Round 2 Done At Kiddermister

1/10th Off Road

The Track
Kidderminster Radio Control Car Club is one of the oldest National venues in the UK.  Founded in 1984 in the towns car park!  The club became popular with its central location.  Growing bigger and bigger it moved from a car park to its current location.  The track was redesigned to its current format around 1994/5.  Many great events have been held here.  Some would say legends of our sport competed here on their road to glory.  This is round 2 of the national championship and another venue making huge efforts to be ready for the event.  Kiddy as its known is an undulated track with plenty of technical sections.  No big air jumps here but plenty of small hop jumps and bumpy sections too.  The cars have to be on song here.  Another great track to test the skills of the very best in the land.

The drivers are ready; the organisers are ready; so let’s race!

2015 2wd Kidderminster National 12

2015 2wd Kidderminster National 12

2wd Event – Saturday

2015 2wd Kidderminster National 06

Drivers Briefing
As always, Paul Worsley our chairman introduces the personnel running the meeting and as always updates everyone to what’s happening in the big world of RC – Euros warm up was mentioned.
Tony Meredith was the race director.

Practice
If everyone read the first national report, you now know that at every event there is 2 practice sessions at 3 minutes each and all in heat order.  Nothing different on today’s event.

Seeding
As the championship evolves there is a very cleaver system in place for seeding, designed by our chairman Paul.
It’s a complex system but works extremely well with our national series, the Euros and even the Worlds.
Of course the heats are sorted by formulas.  F1s, F2Ns, F2s, F3s, F4s and F5s.
But lets say an F2 or F3 is at the sharp end of the championship!
In brief the system allows the top 21 drivers in the championship to be spread over the top 3 heats of the meeting, regardless of Licence Grade, with 1st going Heat 12 car No. 1.
The remaining drivers are seeded by Licence Grade and within each Grade they are in the order of Championship position.  So, after the Top 21 drivers in the Championship, the remaining top F1’s complete the Top 3 Heats (9 drivers) and then the Heat List cascades down in the order of Licence Grade and Championship position.  Often F2 drivers are amongst the top 21 and are seen in the top 3 heats which is the sharp end of the championship.  More details on this great seeding method in future reports!

Round 1
As always we always look at the locals at an event.  Picked out for this one is our national drivers rep, Tom Yardy.  Tom drives for Associated and is sort of good at this sport.  He has also won a national here at Kidderminster so we had him down as one of the favourites to do well.

No surprise to see the 2 superstars of our sport at the top again.
Neil Cragg 1.5 secs ahead of Lee Martin and our tip for this weekend Tom Yardy in 3rd.
Tom Cockerill 4th, Simon Moss 5th, Craig Collinson 6th, Kev Lee 7th, Richard Tayler 8th, Danny McGee 9thwith Richard Lowe in 10th.  Picking out the punch, other good scores were Jack Neal under 19 in at 13th, Gareth Stanton 16th.

Round 2
Although the weather was getting sort of brighter, it felt very cold.  Hoodies were up and winter jackets on display.
Neil Cragg and Lee Martin at it once again and the same result as round 1.  Neil was to take this round too by the smallest of margins.  Just 0.16 of a second split the 2 drivers.
Tom Cockrill improved to 3rd in round with Greg Williams scoring well in 4th.  Ben Jemison taking 6th, Lloyd Storey 7th, Craig Collinson 8th with Chris Lake 9th and Ellis Stafford in at 10th.

Round 3
Up until now it was only Neil and Lee that managed the magical 14 lap pace.  The track conditions I suppose at their best and the cars all getting dialled in, we were expecting quick times to come in.  Neil was going first as he was starting in heat 10 of 11.  As a spectator I thought the high grip sort of caught Neil out a little.  Maybe he had some set up charges but it was out of character to see him make some early mistakes in his run.  Some blistering lap though after that set a fast time of 14 laps in 320.35.  Lee was next to go and started real quick.  You could see Lee was driving with intent and with less errors that Neil set the fastest time of the day to take round 3 TQ.  14 in 318.07, shaving over 2 secs off Neil’s time.  Up until now they were the only guys on 14 lap pace until Tom Yardy popped up in 3rd in round with a 14 in 321.49.  They were the only 14 lappers of the whole day.  Simon Moss with a good run backed up his scoring 5 with a 4th in round to secure himself as an A finalist.  Ellis Stafford in at 5th, Craig Collinson showing some consistent qualification in at 6th, Tom Cockerill in at 7th, Danny McGee 8th, Lloyd Storey 9th with Greg Williams in at the 10th spot.

