Round 1 At RHR Done

1/10th Off Road

Doesn’t time fly; we are already in the 2015 season!  All us experiencing some great weather conditions leading up to this event with temps up to 22c in places.  Everyone is looking forward to kick-starting their season.  The first event of 2015 will be held at Robin Hood Raceway in Blyth.  This lovely venue is also holding the European 1/10th Championships later this year and with 2 tracks on site, the organisers have been extremely busy to say the least.

The first National was held on their all AstroTurf track.  The Euros will be held on the Dirt J
2wd on the Saturday and 4wd on the Sunday.
A full meeting of 120 drivers strong were competing on the Saturday.

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National4

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National4

2wd Event Saturday
The track

The track looked very well-manicured.  All the track markings and hoses freshly painted, it was obvious the organisers put some serious effort in for the event.  A fast layout with undulated corners, a couple of bomb holes, a rhythm jump section in front of the rostrum and some tricky jumps.  Full concentration was a must for the drivers!

Looking in the pits many drivers boasting their new buggies with their freshly painted bodies and all eager to get on track.  Everyone was ready!  Noticeably this year a good number of new faces but at the same time we seemed to be missing the current 2wd Champion, Darren Bloomfield.  A little surprising being it’s a worlds 10th year and to be held on Astro.  One would have thought Darren would be classed as a strong contender for the title.

At national events everyone gets to practice 2 sessions at 3 minutes each and all in heat order.
Starting at 8.0am sharp as it’s always has been the drivers would experience the track for the first time.  All went like clockwork.

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National9

Drivers Briefing
Paul Worsley our long-time 1/10th chairman (and EFRA Chairman) conducted the drivers briefing in the great big marquee that RHR kindly offer for pitting at their big events.  The weather was becoming an issue as strong winds were predicted. Mike Cockrill was the race director and he wish everyone good luck with the event.

Round 1
Many of you know the name.  Ben Jemison.  Long-time driver for CML, driving the Associated brands made the move this year to Schumacher racing.  This is his home track and all the weight on his shoulders to perform well.  Certainly in round one he wasn’t to disappoint the crowd and their expectations.  Ben TQed the round by 2 secs ahead of Lee Martin and Neil Cragg.  We then had the next 7 drivers split by just 1.5 secs.  Nathan Waters, Greg Williams, Craig Collinson, Richard Taylor, Kev Lee and David Poulter rounded up the top 10.  1/10th racing at its very best.  The slightest error can cost 10 if not more places in the standings.

Round 2
The weather conditions were getting worse.  Higher wind conditions even saw some teams removing the rear wing on their cars to avoid the wind upsetting the buggies.
Neil Cragg with his Reedy powered Associated car was to set the pace in round 2 with the only 13 lap run of the round.  Tom Cockrill with his new Yokomo founded love was to come in second just missing out on the 13 lap run by a sec.  Nathan Waters another good run for him in third.  Mr Yardy in 4th, then Craig Collinson, Richard Taylor, Jack Neal, Simon Moss, Lee Martin and yet again tenth was David Poulter.

Round 3
Weather still getting worse and everyone was feeling the wind factor.  Many of us with hoodies up and all sorts trying to keep warm.  A loss of power at race control but the Robin Hood Raceway crew had it all under control with battery secondary power kicking in till they run out a second lead and restored everything within minutes.  Great job by the club and some great provisions already in place for the forthcoming Euros.
Lee Martin driving his Muchmore powered Yokomo is certainly a contender for this year’s championship and was to show us all why.  He shaved off 4 secs off the fastest time of the day to take round 3 with a time that maybe was near impossible to beat. Good run again from Neil Cragg in second and making a good move for the final in third was another Associated driver, Tom Yardy.  Simon Moss in forth with Elliott Boots in fifth. Rounding off the top ten, Greg Williams, Tom Cockerill, David Orbell, Craig Collinson and our host James Haliwell.

