The HB-HPI team have been victorious at the first-ever Chinese International Race! The Chinese government invited top-level racers invited from around the world, and racers from across Europe, including current and former national, European and World Champions were in attendance at this prestigious racing event. The race took place in Beijing, the site of the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, and many members of the public were spectators.
Five HB-HPI drivers attended: 2006-7 IFMAR World Champion Andy Moore, Ben Cosgrove from HPI EU, Stefan Chodzynski, plus Chinese HB driver JJ Wang. Classes included electric and nitro touring car, and we're very proud that Team HB-HPI took the win in the EP (Electric Powered) touring car class! The EP class was dominated by Team HB-HPI, with Andy taking the win, Ben in 2nd, Stefan in 3rd and JJ in 5th! Making this result even more special was the fact that top racers from other major brands and countries were also racing! In the GP (Gas Powered) class, JJ took the win, making it a clean sweep of HB-HPI drivers at the top of the podium! Ben Cosgrove gives us this complete race report from his perspective: As part of the redevelopment of the Beijing Olympic city Government officials decided to host an invitational event for some of the best drivers in Europe and all of Asia. Drivers from China battled with drivers form Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom to name a few countries. Top drivers Marc Rheinard, Viktor Wilck, Ronald Volker, Teemu Leino, Marc Fischer, Alex Hagberg and Andy Moore were some of the big RC stars invited to the event. Ben Cosgrove and Stefan Chodyznski joined Andy Moore in the HB-HPI team. The track was a brand new circuit built especially as a one off track for this meeting. The people of China worked very hard to make such a great track in only 7 days from laying fresh asphalt to adding the curbs, paint and also the Astroturf infield. It looked amazing and the officials used sugar water to make the traction very high indeed. The track was around 60mx30m and laptimes would be around 20 seconds. The event officially kicked off on Thursday with open practice. Both EP and GP cars were being used and the traction started off very high. There were no times available from practice but all the usual suspects looked fast, especially the Tamiya team of Rheinard and Wilck. There was no control tyre so the choice of rubber was open with Sorex and Ride being the most popular choice found on the fast cars. Friday saw 2 rounds of open practice in groups of 10 drivers followed by 2 rounds of timed practice which would reseed the qualification groups for Saturday. Qualification would be 4 rounds with 3 rounds to count using points system of round by round. Both Ben and Andy made the top heat after the reseed and were looking strong with the TCX and HPI Flux Pro package. Round 1 of qualifying was good for the trio of HB-HPI drivers with Andy taking third, Ben 5th and Stefan in 8th. Round 2 saw Ben drop out of a strong top 3 run with a broken rear gear diff but Stefan stepped up with a very solid 4th in the round, Ben ended up completing the run down in 13th. The organisers decided to reseed after these 2 rounds based on the first 2 round times added together. All 3 HB drivers made the top heat which is always helpful with this level of competition. Andy had a very strong round 3 with second position in the round with Ben in third position. Stefan assured his A final position with a solid 6th in round. The last round Andy made a great run again to get another second in round but with the traction levels increasing it became very difficult for Stefan and Ben. Stefan traction rolled out of a very strong run where Ben had to drive very controlled to take a 7th in round. Top 10 after Qualifying Marc Rheinard Ronald Volker Andy Moore HB TCX/HPI Flux Pro Viktor Wilck Ben Cosgrove TCX/HPI Flux Pro Stefan Chodyznski TCX/HPI Flux Pro Marc Fischer Wang TCX Shin Adachi Chan Sunday's format was 3 A finals and 1 final for everyone else. Rain was forecast for Saturday night and Sunday morning. The forecast proved correct as we were greeted with a damp track and a very cold race day. Tyre choice would prove to be decisive and many drivers were head scratching. The A main was one of the first races in the morning so no one knew what would work. Ben got the tyre call correct and won the first final very comfortably lapping every driver upto 3rd position. Stefan made a great start and claimed an excellent second position. The second final was the turn of Andy Moore to get the tyres correct as he took the win in convincing style ahead of Stefan and Wang from China to make it a HB 1/2/3 and make it a very interesting setup for the last final. Only 3 drivers could win the meeting going into leg 3 and they were all from the UK. The last final was all about Ronald who destroyed everyone making a great tyre choice leaving Andy and Ben to battle over second and third. Andy was too strong and took second position from Ben in third giving him the overall win and second to Ben. The final results were Andy Moore HB TCX/HPI Flux Pro Ben Cosgrove TCX/HPI Flux Pro Stefan Chodyznski TCX/HPI Flux Pro Ronald Volker Wang TCX Chan Marc Fischer Shin Adachi Viktor Wilck Marc Rheinard Both Ben and Stefan used the new HB Subaru Type C bodyshell to great effect giving it its first major race podium. Ben also ran the HB TC-FD car on Thursday to get more valuable setup data. The FD car was very stable and well balanced around the track turning very good laptimes especially when the traction was a little lower. Andy and Ben used the HPI Flux Pro 4Turn motor with a 13.5mm rotor and Stefan used the 4.5Turn motor with the std 12.5mm rotor.