Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A makeover for Adur off-road

Adur MCC have recently completed a revamp of their popular off road track in West Sussex.
Some dedicated volunteers have clearly spent a great deal of time and expended much effort to create a completely new layout with some intimidating new features that will undoubtedly test the best and torment the rest!

They were holding the first round of the new summer series so I decided to make the trip and do my best not to embarass myself with my Hot Bodies D8.

Check out the bermed sweeper which is quickly followed by a testing kicker onto a raised section with a 180 degree hairpin.... Gulp!
(click on pics for full size)

A good turnout, despite a date clash with Slough, saw upwards of 30 rally x entrants as well as a decent group of short course trucks and a few truggies. The growing popularity of electric buggies continues apace with ever more turning from flames to sparks for motive force.

A busy Mark Chatfield and a laid back Steve Carter preparing for the day ahead.

The rally x entrants were seeded into 3 heats, I was in the B heat.
Following the last meeting I had made some changes to the D8 and was hoping for a better performance.

I struggled to get to grips with the new track. Maybe my old eyes are starting to go but I was having problems distinguishing the run up to the new jump furthest from the rostrum. I was getting it wrong more often than I was getting it right.
It did turn out to be quite a test of my limited ability, I am going to need quite a few laps around here before I feel confident.

After 3 cautious rounds of qualifying I ended up in 10th place which put me in the most dreaded of starting places for the finals; 2nd in the 'B'. I was still pleased as there were some good drivers behind me.

James Rumble a dedicated convert to the electric faction and assembler of wraps for the most discerning of palates.

The 'B' final got under way and I got the holeshot, I was first into turn one, unfortunately I was last out of it! I made an error and ended up on my roof, at least I led for 10 metres.
This seemed to set the tone for my race I made mistake after mistake and seemed to get involved in other peoples accidents for the next 15 minutes. I think the only polished part of my performance was the fuel stop, it's Ian Billet I have to thank for that.

When the tone sounded the end of the race I had recovered to fourth, not too bad but I missed out on the bump up positions. These, interestingly, were both claimed by electric buggies driven by James (2nd) and Pedro (1st), well done chaps.  

The D8 in action. (Pics courtesy of Ian Billet)

The track is mostly hard clay, loose in places with astro on the jumps.

I landed this one ....

But not this one. Come on Mark off that seat!

Some short course action.
It seems to be gaining quite a following.

Although I was disappointed with my final position the day had been a good one. There were one or two technical issues that I am sure will be sorted out in time for the next meeting. 
I will be having loads of fun here with like minded souls over the coming season.
In my opinion well worth the trip.

So what do I think of the D8?. 
 It's a super little buggy. It survived my abuse completely unscathed, anyone that saw me drive on Sunday knows that this is testament to its robustness.

I shall be once again trawling the net for set up tips and hope to make some improvements for the next outing.

I wonder if I can find some Atsushi Hara thumbs on ebay?

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