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:

Full Results

The host club have already uploaded the full race results files…check them here:

Numbers

While the event had plenty of competition in most of the EP classes, overall numbers were a little low on what we might normally expect for these events (historically 80+ is pretty normal).  Here’s the breakdown (number in brackets is same event in 2013):

  • 21.5 – 10 (16)
  • 10.5 – 14 (21)
  • Gas Tourer – 2 (5)
  • Demo F1 – 8 (10)
  • Demo 12th – 3 (Mini – 3)
  • Pro-Tourer – 3 (5)
  • 13.5 – 17 (17.5 17)
  • Open – 10 (9)
  • Total – 67 (86)

So why the drop?  A few reasons that may have contributed:

  • Sunshine Coast club were absent. Changeover in club executive and many new members means the club may not have been  as aware of the series as in past years – but with at least several of the club’s organising committee very experienced SEQ racers I’m not sure this really stacks up.  A club organised event on the same weekend also doesn’t help.
  • Brendale club event: A nitro club event may have limited some drivers from running Gas Tourer or Pro Tourer. Those classes seem to have limited appeal at the Logan venue anyway for some reason (see last year’s numbers) but still it’s a shame not to see a few from Brendale in both those classes
  • Drop-off in Saturday classes: Both Saturday’s EP tourer classes (21.5 and 10.5) were down on 2013 figures. Maybe there’s something in that and maybe not. Maybe the series concept should be reconsidered (a Saturday arvo practice/Sunday single day race meeting is one option).  Two clubs running 10.5 as foam tyre classes probably might not help participation in the rubber tyre 10.5 class at the interclub series.
  • Politics and personalities: There have been a few incidents recently of politics and personalities that really aren’t doing any  favours for the sport in Queensland. More than one club is suffering downturn in regular entries which may (may) be related to this, and may flow on to people’s participation in events such as the interclub series.  Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it’s a frustration.

Track Conditions

Unseasonably hot weather (well into the 30s on both days) meant track conditions where tough. It’s rare for us to race at Logan in daylight and so it was a learning curve to try and keep up with the evolution of the track. Grip levels seemed lower than at night, and a slightly different surface preparation might also have contributed to conditions. Lap times in several classes were a little lower than might be “normal”.

The facility is looking good, with new stairs, marshall seats and the tidy pit area the result of hard work by club members to put on a good show. Shane and Robert did their usual good job of organising.

Demo Classes

The SEQ club reps agreed to running demo classes at this year’s series – with the host club choosing the demo classes that best suit. F1 was a no-brainer with fairly wide interest across multiple clubs, and a reasonable field of 8 gathered for some good F1 action. Ed Clark, Duncan Vaughan (TQ) and Karl Kuehner were the frontrunners, finishing in that order. Nice to see the return of Adam Snook to competitive racing in 4th place.

12th was the other obvious choice off the back of a regional series that has seen entry numbers peak in the 20s at a couple of different venues.  Despite indications that the class would be supported it was a surprise and disappointment to see only 3 cars front.

21.5 EP Tourer

It was a case of many different stories colliding in 21.5. Karl Kuehner was on fire in qualifying to TQ before electrical troubles took him out of the finals series. Likewise regular front-runner Rob Tyler struck trouble. No so David Guyatt, winding back the clock to peel off A2 and A3 wins and take home the silverware…nice one Mr G!  Super impressive was One Tram, in only his 3rd race meeting (I think), taking the A1 win and securing a fantastic second overall from a similarly impressive Luke Bradford. Always nice to see some different faces on the podium and I think it won’t be the last time for these two.

10.5 EP Tourer

The usual mix of regular spec and open class guys showed up for this hybrid class, and as is often the case the regular Open guys headed the field in qualifying – Hervey Bay’s Brad McDonald  going on to the win from Ed Clark, with regular spec speedster Tim Weier finding speed late to podium. David Langan impressive too in fourth while second qualifier Michael Redmond would preview a weekend of electrical disasters and fail to finish A2 and A3.

