Cool Stuff about HPI!
HPI wins in Sweden! | Team LRP/warp 7 wins 24-hr race with Sprint! | HPI visits the 2002 Chicago Hobby Show | HPI supports the ESLROC Pepsi 400! | HPI teams up with NASCAR at the New England 300 | HPI sponsors the Great Lakes Challenge | The Micro gets Car of the Year! | HPI invades the Internation Auto Salon | OLFA team cars | ESLROC Pepsi 400 Race | Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the California Speedway | Pro 3 - Car of the Year! | HPI at the Swedish Rally | HPI USA moves! | Cool Stuff from 2001 | More cool stuff!
In the beginning, we were fired with enthusiasm. At least on film. It all started almost three years ago, when we sat together after a race, had a few drinks and thought about something new that should be carried out each year on a different racetrack:
A 24-hour race with identical vehicles, motors and bodies. Equal opportunities for everybody. This idea, which I have to admit is not all new also held a particular attraction for the German Sports TV DSF. In 2000, when the race was first carried out in Andernach/Germany, which is near the former german capital Bonn, it was broadcasted in "Auto Motor und Sport TV" at prime time. This year, the television SWR agreed to come too. Unfortunately the TV-team didn't appear on the track. But this didn't spoil our event.
During the first two years, Tamiya Beetle FWD cars were
used. This year, we had to change because this model is no longer available.
We decided to chose the brand new HPI Sprint EP, a car that proved its
speed right from the box to the different races in the short period of
time since its introduction on the market.
The entry fee for the 22 teams (of 7 drivers) included the complete car and its body (HPI Sprint EP with Mercedes CLK DTM 2002), two motors and ten pairs of HPI 4435 belted Slick tires with the right HPI 4478 molded inserts and 3785 Sprint rims. After extensive tests of the organisation team, they choose this tire, insert and wheel combo, as it delivered the most grip and lasted quite a long time. Spare parts could be purchased for a fair, but not a dumping price in the caravan of the management. The three winning teams didn't even have to replace one broken part! This fact really proves that HPI with its SPRINT has set up a very tough and at the same time a long-lasting car.
In contrast to last years , when the contestants quickly had to wrench together the entire car before the race - which was even started at the beginning of the "wrenching period" - we could now use a finished product. Before the race, the teams had time to setup the RC-equipment. The complete setup was however given in advance and nobody was allowed to change it. Therefore, a completed car stood by. The body was sent to the teams before the race, so they could paint and prepare it without any stress. Two teams even used very strong LED's, which looked quite cool at night. There was, compared to the years before, much less hectic pace before the start. Nobody missed the mad rush under extreme time pressure as in 2000/2001. Another aspect is, that chances were more equal for the teams. In 2001, the first team was on the track after about 20 min, whereas the last one managed to do its first turn about an hour later!
The race itself was pretty exciting, as the two leading teams were never more than 15 laps ahead of each other. The whole 24 hours, the LRP Warp 7 Team and the Keil Racing Freaks team battled out the win on their own. It was the LRP Warp 7 team, who captured an early lead after the start. After having a 15 laps lead after 4 hours, the Keil Racing Freaks team woke up and began to catch up lap after lap. After 12 hours , both teams were within the very same lap. Three hours later, the Keil Racing Fraks had a 10 lap lead in front of LRP Warp 7, which didn't change till the end of the 24 hours. LRP Warp 7 started too push a bit harder during the last couple of hours, but didn't risk too much in order not to brake the car. The leading team switched on Cruise Control in the end and won the 24 hours battle.
Both teams didn't break one single part on their HPI Sprint EP cars during the 24 hours. The car was driven the whole 24hours by each of the 7 team members only standing still every 10minutes for about 5 seconds to change the battery. In third place, it was Team XXX, who constantly were within the Top 5, but never had a chance to reach the top two teams.
At the biggest touring car race ever held in Sweden, HPI team driver Jonas Andersson took the modified win by a huge margin! Click here to read the race report from our Swedish distributor Procar!
A recent 24-hour endurance race was held at the historic Eppelheim racing circuit (where the LRP Touring Car Masters are held every year), featuring teams from all over Europe. A Sprint car was run by racers from LRP Electronic and warp 7, taking the easy win after 24 hours! For a complete report in English and German, click here!
Yokohama Tire and HPI Racing teamed up at the recent Off Road Expo in Pomona, CA recently! Check out the crowds and action by clicking the banner!
Check out our pictures from the 2002 National Model and Hobby Show here. HPI senior staff members visited local hobby shops and tracks, talking with shop employees and customers, before visiting the trade show.
HPI again helped sponsor the ESLROC Pepsi 400 race, in Lynwood, Washington, a growing annual race held during Father's Day weekend.
