All photos are mine, all mine, and not to be used in commercial purposes without prior permission. copyright ©2007 Jimmy Storey. rc(at)oople(dot)com.

PROLINE 2007 - Harper Adams

Photos Added :

Day 1 - practice

Day 2 - qualifying

Day 3 - finals

07 / 04 / 07 08 / 04 / 07 09 / 04 / 07


PROLINE Challenge Day -1 (minus 1! get it ?) [Friday 6th April 2007]

This is the second Proline event at Harper Adams, and our second time attending - previously attending the Neoinvitational event at the same venue in December '06.

The host venue, if you didn't already realise, is the Harper Adams agricultural college. A fancy way to describe a load of farmer types playing with diggers I think. And play with diggers is seemingly exactly what does happen here - the actual track is built specially for the event by the local club (DXR) inside a dirt-filled warehouse. It's an ideal venue for R/C racing, with plenty of parking, pitting, huge race track and a very good / consistent hard packed dirt surface.

Turning up at around mid day Friday, only a handful of drivers were lurking around. Ryan Maifield was tuning his new Associated RC8 buggy with Craig Drescher (not racing, unfortunately) watching on in bewilderment, seemingly trying to get his head around this nitro stuff.

The DXR club who run the event were out in full force of course, and were still doing last minute preparations for tomorrow. We'll try and get a couple of the DXR team interviewed this weekend to find out some more about the effort and time that goes into a huge event of this kind.

The sticker vandalism begins - pit lane ramp
Vicky shows how effective the extractor fans are indoors

Back to the track - It's a very similar layout to the neo event around 4 months ago. The jumps are different with an even bigger, more technical section running along side the straight just in front of the drivers rostrum. This consists of a large double, step-up table top, a table-top with a double on top, and a table top. Ok, not easy to describe but just look at the photos. There is one thing to be said though - marshalling along this section won't be fun! The jumps are so huge that it's very hard to see cars coming.

Spectators are now catered for on both sides of the track, with fenced off areas running the depth of the track on the left and right - though this reduces the places to take photos from (safely).

The schedule for the Proline Challenge is laid out over three days - Saturday to Monday (Monday being a public holiday in the UK). The first day is of course practice, the second day being qualifying and on the last day finals are run.


PROLINE Challenge Day 1 - Practice Day [Saturday 7th April 2007]

Today is the official start of the Proline indoor dirt challenge, and racers were greeted with warm sunshine, making the hall fairly bright. Inside the hall is colder than outdoors because of the huge fans, the smoke isn't as bad as the neo race a few months ago though.

Coming under the loop for another lap
The truggys were getting some silly air

By 8am the pitting hall was teeming with racers working on the cars - though practice didn't start until around 10:15am, giving people plenty of time to get booked in and collect their hand-out tyres. The spec tyres for this event are naturally PROLINE. The 'crimefighter' in both buggy and truggy versions to be exact. The hand out tyres are all M2 compound, but most of the faster guys here are running the softer M3 compound for extra traction.

With practice finally underway and the first buggies finally able to try the many jumps - it was clear this wasn't going to be easy. The long series of jumps in front of the rostrum were a particularly challenging section, claming many casualties in every heat. This series of jumps can be considered 4 jumps in total.

The rhythm from one jump to the next is so hard to get right and the lower heats with lesser experienced drivers were chaos early on, until people learnt that slow and steady was the fastest way. Indeed, one mistake along this section could leave you stranded for some time due to the dangers the marshalls faced - with cars flying over the huge jumps with only the bare minimum of control.

Round one saw American, Richard Saxton driving the RC8 take the top spot, with fellow American Ryan Maifield 5 seconds further back. Lee Martin had a good one, placing 5th.

1 Richard Saxton 8/ 5m 9.09
2 Ryan Maifield 8/ 5m 14.97
3 Linus Thern 8/ 5m 15.86
4 Greg Degani 8/ 5m 16.68
5 Lee Martin 8/ 5m 20.84
6 Si Butch Willitts 8/ 5m 21.01
7 Joern Neumann 8/ 5m 23.66
8 Dave Crompton 8/ 5m 24.77
9 Karl Jackson 8/ 5m 26.55
10 Miguel Matthias 8/ 5m 26.88

Round Two saw Joern Neumann driving the Thunder Tiger take the top spot by the narrowest of margins from Scott Hughs driving the Mugen - less than half a second behind. These two were the only ones on 9 laps in the round and so far at the meeting.

1 Joern Neumann 9/ 5m 37.11
2 Scott Hughes 9/ 5m 37.38
3 Linus Thern 8/ 5m 5.17
4 Richard Saxton 8/ 5m 5.23
5 Miguel Matthias 8/ 5m 8.43
6 Greg Degani 8/ 5m 9.51
7 Ryan Maifield 8/ 5m 12.16
8 Neil Cragg 8/ 5m 13.68
9 Jerome Aigion 8/ 5m 17.17
10 Paul Bradby 8/ 5m 18.83

Mick Cragg Interview:

What car is Neil racing with today?

How long has he had this car, and how many times has he raced it?
Had the car about 3 weeks, raced in the USA on the Silverstate track in Las Vegas, raced at the 8th scale national at Sandy last weekend, and then here today.

Do you find the 8th scale buggies harder work to set up?
No not really, I prefer the electric but really don’t mind doing either.

