Sunday, 20 February 2011

TORCH 10th

February 20th should have been another round of racing at Slough, the home of UK 1/8 rallycross, however t he Great British weather knew better. Heavy rain the week before caused the track and surrounds to be so water-logged that there was no way the race could be run. Truth told we'd all been trying to decide where to head for some race action, this just made the decision much easier... off to TORCH for a morning of 10th electric.

Me in action, Tony 'RC' on the camera

I rolled in at 8:15, pretty much last of the regular runners. Jamie Kerr was running his Kifopaint bodied Durango, Byrners was out with his day-glo orange B44.1, Cameron had defected to 4wd with one of Dave 'Dibble' O'Brien's old Losi's and Tony 'RC' was running his 'Rango as usual. I had the Mighty Ansmann X-Pro all set up and ready to go, plus the Team C TC02C 'mid-motor' version almost ready. With the track obviously wet an slick I figured rear-motor was the way to go, the TC02C will be out later in the year when it dries up.

RC Lazy in da house (Simon Crabb in da van)

We were joined for the day by Simon Crabb, of fame, running his Schumacher Cougar. It was good to finally meet Simon and be able to put a name to a face... plus pick up some Lazy Goo and Lazy Balls!

The day got off to a great start when I realised I'd main a complete noobie mistake and forgotten to transfer my PT from Truggy into the electric. Rats, guess I'll be adding an extra hole to my shell and running a hand-out. In truth I've been waiting to do it, and at least it was a club that still has a few hand-outs. Moral of the story - I need a second PT...

Tip #1: Don't forget your PT!

Round one quali, and I'm coming of the one spot. Running my standard TORCH setup, with a change to medium front springs and the normal spot rears. Pretty much the rest of the field were on spikes of one kind or another on the rear, but I stuck with a set of mini-pins... with stagger ribs up front I just love the balance the car has with these. The run was awesome, the car felt the best ever and I streaked off from most of the field, swapping second an third place. Off the rostrum at the end of the run, and I'm well down the field. A quick check on the computer reveals my hand-out transponder had kindly dropped my last two laps. Bugger.

Round two, pretty much the same deal, but with worse driving by me . Trying to compensate for the first round I wound up pushing too hard, something a 2wd seems to punish you for. Clipped pipes resulted in a couple of flips, and you ain't making time while you're on your lid. Better yet, the hand-out once again lost a couple of my laps. Next quali it's time for a differnt hand out and we'll see what happens.

Third quali saw some better, if not great driving and at last a fully functional hand-out transponder. At this point the tracks got a drying line, and my car's set up is going off a little - the car's good, but has a little more on power push than I'd like. I'm going to need to work on this as I'm definitely losing time on a drying track. I think a little extra nose weight should help fight the push I tend to suffer... I may also cut the stagger ribs and see what effect that has.

In 4wd Jamie Kerr was having an up and down day, flying most of the time but suffering a lot of breaks, and also a lack of his usual consistency. This culminated in Byrners beating him home in round three, some thing he delighted in pointing out at any and every opportunity. It's amazing Tony 'RC' didn't start pointing out he once bumped up...

Byrner's beats his prodigy. He may have mentioned that...

Rounds four and five netted a fifth and fourth place respectively, happy but not delighted with that. I'm turning consistent 38-40s laps which is OK, what I need to do is drop the odd mistakes I'm making. A little tweaking on the set up should help trim a little lap time and then it's just down to sorting out the driver... much harder to set up!

Finals next, and I'm in fifth. To be honest my performance we poor to say the least. Inconsistent, and making stupid mistakes - a flip on the first lap in a marshal free spot drops me way back, and there's no way I can fight back from there. No one to blame but the driver this time round.

Jamie Kerr buffs his ride for the final, and tries to remember where he left the alcopops.

The 4wd final was a master class from Steve B as usual, although this week not with his familiar Durango. In the opening stages Jamie was giving him a run, but again Jamie's bobbles let him down, unusual for Jamie as he's normal fast and reliable. Back down the field Cammers and Byrners seemd happy to knock seven bells out of each other, while Tony's Durango was looking (and sounding) much healthier than before. The move back to a 7.5T motor from his 6.5T also seemed to have helped his consistency.

I grabbed a little bit of (poor quality) video of the mixed 4wd/2wd B final. Next time I'll try and get the HD camera up and running, if I can ever find the charger in my huge box of cables. Still, for those who've not been to the new TORCH circuit, this should give you an idea of what to expect.

Mixed final footage

Another top morning of racing and banter, big thanks to the TORCH guys for organising, and the lads for making racing what it is. Next week should be truggy time at Clanfield if the weather holds... see you all there.

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