Category Archives: Ponderings

What’s on your R/C bucket list?

You know the idea of a bucket list? All the things you want to do or try before you die?

A twitter conversation with fellow RC tragic @RTR085 just got me thinking about an R/C version.

So what’s on your R/C bucket list?  What cars or classes do you want to own or race? What race tracks to you want to experience? What events would you love to enter?  What experiences or road trips with your mates?

Here’s a few to get you going:

Race Tracks/Venues/Events:

  • Yatabe Arena: An easy one to add, given that the Worlds is going on there right now. And as one of the World’s most iconic venues, a ‘must’ on the bucket list.  Probably 10th off-road by choice – but a 10th TC race, or even just to visit the venue and explore all it’s facilities would be amazing.
  • XRAY Factory Raceway: amazing outdoor on-road, plus indoor on and off-road facilities, this is one place that would be incredible to race at. For choice, I’d say one of the EOS or ETS races that the venue hosts each year.
  • NEO Race: If I could only pick one GP offroad event to attend (outside a Worlds), it woudl be the UK’s NEO race. Run annually on a purpose built (temporary) indoor track, it’s build a reputation as the unofficial indoor worlds. Track layouts are always amazing, atmosphere looks incredible. It’s on my list.
  • Reedy Offroad Race: Any Reedy Race would be good – but this one is the big one. Top 24 drivers in the world, head to head racing for 3 days. Always at incredible venues.  Bonus points if you get there in 2016 to see Kyle McBride take on the Invite class
  • IIC Vegas Race: Surely the biggest and best indoor carpet TC race in the world? Scotty Ernst’s brainchild. The track itself doesn’t look anything special (I’d take an indoor ETS venue anyday) but the event, location, size, atmosphere? It’d be a ripper.
  • World Champs: Any scale, any class, any venue. Always the best of the best of the best.  I’ve seen a few from trackside (’89 St Ives and both 10th and 5th at Brendale, Qld in the 2000s) but never quite managed to race. That would be special.
  • The Dirt Nitro Challenge: Biggest GP offroad race in the world. Completely insane tracks (yes tracks, there are three going simultaneously), best drivers in the world. What a buzz that would be.
  • Aus Tracks: EP offroad it has to be St Ives, purely for the iconic nature of that facility – it’s long history of holding big races.  For onroad, I can’t go past Littlehampton. Such character, such elevation gain. I’ve sat trackside and taken photos, but never quite managed to race there. One day.

Cars/classes:

  • 5th scale onroad: Just because. They’re big. They look awesome. They move around a lot. I’d love to race one (not to own one…I’m not that rich!) one day.
  • A fully “mechanic’d” GP buggy at a Nats.  I love racing GP offroad. I just hate wrenching them (actually hate wrenching anything). If I have an Aus R/C racing bucket list item, it would be to compete at a GP Offroad Buggy Nats with a fully prepared and maintained car (by someone who knows what they’re doing)!

Experiences:

  • Call a Worlds:  it’s no secret that I love the sound of my own voice, and I love telling stories about R/C. That combined means I thoroughly enjoy race commentary…and what better place to do it that a World Championships? Imagine being on the microphone when the winner crosses the line? When the TQ is pulled from nowhere?  Give me a microphone, a place to see the track (and the monitor) and let me at a Worlds.

Over to you….what’s on the R/C bucket list?

Preparing for Saturday: How to learn a new track

If you’ve done all (or most) of your EP racing at just one or two tracks, one of the skills you might be a little dusty on is how to learn the fast way around a new track.

With a brand new track opening at Logan this weekend, there will be a whole heap of us all trying to figure out what are the best lines, which kerbs can be attacked and more.

Want a head start on the competition?

Jump back to our Jan 2014 post “Back to Basics #2: The Racing Line” for some ideas and tips on finding the quickest way around a track, and what to do when confronted with a brand new race track.

And let us know your favourite tips and tricks for figuring out a new race track….there’s always more to learn!

And for a little extra help on figuring out that racing line for Saturday afternoon, head over to our facebook page for some video of Anthony Atack hitting the new Logan layout at last night’s mid-week club gathering.