Round 4
So with Lee Martin setting the fastest time of the day in round 3, we were all set for a show down for the overall TQ spot and the pole for the main A final.   If Lee can take another TQ irrelevant of time, he would line up on pole.
Unfortunately the weather was to play a massive factor in our qualifications and I for one feel robbed.  I am sure Lee will feel the same.  The rain came in at around heat 7 and that would be that for the possibility of Lee taking TQ.  All heats after heat 7 were 3-4 secs a lap in some case slower.  Instead it was Richie Thorn already scoring a 12 in round 3 that would take the TQ for round 4.  Gareth Stanton in at the 2nd sport, Tony Bishop (pizza man – LOL) 3rd, Matthew Dodd at 5, Mark Fletcher at 6, young under 13 Ben Pugh at 6, Chris Bowater at 7,, Andy Woods at 8 with Nick Caro and Adam Perei in at 9 and 10th spots.

A Final 2wd Line-Up

  1. Neil Cragg Associated
  2. Lee Martin Yokomo
  3. Tom Yardy Associated
  4. Tom Cockerill Yokomo
  5. Simon Moss Schumacher
  6. Richie Thorn Schumacher (1st National A Final)
  7. Craig Collinson Team C
  8. Ellis Stafford TLR
  9. Greg Williams Associated
  10. Lloyd Storey Schumacher


Finals

Leg 1 A Main
It was going to be interesting as we were still in wet conditions.
It was Neil Cragg that was shining in these conditions and took the win comfortably from his team mate Tom Yardy with Lee Martin in 3rd.  It has to be mentioned that there was an amazing move for the 2nd spot by Tom on Lee on the very last corner.  We certainly hope someone got it on video!

K Final was won by Lee Thwaite
J Final was won by Craig Bradford
I Finals was won by Dan Austin
H Final was won by Kyle Moon

Leg 2 A Main
This final had the drivers trying to choose between the dry tyres and the wet tyres.  An in between scenario to test even more of their skills.  Neil Cragg had a great race and knew that keeping the buggy on all fours would pay dividends.  It did.  Neil won the final by over 3 secs and won the 2wd event there and then.  Simon Moss had a great race and came in 3rd ahead of the LMR man Lee, Tom Yardy in at 4, Craig 5th.  Podium positions still open so leg 3 was important.

G Final was won by Steven Pierce
F Final was won by Andrew Jones
E Final was won by Richard Ralph
D Final was won by Kevin Lee
C Final was won by Tony Bishop
B Final was won by Danny McGee

Leg 3 A main
Neil Cragg had already won the event but still lined up on the grid.  Wasn’t to turn out to be the exhibition last leg for Neil, apart from boasting an incredibly fast 22.15 sec lap, which was nearly half a second quicker than anyone in all the finals could do.  Simon Moss, Tom Yardy and Lee Martin all on 6 points after 2 legs were the contenders for the podium.  Lee had the worse 6 with a 3 and 3.
On a dry track, Lee was back to him best and it has to be said won the final very comfortably on a fast time too.
He was to take the 2nd overall.  Tom Cockerill was to come in 2nd to take a 5th overall.  In 3rd though with a controlled run in the last leg, was Simon Moss and he was to take the last spot on the podium.

