We arrived early for 2WD practice day - choosing to park on the road outside the venue since we didn't realise there was secure parking available in the sports arena. All the same it's just as well we didn't - the secure parking area is locked up in the morning and doesn't open up again until 7pm - tough luck for those who wanted to actually go out to get food or what not.

With no access to the pits prior to the 8am opening time - it was predictably a complete mess with racers bunched up like hungry baby birds around the entrance, waiting to be allowed in.

The pitting area was already laid out with the various country flags - all except poor Mick Bolger from Ireland, who had to make do with a water stained print out of the Irish flag since some naughty person stole the flag when it was used at the nitro touring Euros earlier in the year apparently.

Pitting space was a little tight - with only enough chairs for drivers, not mechanics. So at first we oOple reporteurs stood around unsure as to whether we'd have to stand for the entire week - eventually we found a table and chairs and it was all GOOD!

The cars got on the track at 9am with heat 1 of 15 - and the only way to really describe it was chaos - utter chaos. The moist track had very little grip and cars were having a very hard time just making it up the steep banked corner. Even some of the best drivers were really struggling at times.
The marshalls for the steep areas were similarly struggling to keep upright.

Warmup-winner, Hupo Honigl looked the best of the lot out in round one of practice - lapping the UK 2WD Champion Ellis Stafford in their heat

By round three the track had dried up a lot and cars were able to get round much-much faster. Neil Cragg had also turned up to race after securing the UK 8th buggy championship the day before.


Marc Rheinard - still no 2WD Tamiya buggy :(


With not much excitement on the track we went around looking for 'cool stuff' in the pits. Daniel Persson from Sweden came over with some 'bits' from one of our sponsors, GHEA Racing.

GHEA make many parts for 8th buggies and have started to claw their way into the 10th off road market with some quality machined brass bulkheads and pivot blocks.

The brass bulkhead for the B4 comes with a black delrin bumper and much larger (than standard) screws to keep it in place.


Another awesome new product from GHEA Racing is their tapered pistons. These have been made for the 8th scale buggies for a little while now and seem to be what most of the top drivers are running - and now they're available for the most popular 10th buggies.

The pistons (AE here) are tapered on one side.

GHEA make the new pistons for Associated and Losi dampers - in all the popular sizes. Because they are cnc machined from delrin, they are always perfect and 100% the same.

The main 'feature' of the pistons is of course the tapered side - which is meant to sit so the flat surface faces the top. This gives the pistons in-equal damping, with less damping on the down stroke or 'rebound'. The damping / bump absorbtion is the same as with standard pistons, but the rebound is less.

The pistons come as a set of four and are available in the standard three different sizes for AE dampers and Black-Red-Orang-Blue variations for Losi dampers.

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CRAGG - 8th nitro champ
Neil Cragg was a little late to the Euros this year - turning up somewhere around the third round of practice on day one. The reason was because he had the chance to win the 8th scale buggy championship for the third time in a row - which Neil did by qualifying third and finishing 2nd at the final round of the series at the Junction 12 track.

Neil took three wins in the series - Tiverton, Shrewsbury and Clanfield.


Neil likes being 8th nitro buggy champion



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Some random action from the practice heats:

The dirt section was cutting up quickly with the Schumacher tyres doing their best to hurry the cars along

AVE eeeeet - Kevin Lee from the UK gets the inside

Tom Cockerill

Air France

There are a few new bits and pieces doing the rounds at the Euros - so we went scouring around the pits to find some more.

This diff-ring and ball set from B-Fast (left) is for the Associated B4 / T4 / GT vehicles and is hand-finished to be ultra-ultra smooth and flat to give the ultimate differential. Not cheap but we've heard some good comments from those that have used them.

Hyperion motors (below) and the B-Fast stuff is just some of the things that Spanish shop 'Positivo Negativo' bring into the country. IC rules in spain so these guys are doing there best to make Electric racing popular - hence the name.



Latest motor from Hyperion


Lee Martin had the latest Speed Passion motor which isn't out yet - it features plugs for the motor wires which makes it very nice and easy to change motors / move wires out of the way for pesky mantainance procedures.

The latest Corally motors feature a nicely machined can and strong magnet for lots of torque.

Yokomo B-MAX 'X' Shock Set

There has been lots of talk about the new shocks from Yokomo that were first seen at the recent Japan Nationals held at Yataba Arena. The hype is all to do with their size - they are some of the biggest bore dampers around for 1/10th buggies and look more like scaled-down 8th buggy dampers.

Inside they use 6-hole pistons - again, this is more like 8th buggy dampers use. The piston holes are smaller and the pistons a tighter fit in the body. Due to having more holes though the team are running similar oil weights.

Compared to losi pink springs - and compared to losi dampers..... These are BIG BOYS.


Diagram showing the 6-hole pistons

The rain came down lightly during round 5 of qualifying but it wasn't enough to dampen the track and create the scenes of chaos we'd seen early in the day. Some of the top drivers were now taking the quad-jump in a 3-1, wilst the majority were still going double-double.

These cyclists stopped by to help marshall the racing

....but some weren't as into it as others.

TRISHBITS.co.uk had some new foams

Hupo Honigl won the warmup and was looking FAST


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The Opening Ceremony / Flaggate revisited.

Team France

Team Sweden

Team Russia - these guys were like rock stars. Woweee!

The mandatory opening ceremony was held at 6:15pm at the end of practice day, it appeared to be a rather complex event, with some apparent confusion over which teams would present in which order. There had also been problems with flag provisions, as team Ireland had arrived to find there was no flag available to them, so the race organisers improvised by 'refashioning' a random other flag that they found in almost-similar colours. This worked alright for team Ireland until team Hungary found themself without a flag. Yes indeed the Hungarian flag had been moulded into the shape of an Irish flag. Seeing as team Hungary were so depleated that they didn't even have a picket board, Ireland kindly returned the flag and called it a compromise.

The young Hungarian hero looked a little lonely on his own, and also we think the name Hungary is ace, so we chose to tag along as his backup team for the procession.

The sun chose to make an appearance for this part of the day, which was nice for the photos. As routine part of the opening ceremony is the 'concourse' competition where each drivers car body shell is judged on its design, some manuel guy won.

Jamie Banks' car made it to the final part of the concourse competition even though it had 'tit' written in large letters across the roof. Oh dear.

The GB team became somewhat bored throughout the long ceremony and were seen to be hurtling cars missile-style at the French team unfortunately positioned at the bottom of the steep banking, they seemed unamused in a French sort of way, and were seen trying to erect small tolls to charge each car as it came down the hill. That was a joke, it didn't happen.

One disapointment was the lack of onlookers - there were a few members of the public watching the proceedings from outside the perimiter fencing but it did seem a shame that people might have missed out on getting interested in the racing.

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The UK team were TOO COOL to wave back at me!

Team Ireland and Team Hungary were equalled in numbers by half the oOple reporting team!

The concours judging well under way

A worthy winner on the Spanish team - DR.Kamakura!

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