Round 4
Like mentioned earlier, Lee Martin set a time of 13/320.87 in round 3 and running in heat 11 of 12, he was on a mission in this final round to set another faster time to try and get the pole position.
Lee managed to set another great time of 13/320.81.  It was Neil Cragg’s turn to try the very same.  He needed to take the round on a faster time than Lee Martin already set in the previous heat.  Many of the lads commentating through the day were pointing out fast laps from many drivers.  Elliott Boots had one of the fast laps from a lower heat.  Neil was close to the time set by Lee but was looking in falling just short of of what was required.  Neil had other plans!  On the very last lap of qualification Neil smashed the quickest lap seen by anyone, to steal the fastest time of the day and the overall TQ by just 0.11.   Also noted in the round that after the great TQ run of round one, we haven’t mentioned Ben Jemison.  Well Ben wasn’t having the best of times with the wind.  (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here J).  He needed a good run in the last round to get him in the A main and even with his few errors, he managed to get a thirteenth in round to go with his round one TQ and that put him in an overall ninth position

A Final 2wd Line-Up

  1. Neil Cragg
  2. Lee Martin
  3. Nathan Waters
  4. Tom Yardy
  5. Tom Cockerill
  6. Craig Collinson
  7. Greg Williams
  8. Simon Moss
  9. Ben Jemison
  10. Kev Lee

As always at 1/10th electric Nationals we have a 3 legged A Main finals.
The format means we start with the A Main and then into the lower finals, then around half distance another leg of the A main and continue till the sharp end of the finals with the last A main right at the end of the event.

Leg 1 A Main
It was close for a while but a small mistake from Neil and that released Lee Martin to cruise to a leg 1 win.  Tom Cockrill his team mate was to take 2nd with Simon Moss in for Schumacher in third place.

L Final was won by young Yasir Mughal doing his first national event.
K Final was won by long time veteran Brian Preddy
J Final was won by Paul Crompton
I Finals was won by Alec Springer
H Final was won by Adam Perei

Leg 2 A Main
This was a closer affair than the first leg.
The 5 minute race was to see the whole field only split by 9 secs.  Everyone battling for every position.  A great race to watch and at the sharp end of the final there was just 2-3 secs splitting the first 4 or 5.
Neil Cragg got the win with Lee second and Tom Cockrill third.  This meant that we were going to be treated to another fight for the overall win in the last leg.

G Final was won by James Evans
F Final was won by Kyle Moon
E Final was Nathan Ralls
C Final was won by Tristram Neal
B Final was won by Richard Taylor

Leg 3 A main
Lee Martin already secured his podium position with a 1 and 2 so could easily push on in this final.
Neil Cragg scoring a 5 and 1 was far from a secured podium but starting from pole he must of felt very confident for the win.
Tom Cockerill scored a 2 and 3 in the first 2 legs and knew if the 2 front runners got together he could steal the win if he stayed in play.
Possible podiums were possible for Simon Moss with his 3 from Leg 1.
An outside chance of a podium for Craig Collinson as he scored a 4 from leg 1.  He would have to win leg 3 though.
The final started and really there was no change for some time apart from Neil Cragg and Lee Martin being the class of the field.  Lee Martin got real close to Neil for a few laps and with some 3 laps to go made his move by jumping hard out of the left hand bomb hole to just land further than Neil to take the lead.  Neil turn it up to get back close to Lee but pushing real hard meant some slower laps and Lee stayed clean fast and tidy to bring it home for the win.  Neil would finish 2nd and Nathan Waters third.

Results – 2wd
Top F2        Stuart Wood

Top F3        Ross Nicholson

Top F4        Charlie Ware

Top F5        Rob Fox

Top U13      Jack Hirst

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National50

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National50

4wd Event Saturday
The track

The track layout was changed for the 4wd event held on the Sunday.
Good to see the club organisers not adding big air jumps too as the predicted 60mph winds would play havoc with the buggies.

Same format as always with Paul Worsley pointing out safety for Lipos and so on.  Something we should all be aware off.
Practice again 2 rounds of it with 3 minutes per session.  All run like clockwork just like day 1.

Round 1
A tricky layout was presented to all the drivers.  No surprises that the main contenders for the British titles were out in front.  Neil Cragg had a brill run to take the round 1 honuors by 5 secs with Lee Martin came in at 2nd in round.  Great showing for the Team C Team drivers with Craig Collinson in at 3rd , Kev Lee in at 5th and great to see another youngster driving for Team C, Connor Cocker bringing his ride in at the 10th spot.

Round 2
Lee Martin was on fire in this round and was on for the first 14 lap run of the day when only 1 lap from the end he clipped a cone in mid-air as he was jumping into the bomb hole to find he popped out his rear drive shaft.  Unlucky but still ended up 18th in round.  Neil Cragg though showed us why he is the 16 time British Champion with another great run to be quickest of the rest by 8 secs.  He also took round 2.  Kev Lee the Team C captain and Inside Line Racing owner, had a good run to take 2nd in round with again Tom Cockerill another 3rd solid result.  Ellis Stafford was making a good showing with his TLR ride in 5th and again the young lad Connor Cocker bringing in another solid 9th in round.

