Tonight saw the biggest night of racing yet at Launceston R/C’s new indoor raceway. A total of 32 cars faced the starters gun, and with several regulars missing tonight, that means we’re now up to almost 40 different drivers that have been on track at Rutherglen. Just 6 race meetings into our venture, those are numbers we’re pretty excited about!
New drivers tonight included Paul Tenteye and John Silczak in Novice buggy, Steve Madziara in 10th Buggy, Paul Saltmarsh in Tourers, and Jeremy Lunson, James Atkinson, Daniel Bastick, Richard Cattigan and Mark Harris running Short Course trucks. As well as all those first timers, it was great to see Faye Hodgetts, Ben Wilson, Steve “Stickman” Willis back for their second appearances.
Race winners tonight included Ben Wilson (Novice), Andrew “Bart” Barrett (Tourer), Matt Hodgetts (Buggy), Josh Fogarty (Short Course B) and Scott Guyatt (Short Course A). Click through to the rest of the story on how the races were won….
A mixed heat of mostly 10th and a couple of 8th scale buggies tonight saw some entertaining racing. Out front Matt Hodgett’s stunningly quick Team Associated RC8e was turning in some very fast times, and making it impossible for anyone to catch him. Matt lined up on pole position for the final, and duly went on to a good win over his (mostly) smaller opposition. Behind him there were some cracking races between Rodney “Rocket” Houghton and Patrick “Paddy” Hume – but in the final Rocket’s Kyosho Lazer was just too strong for Paddy and finished comfortably clear in second, with Paddy rounding out the podium in his Team Associated B44 buggy. We saw our first 2wd buggies make an appearance tonight, with Steve M and Josh Fogarty bringing a pair of Traxxas buggies out to play. Both worked well, and Steve & Josh finished fourth and fifth. Greenie entertained everybody with the big Revo, and Scott K continued his return to R/C racing after a long time away and was getting quicker all night in his B44.
No less than seven novice (new) drivers faced the starter tonight, and not only put on some good racing, but showed that the learning is happening quickly. Ben Wilson’s Traxxas Mini-Revo was the quickest throughout qualifying, and Ben went on to a good win in the final. It’s worth watching Ben next time out – he wins not because his Revo is fast in a straight line (which it is, wheelstanding everywhere), but because he drives carefully and patiently, making each corner count. Ian Scott had a tough start to the night with some frequency issues preventing a start in round one, but came on strong and drove perhaps his best race of the year to bring his big Revo home in an excellent second place. Third tonight went to Sam Leeder, great to see Sam back on track again, and driving his 4wd buggy better each week. Faye Hodgetts spent most of the night trying not to get squashed in the tiny Team Associated RC18t, but came home a strong fourth, ahead of first timer’s Paul Tenteye and John Silczak. Steve Wilson returned for his second meet, sporting a new Kyosho DBX buggy, but had a few mechanical issues along the way.
Sam Wells brought out the first ‘competition spec’ touring car, putting his Schumacher Mi4 on track. It was quick, but short lived with a nasty crash putting the Mi4 on the sidelines for the night with a deranged front suspension arm. Sam returned with a borrowed HPI Pro4, but couldn’t quite match Bart’s super-fast Tamiya Mini. Bart has the mini really dialed in to the Rutherglen track and pealed off a series of fast times to take an excellent win over Sam in the final. Graham Viney is close to putting his new tourer on track, but continued with the “old girl” tonight to finished third. Evan Cornelius was putting together some very impressive laps in a pint-sized Team Associated RC18R. I’m giving Evan the “Junior Encouragement Award” for tonight; he drove really well. Fifth place was Paul Saltmarsh, first time out for Paul and lots to learn, while John Scott didn’t start the final after melting a battery in his tiny HPI Micro RS4.
SHORT COURSE TRUCK
Short Course is definitely our main class, and with 12 trucks in attendance tonight, we were able to run two heats during qualifying, and both an A and B final. Josh Fogarty started off the front row of the B final after a good qualifying run in his SC debut. Josh’s Traxxas Slash was too strong for his opposition, and he went on to a good B final win. Not far behind though were fellow debutant’s Richard Cattigan and Daniel Bastick – both turning some super laps in the HPI Blitz trucks and picking up the ropes very quickly. John Scott in the Losi Strike ran home fourth from Ian Scott’s Blitz, while we welcome James Atkinson with his Traxxas for his first race at Launceston R/C.
The A final went the way of Scott Guyatt, the Blitz working perfectly for him, and too strong all night. Rocket’s usually dominant Traxxas Slash was misbehaving a little, but a tyre change restored some of his form, and a good second was the result. Behind him Greenie made it to the podium for the second week in a row, this time at the wheel of Chris Brickwood’s Team Associated SC10, with Greenie own truck sidelined waiting for parts. Mark Harris show up at Rutherglen for the first time, and did a super job, driving neatly through qualifying to make the A final, and then finishing fourth – that’s a super effort. Paddy Hume had a messy final after qualifying third to finish fifth, ahead of another first-time Rutherglen racer Jeremy Lunson.
All in all a superb night of racing, with a late finish due to some early computer glitches. Once again, my apologies for those early delays.
One other note, a mobile phone went missing during the evening. If if accidentally ended up in your pit gear, or you know its whereabouts, drop me a line and I’ll pass the information on to the owner.