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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
Column #5 - Worldcup Review and NT1 Testing
Column #6 - Developing and Designing the NT1
Column #7 - Developing and Designing the NT1 - Part 2
Column #8 - Back to the Races
Column #9 - XT8 Truggy Development
Column #10 - Touring Car Development
Column #11 - Bling-bling Mentality
Column #12 - Hot Summer Washout
Column #13 - New Electric Touring Car
Column #14 - Off-road Development
Column #15 - My micro love
Column #16 - Back in the Dirt
Column #17 - Worlds Preparations
Column #18 - 808 Tests & Stress
Column #19 - Excited for the Worlds?
Column #20 - Statistics, Expenses Sheets, Production Analysis, Calculations…
Column #21 + Column #22 - Euros + Euros + Worlds
Column #23 - The Busiest Season Ever
Column #24 - In Between the Worlds
Column #25 + Column #26 - Well Developed or Overdeveloped?
Column #27 - Back to The Future
Column #28 - 2009 Kick-off
Column #29 - Crazy what?
Column #30 - Last indoor race of the season
Column #31 - Getting into summer season
Column #32 - Heading for the Euros
Column #33 - Testing - Always last minute, always new ideas
Column #34 - European Champion - title celebration
Column #35 - Time to move on
Column #36 - National Heroes
Column #37 - 2010 ready
Column #38 - Decade of Triumph
Column #39 - 2010 Racing Calendar
Column #40 - DHI, ETS & Nürnberg Show
Column #41 - World Championship Practice

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Running from an airport in UK with a quick stop at home, I have just landed now in Spain (southern Europe), taking the rent-a-car and driving to Portugal. It is already April and in the last few weeks I have had no time to stop for a minute and write my monthly column, so non-traditionally I have been taking care of that at the 1/8 off-road EC Warm-up. Six large race events within 5–6 weeks… this would overwhelm just about anybody. My last report to you was back in February when I returned from Thailand where the team was preparing for the 1/8 off-road World Championship. So here’s what has happened meanwhile in the last few weeks.

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1/10 Electric Touring EC Indoor Championship
After a warm Thailand we left after a week break to go to cold Finland which was under a high pile of snow. This year was just second time that EFRA organized this indoor European Championship. The first European Indoor Championship went pretty well for us, with Elliott taking the Junior European Champion title in both 1/10 electric and 1/12 pan car categories. At the end of the previous year, Team XRAY participated at the Warm-up race where the car has worked well, but still we were off the pace a bit. Meanwhile, after working on further set-up improvement during several large indoor races, we were fairly ready for this race where all the best European drivers and all factory teams came to battle for the EC title.

Our team did well in qualifiers, placing three cars in the main final with Alex, Teemu and Adrian. Unfortunately, we found ourselves in the same pattern as previous races: in the final we missed the podium again with Alex finishing a close 4th place. But when it comes to copying a pattern, I was happy that we regained the EC Indoor Champion title in the Junior category with our newly added Team XRAY factory driver Adrian Bernsten taking home the EC junior title. Adrian has been having great performances lately, and I hope we can see more great performances from him; just recently he added another nice win at the Norway National Championship!

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1/18 On-road US Championship
As our European team was battling at the European Indoor Championship, there was another large and important race going on overseas: the US 1/18 on-road championship. Zack Barry and Robbie Dodge claimed multiple victories over the last few years and this year was more of the same. In all three categories — Touring Stock, Touring Modified and Truck Modified — Team XRAY TQ’ed and took the win to add another US championship title to the already extensive lineup of victories. Congratulations go to Zack and Robbie for a job well done, though it was a shame that I could not be there… but at least I was being updated long distance to share in the victory happiness.

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1/12 Pancar EC Championship
Flying back from Finland, I was completely exhausted. This was no surprise as we have been away at races for more than a month and there was huge pile of work on my table + hundreds of production issues to review and address. Looking at the schedule we were supposed after arriving from Finland to leave for the UK for the 1/12 Pancar European Championship. Martin and I had secured our entries, but due to circumstances (with several other races on schedule right away) I had no other choice but to skip this race and spend at least a week in the factory to check the status of new projects in development, the production schedule, and other office work.

The responsibility for this race went to Alex Hagberg and Freddy Sudhoff who were at the race to represent Team XRAY. With over 100 drivers in different categories, 1/12th scale continues to increase once again and the competition was as usual very high. Alex managed to qualify into the A main and finished 7th while Freddy finishing in 12th place. Young UK driver Charlie Ware showcased the performance of his XII and won the EC title in the Junior Stock category.

