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Several RC magazines around the world have asked us to write a monthly column. With the kind permission we will re-publish the column at our web site too so all of the XRAY fans can read the latest news and behind the scenes information. Enjoy.

Archive:
Column #1 - Behind the Scene Stories

Column #2 - Worlds Flashback

Column #3 - T2'007 Debut

Column #4 - Designing the T2'007


After a very busy summer and autumn racing schedule I thought that with only the Worldcup on schedule, we would finally have more time, but again reality proved to be a bit different. Why? Read on…

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Juraj is checking Ben Cosgrove's T2'007
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I will start from the end – the Worldcup that was held in the final days of November. The Worldcup is the largest European opening indoor season race, and as such all the top drivers and factory teams were in attendance and in good form. With the great debut of the T2’007 in the USA at the Indoor Championship and US Nationals, this was the first European race and as such we were preparing in advance not to miss any small details. This race was also a debut race for European Champion Teemu Leino, who joined Team XRAY at the end of the summer, and it was his first race with the car. I was very proud and happy to see that XRAY cars were the overwhelming majority of cars being run at this race, in both pro and standard categories.

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Martin Hudy did not repeat his success from 2005 but still managed to finish in the top 10
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The track layout was slightly different this time, with a chicane that caused a lot of headaches for all drivers — including the “top guns” who crashed a couple of times into the wooden barrier after the chicane — so it was quite logical that we named it the “Wall of Champions.” Not only was the track changed, but the racing format too; no more Reedy Race format, but rather the starting grid positions were decided by draw. Andy Moore would be probably very successful in a casino, as he was the luckiest one of the bunch by claiming pole position no less than 3 times and never starting lower than 4th place. If I were Teemu or Jilles, I would be careful with my money in a casino as they had the worst luck of the bunch by always drawing to start from the back of the pack.

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The extra weight needed to add when using the LiPo battery pack.
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The debut for both Teemu and T2’007 in Europe could not have been better. Despite Teemu always starting from rear, he was able to slice his way through the pack without any collisions, thus dominating the qualifications, setting TQ, and winning the overall race. The most spectacular race was the final race where Teemu and Jilles were driving for the entire 5 minutes body-to-body and nose-to-tail, with no more than a 0.5sec gap between their lap times. This final race was very important as it was the deciding run of whether or not Teemu would take the overall win. After 5 minutes of a running without a single mistake (and also not giving any small chance to Jilles to pass), Teemu deservedly won and took the trophy of Worldcup Champion.

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Teemu taking home the trophy on his debut with XRAY T2'007
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It was an excellent showcase to see the T2’007 flowing through the traffic so gently, smoothly, and with such great performance, so the win for the duo of the driver and car was very much deserved – a perfect debut for this duo that will be a hot contender for upcoming races.

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XRAY top 10 finalists - 5 out of 10 cars represented by XRAY
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The Worldcup was a race where I could finally relax a bit and enjoy the racing and the entire atmosphere. The T2’007 debut was very successful worldwide with excellent feedback and reports from customers so I could finally put all my efforts, time, energy, and concentration on finalizing the new top secret project, the new XRAY Nitro Touring car, code name NT1.

I started to work on the NT1 almost 3 years ago, but as our priority in those times was the T1 platform, we have always set aside the development work of the NT1, since we always had something new to try and test on the electric car. So even as we started to work a bit again on the NT1, we had to put it aside again as something new arise in the electric touring class, and we had to act quickly. As the development of the electric touring cars had stabilized a bit in the last few times, it allowed me to concentrate again on this new project but when coming back to the design board I realized that the original design could already be improved upon, so I had to start from scratch again! We restarted like this 2 times, having to completely dig through the entire car and start from square one, so I was getting a little bit upset with myself losing so much time on this project and still being nowhere. I knew that if I did not finally put in all the required effort, I would be in this endless cycle forever; this class is rapidly evolving and we needed not only to catch up, but surpass current designs as XRAY has always done. Since Martin has had a lot of experience with the electric touring car, I shifted that responsibility to him, and while continuing to supervise him, I fully got into nitro touring mode. This was another very exhausting project where we had to make 21 completely new moulds. If in average 1000 working hours are needed to make one mould, then we spent more than 21 000 hours on the moulds alone.

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Martin Hudy testing the new XRAY NT1 at the XRAY factory track
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Using a new technology for producing prototypes, we were able to produce several prototypes long in advance and have several top Team XRAY drivers test the car for a long time to ensure not only the performance but especially the durability and lifespan of all parts. There are so many details to talk about that I will come back to designing the NT1 in some of my future columns. For several weeks we have been running several of the final NT1 at our private track all day long, to analyze long term wear and breakage, as well as compare the performance. Several top drivers have already turned laps at our factory test tracks to make tests and provide valuable feedback. All the responses are very positive which makes me much more comfortable. As I continued work with our R&D team after initial testing, I left all the long term testing to Martin who has been running the car for long periods from early morning until late at night, testing all the set-up possibilities and analyzing what other modifications would need to be made.

Since the first debut of the NT1 will be made at the Winternationals in USA, our strategy was to fully utilize the benefit of our new private racing tracks and so we built the exact same layout of the track which will be at the Winternationals, letting us run and practice at the same track layout and work on the basic set-up. Of course the asphalt, temperature, and grip will be completely different at the real track but at least this virtual testing has allowed us to put our fingers on the track layout and at least have a basic set-up and knowledge how the car would perform.

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Martin Hudy testing the new XRAY NT1 at the XRAY factory track
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After the long term testing, despite the long “to do” list I was very happy that no major or big changes would have to be made. The most complicated task was to make completely new rear arms. As I have to self-critically admit, the rear arm design was one of the first things we did, and as the testing experiences proved that we would have to change it. In some more serious crashes, the arm was breaking and of course this is not acceptable. So despite the whole mould being finished we had to make completely new one. Otherwise everything else was very good and no major changes would be required. Hence, production is already running at maximum on the already confirmed parts, and now we only have to fix small details and parts fit.

We are continuing to test during the holiday season, and in the first few weeks of January the majority of the team will be coming here for final testing and preparation for the Winternationals where the NT1 and the Team XRAY Nitro will be debuted, hopefully with good results. The beginning of the year will be busy again as we have the DHI and Snowbird Nationals on the schedule following with the Winternationals, so we will be back traveling to all the tracks and races where I look forward to meeting you all.

Enjoy the ride and ‘til next time…