Modified Using the Brushless: I am a big fan of modified class racing. I think that more power equates to more fun. I often wonder why more people don’t race modified. I guess there are lots of reasons and two of them would be the cost, and the ongoing levels of maintenance. Those have certainly been issues for me of late.
After my race on the weekend, I think both of those issues are resolved. I ran modified on Sunday using the Novak GTB/Velociti 4.5 combination. Now certainly, this unit is more expensive than a similar standard “normal” speed control and modified motor to buy. Not that much more however, and ongoing maintenance costs are zero. No lathe, no brushes, no armature wearing out or throwing winds. Just replace the bearings once in a blue moon.
On Sunday was I was able to run all day, with no motor maintenance, no motor issues, plenty of power (once I worked out the correct gear ratio) and only used 2 batteries (yes, charged them 3 times each!). My batteries were just the low end matched Feral 3800’s (voltage about 1.17) that are now over 6 months old. I actually ran a practice run using an unmatched Feral 3600 (from the very first batch of them over a year ago) which has had a long and horrible life and still made plenty of power and 6 minutes run time. I think the cost and maintenance issues are gone, as are the power and runtime issues. If you’ve ever considered running modified but the cost and effort has put you off, then the GTB/4.5 (or probably better yet the 5.5 for a starting point) makes modified accessible. Do what we did – sell off unused parts to fund the purchase, and go race modified at no ongoing motor cost/maintenance. More power = more fun = bigger smiles. That’s why we race isn’t it?
19 Turn Spec Racing: All of that said, I really like 19T as well. I guess we probably don’t have room for another class in regular club racing, but the motors are excellent, low maintenance, quick enough to be fun and the power levels seem reasonably equal for all the different spec 19T motors available.
540 Racing – A Beginner’s Class?: Maybe it’s time we finally reclaimed 540 for the novice/junior/beginner drivers and made 19T the new “stock” class. All those super experienced guys with heaps of gear and the latest cars/batteries can then run rebuildable stock. 540 remains to my mind something just too bizarre. Where do our newcomers race if they have to face up with guys with years of experience and megabucks worth of the latest cars, batteries, charging equipment etc? It is still to me the strangest thing about our sport. I think 540 should be regulated as a “beginners class” and a lot of people should be kicked out of it. Good thing I’m just a sideline commentator. That’s enough opinions from me for one week I’m sure.
The Bayside Cup: In terms of my own weekend, I had a blast. I really enjoy racing at Bayside. The club do a great job, facilities are excellent, the track is fun to drive (if a little bumpier than might be ideal) and the club members friendly and welcoming. 19t was good for me but not great. Too late in the peace I found a disintegrating motor (just plain worn out!). It was a shame as my car was pretty good. Anthony and Keith had too much of everything and Anthony won (AGAIN!!!).
Sunday was almost too much fun. I ran the GTB/4.5 and spent most of qualifying trying to figure out the gear ratios (it was my first time on an outdoor track) and figuring out the right settings for the EC on the Bayside track (my first mod runs there with the EC). I found the right ratio and a good car setup during the lunch break (luckily I wasn’t stuck truing brushed motors hey!). In the first final I nailed the start and managed to sneak up inside Keith (that set the scene for 2 more epic startline battles later in the afternoon, but more of that later). Later that lap Anthony clipped a kerb and I found myself leading across the line at lap 1. My car was really good and I was looking forward to an epic battle with Anthony and Keith when both had small accidents with big consequences – and by the two minute mark I was something like half a lap clear. A nice easy cruise to win in a pretty good time.
In the second final Keith and I fought out the first corner again. I got up alongside once more, but Keith managed (brilliantly I think) to hang out around the outside and retain second place. I nearly got him! Anthony was in front and Keith and I chasing. I was a little aggressive and overdrove, with a few small errors dropping me back. Anthony won from Keith both in quick times. The world was back in it’s rightful alignment…. Leg 3 and there was heaps of pride on the line for the start (never mind the rest of the race). I managed to get the jump on Keith again. My EC was really putting the power down off the line and I could hug the inside of the first turn nicely. I chased Anthony with Keith right behind me but never quite got close enough. A little while into the race I got all messed up with some lapped traffic and that let Keith get away. I finished third and third on the day. Anthony won (c’mon it’s getting predictable, give us something?) and Keith second. Martin Nichol drove really well to finish well up in a good field – time to give up 540 Martin!
In some ways I was disappointed not to get a really good clean “race” with Anthony and Keith, but they were both just a little more consistent in driving than I. I’m happy however to be much closer than I have for the last couple of years, and very much looking forward to each race. Bring on the HS invitational – 12 heads up races with some of the best in the country. I can’t wait!