Results – 2wd Main A Final                                                       Other 2wd results

1st           Neil Cragg           Associated                                                        Top F2        Richie Thorn
2nd          Lee Martin          Yokomo                                                            Top F3        Ben Pugh

3rd          Simon Moss        Schumacher                                                     Top F4        Dan Austin

4th          Tom Yardy           Associated                                                       Top F5        Kirk Redford

5th          Tom Cockrill       Yokomo                                                            Top U13     Ben Pugh

6th          Craig Collinson   Team C

7th          Lloyd Storey        Schumacher
8th          Ellis Stafford       TLR
9th          Greg Williams     Associated

10th        Richie Thorn       Schumacher

2015 2wd Kidderminster National 88

2015 2wd Kidderminster National 88

Results – 2wd – Neil Cragg takes the win from Lee Martin and Simon Moss

4wd Event – Sunday

The track
Oh dear oh dear!  The good old British summer hit Kidderminster!
At 7.0am personnel of Kiddy and some racers were sweeping the track.  They tried and tried and as much as they tried, they were sweeping off a lot slower than it was falling out the sky.  The place was fit for boat racing then cars.  Horrid conditions!  I have to admit, I didn’t see the race meeting going ahead.

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 22

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 22

Paul Worsley briefing and announcement
While the crew where sweeping and everyone thinking its not going to happen, Paul made an announcement.
He spoke to us all over the PA system and said the meeting will commence with one practice session and start qualification on time as usual.  He studied the weather forecasts from various sources and made his calculations.

Practice
The track was obviously slippery.  To be fair having cars running on the track was nothing short of a small miracle at this stage.  Ballistic Buggy Green Spikes were the order of the day and everyone was circulating just fine after a fine effort by the club members and racers to clear the standing water.

Round 1
Yes everyone, you guessed it.  Neil Cragg set the pace for the first round just over 2 secs quicker than Lee Martin.  Tom Yardy our tip came in 3rd and Tom Cockerill 4th.  5th was Danny McGee,6th was Simon Moss, 7th was Ellis Stafford, 8th was Richard Lowe, 9th was Ed Kerry and 10th was Nathan Waters.
No surprises!  The rain has now gone but we still have a wet track.

Round 2
Neil Cragg goes nearly a whole lap quicker and steals another round TQ from Lee Martin by under a second.  Tom Yardy another 3rd, Danny McGee cements an A final position with a 4th as does Tom Cockerill in at the 5 spot.  Nathan Waters in at 6, Simon Moss in at 7, Richard Taylor in at 8, Richard Lowe at 9 and Ellis Stafford at 10.  The track was drying lap by lap and I have to mention that Simon Moss seemed to be getting the worse of it from heat 10.

Paul Worsley Chairman announcement 2
Its half way through qualifying and Paul was still busy working out the weather, the predictions and so on.  We were all happily running along with the meeting but Paul was worried about the change in weather around the 5.0 – to 5.30pm time.  On speaking with the Chairman during the day, Paul wanted to give everyone a full meeting and that meant completing all the finals.  He then asked all the drivers to be ready for a much shorter gap than normal between qualifying and the finals.  Paul asked if everyone can be ready to go with just a 15 minute gap.  Heavy rain was now forecast for 5.0pm and he wanted to complete the event by then.

Round 3
Neil Cragg set off and again in dry conditions now and took off another 3 secs off his own time from round 2.  Lee was off in the heat after and knew what he had to do.  He’s car looked good and he was driving well.  Lee took another 2 sec off Neil’s time to set the fastest time thus far and take round 3 TQ.  3rd was yet again Tom Yardy, 4th Tom Cockerill, 5th Danny McGee, 6th Simon Moss, 7th Ellis Stafford, 8th Craig Collinson, 9th Ben Jemison and 10th David Orbell.

Round 4
Neil once again started with 10 sec lap times that very few if any could do.  Started on a blistering 16 lap pace but seemed to clip a track marker and was in trouble with a mechanical failure that sounded like a drive shaft.  Down to Lee now and of course if he takes TQ in round 4 he is on pole.  A great final qualifying heat saw Ellis Stafford at the top with Tom Yardy and Lee trying to beat his time.  Just 0.8 of a sec between the three of them.  Tom took the last round from Lee and Ellis.  This meant Neil Cragg was on pole.  Tom Cockerill came in 4th, Simon Moss on an equalised track in at 5th, Ed Kerry with a great run in at 6th, Kev Lee in at 7th, Craig Collinson in at 8th, Tony Bishop a great run at 9th and Richard Taylor in at the 10th spot in round

A final 4wd Line-Up

  1. Neil Cragg Associated
  2. Lee Martin Yokomo
  3. Tom Yardy Associated
  4. Tom Cockerill Yokomo
  5. Danny McGee Schumacher
  6. Ellis Stafford TLR
  7. Simon Moss Schumacher
  8. Ed Kerry Durango
  9. Nathan Waters Schumacher
  10. Craig Collinson Team C

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 29

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 29

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 29

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 29

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 29

T-Shirt weather by the finals – Incredible after the morning weather!