2014 Interclub #1: Random Thoughts from Scott

So the first of 3 (probably) rounds of the south-east Queensland  interclub series for 10th on-road classes is in the books following this weekend’s event at Logan.  While we’re already published a quick  recap of the days events elsewhere, here’s some extended  thoughts from Scott….to which we invite you to add your own in the comments section:

Continue reading 2014 Interclub #1: Random Thoughts from Scott

Opinion: Drop the drop

keep-calm-and-drop-your-worst-1I’ve got to get this one off my chest.

EP race formats vary a little from time to time and place to place, but one thing that almost never changes is the triple A final format, with the worst result dropped when it comes to calculating the overall winner.

Sure, we use different methods of adding those two remaining results, and we use different tie-break methods in different events.

But the fundamentals are always there. Three races, best two count.

Always one round dropped.

It started a generation or more ago, back when making the distance was not quite so certain, and with the motivation of fairness.

Triple A mains got started at least in part because of the notion that the fastest guy could lose the standard single 5 minute final because of a bad start, or being unlucky enough in traffic or with a mechanical issue.

So to make sure we got the “right” winner more of the time, the triple A main was born.

And once again to make sure that the “right” driver got there, we allowed the worst result to be dropped so that bad luck couldn’t intervene.

It’s served us well all those years, and it’s rare for a voice to be raised in opposition to this basic system.

But I’m raising mine.

I think it’s time to drop the drop.

If we race for three 5-minute races, I say let them all count.

Or better yet, take advantage of the huge run-time available to EP racers today and run double 10 minute finals (and make them both count), or even a single 20 minute final (in all but the most power hungry EP classes this is an easily accomplished feat).

Model motorsport, like full-scale motorsport, and like just about any other motorsport has plenty of fortune built right into it.

Your star half-back tears a hamstring in the first five minutes of the grand final? That’s footy.

The fastest runner in the world stumbles out of the blocks in the Olympic 100m final? His/her four year journey is over just like that.

Mark Webber gets drilled from behind by an errant Lotus in turn one of the Japanese GP? Tough luck.

Even in our own sport it’s there.  Moments into the final at the 2011 Truggy Nats, #1 qualifier Shane Kelly struck mechanical issues and was in the pits, his hopes shattered.

So why stick with this notion of dropping a round in EP classes?

Not only do we not need it, we get the all-to-often sight of a dead third leg, when the first two races have been won, and the Champion elect doesn’t even bother racing the third leg.

“But wait,” I hear you say, “if the guy wins the first two finals, and then gets caught in traffic and finishes fifth, surely he deserves to win over the guy who runs around scooping up second place finishes?”

Maybe the points system needs a slight tweak so that winning gives more than a one-point advantage over coming second – something like the F1 points system would do that for us.

But, I’ll say it again, I love the idea that the event goes down to the wire, that even when there remains just one race in a finals series, anything can happen.

I want to know that right up until the last corner of the last race of the day, the win is still on the table.

And I want to see everybody racing every final, not sitting trackside watching the rest fight it out because the win is a done deal.

I might stand alone on this one, but I think it’s time.

Drop the drop.

This piece from Scott Guyatt first published in Racing Lines magazine, December 2012.

Race Report: Logan Sat 7th + Bits and Pieces

While the Labour party crashed, Tony Abbot celebrated, and most people breathed a sigh of relief that the election was over…..it was all happening at Logan.

It’s been a while since we checked in with a bit of a race report, but we managed to be there all night so figured it was time for some more stories.

Nitro…gone?

Nitro TC seems all but gone from Logan. I’m personally happy enough for the quiet, but a bit sad that as a category the numbers aren’t there any more.  There are a few at Logan, and the GT boys out at Brendale seem to still draw a crowd – but even there the Pro Tourer category is on hard times (though with a lot of effort going in to enable a resurface that might only be a matter of time).

21.5

Robert Tyler smashed it in qualifying, running 17 laps on both occasions and well up the road from Marc Wilson and Nigel Woods.  Robert led early in A1 before it all went pear shaped and he crashed to mid-field, Wilson taking over the front spot while Woods was in recovery mode….a drive that brought him all the way to the front and going on to win.  A2 was Tyler back to his best banging in the best time of the night and a 9 second win over Woods and Wilson. Combined results went Tyler, Woods, Wilson.

