1:8 World Champion Robert Batlle makes his 1:10 EOS debut this weekend
Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013 11:18am
By Mike Garrison
EOS Press Release:
This weekend (8-10 March) the third round of the ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’ travels to Leoben in Austria where some of 1:8 Nitro Offroad’s biggest names are set to try their hand at 1:10 Electric Offroad including newly crowned World Champion Robert Batlle and multiple European Champion Renaud Savoya. Arch rivals in 1:8, both drivers are newcomers to 1:10 and will be looking to impress in particular against 1:8 racing peers Darren Bloomfield and David Ronnefalk who are experienced electric offroad competitors.
Winning his World crown in Argentina in December with Mugen, Batlle has only started racing 1:10 offroad racing after signing a deal with Team Yokomo Spain at the start of this year. Competing in the opening round of the Spanish 2WD Nationals last month, the 25-year-old acquitted himself well finishing fourth overall but faces another new challenge this weekend as he gets his first experience of racing on an indoor carpet track. Admitting that the move into 1:10 will be a long-term learning process due to it being a completely new class to him, the 2-time European Champion will still be keen to try & finish ahead of Savoya with whom he has had many fierce battles in 1:8.
A 3-time 1:8 Nitro European Champion, the Euro Offroad Series will also be a new experience for Savoya but the French ace has the benefit of joining up with his Xray team-mate Martin Bayer. A leading driver on the international 1:8 scene, Bayer made a strong debut in the EOS managing to lead a number of laps in the 4WD A-Main at Round 2 in Germany with Xray’s new entry into 1:10 offroad, the XB4.
Having competed in the EOS Pilot race back in 2011, which took place in his home country of Sweden, Kyosho’s Ronnefalk returns to the EOS having gained a lot of 1:10 experience and success. Better known for his 1:8 Offroad achievements including finishing runner-up at the 2012 European Championship after a great battle with EOS regular Bloomfield and finishing fourth at the World Championships, in 1:10 the 16-year-old finished second to EOS race winner Lee Martin at the European 2WD Championships last year and is sure to be a podium contender in Leoben.
The current Nitro Offroad European Champion, Bloomfield will be the benchmark for the invasion of 1:8 drivers this weekend. Contesting his second season of EOS, the Team Losi Racing driver sits third in the standings in 2WD Buggy and enjoyed his first podium finish in the series last time out.
The first time for the EOS to visit Austria, two drivers who will be looking to put in a strong performance at their home event are former 1:10 European Champions Hupo Honigl and Peter Pinisch. Driving for defending champions Team Durango, Honigl claimed a podium finish in 4WD Buggy at the season opener in Poland and will be looking to add a 2WD podium this weekend. Like Ronnefalk, for Team Associated’s Pinisch this will be his first EOS outing since the Pilot Race and the veteran will be aiming for a strong run on the carpet surface.
Having won 4WD Buggy at his home event, Round 2 in Langenfeld, EOS Champion Joern Neumann goes to Austria chasing a 6th consecutive win. The German ace remains unbeaten in the first two seasons of the series in 4WD but having been defeated by Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura at Round 2 in 2WD he will be more determined than ever to do the double this weekend and extend his lead at the top of the points standings in both buggy classes.