Monday, 28 March 2011

A spring day at Aldershot MCC.

This weekend I made the trip to Aldershot Model Car Club on the Surrey/Hampshire border.
Not such a big deal as it's only 2 miles from me!

Despite the damp start there was a good turn out of 40 - 50 drivers running superstock, prostock and modified. I ran in superstock which was the best supported, as seems to be the case at most clubs, with an entry of 27.

Most of you will know it well but for those that don't it's a great track with  a lap time around 15sec.
There is plenty about it to test any level of driver including a tricky chicane that will punish inaccuracy and a scary high speed banked sweeper that rewards bravery.


I have decided to commit myself to my Mi4 and was determined to get it working.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Oh dear ... I dun broke it!

Hello people.
I am afraid to say that I am once again seeking your commiserations rather than your congratulations.

This is what my Xray 009 looked like after heat 3 at the Adur circuit this past weekend.
They have, in their wisdom, installed some very solid and unforgiving concrete beams on the straight.
I decided to pay one of them visit and this was the resultant carnage!

It looks worse that it is however and although it effectively ended my meeting, and my tilt at the club winter championship, it is now fully repaired and ready to hit the tarmac again.

After the accident I did at least get the chance to run the new Mi4, as seen in my last post.
This didn't prove to be a big success however and I couldn't get close to the pace of my Xray.
It suffered with 2 problems.
  • The rear diff far was too loose, thanks to my great build, and I really struggled to get off the corners quickly. A rebuild and a tighten up for now then hopefully just a short wait until SpecR release the new gear diff.
  • Off power the car was really loose in the rear (ooh err!). I hope some attention to shock oils and and rear droop will help with this.
So it's back to the drawing board.
Any advice from you good guys most welcome at this point!

It was all worth it though to see Chris B suffering the after effects of a Jager bomb (or 3) and looking like he had slept in a hedge. There isn't enough coffee to put that right.
Top work fella!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Schumacher Mi4LP

I know the Mi4CX is available now but I recently spotted this Mi4LP at a decent price and couldn't resist. I've seen a lot of guys going really fast with this chassis and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Now the fast guys are fast because they are good and will be fast whatever they drive, the question is will it make me any faster?
Well you never know I remain ever the optimist!

I bought the chassis from a guy on Oople, he was a decent fellow and on arrival it was, as promised, in mint condition, albeit with a rather pink shell.
I set about equipping it with some electrics and have ended up with a Hobbywing speedo and a Team Powers 13.5t motor. I run the Hobbywing speedo in my Xray 009 and think it's great value for money. It's also pretty quick with the correct software installed.
For the steering I settled on the Savox 1251, hoping it will be tough enough to survive my ham-fisted stick twiddling without a fitted servo saver.

After a once over and a little remedial wrenching I took it out for a spin on the Aldershot track. I am a member there so took advantage of a sunny Tuesday to give it a run. One pack down and my first impressions are good, I really enjoyed the way it drove, quick and responsive. Maybe a little too responsive for me but I am sure I can dial that out with a few minor changes.

So is it going to turn me into Chris Grainger overnight? No!
Am I going to enjoy driving it? Yes!

I will take it to Adur on Sunday where they are having a circuit meeting and see how I get on. I am not sure if it will oust my trusty Xray just yet but time will tell.

Repeat after me... "Change is good"

Monday, 14 March 2011

My new buggy hauler.

I bought myself a present this week.
It's a HARD Racing Magellan buggy bag, HARD Racing are a Team Magic company so it's the same quality as the ubiquitous TM hauler bags.

It's made of a cordura type material which appears to be hard wearing and it's a big boy.
Inside there is a large carboard box into which you put whatever you want to transport. I lined the box with some vinyl just to make it easier to keep clean.
It will fit a 1/8 buggy with the wheels on.

It comes with various handles and a shoulder strap so it's easy to carry.
There is a neat little zipped compartment at one end which will accomodate 3 sets of buggy wheels and tyres or perhaps a transmitter. Better still an enormous packed lunch! 

It's a nice thing that satisfies my bag fetish for a while and will protect the car from a filthy post race buggy.
Luvvin it!

Sunday morning in bed!

The buggy was set up, the batteries were charged, the hauler was packed, the alarm was set and I was excited.

My first trip to the renowned Slough track, host of the 2003 european champs and playground of the 'fast guys' ... Gulp!

So much for planning. I awoke bleary eyed at the scheduled ungodly hour to be greeted by a pea souper of a mist and a steady drizzle, not a day for my Slough debut, I crawled back into bed and went back to sleep.

I'll wait for better weather, we must get some eventually .. right?

I took a look at the results later, it turns out that around 85 hardy souls braved the early conditions and turned up for what ended up looking like a decent days racing.

So it goes.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Debut outing for the new D8

Things didnt quite go to plan for my first outing with the new buggy.

I set out for Adur off road club on a cold, but sunny, day full of expectation and anticipation. When I arrived I was greeted by a really good turn out of 30 to 40 buggy drivers. I guess a combination of some sunshine and a last opportunity to run on the track before some major refurbishment and a completely new layout tempted people to come out and blow away the winter cobwebs.

I am bound to be sooo much quicker with this great new car right? ... Wrong!   
It didn't take any more than one heat for me to realise I had a difficult day ahead!

Heat 1:  Feeling my way around with a newly run in engine, an inexpensive STS, only for it to cut out on me at around 3 minutes. Never mind, the car was not handling so well anyway so back to the pits to investigate.

Heat 2:  I changed the rear roll bar and added a little camber to try and improve matters on the handling front with only limited success. Pointless anyway as I had the exact same engine problem in this heat.. Doh!

Heat 3:  OK .. New glow plug and a change tyres for the last gasp effort. Car was much improved but still difficult to drive consistently. Nevertheless I was going much better and ran a full heat only to find my transponder had failed to register one of my laps ..... C final for me then.

C Final:  Apart from a little trouble with back markers I had a fairly good, if unspectacular, run managing to take the win and bump into the B final.

B Final:  I managed a decent start and was running fairly consistently near the front until around 15 minute mark. At this point I started to have some radio trouble, costing me valuable time, eventually coming home in a reasonable 4th place behind my buddy, and rival, James Rumble. (Thanks to Gary B for the sterling pit work.)

So what did I learn? ...  Well, that I have a lot to learn!

OK then, time to pilfer a set up from a team driver, fit an RX booster and pack up the car for a trip to Slough this Sunday with renewed optimism.

Stay tuned.  


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Yeah baby lets go racing!

This is my brand new Hot Bodies D8 buggy.

It will be getting its debut outing this weekend at Round 5 of the Adur winter series.
Adur is a great dirt track near the South coast, a test of man and machine as they say.
Lets see how the new car looks on Sunday evening!