Archie Matthews and Finlay Lanaway lead Tamiya Junior-E after RD2

10th Electric Circuit

Archie Matthews took another overall win in the Tamiya Junior E races again this weekend, this time at his home round held at the Eastbourne Electric Car Club circuit. However, Finlay Lanaway pushed it close, taking the win in the second final. With Matthews taking the win in the first final, that meant a tie-break and a countback to the qualifying results, giving Matthews the overall win.


Rivalry hotting up between Matthews and Lanaway

It was a hot June Sunday at the Eastbourne Electric Car Club and it was certainly heating up out on track with the battle between 10-year-old championship leader Archie Matthews and 2nd place Finlay Lanaway getting everyone even hotter under the collar. Both locals, familiar with the Eastbourne track, it was always going to be a tough call to predict who was going to triumph prior to the event. Matthews was still riding high after qualifying pole and taking both wins at the previous round held at a very wet Aldershot Model Car Club circuit. Could Finlay take the fight to Matthews in the near-perfect conditions at Eastbourne?


Matthews came out of the box swinging, putting in an outstanding 14 laps in 304.30 seconds in Qualifying 1. Lanaway had no answer with a 12 lapper in 301.53 seconds. Matthews struggled all day to better his Q1 time, demonstrating just how quick that pace was. With qualifying for Tamiya Junior E being on a round by round basis, however, with the best two rounds to count, it was all still to play for. Matthews took the wins in Q1 and Q2, with Lanaway responding with wins in Q3 and Q4. This meant it went to a tie-break, with Matthews taking pole due to having the fastest time of the day from that blistering 14 lapper in Q1.

In the Rookies class, run on the circuit at the same time as the Juniors, newcomer, 11-year-old Oliver Woodall, set tongues wagging in the paddock with his 13 laps in 317.17 set in Q4, snapping at the heels of the two Junior class drivers times. His fast pace gave him wins in the Rookie class for all 4 Qualifiers putting him 1st Rookie, 3rd overall on the grid. . Woodall, who had recently just purchased a Tamiya TT-02 kit for the series is certainly one to watch, made easier by his distinctive Fortnite livery.

Final Race 1

In the first final, Matthews held his nerve off the start and capitalised immediately on his pole position, streaking into the lead, creating a 0.8-second gap back to Lanaway in 2nd after just one lap. Then disaster struck for Lanaway. In his effort to regain the time he took too much kerb halfway around the circuit on lap 2 and put it on his roof, allowing Woodall to sneak through into 2nd place. Lanaway then put in some quick laps to close Woodall down and take back 2nd place overall. But by then Matthews was gone, putting in a faultless race with a dominant flag to flag win, finishing with a 14 lapper in 316.89 seconds, a half a lap ahead of Lanaway.

Woodall, the fastest Rookie in Quali started from 3rd overall on the grid, with 11-year-old Reece Watts from West London RC club starting in 4th and Aldershot’s 7-year-old Maverick Adams in 5th. Woodall set off with a clean start and was close on the tail of the two Junior Class driver’s. Maverick Adams made a critical error and out-braked himself for the first hairpin, with Reece Watts losing time sliding onto the grass two corners later. This allowed Tyler Standing to jump up from his 6th place grid position to 4th, behind Woodall. On lap 2 Watts came back at Tyler Standing, getting a better drive along the straight and then tried to cover off Tyler after the fast kink. The two cars collided and Watts ended up coming off worse, losing a lot of time upside down on the grass. This allowed Maverick to get through and set about hunting down Tyler. Maverick closed down and overtook Tyler before disaster then struck for Woodall. On the last lap, he beached his car on a barrier, losing approximately 8 seconds before another mistake, flipping onto his roof only a few corners later. This allowed Maverick to sneak through and take a 3rd overall and a win in Rookies.

Final Race 2

In the second final of the day, Matthews again got off to a good start. However, this time Lanaway wasn’t giving it away as easily! On a charge, Lanaway put in a stonking 21.41-second lap on lap two to put Matthews under pressure. Matthews made a rare mistake on lap 3, which allowed Lanaway to get through. Lanaway then got in a rhythm and put in some consistently fast laps and never looked like losing the lead again, coming in across the line in 1st place with a 14 lapper in 317.44.

In Rookies, Reece Watts was duking it out with newcomer, Oliver Woodall. Woodall was in front, at one point getting into second overall, but a few mistakes and tangles with other cars cost him time dropping him back to 3rd overall, but still top Rookie. Watts looked at times like he was closing Woodall down, but some collisions with other cars and off-track excursions slowed his pace and he finished a lap behind Woodall. 

RD3 of the Tamiya Junior-E series is at Colchester on 27th June.

Overall Results

Qualifying Result

Final 1

Final 2

Overall for the round


Article by Steve Adams

Photos by Adrian Jefferies and RC Empire