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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.

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I just came back from the last round of the ETS series with a happy smile on my face and satisfaction in my heart. The team’s hard work during the entire season has paid off and I was very happy and proud for the overall title of Champion in 2011/2012 season in the Stock class.

Let’s take a quick look at some highlights of the season:

• The ETS series has become the benchmark of professional RC car racing events.

• Right now the ETS series is the most popular race event with highest number of entries in on road.

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• The competition level at the ETS has increased recently, so much so that the level of racing is at the same level of any European or World Championship. And imagine… you have 6 races during the season so it is like having 6x the Worlds throughout one year!

• Uwe and Scotty have been working very hard for several years to make this event exciting and fun, and everyone enjoys the race – so a big “congratulations” and a bit of thanks go to Uwe and Scotty for their excellent work.

• This was the second year that XRAY was the primary partner, and the factory team and support team were available at each event.

• XRAY provided top-notch service for all customers, with the XRAY service center available with all the spare parts and service available to any XRAY customer.

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• Martin and I we were available during the season to help with technical and set-up questions.

• At every event we collected feedback and ideas from XRAY customers, not only by personal interaction but also everyone could voice their thoughts on a Customer Feedback Form which was handed out and collected by Martin.

• Free promo packages including XRAY T-shirts, stickers, and a few other goodies were handed out to all XRAY drivers at every race.

• The XRAY chassis was this year once again the most popular with the highest presence in the entry field. In particular, having the highest presence in the Stock class with regular customers is very satisfying knowing that XRAY is the number 1 choice of customers. We appreciate it and thank all XRAY customers for choosing XRAY and for their support.

• During the entire season, the XRAY team was the leader in the Stock class and the team & car to beat. Zdenko Kunak and Tony Streit showcased some great results and were hot contenders for the win.

• First round in Germany: Zdenko started the series with a great result TQ and win in the Stock class, but we struggled in Modified class.

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• Second round in Italy: Zdenko again confirmed his performance by taking TQ and 2nd position in Stock class while the team continued to struggle in the Modified category. Despite this being the second race, we struggled a bit but we did not give up and the team with Alex and Martin worked very hard on set-up and car improvement. There was a lot of testing made in-house at the factory tracks, and a lot of time spent on preparation for the next races. Martin and Alex travelled two more times to Scandiano in Italy, which is an indoor carpet track that is great for testing because it is a permanent track with high traction every day and lap counting. They spent a total of 2 weeks of testing there. At the end, all of the hard work paid off.

• Third round in Grand Canaria: After some serious work on car set-up and refining some details, Alex took Team XRAY back to great performance in Modified class by finishing a very close 2nd position.

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• Fourth round in Poland: After the first success in Grand Canaria, the team struck back and Alex got the first win in Modified class, and Zdenko won in Stock class. So at the end it was a double win for Team XRAY.

• Fifth round in Holland: As the World’s warm-up was scheduled just after this race, we had US super-star Paul Lemieux joining the team. We missed the pre-race practice where some teams were working for several days on their set-up before the event, and the difference was noticeable the first day. On the other hand, Tony Streit had great performance in the Stock class when he TQ`d and finished 2nd. In Modified class, after the first rounds where we were off the pace, we worked extra hard on the set-up but unfortunately the rain ended the event. But with prepared cars we went from this ETS round to Heemstede for the WC warm-up where we set the pace from the first moment and with great performance during the entire event we set TQ and won the Worlds!

• Sixth round in Austria: The overall title was still open before the 6th round: in Modified class Alex could still grab the overall win, while in Stock the final results were mixed so it was very important to showcase some good performance at this last race. The pace of the team has constantly improved in the last few months, and luckily we continued with the same pace at this last race of the season. In Modified we managed to qualify Alex, Magnus and Martin into the main final with Alex winning one final run and finishing in 2nd place overall. In Stock, Tony Streit continued his performance from Holland and not only set TQ but also took the overall win. So it was a perfect finish of the season!

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• Overall results: After 6 rounds of ETS around Europe, Team XRAY claimed 1st overall and 2nd in Stock class – an incredible result and perfect job for the team. In Modified class, Alex finished very close with an overall 3rd position – still an admirable result considering the World Championship competition level during the entire season.