Round 3
With 2 rounds in the bag and scoring to fat zeros, Neil Cragg knew if he took another round he would have the overall TQ for the 4wd event.  He wasn’t to disappoint.  First 14 lap run of the day was achived and secured the TQ spot.  Lee Martin in at the 2nd spot with Tom Yardy another Associated driver getting it together for the 3rd spot.  Mr Moss having a better round in the 4th spot and Elliott Boots getting the grips of his Kyosho in the 11th spot.

Round 4
Many drivers can still make the main A Final but in heat 3 there were hail stones coming down with winds increasing so it was called to hold the meeting for some 10 mins.  Always people ask why but with marshalling a potential safety issue, it was the right call as always by the chairman and steward of the meeting, Paul Worsley.
Good call and as the worst of it passed we were now going out on a wet track.  Lap time dropped and sitting at the top of the listings was Stuart Rand.  Of course Stuart to those that know him, is a fast driver anyways and only in the lower heats because he hasn’t done any regional or national meetings for a number of years.  He certainly had a smile on his face as heat after heat could not beat his time already set.  As we got to the real sharp end of the heats drivers were getting closer and closer to his time and of course there were all sorts of predictions amongst the drivers.
Elliot Boots was one of the closest to Stuarts time and to be fair to Elliott, if he didn’t have some errors he would of beat Stuarts time.  Lee Martin went out with wet tyres on his car and went fastest in the round with Neil in at the 2 spot.  Tom again at the 3 spot with Simom Moss achiving another 4th.  Stuart ended up 6th in round and I am sure he enjoyed that..

A final 4wd Line-Up

  1. Neil Cragg
  2. Lee Martin
  3. Tom Cockerill
  4. Kev Lee
  5. Craig Collinson
  6. Simon Moss
  7. Ellis Stafford
  8. Richard Lowe
  9. Tom Yardy
  10. Danny McGee

2015 4wd Robin Hood Raceway National21

Drastic measures from the club to keep the big marquee standing in the high winds

2015 4wd Robin Hood Raceway National45

Under 13 Ben Pugh – 1st ever National

We asked Ben to give us his opinion on his first ever National;

This is what he had to say;

Under 13 Ben Pugh – 1st ever National

‘My first national was on my 13th birthday 11 April 2015 at Robin Hood Raceway exactly 2 years after my dad bought me my first RC car.  I had a go at BRCA regionals and gained my F3 licence.
I also got a podium at last year’s u13 end of season finals.  That gave me the confidence to enter 2wd and 4wd at all of this seasons national series.
I have enjoyed my first visit to RHR this weekend that is very different from my home track Kidderminster.  It didn’t take me long to realise that a small mistake in a national can cost you big.
I found everyone to be very friendly and helpful which helped a lot as I didn’t know quite what to expect, but wow I so enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next round at Kidderminster.
I thought RHR was run very well and the track though difficult in places was fun.  Loved the bomb holes. The whole weekend was fab, my mum and dad loved it too.

Thank you Tony for showing an interest in me, it means a lot.’

2015 4wd Robin Hood Raceway National53

Under 16’s competing

Lovely to see plenty of under 16 year olds competing at the National Series. We never know, one of them could be the next Champion in a few years.

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National32

Smiling Ross

We asked smiling Ross to give us his opinion on his first ever National;
This is what he had to say;
Senior Ross Nicholson – 1st ever National

‘Being my first time at such a big event I felt a little nervous to start with but everyone from RHR was really welcoming and friendly.
The track for both days was fantastic to drive, nice and flowing and really fast. The whole event was run to perfection but the organisers they had everything planned out from the start I can’t fault anything on the way the event was run and controlled to give everyone the best weekend possible.

Saturday was 2wd which meant I could drive my Losi 22 2.0. First and second practice the track was wet but the car was feeling really good and constant. For all of the qualifying round and the final the track stand dry. After a great couple of runs for myself I managed to get into the E final where I finished 4th.
Sunday was 4wd so I could get my Losi 22-4 out onto the track. Car was brilliant I only had to make a couple changes in practice and the car was dialled. The track was dry for until round 4 where it made things interesting giving me a 29 in round which helped me place my 22-4 into the E final once again where I finished 9th.

