2015 BRCA LSOR Round 2 , Bank Holiday Bash Fest - Welford

Large Scale Off Road

Round 2 of the BRCA large scale off road UK championship kicked off in great fashion over the May Day bank holiday weekend, with a pop up event and track at Welfords popular bashfest site. This event has realistically been in Darren Worth’s mind for well over a year, but became reality last weekend and proved to be a massive hit with all of the drivers I spoke to over the course of the weekend.

Thursday evening before the event, I arrived as did Guy Page ahead of a busy day on Friday. Set in the beautiful countryside just off the A14 not far from the M1\M6 junction, the BRCA LSOR round was hosted within the popular bashfest event alongside there regular tracks, with the association building a pop up track catering to our racers specific needs which was suitable for all drivers who were to attend.

Myself and Guy headed out early Friday morning to build a track, with six hundred metres of piping, 300 pegs 2 miles of bungee cord, 500m of netting and stakes...and of course D.I.Y Darren Worth's drill for the screw in pegs..ITS FULLY CHARGED!...HE SAID...ITS BRAND NEW!

Whatever Trevor!!!!

10 minutes later our saviour, our knight in rusty armour entered the scene, David "Roverman" Smith to the rescue with his Aldi drill .

Also on the scene early was Andy Love, and between us we made big headway in completing the track. Jim Whitehead also appeared from the mist armed and ready, with a bottle of cider in hand and a lump hammer in the other, Jim was a tremendous help. Andy Knight joined us before mid day and by 5 o’clock we had put a track together . So a huge thanks go out to everyone who helped put this great little track down in time for the following days practise sessions. So we were now ready to throw some dirt around!

Saturday - time to get down and dirty - practice time

Saturday morning arrived with promising weather for the day, mixed sunshine, cloud and occasional rain shower’s, and we were all raring to go on the first grass track event of the season.

Within 2 minutes of the track being opened the podium was almost full. I'm pretty sure most drivers secretly desire dirt tracks!!!!

So from the very go, grass and dirt where being spat from the rear of Hormanns, Fg, Elcons, Mcd and the Losi large scale vehicles, and creating quite a bit of interest from the guys and gals that where here purely for the bashfest event.

The track was quick, which is really how we had planned it,

which made way for some close side by side racing in all classes.

If the practise sessions where anything to go by, Sundays finals where going to be FAST AND FURIOUS!

Mid afternoon I took some time to go and chat with a few of the drivers, who had been on track and to my delight everyone seemed very happy with the layout and the quality of the track. No one seemed to have any negative comments, which made all the hard work done the day before worth while. After a chat with a few people it was back to the track for a few repairs and further practice.

The track was starting to bed in, and the power of the large scale cars was starting to spit out grass, leaving dusty dry dirt and strong winds for us all to contend with.

Throughout the day many drivers experimented with various tyre choices. Some choosing Hormann spikes, some the Mcd mini blocks, and some with the astro spikes, all looking for that balance of grip over too much grip, especially in the corners.

5 o’clock came too soon for many drivers, as everyone seemed to be relishing the challenges that the grass track offered. So after a few repairs and a little attention to the track it was time to call an end to Saturday practice. All in all I am confident enough to say that we all had a great day of practice on a track that drove well, and gave all drivers a great taste of grass /dirt driving ready for the next round of grass track driving on the internationally renowned Kendal track !

Time for a little drink as most of us do at such events, time to reflect and chat about a great days racing amongst the bashfest enthusiasts. Some people had reserved feelings with regards to the weekends racing, some saying that it wouldn’t work, some saying that there would be problems throughout the weekend. Well its fair to say that if Saturdays practice was anything to go by, then Sunday would throw up no surprises (well apart from my car having a wobbly under the controls of someone else) which was later to be the undoing for me when it came to the finals.

But apart from this the Saturday was a great success, it even improved Darren Worth's hair do in my eyes, turning it from badger grey to ginger with all the dry clay like dirt that was constantly being thrown up from both the BRCA and bashers tracks in the direction of the alfresco race control.

Sunday Qualification & Finals - Gentlemen start your engines!

Sunday came sooner than most would have liked as we were having too much fun! but with it came the rain, waking up to find that we were not going to have a dry start to the days racing put a wee bit of a dampener on things with the rain lashing down.

