The 2011 Tiger Models Launceston Cup was a watershed event for the still young Launceston R/C Inc. 62 entries eventually faced the starter, with 6 classes covering the full variety of electric on and off-road R/C cars.
Highlights of the day include the total makeover of the Launceston R/C race venue, the delight of watching 6 young drivers in our Junior Off-road class, and the opportunity to welcome drivers from all over Tasmania in this our first open event.
Class wins went to Jordan Turner (Junior Offroad), Sam Wells (2wd Stock and 10th Open), Rocket Rodney Hougton (Tourers), Scott Guyatt (Short Course Truck) and Matt Hodgetts (8th Big Bangers).
With a number of young drivers frequenting Launceston R/C’s regular race meetings, we were delighted to be able to offer a Junior Offroad class to give the crew a place to race together and without the pressure of taking on the older and more experienced drivers among us. Six drivers brought a variety of 10th buggies, short course trucks and a lone stadium truck to battle.
In qualifying it was all Jordan Turner – the young gun who has been increasingly prominent in our local novice racing was quick throughout, with Amiee Mackenzie and Allanah Hodgetts pusing Jordan all the way, and themselves locked in a close battle. Sam, Mitchell and Andrew (in his first ever race meet) all improved throughout qualifying.
Come finals time and once again Turner was dominant, throwing down three straight wins to take out the first ever Launceston Cup win. The most entertaining battles came between Amiee and Alannah, the two seemingly locked together all the way through the three finals races. Alannah took the first before Amiee won a thriller in the second, getting to the lead only on the last corner. The pair swapped places several times in A3, Amiee eventually getting to the line ahead of Alannah to ensure they would finish in that order. Sam was consistently fourth throughout, with Mitchell and Andrew swapping places and stories all afternoon.
- Jordan Turner (HPI Blitz): 20 points
- Amiee Mackenzie (AE SC10): 18 points
- Alannah Hodgetts (AE SC10): 17 points
- Sam Betts (AE B4.1): 14 points
- Mitchell Guyatt (HPI e-Firestorm): 12 points
- Andrew West (AE B4): 11 points
2wd Stock was a class that was packed with talent, but non more-so than Sam Wells. Sam was completely untouchable today, comfortably qualifying fastest. Andrew Mackenzie continues his learning curve and putting in a very quick Q3 time to start alongside Sam on the front row of the grid. Hobart’s Alex John picked up around 10 seconds every time he hit the track to start third and look a real threat in the A finals.
For a long time it looked like the unthinkable would happen in A1, with Sam Wells seriously under pressure thanks to a couple of mid-race errors that gifted Alex a huge lead. Alex was consistent out front and Sam had to smash out the fastest times of the day to close in. It was only a heart-breaking last lap series of pileups for Alex that enable Sam to get back on terms and take the win over the Hobartian. From there it was plain sailing for Wells, comfortable wins in A2 over Alex, and then a very fast Andrew Mackenzie in A3 ensured the three drivers would finish in that order. Chris Brickwood, Ben Hoare (up from Hobart) and Matthew Chandler (in his first “open” event) were consistently fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
- Sam Wells (AE B4.1): 20 points
- Alex John (Losi 22): 19 points
- Andrew Mackenzie (AE B4.1) 17 points
- Chris Brickwood (AE B4): 14 points
- Ben Hoare (AE B4): 12 points
- Matthew Chandler (Traxxas): 10 points
It was a packed field of 9 touring cars and FWD Tamiya minis on track – definitely the best field of flat-track racers we’ve yet seen at Launceston R/C. For next year we’ll definitely be hoping to split this class into two seperate groups. Today though, it was all in, and it was all Rocket Rodney Houghton. Rocket put his grip and power advantage to good use with fast, consistent and decisive driving, getting through traffic well and banging in super fast lap times to dominate qualifying and line up on pole position. Hobart’s Lee Harvey would start alongside Rocket, driving his Tamiya Mini on the very edge to keep Rocket honest. Another pair of Hobart-based mini drivers in Ben Hoare and John Beggs would start the finals from row two, with Launceston touring-twins Peter Hutton and Graham Viney on row three. It was great to welcome Andrew Barrett back, with another Hobart mini in the hands of Robert Gillie and Ian Scott rounding out the field.
The triple A final series was more of the same as far as Rocket was concerned – the car/drive package just too quick for his rivals, and three straight wins a deserved outcome. With 9 cars on a short and tight lap, it was seriously busy, and at times hard to follow what was happening in the race. Lee Harvey was second to Rocket in each of the finals, and comfortably quickest of the minis, while Beggsie really stepped it up a notch in the finals with a couple of third places snaring him third overall. Elsewhere Hutton and Viney had their usual tight battle, while Barrett had to call it an early day after his transponder failed.