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 18

We asked Martin Owen to give us some details on himself and his racing national experiences;
This is what he had to say;
Senior Martin Owen – South West Regional BRCA Officer

‘A little bit about me.  I have been back racing 1/10th Nationals after 11 years off from racing.  I’m 39 years old and have been racing on and off since I was 12 where I raced and grew up in Southern California.  I was very lucky to have got to race at a young age with some of the pioneers of this great hobby the likes of Cliff Lett and Rick Howart were my racing heroes when I started the hobby and both became great friends and very helpful to me when racing at a young age.  Unfortunately we had to move back to the UK in 1992 and the racing stopped and it wasn’t till 1999 I went to a local hobby shop in the Southwest called Wings and Wheels where I met David and Jacquie and Chris and Nick Rowcliffe to which even to this day they have given me great support and help with this hobby to which I won’t forget and also got me into racing at nationals. 

Saturday 2wd

Having set off from Somerset on Saturday morning at 5:45 am this was a nice easy drive up the M5 and got to the track at 7 am.  One of the things I really love about racing at nationals is the friends that you make and that you only maybe see 6 times a year but you really look forward to seeing and catching up with them.  This weekend I was pitting with Tristram Neal and Kit Jones, which was great and thanks to them both for all the help! 

You know when it’s getting near that time for your first timed practice when you hear that great voice of Mr Stuart Whyman calling you up to book in.  So its 8am and heat 1 is first up to practice. I always go and have a look at heat 1 it gives you an idea of how the cars are looking on the track and some of the racing lines. I know you may think that heat 1 is for people new to racing but it’s where some of us start and by no means does it mean they can’t drive.  So we got 2 rounds of practice in I used round 1 to get a feel of the track and see how the car feels and Round 2 I usually push the car a little bit more just to see if there are any changes I need to make to the car and to be fair the car was very good from the first time I put it on the track something that doesn’t always happen. The track layout was tricky in parts and there were some very unforgiving concrete sections but Kidderminster is one of the classic UK tracks and that is a great part of the love hate relationship that some have with the track you push too hard and it will bite you.

I’m not going to bore you all with each round scores will give a brief summary of qualifying for me.  Round 1 and 2 for me is where I will drive at 80% usually just to try and get a couple settle scores for myself so that in round 3 and 4 I can then push to try and move up the table I have accepted that unless I get a mega rain assisted round making the A final may never happen but that is some of the charm of the nationals because you never know what the weather may hold in store as some found out in Round 4 when the heavens opened that is what happed unfortunately I couldn’t make it count in that round so I dropped a few places and ended up in the F final  which all things considering and seeing some of the names in the lower finals I was quite happy with that as was a improvement on the H final made at Robin Hood National a few weeks before.

So onto the final and it was Andrew Jones on pole followed by Tony Parr and myself I have to admit my first thought was this will be a very tough race going into the first corner but Mr Jones made sure I was wrong by making a early mistake and I was through for the lead for about a lap when the bright orange machine of Mr Jones put a nice move on me to take the lead back. I was quite happy in second but was then pressured by Jon Spenser moving through the pack at a rapid pace and I did hold him off for a few laps before he got through for second place and it’s a bit of a blur after that and I finished 4th

4wd Sunday

We had all seen reports of some very wet weather coming in overnight but as we all know the English weather can be very unpredictable at the best of times but for once they got it spot on and we woke up to some very nice rain that had been coming out of the sky most of the night! The hotel I was staying it had a golf course attached to it and when you see that the greens are underwater it’s never a great site.

