Monday, 23 December 2013


So after displaying how the system works in static conditions I thought it would be more self explanatory to shoot a short clip of the system in action, under acceleration and deceleration.
Enjoy the clip below:

A very useful item to set up correctly and accurately the adjustable caster of the car from the camber links is this pair of 'Caster Doodles' as named by the USA distributor of AWESOMATIX who makes them.

Saturday, 21 December 2013


After completing my assembly of the FFG upgrade kit I spent some time observing the way it operates, its functions and adjustment options. The more I observed it the more I was impressed with the design, the complexity of the assembly and the simplicity of its function. The floating front box sits flat inside the housing of the front bulkheads and can move both longitudinally and transversely, that is front/back and left/right as well as twist transversely.
The longitudinal motion may be controlled by different settings on the collars positioned front and rear from the central aluminum tower. By now you may all be completely lost on how it works so just watch the video below which might help:

With this latest upgrade, Oleg simply brings TC design to another level, making him arguably the most innovative designer in the last few years

Friday, 20 December 2013


AWESOMATIX and more specifically Oleg Babich the founder of the company and designer of this revolutionary car has introduced lately a series of upgrades with the aim to further evolve this amazing concept.

The Floating Front Gearbox (FFG) is designed with the aim to prevent any chassis flex/tweak effect fro the shaft transmission torque. The lightweight carbon tube withstands the drive train torque forces and separates the main chassis from any stress.

Below are the parts of the FFG upgrade kit

This is the new ultra thin upper deck

Step 1 is to use a sandpaper for 5mm on the edge of the carbon tube to increase friction on the aluminum support. Make sure you don't remove too much material. Only a slightly scratched surface.

Step 2 is to install a small piece of low friction tape on the top surface of the middle support (3M 810 Magic Tape or for better results PTFE tape:

Step 3, bolt the middle support with the left/right bulkheads. Important to note the orientation of this part. The 'sculptured' face should be directed to the steering plate and you should note that the shape aligns with the shape of the bulkheads. (tip: I suggest you do not tighten completely until the entire structure is installed on the chassis)

Step 4, fastening of the upper arm mounts:

Step 5, remove the shaft gear from the old gearbox and install it on the new one. It is exactly the same procedure:

Step 6, remove the steering assembly from the old gearbox and install it on the new one. Same procedure applies here as well with the only alteration that two outer AT24 ball studs (FFG set included) or AT21S without shims (0 mm) have to be used or AM09 steering rod. Use two shims of 1,75 mm thickness for a total of 3.5 mm under the servo connected AT21 ball on the AM09 rod:

Step 7, install all the aluminum support parts on the main carbon shaft. (tip: some aluminum parts have sharp edges that might scratch the surface of the shiny carbon shaft while sliding them. Do the sliding slowly and try to maintain the gap of the cylindrical parts as open as possible)

Step 8, install the front bulkhead on the chassis. At this point you may now start to fully tighten all the screws in a 'X' order:

 Step 9, install the front spool or diff in the floating aluminum structure:

Step 10, install the diff covers and aluminum brace (tip: pay attention to the AM56 aluminum brace as it has a specific orientation in order to secure the plastic diff cover)
Step 11, Install the front floating structure into the front bulkhead housing. (tip: release the two screws that hold the central support of the carbon shaft in order to allow it to move upwards and make the floating structure easier to slide inside the bulkhead housing)

 Step 12, install the upper arm ball studs. (tip: the height of the front bulkhead is 1 mm lower than that of the standard bulkhead AM19. To achieve the same camber link height as previous setting add a 1 mm shim. In case you used longer camber links that sat on top of the older upper deck, current position is 1.6 mm lower)

Step 13, Alignment of FFG. The carbon tube should be centered along the car central axis. First align it and then tighten the two M3x6 screws at the rear aluminum support (around the spur gear). Additionally the FFG structure should be sitting completely flat.
Step 14, Carbon top deck installed. This is mainly a tuning option for very high traction conditions. Initial set up should be without it. The central M3x5 screw with 3 mm SH shims in the central hole of the upper deck (C21) is the better initial setting.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Pit walk

A short clip from the pit area during practice at the last National's race of 2013

Saturday, 12 October 2013


A German/Dutch designed car won with an Italian made engine in Japan against the might of Japanese car Mugen and engine OS Speed. An amazing dominating performance from Tadahiko Sahashi who showed his true pace in qualifying and never looked, winning his Semi with ease and then the main final. Faster car, better fuel consumption, low tyre wear, and flawless driving.

Below a video of the start and first few minutes of the race:

Thursday, 10 October 2013


There is a great coverage of the event from but there are also some additional posts I've found which are quite nice too.

Here is a lovely video making a track walk, where we can see many popular drivers working on their cars or socializing. It is nice to have such videos for those who couldn't attend the event as the atmosphere in the pits is one of the best experiences at any IFMAR World Championship.


and one more:

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Race 4 - Final Championship race report

What a great race and an amazing experience.
I feel very happy that a bold decision taken by the board of our Federation about a year ago  turned out to be the right one. The result exceeded our expectations and we enjoyed one of the nicest races we’ve ever been to. But let’s take things one at a time.

On Sunday the 29th of September we had our 4th and last race for the 2013 championship. The race took place at the most Southern Island of Greece, Crete, near its main city, Heraklion.
The track is the creation of local resident, George Andreadakis, and it is very well built with excellent surface, and very well designed with multiple options of layouts. The chosen layout for this race was the fullest course which suited perfectly both classes running that day, 1/10 ep and nitro touring.

Being an island, the only means of transport to get there are by sea or air. My choice was sea as I had a big amount of luggage to carry and it was more convenient to load everything on my car and embark on the big ship. I shared my car and cabin on the ship with 3 other friends which lowered considerably our travel cost and made the trip quite a bit of fun.