- Rodney Houghton (AE TC5): 20 points
- Lee Harvey (Tamiya Mini): 18 points (plus First Mini)
- John Beggs (Tamiya Mini): 16 points
- Peter Hutton (XRAY T3R): 14 points
- Graham Viney (XRAY): 13 points
- Ben Hoare (Tamiya Mini): 13 points
- Robert Gillie (Tamiya Mini): 10 points
- Ian Scott (Sakura Zero-S): 6 points
- Andrew Barrett (Tamiya Mini): 2 points
Tenth Buggy Open
Along with the 2wd Stock class, we had sufficient entries to run an “Open” tenth scale class. It attracted a mixture of 2wd, 4wd and stadium trucks, running a variety of motors. Once again though, it was Sam Wells at the wheel of his Team Associated B4 that would prove hardest to stop. Sam was benefitting from track time, a well sorted chassis, and inch-perfect driving – a combination that would take him to the Top Qualifier position. Paddy Hume and Steve Madziara were locked in battle most of the day, Paddy having the slight edge when it counted to line up alongside Sam. Madziara would be joined by Damien Betts in his Durango on the second row of the grid. Further back in the field it was a good effort from Jarrod Painting, Tom West and Jade Chandler, all in their first “open” meeting of this nature. Mark Davis had the Tamiya 4wd fairly screaming on the front straight to provide some spectacular action.
Wells was once again unstoppable through the finals, leading all but one lap of the three races (Steve Madziara heading Sam on lap one of A1) and winning comfortably in what was an impressive performance. Paddy Hume took the second spot in both A1 and A3, finishing well down the field in A2 with a differential issue requiring a quick rebuild. Madziara was consistent with a second and pair of third to round out the podium, while Damien Betts would be rightly pleased to finish fourth – his comeback to the sport after years away gathering pace.
- Sam Wells (AE B4.1): 20 points
- Paddy Hume (AE B44): 18 points
- Steve Madziara (Traxxas): 17 points
- Damien Betts (Durango): 15 points
- Mark Davis (Tamiya DB01): 13 points
- Jade Chandler (AE B4): 11 points
- Jarrod Painting (Kyosho DBX): 10 points
- Tom West (AE T4): 8 points
Short Course Trucks
A staggering 23 trucks made Short Course the biggest, and most competitive class of the day. For that reason qualifying was critical – with only the top 8 drivers making it through to the A final, the next 8 into the B and then 7 trucks for the C final. Qualifying would be hard fought, those A final spots intensely fought over. Clear at the front of the field was Scott Guyatt, but immediately behind it was a tight duel between Mark Rayner (NWRCCC), Andrew Mackenzie, Alex John (Hobart) and Adam Beresford – eventually resolved in that order. Justin Strickland enjoyed his return to Rutherglen to qualify sixth, with Hobart’s Phil Reibel impressive in his first outing at Launceston to make the A final in seventh. Nathan Clark was the man who rode his luck and forced his way into the A final in the last round of qualifying, outlasting both Andrew and Richard Green who were both on target to grab that final spot.
The C final series was extremely entertaining, with three different races, and plenty of different faces up front. James Atkinson lead for most of C1 before Aaron Peck pounced literally at the death to take the win over Atkinson and Ian Scott. Peck dominated C2 to take the win from Beresford and Atkinson, before Derek Beresford turned the tables in C3 for a good win that secured him second behind Peck and in front of Atkinson.
- Aaron Peck (Traxxas Slash): 20 points
- Derek Beresford (AE SC10): 19 points
- James Atkinson (Traxxas Slash): 17 points
- Tom West (AE SC10): 15 points
- Ian Scott (HPI Blitz): 14 points
- Philip Ferguson (Traxxas Slash): 11 points
- Chris Brickwood (HPI Blitz): DNS
The B final series, as is so often the case, was about people trying to demonstrate “what might have been” had they managed to put together a qualifying run to make the A final. This was definitely true for Andrew Green, putting in times that would have comfortably qualified him into the A final on the way to three straight B final wins. It wasn’t that easy through, Josh Fogarty returning for B2 and B3 after missing most of qualifying with a motor problem to really serve it up to Greenie – the pair putting on some great races. Richard Green grabbed a second in B1, then a pair of thirds to round out the B final podium. Chris Madziara as a good fourth in front of Graham Viney enjoying his new SC truck, while father/son pair of Jason and Jordan Turner (great job by Jordan in his first open SC race) split by the quickest Slash of the day in the hands of Sam Leeder.