Upon arrival to the track I had a stroll over to the track and yes a RC boat would have got round the track much better than a car at that point and it was announced that a decision would be made later on when or if we would be racing today. 

It was announced that we would get one round of practice starting just after 9am and this is where I would like to say how amazing the club got the track looking after the all the rain that had fallen on it so hats off to Tony and his crew on a really good job.

So with only one round of practice and still with the track being quite wet it was time to waterproof the cars and really just learn which way the track went (for those who have never done a national the track has to be different from the track we raced on the day before) so with only 1 round of practice qualifying got underway at just after 10 and there was even a hint of blue sky and sun.

Qualifying was tough as the track was not just changing between rounds but changing during the round with parts of the track being dry and some still very wet and it was just a matter of watching it to see when it was dry enough for the harder compound tyre something I got very wrong in round 3 the car was great on the harder compound on the infield of the track but the main straight was still way to wet and let’s just say it had a little under steer at the end of the straight and the concrete wall is the only thing to stop the car! 

Well I managed to make the F final again in 4wd taking 7th on the grid and what a great final it turned out to be again I had managed to get myself up to 2nd from 7th on the grid and was being pushed very hard by Neil Round and I have to say it was some of the best racing I have had in a long time very close but very fair Neil was a gentleman to race with and with about a 1 min left on the clock I decided again that the concrete markers looked quite nice and managed to hit 2 in one lap taking me from 3rd to 5th where I finished after the 5mins.

So in summery I was quite happy with the results I could do better but the one thing that I will say about racing the nationals is how close the racing is 4-5 seconds can gain you so many places but that is some of the charm of racing against the best in the country. So anyone thinking of doing the nationals but thinks they are only for the best or its along way to go to make a lower final I believe it will make you race better at club level and the atmosphere is awesome and watching the best guys in the world like Neil Cragg and Lee Martin battle it out is worth just going to watch.’

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 16

We asked Craig Collinson give us his opinions on the Nationals; 
This is what he had to say; 
Senior Craig ‘Hulk’ Collinson – Has made every 2015 A Final so far

The BRCA National series is now well under way after Kidderminster Model Car Club hosted the 2nd round over the Bank Holiday weekend. As per usual the weather forecast leading up to the event didn’t look great at all, predicting lots of rain for both days. It has to be said that Kidderminster must be the unluckiest National venue on the calendar for bad weather. Just about every year I’ve attended has been affected by rain on at least one of the days L

Saturday 2wd – Well the rain never quite came as expected and we just about got away with qualifying remaining dry. A light rain shower towards the end of round four did make things interesting as some of the earlier heats put in the fastest times. Ritchie Thorne would benefit the most by going 1st in round. This combined with his 12th in round three was good enough to put him in the A-main and knock me down from 6th to 7thJ. Well done on your first National A final Ritchie, always good to see new faces mixing it up with the top guys. This year really is the Neil Cragg and Lee Martin show as they battled things out in the finals just like they did at RHR. This time though Neil managed to convert his TQ into a win and take the lead in the Championship. I’m sure Lee will be on a mission at Telford in three weeks. Personally I think they should have their own series and leave the rest of us to battle things out J.

Sunday 4wd – My alarm went off at 6:30am and as I looked out of the hotel window I thought there is no chance we will be racing today, the rain was bouncing down! We arrived at the track where the Kidderminster crew were all chipping in to brush as much standing water off the track as possible. The forecast did say the rain would clear by around 9:30am and a wise decision was made to delay the start of the meeting by an hour and only have one round of practice. To our surprise the weather forecast was spot on and the rain stopped after practice, allowing the meeting to continue as normal. Although the rain stopped before qualifying started the track was taking forever to dry, meaning the latter heats would benefit the most in the first few rounds. Neil Cragg would take TQ but unlike 2wd he was not able to keep Lee Martin at bay in the finals. The top three finishing positions were Lee Martin, Neil Cragg and Tom Yardy. I managed to finish 6thoverall which was pleasing considering I was in a qualifying heat which didn’t benefit from a drying track in the first two rounds. There was only myself and Simon Moss from our heat that made the A-main.

