On a cold night at Rutherglen, we were rewarded with some truly excellent racing. The night’s experimental format called for two rounds of qualifying (five minute heats) followed by a single 10 minute final in each class. Those ten minute finals proved to be thrillers.
Winners were Andrew Mackenzie (8th Big Bangers), Sam Wells (10th Buggy), Jordan Turner (Novice), Graham Viney (Tourers) and Scott Guyatt (Short Course).
For full results, click here (the novice final file in the results is only the second part…the first we do not have electronically….sorry guys).
Read on for the story of the night….Tenth Buggy
Rocket made a rare appearance in the Tenth Buggy class tonight, and put the traction advantage of his 4wd B44 to good use, taking two narrow wins in qualifying over Sam Wells, with Ben Wilson making a welcome return to qualify third. Paddy Hume switched back to 2wd and spent the night dialling himself back in to the different style of driving required, while Damien Bettz and Jason Turner continue to impress as they go faster and faster.
The final was a ripper. Rocket led away, Sam trailing. Sam was, for the most part, a few tenths of a second per lap quicker, and would gradually close the gap, before a small mistake, or traffic would drop him back again. The pattern repeated several times before finally a mistake from Rocket let Sam through to a lead he would not relinquish, eventually finishing 13 seconds clear of Rocket, with Wilson driving a strong, but lonely race to third.
- Sam Wells. 35:5.00
- Rocket 35:5.13
- Ben Wilson 30:10.16
- Paddy Hume 28: 10.07
- Damien Bettz 28:10.13
- Jason Turner 27:10.01
Derek Beresford took the win in the first round of qualifying (Q1), before Jarrod Painting struck back with a faster time in Q2, chased home by Jordan Turner who would join Jarrod on the front row. Derek would be P3 at the end of qualifying with young Joe van Galen making a welcome return to sit fourth.
The final was, in part, shaped by a glitch in race control, with the 10 minute final ending up being run as two seperate five minute races, the results of the two runs added together. None of that stopped Jordan Turner though, he was dominant over the first five minutes, finishing nearly a lap clear of the field, and led much of the second part, only surrendering his lead to Jarrod Painting in the closing minutes. Jarrod’s combined times would be enough to secure second, with van Galen a delighted (and deserved) third. Great also to see the return of Amiee Mackenzie to our novice class as she warms up for a tilt at the Junior class at the forthcoming Tiger Models Launceston Cup.
- Jordan Turner 28:10.18
- Jarrod Painting 27:10.13
- Joe van Galen 26:10.39
- Jade Chandler 25:10:21
- Amiee Mackenzie 24:10.21
- Derek Beresford 20:8.08
- Carl Taylor 17:9.24
8th Big Bangers
Tonight was all about the battle between perennial front-runner Steve Madziara, and first time 8th pilot (at least here at Launceston) Andrew Mackenzie. Madziara struck first, but Andrew was impressive to stay close, and then pumped in a time in TQ that would lock up the pole position. Ben Wilson was back after a few weeks away and quick in P3.
The final was without question the race of the night, and one of the best we’ve ever seen at Launceston R/C. Madziara led, with Mackenzie stalking him thought. The gap grew and shrank with traffic and small mistakes, but was never much…and over the closing minutes of the 10 minute final, the two cars were glued together. The whole crowd lined the pit wall to watch as Andrew probed, finally getting to the lead on the penultimate lap as Steve came down a little sideways over the small stutter bump section. Andrew led in to the final lap, but it was far from over…the two conspiring to swap the lead no less than three times in the final series of corners…Andrew the one who claimed the win as applause broke out for both drivers. It was Andrew’s first win at Launceston R/C – the first of many I suspect. Somewhat lost in the thrilling battle for the lead, Ben Wilson was again quick and consistent for third.
- Andrew Mackenzie 33:10.07
- Steve Madziara 33:10.08
- Ben Wilson 29:10.16
- Graham Viney 23:9.58
- Ian Scott 18:8.23
- James Atkinson 2:0.52
- Troy Taylor (DNS)
A small field of just three cars tonight, but including the second visit for Jordan Richardson (who generously shared his 15th birthday with us all….happy birthday Jordan), with Graham the quickest in both qualifying heats from Ian and Jordan.
When Jordan had to head home early (to celebrate that birthday) there were just two starters for the final – Ian behind the wheel of Graham’s spare ride after his own car stripped a spur in the last qualifier. The bad luck wasn’t over, Ian’s front wheel parting company with the car just a few minutes in, and handing the win to Graham who was leading at that point.
- Graham Viney
- Ian Scott
- Jordan Richardson (DNS)
An 11 car entry in short course made it a two-heat field, and one of the more competitive lineups we’ve seen in the class in recent times. Rocket returned after a season exploring other classes, and was immediately on the pace, just behind Scott Guyatt, but ahead of an intense duel between Andrew Mackenzie, Greenie and Nathan Clark. Adam Beresford continues his improvement to be the last car into the 6-car A final, with Chris Madziara the “BQ” man who would sit on the pole for the B final.
Madziara duly took that win, but not before another ripper race…James Atkinson leading over the first half of the 10 minute run and looking every inch the winner. He lost a little ground to Madziara, then compounded the issue witha big off, deranging the Slash front suspension. Sam Leeder inherited second at that point and held it to the end, with Philip Ferguson in third from Atkinson. Electrical issues saw Alexander Wade sidelined for the final.
The start of the A final was hectic…four or five cars taking at turn at the lead before Guyatt got to the front on lap three and started to sneak away, opening up a small lead as Rocket got to second while the scrap for third through sixth continued with intensity. That essentially was the pattern of the race, Rocket getting close at one stage before Scott skipped away again, and Andrew Mackenzie eventually breaking clear of Clark, with Green and Beresford both striking trouble.
- Scott Guyatt 34:10.15
- Rocket Houghton 33:10.14
- Andrew Mackenzie 32:10.12
- Nathan Clark 31:10.06
- Andrew Green 23:7.43
- Adam Beresford 14:4.58
Racing returns to Launceston R/C in two weeks (May 26th) with another non-Championship event, and the first use of our new MyLaps transponder lap counting system. If you don’t have a transponder, come on down anyway…we have hire units available for $5 per night, and possibly one or two spare units still for sale.
Thanks to all who made it out on a cold night tonight. Some excellent racing all round.