Which races are your favourite to attend?
I like all the big races, ie. The cactus classic and the 8th scale nationals, which Neil is entered for all of this year.

Have you ever raced radio controlled cars yourself?
Yes, when Neil was 7, raced for a couple of years.

Do you think you could beat Neil in a race?
Only if I took his transmitter off him.

Which countries have you travelled to for racing and which are your favourite?
Have raced in America, South Africa, Finland, Sweden, Austria, France, Italy. Favourite events are in America, their tracks are better. The races in America pose a disadvantage to Neil though as he doesn’t get to practice on similar tracks in this country, it takes a few days to get used to the tracks over there.
The gas tracks in the USA are much different to this one, the surface tends to be much looser, like sand, rather than smooth and compacted.

Do you find that being so famous takes away a lot of the fun from this hobby?
Yes, definitely. Sometimes Neil just wants to go and have fun and have a laugh with other drivers such as Tricky and Bradders, but even at club races he feels he has to perform and still do well.

Do you get angry at Neil if he doesn’t win?
No, the only time I get annoyed is if he breaks something because he was messing around, but not if it gets broken during a race.

Do you ever get bored spannering? Would you rather be racing?
No I prefer being a mechanic, I really enjoy doing this.

Do you have any further comments to add?
Yes, it’s a very good track and a well run event.


Dave Cromptons Team Magic buggy is sporting a bunch of prototype / custom parts. Dave Baileys Team Magic is a similar story with both these drivers trying different shock towers on the cars to move the shocks into more 'traditional' positions. Cromptons car is sporting some white machined rear suspension arms also.

Dave Crompton flys the Team Magic car - far side of the track
Not so easy to spot on a small photo - Cromptons mods.

In round three, Richard Saxtons RC8 took another round-win, this time with the only 9 lapper. Neil Cragg driving his pre-production Associated RC8 was winding his way up the order but just missing out on 9 laps.

1 Richard Saxton 9/ 5m 33.90
2 Neil Cragg 8/ 5m 1.23
3 Miguel Matthias 8/ 5m 7.18
4 Ryan Maifield 8/ 5m 8.76
5 Jerome Aigion 8/ 5m 13.13
6 Greg Degani 8/ 5m 14.28
7 Karl Jackson 8/ 5m 21.30
8 Linus Thern 8/ 5m 21.95
9 Graham Alsop 8/ 5m 22.14
10 Si Butch Willitts 8/ 5m 23.49

Richard Cree Interview:
Age: 27 Car: Hobao Hyper 8
Fuel: O’Donnel Engine: RB Servo: KO
Sponsors: CML, Associated, Hobao, RB, O’Donnel, Proline
Other Classes raced: 10th Electric. Favourite racing class: 1/10th scale so far.

Is this your first time attending a Proline race?

Has your car been easy to set up?
Yes, it’s Neil Craggs car so is already set up, the last time it was run was here at Harper Adams for the Neo Invitational race.

How would you describe the track here?
There are big, massive, enormous jumps. It is a bit too difficult, even the top drivers like Neil Cragg and Ryan Maifield are struggling. I like the jumps running alongside the front straight, where there are three together, those are good if you can actually get over them.

In your opinion who is the best driver here, who is going to kick ass, and who don’t you want to win?
Neil Cragg, Ryan Maifield and Scott Hughes are looking likely to win, I’d like Neil Cragg, or one of the 10th electric offroad boys to win, so none of the ‘usual’ nitro guys.

What has been your best ever race result? And what are your aims for this coming racing season?
Best ever result was 2nd place in both 2wd and 4wd at the 2005 10th offroad European Championships in France. I’d like to be a regular A-Finalist in both 2wd and 4wd, and hope to make an A final in 8th scale also, although that probably won’t be this weekend.

What is your real-life job? Do you enjoy your work, and do you get lots of holidays?
I’m a design engineer for redbull racing,  I enjoy the work although don’t get a lot of holidays. I’m supposed to be working this weekend but said I had something very important to do.

What is the most exciting country you’ve ever visited?
Greece, that was quite fun.

What do you think would increase your chances of winning this event? (Or are you confident that you’ll win?
Not confident that I’ll win this event, I think my best chances would be an outbreak of some infectious disease (Nothing too serious, perhaps a mild version of man flu) to bring down the competition.

Do you race Nitro often?
This is my first time, although I will be competing in the 8th scale national series this year.

Do you prefer this class of racing to the 10th scale electric offroad? And which do you race better with?
Don’t know yet, I think I’ll always prefer the 10th electric offroad, because I am better with them at the moment, and they are more precise.

What is your favourite Zoo animal?

Wheels – Yellow or white?
I kinda like both really, it depends on my mood.
Yellow are better for sunny weather, and white are better for UK weather.

How old were you when you first started radio controlled car racing?

What would you nominate as tool of the week?

What would your ideal result be for this weekend?
I’d like to get into the semi finals, because that is where Chris Doughty got to at the Neo Invitational, and ideally I would like to do better than him.

Have you any other comments about this event?
It’s a really good event, should have more one off events like this, but in 10th scale as well and run by the BRCA.

