The new Rutherglen Raceway layout, courtesy a tonne of hard work from Chris, Paddy and Greenie, was the star tonight. New challenges, longer lap times, and the mighty “shockpopper” jump put everyone to the test. Those who responded best to take first-up wins on the new layout were Steve Madziara (8th and 10th buggy), Sam Wells (Short Course) and Peter Hutton (Tourer) on what was an enjoyable night out.
8th Scale Big Bangers
A smaller turnout for 8th scale tonight than we’ve seen recently didn’t do anything to reduce the quality of racing. Fastest throughout qualifying was Josh Fogarty – building on his recent speed and looking very quick. Rocket was a little off his usual pace, but would start alongside Josh on the front row. The big new jump took a few casualties – notably Ian Scott’s Revo which hit the wall at great height, and great speed. Wall 1, Revo 0.
The final turned out to be a ripper – with Fogarty and Steve Madziara waging war over the five minutes in their Kyosho buggies. Both had their moments in front, but it was Madziara’s consistency and mistake free driving (particularly over the ‘shockpopper’) that told, and he eked out a healthy lead by race’ end to claim his first 8th scale race win, with Fogarty second. Meanwhile Ben Wilson had put his recent hard work to good use, steering his buggy into third position with a strong performance, heading off John Silczak, Rocket and Steve Willis. Graham Viney and Ian Scott didn’t make the start line for the final.
17 trucks faced the starter tonight, with plenty of quality, and a new face in youngster Alexander Wade. Great to see you out there Alexander! Qualifying proved to be a duel between Scott Guyatt and Sam Wells, both picking up wins, but Sam going fastest of all with his HPI Blitz to take the top spot. Further back Steve Madziara, Scott Kopriva and John Scott drove extremely well to take spots in the A final (John’s first A final start I think?), while Richard Green would line up at the front of the B final with his new SC truck.
In the B final, Alex Dadson was dominant, leading throughout in a polished display. Sam Leeder finished fast to get close at the end, with Richard Green a little further back in third. Ian Scott went quick tonight for fourth, with Alexander Wade in fifth, and James Atkinson and Carl Taylor rounding out the field.
The A final was an absolute cracker, if a little messy at times. There’s a bit of work for us, as a club, to do on looking after each other in traffic, and applying some of the etiquette of racing close with other cars. On track, Wells and Guyatt went at it hammer and tongue – the two Blitz’s seemingly joined by a rubber band throughout. The gap ebbed and flowed a little through traffic, but Wells got to the front when it mattered and showed great speed to claim the win over Guyatt. Chris Brickwood, Andrew Green and Chris Madziara fought hard in the midfield, Brickwood strongest over the last two minutes to wrap up third place from Green, Madziara, Scott Kopriva, Nathan Clark, Paddy Hume, Josh Fogarty and John Scott.
The first defeat for Steve Madziara is getting closer, but it didn’t happen tonight. Steve got to grips with the new track layout and pushed his 2wd buggy to a strong TQ result – with John Silczak, the man most likely to threaten alongside him on the grid, and Steve Willis and Ben Wilson (in the might Mini-Revo!) on row two.
When Silczak made an early mistake, Madziara was all but home and hosed. Steve made the most of his big early lead to go right on with the job, putting down very consistent laps to extend his unbeaten record in the class. Silczak recovered well, sliding by Willis and Wilson to reclaim second and hold it to the flag, while Willis put in a tidy drive to claim third from Wilson and Troy Taylor, with Sam Leeder a non starter in the final.
The touring car guys loved the new track layout. For the first time they have a full layout to explore, and they looked sensational doing so. I won’t be at all surprised to see the TC field grow in the weeks ahead. Rocket returned to the tourer fray tonight, turning out his Team Associated TC5 and cranking out the hot laps to claim the top qualifier spot alongside Peter Hutton.
Come finals time, and Rocket’s TC5 refused to play ball, electrical problems sidelining him on lap one. The man to step up to the plate was Peter Hutton. Peter cranked out easily his best race of the night (and arguably his best yet in the class) to claim the win over Graham Viney (running the Mini tonight and looking good) and James Atkinson.
Racing action will return to Rutherglen on Thursday 28th October. Be there, bring a mate and have some fun with us. Launceston R/C…..it’s a blast.