17.5

As usual some great racing in 17.5, with tight qualifying fought out between Karl Yeung, Duncan Vaughan, Angus Jacobs and Terry Norman (just 2 secs splitting the foursome).  A1 saw some kind of weird computer glitch around the 5 minute mark, but Karl was 3 secs up the road from Duncan with a nice drive from Liam Chadwick bringing him into 3rd. A2 was more of the same – big win to Yeung over this time Terry Norman and the old barger himself, Bob Vardy.  That put Karl on top overall with Vaughan and Gordon wrapping up the podium spots.

Modified

Small but very high qualify field tonight. Peter Beckett continues to put some great pace together and set the TQ by the massive margin of 0.01 secs over Simon Nicholson!  A1 was all Simon, getting to the lead in the second minute and then pulling clear as Peter struggled with the car a touch. A tight battle between Lai and Guyatt finished in that order, Broadstock and Bennett out early.  A2 saw Beckett and Nicholson going at it, a relatively minor class between the two unfortunately cutting Simon’s battery tape and putting him out, and releasing Broadstock and Guyatt up front. A Corey mistake then put the old man out in front. We’d like to be able to report a dominant victory, but alas ambition overcame talent, the track was too narrow and a crash ensued. Beckett nabbed Broadstock with a little over a lap to run to take the win.

The Modified Challenge

Mod TC’s are extremely fast and it does take some commitment and preparation to drive them at reasonable speed.  One of the challenges tonight came in the form of a relatively new driver with a car fitted with a Mod motor. Naturally he was slipped into Mod on the basis of motor choice – but on this occasion that wasn’t good for him, or for the class with closings speeds between the faster drivers and the newcomer enormous, and big car-damaging accidents almost inevitable.  It’s a challenge – would a novice be better running in with the slower classes (to reduce the closing speed differential), should there be some kind of “qualifying” before entering Modified (a minimum lap time in 17.5 for example)?  A “run-what-ya-brung” Novice class is probably the best approach – but that’s only possible when there is a steady flow of new drivers.  One thing is for sure – running in with the Mod guys probably wasn’t an enjoyable experience for a new driver wrestling with his car….and I feel for him. I hope he returns with a spec motor, or we find a way to include new drivers with “out-of-spec” cars.

The Bump

The well known lumpy bits on the outside of the front straight aside, most of the Logan track is in pretty decent shape….with the exception of “the bump”.  There’s a big bump on the exit of the big sweeper at the fair left of the track. When running the ‘classic’ layout it’s not a factor, cars are slowing for a tight hairpin at that point, and the bump plays no part. On the current layout, with cars accelerating hard out of a high speed sweeper….that bump becomes crucial. Some cars deal with it relatively well, or drivers choose to run a little wider to avoid the worst of it.  Definitely a challenging part of the race track and taking some thinking and setup work!

The Mi5’s

Naturally we keep an eye on the Mi5 and tonight in all three classes there was a lot to like. Robert Tyler was comfortably quickest in 21.5 and Karl Yeung looking amazing for the second week in a row in 17.5.  The “old man” of the team took some time to get going in Modified, but by A2 was looking good. We’re thoroughly enjoying running the Mi5, and loving the great feedback from many customers.  We’re looking to have a revised front king pin available in the next week or so – just waiting for the final part to be released by Schumacher. We’ll let you know here when it’s available.

Qld Champs

It’s just three weeks until the Qld Champs unfolds for 2013. Sadly Action R/C can’t be present on the weekend, the result of another exciting project we’re involved in (and which we’ll write more about in a few days).  That aside, we’re expecting a pretty big turnout at Bayside this coming weekend with the major players looking for one last practice opportunity before the Champs. That might make Wednesday night’s mid-week action a little busy as well. We’re hoping to be there Wednesday night at least for a while, but probably can’t be there on Saturday.  That’s because…..

