› Pro-file: Martin Hudy

De­signer of Xray’s Worlds-win­ning cars

RC Car Action - - CONTENTS - By Mato Krivos

Xray dom­i­nated the 2018 IFMAR On-road Worlds with wins in the pre­mier Tour­ing and 1/12 classes, as well as the F1 and Sedan classes. You can­not win a World cham­pi­onship with­out su­pe­rior cars. A lot of time and ef­fort go into the de­sign of Xray’s ve­hi­cles to get them to the top of the podium. Martin Hudy is the man be­hind the de­sign on many Xray ve­hi­cles and part of the rea­son why the brand is so suc­cess­ful in the rac­ing world. We got to­gether with Martin to see what went into get­ting Xray so many wins at this year’s IFMAR On-road World Cham­pi­onships.

RC Car Ac­tion: How does it feel to see Xray driv­ers win­ning so many On-road World Cham­pi­onship ti­tles?

Martin Hudy: It feels truly amaz­ing, even more so after thrilling races. Hats off to all driv­ers at the World Cham­pi­onship for such com­pet­i­tive yet clean rac­ing. Mainly be­cause of the high com­pe­ti­tion, RC rac­ing is so ex­cit­ing to watch. Thanks to all in Team Xray for great team­work and sup­port. With­out them, this would not be pos­si­ble. What is be­hind the suc­cess of your cars at this World Cham­pi­onship? Be­hind ev­ery suc­cess is, of course, a lot of hard work, count­less hours of prac­tice, and a bit of luck. We try our best the en­tire year and im­prove our cars from race to race, ac­cord­ing to feed­back from our cus­tomers and our test­ing. It is im­pres­sive how pro driv­ers tend to push the lim­its of their cars. On the flip side, form­ing opin­ions on car per­for­mance or weak­nesses based only on pro-driv­ing style is dan­ger­ous. There­fore, we try to find bal­ance. The re­sult is new, im­proved, and the best out-of-the-box plat­form of an RC car al­most ev­ery year, with fo­cus on re­li­a­bil­ity, per­for­mance, and user-friend­li­ness. Now you can see how it works. It was great to see all the Xray driv­ers do well. What ve­hi­cle changes at the event made the big­gest dif­fer­ence? Dur­ing Tour­ing Car prac­tice, we tried ev­ery­thing we could think of on the setup for the pre­pro­duc­tion Xray T4’19.

After many rounds, we de­cided to run a new alu­minum ex­tra-flex chas­sis, which in pre­vi­ous tests worked only in high-grip con­di­tions. The car was bet­ter, but be­fore the last qual­i­fi­ca­tion round, we changed springs and that change paid off. The other cars were pretty much good out of the box. When de­vel­op­ing new car de­signs, are changes based only on team feed­back or do you also con­sult cus­tomers? Our R&D team races what we de­velop, and what we de­velop turns into what we pro­duce for our cus­tomers. We race the ex­act same cars that any­one can buy and race. The big­gest chal­lenge is that ev­ery cus­tomer has a dif­fer­ent style of rac­ing and dif­fer­ent re­quests. That makes it im­pos­si­ble to meet ev­ery­body’s cri­te­ria. But we try our best. That is why we came out with the new T4’19, which is the most vari­able and ver­sa­tile T4 ever. Both 1/10-Scale Elec­tric Tour­ing and 1/12th-scale Pan Cars cat­e­gories are ma­ture classes. Is there still room for im­prove­ment? Ev­ery part of the car can be op­ti­mized and im­proved. New ma­te­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies push the lim­its fur­ther, but rule changes also drive de­vel­op­ment. It may look like these classes haven’t changed rad­i­cally over the years, but you can see how many im­prove­ments we have brought to both 2019 ver­sions of the T4 and X12. Xray is one of the few man­u­fac­tur­ers that is in­volved in all rac­ing classes. How do you han­dle the de­vel­op­ment of so many cars? As a fam­ily, we ded­i­cate all our en­ergy, ef­fort, and time to the com­pany. Of course, we could not get where we are now with­out the huge sup­port of our friends, team driv­ers, and dis­trib­u­tors. We have a plat­form for each of the 17 rac­ing classes. This re­quires a lot of on­go­ing work for con­tin­u­ing de­vel­op­ment and travel as a fac­tory team to all races to back up the team and cus­tomers. To meet the de­mands of com­pet­ing in 17 classes, we have to re­lease more than one car each month dur­ing the year. This is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity. For a few years now, I have had full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the on-road divi­sion, in­clud­ing the T4, NT1, RX8, RX8E, X12, X10, and X1. Ju­raj [Hudy] with Martin Bayer are in full charge of the off-road divi­sion, which in­cludes the XB8, XB4, XB2, XT2, XB8E, XT8, XT8E, GTX8, and GTX8E. This split in re­spon­si­bil­ity is the only way we are able to han­dle the en­tire prod­uct port­fo­lio.

What’s next for Xray in the on-road scene?

We will fo­cus on im­prove­ment of our prod­ucts as we do ev­ery day. Over­all, the mar­ket is shift­ing to elec­tric classes, and there are fewer driv­ers in ni­tro. For Xray to stay in the ni­tro class and to sat­isfy our ni­tro cus­tomers, we came this year with a new elec­tric con­ver­sion for our ni­tro on-road plat­forms RX8 and GTX8. This way, a driver can eas­ily race with his “ni­tro” car in an elec­tric class and vice versa. This is the trend, but we will see what the fu­ture brings. Thanks to our in-house man­u­fac­tur­ing, flex­i­bil­ity is our main ad­van­tage.

For­mer World Cham­pion and TQ Ron­ald Volker (left) did not have the speed to match Bruno Coelho’s Xray T4 in the fi­nals. De­spite start­ing sec­ond, Bruno was able to take the first two fi­nals after amaz­ing passes and fi­nally wrap up World Cham­pi­onship ti­tle in his fa­vorite class.

Team Xray 71

Bruno Coelho’s Xray T4 on its way to win­ning the 2018 IFMAR Elec­tric Tour­ing ti­tle. The 1/12 Stock Pan Car cat­e­gory was in­tro­duced this year, with driver EJ Evans tak­ing home the ti­tle. The Xray X12 con­trolled the Stock A-main fi­nals by tak­ing all 10 avail­able spots.

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