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ETS Series – Round 4
While I was working at the office, Martin left for Poland for the 4th round of the European Touring Series. With over 200 drivers in Modified and Stock categories, this race series is very popular and hopefully also mimics the increasing trend of electric touring cars again. In the Modified category, Martin and David Ehrbar from Germany qualified into the A-final, while in the Stock category Team XRAY showed a better performance and results with Zdenko Kunak finishing 2nd, Franke Oliver 3rd and Jan Gehrig 4th. There are still two races remaining so we will see how those will work for Team XRAY.

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Silverstate Challenge – Las Vegas
While Martin was at the ETS race in Poland, I have left for the USA on Sunday for the off-road race – the well known Silverstate Challenge. I left a few days early as we had scheduled to meet with Teemu Leino, Jerome Sartel, Josh Wheeler and Ryan Lopez in Los Angeles for private testing a few days before the Silverstate race. After arrival, we unfortunately experienced very bad weather and the local track was flooded. As such, every day we had to travel 60km to another track. We used the 3 days for testing some new parts and ideas as well as worked on the new prototype electric buggy 808E to be ready for the first 1/8 electric buggy race… which was scheduled for the Silverstate race. With plenty of fuel used and many track hours, this practice session was very helpful and effective. Leaving LA we drove our large van to Las Vegas for the famous Silverstate race.

The race was no surprisingly loaded with the world’s best drivers and the competition level was extremely high. With several classes on schedule we entered Pro Buggy, Truggy, and the new Electric category. With myself being qualified to race in the senior class, I also chose the 40+ class to have equal drivers battling against me.  The most successful category for us was definitely the Electric Buggy class where the 808E prototype (first time entered into a high-competition race) did very well in Josh’s hands. In the qualifiers, Josh outperformed everybody by taking the TQ and in the finals he was leading the entire race until the last lap when unfortunately a marshal stepped into his path which cost him the win but he still managed to finish in a very respectable 2nd position. A great result for the very first race and the prototype car. Hopefully this achievement will prove the performance of this platform design and of course all the new knowledge we gained will again be transferred into further development.

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LRP Masters
Flying home from Las Vegas, I had finally a week of “free” time which of course I used not to rest but transfer all the new experiences and collected feedback from races and testing to the R&D team. Then I spent the week in production to chase things down. After a short “break” we were heading to Germany for the LRP Masters race, the annual touring car race which attracts all of Europe’s best drivers as well as several overseas drivers. This year was no different. In the Modified category – the most competitive – it was Freddy Südhoff who qualified into the main final but then again had typical XRAY luck and finished in 4th position. Martin Hudy had no so much luck in the early qualifiers but after hard work with the team he finally found his pace in the C final on Sunday when he set the fastest result and based on the new rule of one best driver to bump-up into the main final he got the ticket for the main final run. Even better luck was in the Stock class where Bernd Hasselbring set TQ and easily won two finals to get him his first important win. In the 10.5 Stock there were three XRAY cars qualified into the final with again a 4th final position. Hopefully we will break this 4th place trend soon.

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Neo Race
After returning home from Germany, I had only two days to spend in the factory and then we were packing our stuff and heading to the airport to fly to the UK for the Neo buggy race. This race has been increasing in popularity every year and so it was no surprise that this year it had over 220 entries and all the world’s best drivers were on the list. With all the factory teams and all the best drivers, the atmosphere was just like a real World Championship. The organization, track and everything was top notch, it was just a shame it was so crazy cold. The track was really abusive and technical, and electrical problems were hounding drivers. Despite some very good results in the qualifiers, we unfortunately had our share of technical and electronic problems as well and so most of the team ended up in the semi-final. We left this race a bit of a cold and had only a few days to recover and be ready for the next one.

1/8 Off-road EC Warm-up Championship
Coming from the Neo race we again had only two days to catch on daily tasks in the factory, recover from the cold, and be ready for the EC warm-up in Portugal. Only a few short hours ago we landed in Spain, took a car to Portugal, and here I have been at the track finally catching up and writing this update and report for you. We are ready for another race, ready to fight the best and the rest! Reading all of this… do you think we are busy? Heck yes we are… and the racing season has just started!


See you around the tracks. Enjoy the ride and ‘til next time.

Dipl. Eng. Juraj Hudy
XRAY Chief Designer