Pro-Line Thunder Down Under

We’ve mentioned it before, but the Proline Thunder Down Under race at Logan this weekend (for 8th GP and EP off-road buggies/trucks) should be a ripper three day event. US Superstars Adam Drake and Mike Truhe (fresh from a 1-2 performance at the recent US Nats) will take on Kyle McBride, Matt Griffin, Aaron Stringer and a host of Aussie talent on a wild new track layout. Qualifying is Friday and Saturday morning, lower finals starting later on Saturday, while the main events should late morning/early afternoon on Sunday. Come for a visit, or keep track over at www.slyfoxrmt.com or here for daily updates.

EP Offroad Worlds

Probably the most anticipated race in 2013 is the EP Offroad World Championships. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks with a big and strong Aussie team heading over to the US to do battle with the world’s finest.  On home turf it’s hard to go past Maifield, Tebo, Cavilleri, Phend and Evans as pre-race favourites, but we’d be expecting some pretty strong Japanese and European contenders as well. When the event gets closer we’ll post some links for live coverage and event news.

 

The Weekly Update: 6th July

Here’s the latest:

Whats in Stock

Couple of interesting bits made it into our hands this week:

  • EDS 1/8″ Arm Reamer
  • Core RC Shock Piston Drilling Kit – includes 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5mm bits and hand drill
  • Thunder Power 21.5 and 17.5 motors (13.5 coming next week)
  • Sorex 28 premounts – great for winter racing

We’re also carrying a few Mi5 option parts for those who want some more range in setup, extra bling, or just to experiment:

  • Spring Kits
  • Sway Bar Kits
  • Purple Alloy Wheel Spacers (0.5 and 1mm wheel shims)
  • 5th Body Post (supports the bonnet, particularly helpful if you’re running lightweight shells)
  • 3-dink link plates, and option rear hub carrier plates
  • 6 degree micro castor blocks

Big Races:

Along with the usual mix of club races this weekend around south-east Queensland, there are two big events we’re keeping an eye on.

The first is the Australian round of the inaugural Asian On-Road Championship series put together by global race organiser Scotty Ernst. Two days of practice are done and things get serious with qualifying underway in Melbourne this morning.  Full live race scoring is streaming over at liverc.com and we’ll do our best to point to any video we find.  If you’re an instagram user, search for #AOC2013 for a heap of photos and some short video snippets. The track looks amazing. There are a couple of Queenslanders at the event with Corey Broadstock close to the pace in Superstock and Modified, and Ed Clark (our adopted Queenslander) pushing hard in F1.

The second, and more self-indulgent, is the Gold Coast Marathon festival, where our own team driver (that’s me!) will run the half marathon Sunday morning. He’s hopeless and slow, and a first-time half marathonner, so anything better than trackside vomitting will be a win!

News and Views

We posted a couple of days ago about changes to the national EP on-road rules. Reaction to the plans to move stock to 13.5 blinky (zero ESC timing) has been largely positive, and we are hopeful that Queensland will follow suit both at club and state level.  There’s a more mixed reaction about 21.5 blinky being adopted as a national sanctioned class, primarily based on different views about how many sanctioned classes there should be (not about whether 21.5 blinky is a good class, or a suitable club racing class – which it clearly is).

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, enjoy!  As for us, some late changes to family schedule mean that I (Scott) will hopefully stop by Bayside this afternoon for a while. Hopefully see you there.

Australia goes 13.5 for EP On-Road Stock

Big news announced by national body AARCMCC is that from 1 January 2014, the EP On-Road “Stock” class will be for 13.5 turn motors with zero timing ESCs.

As per current rules, motors and ESC’s must be on the AARCMCC, ROAR or BRCA lists.

It remains to be seen whether ORRCA Qld follows suit. I for one hope they do, with this representing a good chance to unify rules nationally.

13.5 motors, with zero timing are a really nice speed. They’re a little faster than the 17.5 blinky class run in Queensland at present, but not so fast as to be hard to control. 13.5 will be nicely differentiated from the very popular 21.5 blinky class.  I’ve run 13.5 blinky at Tasmanian Championship events and thoroughly enjoyed the class.