We arrived Saturday early morning, went to the hotel and had a failed attempt to check in as they would not accept us any sooner than 12:00. So we headed to the track to do some valuable practice as the majority of the racers had arrived a day or two earlier.

When we arrived at the track other racers had already arrived and we were welcomed by the track owner and friends. The immediate impression we got was that this is a first class facility. Everything was brand new and well made. There were flat screens everywhere including a big flat TV in the pits showing live laptimes.

Being the responsible person in the Federation of our 1/10 ep TC class means that apart from  my racing activity I have to arrange many things so that the race is run smoothly. Fortunately the track owner was very well prepared and willing to assist me in any way. On the other hand a certain amount of time is still spent on things other than my racing so my already limited practice time becomes even shorter. I am content though with how things are and I always have priority Nr.1 to make sure that the members of the Federation are rewarded with a good and fair race.

Back to the racing part, once we settled in and set up our working pit space we started doing our practice runs. My car felt pretty good from the first run and I focused on tyre and body choices. By the 5th run I had decided what to run and then I started doing minor set up changes to experiment with the feel of the car. 

My final run was completed late in the afternoon and I had achieved a new lap record of 16.016, faster than the 1/10 nitro cars, even if I was using old tyres. This record stands until today. 

Following that run I went through my car to check in case there were any worn parts and was happy to see that all looked like new.
Practice day was over and we went out to dinner and found a nice place where we ate a huge pizza!

Sunday morning my focus was on the organization of the race as I wanted to make sure that there would be no delays or problems with the running of the race. Thankfully I had full support from track owner George and everything went well. Even with an electric power cut during the 1st Qual run of Heat 1 which was re-run later in the afternoon, we managed to finish the day with only 15 minutes delay of the time schedule.

The race for me provided many exciting moments. Qualifying went pretty good with a solid first run on new tyres which at the time secured me 2nd position only 0.2” behind main rival and championship leader Nick Geo. In my 2nd run I tried a new body and on the 3rd run I attacked to make an improvement to pass Nick on the grid. Even though it was the 3rd run on the same set of tyres, my car had excellent pace and I was very consistent. I started immediately being the fastest car of the run and by lap 8, time-keeping announced that I was on a TQ pace. That effort came to an end when I found myself behind Nick Geo who wouldn’t move out of my way for three laps until the referee made the call for him to allow the faster car behind him to pass. Unfortunately these 3 laps (10, 11, 12) were slow enough to loose a total of 1.5 seconds which resulted in failing to improve my qualifying position. Below is the lap chart of the run. All my laps were on average 16.988 until laps 10, 11 and 12 where I averaged 17.442.

(pos.) laptime

(1) 00.000 

(1) 17.093 

(1) 17.131 

(1) 16.869 

(1) 17.082 

(1) 16.995 

(1) 16.884 

(1) 16.909 

(1) 16.959 

(1) 16.971 

(1) 17.341 

(1) 17.431 

(1) 17.554 

(1) 16.960 

(1) 16.944 

(1) 16.867 

(1) 16.881 

(1) 16.966 

(1) 16.431 

After qualifying was completed I was 3rd on the grid, Nick Geo was 2nd on the grid and local driver Terzis was on pole taking advantage a 3rd qualifying run on new tyres.

In the first final I got a great start and around 2/3 of the lap I made my move passing both Xray drivers in front of me. Unfortunately Nick Geo hit me hard from behind sending my car on its roof and creating a chain reaction of multiple crashes. 

The result was that I ended up dead last  and Nick Geo got a stop and go. We would then fight our way back through the field and finish Nick in 1st place and me a close 2nd just behind him.

Video of Amain Nr. 1:

The 2nd a final started again well for me being very cautious not to make contact with the two leading cars as I was substantially faster than both. 1/3 of the first lap, Nick Geo hit from behind the leading car of pole man Terzis and again a chain reaction of crashes started. Nick was lucky to escape without a penalty and he would eventually recover to 2nd place, behind me as I got the win on this 2nd leg.
Video of Amain Nr.2:

The 3rd final started in similar fashion to the previous two finals. On the 2nd lap I made a small error on the fast S section and lost a position to Jim (TOP). I regained that position a couple of laps later and then closed the gap to the leading two Xrays of Nick Geo and Terzis. Terzis showed great sporting spirit, letting me through easily without risking any contact. Then I had my sights on Nick Geo who was clearly slower than me. I tried twice to pass but even though he had missed his breaking point and went much wider into the turn he would come back into the racing line at full punch blocking my line and aiming to make contact rather than give the position. I made a split-second decision to let him go although the contact was only door to door and I had every right to hold the inside line and defend my position.

Nick goes wide, I take the inside line.

In the end Nick Geo went on to finish 2nd just ahead of me and with this result he secured the win of the race as the tie breaker was the qualifying position. This race win also granted him his 3rd National title in succession.

Video of Amain Nr.3:

2nd on the podium and 2nd in the final Championship standings was the final result for me.

I’ve always been supportive of any driver who excels in our series and I always welcome the challenge. Without a strong opponent a win has less value. Nick surely deserves this title as well as he does the previous ones as he has always been the most consistent, challenging for the top spot on every race.

For me 2nd place is still rewarding. With family and work it is already hard enough to spend time at the track for practice. Add to this the race organizing responsibilities my practice time is shortened even more and I end up visiting a race track for practice no more than 6-8 times a year. Taking this into account, to go up against a young kid who has full support from the XRAY distributor and XRAY Factory and is at the track every weekend improving his skills and still manage to compete on the same level with him when I show up is very satisfying and motivating.

2014 has all the elements to be an even better championship and I am looking forward to organize it with even greater attendance and higher satisfaction for the racers. 

Thursday, 19 September 2013