Friday, 27 July 2012

2wd Mid South Regional at Stotfold

Sunday was an exciting day for me, I was visiting a track that I have never raced at before.
Stotfold Model Car Club were playing hosts to the 5th and final round of the popular 2wd regional series.

I love to go to new tracks even if it does mean dragging myself out of bed at 5.15am . . I must be mental!
Rob Elmes was to be the driver for the day despite my reservations about sharing a cab with him and JR on a Sunday morning. If we ignore JRs navigating our journey was fraternal and relatively odour free!

(Click on pics for full size version)

We arrived in the sunshine at this secluded countryside venue and set up camp amongst many familiar faces. The host club had clearly spent some time preparing, the grass was cut and wherever one sat there was a speaker not far away keeping all informed of ongoing events.

Mark 'Lazy' Townsend was taking some time out from fatherhood to get some much needed R'n'R.

Darren 'Tartman' Parkers Independent Traders, purveyors of all things RC.

TORCH on tour!

How many of you are fed up with shelling out silly money for a dodgy old carpet burger at an RC event?
Not at Stofold.
Despite operating out of a gazebo the nosh was spot on. 
Don't take my word for it take a look at this bacon butty, I reckon there's half a pig in there, and all for just £1.50.
And a cup of splosh to go with it for 50p.
Top work chaps, something for other clubs to aspire to.

So camp established and breakfast scoffed time to take a look at the track.

The Stotfold track can politely be described as mature, it's certainly seen it's share of action.
It is however none the worse for that and is great to drive. It's 100% astro of varying ages and very 3D with loads of lumps and bumps to keep a drivers attention. There is also a shady corner that, as it is under some trees, stayed slimy most of the day.
Like all good tracks the better you drive the more flowing it becomes.

These pics give some idea of how undulating the track is.

The usual suspects.

Kristian was proudly sporting some new ink, Rob was sporting a very flashy new camera.

It was important to pay close attention to the drivers briefing as the organisers were determined to run a tight ship.
The meeting was run like clockwork although many drivers were on the receiving end of some somewhat over zealous penalties. I know rules is rules but ease up chaps this isn't a national. 

The encampment comprised around 80 drivers on the day.

Rockin' the SV2 baby.
The car was really good all day helping me to 3 very consistent 11 lap runs. I was reasonably content with my driving but a little disappointed that I still ended up qualifying in the bottom half of the field. I learnt plenty though and subsequently identified some performance robbing flaws in my set up and preparation so remain optimistic about my 2wd future.

As if the slimy corner isn't bad enough they threw in a couple of nasty little lumps. The damp start had drivers scratching their heads over tyre choice but as it dried pretty much everyone ended up on yellow spikes at the rear and stagger ribs up front.

After it had all shaken out there were mostly familiar faces on the A final rostrum including another appearance from Terry Streeter, well done fella.

A good selection of cars in the 'A' including the Schumacher 'Frankenstein' PB12 of Mark Sadler, Glens Vega and a number of 'flavour of the month' DB1s.

"Ready drivers . . . Let's go racing on the sound of the tone"

Steve Brown gives Terry Streeter a little love tap on the banked turn.

Glen W doing the biz with the field in hot pursuit.

Mark Sadler with his home brew PB12.

The winning car of Kev Lee.
Sharing the podium was Glen Westwood 2nd and Matt Owen 3rd.
Well done chaps, top work.

Full results and series standings can be found on the DMS Racing website HERE.

I competed at just 2 regionals this season, at SHRCCC and Stotfold, and really enjoyed both. My appetite has certainly been whetted and I anticipate being present at more next season. The series seems to be exactly what it sets out to be, an accessible stepping stone between club racing and national racing.

As long as I keep my ambitions moderate I am sure I will continue to enjoy it. I don't think I'll be worrying the A grid but will certainly have fun fighting personal battles with my midfield rivals.

You know who you are lads . . bring on 2013.

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