Discussions began when Darren arrived just before 8 with thoughts of would we be racing or not, delay the meeting like we did in Kort or for24 hrs were some of the options being muted. A drivers briefing took place at 9.15 and concluded that we would sit out the rain, and have another meeting at 11 o'clock in the hope that the rain would have past and we could start racing at 11.30 with reduced qualification heats to ensure we had a fighting chance of getting done before the showers returned early evening.

Darren dried out and built race control ready to race, 11 o'clock came and we all decided to just get on with it. I'm pretty sure it was Darren Worth that wanted to hold off till the rain had passed, perhaps when preening himself back at his hotel Darren quite liked his new ginger hair do and didn't want it washing out!

Racing was now to commence at 11.30 and all drivers where itching to get started, even the weather decided to change its mind and throw a little bit of sunshine in to brighten the spirits of all drivers.

Qualifiers duly started at just after 11.30 in the morning, with the track greasy and wet. Wet tyres seemed to be the choice of most 4x4 drivers with the 2wd guys sticking to Hormann/Fg spikes. But with the strong winds we experienced ( similar to round 1 at Nene Valley Raceway ) the track was soon to become a lot dryer and drivable, and as the days qualifies went on the track got faster and faster, dropping from averages of 31/32 seconds a lap to averages of 28/29 seconds for some of the more experienced drivers. we were all hoping that the days rain would keep away and allow drivers to drive to the max in the best conditions grass tracks can offer. The finals

4WD - C Final

The first final of the day got under way at 3.10, which saw the 4x4 buggies battle it out for the top 3 bump up positions in the final. It was clear from the start that the final was to be contested by 3

drivers Matt Miah, David 'the parrot' Parish and Steve Price.

All three drivers on each others tales for 21 laps, barely a cigarette paper separated them but after 20 minutes of racing Matt Miah managed to hold a 5 second lead over Steve Price in second place. David Parish driving hard to take 3rd place on the podium and filling the final bump up spot for the C finalists.

2WD - B Final

The 2wd B final started with blistering speed, but all the drivers having the added challenge of limited grip in greasy conditions with 2wd. Andy Knight showed his class and experience in this final and started to stretch out a reasonable lead over Dane Whittleston in second place. No one was able to challenge the top two in this field for the top 2 spots, both drivers seeming to be able to handle the conditions better than the rest of the trailing field.

After 20 mins of racing Andy Knight passed the finish line in 1st place with Dane Whittleston in 2nd place but a lap down on Andy. 3rd place and the last bump up spot went to Dean Coulson who fought hard to try and keep up with the pace set out by the top two drivers.

4WD - B Final

This final was to be the closest racing of the day so far, with the lap times now starting to fall as the track did its best to dry out. Ayaz Aslam was the man on a mission in this final, and after 5-6 laps was starting to get away from Guy Page who was fighting hard to keep up with the pace , with Mike 'Quality Street' Humphreys hot on Guys heels. Matt Miah wasn’t going to let the top 3 drivers have it all their own way and did his best in a competitive field to keep the leaders in his sights.

Eventually after 20 minutes Ayaz Aslam took an impressive 1st place with Guy Page a lap down in 2nd spot. Mike Humphreys doing a stellar job to take 3rd place in a new car for the 2015 season on its first outing too having suffered radio issues during practice the day before which lost him shake down time with his new Losi.

Short Course - Main Final

So the A final short course was ready to roll, but not before a group meeting with the A finalists to discuss and propose that the final be reduced from 30 minutes to 20. Darren Worth agreed with the short course entrants and allowed the final to be reduced by ten minutes.

At 4.19 the buzzer sounds and the Losi`s tear off the start finish line, with the 3 main contenders rubbing paintwork for the first few laps. But it was soon clear that Dean Mandeville was in no mood to be taking it easy, and started to take out a lead over the trailing field. Consistent driving seems to be the key to Deans driving as he inched away from the pack lap after lap. Paul Wood and Mark Suggitt half way through the final seemed to be the only ones that were able to keep up with the missile Mandeville pace.

Dean continued with a faultless drive over the 20 minute final to take a well deserved victory over Paul Wood in 2nd spot, and Mark Suggitt having to settle for 3rd place . All in all this was a great final to watch with little incidents throughout the whole race.