So, that leaves us with three question:

1. Will ORRCA Q move to 13.5 blinky as it’s EP on-road stock class? Yes please!

2. What implications for SEQ Interclub racing with it’s class structure for 2014? Time for a re-think of superstock?

3. What will be the motor of choice for 13.5 blinky?

We’re thinking the answer for #3 will be the Thunder Power Z3R 13.5. We’ll have them in stock at the end of next week. Contact Scott to put your name on one.

Question 3 is of course a little cheeky, but your thoughts on #1 and #2 welcome in the comments….

Action R/C: Weekly Update

Welcome to a new series of semi-regular updates. We’ll try and keep you up to date with what’s new in stock, any specials or deals, and the latest news on Schumacher cars, setups and tips.

What’s in the Box

New into stock this week are some good bits. Contact Scott (or see me at Logan Saturday night/Bayside Wednesday night).

  • Mi5 Mid-Motor Conversion Kit: ideal for tight and twisty layouts or for when you need maximum steering responsiveness.
  • Core R/C Emergency Soldering Iron: A 60 watt iron that will run straight from your power supply or 2s LiPo pack for emergency trackside repairs. Lightweight and space saving.
  • Mi5 Decal Sheets: When you’re ready for a new body (and we have Protoform Mazda Speed 6 and LTCR in stock) we have you covered for Mi5 decals
  • Marc Rheinard MR33 Touring Car Wings: Stiff and strong, max downforce.
  • KimWipes: Perfect tissue for tyre warmers & traction compound
  • Mi5 6 deg front micro castor blocks: A little gentler on the way into the turn, dynamite on exit
  • EDS Allen Wrench Set: 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3mm allen wrenches from EDS
  • Speedpassion Reventon Pro ESC & V3 17.5 Motor Combo – stunning price of $150. ONE ONLY
  • Sorex/Schumacher pre-mount tyres – 28/32/36
  • 3 Racing F1 front wings
  • Steering servos, sensor leads, motors from Speedpassion and Thunderpower

On Special:

Clearance pricing on these items only:

  • Speedpassion Ultra V3 17.5R Motor: Perfect for bashing or beginning. $40 each. TWO ONLY

Mi5 Update

The Mi5 continues to impress, winning races all over the world. Schumacher advise they’re selling the cars as fast as they can make them. We have two kits arriving on Tuesday. Contact Scott to put your name on one of them.

Whether you’re getting ready to build, or wanting to take your Mi5 to the next level, scoot on over to the website of Euro Schumacher Pro Martin Hofer. Hofer’s website is full of great info – but his latest post on building the Mi5 is a ripper. Read it, marvel at the lengths pro drivers go to, and then repeat the treatment on your own Mi5.

This week we took the chance to back-to-back the two most popular TC bodyshells, Protoform’s LTC-R and their Mazda Speed 6. The Mi5 generates such great steering and traction that either shell will work beautifully – just depends exactly what you’re after from the car. With the Speed 6 mounted up, my Mi5 was beautifully balanced and very safe to drive. The Mi5’s natural steering characteristic meant it was generating plenty of turn-in, and the stable handling characteristic of the Speed 6 meant I could do just about anything with the throttle and the car would just grip and go.

The LTC-R is well known as a body that delivers a sharper steering response, and that’s just what we found. With the Mi5 delivering prodigious traction, even the extra turn-in from the LTC-R wasn’t enough to upset the car’s balance. On this night, at this test track (Bayside), for this driver…..the LTC-R was my body of choice. I felt like I could get the car to the apex of the turn just a little better, and the LTC-R rotates just a smidge quicker than the Speed 6. On another track, with lower grip levels, I’d probably opt for the Speed 6.

What’s Coming Up?

South-east Qld racing this weekend includes Logan On-Road (pending weather…it’s not a nice forecast) and GCRC Indoor Off-road – both on Saturday night. We’ll be at Logan. Darren Lord has plenty of Schumacher Cougar SVR and CAT K1 spares down at GCRC. Sunshine Coast On-Road is running Sunday.

Next week it’s a Bayside week, with mid-week racing Wednesday night and club racing Saturday night. We’ll be there Wednesday night to give the junior Guyatt’s some track time, but can’t make the Saturday night race. If you’re needing anything, let us know.

