We would like to bring you some overview or the last MLMS season as well as what we can expect this year. Moravian Le Mans Series is the electric RC model car racing championship destined for cars 1/10 2WD with prototype or GT bodywork. There are three main classes, LMP1, LMP2 and GT. Despite the names, they accommodate almost all sports cars you can think of including old GT1 from late 1990s or pure Group C prototype from the golden 80s. A True Le Mans Challenge (TLMC) is a separate classification for any model created according to real car specification. There are also some sub-classes to the main LMP1, LMP2 and GT. Last year it was LMS-40, slower cars which also ran in LMP2 and GT, depending on their bodywork. For the new season that class was abandoned for a lack of competition and will be replaced with a junior LMP2 class called LMP2 Challenge. A completely new class for hobbyist with four-wheel drive cars is created for 2012 and called GT2. Those cars would be also classified to GT championship but let us not care about technical details now and look at the last season.
In the middle of 2011 MLMS had only two drivers fighting for the title. Pavel Rajdus was in the lead while Roman Krejčí, who in the meantime became an official national champion in F1 class, had an ambition to become a factory Corally driver and started to work on it. But in the seventh round of the season held in Zlín Roman was still using his old Xray chassis with his Blaupunkt Porsche 962C bodywork but due to technical woes he did not finish better than seventh just ahead of his brother Martin in another 962C (Rothmans) who was having here one of his worst races of the season experiencing a lot of troubles with tyres and bad grip. He was in fourth overall in total standings and third in LMP1 behind Roman and Pavel but with no chance to challenge them. The Zlín race had some very good competition with irregulars like Dolanský with an old wide Mazda RX-792P or Jakub Šimurda with Roman's Toyota 88C-V body (one of the most successful cars in 2009, the inaugural season) - making his only appearance this year after very successful 2010 MLMS season (2nd in GT). Sekula, Vater and Novotný were another decent drivers appearing only occasionally and making it into the TOP10 in Zlín. There was a great battle in almost every final heat but after problems of Roman Krejčí, Pavel Rajdus - two overall championship favourites, Tomáš Rajdus and also Sekula, two other drivers appeared in the battle for the overall win. It finally belonged to Miloslav Dolanský, who thus moved up to 6th overall and 5th among LMP1 in the championship and was not beating until end of the season despite not appearing again. Ludek Maléř finished second but by far the best in the LMP2 class. He was keeping 5th place overall in the championship but with many missing races he was in a close battle for overall LMP2 win against slow Roman Štalmach in a LMS-40 car. In fact we can already confirm that Maléř skipped another two races and in the final race of the season he lost the title by only six points, while being quite dominant in most of the LMP2 races he took part in. Pavel Rajdus was only third, actually achieving one of his worst results of the season.
The GT class was won here quite surprisingly by Miloš Pokorný despite the race was quite dominated by Košík with an Aston Martin until the final hear when he changed his controller and also somehow forgot to charge his batteries or to insert charged ones, thus dropping to 5th in GT but still in a big overall GT lead.
The next race, eighth out of ten was held in a new big hall in Ostrava. It was a debut of Roman Krejčí in a wide LMP1 Peugeot on his new factory Corally chassis. He was fastest all day and easily won the race ahead of debuting Igor Vlahovič, who runs an Internet magazine masters.cz. Unfortunately he was running MLMS-illegal car so the points for second went to Pavel Rajdus and third a bit surprisingly to Martin Krejčí, now the only P962C driver. LMP2 leader Štalmach was this time in his LMP1 car with wide rear wheels and managed to get fifth overall and fourth among LMS entrants. The GT leader and almost champion, Košík, was now racing only in a support Formula 1 race so the GT win was Rostislav Kuš' affair this time. He was second in overall GT standings already for the most part of the season. LMP2 class was not supported well this time but Petr Goluch made one of his rare appearances this season and immediately took the win, though only 11th overall (compared to Kuš' 7th).