With all four practice rounds done, the top ten in buggy are as follows:

1 Ryan Maifield 9/ 5m 28.90
2 Richard Saxton 9/ 5m 33.90
3 Joern Neumann 9/ 5m 37.11
4 Scott Hughes 9/ 5m 37.38
5 Neil Cragg 8/ 5m 1.23
6 Karl Jackson 8/ 5m 3.71
7 Linus Thern 8/ 5m 4.87
8 Miguel Matthias 8/ 5m 7.18
9 Greg Degani 8/ 5m 9.51
10 Steve Haynes 8/ 5m 10.45

The truggy class isn't far off the pace of the buggies, and whilst these big trucks don't tend to grip the track as well, they do float over the bumps and jumps like nothing else. Apart from being upside down, nothing stops these things.

1 Scott Hughes 9/ 5m 34.27
2 Joern Neumann 8/ 5m 3.01
3 John Holmes 8/ 5m 14.93
4 Graham Alsop 8/ 5m 18.33
5 Jamie Booth 8/ 5m 23.00
6 Elliott Boots 8/ 5m 23.04
7 Linus Thern 8/ 5m 29.60
8 Mike Craddock 8/ 5m 34.90
9 Lee Taylor 8/ 5m 36.75
10 Mathew Perry 8/ 5m 39.77

The real stuff begins tomorrow morning at 8:30am with the start of a full day of qualifying. As practice day progressed it was easy to see the drivers show more and more caution around the challenging track - exactly what will be needed tomorrow.


PROLINE Challenge Day 2 - Qualifying Day [Sunday 8th April 2007]

Today there will be five rounds of qualifying with the best three to count. The track was swept and watered the night before to cut down on dust but still everything is covered in a fine film this morning - and straying off the racing line puts you off the blue groove which has started to show, again losing time.

In the first round Joern Neumann took the top position in both classes driving his Mugen Truggy and an interesting Thunder Tiger buggy - modified by his pit man, Gerd Streng. Joerns Thunder Tiger features Losi Eight shock absorbers and a custom chassis and other hand machined parts. Whatever Gerd has done seems to work since Joern is looking capable of a win here.
Proving that the Truggies are not a second-rate class, both Joern himself together with Scott Huges beat Joerns time in buggy with their Truggies.

1 Joern Neumann 200
2 Ryan Maifield 198
3 Richard Saxton 197
4 Linus Thern 196
5 Greg Degani 195
6 Neil Cragg 194
7 Graham Alsop 193
8 Jerome Aigion 192
9 Miguel Matthias 191
10 Paul Bradby 190


Joern Neumann's Thunder Tiger hybrid.
Youngster, Joern Neumann with pitman Gerd

1 Ryan Maifield 200
2 Scott Hughes 198
3 Neil Cragg 197
4 Miguel Matthias 196
5 Joern Neumann 195
6 Jon Hazlewood 194
7 Linus Thern 193
8 Dave Crompton 192
9 Greg Degani 191
10 Jerome Aigion 190

Round three marks the half way point in qualifying, and the fastest drivers are swapping places all the time, with no obvious winner. It's a contrast to the Neoinvitational event held at this same venue in December '06 - when Adam Drake pretty much dominated and always looked the fastest.
Scott Hughes from Proline took the honors this time ahead of Miguel Matthias and Neil Cragg, with another 3rd.

1 Scott Hughes 200
2 Miguel Matthias 198
3 Neil Cragg 197
4 Richard Saxton 196
5 Ryan Maifield 195
6 Joern Neumann 194
7 Jon Hazlewood 193
8 Graham Alsop 192
9 Ed "chav" Kerry 191
10 Jerome Aigion 190



Ryan Maifield Interview:
Age: 20 Car: Associated RC8
Fuel: O’Donnel Engine: 0.5 Speed Servo:Futaba

Sponsors: Associated, Reedy, LRP, Futaba, O.S Engines, O'Donnell, J-Concepts, Up-Grade

How Long have you raced in this class? 2 years.

Well done on your recent double win at the 21st annual Cactus Classic, the track looked very exciting - is that the type of track you race on regularly?
Yes, SRS raceway is my home track so I race on there all the time.

Could you 'do the quad'? How would you describe the cactus track?
Yes, every lap. The track was very fast and made for good racing, but challenging at the same time.

How does the track here at Harper Adams compare to the cactus track at SRS raceway?
It is the exact opposite, the cactus track had lots of traction and huge jumps, there is less grip on this track.

Have you raced on any other tracks here in the UK ?
No, this is my first time here.

Do you think you have a good chance of winning this Proline Challenge, and who do you consider to be the toughest competition?
Yeah I think I have a good chance of winning, Scott Hughes, Richard Saxon, Joern Neumann, and Neil Cragg are the tough competition.

How many trophies do you own? And what is your best ever racing achievement?
About 800 trophies. My best results are TQ at the 4wd 1/10th electric offroad IFMAR World Championships, and winning the American Nationals 8th scale buggies.

What is your ambition for this year ?
To finish in the top three in every race, and hopefully to win the world championships.

Do you like country music? And what are your favourite music artists?
After a few beers maybe, I don't really have a favourite band (Apart from the spice girls).

How many classes do you race in?
6; I race 8th scale gas buggies and truggies, gas 10th scale trucks, 10th scale electric 2wd and 4wd buggies, and electric 10th scale trucks.

And which scale do you race better with?
I don't know, I go fast in both I guess. 10th electric 2wd buggy is most exciting to drive.

Who does your pit bitching ?
Richard Saxon, and at home Jake Thayer. Drescher is marshalling for me this weekend.

Is the dirt here in the west midlands better than the dirt in Arizona?
This dirt is better, there are no (or fewer) rocks, and it holds its shape better.

