Race Report: Thursday 8th December

50 cars turned out tonight to farewell our 2011 racing year with a bang.

It’s been a huge year for Launceston R/C, and it was fantastic to finish off the year with such a good night of racing.  Andrew Mackenzie (Tenth and Tourers), Sam Wells (Short Course A), Zander Wade (Short Course B), Gene Newell (Novice) and Justin Strickland (8th Big Bangers) took the final wins to carry Mark-Webber-like confidence into the off-season.

Racing resumes January 12th for a couple of non-championship events before the points series for 2011 kicks off in February. Stay tuned to the website for confirmation of race dates.

As for tonight’s action, hit the full results here or read on for the race report.

Short Course Trucks

A typically big 18 truck field tonight in a class that just continues to grow and grow in the level of competition.  Just making the 10-truck A final is quite a feat these days, and the battle for the front-running spots in the B final is just as fierce.  6 trucks finished on the lead lap in the A final to demonstrate just how deep the field is becoming.

Sam Wells is the quickest truck driver in the club right now, and after an initial scare from Chris Madziara and then pressure from Andrew Green, Wells went fastest in qualifying.  Greenie, Mark Rayner, Madziara, Rocket Houghton, Josh Fogarty, Shaun Whatley, Graham Viney, Chris Murray (fastest Slash in the club) and Damien Betts were the ten trucks to make the A final.

Zander Wade and Sam Leeder put on a cracking race in the B final.  Sam was out front early, with Zander chasing him down to hit the front two thirds of the way through the race, and drove a stellar final 3 minutes to run out a big winner – his first finals win – over Sam, with James Atkinson strong throughout for third.

  1. Zander Wade 18 laps 10.09
  2. Sam Leeder 18 10.32
  3. James Atkinson 17 10.28
  4. Ian Scott
  5. Aaron Peck
  6. Jordan Turner
  7. Philip Ferguson
  8. Dale Clark (DNS)

Sam Wells was put under serious pressure at the front of a tightly fought A final when Greenie went to the lead early and looked every inch the winner.  Eventually Wells consistency paid off and he rebounded to find the lead around the half-way mark and was flawless from there. Greenie was still quick but fighting off the attentions of Josh Fogarty, Mark Rayner, Chris Madziara and Rocket Houghton – all of whom spent time in the top three. Eventually Greenie and Fogarty broke away before a last lap wire breakage for Greenie handed the #2 spot to a delighted Fogarty, with Rayner, Houghton and Madziara still well in contention right to the end.

  1. Sam Wells 22 laps 10.11
  2. Josh Fogarty 22 10.25
  3. Andrew Green 21 9.53
  4. Mark Rayner
  5. Rodney Houghton
  6. Chris Madziara
  7. Shaun Whatley
  8. Damien Betts
  9. Chris Murray
  10. Graham Viney

10th Buggy

Paddy Hume proved the man to beat in qualifying, turning the only two 12-lap runs of the night to secure the TQ spot ahead of Andrew Mackenzie.

Come finals time, and Mackenzie just wouldn’t go away, hounding Paddy non-stop until eventually a popped front drive shaft rendered Paddy’s normally 4wd buggy nearly undriveable. Mackenzie took over the front running, pursued by Jarrod Painting but eased away over the last five minutes for a comfortable win, ahead of Painting and a recovering Jade Chandler (having spent quite a long time on his roof out of sight of marshalls on lap 1).

  1. Andrew Mackenzie 23 10.25
  2. Jarrod Painting 22 10.14
  3. Jade Chandler 20 10.24
  4. Paddy Hume
  5. Darren Sheehan
  6. Matthew Chandler
  7. Damien Betts


With the Novice season championship on the line, there was some serious competition tonight. The front three or four drivers in the Novice class are just about ready to move on to move into the main classes, and there was plenty of speed on display. Gene Newell was fastest of all in qualifying to secure the front row starting spot, with Ben Jordan very quick in Q2 to start right behind him.

Newell simply had too much in the final, consistently running the fastest laps in the field on his way to a big win.  A collapsed front suspension in the final minute put a scare into him, but such was Gene’s lead that he could limp around and still find the line first. Ben Jordan put together his fastest night yet and second was deserved, with Calvin James his usual speedy self. Calvin was seen testing other trucks after the final….maybe Christmas is coming?

