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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.

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
Column #42 - EC indoor, EC 1/12, Silverstate, LRP Masters, Neo

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It has been only a few weeks since my last update of this column which I put together in hurry at the EC off-road warm-up in Portugal. Now that I have been back in the office and in a more relaxed mood, I can give you the latest news of what was going on over the last month.

After the EC off-road warm-up we finally had several weeks “free” – which of course does not mean any vacation or holiday for me and the team – during which we didn’t have to travel to international races but still had to work on a daily basis. My current task list has grown into a huge list and I was looking forward to the few weeks back in office to solve all the issues and projects waiting on me.

There are two electric touring warm-ups (EC & WC) on schedule in the upcoming weeks and two nitro touring warm-ups (EC & WC). This means we have to do nothing less than put all the latest prototypes, development plans and updates together to select which of the parts we can make on time for these warm-ups and have them available for the team to test. Whatever part comes late for a warm-up will have to be postponed for another testing, as naturally no team and no driver will risk using or testing something new at such important and highly-competitive races (like an EC or WC) where you need to have 100% trust into every single part in your car and have hands-on practice on your car and set-up for these main events of the season.

The list of ideas and prototypes has usually been fairly extensive and with the input of R&D and the racing team we had to select the most important parts and prototypes to prioritize them in development and production. The last few weeks we have been running between the R&D office and production almost on an hourly basis to check the status and progress of the new parts. The peak of the efforts and activities is not only visible in production but also in the R&D office where the computers have been working constantly from morning until late at night.

The most important part of the season within the last two years is coming and we do not want to keep anything for the last minute and be ready and prepared as much as possible. But still I know there will be last minute changes and quick decisions which will be required based on the feedback and results from the warm-ups, so I want to have majority of the regular work and basic projects ready ready now, to save the capacity for the absolute peak in the summer.

While we work hard in the factory, the racing team has been doing their homework at the national races and there have been quite a few in the last weeks and with plenty of success for the team.

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US Carpet Nationals – The annual carpet national was held in Gaithersburg, Maryland and the race was divided into touring and 1/12 categories with several subcategories. Despite lower attendance than previous years, I was still happy to receive notice that the XRAY T3 was the favourite and most successfully platform…setting three TQs and in the finals collecting 3 wins and a total of 6 podium finishes - a very nice result and achievement.

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German Indoor Nationals – What is called “Carpet Nationals” in the USA is called “Indoor Nationals” in most countries in Europe. Such an Indoor Nationals was held in the electric touring category in Germany, and the XRAY German team did a very good job there as well. Erik Dankel was fastest in qualifiers in the Stock category, taking TQ honours and repeating the same performance in the finals to bring home the Indoor Champion title. After the 2009 win the team has defended the title and thus made the T3 the German Stock Indoor Champion 2010.

Singapore Nationals – The nitro touring racing starts with the summer season around the world. A short report came from Singapore as well where the first round of their National series started with Erwin Luhur taking the win and Sam Craig standing on the podium in the 3rd position.

US Micro Off-road Nationals – Only a few weeks after the 1/18 Micro On-road Nationals – where Team XRAY with Zack Barry and Robbie Dodge dominated the on-road nationals – there was another USA micro nationals only this time in the off-road and truck categories. The US micro team has been extremely successful in the last few years, winning all national races in the last 5 years. I hoped for another success this year. After a short update from Zack, I was happy with the result and the ongoing performance of Zack and the XRAY micro trucks. Zack took the TQ in all four categories and in the finals got 3 out of 4 possible victories, adding another 3 USA National titles on the account. Well done!

Spanish Electric Touring Nationals – The electric outdoor nationals started in Spain as well. Spain is well known for their nitro and especially off-road racing, though the electric touring category has been fairly constant and slowly increasing in popularity. Over the last few years, the Spanish XRAY team has been very successful in both nitro and electric touring category and the first round of the electric touring nationals this season started off very well. Roberto Hernandez took the win in the Stock category with Gonzalo Garcia took 2nd place.

