So, that time of year has come round again. You know the one, too many pies, too many relatives and some kind of chunky knit sweater your gran thinks will look lovely. It's also that time of year we all go bleary eye'd and look back over another year. Not wanting to be one to break from tradition, here's my look back over a year in RC racing...
Mr Magoo's Event of the Year
This was a tough one, I've been to some great races this year. The stand-out for me was three days in Slough in September for the ProLine International Invitational. The track surface was amazing, I've never seen a groove develop like that on a UK track. The racing was awesome and the social element was also off the chart. Probably the most fun I've had racing, although my performance was less than stellar! I'd only raced buggy once before and so was always on the back foot, a bad engine tune and an RC8B that I just couldn't make work didn't help. This was the race that convinced me I needed a Losi 8ight EU, a decision I still stand by.
Mr Magoo's NOT the Event of the Year
Epic fail of the year has to be the SRS round 2 race at Slough. Radio gremlins meant I turned three laps all day in an event I was very much looking forward to. Given that this was probably the last time I'll ever get to run the truggy at Slough makes this especially disappointing. I won't dwell on this one, suffices to say that the fault hardware has since had a swift meeting with a wood-splitting axe and won't be causing me any more trouble!
Mr Magoo's Product of the Year
I'm going to give this one to the Alpha Plus line of engines. One of the main topics on almost every racers mind this year seems to have been the cost of racing. Lets face it 8th of road is not a cheap hobby these days and anything that can drive the price down with out sacrificing quality has got to help. I've run the Alpha S852 and F850 motors in buggy and truggy all year an found them utterly reliable, plenty powerful and very good on fuel. Both engines are deep into 4-5 gallons now and look to have plenty of life left in them. How good are they? Well, these £140 motors have relegated my £300 OS Speed Worlds engine to my spare... nuff said.
Mr Magoo's NOT Product of the Year
Sorry ProLine, but this ones gotta head your way... Over priced tyres that just don't work that well on your average UK track, and rubber compounds that just don't seem to last. You've been out front for so long that you never saw the competition coming until they were out in front. If you want to see what you should be doing, take a look at www.raceaka.com and learn a new trick or two. But mostly, can we have sensible prices please? At around £60 a set, people are going to stop racing just because they can't afford the tyres.
Mr Magoo's Why didn't I Try This Before?
Electric 2 wheel drive. Cheap kit (Ansmann X-Pro, some electrics from Hong Kong), low tech chassis and close racing has to be fun. Throw in a good club atmosphere and some great characters and a Sunday's racing at TORCH almost made it to my event of the year. I think I'll be doing a lot more of this next season, it's so much fun it'll probably be banned!
Mr Magoo's Man of the Year
Mr Neil McRae, figure-head of truggy racing in the UK, and Mr UK Truggy Pro. With almost no help and a hectic personal schedule Neil manages year after year to put on a top quality national truggy racing series against all odds. The guy's a legend, a status made even greater after a sat-nav induced 'incident' at a very wet Deerdale this year. Cheers for another year of fun event's Neil, we'll see you in 2011.
So, there you are, 2010 done and dusted. All that's left to do now is get this miserable winter out of the way, and get into 2011 ready to generate some more great memories. So you all track-side real soon!