  1. Gene Newell 19 10.18
  2. Ben Jordan 18 10.03
  3. Calvin James  17 10.28
  4. Mark Jones
  5. Sam Betts
  6. Chloe Beresford
  7. Michael Taylor
  8. Carl Taylor
  9. Kade Targett


With Andrew Mackenzie fresh off a big last-start win over Rocket Houghton, we were expecting fireworks and got it. These two slugged it out mercilessly, taking one win each in qualifying but with Rocket slightly faster to get the pole spot.  Peter Hutton was close to his best with Derek Beresford not too far away and Jade Chandler getting faster and faster.

The final was mad. 10 tourers in a 10 second lap with such a big speed differential really is too much, and we’ll make sure we don’t run such a big field again (splitting them into two races next time we have those sort of numbers).  Rocket led early before the pursuing Mackenzie found a way by in heavy traffic. From there the gap ebbed and flowed as the front-runners found their way through traffic, Mackenzie running out the winner for the second meet in a row.  Jade Chandler drove a fast and consistent race to work his way forward and grab third, clear of a very tight mid-field battle between Graham Viney, Derek Beresford and Matthew Chandler.

  1. Andrew Mackenzie 50 10.11
  2. Rocket Houghton 49 10.03
  3. Jade Chandler 44 10.12
  4. Graham Viney
  5. Derek Beresford
  6. Matthew Chandler
  7. Ian Scott
  8. Kelly Viney
  9. Peter Hutton
  10. Jordan Richardson (DNS)

8th Big Bangers

After a season in which they’ve been locked together every race, we expected (and received) nothing less from Justin Strickland and Steve Madziara. The pair were practically joined at the bumper throughout qualifying – one win each but fastest time going to Strickland.  Great to welcome Michael Peck back to the fray and he was immediately on the pace to be third fastest.

Come finals time and Strickland and Madziara were at it again, putting on a thrilling first half of the race, swapping positions regularly. Justin it was who best settled mid-race, finding a great rhythm and throwing down a heap of very fast mistake free laps to open a lead and break the resistance of Madziara. Peck was again next quickest ahead of Troy Taylor, Darren Sheehan and James Atkinson.

  1. Justin Strickland 24 10.08
  2. Steve Madziara 24 10.27
  3. Michael Peck 20 10.15
  4. Troy Taylor
  5. Darren Sheehan
  6. James Atkinson

So that about wraps the year for Launceston R/C Inc.

Over the next few days we’ll post season points for the Spring 2011 season, and news about both the 8th Off-road and 10th On-Road Tasmanian Championship events – both of which come up in the first few months of the year.

In the meantime, enjoy the silly season, stay safe, and look out for friends and family.

And just one suggestion….if you can’t think of a good Christmas present for someone you care about, head over to the World Vision gift catalogue. A duck, chicken, toilet or fresh water pack for someone who has nothing is much more memorable than a pair of socks.

Enjoy your Christmas and we’ll see you in 2012.


About scottg

Scott Guyatt is husband, father, brother, son, friend, disciple, runner, cyclist and story-teller
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6 Responses to Race Report: Thursday 8th December

  1. Peter Hutton says:

    Hmmmm possibility of a new tourer is becoming immenent with my nephew possibly taking up the wheel of my Xray T3 for the 2012 season. stay tuned for the final decision of what is to come. lol

  2. ian says:

    What a night it was. 10 tourers/minis in the races It was a bit hectic.
    My only grip is (and its my thoughts) that in the mid track where all the carnage is there should be at least 2 more experience people there.I notice there were a few times cars crashed or hit the rope and the car was in front of them they were looking at something else I now they got to learn.(im not the fast either).This fixing the track or straightning the ropes up during the rope is not on either unless its blocking the track.Thats enough said.(my thoughts)

    Everyone have a good and safe xmas and a happy new year and come back with new toyz

  3. James says:

    I had some dramas last night Blitz with a shock lower cap came undone and the Vorza had radio problems but i didnt have my manual so i wasnt sure what to do to fix the problem, So i changed to my back up Open SC Truck and i realised now that i could have just changed the radio in the Vorza!

    Im happy to finish off the year with Back to back Podiums 2nd at Latrobe and last nights third for b-final Short Course Trucks! See ya Next year!

  4. Andrew Mackenzie says:

    Another good night of racing. Thanks to everyone who has made it such a fun and enjoyable year of rc. Will be looking forward to more fun and close racing in the new year.

    May everyone have a safe and happy xmas and new year 🙂

  5. Rocket says:

    Thanks to all for an amazing year of growth in the club and awesome racing throughout the classes 🙂
    Wishing everyone and their families a merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone again in the new year ready for some more fun and close racing 🙂


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