RD3 of the Spanish National Championship was held at the Rueda Loca Aren in Leon, 20th to 21th of June. Leon is a small city located in the northwest of Spain. Luckily they have a small airport, so people like myself that have a 12h drive to Leon, could travel there in 3h from door to track. The hosting Club, RudeaLoca, had put an enormous effort into this event since the last time they hosted the national series was some 8 or 9 years ago.


The track; “Rueda Loca Arena,” is amazing, and has everything you can ask for, including fast and slow corners, about 4 double jumps (all of different kind and length), 3 single jumps, big height difference all track around and a BIG wall. All jumps are carpeted for better traction and control.

The surface is compacted soil, and the track is being watered every night. The grip varies a lot between days, according to local drivers, but for this event, the grip was medium (to high). At the end of the race, some fast corners saw “Blue Groove” coming out. It is a very difficult track so local drivers had a big advantage at this event.

In Spain we use something similar to EFRA rules, with five qualifiers and two to count (points). People normally arrive on Fridays (by lunchtime) for practice (track open from 2 pm to 8 pm). Depending on the club, both 2wd and 4wd are allowed for practice on Fridays. Opposite to UK BRCA Nationals, in Spain the 4wd drive event is held on Saturdays and 2wd on Sundays. Five qualifiers are held before lunch, and after a lunch break of aprox 1h the finals are held, three for A, B, C and only one for the rest. After the 4wd race on Saturdays (around 3 pm), the track is open for free 2wd practice.

In most events (1/10 offroad) in Spain, the program Cronex (cronex.net) is being used. It’s a “timing-program” designed especially for 1/10 electric buggy racing. The programmer, Alejandro Gonzalez (A great guy from north of Spain, that races the national series), has put a lot of effort into the program, which suits our type of racing perfectly. I have to say that races where Cronex is being used, get more interesting. After the race, all possible statistics are available on the internet. Perfect for people like me that like to check through stats for hours. Another good thing is that cronex is also used during practice, so all lap times are displayed real time on screen. During the race, positions are announced automatically every minute, this is just one of many good features of the program.

As for the race, the reining champion, and current leader of national series, Alberto García could not attend this event due to 1/8th commitments. Alberto was racing the new LRP 1/8th buggy in the national series and did great, qualifying 3rd, and finishing 5th, among RC superstars such as Dani Vega, Borja Hernandez, Robert Battle and Richi Gomez.

With Alberto García (total dominator of the Spanish national series for the last few years) absent, the event was open for new winners. Friday practice saw local drivers Migue Santos and Jonatan Reguera standing out together with Enrique Fuciños, with consistent driving along the difficult track. As for my self, I saw laptimes improving every time I was out on the track but I was still far behind the local drivers at the end of the practice. Most drivers, including my self, where testing both 2wd and 4wd on Friday.

Around 70 drivers signed up for the race, a little less that normally signs up for the national series. This is probably due to the location of Leon, far away up the northwest. Another factor could be the time of the year, people having other commitments such as exams, weddings or holidays.

Saturday 21th June 2008 - 4WD Day
We all woke up to a perfect race day, not a single cloud could be spotted. This years control tyre only includes one tyre, the JConcept Double Dees, so no worries for what tyre fits the track the best. I think this is a really good decision, both economically, sportily and practically. For people like me, that normally travel a long way (live down the South in Costa del Sol) to the national events, it’s really important to fit all equipment in one bag, including tyres, especially when flying. Before, this was of course, impossible, since you needed a huge bag only for tyres. Now, depending on what level you race on, you only need to bring 2-6 (x4) pairs for each event. I brought 5 (x4) pairs for each event, but ended up only using 3+3 since the track didn’t tear out the tyre at all in the morning qualifiers.

Even if 4wd has gotten bigger in Spain over the last years it is really 2wd that is main event in the national series. Normally racers take 2wd much more serious than 4wd. But things are changing and this event saw interesting cars lining up on the grid. The B44 are in immense majority, followed by BJ4 and XXX-4. But XX-4, Preds, Aeros and Tamiyas are also represented.

All first four runs saw different winners. Local driver Migue Santos driving the B44, won the first qualifier with the fastest time of the day, 10 Laps in 5.30.922. My self was improving throughout the day but I didn’t manage to pull out clean runs even if my fastest laps was close to the best. I was lucky in the third run since my 5.08.133 (not even my fastest) was the best of the round.