Have you been to England before? How long are you here for, and would you ever want to come back?
I've never been before, I'm staying until Tuesday and would definitely like to come here again.

Does the McDonalds here taste different?
Yes, it tastes a lot different. The McDonalds at home is much better.

What is your full time occupation ?
I'm a full time racer for Associated, have done this for three years, although been racing for 12 years.

What is most important - speed or consistency?
Consistency: speed is exciting but winning is better than speeding.

Do you prefer buggies or Truggies, and does size matter?

I like the buggies better, and size doesn't matter, it's how you work it.

Who is your RC idol?

Craig Drescher, I first heard about him when I was like 8. (Craig: 'Me? Oh you idiot')

Do you prefer coke or pepsi?

I prefer Pepsi (Diet), although I actually like monster best. It's an energy drink and tastes better than Red Bull.

Do you prefer breasts or thighs at KFC?

They have KFC over here?! I like the chicken strips better, prefer the 'bone out' chicken. I like the bone in on the odd occasion.

Round four saw Scott Take the win ahead of Ryan and Neil Cragg. Neil with his third straight 3rd in round - not the fastest at the moment, with no round wins, but Neil is looking very competitive with his new AE RC8. Round 5 of qualifying would see Neil Cragg get even closer to the top spot with a 2nd in round. Ryan Maifield was top of the pile however, also driving the new RC8 buggy.

Ryan Maifield
9/ 5m 33.98
Neil Cragg
9/ 5m 39.00
Paul Bradby
8/ 5m 1.02
Hyper 8
Richard Saxton
8/ 5m 1.13
Jerome Aigion
8/ 5m 2.74
Miguel Matthias
8/ 5m 4.82
Joern Neumann
8/ 5m 4.92
Lee Martin
8/ 5m 5.29
Hyper 8
Graham Alsop
8/ 5m 5.38
Hyper 8
Dave Crompton
8/ 5m 6.09
Team Magic

So overall with all five rounds of qualifying done and dusted - it's the desert dweller himself, Ryan Maifield, tied for points with Scott Hughes (Mugen). Both these guys have two wins and a second to count, but Ryan has another (discarded) second place finish which gives him the TQ. Neil Craggs consistent racing puts him third with Saxton fourth and Miguel fifth. Joern Neumann dropped down the order a little after his promising start in the opening round to lie 6th.

The top 15 in buggy going into finals day are as follows:

1 Ryan Maifield 598 [(198:2) 200:1 (195:5) 198:2 200:1]
2 Scott Hughes 598 [(86:114) 198:2 200:1 200:1 (188:12)]
3 Neil Cragg 592 [(194:6) 197:3 (197:3) 197:3 198:2]
4 Richard Saxton 589 [197:3 (112:88) 196:4 196:4 (196:4)]
5 Miguel Matthias 589 [(191:9) 196:4 198:2 195:5 (194:6)]
6 Joern Neumann 589 [200:1 195:5 194:6 (188:12) (193:7)]
7 Jerome Aigion 581 [192:8 (190:10) (190:10) 194:6 195:5]
8 Linus Thern 580 [196:4 193:7 (186:14) 191:9 (189:11)]
9 Jon Hazlewood 580 [(186:14) 194:6 193:7 193:7 (187:13)]
10 Paul Bradby 576 [190:10 (170:30) (185:15) 189:11 197:3]
11 Graham Alsop 576 [193:7 (169:31) 192:8 (93:107) 191:9]
12 Greg Degani 575 [195:5 191:9 189:11 (158:42) (180:20)]
13 Lee Martin 571 [(180:20) 187:13 (166:34) 192:8 192:8]
14 Dave Crompton 570 [(187:13) 192:8 188:12 (187:13) 190:10]
15 Elliott Boots 564 [188:12 (182:18) (181:19) 190:10 186:14]

The truggies

Scott Hughes
9/ 5m 28.06
OS Speed
Joern Neumann
9/ 5m 28.53
Graham Alsop
8/ 5m 2.28
Hobao ST
Linus Thern
8/ 5m 3.23
Lee Taylor
8/ 5m 9.86
Jamie Booth
8/ 5m 12.04
Hong Nor
Ed Kerry
8/ 5m 14.05
Losi 8 T
Elliott Boots
8/ 5m 15.56
John Holmes
8/ 5m 17.16
Hobao ST
Mathew Perry
8/ 5m 17.70
Losi 8 T
Mikael Gunnerheim
8/ 5m 23.09
Mike Craddock
8/ 5m 23.48
Brennan Ralls
8/ 5m 24.67
Jon Howells
8/ 5m 24.79
Hobao ST
Marc Knight
8/ 5m 32.23
Hong Nor

Finals are tomorrow, and are run in the chrismas tree format for buggies. The Truggy class will run with 'normal' A-B-C finals. After a disappointing start, I got my HongNor truck to handle nicely and put in a couple of decent runs to qualify 3rd in the D final (the bottom final - shhh!). It's only my second time racing the Truck and third time in all racing Nitro - tough as nails but so much to shake loose!

PROLINE Challenge Day 3 - Finals Day [Monday 9th April 2007]

Finals are WHEN?...... The first final is the Truggy 'D' starting at 8am sharp - my final as it happens, and there I was thinking it started at 8:30am, oops.. 4 cars bump up in Truggy today and 6 in buggy.