Portugese Electric Touring Nationals – In Spain’s neighboring country, the electric touring national series started as well with the first round and the beginning of the season was in favour of the Portugese XRAY team. In the Stock category, Rui Almeida finished on the podium in 2nd place, while in the Modified category Nuno Gancho took the win at the opening race of the 2010 series.

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Danish Indoor Nationals – The 2009/2010 electric touring car season ended with the last 7th round of the Danish Nationals, with Danni Eyde taking the overall national champion title in the Modified category. In the Superstock category it was Claus Ryeskov who achieved a podium finish in 3rd place.

Spanish Nationals - The nitro touring national series started in the middle of April with a strong presence from Team XRAY at the first round of nationals. Former champion Rodrigo Pahissa was in the race to defend his title. In the qualifiers, four NT1 qualified into the main final with Eduardo Escandon winning the race and Johny Pastor on the podium in 3rd place.

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Czech Indoor Nationals - The electric touring car indoor carpet season has finished in Czech Republic after six rounds. In both Modified and Stock categories, Team XRAY dominated the entire season which resulted in final
overall victories with Zdenko Kunak taking the overall national champion title in Stock and Modified categories, followed by Zdenek Hamak with his T3.

Dutch Nitro Touring Nationals – The nitro touring season started and the first round of the national series in Netherlands started as well. In the competitive race, Pedro Rombouts took the TQ honour and in the final took victory with his XRAY NT1.

Dutch Electric Touring Nationals – Not only the nitro touring season started in Netherlands, but also the electric touring outdoor racing had its first nationals round at the end of April. Team XRAY outperformed the rest in the Stock category by placing six T3 in the main final and sweeping the entire podium with Wesley Van Dijken (1st), Ronald Arts (2nd), Patrick Jongenelis (3rd).

Malaysian Nationals – At the same time, the 3rd round of the Malaysian Nationals in the electric touring category was going on at a joined event with a nitro touring GP. In both categories, Team XRAY dominated the race with Eric Ma who ended up winning the electric touring trophy.

EFRA GP – The nitro touring EFRA GP took place in France at the end of April. Since this was the first large nitro touring race after a long winter, it was no surprise that this race had the attention of most of Europe’s top drivers. With the EC and WC in the nitro touring category on schedule this year, all teams increase their activities in testing and preparing as best as possible and it was no difference for us. Dirk Wischnewski, 2009 European Champion, was in place along with Thomas Gunsel, 2009 European “B” Champion, adding to an already strong Team XRAY. After the qualifiers there were six XRAY drivers qualified into the main final. At the end, Dirk showcased his performance by winning the race with young Antony Bruyer from France taking 2nd place. The NT1 continues to be the best-performing nitro touring car and I hope this competitive level will be kept up for the entire season.

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These days we are preparing last minute products and getting ready for the upcoming XRAY USA Challenge which is organized by XRAY USA with support from RC America. This will be a very important WC warm-up race for our team. The race is organized at the same track where the World Championship will be run in July, and since the official warm-up race was very early this year with completely different track conditions than will be in summer, we have decided to skip that official warm-up and organize our own race and practice.

The best of the best Team XRAY drivers will come to the race to have a fun challenge race against regular XRAY customers, provide technical and set-up assistance to everyone, and I will be there with Martin to meet and talk with everyone. If you want to meet and race amongst the best drivers in the world, you are all welcome. Here is only a short list of the few top drivers: Dirk Wischnewski (EC Champion), Paul Lemieux (USA Champion), Ralph Burch (USA Champion), Alexander (EC Vice-champion), Teemu Leino (EC & WC finalist), Biagio Spataro (EC Junior Champion), Jerome Renaux (EC finalist), Giorgio De Felici (EC finalist), Francesco Martini (EC B finalist), and of course Martin and myself.  Come and have fun.

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

Dipl. Eng. Juraj Hudy
XRAY Chief Designer