• I would like to thank to everyone at Team XRAY for their excellence, dedication, and hard work during the entire season. We have worked truly as a team and did not give up after a few moments where we struggled and actually did the opposite… putting in even more effort and involvement which at the end has paid off. I would not be able to mention everyone in particular as the list would be too long, but I will congratulate Zdenko, Tony, and Alex for their overall wins and podium finishes – well done boys! A big “thanks” goes out to all XRAY drivers and customers who travelled to all these races and made XRAY cars the most frequently used and the team the largest and strongest. We could not achieve this without your ongoing support. We will do our best to provide you with the same high-quality, high-performance products and premium support. And of course, a big thanks goes out to the event organizers for their very hard work in making this event truly enjoyable. Thanks also to all the participants for making this a fun, exciting series.

To give a voice to others, I have asked Alex and Zdenko to give their input on the ETS 2011-2012 series:

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The 2011/2012 ETS series has been the most important to date, as all the top drivers from Europe and the World attend each round, making it super competitive, and with the media coverage it put close focus on the equipment in use.

Some patterns in the results can clearly be seen. The rounds on carpet have all been dominated somewhat by Ronald Völker, as he took TQ in all those rounds, and won three of them. I was the only driver to beat Ronald on carpet in the ETS series, which I did in Poznan, Poland.

The asphalt rounds seemed to be more open affairs results wise, as all of them saw a different winner. With the Worlds coming up, and that event being run on asphalt, have made the ETS rounds on asphalt equally important to the Worlds warm-up race. I was able to finish on the podium in 2nd place, in two of those rounds. Tire strategies have, without any surprise, played a central role at those events.

Also interesting was that some teams decided to spend 4-5 or even more days at the track prior to the race, to practice and prepare. It just proves how important these races are.

Last but not least, we must not forget the core of the success for the ETS series: the fun part! The majority of racers are in it for the fun and enjoyment only, and they race only as hobbyists The ETS puts emphasis on this with its more relaxed orientation regarding some rules and race conditions. So for the pro drivers, the ETS is extremely important and maybe even on the same level as the Euros or Worlds, as it can still appeal to hobby drivers as a relaxed and fun series of events. Without a doubt we have had some unforgettable moments with team drivers, new friends, old friends, all sharing the fun. Our team has some strong characters, Zdenko Kunak with his father, the Italian drivers, the young and talented German drivers, all of whom contributed to a great atmosphere in the XRAY pits throughout the series. I remember the battles between Anna Wysgol and Pier Luigi Guerrini in the Stock class at the Gran Canaria race. I also remember when Chuck Norris suddenly showed up in Poznan, only to pose with the team a few moments later. All the practical jokes that went around… the Kunak father must be regarded as the master of these, only until Paul Lemieux showed up at the Apeldoorn round!

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For me the ETS season 2011/2012 was very successful. After a great start with 2 wins and a 2nd place I was a strong contender for the overall win. I was little disappointed with the Gran Canaria event – not with the event itself, but for the location. It was not easy to find flights to this race! The Apeldoorn and Traiskirchen races were not my best but it was a nice track, facility, people and everything. I think the whole ETS crew worked really hard during the year and I must say again a big “thanks” for that. It was a great atmosphere in the XRAY paddock because as you know, my father is the most funny but also most problematic character in the paddock . But without him and also his mate Alex “Šani” Hagberg and others, it would not be as good at it was. After all, the ETS was and is the best RC racing series in the world.

See you around the tracks!

Enjoy the ride and ‘til next time,

Dipl. Eng. Juraj Hudy
XRAY Chief Designer

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
Column #43 - Nationals All Around
Column #44 - Warm Warm-ups, Challenging Challenges
Column #45 - Electric Touring Worlds 2010
Column #46 - Team XRAY - World Champion!!!
Column #47 - Summer Vacation, 30x USA Champion Title
Column #48 - T3 Saga Continues
Column #49 - RX8 – What? How? When?
Column #50 - The Making of the RX8 – Part II
Column #51 - Shake It, Baby, Shake It...
Column #52 - Racing Season ‘11 Full Running
Column #53 - From On-road to Off-road
Column #54 - Testing and Once Again… Testing
Column #55 - Half of the EC Championships – Done!
Column #56 - Summer is Gone…Euros are Done
Column #57 - Never-ending Development
Column #58 - From XB8 to XB9
Column #60 - 2012 Season Running
Column #61 - Crazy Months