Next weekend, much of the focus in Australia will turn to Melbourne for the Australian round of the inaugural Asian On-Road Championship. World renowned race organiser Scotty Ernst makes his first trip down under and there’s a big field lining up on the purpose built indoor carpet track. There are a few Queensland drivers heading down – best of luck to you all.

Reflections: Clipsal 500 – V8 Supercars 2013 Round 1

So the much vaunted Car of the Future is here in V8 Supercar land.  The Nissan Altima and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG cars made their debut at what is widely agreed as the toughest race weekend of the year, joining the new cars from Ford and Holden.

Conventional wisdom is that all the teams (including thew newly formed Nissan and Mercedes-Benz crews) together with the technical experts behind the COTF regulations did a brilliant job, and the racing was fantastic.

I find myself unable to agree on several fronts.

For sure there were some highlights. I loved seeing the likes of Shane van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard running fast and up front, both Brad Jones Racing and TEKNO Motorsport have done great work.

And then there’s the nice work from the Fujitsu Racing GRM squad of Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat doing a solid job. You’d want to see McLaughlin going quicker than Premat pretty consistently, Premat didn’t show too much promise last season.

Beyond that the pickings, in my opinion, are slim.

I think the events of the weekend give every appearance that the COTF cars weren’t ready, were under-tested and in many cases under-prepared.

When control components like the new transaxle fail on multiple cars, that sends warning signals.

When FPR have wheelnuts/axles fail on all three cars, that’s poor preparation (and if it was the control components – why did it only affect FPR? and why only Sunday?)

And then there’s the reality that only 888 Racing built cars were remotely competitive in race trim. Sure FPR bagged a couple of front row starts, but in race trim it didn’t look to me like anybody could hang with the 888 build chassis.

And the new boys? Both the Nissan and Mercedes-Benz cars look fantastic, both sound fantastic, both are slow. The Merc’s in particular look well down on power and just not ready to go racing.

So what are we left with? One group of dominant cars, , everyone scrambling to catch up, worrying niggles about the reliability of control (and therefore compulsory) components that seem to randomly fail, and the much vaunted new manufacturers destine to prop up the rear of field (maybe until we get to some non-horsepower tracks?).

And the commentary team? Great technical detail, light on the capacity to critique under-performing teams and tell it like it is. We spent the whole weekend being told what an amazing job had been done to get 28 cars on track…while watching car after car fail and drop out.  That’s probably the price for trying to be mates with everyone up and down pit lane (except the Giz who seems to have been dumped by all!).  I found the guys also missed the mark on helping us keep track of how the race was unfolding…how did Lowndes suddenly get a 15 second lead? No idea!

There’s lots to like about the year ahead, but for mine the weekend was a little short of a complete success.

We’re hoping to bring some occasional opinion/commentary on V8 and F1 series this year – just for fun. Your comments and responses are most welcome!

Scott

Scott: Playing in the Dirt

When, a few weeks back, Schumacher released the new Cougar SVR rear-motor 2wd buggy (designed for dirt!) at the same time as the passionate guys from the Gold Coast EP Off-Road Club announced their new indoor Gold Coast R/C Raceway, I (Scott) earmarked a day of my holidays in Brisbane this week to put the two together. It felt like the perfect holiday day-out.

David was kind enough to relinquish the keys to the Cougar SVR, and we headed trackside for a day of driving and testing, followed by the regular Wednesday night club racing.

The Cougar SVR is the real deal and entering into a crowded market of 2wd buggies (Team Associated B4.1, Losi 22, Durango DEX210, Tamiya, Kyosho RB5/RB6….it’s a hard-fought category!) it has to be. Packing big-bore shocks, light-weight drive train, alloy chassis, reverse steering and the capacity to take a variety of battery packs make the SVR one to watch.

The car I raced today was built as standard. We played with four-hole domed shock pistons, and I ended up running one-rate softer front spring – but otherwise it was kit standard. In terms of electronics, it’s a two-year old Speed Passion GT2 LPF running blinky software, and a $60 SP Ultra Sportsman 10.5 motor.  That’s cheap racing!