The two days of racing consisted of 3 - 5 minute qualifying heats and a barbeque on Saturday, 4 cars 10-lap no-bull trophy dash, concourse challenge and the main events on Sunday. The nitro classes ran a 40 minute main on Sunday while our electric classes ran 6 minute mains. The weekend was very warm with 90 degree weather and a track temperature of 140 degrees. 74 entries and hundreds of spectators throughout the weekend highlighted by a Father's Day barbeque on Sunday...guess who cooked the fathers day barbeque....? The race director, Ben Wheeler, himself!
Prizes were awarded following the Sunday racing. Winners were awarded a PEPSI 400 Plaque and the top 3 in each division were awarded the HPI Body of their choice. Our no-bull race winners received an additional prize pack consisting of a new motor & brushes, ride height gauge, tire glue & a bottle of lock tight. All of our kid's IROC division competitors received an HPI Body of their choice. The 3 concourse winners received PEPSI 400 Plaques, an HPI body, $15 Galaxy Hobby gift certificate, NASCAR die-cast collectible from Everett Scale Raceway and a prize pack. We look foreword to having another great weekend tournament next year on Father's Day weekend!
For details on the winners and extra information about the ESLROC series, check out the club web site! HPI is proud to support well-run "grassroots" programs like Ben Wheeler's ESLROC series!
During the weekend of July 19-21, HPI Racing teamed up with with Mitchell Hobbies of New Hampshire and Radio Control Car Action magazine to attend the New England 300 race of the NASCAR racing series! Read more here!
The 2002 Great Lakes Challenge was held from July 26th to July 28th at the home track of the Toledo 1/8 Racers, in Toledo, Ohio. This is one of the longer-running annual races that 1/8 scale racers try to make every year, with several race teams and privateers making the trip to see who would come out on top this time!
With a wide variety of racing classes, turnout was very good, ranging from 200mm gas sedan, 1/10 scale, plus 1/8 2WD and 4WD classes. There was even a 1/8 oval class! Traps speeds got up to 65 mph for the 1/8 4WD cars on the 200 foot back straight, but the main battle turned out to be for the top qualifier spot. For much of qualifying HPI Proceed driver Mitchell Witteman held the TQ position, however in the last round of qualifying on Sunday it was taken away by Brian Berry.
With rains in the area delaying qualifying and even the main events, race organizers on Sunday afternoon had to make the tough decision to go with the qualifying positions as the final race order and call off the main events. At the awards ceremony, the TQ racers in each class picked up traditional trophies while the 2nd and 3rd place qualified racers received cool printed acrylic sheets that could be used as both a setup board and trophy!
A-Main Final Qualifying Result, 1/8 4WD
See the full report from Starting Grid's Mike Meyers here!
Want to know more about the Proceed? Check it out!
Race your Micro with your friends on your very own Micro track! Everything you need, from diagrams to a full parts list, is here and waiting for you, so what are you waiting for? Build your own Micro track!
That's right, the Micro RS4 has been chosen to win the most prestigious award of the year from the biggest R/C magazine in the US! Click here to read more!
HPI Racing recently had the chance to attend one of the biggest auto shows in Southern California to display our line of R/C cars. The International Auto Salon was held at the Long Beach convention center, and drew a crowd of more than 20,000 car enthusiasts.
Our staff set up our Micro RS4 race track and had cars
available for "test drives" during the 3 day event. The official
"HPI Van" was on display the whole weekend... polished and shiny
for people to see. Our hard working HPI staff handed out catalogs and
had two display tables loaded with HPI cars for people to check out. Hundreds
of people got a chance to drive an R/C car for the first time, and we
only broke a couple of parts during almost 24 hours of driving! The crowd
Our friends from Car Action magazine helped with the event, they delivered a huge stack of free magazines... and even hired a "tuner babe" to help pass them out! The crowd was so huge that we often couldn't answer all of the questions being asked! Our staff was so busy keeping the cars running and answering questions, that we even enlisted the help of one of our HPI forum regulars "Akura2" (AKA Jimmy Louis) to help answer questions. Jimmy did such a great job that we rewarded him with some of our newest bodies for his Micro RS4 car, and some HPI goodies like our new HPI Challenge shirt and cap.
This kind of show is a perfect way to display R/C cars
to the public, everyone that drove them had a great time, thousands of
people saw R/C cars for the first time, and even the other exhibitors
at the event were very interested in the cars. Thanks to Vision Entertainment,
If you're interested in seeing more about the IAS event, check out the following links:
HPI Racing recently worked together with OLFA to help promote their products at their nationwide trade shows by supplying them with a couple of HPI kits to put on display. HPI graphic designer Scott Roberts created a custom Dodge Viper GTS-R and Dodge Ram.
Painted in OLFA's trademark colors, the Viper was masked off to match the 1998 Le Mans GT2 Champion. The Nitro MT was painted like Carl R. Cottrell IIÕs real Dodge Ram, which he has nicknamed the "Dodge Vader." Carl is the Senior Product Manager for OLFA. The "71" on both cars signifies the number Carl wore when he played high school football.