Name   Result   Avrg Lap   Nat #   Buggy Make   Model

Pos

1 Dean Mandeville 41/20m 6.18   29.42 N Losi 5ive-T
2 Paul Wood 40/20m 0.64   30.02 N Losi 5ive-T
3 Mark Suggitt 40/20m 12.93   30.32 N Losi 5ive-T
4 Roger Smith 39/20m 26.46   31.45 N MCD W5
5 Ben Bridges 32/19m 14.04   36.06 C Losi 5ive-T
6 Jim Whitehead 27/19m 43.65   43.84 C Losi 5ive-T
7 Marvin Crooks 23/14m 28.15   37.75 C Losi 5ive-T
8 Kevin Hurst 13/ 8m 55.59   41.20 C Losi 5ive-T
9 James Clark 10/ 6m 18.78   37.88 C Losi 5ive-T
10 Ian Southey 6/ 3m 29.30   34.88 N Losi 5ive-T

2WD - Main Final

The 2 wheel drive A final got under way at 4.45. The weather seemed like it was going to hold out for the rest of the day without any threats of rain and having rear wheel drive I am sure all of the finalists where happy to see a dry track ahead of them.

Dave Ashton seemed to be the man on form right from the word go. Dave pushing hard right from the buzzer, and setting lap times on average 1 second ahead of his closest competition Andy Blackburn. Karl Norris in 3rd spot by now didn't seem to be able to get the grip or luck to be challenging Dave Ashton or Andy Blackburn for a higher grid position.

Battles lower down the field saw Dave Grimshaw, John Derby and Andy Knight all pushing hard in the drying conditions, but unable to match the pace of the leaders. After 30 minutes Dave Ashton comfortably passed the finish line 2 laps ahead of Andy Blackburn in 2nd spot .With Karl Norris having to settle for 3rd place.

Pos Name                                 Result                   Avrg Lap      Nat #    Buggy Make        Model

1 Dave Ashton 60/30m 16.79   30.28 N Hoërmann HT3 V3
2 Andy Blackburn 58/30m 29.75   31.55 N Hoërmann HT3 V2
3 Karl Norris 57/30m 24.01   32.00 N Hoërmann HT3 V3
4 Dave Grimshaw 54/30m 14.86   33.61 C Hoërmann HT3 V2
5 John Darby 53/29m 39.72   33.58 C Elcon Cleon MMX 2012
6 Andy Knight 53/30m 11.32   34.18 N FG Leopard 2
7 Dominic Blackburn 52/28m 10.74   32.51 N Hoërmann HT3 V2
8 Dane Whittleston 50/30m 22.32   36.45 N Hoërmann HT3 V2
9 Dean Coulson 49/30m 7.53   36.89 N Hoërmann HT3
10 Neil Griffin 32/18m 55.03   35.47 N Hoërmann HT3 V2

4WD - Main Final

The last final of the day got under way just before 5.30. with Ian Oddie, Steve 'Sticky' Haynes, Craig Orman and Mike 'QS' Humphreys all having great qualification rounds, and lead out the field at pace. The two top dogs Ian Oddie and Steve Haynes matched each other lap after lap , and proved why these two have dominated the LSOR buggy class for so long. During the 29th lap disappointment for Steve Haynes when a wheel came off and threw the doors wide open for Craig Orman to do battle with a blisteringly quick Mr Oddie.

Back in 3rd place now Dave Griffiths was holding onto a good lead over Mike Humphreys who was having himself a great weekends racing in his new Losi buggy. The final whistle came after 30 minutes of solid racing from all. But none more solid than Ian Oddie in 1st place, and a superb consistent drive from a very impressive Craig Orman who took second place on the podium. Dave Griffiths eventually had a comfortable one lap lead over Mike Humphreys to secure himself a podium finish in 3rd place.

Pos     Name                           Result                    Avrg Lap       Nat #     Buggy Make        Model

1 Ian Oddie 66/30m 1.58   27.30 N Elcon Imp4ct XL
2 Craig Orman 66/30m 10.70   27.43 N FG Leopard 4
3 Dave Griffiths 63/30m 25.59   28.98 C MCD Race Runner V5
4 Mike Humphreys 62/30m 21.79   29.38 N Losi 5ive-B
5 Leon Satchell 61/30m 6.33   29.61 C MCD Race Runner V5
6 Guy Hayward 61/30m 18.30   29.81 N Losi 5ive-B
7 Andy Love 59/30m 17.65   30.81 N Losi 5ive-B
8 Ayaz Aslam 57/30m 15.11   31.84 N MCD Race Runner V5
9 Steve Haynes 29/13m 21.39   27.63 N MCD Race Runner V5
10 Guy Page 7/ 6m 5.17   52.17 N MCD Race Runner V5

That's all folks !

