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Race report by Kája Novotný
SIGP took place last weekend in Xiamen at the same venue as 1/10 World championship last year. For me this was my first race with 1/8 buggies since September and I was looking forward get back on dirt after 5 months on carpet.

Track was open since Monday for free practice with some guys fully taking this advantage. We arrived on Wednesday evening with Thursday planned as all day practice. Unfortunately at 9 am it started raining and practice was over before it even began … With most of the guys expecting sugared track and bringing tires for such conditions, this changed things quite a lot. Basically we had dejavu of the Worlds as the track literally became “ice” and traction was very low.

In controlled practice I struggled in both classes in the beginning a lot but it was 99% driver, because I needed to change my driving style from carpet a LOT. Eventually at the end of the day I was quite happy with both cars and hoped for better performance from my side the next day.
In 1/8E buggy I finished 3rd in Q1 and Q2 which secured me 3rd place on the grid. With Ryan Lutz being on his own level, I knew I can challenge Yusuke for the 2nd place and tried my best in Q3 to take TQ at least in the last round which was looking promising as I was on TQ pace until last lap where Yusuke crashed in front of me and when coming back on track I landed exactly on his roof and needed to marshalled which ended my chances.

In 1/8IC I struggled a bit in Q1, I did few mistakes and needed to be marshalled which cost huge amount of time. That was I think the only negative side of this race. We had as marshals the local factory workers which never seen R/C cars before and it took a looooong time when you crashed to get back on wheels. I mean there was like 200 entries and you had more than 1,5 hour between runs so I guess if we (drivers) marshalled, those 5 minutes wouldn ´t kill anyone. Anyway for Q2 and Q3 I went rather slower and not needed to be marshalled which brought the fruits – 4th place overall.

In 1/8E finals, A1 didn´t start well as I was taken out at the start and had to fight my way back, but as the race was only 5 minutes, I pushed too hard and made another mistakes, so eventually finished 4th. In A2, everything went well, Ryan, Yusuke and I pushed away at the beginning. Ryan then got away a little and the main fight was between Yusuke and me, after few laps I managed to get on the 2nd place and finished so with Ryan taking the overall win, congrats! A3 started again well with Yusuke and me pulling away quickly, it was 2 driving errors which put me down and I even though I managed to catch the leader I ran out of time to try anything and finished 2nd and overall 3rd, which I was a bit sorry about as my Hobbywing powered XB8E really deserved better place, but still I was happy for the podium!

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TOP 3 electric:
1. Ryan Lutz (TQ)
2. Yusuke Sugiura
3. Kaja Novotny – XRAY XB8E


In 1/8IC semifinal, Yusuke, me and Jonathan pulled away quickly and fought in the beginning for the lead. However Yusuke was in nitro clearly faster and after few minutes got away as well I got from Jonathan so everybody got pretty much spread out and we finished so. As our semi was much faster compared to the another one, I got 3rd place for the start of the one hour final, with Ryan going directly to the final due to TQ.
In final, TOP 4 of Ryan, Yusuke, me and Wataru again got quickly way and after few minutes separated also on two pairs – Ryan and Yusuke fought for the win, while some seconds back me and Wataru had a fight for 3rd place. Even though I did some stupid mistakes during the final (this being my first time one hour final), I got away from Wataru in the final stages, also thanks to great performing FX K302 which allowed me to go safe 9 minute pit stops.

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TOP 3 nitro:
1. Ryan Lutz (TQ)
2. Yusuke Sugiura
3. Kaja Novotny – XRAY XB8


So this was SIGP 2018, my first big race with 1/8 nitro and 2nd big race with 1/8 electric and getting podium in both classes, is something I am really happy about. I have to say big thanks to several people, to my father for all the work on the cars, getting visums and tickets while I was busy with studies. Then big thanks to Mr. Liao and Sunpadow for the invitation and support and thanks to my mechanic Gavin Kwok for great help!

Huge thanks to my parents and my sponsors for awesome support, cannot wait for summer season to begin in Europe!

Xray, Hobbywing, Sunpadow, MKS, FX, JConcepts, Hudy, Hiroseiko, H-Speed, Dubidesign, DFcreative, Ruddog and Kaja RC racing