The ninth, penultimate, race of the season was also held in Ostrava on a slightly modified track. There was some good competition from Brno. Igor Vlahovič was back again, this time with a full specification LMP1 car, and also Petr Rovný made one of his sporadic visits to an MLMS race. They were simply the most serious competition to the leading Pavel Rajdus and Roman Krejčí who were simply out of the reach of other locals, like Václav Buchta, Tomáš Rajdus, Libor Holub or a newcomer Ladislav Holásek, who was competing in his only second MLMS race but was surprisingly quick anyway. A very welcomed addition to the field was a participation of Luděk Szostek, national F1 champion and MLMS 2009 overall winner. He was with a borrowed car with no fine tuning and his pace was nowhere near the top drivers. He ended up in a finale B. One of the most struggling drivers was Martin Krejčí, who after confirmation of his 3rd position in LMP1 decided to try an LMP2 configuration in his Porsche 962C chassis. It simply did not work at all and his 13th place behind several GT cars was pretty bad and only satisfaction for him could have been a win in a purely supported LMP2 class ahead his slow daughter Lucie, the only other surviving car in the class out of five starters. Jan Košík was back in the GT class to secure his title and he took his fifth win of the season.
There was a battle for the overall win between the fourth named drivers. In fact Petr Rovný was usually running fourth, well ahead of the rest but with almost no chance of challenging trio Pavel Rajdus, Roman Krejčí and Igor Vlahovič. Roman was usually fastest and won the race by two laps ahead of Vlahovič. Pavel Rajdus had some technical issues and in the end he could have been happy to finish third in the same lap as Rovný. The battle for the title was no very tight as Roman won a second consecutive race. Ladislav Holásek in nice fifth and Luděk Szostek sixth made decent results by their standards but some 15 laps behind the leaders. This race was quite exceptional in MLMS history in a number of retired non-classified cars. A driver must complete at least 50% laps covered by the winner. It is usually very easy to cover for all entrants in almost every race but this time we had seven cars that failed to achieve this. Petr Goluch, a former LMP2 regular now moved to LMP1 but the only result was pretty poor performance and fired new engine while running on the main straight. Fortunately his nice Toyota TMLC body was not affected by this incident and he is likely to return in 2012 again.
The season was concluded in Rychvald, not far from Ostrava, where the Night Race was held for the second consecutive time. A relatively large field of 26 cars saw a return of interest in LMP2, the strongest class the previous season 2010 but largely suffering during 2011. Now with 9 cars they were even stronger than LMP1 (8 - thanks to several non-appearances). The rest of the field were GT cars as there was no LMS-40 for the first time of the season. The class was largely one man show, Roman Štalmach, who actually created it, but the interest in the class was minimal and by this time it was already decided to discontinue and replace with LMP2 Challenge next year, again created by Štalmach, as a subclass of LMP2 with limited rear tyres. Roman Štalmach, the only man trying to run a car to this new specification among LMP2, was surprisingly slow but with his reliable run throughout the 40-minute race he was able to reach class podium behind Martin Krejčí, preparing for his full season LMP2 attack, and unbeatable Luděk Maléř who returned for this last race and finished fifth overall. Unfortunately that was not enough to claim the LMP2 title, despite being 5th overall, by far the best LMP2 driver. Roman Štalmach who regularly collected points in largely weak LMP2 with his slow LMS-40 became the class champion despite being only 13th overall, and that only thanks to his two starts with an LMP1, otherwise he would have been 27th overall. Third in the LMP2 season standings was a lady Lucie Krejčí who was the only participant in the class starting more than 7 races. She also won the Ladies Cup and Junior classification. Among Junior, Tomáš Koudelka was by far the quickest driver but after entering four races, he decided to sell his car and continue in different forms of racing. Despite that setback, nobody else but Lucie was able to get ahead him and his 80 points. Twelve Junior drivers were classified and five Ladies, which is a good progress for the newly defined sub-classifications.
GT class in the Night Rychvald race was very interesting. There were as many as four class very well matched and it was a surprise when your Filip Rajdus, son of Tora Team leader Tomáš, appeared in the lead ahead of well experienced Košík, Kuš and Hrabec. Unfortunately, in the middle of the race, Filip was so tired and sleepy that it was not possible to wake him up for the final two heats and he became DNF. All these GT drivers has a good fight not only among themselves but also with a debuting young but very quick lady Marie Szostková. She was running a borrowed car from Roman Krejčí, which is usually raced by another lady Petra Vykydalová, though Mazda bodywork was replaced with Roman's older Dauer. She ran pretty well around 3-4 position in LMP2 before crashing and breaking her suspension in the final heat. It was not quickly repairable, however she was still classified 19th overall just ahead with the other lady, Lucie Krejčí, both covering 155 laps. They were also 6th and 7th in LMP2 class. Back to GT: after retirement of Filip, the remaining three running in about 8-11 overall continued in their close battle. In the end it was Jiří Hrabec who won one lap ahead of already definite champion Jan Košík. Rostislav Kuš was third but it was enough to take second in the season classification. Hrabec, who skipped 3 races of the season compared to Kuš' only one now regretted that he has not raced more regularly.
