Rolling up track side it was good to see most of the Clanfield Massive in attendance, along with the RC-Lazy mob. Handy, as I had a few bits to pick up from Mr Crabb, giving him a chance to try out his swanky new credit-card-in-a-field thingamy-whatsit.
What was also obvious was that the TORCH track pixies had been hard at it since my last visit, as evidenced by a new large table top by the rostrum, and a couple of new ramps through the far chicane section. Could be fun for me, as the I've always had fun flying the X-Pro, I'm used to the control 4 wheel drive gives in the air and I miss it with two wheel drive. What was also obvious was the growing popularity of TORCH, with a very large turn out for a 'regular' club event. Good stuff but it did mean that the 'morning' envelope was going to be some what pushed.
TORCH's reputation is definitely on the rise!
With the rest of the Clanners running 4 wheel drive (we must finance Durango the number we have between us!) I was up first, running in heat three. The driver was definitely rusty, as the qualy was scrappy and all over the shop, 9 laps in 5:44 being a lot slower than my best. It was also obvious that with huge levels of grip and the new jumps the mid-motor brigade (X6, Vega, TLR22 and Cougar) were by far the best car to have, which I guess is all the more reason to finally get around to sorting out the Mid Rat.
Round 2, and disaster at the start. A stupid grip role, and lack of marshal, delayed me significantly at the start, and then to be honest I drove like a tit... fast at times but ragged and all over the shop. Aggression and the huge grip conspired against me and huge grip induce barrel roles were order of the day. In all honesty I'm amazed nothing broke!
For round three I want back to basics. A little more camber, slightly more ride height and 20g of weight in the rear end were order of the day. Out on track the car felt loads better, and I was starting to calm down and flow the track. I was still suffering with the excess grip, I like a car that slides and the dry, warm fuzzy felt meant that was never going to happen. Still a 9 in 5:21 at least showed me I could still drive a little bit.
Tony Evdoka's Vega Elite was on fire...
Round 4 was more of the same, quick but inconsistent and a 9 in 5:33 after a couple of massive grip roll incidents, all of which put me mid field in the 'C' final. TQ was taken by the legendary Tony Evdoka with his Team Xtreme Vega Elite, which was on fire all morning running consistently quick 10 lap qualifiers and in real danger of sticking in an 11. He just needs to find another 5 seconds.
My final was a disaster, I got shuffled down the order at the start, and although I was quicker than the other cars over a lap, I just couldn't push through the traffic. The end result was 7th in the 'C', which was disappointing. I need to do some serious work on my 2wd driving I think... some new tyres probably wouldn't hurt either.
The 'B' final was entertaining, Simon Crabb and Matt Haskell having a great ding-dong scrap for second and third, Simon taking it in the end by two seconds with Rob Elems some way in front for the win.
The 'A' final was all about Tony E as he finished 4 seconds up on Phil Williams. The 'A' final was packed out with TLR 22', and it was interesting to see that only one 'conventional' rear-motored car made the A, Mark Townsend running his TRF. The mid-motor concept does seem to be the way to go on astro at the moment...
The 'A' final four wheel drive was up next, so it was time to cheer on the Clanners. Tony had recovered from a massive stack that had decapitated his Durango before round three (radio issues), and having gone down to a 7.5 motor was looking good. Dave O'Brien had works some magic on Tony's speedo and he seemed to be liking it. Cammers had looked fast and smooth all day and it was becoming obvious that Dave was really getting to grips with his Durango as well. Fastest of the lot however was Dan Brown with his Schumacher Cat, short of getting lynched at the start he was odds on for the win.
Clanners on parade in the 4wd final
A good race ensued, with Dan duly taking the win from Cammers and Mark Andrews. Tony got fourth ahead of Chris Spencer-Smith with Dave sixth, having had an issue of some kind.
So, all in all a good day, proof that I need to get back in the swing of 2wd, and that I really should take a look at getting my Mid Rat up and running. TORCH is still coming on in leaps and bounds, and with the numbers witnessed yesterday are reaping the rewards. Great work guys!
Full results here courtesy of TORCH.