The Truggy finals are spead out between some of the earlier buggy finals. The A main for truggies was over by around 12:30 and after thirty minutes of racing the top three were all on 46 laps. Linus Thern from Sweden took the win with his Kyosho truck. Graham Alsop narrowly missed out, only three seconds further back.

1 Linus Thern 46/30m 0.08
2 Graham Alsop + 3.00
3 Lee Taylor + 38.61
4 John Holmes -1/ 30m 13.02
5 Ed Kerry -2/ 30m 6.87
6 Jamie Booth -3/ 30m 21.23
7 Mike Craddock -4/ 30m 22.70
8 Joern Neumann -5/ 30m 19.12
9 Mathew Perry -9/ 30m 4.20
10 Scott Hughes -12/ 21m 27.66
11 Brennan Ralls -24/ 15m 12.39
12 Elliott Boots -28/ 20m 9.89



Ryan Maifield got to sit it out until the A main since he was already TQ man. The rest of the A finalists would come from the two Semi finals. The A and B Semis both contribute the top six finishers - the final driver is the fastest 7th place finisher


B Semi A Semi
1 1 Neil Cragg 33/20m 25.56
2 2 Miguel Matthias + 1.67
3 5 Graham Alsop + 22.30
4 4 Jon Hazlewood + 26.01
5 3 Jerome Aigion -1/ 20m 25.82
6 8 John Holmes -1/ 20m 30.31
7 7 Elliott Boots -2/ 20m 32.95
8 14 Steve Haynes -3/ 20m 8.02
9 6 Lee Martin -4/ 19m 28.61
10 9 Mike Craddock -4/ 20m 9.94
11 13 James Helliwell -4/ 20m 16.19
12 11 Adrian Svenson -4/ 20m 21.32
13 12 Ronny Arnesen -4/ 20m 41.24
14 10 Steven Johnson -25/ 5m 15.28
1 1 Scott Hughes 33/20m 20.69
2 3 Joern Neumann + 19.74
3 2 Richard Saxton -1/ 20m 24.36
4 4 Linus Thern -1/ 20m 27.59
5 6 Greg Degani -1/ 20m 35.35
6 5 Paul Bradby -2/ 20m 1.47
7 7 Dave Crompton -2/ 20m 12.39
8 9 Karl Jackson -2/ 20m 28.15
9 10 Jamie Booth -3/ 20m 2.26
10 8 Darren Cole -3/ 20m 30.72
11 12 Brennan Ralls -3/ 20m 31.52
12 13 Si Butch Willitts -4/ 19m 46.14
13 11 Dave Bailey -4/ 20m 13.11
14 14 Zurpluh Yeal -17/ 11m 27.09


Scott Hughes Interview:

Hi Scott, where abouts are you from and what tracks do you usually race on?
I live in Southern California (Beaumont). I don't have any usual tracks as I only race at big events such as this one.

Are you enjoying the Proline dirt challenge here in sunny England?
Yeah definitely, there are really good people here, good track and it's a good event.

What is your favourite ever track to race on ?
The Silverstate race track in Boulder City, Las Vegas.

Who do you hope will win this event?
Hopefully a Proline guy.

How many sets of tyres have you used this weekend?
If I make the A-Main it will be four sets of buggy tyres, and I used one set on the truggy.

What car are you driving this weekend ?
My buggy is a Mugen MBX5R, with Craddock brakes, and two gaskets on the differentials. The truck is a Mugen MBX5T.

Are you happy with your performance so far?
I'm happy with my racing with the Buggy so far, but not with the Truggy, I was winning my final but broke. The buggy is good though, qualified 2nd place.

Who would you like to beat ?
I'd like to beat Ryan Maifield, he is the toughest competition. Ideally I would like to win - 1st place or no place! When you get so close you want to win.

Who are your top sponsors ?
Proline, Mugen, 0.5, KO Propo, Mechanix Wear, Oakley, Pro Motion, CML, SRAM.

How much of your time is taken up with racing ?
About one full week of racing in every six weeks, but not at all in between.

What racing events are you most looking forward to this year?
American Nationals, European Championships - I won't be racing there but I will go to support the proline team.

Where is your favourite holiday destination ?
Rome, Italy, I went there last summer with my wife.

How old were you when you started racing, and what influenced you?
I was 13. And it was the original RC10 gold tub chassis that made me want to race.

Do you race any other classes ?
No, just the 8th scale.

What is the best thing about England ?
The history: there are lots of old buildings, in the USA nothing is older than 100 years old.

What are your favourite flavour crisps?
I like mexian style tortilla chips with salsa sauce.

What is your role with proline?
I wear many different hats, I am a Marketing manager and deal with product development, race team management, advertising and promotions, public relations.

Do you have any additional comments?

Thanks to the DXR crew, Dave Duggan, and all he Mugen and Proline guys who've helped me out this weekend.


Jay Mills Interview:

How long have you raced radio controlled cars for?
About 10 years.

Which scale are you better at racing?
10th electric offroad, although I mostly race at 8th scale events now because I argue too much with my brother when I race at the 10th scale events which are the ones he attends.

What result are you aiming for this weekend?
I'd like to be in the top 60, although I doubt it. I've bumped up two finals so far into the 1/32.

Who would you like to beat? And who do you consider to be competition for you?
I'd like to beat Neil Cragg (laughs), my biggest rival is probably Ben Williams, if I can keep up with Ben I know I'm probably on a good pace.

