Sunday, 16 January 2011

Another fun morning @ TORCH

With the continuing poor weather this week I made a decision mid-week to strip the truggy right back and start preping it for the new season, after all, the planned Clanfield race wasn't going to happen... Tony and I figured we'd do the morning at TORCH as the Astroturf surface is almost always fine. So at about 2:30 on Saturday the call comes in, Clanfield is on as the track has dried up. Oh well, we're committed now so TORCH it is.

The numbers were well down on normal, with the nitro posse largely of at Clanfield and a number of the other regulars of at the Petite RC, being held at Ardent up that there Norf somewhere. Still, six 2wd drivers were out, including Cammers with the Schumacher, and seven 4wd made the show including Tony with his Durango, Dave O'Brien with his various cars and Mark 'Byrners' Byrne making a rare showing with his AE B44.

Mark's day-glo orange Bulldogged up AE B44

With the low numbers we ran three rounds of qualifying over two heats, and then three-leg finals. Round one went well for me, coming off the one spot I led the first couple of laps before droping back due to unforced errors. This produced a ding-dong battle with Cameron, and I eventually ended up third in the round.

Round two was a disaster, the car being jittery and seemingly in some form of trouble. Nothing was obvious, and I suspected the LiPO wasn't as charged as it should be. Putting in a fresh pack I went out for round three, and whilst not as fast as round one was able to grab another third placed finish. That was good for fourth over all, but I was still gutted about round two, and still not 100% on what was wrong with the car.

Tony tries to convince Mark he needs a Durango

Mark B auditions for The Shopping Channel!

Legs one and two of the finals are best forgotten. The problems from qualifying re-appear and I wind up with a pair of DNF's. I'm gutted, the car felt awesome when running well, and I think my driving is improving week on week, I know I'm better than this.

Round three, new batteries and everything's back to normal. I get a flyer from fourth on the grid, and Cameron stuffs it at the first corner, I'm up to second and running. But no, Cameron flies through the corner and piles into me, we're both at the back. Half a lap of poor driving from me and I've got a real challenge on my hands to get anything of a result. Still, I regroup, settle down and just go for it. At the end buzzer I'm up to second behind Cameron, aided by at least one DNF in the rest of the field. Still, I'm happier.

Who says Byrners don't jump?

Tony's Durango earns it's wings (where's Byrners going?)

We end up the day watching Tony RC blasting his Durango around to get some practice, whilst Cameron is running one of Dave's Losi chassis to see what he makes of 4wd. I think Dave senses a sale in the offing! Cameron's setting some good times in a car he doesn't know, with easy 38s laps, dipping into the 37s eventually. Give him some time and he'll be up there (assuming he parts with the cash!). Eventually Tony and Cammers decided to have an impromptu race, unsurprisingly resulting in the carnage I managed to catch on video (watch this space!).

Another excellent time at TORCH, big thanks to Julian Mallard and everyone else involved in making it happen in Steve and Mike's absence.

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