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Moravian Le Mans Series Ruda Slaska 2014

30th August 2014

RC Model Championship Race Report

Moravian Le Mans Series in Poland - report from Ruda Slaska

After some time we would like to bring you a report from RC model racing, the Moravian Le Mans Series race. It has been some time since you could read about the championship on RSC. The article can be located here:

MLMS 2012 Preview. This time, it was the first MLMS race held outside of boundaries of the Czech Republic. Nice RC race track in Polish Ruda Slaska was selected to make an international debut. It was held within Polish National RC Championship weekend.

What is new in MLMS?

While Moravian Le Mans Series is held since 2009, the rules were almost unchanged until end of the 2013 season. LMP1 is the class for prototypes with almost no limits, LMP2 was limited by engines (10.5T) and tyres (max 32 mm), while GT was restricted by GT body and also engines (21.5T) and tyres (30 mm). Considering the development on the RC market, it was decided to make some adjustments. In fact, LMP1 is now for special purpose shaped extreme prototypes, while LMP2 lost their tyre limit in favour of allowing only scale realistic bodied models. It was a success since the beginning of 2014. Along with various Porsche 962C Turbos it is possible to see here Peugeot 908 Hybrid, Toyota GT-One, Courage LC70, Toyota 88CV with some occasional entry of Panoz GTR-1 or Mercedes-Benz CLK LM. The GT category was also slightly adjusted and it also contains a subclass GT2 for otherwise not legal cars, however detailed description of the rules is not an intention of this article. The field is simply very diverse allowing almost any electric-powered model 1/10 (and some 1/12) to take in and is very different from standard RC races around the world, actually trying to simulate real Le Mans type racing with limited budget.

Martin Krejčí (Porsche 962 Momo) ahead of Roman Krejčí (Porsche 917/30 Pro 10)

2012 and 2013 seasons

Just very shortly about what happened since the last report. In 2012 the reigning champion Pavel Rajdus was gone, so the title finally came to Roman Krejčí, one of the series creators, who after switching from Xray to Corally was almost unbeatable and even Pavel Rajdus never won over him by late 2011. Tomáš Rajdus, a brother of Pavel, then became the nearest thread for Roman but late season bad results prevented him from the fight for the title. The battle for the third championship position overall was quite open until the very last race. There were 5 drivers who could take the bronze crown. One of them, Luděk Maléř, traditionally fastest old style LMP2 driver, ignored the race. Of the other the luckiest man was Tomáš Poul, who actually won the last race after the main favourites fail to have a problem-less race. Martin Krejčí, who had a bad second half of the season, lost the final race five laps before the finished, when many laps behind running Oldřej Kulhánek hit his car, which ended up on the roof. Martin then finished second and lost his almost sure first MLMS win, as well as the chance for the third position. Tomáš Poul was then third, which was a great success after running only half of the races. In LMP1 the championship order was the same. In LMP2 Martin Krejčí seems to have almost no opposition after some early fight with Roman Štalmach and could switch to LMP1 for the late season races to fight for overall third and still easily claimed the LMP2 title. Petr Goluch was the second overall in LMP2 ahead of Maléř, who ran only four races, however winning them all. The GT class was won by Jan Košík, ahead of Jura Hrabec and young Filip Rajdus. Unfortunately it was the last season for Košík.

This actually opened the way to the first GT title for Hrabec in the next season. Filip Rajdus moved to LMP2 where he actually beat Martin Krejčí, who returned to LMP2 after the Filip's switch there, hoping for some competition in the class. Old man Jiří Kunz (70+) them captured third in LMP2, partly due to very regular participation, partly due to decline in old-style LMP2 entries as the year progressed. Much quicker Tomáš Rajdus and Luděk Maléř did only occasional entries and were classified next, just ahead of Lady Cup winning Lucie Krejčí - which took the LMP2 lead in the middle of season but then stopped racing. As already mentioned Hrabec, a real GT regular could finally celebrate the title. But it was mainly because of lack of good entries in the past - unlike during the 2010-2012 golden GT era. Tomáš Rajdus collected second most point with only 4 out of 10 races in the GT class. Milan Cendelín, usually racing only around Brno, took the challenge, visited a couple of races in Ostrava and it was enough for total third in GT. The LMP1 class was mainly about Roman Krejčí and Ondřej Kulhánek, who experienced some good competition only in winter races in the carpet. In the end, Roman was again more successful and became the first ever MLMS driver to defend his overall title. Ondřej was just 9 points back in LMP1 (but over 30 points in the overall standing - as Roman was making some trips to GT and LMP2 classes here and there). Tomáš Poul, running now more consistently, was easily third in LMP1 and overall.

Season 2014

This season started similarly as the last one ended. Roman Krejčí against Ondřej Kulhánek. The first race in Ostrava was won by Ondřej after Roman suffured big issues. The second race, also in Ostrava, Ondřej could not even start the race, so Roman won it almost against no opposition. The third race was in Bílovec as part of their local Moravsko-Slezsky Pohár (MSP). Ondřej once again failed to score a good result while Roman was trying LMP2 body with LMP1 motor against strong competition there and could not break into top five. Very quick 4WD driver was having a host drive with his 2WD and won the race quite easily. In the meantime Martin Krejčí, now fully concentrating on the new model-scale realistic LMP2 class scored points in every race and not only he held the LMP2 lead but also settled second overall in the season behind his brother Roman. Kulhánek had so many troubles so he quit the series after the fourth race, again in Ostrava, where he finished third. The same position he had also in the championship when he disappeared. Race five was held in Blansko, the first outdoor asphalt race and Race six in Brno. Both races had some nice competition but both were won by Roman Krejčí, who however experienced some troubles in both of them, so the victory was not that obvious as one might think. Martin Krejčí scored fourth and third overall, still leading LMP2 easily and increasing his lead over the rest in the overall standings.

