The second XRAY Off-road Challenge was held March 16-18 in Brno. The race was combined with the Toy Fair which was situated at the well known Brno exhibition. Almost 90 drivers from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, and Estonia participated in this event. Of course Team XRAY was well represented with its team drivers from Slovakia (Martin and Juraj Hudy), Czech Republic (Martin Bayer, Martin Pater, Michal Bok), Austria (nitro on-road specialist Manuel Huber), and Germany (SMI team drivers Oliver Simon, Tobias Deike, Andreas Rauch and Gerhard Besenhard).
The track was made in the huge new exhibition hall, which was air-conditioned and heated so there was not so much gas inside, and it was very warm. The track was made from carpet, plastic grass, tiles and many jumps. Some of the jumps were quite easy (especially single-stand jumps) but some of them were really difficult like double or triple jumps. Almost all drivers were jumping the triple jump in a single shot, and the cars were jumping very high. Race organizers made not only perfect track but also the pits and camping area, tooâ€¦ everything was superbly prepared.
The racing started Friday morning with open practice, and then in the afternoon there were five rounds of timed practice. Qualifying heats would be made from three fastest consecutive laps in timed practice. The fastest driver in timed practice was Kyosho masters winner Martin Pater followed by Czech top driver Lukas Zeman and top electric driver Michal Bok.
Qualifiers started Saturday morning with 5 rounds from which the 3 best rounds were counted. Because of the difficulty of the track, there was no top candidate for TQ and the first three rounds were won by different drivers. However, in the fourth round Martin Pater showed his great driving skills and won his second round. The fourth round was successful also for Martin Hudy who although he had some problems with drivers in the heatâ€¦ Martin finished fourth. Martin had difficulty with the double jump and triple jump.
He tried many possible ways of jumping them (unsuccessfully) but finally he learned how, and from that time onward was able to counter the top off-road drivers. Martin and Michal Bok were really fast in technical parts of the track, where their electric driving style helped them to be fastest. The last qualifying round decided which two drivers would move directly to the final and who would have to drive in the semi-final.
Four drivers had a chance to go directly to the final but at the end it was Martin Bayer who won last qualifier round and set TQ ahead of Martin Pater. Michal Bok was third and semi-final TQ.
1. Martin Bayer XRAY
2. Martin Pater XRAY
3. Michal Bok XRAY
4. Miroslav Jurenka
5. Lukas Zeman XRAY
6. Oliver Simon XRAY
7. Ales Bayer
8. Miloslav Moravec
9. Tobias Deike XRAY
10. Martin Hudy XRAY
After all qualifying rounds were finished there was a driverâ€™s party in the evening, and the organizers prepared plenty of different food and drinks. Plus, there was one more action made by Czech distributor Martin Korinek. The Top 16 drivers from qualifiers were nominated for a Truggy race. Because it is completely new project of XRAY, the distributor wanted to promote the new XT8 Truggy in a fun way.
So, the 16 drivers were divided into groups and each group had two drivers from which a winner moved to next final. The race was made from 2 laps with the drivers starting side-by-side. Drivers had a lot of fun with the new Truggy and the race was won by Lukas Zeman ahead of Michal Bok. After the Truggy race there were many beautiful prizes from race sponsors. The main prize was an XRAY nitro micro car, won by a German XRAY driver.
The finals started Sunday morning and the semi-finals rounds started at 1PM. Semi-final B was very interesting to watch right from the beginning when the top 4 drivers were changing positions in each corner. After three minutes, Martin Hudy took the lead ahead of Oliver Simon and top Czech driver Petr Klatovsky. Martin was up to a half-lap lead but Oliver was pushing very hard so he cut the gap and after some of Martinâ€™s small mistakes took the lead and won the semi-final ahead of Martin and Petr Klatovsky
1. Oliver Simon XRAY
2. Martin Hudy XRAY
3. Petr Klatovsky XRAY
4. Tomas Marek XRAY
Semi-final A had also some good battles but was a little less interesting in comparison to semi-final B, especially at the beginning when Michal Bok took a huge lead in front of the rest of the pack who were making mistakes. Juraj Hudy was also on a very good pace in this semi-final but his battery pack broke and he could not continue in the round. Michal Bok did not make many mistakes and won the semi-final ahead of Lukas Zeman. Close to the end, Andreas Rauch was in third place (which could move him to the final) but after a mistake he broke the body so he finished 6th, losing his chance at the final).
1. Michal Bok XRAY
2. Lukas Zeman XRAY
3. Jan Kapicka
4. Tobias Deike XRAY
The main final started at 3PM and was 30min long. It was hard to say who was on which pace at the beginning because there was a big mess when all drivers were changing their positions almost in each corner; however, there were not many contacts among driversâ€¦ mainly their own mistakes were deciding their positions. After 5 minutes it was Martin Bayer who was in the lead ahead of Martin Hudy (who started 6th).
Martin was pushing very hard and was closing the distance between both Martins. However, Martin crashed on the triple jump and lost the collar from his front shock. This caused a few more mistakes since the car was not able to jump well; eventually Martin broke the upper screw of the shock, so he had to go to the pits for repairs. From this time it was Oliver Simon driving in 2nd place ahead of Michal Bok.
Martin Pater decided to change tires for the final and this was the main reason why he lost his 2nd place because his car was sliding in each corner. After 20 minutes it was Martin Bayer still in the lead, with Oliver and Michal Bok fighting for 2nd place. However, Oliver made some small mistakes which caused him to lose this 2nd place when Michal moved on this spot.
Michal was in 2nd place until the last lap when his engine suddenly stopped in the middle of the track. This cost him 2nd place and Oliver took over 2nd place again and finished ahead of Martin Pater.
1. Martin Bayer XRAY
2. Oliver Simon XRAY
3. Martin Pater XRAY
4. Jan Kapicka
5. Michal Bok XRAY
6. Lukas Zeman XRAY
7. Tomas Marek XRAY
8. Tobias Deike XRAY
9. Martin Hudy XRAY
10. Petr Klatovsky XRAY
After the race was over some drivers were happier than others, but everyone agreed that this race was simply awesome! I would like to thank the race organizers (Dusan Bayer from ARC Slavkov) for perfect organization. The track, pits, timekeeping, and general organization was awesome. Plus, I would like to thank Mr. Seliga who was the timekeeper. He did a perfect job because there was no delay and each round started on time. Thank you againâ€¦ it was a perfect race at top world level. I hope to see all drivers (and more) next year!
Source : XRAY