, just practice and test and make it work for me, but for now, all I can do is concentrate and be smooth, and try and have a clean run! What happens happens. Electric racing, as all racing is mental, and I’m sure if it was only practice I would be fine 😀

As for Max, let’s just hope he keeps it on it’s wheels and makes it in! He has the pace, which is great to see, first time ever at a big race like this! Maybe the road trip has paid off?

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1:10th Euros 4wd Day 1 – Club Racing

FIN

Isn’t it amazing how often it happens, that you travel to a big race, and you end up racing the same damn people you race back home? It’s just insane how this works, check out Team Finland here after practice above.

In 2wd, before the last round, there were 5, yes FIVE Finnish drivers in the B main, then Joona made the main, and Karri dropped into the C. But still, it’s just strange how it works out.

Today was a tough day for me, but I still think I can pull it together tomorrow. Will be interested to see my pace over 5 minutes. Max had a great day once again, it seems that all that time practicing is beginning to pay off! With an unknown car in a relatively unknown class at his first Euros, clearly B main pace. Looking good so far!

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1:10th Euros Day 3 – 2wd Mains – SHHHHHhhhh…

Track has actually turned out to be a lot of fun!

Track has actually turned out to be a lot of fun!

 

Today we had 2 more qualifying rounds, followed by all finals. It’s funny how it goes, both Max and me made the B-main unexpectedly, yet after today, sort of feel like it could have gone quite a bit better! In the end Max was 18th and I was 19th after a messy B-final. We were happy with the cars and hope next years Euros are on dirt, so we can practice before that one and attend again! Where are the Euros 2017? Does anyone know?

One thing that is a bit strange at the Euros, and something I don’t agree with is how everyone has to be all quiet during the mains. With there being no announcing either, it makes the mains really unentertaining to watch if there isn’t much on track action. I’m sure the drivers can handle noise from the crowd or an announcer! More fun for everyone.

Neil Cragg won the Championship again, after I don’t know how many years. Great for him and his team. He is a good guy and one of the few multi time champions who based on my understanding has never been a full time professional racer. Amazing. “Come on Neil!”

Now the real racing begins! YIPPEE!

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1:10th Euros 2wd Day 2 – Over Achieving & Breast Milk

Real Offroad IS BACK! Although there is still carpet here....damn. Well almost!

Real Offroad IS BACK! Although there is still carpet here….damn. Well almost!

Today was a strange day. It looks like I have entered the level or average along with Max in 2wd. That’s a first! I’m 15th and Max is 17th after 3 rounds, with 2 more to go. I believe this proves that the PR Racing new mid motor car is really good, because I sure haven’t improved in 2wd, and neither has Max! We haven’t run 2wd, I don’t know when Max last ran 2wd, I think some time last year. As for me it was at the Reedy Race in January. So great job PR Racing! Let’s take a look at what we have figured out at this race to dial it in even more to this slippery bumpy track!

 

The biggest improvement is the hole we drilled in the rear hub. A higher hole (3mm here) really improves rear grip a lot. Surely a change we will get PR to do in the future!

The biggest improvement is the hole we drilled in the rear hub. A higher hole (3mm here) really improves rear grip a lot. Surely a change we will get PR to do in the future!

 

We moved the rear arm further forward, also for more grip!

We moved the rear arm further forward, also for more grip!

 

We ground down the top of the steering knuckle, and ended up moving it up 1mm, to smooth out the steering.

We ground down the top of the steering knuckle, and ended up moving it up 1mm, to smooth out the steering.

 

We moved the c hub forward, also for smoother steering.

We moved the c hub forward, also for smoother steering.

 

I will post the final setup we ended up with after the race. For now we are happy to be in the B-final, and will try and improve as much as possible tomorrow. The track is breaking up quite a bit, and it will be interesting to see how bad it gets! Bring on tomorrow.

Today as we were waiting for the restaurant to open, we got some beers at a cafe. I ordered mothers breast milk (in Spanish) for Max. The waitress laughed and surprisingly brought Max some warm milk. Possibly breast milk. That's for his amazing 9th place in round 2!

Today as we were waiting for the restaurant to open, we got some beers at a cafe. I ordered mothers breast milk (in Spanish) for Max. The waitress laughed and surprisingly brought Max some warm milk. Possibly breast milk. That’s for his amazing 9th place in round 2!

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1:10th Euros 2WD Day 1 – Nitro Guy Wiring vs Fanny Pack Nut Dusting.

Me and Max running our PR Racing new mid motor stand up gearbox car. And Sami Salmela's shadow.

Me and Max running our PR Racing new mid motor stand up gearbox car. And Sami Salmela’s shadow. As I don’t run 2wd very much and tend to do donuts, Max’s father painted some arrows on my car so I know which way I should go.

Today was free practice day for 2WD. I’m actually really happy with the car after the day. I feel like it is better than me, and that I just need to focus on my driving. If I can have two mistake free runs I will be relatively high up in the results. The track is really slippery so it’s all about increasing rear grip and making the car easy to drive. I have enough steering, that’s not a problem.

A bit strange that they don’t sell 2wd front tyres here, so I only have the one used set that were on the car when I got here. I hope they last.

Max had a lot of issues today, what with for example missing the first round because our GPS took us into the middle of a field and told us we had arrived. What a fucking idiot Garmin device. We drove around for 30 minutes looking left and right and eventually found the track! That was amazing. In the end Max got his shit together after we had a look at his car and I gave him some line choice advice, and he seeded 25th which is really good. I was 15th.

Today was so busy, with 7 rounds, which made for about 1h breaks between runs, so I actually forgot about this report and didn’t get many pictures, but let’s take a look at 10th scale racing from a nitro guys perspective.

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Nitro Guy Wiring

One thing that strikes you immediately is the calmness, the quietness, just the smooth whistle of 2wd cars sliding around the track. It’s nice, even though it is borderline gay to be honest. And as we got on that subject, you have to note the OCD level obsession electric nerds have with wiring their cars, perfect black cables, velcro this, shrink wrap that, polish this, marker pen blacken that. Maximum gay. Nitro guys just build it so it doesn’t fall apart and go and have some beers. Above you can see “Nitro Guy Wiring”.  That’s awesome. I really loved this setup. This is a real middle finger to the 1:10th scale fanny pack can you brush the dust off my wheel nuts establishment.

The proud owner of this very nicely wired 2wd buggy, Martin "It doesn't make me slower" Wollanka. Great approach, and more time for beer. Just stick that receiver somewhere.

The proud owner of this very nicely wired 2wd buggy, Martin “It doesn’t make me slower” Wollanka. Great approach, and more time for beer. Just stick that receiver somewhere.

I think that 10th scale will evolve into a more manly category now that the cars are a bit more durable and they don’t fall apart every time you clip a curb or run over an ant, like they used to. Give it time, give it time. It’s getting better.

Tomorrow I will get some pictures of all the mods I have done to my car, and anything else interesting I can remember to photograph. Tomorrow we have 2 practice rounds and 3 qualifying rounds. Looks like I have B main pace, and that would be pretty good for me!

RC Forks. Strange restaurant rating

RC Forks. Strange restaurant rating

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