Ruda Slaska

Now we finally get to the seventh race of the season, in Ruda Slaska. Due to original plan to held the race as a two-day event, and also bad weather forecast, the race actually attracted less competitor than originally expected. The aim was something between 18 and 20 drivers to fill in two finale groups and fit within the Polish Championship race programme. With several promised entries dropped in the last minute, several drivers not willing to stay overnight, the entry list contained 15 records of 14 different drivers. But one of them had not received the new car as promised and other two were afraid of the rain so the first practice started with eleven cars on the grid - among them just one local Polish driver. It was decided that all will race together, though standard maximum per heat is 10 cars. The track in Ruda Slaska is so good that we could afford it and with some cars having troubles, the track was rarely overcrowded by cars and it was a good decision. Especially because most of the field were quick LMP1 and LMP2, while most of the slower entrants (finale B and C drivers) stayed home, so the standard speed differentials were not a problem here. Just Pavel Krejčí was the only slow finale C driver present here. In fact, the only missing top driver was Jura Hrabec, leading driver in GT and 9th overall.

In qualifying, Roman Krejčí, who was testing extremely quick Pro10/LMP1 for the German Championship next weekend, easily took the Pole Position. Never ever in MLSM was seen such a quick car. It was because the test and because the standard heat length of 15 minute was reduced to only 6 minutes for this Polish Championship combined race, so it was possible to run 4.0T engine with boosting, like nowhere else. Filip Rajdus, who skipped many of the 2014 races, seems to be the quickest LMP2 driver this year and also set a fantastic time. His father Tomáš Rajdus, and LMP2 leading Martin Krejčí were more than a second per lap back. Kuba Šimurda, also very quick LMP1 tested for the German Championship burnt his quite new controller and wanted to go home. Roman Krejčí lent him his motor/controller combo. Even though Kuba suffered a lot of troubles, and did not scored a single measured lap in the first two heats - out of six planned. Actually the race was supposed to continue through Sunday and consist of eight 6-minute heats, however the situation changed and it was agree with Polish organiser, to add one extra heat on Saturday and skip three planned heats on Sunday.

Kuba then won heat 3 but also announced he would pack the car and go home after the fourth heat. With their original electrics gone and the race lost, there was nothing more to fight for them, after achieve a heat win. Roman Krejčí, who was nearly as fast as Kuba in his third heat had another issues, which he could not resolve during entire day. The controller wires disconnected always after a few minutes of driving. Originally Roman trying to finish on 66% of his power, later he given up on that and in the end he was even overtaken by Pavel Krejčí, the slow Junior driver. With the only Polish driver with another quick Pro10/LMP1 also having troubles with some of the heats, the race actually converted into a LMP2 procession. Tomáš Rajdus won heat 1, Filip Rajdus won heat 2. Martin Krejčí was also running consistently third or fourth overall so after 18 minutes, exact middle of the race, we had four LMP2 at the top. Filip (Nissan R89C based on Mulsanne body - illegal for LMP2 since 2015) ahead of Tomáš (debuting Toyota GT-One) and Martin (red Porsche 962 Momo). Then was Milan Cendelín with another LMP2 (Peugeot 908 Hybrid), who was actually a little more back in a fight with the better of remaining LMP1s. In the middle of the race, actually the only GT entrant Lukáš vater was still 5th, but after heat 4 and 5 Milan was attacked first by Michal Rapant, who was temporarily fourth, and then by Robert Gurgul from Poland, who took fourth overall after the penultimate heat.

The first three positions were almost decided by the middle of the race and it was very unlikely, unless some technical issues or an accident happened, that somebody would threaten their positions. But behind them it was a nice battle, which in the end played in the hand of Milan Cendelín, who overtook Robert Gurgul in the last heat. Robert suffered some more troubles after running very quickly at the start, and winning some heat as well but it was Michal Rapant who was then classified as the best LMP1 driver. Local driver Robert Gurgul managed to keep second position ahead of Roman Krejčí, who was the last finishing LMP1 and overall driver. Kuba Šimurda was already at home and another retirement was the LMP1 car of Karel Szotek, who was hit by Lukáš Vater after about 12 minutes of the race, his rear axle was broken, and it was not possible to be fixed and there was also no replacement.

It was overall a great race on a nice track MLMS has never experienced before and we hope to get back the next year, though it may be a little complicated by lack of participation interest of racers from Middle and South Morava. Maybe one-day programme and hopefully better weather forecast could help it next time. A common MLM race usually attracts between 20 and 30 drivers but there is general outflow of RC drivers in the Czech Republic and many championships suffer to attract reasonable amount of participants at all. Fortunately for MLMS, the drivers decline is not that visible here yet: last month MLMS Brno race with its support Moravian GB Formula 1 race attracted more entries than other five races in Morava the same day - and those counted also much more popular 4WD entries. In any case, the hope is to keep the three-class Le Mans series in Morava going well and we hope to bring you more reports in the future as well. Should there be some foreign driver interested in participation in any of the races, please, contact us at RSC, because the official pages are all written in Czech.