2018 NEOBuggy – Recap
The 2018 NeoBuggy Race consisted of the same special soul with a new face. This year the NeoBuggy Race was hosted in a new country, at a new track, and couldn’t have been any more different than the old venue at Harper Adams in England. From a tricky clay indoor surface track that was scheduled directly in the heart of Britain’s cold and wet spring, the new venue was twice as big, on a huge permanent outdoor track, under the hot sun in Southern Spain at Redovan Raceway. The results…. absolutely fantastic!
The old event will be sorely missed, but the new venue was definitely worthy and tested the best drivers from all across Europe. Sure, this year’s Neo didn’t feature any of the top US drivers, but in time, they will most certainly attend as they’ll want to race at one of the best tracks in Europe. Great job by Neobuggy’s Philip Mortstedt on his vision and another successful NeoBuggy race!
The JConcepts team had a lot of success running the newly released Kosmos and Stalker tires, which were developed especially for the European style tracks. At Redovan Raceway, they worked awesome as David ran the majority of the event on Stalkers while Reno used the Kosmos.
It was also great to have the European JConcepts team in full force representing with 100% effort and giving great feedback at the Neo18. Thanks to Max Mort, Jack Embling, Ignacio and Alejandro Candel, and special thanks to our Spanish distribution specialist, Alejandro Daras, for the hard work and great results.
The World Champion, David Ronnefalk, was off to a great start with his HB Racing package on pace and even took double TQ’s in round 2 in nitro and ebuggy. However, once the rain came and the track got polished, the sealed surface became extremely slippery. Many, including David, were scrambling to get traction and had up and down results through the rest of qualifying. But like a true champion, David fought hard to get the setup right for the 1-hour long main event and it clearly showed as he was able to win his 20-minute Semi-Final and put his HB Racing/JConcepts D817 V2 on pole by passing Ongaro on the final corner!
Unfortunately, bad luck struck David in the main while the World Champ was leading the race 20 minutes into the main and was forced to retire from electronic issues. With disappointment and frustration in his voice commented, “I don’t mind losing if I drive like sh*t, but I can’t take losing like this.”
The World Champion did have a great 10 minute final in the Ebuggy class with a strong 2nd place finish recovering from a 1st lap crash that dropped him back from the lead pack. While it looked like it was over for a podium finish, David was able to charge and fought for the win, but ultimately took 2nd showing his race package had the speed to win.
TLR//JConcepts Superstar, Reno Savoya, also had a fantastic weekend of racing putting his TLR 8ight 4.0 into the fight each and every round. Each time Reno hit the track, you could sense he was getting faster making the most of his track time. The veteran wasn’t holding back and was putting in maximum effort to make the podium. Reno would also have to do a full setup reset once the rain came washing away the traction and adding polish to the surface. Moving to green compound Kosmos and Stalkers, Reno was back on pace looking to score some awesome points in qualifying and looking hungry for a podium finish.
During the 1 hour long Nitro Buggy main, Reno had one of the most exciting last 30 minutes of any race to date. He and Kyosho legend, Elliot Boots, would go toe to toe for nearly 30 minutes fighting for the final podium spot. In the closing minutes, 2 electrifying battles were simultaneously happening that captivated all viewers. Would Battle catch Ongaro? Was it going to be Boots or Savoya for 3rd? In the end, Savoya put in a valiant effort and just missed out on 3rd by 2 seconds after 1 hour of hard racing.
Reno also showed some great speed in the Ebuggy class qualifying himself 4th and finished in the top 5 with a 5th place finish giving himself an awesome weekend with a 4th and a 5th place result.
Ebuggy A Final
Nitro A-Main (Thanks to RC Racing TV)
Nitro A Semi Final
Nitro B Semi Final