How does this track compare to others that you have raced on? What are the best and worst features?
I find this to be a demanding track but still the fun element is there. It's more of an American track than British. The best feature is the air time off th jumps, the worst feature is the jumps if you can't do them well.

Which do you think is the most dangerous marshalling point? And do you ever fear for your life when marshalling?
Point 6 I think, right in the middle of the track next to the bomb hole. And yes when Ben Williams is racing - he gets it a bit wrong in the air sometimes.

How did you hear about this Proline race?
I've attended the races here previously which is generally when I hear about the next event, so I heard about it at the Neo Invitational and put my name down.

Who is your greatest support at racing?
My old man, he winds me up sometimes but he drives me and pushes me, he gets the best results out of me every time.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I've never really thought about it, I like to take each day as it comes and not make too many plans, just enjoy every day, you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. You could win 1million or lose 1million.

If you could be re-born as any animal what would you be?
A dragon. 1) because they're welsh, and 2) because they are big and strong, they are noble creatures and look so fearless.

Guest Question from Lee Martin: How long is a piece of string?
As long as you want it to be.

What is your dream car?
A Lotus Elise. I'd love one but I can't afford one at the moment. (You never know what tomorrow might bring though).

Which race events/series are you attending this year?
I'm racing at all the 8th scale nationals, that's all I'm concentrating on this year. Hope to get some practice at the local track if it is open - Talywauy, although there have been some problems with planning permission, hopefully it will be up and running again soon.

What is your all time favourite track?
Craig Harris' indoor track.

Who paints your shells for you?
Steve Curtis Rich (DCM), if I want a shell painting I have to order it a month and a half in advance due to the detail. I think I have the best painted shell here.

Do you prefer Burger King or McDonalds?
Burger King.

Are you a football fan and do you suport any teams?
No I'm not a football fan, but I do support Leeds united and Cardiff City.

Who do you think will win this event? Neil Cragg. And who don't you want to win? Ollie James.


Lewis from DXR Interview:

How long has this event taken to organise?
Since we finished the neobuggy race in December, started making arrangements for this event straight away.

How many people have been involved in the planning?
Myself, Cameron Ellis, and Wes Myles. Cameron designs the track, Wes and myself build the track. Wes drives a digger so he formed the jumps, I used the drive-on roller to smooth them out. That is how DXRs first track build injury occured, I drove too fast over the triple jump, and fell off whilst the roller continued moving, but my leg stayed behind. (Lewis points to his very swollen knee).

We wanted the very best people for each job, so naturally chose Sue and Kev to run race control, Rob to do the timing, and Jimmy to take the photos.

How long did the track take to build and what equipment was used?
We worked from Tuesday to Friday building the track, from 8am to 8pm. We used a 5 ton digger, 80 roller whacker plate, and elbow grease!

Do you use this venue for regular club meetings?
No, we just run very large one-off events here. It isn't cheap any more, each event we do gets bigger so the costs increase as does the effort.

What is DXR? Where are you based, what do you do?
DXR stands for dirt cross racing, we're a club that organises big events here at Harper Adams, which is apparently the biggest indoor dirt hall in Europe. We have help from the best race organisation team, Rob Nelson, Kev and Sue Griffiths.

Are you racing here this weekend? How long have you raced for, and hw many different classes have you raced in?
Yes I'm racing, I have raced for around 8 years. I raced electric buggies many years ago with the Tamiya Fox. I race trucks, truggies and buggies.

What is your favourite fast food?
Burger king Junior Whopper (I can't manage a whole whopper), with cheese and bacon.

Are you pleased with the way the track has turned out?
Yeah, it's a little dry, we've watered it but it's still dry. It's a learning process so we know what we can improve on next time. We probably won't have quite so many jumps in the middle section, give the drivers more space to correct themselves.

Are you scared of marshalling ?

(Looks at knee) Well I don't have to marshall; it depends who's on the track, but not really - everyone knows that there are big jumps and big air, so to watch your head.

Big thanks to Lewis for taking time to answer our questions, and to the DXR team and race organisation crew who made the proline dirt challenge such a great event.. The track was built to perfection and the event ran very smoothly, avoiding any delays.


Matt Benfield / Racer Magazine - Interview:

You appear at a number of different events, which are your favourite to attend ?
I enjoy the 10th scale offroad nationals.

The track here at Harper Adams appears very challenging, how are you finding it to drive on?
It is challenging, very technically demanding.

You work for Racer magazine as your full time occupation, what are your general roles and responsibilities?
Everything from tea making, taking photos, writing, we have a designer who does all the layout.

What are the bonuses of your job, and does it have any downsides ?
I get to do my hobby as a full time job although that is also a negative. I have to take my work everywhere, can't ever get away from it.

Are you under a lot of pressure at work to meet deadlines?
Yes, they come around every month, you can't get away from them and bank holidays don't help matters. We're working a month and a half ahead of ourselves, so the magazine goes to the printers on the 10th of each month in order to be on shop shelves by the first Thursday of the following month.

Does your boss tell you off if you don't race well ?
No, not really. He thinks I should practice more, but the magazine has to come first and racing second. He likes the fact that he has an editor of a racing magazine who races. Alan (ADH publishing) used to race also, he raced touring cars, 10th scale electric offroad and 8th scale nitro. He finished 2nd at the 8th scale British Regional Championships a few years ago, and also was among the top 20 10th scale electric offroad drivers in the world

How many different countries have you travelled to for racing, and which have been your favourite events to cover?
Probably been to more than 10 countries over the years, the events in the USA are the best to attend due to the entertainment and social side, it's more family orientated rather than just sitting around in a hotel.