Since 1956, OLFA has been making professional cutters, knives, blades and accessories and sells these products worldwide. The OLFA circle cutter, sold through BUY HPI, allows you to easily cut perfect wheel wells on your R/C bodies. Our staff at HPI uses many of the excellent OLFA products.
Thanks to OLFA for giving us the opportunity to work with them on such a fun project. A special "thank you" goes to Kate Larson and Leah Lawson in the OLFA graphics department for supplying the artwork.
HPI is proud to sponsor the ESLROC Pepsi 400 race for 2002, this race will be held this weekend (June 15-16) in Lynnwood, Washington. Also helping get the race going is Circuit City, Everett Scale Raceway, Galaxy Hobby, Hobbytown USA, Hitec RCD and Team Associated. This is the 5th ESLROC race this season, in a series championship which will be capped with a big awards banquet at the end of the season! check out all the details and schedule for future races here! The ESLROC series is a well-organized and superbly publicized group of races, check out their website if you are in the area!
NASCAR Superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew are into R/C cars, so a couple of our staff members took a trip out to the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway to hook up the #8 Budweiser crew with our newest HPI cars. Steve Baker and Troy Lyman from our customer service department and Chad Geissler from R&D "volunteered" to take advantage of a pair of free tickets and pit passes supplied by our friends at Fluidyne. As some of you may remember, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew stopped by the HPI factory last year for a tour. Well, this year Dale Jr. won the race the previous weekend, so his time was fully booked. So this year we decided to go out and see him!
Troy and Steve were armed with some custom promotional cars that we hoped we could pass along to Dale and his crew... assuming we could get their attention during the busy race schedule! With the popularity of NASCAR and 150,000 fans in attendance, just making it into the pits is a pretty tough task these days, grabbing the attention of one of the most popular drivers on the circuit is even more of a challenge. We figured that a couple of big HPI kit boxes loaded with high performance parts might just get their attention!
The first car was a heavily modified RTR Micro RS4 with a Corvette body painted in the already-famous Bud #8 colors. Under the hood was an HPI mod motor, HPI 5 cell battery pack, front one-way, rear ball diff, steel front universals, and a steel pinion gear.
The second car was an RTR Nitro RS4 3 that was loaded with pre-production "Type SS" parts like our 2 speed transmission, 12R SS engine, header, and stainless steel hingepins. Since we know that Dale Jr. is into R/C cars, we took it a little further than the Type SS and added threaded aluminum shocks and a fiber brake disc.
After checking out the awesome race facility owned by Roger Penske, our CS guys made their move into the pits to see if they could find our friends on the #8 Budweiser team. And find them they did. Troy and Steve were able to hook up with the crew, who invited them into their garage. Dale Jr was super busy with all of the media and fans wanting autographs, but not too busy to take time to check out the custom HPI cars that we brought for him and his crew. Rumor has it that he was driving the Micro RS4 up and down the hallways of his hotel later that night! Hopefully we'll get a report about the RTR 3 too, we'll keep you posted on that one.
We've heard that many of the NASCAR drivers and teams are into R/C cars, and that they often drive their cars after the races. Rumor has it that some of the local hobby shops even stay open a little later than normal to give the teams a chance to restock their R/C cars. This is a great way to spread the word about the popularity and excitement of R/C cars, if you have a connection with some of the famous teams, let us know and we'll do what we can to hook them up with some HPI cars!
For the second year in succession a HPI product wins the Car of the Year award in Germany!
Germany's biggest and best established RC Car Magazine "AMT" had a vote for the car of the year. There was only one category, Electric, Nitro, On-Road, Off-Road all together. The election was a reader choice vote, no other categories or prices were available. It needs to be mentioned that the voting is only allowed for cars, which had a full test report in the last 12 months before the election. So in fact it's like "Test Car of the Year".
In 2001 we had the Sport 2 as car of the year and Super Nitro and Racer 2 with Top 10 finishes.
In 2002 we have the Pro 3 as car of the year and Proceed and RS4 Mini with Top 10 finishes.
So, again, like in 2001, HPI is the only brand which has 3 cars in the Top 10.
At the Swedish Rally 2002 stop on the World Rally Championship race schedule, Tommi Makinen took a moment between meeting fans to pose with a Super Nitro Rally topped with our Subaru Impreza WRC body! This is Tommi's first year with Subaru after completing a truly impressive string of championships with another manufacturer. Next to Tommi is his codriver Kaj Lindstrom and fellow driver Petter Solberg with his codriver Phil Mils. See more photos from the Swedish Rally 2002 at the official Subaru World Rally Team website!
Note: The use of the above picture on the HPI Racing website has been expressly approved by the Subaru World Rally Team. Respect their copyright if you intend to use this picture.
The new building!
With HPI's growth in the past several years it's become necessary to look at more ways to increase efficiency in several areas of HPI USA's operations. The advantages to a new building and warehouse quickly became clear and the decision was made in 2001 to move to a new location just a few miles away from the building in Irvine, California. Check out the pictures below that show how we're moving our 24,000 square feet of office and warehouse space into our new 45,000 square foot building!