Gas Tourer/Pro Tourer:

I’ve already mentioned above the numbers challenges of this event – the two IC classes the smallest (2 for the spec Gas Tourer class, 3 for the open Pro Tourers). With a more open layout in the reverse direction than the EP classes, the track seemed suitable.  John Taynton and Cooper Porter exchanged wins, with Paul Fahey joining the Pro ranks on Sunday.  Kudos to those three for supporting the event.

Mod Mayhem

It was a tough day Sunday for the 10 car Open EP Tourer field. Hot conditions, strangely greasy track surface (limiting traction) and some unusual errors combining for three finals that were completely unpredictable, and entertainingly spectacular. Michael Redmond twice went within a lap of winning before breaking down in sight of the finish line, Jason Dorn picking up two wins and Peter Dooley one.  Brad McDonald, Redmond and Jai Perry (great to see him back on track) tied on points for fourth, the count-back sequencing them in that order.

One of the interesting faces in the mod field was regular off-road racer Jacob Staines. Jacob had showed up to run 13.5 (only his second TC event) but when his only 13.5 motor let the smoke out during practice, he stepped into Mod for a first-time experience.  He did a solid job all day running in the mid-field and if he gets a taste for the class (and I’ve already seen a couple of his off-road buggies for sale today!) he could very well sharpen up competition levels at the front of the field.

Super job from one Mr Dooley too, constantly pursuing car setup as the track evolved, and doing a solid job to win A2 when opportunity came his way.  While he politely offered commiserations to the more fancied contenders for the podium, he was in the right spot at the right time and took his opportunity.

Brad McDonald in my eyes continues to improve and like other regional racers who have come before, I can’t help but wonder if he had the opportunity race with guys like Dorn and Broadstock week-in and week-out whether his already impressive talent would be even further honed.  Two dynamite starts in A2 and A3 to go from P3 to P1 in 2 corners evidence of a serious talent.

Corey Broadstock underscored the truth that in motor racing, anything can happen.  Everything that could go wrong did (and a few things that never do) to leave him at the rear of the field.  A lesson for all of us…that’s just the way things go sometimes.

13.5 EP Tourer

13.5 was close at front and tough in the midfield. Qualifying was fought out between Scott Guyatt, Chris Shevelling and Tim Weier with the margins impossibly tiny. Shev went into the finals with momentum after stunning speed in Q3 was cut short.  Shayne Pearce, Michael Belby, Ray Griffiths and Matt Belton were impressive in qualifying to make the A final cut, Liam Chadwick the unlucky BQ man.

Finals time and it all went pear shaped for Shev, leaving Weier and Guyatt to fight out three intense and entertaining encounters and a very rapid Matt Belton to join them on the podium.   Terry Norman lacked his usual speed but got the job done for fourth ahead of Ray Griffiths (nice job!).   Liam scooped up an entertaining B final series over Mal Pearson and Dominic Fahey.

Interclub Round 2: Sunshine Coast

Interclub round 2 was announced as being schedule for Sunshine Coast track on the weekend of July 19/20. This is at odds with the previously announced calendar date of  31 May and 1 June. We’ll try and confirm as soon as possible if this revised date is actually correct. It does unfortunately clash with the Australian Nitro Off-Road Championships due to be hosted at Logan that same July weekend – not a clash that will directly effect many, but the chance to see the best in the off-road world strut their stuff is one that is tempting for sure.

ORRCA Qld EP On-Road Champs

Best news of the weekend the announcement that the Hervey Bay club have been asked to host the 2014 Queensland EP On-Road Champs. Likely date is end of September with details to be announced asap.  While they are a small club, the crew are active participants in many Queensland races, so it will be fantastic to be able to go and visit them on home turf.  Start preparing space in your diary and negotiating permission for a road trip for this one.

The Schuie Weekend

Pretty solid weekend for the Schumacher guys with multiple cars in most of the EP finals – David Guyatt took the win in 21.5, Ed Clark second in 10.5, Scott Guyatt second in 13.5.