Well what can I say about the weekends racing at Welford. Well what I can say is this, there was a huge effort put in to make this event happen. Not only with getting a track together but also all the behind the scene work that was put in by Darren Worth, I have to say that I feel it paid off. All the drivers I spoke with over the weekend basically had the same view as myself, and that was that a great weekend had been had by all. The weather was kind to us apart from a small delay on the Sunday morning, we had a good track to race on, we had all the facilities we could ask for, and finally the whole atmosphere for the whole event was fantastic.

The idea of this event was to give the bashers amongst the hobby a little taste of what they could be a part of in the future. To show the bashers that the divide they sometimes see isn’t really there and to openly and actively encourage more young blood into this hobby. I think this was achieved, and I strongly hope that this event can be the catalyst as well as the likes of the Zenoah challenge cup, to encourage a new wave of large scale rc car drivers to join the BRCA Lsor championship.

I would like to take the opportunity to express thanks to Neil Miller for allowing this event to run alongside the ever popular bashfest event. The BRCA and all drivers that attended where extremely happy with the whole event, and how the whole weekend was run, and I am sure I speak for many that we look forward to our return to the bashfest event in the future for another round of the BRCA Lsor race series.

I would also like to say a big welcome and thanks to all the new racers that took part over the weekend, and hope that we all can in some way encourage more drivers to take up the challenges of racing within the UK national championships.

Our remaining events are below but please not that Rnd 4 will now be a return visit to the Nene Valley Raceway track in Northamptonshire instead of our inaugural visit to the new MMR M4 Karting track :-

Rnd Weekend Venue
3 23 – 24 May’15 Kendal
4 20 – 21 June’15 Nene Valley Raceway
5 18 – 19 July’15 Nook Raceway
6 22 – 23 Aug’15 Pickering RC
7 19 – 20 Sept’15 Ings Raceway
8 10 – 11 Oct’15 MMR M4 Karting

Detailed series results including lap times and positions are available online via http://www.brcalsor.org/race-results/brca-lsor-2015-results/and the meetings to date go to show that it does not matter what large scale off road vehicle you own or your ability, you are most welcome to come and join in the fun of the BRCA LSOR section, turn up on the Saturday and get some track practice in during the afternoon and then enter the meeting on Sunday. Photos from all our rounds can be found within the gallery at www.brca-lsor.org.

On behalf of the section can I congratulate all our winners and ask those who are planning on participating in the 2015 BRCA LSOR race series to please book in online ahead of the meeting so event planning can be undertaken, if the attendance levels remain high then our racing will continue to commence at 9am to give you all the track time you want.

Booking in can be done at http://www.brca-lsor.org/booking-in/.

If you are reading this and not too far from any of our forthcoming venues then feel free to come along and see some of the largest radio car racing you will see in the UK. Likewise pop along to one of our venues and enquire about RC racing whether we are there or not.

What I have learnt over the weekend is this.... Darren Worth has very few MAN SKILLS! He has a wonderful microphone voice, but lacks in the rudimentary skills of camping, or DIY. But myself and others are willing to help Darren though this transitional period in his life!

Batteries don’t charge themselves, and tents don’t hold themselves up!!

Darren doesn’t suit being ginger!

I’ve learnt that when people pull together then great things can be achieved and it usually starts form the top. So a huge thanks as always to Darren Worth once again for the dedicated time he commits to this hobby.

Thanks for reading and don’t participate in our national championship and fancy experiencing some racing then don’t forget the 2016 Zenoah Challenge Cup, which is the UK’s only indoor off road event which is run over three days from 5th to the 7th February with drivers of all abilities welcome. If you are interested in finding out more about this fun indoor event then visit www.zenoahchallengecup.info

See you all on a Cumbrian hill side being over looked by sheep soon.

Steve Jones

aka "Fingers"

2015 BRCA LSOR Section Public Relations Officer