You have a wife at home, do you find that your job and hobby is very demanding of your time, and is this difficult to juggle with your homelife?
Yes, I travel 75 miles each way to work every day, I only work from home about 3 days each month. Every weekend is spent racing, last weekend was an 8th scale national, the weekend before was the national indoor finals, and next weekend is a 10th scale national.

Do you have time for any other hobbies outside of radio controlled cars?
I'd like to, but not really. A little bit of motorsport very occasionally.

Are all of your holidays based around race events or do you ever get 'time out'?
I do get time out, but generally only take one weeks leave at a time, so we don't get to travel very far, the last couple of years it's been italy. All race events are covered during works time, and it means I spent all the time writing about the event and getting information for the magazine.

What is your favourite part of the job you do?
Travelling and seeing new places, that's a big opportunity and I like to experience everything once. It's difficult to really see much of a country when racing, all we see is the airport, hotel, and track.

Who here would you like to beat this weekend ?
Richard Cree because he has a one-colour body shell.

Have you ever superglued your wheels/tyres to yourself or your clothes?
No, they usually end up stuck to the towel so I have to pick bits of fluff off.

Where is your favourite holiday spot??
Kind of Italy, but I have to say I like the west coast of the USA.

Finally, a guest question from Lee Martin: Do you own a bidet, and if so what do you do you use it for? (Lee used to own a Bidet but had it taken out because it was just sitting there doing nothing)
No I don't, although if I did I would use it for washing toy car parts in. I have used the dishwasher before and end up with grass all over the teacups.



TQ man Ryan Maifield
The eventual winner - Joern Neumann

The start of the A final buggy followed the usual routine where everyone piles up on the first couple of corners. Ryan Maifield got out in front but quickly fell back so Scott Hughes took up the lead coming over the loop to complete the first lap. Scott was well and clear of any carnage followed closely by Neil Cragg. These two pulled a small gap whilst pole man Ryan Mailfield dropped all the way back to around 13th place, leaving him a lot of work to catch up - but with 44 minutes left nothing was lost.

TQ man Ryan Maifield leading them away, not for long tho.
The eventual winner - Joern Neumann in some trouble.

Neil was pushing Scott hard on the opening laps, taking the lead for a short period, but a roll cost him some distance and scott started to pull a gap on everyone as Neil slowly fell down the order.

Another early casualty was Jon Hazlewood who had a problem with one of his front shocks, but carried on with the front end scraping the ground for several laps until his car could be repaired. Neil Cragg was next, pushing hard he exited the pit lane too quickly and in a flashback to the neoinvitational in december - Neil was again forced to retire after breaking his steering in the pitlane. A simple servo horn was the cause. John Holmes had to retire with a faulty clutch. Dave Cromptons steering linkage failed and he had to retire also.

Jon Hazlewoods Xray on three shocks
Cragg chased scott hard early on, but it wasn't to be

Joern Neumann was pushing hard and making up places slowly but surely. By half race distance Scott had only 10 seconds on Joern, with Miguel Matthias in third. Coming up toward 5 minutes from the end of the race, the gap was only three seconds, but Scotts wing was hanging off by this point. Joern and Scott traded places severl time over the closing minutes but 1 lap from the end Scott came onto the straight and something was wrong - several other cars flew past as Scotts car got slower and slower, a broken front wishbone the cause. Scott stopped just before the loop, running out of fuel to power his crippled car across the line, scott finished 4th, anoher second of fuel would have given him 1 or 2 more places.
Joern was the eventual winner for Team Durango / Thunder Tiger - Miguel Matthias was second for Kyosho, with Greg Degani third with his HoBao.

Scott Huges just as his car rolls to a stop - unlucky
Joern was a convincing winner

Joern Neumann and team Durango took a well deserved victory.

1 5 Joern Neumann 74/45m 16.57
2 4 Miguel Matthias + 30.28
3 12 Greg Degani -1/ 45m 36.86
4 2 Scott Hughes -2/ 44m 27.63
5 6 Graham Alsop -2/ 45m 39.72
6 10 Linus Thern -3/ 45m 19.95
7 9 Jerome Aigion -4/ 45m 20.52
8 1 Ryan Maifield -5/ 43m 39.29
9 8 Richard Saxton -5/ 45m 4.72
10 13 Paul Bradby -5/ 45m 8.47
11 7 Jon Hazlewood -7/ 45m 2.02
12 14 Dave Crompton -32/ 27m 33.55
13 3 Neil Cragg -45/ 18m 4.12
14 11 John Holmes -50/ 20m 12.86


Even more interviews!...

Joern Neumann *the WINNER* - Interview:

Are you having fun here this weekend?
Yes, really enjoying it, it's very nice to race here.

What is the most exciting part of the track here?
The straight.

Do you prefer buggies or truggies, and which is your overall favourite scale to race?
I prefer the buggy. Overall favourite is 10th scale electric 4wd buggy.

Do you get bored of being a translator?
Hmm, maybe sometimes. I have learnt english for 5 years at school.

Is the track here as good as the tracks you race on back home in Germany?
This one is much better, there are more jumps and it is better.

