Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Indoor buggy racing at Taplow

The indoor buggy track at Taplow was my destination of choice this week.
This was one place the awful weather couldn't spoil my racing.
Taplow is a well known venue in buggy circles and is highly thought of by some top drivers who make occasional appearances here.

The track is run by Janos who spends most of Friday afternoon clearing his employers body shop and putting together a testing track. The track changes each week but is mostly carpet, liberally punctuated with testing features including jumps and yumps of varying sizes. The restricted space guarantees a fairly tight technical track that tests driver ability and car durability. 

A positive, and unusual, feature of this venue is that if you turn up around 5pm it is possible to spend a couple of hours testing or practising before racing kicks off at around 7.30pm. You will need to bring your own table but there are plenty of power outlets to plug into.

This guy earned his 'bow time' and found a great use for his cooling fan!
Plenty of pitting room for around 40 or so drivers. There were a couple of dozen attendees on the evening I went along split roughly 70/30 in favour of 2wd.

Mini pins are a must for maximum enjoyment.
This kind of racing certainly helps to hone ones skills. Tight turns, tricky jumps, surface changes and an, at times, difficult view are all testers.
I was enjoying myself and was pleased to be fairly competitive and not too far off the pace.
My evening was however bought to an early end. After finishing my 3rd heat I retrieved my car to find a huge gash in the undertray, on closer inspection I discovered this gash continued through the hard case of my lipo! There was also some damage to the foil surrounding the cells, it was pure luck that prevented the cells themselves from being punctured.
I can't be sure of the cause but can only assume it was a protruding fixing from the track build, the organisers were, irritatingly, unconcerned.
So it ended up an expensive night!

This incident has put me off Taplow somewhat so I'm not sure I'll be returning anytime soon. If however you are after a testing track that will teach you how to drive a buggy then get along for an evening that offers plenty of track time for your entry fee. 

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