The Kidderminster crew did a fantastic job of keeping the meeting going all weekend despite the weather trying it’s best to flood the track on Sunday Morning! A huge well done to everyone involved.

Personally I’m really enjoying the series so far, making every A final with my new Team C rides and Absima electrics. This is my first outdoor season with my new sponsors, so to make every A final and be sitting 4thoverall in the 4wd series is very pleasing. The number of F4 and F5 drivers attending the series has been a little on the low side so far which is a shame. I think more needs to be done to promote the series at club and regional level and I would encourage anyone considering entering any of the remaining rounds to please do so. There are places left and open to anyone, so get your entries in and come race with the best in the country! The next round is Telford in 3 weeks which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully the sun will be shiningJ.

Finals
With every racer in cooperation with the chairman’s requests to be ready in just 15 minutes between qualification heats and the finals, everyone was prepared and ready to go.  Good job!  Don’t forget that the last heat is normally the one that has the majority of the A finalists and like mentioned before, the first leg of the A final runs first.

Leg 1 A Main
The two main contenders would go at it again in the 4wd event.  I have no doubt you will all be sick of me repeating myself because realistically there is nothing to separate these two lads.
Leg 1 was taken by Neil from the pole position.  Lee was 2nd and Danny came in a good 3rd.
Ellis 4th, Tom Cockerill 5th, Craig 6th, Simon, Ed Kerry, Nathan and Tom Yardy.

J Final was won by Shaun Rowcliffe
I Finals was won by Isaac McFadyean
H Final was won by Luke Holdsworth
G Final
 was won by James Dixon

Leg 2 A Main
The track certainly was now dry and Lee Martin drove an absolute blinding race.  Never put a foot wrong and took the win by 8 secs after Neil had a small issue with his car.  Still came in 2nd though with Tom Cockrill 3rd.  Tom Yardy in at 4th, Craig Collinson in at 5th, Nathan 6th, Danny, Ellis, Ed and Simon Moss

F Final was won by Adam Perei
E Final was won by Gareth Stanton
D Finals was won by Chris Lake
C Final was won by Phil Sleigh
B Final was won by Richard Taylor

Leg 3 A Main
So all on schedule for an early finish and a great finale for the main A final.  Would it be Neil or Lee and who would be on the podium.  We saved the best for last.  Again a great race between these lads at the top of their game.  A move by Lee early gave him the lead and he was under pressure all the way till the end.  Hanging on with the fastest time of the whole weekend to take the win from Neil by just over a sec.  A repeat of the RHR 4wd finals.  Neil taking the TQ and Lee winning the final.  Locked together on points.
Tom Yardy came in 3rd, Tom Cockrill 4th, Craig Collinson 5th, Nathan, Ed, Simon and Ellis.

Results – 4d Main A Final                                                           Other 4d results

1st           Lee Martin          Yokomo                                                            Top F2        Tony Bishop
2nd          Neil Cragg           Associated                                                       Top F3        Jack Hirst

3rd          Tom Yardy           Associated                                                       Top F4        Dan Austin

4th          Tom Cockrill       Yokomo                                                            Top F5        Kirk Redford

5th          Danny McGee     Schumacher                                                     Top U13     Jack Hirst

6th          Craig Collinson   Team C

7th          Ellis Stafford       TLR

8th          Nathan Waters Schumacher
9th          Simon Moss        Schumacher

10th        Ed Kerry               Durango

Chairman’s word
Paul Worsley asked me to relay his thanks to all the competitors, for working with his decisions on the time frames, which allowed us to complete the event by exactly 17:00.  He also said the large spots of rain actually arrived 17:45.

Conclusion
The weather again making huge demands on the organisations of the event.
The Kidderminster club did exactly what was required and a massive thanks 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, yet again did an amazing job.  Thanks to them also.
Next round is Telford on the weekend of 23rd and 24th of May.  Why not try an event yourselves.
Forms can be found on the BRCA website under the 10th Off-Road section. www.brca.org

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 59

2015 4wd Kidderminster National 59

Results – 4wd
Lee Martin takes the win from Neil Cragg and Tom Yardy

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