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The 2008 rendition of the 1:8 off-road Nordic XRAY Challenge was hosted by Hilleroed RC Racing together with RC Model Center (XRAY distributor in Denmark). Last year was a big success and the weather was absolutely perfect – why not make a copy and make it even better?
Once again the club had done a huge amount of work preparing for the event, giving all drivers and spectators a great experience and when 150 fellow racers meet on a good track with the sun shining and in a nice area, it was difficult not to enjoy the 3-day event.

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Overall, it was a very difficult and challenging track with the fastest lap times being around 36sec. During the weekend the track had a blue grove and the grip went from low to high. From the beginning, the track was a little bit bumpy but it never got worse – it was the changing grip that was the tricky part and then of course the famous “NEO jump section” before the straight: a 180° hairpin corner, then 2m of acceleration before a 3-jump section!

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The event was scheduled to be a 3-day race with 2 practice runs and 5 qualifying heats of which the best 3 runs would count. Many top drivers from around Europe from different teams travelled to participate at this race and it was no exception for Team XRAY which was well represented by Peter Harder from Denmark, Niklas Hakkanson from Sweden, and Rune Berget from Norway… along with dozens of private drivers. Even drivers from Estonia made the trip so the starting field was very varied. The new XRAY 808 buggy was driven by a lot of drivers and Juraj and Martin Hudy from the XRAY factory were present at the race to provide technical support as well answering any and all questions.
The new 808 car was working very well right from the start. For many drivers, this race was the first with the new car and all of them were impressed by the handling, with reports of impressive handling over jumps and bumps and huge amounts of steering. Nearly the entire team was using basic set-up and despite that track conditions were changing throughout the event, there were no needs for any significant set-up changes.

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BUGGY
Qualifying was very much dominated by Swedish driver Christoffer Svensson. He took TQ in both classes and was in a league of his own. Only 17 years old and already one of Europe’s absolutely best drivers. Drivers who could follow him (not surprisingly) included Robert Gustavsson and Jon Hazlewood. Local XRAY team driver Peter Harder suffered from various problems but managed a semi-final spot. Silas Hogholt, a new young XRAY 808 driver on only his second RC season made it directly to the semi-final.

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Moving from sub- and semi-finals into the A main was a good mix of cars: 3 XRAY, 3 KYOSHO, 4 LOSI, 2 MUGEN, 1 HONGNOR and 1 HOBAO. There were no big surprises in the final and 9 out of the 14 drivers from the 2007 final made it again.
After Peter Harder called a 10min delay due to a technical failure, the final started and it was Christoffer Svensson from beginning to end. After 45 minutes of racing his gap was 2 laps ahead of Jon Hazlewood. What a performance and congratulations to Christoffer!

Final Buggy results:
1 Christoffer Svensson
2 Jon Hazelwood
3 Mikael Palsson
4 Rune Karlsen
5 Peter Harder XRAY XB808
6 Magnus Amilon
7 Henrik Nilsson
8 Frode Skauen
9 Tim Culmsee
10 Robert Gustafsson
11 Claus Nielsen XRAY XB808
12 David Ronnefalk
13 Marcus Sandberg
14 Rune Gustavsen XRAY XB808

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TRUGGY
Truggy was a near copy of Buggy and the mixture of car brands in the final included 3 XRAY, 3 KYSOHO, 3 LOSI, 2 HOBAO, and 1 MUGEN.
From Team XRAY it was Martin and Juraj Hudy, Peter Harder and Rune Berget who drove both buggy and truggy classes. Although driving both classes was super-difficult because of the lack of time to relax between races, nearly all Team XRAY qualified directly to the semi-final. Only Juraj had to drive 1/4 final but he bumped up without any problems. Rune was very unlucky when some electronic problems prevented him from driving the semi-final. However, the rest of the team bumped up to the final.

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Truggy was a near copy of Buggy and the mixture of car brands in the final included 3 XRAY, 3 KYSOHO, 3 LOSI, 2 HOBAO, and 1 MUGEN.
From Team XRAY it was Martin and Juraj Hudy, Peter Harder and Rune Berget who drove both buggy and truggy classes. Although driving both classes was super-difficult because of the lack of time to relax between races, nearly all Team XRAY qualified directly to the semi-final. Only Juraj had to drive 1/4 final but he bumped up without any problems. Rune was very unlucky when some electronic problems prevented him from driving the semi-final. However, the rest of the team bumped up to the final.

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The main final was 30 minutes long and it was clear that in this final if any mistakes were made you would not finish. Many drivers could not finish the final due to breakage, but thanks to the legendary reliability of XRAY cars the entire XRAY team did not experience any failures and the drivers were able to finish the final. Despite the lack of car failures, Juraj has experienced engine troubles when his engine stopped three times and as such he could finish any higher. It was a very close race between Peter and Martin, who drove the entire final close together and swapped positions nearly every minute. At the end it was Peter who won the battle and finished 4th, only a few seconds behind 3rd place driver Niclas.

Final Truggy results:
1 Christoffer Svensson
2 Henrik Nilsson
3 Niclas Brunsberg
4 Peter Harder XRAY XT8
5 Martin Hudy XRAY XT8

6 Jon Hazlewood
7 Mikael Jonsson
8 Russel Bailey
9 David Ronnefalk
10 Juraj Hudy XRAY XT8
11 Rune Karlsen
12 Marcus Sandberg

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This was the biggest XRAY Challenge event and at www.xraychallenge.com a huge 61% voted that the race was brilliant and 30% said it was good. Great racing, great atmosphere, super track, super weather and strong organization.
It was very nice to see that all XRAY drivers were really happy with the car performance, and also that all drivers were helping each other in the pits and marshaling. It was very visible that all guys were really working as one team not only on track but also in the pits.

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More than 1000 pictures were taken during the weekend so please have a look at www.xraychallenge.com where you soon can find the best pictures of the event. Also, a national TV station broadcasted live from the race and TV viewers could watch the entire RC and F1 races on the Sunday.

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Comment from Juraj Hudy:
“The 2008 XRAY Nordic Challenge was a spectacular event and race, and was bigger and better in all respects. The organizers did a fabulous job and it was obvious that everybody was enjoying the event. The atmosphere was very friendly and supportive and the racing was thrilling. The 2007 XNC was already a perfect race, but for 2008 they raised the bar once again. The track was very well prepared and the whole facility was very well managed. The organization was also very professional and the whole race ran very smoothly, and even with tight schedules for buggies and truggies, there were no major delays.
I have traveled every year to dozens of races around the world, and the XRAY Nordic Challenge definitely belongs to the group of top-level races. Once again, a good job was done by all. Thanks go out to Frederik and the entire crew who were responsible for this unforgettable race. Thanks to all the drivers for coming to this race; I hope you enjoyed it as well as we did and had fun. See you again next time!”

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