I also did a couple of runs with the 4wd CAT SX3, and was reminded that 4wd Mod buggy is an unbelivable racing class. I couldn’t face running two cars on the one night, but I’ll be back for sure to sample some racing with the SX3 – they’re so fast around the track!

Tyre wise the Gold Coast track is pure clay, and the breed of tyres designed specifically for that surface work well. The bonus is awesome tyre life, with one local claiming better than 3000 laps on a set of tyres. I don’t know for sure about that, but I did manage to crank out over 400 laps today, and the Proline Suburbs (MC Clay compound) looked untouched.  Again, cheap racing.

2wd modified remains one of the pure driving classes of R/C. Learning to manage throttle, and balance the available grip with over-supply of horsepower teaches many lessons worth learning – no matter what class is your favourite.

Gold Coast R/C Raceway is arguably the best indoor race track Australia has ever seen. It’s perfectly sized, the clay surface offers up a consistent racing experience with a nice level of traction, and the team have put together a really fun layout with a heap of elevation changes.

It’s been a pretty long while since I last drove 2wd Mod, and it’s fair to confess it took me a while to find my feet today – but by the time we got into racing tonight I was really liking the SVR and getting to grips with the track.  Some self-inflicted errors put me in harms way in qualifying (snuck into the a “on-the-bubble”!) but we managed a clean final to run out third behind local fast-guys Jacob Stains (also running the Cougar SVR) and Aaron Lawler (Kyosho Rb5) who were simply too fast for me. Jacob also raced away with the 4wd Modifed win.

The Cougar SVR was fantastic. Nicely balanced, coping with my ham-fisted throttle inputs, turning in nicely and particularly stable in the higher speed corners, it was a joy. The car flew well and in the final I managed to get into a really strong rhythm with it. This car is the real deal, and I look forward to more time at the wheel in 2013.

A highlight from my perspective was the 20 minute final (yep, 20). With motors relatively unstressed in 2wd, and with such massive capacity batteries freely available these days, the 20 minute final is an obvious choice to offer EP racers a taste of something different. I really enjoyed the long final and have to say I’d prefer that approach than triple 5-minute A finals any day of the week. Kudos to GCRC for giving it a shot!

I thoroughly enjoyed my night at GCRC, and I’d encourage you, if you’re in South East Queensland, to get down there and check it out. The team run a tight ship, it’s a fantastic race track, and running indoors on clay is a brilliant experience. I hope ORRCA Qld ask them to host the Qld Champs in 2013…and if they do, it will be a monster event.

Thanks Action R/C, and GCRC for a great night on the dirt. Check in with David for pricing on the Cougar SVR and get yourself down to join the fun.

Queensland Spec /Stock classes – where are we.

There is a time for navel gazing and the time, I believe, is now. Maybe said to be even a renewed bout of navel gazing cause we’ve done it before not that long ago.

Stock (17.5 blinky).

The majority of stock drivers (the majority means most not all) are happy with blinky mode for their racing. Quite a few discussion have arisen now, at the two onroad clubs that I frequent, about the possibility of stock being a bit quicker – more of a gap from 21.5 to 17.5 is often spoken about. The options bandied about are to go from 17.5 blinky to 13.5 blinky or even 10.5 blinky. We know what 10.5 blinky is like because we run it at the Interclubs and frankly I like it. I suppose 13.5 would be a step but I think 10.5 is a better one – if we move at all. I think at the Qld Titles this year we might have the opportunity to get together and discuss this, I hope we will.

21.5 Clubspec.

We had a great thing going didn’t we. The Speed Passion Ultra Sportsman V2 21.5 motor and the 2 basic budget ESC that we allowed in the class served us very well, great close racing at the two clubs in Brisbane that ran the class and always good numbers with experienced drivers and novices having a lot of fun – heaven forbid we even had some kids doing it. Such a shame that the motor was discontinued and we couldn’t find a reasonable alternative one motor with at least a two year guarantee of supply. It appeared tha the only way forward was to go with open 21.5 motors from the ROAR list – these are the motors you can choose from and of course the Ultra Sportsman V2 is still ok for those that still have one.