Was a fantastic weekend and can’t wait for round 2 at Kidderminster’

2015 4wd Robin Hood Raceway National12

Christopher Delves

We asked Christopher Delves from the TLR Team give us his opinion on the first 2015 National;
This is what he had to say;
Senior Christopher Delves – Team TLR Manager

‘The first round of the 1/10th national season is now over and looking back on it the team have had what can only be described as a mixed bag of results.  I think everyone will remember this national for the weather conditions and predominantly the ferocity of the wind that not only made it tricky on track but even in the pits with the consistent gale force winds battering the marquee and tents! That aside the tracks on both days presented their own challenges combined with the weather conditions but general consensus in the team was that the tracks were challenging and fun to race on.

So the 2wd event was a tricky one for Ellis who was constantly tweaking the set up between rounds and getting faster but found it difficult to strike the balance needed to take the fight to the guys at the front. Ellis wound up in the B and will be looking to drop this score in later rounds for sure. Ross Nicholson put in a solid performance for his first national placing his 22 2.0 in the E final, a brilliant start to his national season and one he is bound to build on. Billy Fletcher in contrast didn’t have lady luck on his side, whether it is the weather putting pay to his run in the form of rain or finding it difficult to hit the sweet spot on his set up, but he will come back fighting at the next round.

4wd was a different story for Ellis with his 22-4 having great pace through the day seeing him place his car 7th in the main. Again Ellis worked diligently to improve the cars performance and this didn’t stop come final time. In the final leg of the A it was clear to see he had unlocked more pace in the car as he climbed the field and in the remaining minute was battling with Tom Cockerill for the final step on the podium in that leg which went down to the last corner with Tom holding position a fraction of a second ahead of Ellis.  Ellis seemed happy at the end of the meeting with the balance of his 22-4 and positive about the rest of the 4WD season. Once again Ross put in a solid performance to put his car in the E with Billy having a slightly better day than the previous to end up in the F. Once again though for Billy the weather played a factor in qualifying and in the last round feels foul to the rain coming down during his run and then to add insult to injury had to marshal in the driving rain! Both drivers gave it their all throughout the weekend at their first national and represented TLR well whether it be with a solid performance or grit and determination to keep on going despite not having the best of times.

Congrats to Lee on his double victory and a big thank you to the RHR team for putting on a great meeting, both tracks on each day were great to race on. Roll on round 2…’

2015 2wd Robin Hood Raceway National17

Craig Maher

We asked Craig Maher to give us his opinion on the first National;
This is what he had to say;
Senior Craig Maher and the person that has helped with all the photos you are seeing – 1st ever National

Wow!!!  What can I say about my first national?   I’ll start with the journey as it’s the track furthest away for me.   I set off on the Friday and decided to stay in a hotel so I’m fresh and ready for my first big event.  I got to the track nice and early on the Saturday which was very well presented.   It looked great and the marquee for pitting helped make a great atmosphere.   All at RHR was very welcoming and it was great to see how many juniors there were, as they are the next generation racers keeping the hobby going.  I was quite surprised how calm I felt running up to the first qualifier, I went out for my first practice and my Serpent SRX2 felt great and really balanced.  I was just trying to learn the track and have a clean run.  When it came to the 2nd practice I made a couple of changes and my Serpent and it felt even better.  I was ready for my 1st qualifier and what a qualifier!   It was probably the best I’ve driven, it just all come together.  I felt good and my car felt good and I ended up putting it 35th in round which I was over the moon about.  After that then the nerves were really building up. Getting a great drive and some sponsorship from Serpent UK I really wanted to make a mark.  I went out for my second qualifier and the nerves got to me, the car felt great, I just made silly mistakes and finished 80th in round.  I tried sorting myself out for the last 2 qualifying rounds and went better finishing 60thin round in the 3rd and 64th in round in the 4th.  Overall I qualified 3rd in the G final which with the competitors there I was really pleased about.   Just before my final I decided to make some changes to my car that really didn’t help with my nerves.   As you can imagine when I went out for my final I did a couple of warm up laps and my car felt even better, felt like I could really push.  I finished 2nd in the end really happy with that for my first national.  I would just like to say a big thanks to the Serpent UK Team, a big thanks to all the RHR team and the BRCA personnel that made it all happen.  It was a great event very well run and felt very welcoming.
Big thanks again to all and I will see you all soon.

4WD Finals
Like the previous day the A final Leg 1 is run first.

Leg 1 A Main
The two main contenders would go at it again in the 4wd event.
Leg 1 saw Neil Cragg control the race and come in first with a very small cushion. Lee Martin in for second and Tom Cockrill in for third.  The 2 Team C teammates would fight it out for the 4th spot with Craig Collinson winning that battle. TLR star Ellis Stafford in for 6th. Richard Lowe the Hot Bodies driver coming in for 7th and then Tom Yardy, Danny McGee and Simon Moss.