- Andrew Green (HPI Blitz): 20 points
- Josh Fogarty (Kyosho Ultima-SC): 18 points
- Richard Green (HPI Blitz ESE): 17 points
- Chris Madziara (HPI Blitz ESE): 14 points
- Graham Viney (Kyosho Ultima-SC): 13 points
- Jason Turner (HPI Blitz ESE): 12 points
- Sam Leeder (Traxxas Slash): 10 points
- Jordan Turner (HPI Blitz): 9 points
The A final delivered up some great racing. Scott Guyatt was clean and fast to pick up wins in A1 and A2 to wrap up the win – but the fight for the podium spots was amazing. A1 saw Mark Rayner hold down the second spot throughout, while hard-charging Adam Beresford slashed through the field from a slow start to close on Rayner, but run out of time. A2 and once again it was Rayner in second with this time Andrew Mackenzie and Adam Beresford both having to make that tail-of the field recovery, once again thrilling the crowd but running out of time to close down Rayner. A3 was the race of the day. Guyatt sat out, and the result was a thrilling three-way fight that lasted the whole race long. Rayner, Beresford and Mackenzie all took a turn at the front, with clean passing moves and fantastic driving. The dice finally resolving in Rayners favour literally on the last lap, Mackenzie second and a determined Alex John grabbing third in the final moments after a last-lap disaster for Beresford.
- Scott Guyatt (HPI Blitz ESE): 20 points
- Mark Rayner (HPI Blitz): 19 points
- Andrew Mackenzie (AE SC10): 17 points
- Adam Beresford (AE SC10): 15 points
- Phil Reibel (AE SC10): 12 points
- Alex John (AE SC10): 12 points
- Nathan Clark (HPI Blitz): 10 points
- Justin Strickland (AE SC10): 10 points
8th Big Bangers
The big horsepower boys of the 8th scale class came out to battle, thrilling with massive power, bit drifts, and exciting driving. Steve Madziara was the class of the field in qualifying, his consistency and pace more than his key rivals could deal with. He won all three qualifiers including a stunning 16 lap run in the third round. Rocket was fast in Q1 to stay close, but drifted in Q2 and then had Matt Hodgetts slip past him in Q3 to grab the front-row starting spot. Rocket would start from 3, with Hobart’s Mark Davis the fastest of the 4*4 Short Course trucks that also dotted the 8th Big Bangers class to qualifying 4th. Wally Sturzaker qualified fifth but ran into ESC troubles and would take no further part (sorry to see Wally, but great to have you with us), with Peter Hutton 6th, Mick Peck making his 8th debut in 7th, Rob Gillie the third of the SC trucks in 8th from Troy Taylor and the returning Andrew Barrett.
The first final upset everything. Matt Hodgetts had his best run of the day (to this point) to put Madziara under real pressure. A string of fast laps from Matt mid-race brought him within striking distance, and when Madziara made the fatal mistake with three laps to go, Hodgetts through. Mark Davis picked up third from Mick Peck, with Rocket sidelined early. Madziara got a great start in A2, and Hodgetts conversely a shocker to be rear of the field. He fought through well to eventually get to second, but Madziara was by that point a long way down the road and took a comfortable win to square the ledger, Rocket third from a consistent Mick Peck. Fittingly the very last race of the day gave us another ripper – Madziara getting the jump, but Hodgetts pressuring immediately and sliding through to the lead on lap two. Madziara had an edge in terms of absolute pace, but Matt was resolute and extremely consistent, just not giving Steve any chance of returning to the lead. Hodgetts then on his first attempt at this class at the Rutherglen layout would take the winners trophy back to the north-west with him.
- Matt Hodgetts (Mugen): 20 points
- Steve Madziara (Kyosho): 19 points
- Rocket Houghton (LRP): 16 points
- Mick Peck (AE RC8e): 14 points
- Mark Davis (Hyper 10 SC): 14 points (and highest placed 4*4 SC)
- Peter Hutton (Hyper 10 SC): 11 points
- Robert Gillie (Hyper 10 SC): 9 points
- Troy Taylor (Kyosho): 8 points
- Wally Sturzaker (RC8e): DNS
- Andrew Barrett (Losi): DNS
That about wraps the story for the inaugral Tiger Models Launceston Cup. Special thanks to Tiger Models, to Bec Green, to the track cleanup crew who did a fantastic job preparing the venue, and to all those who came to race from near and far. It was a cracker day and we’ll do it again in 2012.