Stock/21.5 Spec Hobbywing Hobbywing Blue=90040150 XeRUN 52.4 May 1, 2011
Stock/21.5 Spec Hobbywing Hobbywing Grey=90040151 XeRUN 52.4 May 1, 2011
Stock/21.5 Spec Horizon Hobby Dynamite DYNP1021 Quantex 21.T 50.0 February 10, 2012
Stock/21.5 Spec Horizon Hobby Team Orion ORI28237 Vortex VST Pro Stock 21.5 52.2 October 21, 2011
Stock/21.5 Spec Novak Novak 3421SS Pro 21.5T 52.7 February 19, 2009
Stock/21.5 Spec Novak Novak Ballistic 3621 54.0 July 16, 2009
Stock/21.5 Spec Reedy Reedy 940 Sonic 51.0 June 28, 2011
Stock/21.5 Spec Rocket RC Speed Shop Team Powers TP-BLM-215100PL Plutonium 13.5T 52.5 March 2, 2012
Stock/21.5 Spec Schumacher USA Speed Passion Speed Passion Competition V3 SP 138215V3 21.5T 51.0 August 2, 2015
Stock/21.5 Spec Speed Passion USA Speed Passion SP Competition V3.0 1 cell p/n 1C215V3 50.5 November 27, 2010
Stock/21.5 Spec Speed Passion USA Speed Passion SP000040 Competition V3.0 MMM 48.5 June 27, 2011
Stock/21.5 Spec Team Epic/Trinity Team Epic Triniyy D3 21.5 TEP 1057 Purple Capped Rotor 53 October 5, 2010
Stock/21.5 Spec Team Epic/Trinity Trinity TRI 10415 Pulse 21.5T 55 November 14, 2008
Stock/21.5 Spec Tekin Tekin Redline 21.5 P/N TT2250 49.5 February 21, 2009
Stock/21.5 Spec Thunder Power RC Thunder Power Z3R-S21.5 p/n TPM-540A215 52.0 November 27, 2010
Stock/21.5 Spec Viper RC Solutions Viper RC Solutions Viper VST 21.5T (PN8VST215001

After only a few weeks of running the new rules – and with the Qld Titles the first major event to be held under these rules, there are already a few cracks appearing with a few drivers unhappy at the increase in speed and cost and the not so closeness of the racing. So what to do. ORRCA have always been prepared to listen to the drivers and their concerns and at the Qld Titles we may again have teh chance to have a meet to talk this out but to what end, where do we want to go ? We can’t go back to the V2 because they are no longer available.

I had an approach from one of our senior mod drivers during teh week who is concerned about this situation because he thought that the 21.5 class as we had it was a good thing and now it might be getting away from us. Fair enough but what to do. He suggested to me a motor that could be available for around $70 with guaranteed supply for 2013 – not quite the 2 years we are after but not a bad suggestion. One problem is tha the motor in question won’t run with the Cirtix ESC – that is quite an issue because a lot of the drivers in 21.5 use the Cirtix – are we prepared to tell them to throw out their speedies so we can go back to a one motor class, equally are we prepared to tell people who have bought ROAR list motors in the last few weeks that they can’t use them. Or do we just have a year of ROAR list motors and see how it settles out.

OK go ahead and contemplate, think about this from all the angles, you have a voice, you are entitled to an opinion, you can use this thread to voice your opinion if you want – just a note – no verbal abuse or degrading comment about anyone, official or driver will be published, lets keep it objective.

My views in a nutshell for 2013

Dump 17.5 and move to 10.5

Stick with ROAR 21.5 motors and see what happens – use the year to search for a one motor alternative.

See you at the track, actually we’ll race you there.

 

 

 

2012…the year of 8th EP Offroad?

After slowly developing over the last couple of years, there is increasing interest in 8th EP Offroad, and we’re starting to think 2012 might be the year when it fires up seriously.

We’re finding a few people asking us about the class and how to get into it, so figured it might be time to share some thoughts. Some of the products we’ll mention we can supply, some we can’t. Either way, we’ll name the stuff that (in our experience) is good, reliable and fast. This is all our opinion only, based on our experiences in the class.

Click through for the whole (massive!) story on getting started in EP 8th Buggy: Continue reading 2012…the year of 8th EP Offroad?