L Final was not run as it only had one contender.
K Final was won by Ian Ephraim
J Final was won by Terry Streeter
I Finals was won by Mark Thornwill
H Final was won by Neil Round

Leg 2 A Main
The track was certainly drying and having the rain took that edge of it which meant the fast guys can go fast.  Neil Cragg would start from pole and Lee Martin would know that he has to make a move before Neil gets away and the meeting is lost.  Lee did make that move early and got in front.  Neil would put in some blistering laps to catch the 2wd winner but with no avail.  Lee Martin won leg 2 to take it once more to a decider in the last race of the weekend.  Kev Lee had a good showing in third with Craig Collinson in forth.  Richard Lowe a better finish than the first leg in fifth and then Ellis, Simon, Tom and Danny.

G Final was won by Adam Perei
F Final was won by Tony Bishop
E Final was won by Mathew Dodd
D Finals was won by Kyle Moon
C Final was won by Phil Sleigh
B Final was won by Elliott Boots

Leg 3 A Main
We saved the best for last.  A great race between what has to be said the 2 class drivers of this event.  They shared fastest laps throughout the race and it was an epic battle that Lee Matin won to win the 4wd event.  Neil Cragg just a fraction behind to come in second and second overall and Tom Cockerill came in third to give us an identical podium as the day before in the 2wd event..
Kev Lee was to finish forth overall, Craig 5th overall, Ellis 6th overall, Richard 7th overall, Simon 8th, Tom 9th and Danny 10th overall.


We asked Lee Martin to give us his opinion on the first National;
This is what he had to say;
Senior Lee Martin – Winner of both 2wd and 4wd of 1st 2015 National @RHR

Round 1 of the BRCA nationals is here and it’s at the fantastic facility at RHR. These guys always put on a great race and a lot of time and effort goes into making the event look as good as possible.
A credit to our sport.

So knowing that, I knew it would be a good opener. Although for myself, sometimes I struggle here on the track. I don’t race here all that often due to living 180 miles away and the problem for me is many fast drivers do race here a lot, so the competition was going to be tough.

From the early runs my YZ2 was performing fantastic and with a few tweaks after some discussions with my team mates, we got the car exactly where it needed to be. It was easy to drive and the fast laps came with it.

I just missed TQ by the skin of my teeth, but the finals were going to be fast and fun as the pace was right there. I and Mr Cragg had some great battles as we always do and it was down to leg 3 after taking a win a piece. I was able to put a pass on Neil with 1 minute to go and just get the gap I needed to bring home the win with my team mate Tom Cockerill coming third overall.

4wd was a little more nervous for me. Having struggled here last year, I was apprehensive. I and the Yokomo team had worked hard on the BMAX4 over the winter races and it’s in a far better place this time around.

It was pretty good straight from practise and again I was close to TQ, if only I didn’t crash on the last lap in round 2 and break my car… Oops! But after setting TQ in the last round after it had rained, I knew again that I had a good finals car with the quick brainstorming we did to get the car ready for the lower traction wet track.

The same scenario happened and like a repeat of 2wd in the dying stages of the last leg I was able to again pass Neil after he had a small bobble. My first National wins with Yokomo came like buses, you wait ages for one and then two turned up! Also to get a double win is very pleasing and a great start to my year. Tom again came home third and completed a very successful weekend for my Yokomo/LMR team.

I would like to say well done to the RHR crew for all the hard work and to my team on a great weekend. Also thanks to Neil for some epic races…. I think we will have many more this year!!!!

4WD Conclusion
To say the least it was extremely difficult conditions for the organisations.
The Robin Hood Raceway Team did just great.  They presented the racers with a good demanding track to test their skills and prevailed against the weather elements when needed.  Congratulations to them all.  The BRCA personnel headed by Paul Worsley the chairman, Stuart Wyman the timekeeper, John Cockill head referee, and all the others that contribute so much, as usual did an amazing job to give us these great events.  Thanks to them also.
Next round is Kidderminster on the weekend of 1st and 2nd of May.  Why not try an event yourselves.
Forms can be found on the BRCA website under the 10th Off-Road section.

Results – 4wd

Top F2             Elliott Boots

Top F3             Jack Hirst

Top F4             Stuart Rand

Top F5             Rob Fox

Top U13           Jack Hirst

2015 4wd Robin Hood Raceway National76

2015 4wd Robin Hood Raceway National76

Thank you for reading; Tony Evdoka – BRCA 1/10th Off Road PRO