Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Slough - 13/03/2011

Just a short write up for this one, not my usual War and Peace effort, I was a little under the weather and to be honest most of the day was a blur!

With Slough all but having dropped truggies it was out with the Losi 8ight 2.0 EU for some Rallycross action. The weather forecast was OK, and on arrival the track looked pretty dry - good news as I'd had heavy drizzle pretty much the whole way up the M3. The winter weather hasn't been kind to Slough, and the track has torn up pretty badly... but hey, this is off-road so you have to take what you're given and run with it.

Most of the Clanfield Massive were in attendance, including in-frequent away drivers Jon Wolfe and Fribbers both of whom had secure day release passes to come and race. Les Taylor appeared to have bought his patio with him, complete with parasol and Christmas tree lights. The rest of us made do with a couple of bog standard gazebos.

Of out for some early practice, and lo and behold the car's electrics are playing up, my Spektrum receiver dropping into fail safe every time I go full throttle. I don't know why but my electrics always seem to play up at Slough, I';m going to blame the proximity to Heathrow! A new battery makes no difference so it's off to the bits to try and borrow another receiver in the hope that'll fix it. I'm very grateful when Tony RC comes to the rescue, but practice is over when it's fitted, so I'll only find out if the issue's fixed in round one qualifying. Still, I;m doing better than Tony, who's pouring the inards of his motor out through the exhaust port, the Axe (ex?) Rossi having detonated it's self on the main straight. Fortunately Tony isn't short of a motor or two, so an RB is dropped in instead.

I'm out in heat three, and joy of joys it starts to rain just as I go out. Not hard, but enough to make the track crazy greasy. The good news is that my electrical gremlins seem to be sorted and I get in a consistent, if slow, full pull. The cars feeling pretty good, but the front end is washing out, that could just be the wet track. Out to marshal after my qualie, and it's stopped raining. Joy. The cars are picking up quite a lot of mud now though, so my main hope is that it will have dried before I'm next out.

Round two, and the track has dried a lot. I've not changed the car, it seemed OK last time out, I want to try pushing a bit more on the dry track and see how it takes it. Put man Byrners tops the fuel on off we go. The round goes OK, faster than the last, but the front end is still feeling a bit blunt, and the engine is fluffy off the bottom and running quite rich up top, making it hard to be consistent and ruining the top end on the straight.

Round three, and some changes are in order. Byrners takes the screw driver to the engine to give me a fine tune, and I change to a thinner front anti-roll bar to get the car a bit more pointy. It all seems to work as I'm now some 30 seconds quicker than in round 2 and actually starting to feel at one with the car. I think my electric racing has helped as well, I definitely seem to be smoother, and I think I'm carrying more speed in the corners. I end up qualifying in the F final, a couple of places behind Mark B, who's OS Speed is giving him grief, and is clearly due a rebuild.

I pit for Paul 'Berky' Berkinsaw in his final H final, a good run sees him bump to the G, where he's once again running well untill engine issues spoil his day.

The final is fifteen minutes, and is great fun. There are close battles all over the place with everyone bar the leader very evenly matched. Any slip up is punished, but on the whole the racing is very clean, and makes for probably the best racing I've had in a while. I wind up sixth, one place behind Mark who should have had the race in the bag, save for yet another cut. The OS will definitely be getting a rebuild.

Tony RC is in the E final, and keeps Steve Merry on his toes by suffering at least three cuts that I saw. Seems to be a day of engine woes for a lot of people.

Jamie Kerr is running below his usual high standards, and seems to be struggling to get the best from his new Agama A8, it's quite a different animal to his previous Xray, but I'm sure he'll get there. His new OS is also playing up, as it's only just broken in the tune seems to be drifting on him.

The day ends with us all gathering to watch the A final, at which point I let the side down by producing non-Mcvites choccy bickies. Every one has to eat at least five to confirm just how bad they are. Not a good showing, the situation is only saved by birthday-boy Marc 'Jaf' Jacca  producing Krispy Kreem doughnuts. Top fella.

Jon Wolfe pulls out the performance of the day, finishing 9th in the A, top Clanfield runner and a performance made even more impressive as he hadn't run at Slough in around 5 years,

We leave the track in convoy so that I can show the guys the cross country route back to the M3 avoiding the M4/M25. All goes well until Tony RC disappears just before Ascot, turns out Dibble had left his transmitter back at the track... doh!

All in all a good days racing, for once not spoilt by the weather. Thanks to Team RC Banter/The Clanfield Massive for some great company, Tony RC for the loan of the receiver and Mark B and Fribbers for some top pitting action. I'll concentrate harder on your car next time Mark ;-)

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