While new products were the stars of the opening day of the Nurnberg Toy Fair there was also a number of top international racers to be found on the various manufacturers’ stands in Hall 7 and 7A yesterday. Some where here just to check out what is new for 2010 while other where here on business.
For former 2WD Off Road World Champion Billy Easton the show is an opportunity for him to proudly introduce the new S811 Cobra on the Serpent stand. The American has realised a dream with the Serpent 1:8 buggy as he finally sees one of designs go into production and it is proving one of the must see new products at the show. Originally set to attend next week’s World Championship Warm Up race a lack of spares and accessories for the buggy mean Billy will not go to Thailand. Instead he will run the car at the Dirt Nitro Challenge a week after he returns home.
One buggy driver we bumped into today who is attending the Warm Up race is super fast Czech driver Martin Bayer. Together with his brother Alec, the European Championship podium finisher will fly out for the race on Saturday where they will be joined by Yannick Aigoin. Unveiled on the Losi stand here at the show, Thailand will be the first opportunity for them to run a production version of the new EU spec 8ight. Martin said bad weather both at home and in France have meant they have not yet being able to run the car which he, Aigoin and Darren Bloomfield helped develop for faster and flatter European style tracks.
Fresh from his double win at the Snowbirds in Orlando last weekend, On and Off Road star Hupo Honigl is here working on the Heoco stand who among other brands are the Proline distributors for Germany and Austria. Winning the World GT and 1:12 10.5T class at the prestigious race, Hupo said his attention will now switch to off road and preparing for his new partnership with Durango. The Austrian’s first big race with the Gerd strenge designed car will be in Japan in early March which unfortunately means the 1:12 European Champion will not be in the UK to defend his title. Another Off Road driver working at the show over on the Mugen Seiki stand is former World & European Champion Daniel Reckward.
Electric World Touring Car Champion Marc Rheinard is here to spend some time on the stands of his two main sponsors Tamiya and Speedpassion, the latter making its debut at the show. The German was also due to have a meeting with nitro onroad car manufacturer Shepherd and could very well end up joining his Tamiya team-mate Jilles Groskamp in the German companies very strong World Championship team which is headed by reigning World Champion Daniele Ielasi. Other news from Rheinard is that he will race in a one of deal a Losi 8ight at the Neo indoor buggy race in April. Tamiya/Speedpassion team-mate Viktor Wilck is also at the show on business for Swedish distributor Phoenix Racing.
Xray team driver Alexander Hagberg is making his first ever visit to the show. The Swedish driver who finished runner-up at the European 200mm Championship in Italy last year at his first attempt told us he will be putting a big effort into nitro racing in this World Championship year. Hagberg, better known as an electric touring car racer, said he wont attend the Warm Up race but will instead get practice at an Xray event to be held at the Texas track in May. Other touring car drivers we bumped into today include Martin Hudy, who is busy working on the Xray/Hudy stand, top Pro Stock racer Alexander Stocker, Czech Euro Touring Series winner Daniel Wohlgemuth and European 200mm Junior Champion Biagio Spataro.
1:8 Onroad World Championship Top Qualifier Robert Pietsch is based on the Mugen stand. The German has been busy designing his first car since joining the Japanese company, with CAD images of the new MRX5 being displayed on the stand, due to the first prototype not being finished in time for the fair. Pietsch hopes to debut the car at the Italian Grand Prix with this year’s focus on the 1:8 European Championship, although he will also attend the 1:10 Worlds in the US. Once the new MRX5 is in full product Pietsch’s next project will be to design a replacement for the aging MTX4R.