So it was all down to the last qualifier, with local driver Migue, veteran Enrique Fuciños (Kike), Josete and my self with one win. I had the worst run of the day and settled for 4th on the grid. Migue, new in this situation, showed he could handle the pressure and pulled out a great run again in front of Kike, and took pole on his home track.

The finals saw a complete domination of Migue who won first to legs with comfortable margins of 10s. This was his first win in the national series. Congratulations Migue! My finals was almost, with exception of second leg, a complete disaster. I had problems with overheating, so my car was stopping at the end of 1st and 3rd run. All though I managed to pull out a second place in the second run and the finals fastest lap time 31.908. I ended up 5th, loosing one position on the grid. Kike, second on the grid, was also really unlucky and didn’t manage to finish one final, finishing 10th in total. Josete finished 2nd and Roberto 3rd.

Sunday 22th June 2008 - 2WD Day
As I mentioned before the 2wd event is the main event of the national series, with higher number of participants and more “hype” around the race. Since I got back to racing last year I have ran 5 national events, finishig 11th in four of them, missing out the A-final by tenth of a second in some cases, so for me, this was a “must-get-into-the-A-final” race.

Again, a great day for racing, all thought maybe a little to hot around lunchtime. The grip was a little better than previous day with blue groove starting to come out in some fast corners.

With Alberto Garcia away, I personally held local driver Jona, together with Kike and Alberto Cano as the favourites to win, with Migue and Josete close behind. For my self, the only goal was the A-final.

First round saw no surprise, with Kike (X-6) and Jona (B4) battling for the round. Jona, on his home track, took the first round, with the fastest run of the day, 9 laps in 5.07.218. As for my self, things went much better than I thought they would, finishing fourth in the round, although some 13 seconds back on Jona.

Second round saw some close racing with Kike and Jona battling for the round, racing in the same heat, starting one in front of the other. Kike took the win with 9 laps in 5.07.598, Jona in second with 5.08.187. Me, starting in the previous heat, had a very good run and improved my time with 8 seconds finishing only 6 second behind Kike, in fourth. Alberto Cano (B4) once again took third place 1 second ahead of me (B4). With two 4th, my first A-final, since I got back to racing two years ago, was secured!

The track provides non-stop action, with many features to test the drivers skill

In third round I had my best run, finishing 9 laps in 5.13.888. I was quite lucky, and both Kike and Jona had bad runs finishing some second behind me, so I took the win of the round to my surprise.

Kike took both 4th and 5th round with his X-6. The A-main grid was as follows, Kike (X-6), Jona (B4), Me (B4), Cano (B4), Josete (B4) and Migue. Lots of B4 (7), 2 RB5 and one X-6. This is probably the first time since the debut of the XX that no Losi makes the final... some 15 years of racing!

The level in the National Series has gone up dramatically over the last few years. Proof of that is David Bustos (overall 2nd in 2007) and Miguel Koide (3rd in 2007) qualifying in the B, 11th and 12th respectively...

The finals saw some surprise with Josete, all the way from fifth on the grid, clearing the first to legs, to take his first national series win! Congratulations Josete, eres un crak!

Drivers line up for the final

woops! - the huge wall ride caught some drivers out!

Jona finished second on his home track and Kike fourth. Cano from Madrid finished 4th and Roberto 5th. I saw my self involved in accidents in the first lap in each leg, ruin any chances of wining. I didnt finish first leg due to a broken front arm. In the second leg I crashed into Jona in the firs lap, when he was leading, and we had some lead over third, I apologize for that Jona! Unfortunally Jona got stuck, and I waited for him to be marshaled and four cars got by. So leg two was ruined for both.

Third leg was a much cleaner run than previous two. Jona, Kike, Alberto and me pulled away a big gap on the rest. Finally, Jona took the win and overall second postion. Kike took second and overall 3rd. Cano took 3rd and overall 4th.. I came in 6 second back on Jona finishing my only “semi-clean” A-final run in fourth, but overall 6th.

Zacarias: I take the chance to thanks Rueda Loca for a great event in all sense. Incredible track, great food at lunch free for all drivers, free drinks, good marketing around the race, perfect timing, etc...everything just perfect!

Jimmy: Thanks to Zacarias for this awesome report - the photos are great and it's interesting to read about 10th Off Road racing in other countries!
[Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image] [Click to enlarge image]