Motor-wise, Thunderpower and ORCA motors were on front-running pace in all the spec classes, including the win in 21.5 (Thunder Power) and 13.5 (Thunderpower, with ORCA 2nd). Definitely worth a look at those motors for your spec class needs.

Scott’s Weekend

I could only make the Sunday so duly entered for 13.5 (the class I’ve run a couple of times now in my old age!) and thoroughly enjoyed my day.

A couple of incredibly close qualifiers with Chris Shevelling and Tim Weier fortunately went my way before battles of similar intensity went Tim’s way in the finals. As a racer I was disappointed not to win with what I think was the faster car, but the races were close and spectacular and that’s important. Kudos to Tim for being mistake free in A2 when I was pressing as hard as I could.

I ran the Mi5, with ORCA horsepower as usual. I haven’t changed gear ratio for a couple of events now, settling on 3.94:1 and timed just about 1mm past the last timing marker. With a single WTF fan I’m consistently coming off the track at 55-58deg C and with very competitive power.

Car wise, I started with the same Logan setup I had tested at the last club race but did try a few different things through the day to try and generate grip in the greasy conditions as temps spiked.  Here’s the changes I ended up with by finals (with due thanks to Mr Dooley, my setup guru/guide for the consultation!) :

  • Battery location to rearmost option (usually centre)
  • 1deg camber front, 2deg camber rear
  • Trinity Tweak tyre treatment, 10 minutes, no tyre warmers, light wipe down, only 2 warmup laps
  • 1mm spacer on rear axle hex, 0.5mm on front (wider track)
  • Hara Yellow Springs in A2 and A3, Schumacher green/15 the rest of the day
  • Much More Rush tyres

Here’s the full setup sheet as the car was for A2 and A3: mi5_logan_interclub_2014_sg

3 thoughts on “2014 Interclub #1: Random Thoughts from Scott”

  1. My interclub. Spent Saturday in 10.5 chasing a pushy car and one side or the other of Matt. We had some close racing and rubbing too. A 6th summed up my lack of steering.
    My WRC F1 was gripped up and easy to drive, I could put it just about anywhere on the track. The car lacked both acceleration and top speed so I think it is time to retire the 2 year old shorty pack. Very happy with 2nd.

    Sunday in 13.5 I reduced front droop, raised my front shockies one notch and moved my speedie for better weight ballance. Started the first qualy without a fully charged battery but it was worth it, the car was brilliant. When I was called in first place the shock made me crash. Messed up my tyre prep for the next one.

    Then the car started to be too loose for the next few. Only found the problem with a tyre unglued before the last (did I mention how much I hate gluing tyres). 3rd in the last showed the potential of the car, sorry, a hooked up car with me behind the wheel.

    Great day pitting with Michael and family + the mod boys, I just need some of their speed to wear off!

    Duncan

  2. I think Scott its alot to do with all of what you mention one factor for me not to race was i didn’t want to invest in rubbers for the event as i only be racing foams i really don’t like the idea of foams but its my only track that is near me runs foams.plus i think foams on a 190mm car destroys a rubber tyre driver foams is a big cheat and not in-line with rest of the world but hey not my choice.
    p.s i hope harvey bay take the titles it would be great

  3. Great read as usual Scott. Unfortunately the first inter club round snuck up on us at Brendale. Having 3 state titles in the next few months as well as several other projects at the club hasn’t helped either. I have pencilled in the other two rounds of the series to our calendar and they will be discussed at this weeks committee meeting along with the prospect of a 4th round at Brendale.

    We did have a club meeting on the Sunday that included pro tourers, but it was also an 1/8th scale meet. Perhaps when this happens in the future the Gas Tourer and Pro Tourer days could be swapped at the inter club.

    I think the main reason we didn’t have more there racing in 10.5 was because the guys that normally encourage others to come were all unable to go due to other family commitments. Last year we were able to rally a good group of drivers by leading by example. Hopefully now that we know when rds 2 & 3 will be we can plan for it and support it better.

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