There were also two special GT cars running as Guest. They were in the new 4WD Hobby specification, a new class destined mainly for beginners, which was going to be officially launched for the 2012 season. After some discussions the rules were set up for this season. They may still need some fine-tuning but there is a hope to have much more cars in the future, especially outside the MLMS championship, which is likely to try to adopt the class as it develops in the coming months and years.
The main attention, as usually, attracted the LMP1 class which fielded five very quick drivers, two of them still with a chance of overall and LMP1 titles: Roman Krejčí and leading Pavel Rajdus. They were well supported by Tomáš Rajdus and Libor Holub, during the heats. The last final A driver Pavel Karel was having a lot of small collisions and crashes so in the end he was classified sixth behind Maléř of B finale. Roman Krejčí won the race by a small margin and since Pavel Rajdus was second, it was not enough for Roman to claim the title despite winning last three races, all he run his new Corally chassis. As a note of interest he tried three different bodyworks on it. He started first Ostrava with a wide Peugeot 905, and then moved to a standard 200 mm Peugeot 905 and now in Rychvald he won for Dauer.
In LMP1 championship Pavel Rajdus won with 125 points ahead of Roman Krejčí 117 points and his brother Martin with 61 points. Tomáš Rajdus, who was third in overall classification, started the season in LMP2 and thus had not enough points for LMP1 and was fourth with 41. Martin Krejčí's Rothmans Porsche 962C was the True Le Mans Challenge ahead of his brother's Porsche 962C Blaupunkt which he ran very successfully in the first part of the season.
The new season starts this Saturday 28th January in Ostrava. And what can we expect this year? Base class structure remains the same but former subclass LMS-40, which accommodated both GT and LMP2, was dropped in favour of new LMP2C. It should be quicker but allows only prototype bodyworks. A quite new class, called GT2, is destined for Hobby style 4WD with a GT body only. It will be by far the slowest class in the championship and should suit new drivers not only due to speeds but also lower costs. Unlike any other class in the championship, which is basically 2WD series, this one will also feature 4WD cars. They are much easier to buy and the less advanced chassis can be much cheaper than those quick Pancars. Theoretically advanced 4WD chassis are also allowed but they would be handicapped by gear ratio not to run quicker than standard of the class, defined by Tamiya TT-01.
As for the drivers, last year champion Pavel Rajdus announced after the season that he will be leaving the scene and sold his successful car to Jiří Adámek, who ran his own TLMC Royce RM1. Official reason was that he thought he was too dominant over the season and lacked real competition. But we think that despite it was more or less correct until the middle of the season, the truth is that after his main regular competitor, and also a creator of Moravian Le Mans Series, Roman Krejčí brought here a factory Corally, he became simply unbeatable and Pavel's chances for defending the title would be minimal. So if he really wanted challenges, he could have them this year as never before. Now Roman is simply the only real favourite for the title. Not only there is not going to be any regular at his level, but there are hardly any drivers at his level in the entire country. Roman Krejčí is an occasional visitor outside Moravian part of the country, even travelled abroad to Slovakia and he is usually by 1 second quicker per lap than his nearest competitor.
Tomáš Rajdus also announced he would be taking part in most races of the championship and we believe that he is most likely to collect more points than anybody else but Roman, though there are quicker drivers here and there but we doubt about their regularity. The battle for third might be quite open among several less regular but quick LMP1 drivers or possibly may go to an LMP2 driver, either Luděk Maléř or Martin Krejčí, who is slower but intends to take part in all races of the season. These two are also likely to be in contention for the LMP2 title but the final result would mainly depend on how many races Luděk would attend, since this year he had simply with no opposition in the class but lost the title only because missing one more result, whatever it would be. Very high in the LMP2 class should be again the 2011 champion Roman Štalmach, who is expected to race regularly but with a car in LMP2 Challenge specification, which should not be a problem outdoors on asphalt tracks but on carpet he proved to be notably slower.
As for the GT class, the situation seems quite similar as the last year with all regulars hopefully back. Košík the main favourite but Kuš, Hrabec, Holaň or even young Filip Rajdus may form some very strong competition. As for the new GT2 class, there are currently no entries for the first race as it is expected to grow during the season but from the information we have and considering regularity during the last season Fanán Stodola is probably most likely to collect most points, though things may change a lot in this class during the season.