Saturday, 22 June 2013

Schumacher Cougar SV2 . . . Which shocks?

Over the last few weeks I have been testing the various different shock options available for the SV2.
I am an average driver but have noticed some differences . . .

I have tried std big bores, bleeder cap big bores (with and without bladders) and bleeder cap small bores with big bore springs (with and without bladders).
My unscientific testing has taken place at TORCH which is a reasonably smooth, high traction, astro track with a few smaller jumps but no big silly stuff. 

This is what I think:
Standard big bores: Reliable and predictable, reasonably easy to build but sometimes tricky to achieve even rebound across a set.

Bleeder cap big bores (emulsion): Plush feeling shocks that work well. Easy to build but need regular rebuilds to maintain consistency.

Bleeder cap big bores (bladder): I prefer these without the bleed screws fitted. They are a piece of cake to build with repeatable results every time. The result is a very consistent predictable shock that feels nice to drive.

Bleeder cap small bores (emulsion): Same maintenance issues as big bore emulsion shocks. They felt a bit too feisty for me but would probably work well on tight smooth tracks, indoor carpet perhaps? The good guys could probably get the best out of them.

Bleeder cap small bores (bladder): Again I preferred these without the bleed screw which makes them a little calmer and easy to maintain.

If you look at the last couple of pics you will see which are my favourites.
For the remainder of the outdoor season I will be bouncing along on the big bore shocks fitted with bleeder caps and bladders but no bleed screws, on Core RC springs. 
These seem to suit my (dubious!) driving style and allow me to drive relatively error free runs at a reasonable pace.

I can see why the better drivers use the small bores as they do appear to make the buggy more nimble but  feel a little edgy for me. I will probably give them another go when we go indoors for the winter.

So there you go, I can conclude that . . . I'm not so much better with any of them, what a surprise!

Friday, 14 June 2013

TORCH Summer Series Round 2

The guys at TORCH know how to put on a great meeting so I knew I was in for a fun day when I made the, now familiar, trip to Titchfield at the weekend for Rnd 2 of the Summer series.
Plenty of track time was guaranteed as the Summer Series meetings usually comprise 4 rounds of qualifying followed by 3 finals for all, not to mention the hour or so of pre-race open practice.

Al was trying to nobble Dan before the day had even started.

Over the last few weeks the venue has been treated to a couple of work parties and the hard graft of Dan and his merry band certainly shows. 
The track has been tweaked slightly and is better than ever, I just wish I could get round it a little quicker. The surrounding fence is creeping around and is getting ever closer to enclosing the entire track.
TORCH is already hosting some big events and must now be very close to being a national standard venue.

Say cheese!

Only around 40 drivers turned out for the event which was disappointing as the venue and organisation deserve much more. Nevertheless the atmosphere was made great by the lads, and the odd lady supporter, that did turn up.

I was swapping between the SVR and the SV2 (Don't ask me why) and thought I was doing ok until I looked at the final qualifying standings and found I had only managed to achieve B4. 
Either the standard is getting higher or I'm getting worse, I'd like to think it's the former but fear it's the latter.

This is the timing sheet from my last, and fastest, qualifier with the SV2. (He says with a sigh!)

I managed to put that crushing disappointment behind me and had a couple of fun races in the finals, ending up where I started, just off the box in P4.

Another day of ups and downs really.
When it's good it's great but . . . . . . . . 

When it's bad it's terrible!

I still went home with a smile on my face, albeit a slightly frustrated one, and am already looking forward to the next round, where I am determined to do better. 
Maybe if I just do the usual and just throw some more money at it?

The usual suspects where found ripping round at the front joined by a couple of worthy visitors in the shape of  Matt Owen from the Silverstone club and James White, perhaps getting in some sneaky practice for the 2wd regional.

For those to whom these things matter the full results from the day can be found HERE.

If you haven't made it along to a TORCH event yet you are certainly missing out.
Get along to Rnd 3 on July 7th, put it in your diary now.
Oh, and bring some Yellow Minispikes.

A big thanks to Lionel Croucher who was wielding his new Nikon D90 for this article, click on any pic for the full size version.