How old were you when you first started racing?

What is your best ever race result?
1st place in 4wd at the European championships in 2004.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I hope to win the world championships.

What are you most looking forward to this year?
Belgium GP, Euros in Finland, worlds in Japan.

What is your favourite track surface to race on?
High grip - blue groove!

What is your favourite sport?
I like to play basketball, and enjoy watching football, basketball, all sports, and formula1 on TV.

You'll be racing at the World Championships in Japan this year, can you speak any Japanese?
No, I hope to learn some though.

What result are you hoping for this weekend?
I'd like to be on the podium, so top 3.



Rachel Merry (super girl-racer) - Interview:
Age: 19 Car: Hyper8
Fuel:Byron Engine: RB C6 Servo:Sanwa

Sponsors: CML

How Long have you raced in this class? 3-4years.

How long have you been racing nitro for?
For about 3 or 4 years.

What appealed to you about racing and how did you first get into it?
Everyone seems really friendly, and there is a fun atmosphere. My dad raced before I did so I started racing, then he gave up when I was better than him and started pitting for me.

Have you ever raced any other scale?
I did 8th scale stock cars for a while before I started racing offroad.

What is your best ever racing result?
I got into the A final at Novorossi GP at southend, and I didn't finish last either.

What is your favourite brand of make up?

Do you race against any other girls?
Not that I know of, apart from Sloppy (Graham Alslop)

Have you ever broken a nail whilst racing? And what is your worst racing related injury?
Yes I have, on two occasions, once whilst marshalling and once whilst pitting for Sloppy, so it's all his fault. I had a bruised leg once after a car hit me flying off a jump, and that was after the race had ended. Also but my finger open whilst marshalling.

What is your favourite colour?
I haven't really thought about it, my body shell is blue and pink, so probably those colours.

Do you set up your own car, and can you fix anything that you break?
My Dad sets the car up for me, and I can fix it I just choose not to. Also if I did do it myself Dad would probably check it anyway, so might as well save him the bother and let him fix it for me.

What tips do you have for successful racing?
Just enjoy it, if you're enjoying yourself you drive better.

What are the benefits of being a female racer in a very male dominated hobby?
I get noticed easily being the only girl, which is a good thing if I am having a bad day.

Do you ever feel intimidated by the aggression of the men on the circuit, for example shouting on the rostrum?
Sometimes, although I am learning to give as good as I get.

Who do you think will win this event?
Probably an American, or Sloppy. I hope it is Sloppy, because I am his pit crew.

What is your favourite magazine?
I enjoy reading racing magazines.

Are you pleased with your performance this weekend?
Yes, I was pleased with my racing although unfortunate things happened in my finals.


Richard Saxton - Interview:
Age: 34 Car: Associated RC8
Fuel: TQ Engine: 0.5 Speed Servo:Ace

Sponsors: Associated, Reedy, Up -Grade, Thunder Tiger, TQ Fuel, Nomadio, Bodz, Smith, Factory Team.

How Long have you raced in this class? 9 years.

How old were you when you started racing?

What is your best ever race result?
I've won multiple American Nationals, by best ever result was TQ at IFMAR 8th scale off-road World Championships.

Have you visited England before?
This is my first time here. It's a beautiful country, hopefully Associated are going to make this an annual event, so I would like to come back.

Are you happy with your performance this weekend?
Yes, we have a new car and I think I have done really well, fourth overall in qualifying.

What do you think about the track here?
It's nice, really nice. The middle section is particularly difficult. The managing of the race is really great, the people are nice. Organisation is better here, this is the correct way to do it. American events are run like back in the 80's. I think there should be one set of rules set by IFMAR that everyone abides by.

How many tyres have you used?
Two full sets prior to the finals.

What can you tell me about the RC8?
This is the pre production model. It has a unique drive train, I'm running a truggy gear ratio which seems to create a lot more acceleration. At this track it makes a big difference, there are three RC8 in the top four qualifyers, 1st, 3rd and 4th place, those are the only 3 RC8's at this event. I have carbon fibre shock towers and unique suspension geometry. The high downforce wing is for maximum traction.

What is your role within Team Associated?
I work full time for Associated in the research and development department, I helped to develop the RC8 with Torrence (who is the main designer), Kurt, Ollie, Josh and Curtis. The test drivers are Ryan Maifield and Ryan Cavileri. It's been raced at three big events, the nitro challenge in Arizona in February, which saw 2 RC8's in the main, and TQ in one qualifying round. Also finished 3rd place at Silverstate last month. The car has taken about a year to design and build.


Enhanced report and PHOTOS to come soon - this is the 'quickie' version, so check back.

Photos Added :

Day 1 - practice

Day 2 - qualifying

Day 3 - finals

07 / 04 / 07 08 / 04 / 07 09 / 04 / 07

Please visit our friends at PETIT R/C

Many thanks to DXR who made it possible for me to come and race / photo at this event, along with their awesome work all weekend and leading up to this great event. These guys definitely know how to put on a good show and if you're ever thinking of attending one of the DXR / Harper Adams events such as the Neobuggy or Proline, I'd definitely say it's worth the trip. Thanks to Jamie Booth for helping with my Hong Nor, Thanks to Rob from BBK timing, Thanks to everyone else who helped also.


All photos are mine, all mine, and not to be used in commercial purposes without prior permission. Jimmy Storey. rc(at)oople(dot)com.