Tue, Jul

BRCA Bike Series 2017 - Round 5 - Halifax


Halifax Race Report, electric by Andy Carless and nitro by John Veal

Photographs by John Veal


Arrving at the track we unfortunately were met by a bit of a downpour which had threatened all the way up from down South. But the Halifax track seems to dry pretty quickly and it didn't take long before we were out practicing and the grip was good. Times were very quick, with Darren and Peter being the guys to beat. I managed to get my bike to get slower and slower all day and into Sunday for some strange reason :-)  Team Kamtec were going well with their three bikes, I believe Alan was trying some PMT tyres as an alternative to the Roadies and GRPs, not certain how he found them. But could be another option available.


Neal gave the driver's briefing and introduced Bev from the Halifax club who was kindly going to run the day for us - and did an excellent job, big thank you. We were then straight into qualifying, with the weather holding up and as promised John had laid on the sunshine for us. As can be seen from the attached results times were very quick with some very close battles particularly at the top of the Stock class. Peter driving his FF-01 bike to eventual victory with an impressive turn of speed. Gary has done a good job with the design of his bike. The Kamtec bikes of Paul, Colin and Alan went well too, Paul's looking very fast. Superbike was a bit thin on the ground, but was still entertaining to watch, hopefully the proposal to run 10.5T motors for next season may well encourage some Stockers to jump ship and have a go in the Superbike class.

Mr 'Nitro Veal' has written a pretty comprehensive report on the Nitro racers below, it was good to see him back with his exceptionally fast RG bike.

Nitro Report by John Veal
Round 5 at Halifax and this promised to be a real nitrobike fest with the most nitros booked in so far this year. Unfortunately James Casareto couldn't make it, so one less, but still enough turned up to provide a noisy, smokey spectacle!
Saturday morning started wet. Ken Gospel was the only one to test his wet bike while the track was still damp and was having no luck with grip until he fitted a pair of R1s. The RG wet bike was then put away as the track dried very quickly and the other nitro pilots were getting lap times down to what we normally experience at dry Halifax club days.
Alan Watkinson was testing both the FS2 4 stroke and his RG .15 engined 2 stroke, opting in the end for the super quick RG. Fred Martin's .12 KP nitro was going well, just a little down on the expected lap times, Fred put this down to a binding rear brake and so set about stripping it down to prove it! Karl Boak had his .12 RG hybrid running well and Graham Clarke, running the innovative FF01n, was putting smiles on faces as he hustled the light .07 powered bike to similar lap times as the three RG bikes, all three with engines more than twice the size! JV's RG was having lean bog problems on the straights, but thanks to Alan intervening and giving the carb internals a good wash, all was back to normal, allowing JV to take fastest practice time and a new PB (thanks Alan!).
Sunday morning started damp and drizzly, the postponed qualifying start was perfect, as the first nitro qualifying started on an almost dry track.  Round 1 JV did 1 lap and snapped a belt, managed to get another one on, but only 5 laps completed, not enough time to get the necessary 3 good laps together. Karl put in a solid run to get 2nd and Graham took the little FF01n to the top slot with very consistent driving and the only one into the 25s.
Round 2 and 5 pilots improved their 3 lap qualifying times, with Ken, Karl, Graham and Fred within 2 seconds of each other. Ken managed a new personal best lap, after tweaking the lean angle a bit. JV upped the pace a little to take this one, but was not happy with the rear shock causing the rear to bounce too much which also caused some unintentional wheelies. Ken was also experiencing unwanted wheelies, we put this down to the GRP R2 tyres providing excellent grip in the warm sunshine and a well tuned engine.
Round 3 saw Graham Ken and Karl have best qualifying times, all within 0.2 secs! With a re-built shock, JV got no more wheelies and the fastest time of the day, not to be improved in Round 4, in fact no-one else improved either.
Final qualifying positions were JV, Karl, Graham, Ken, Fred, Alan.
So to Finals. By now the sun was baking the track and grip was excellent. Everyone got a good start on the back straight except JV, who had fiddled with the steering before the start and lost neutral setting, resulting in an off track excursion on the first corner. Ken led the race for a number of laps before a mistake let JV pass and he stayed there till the end. Karl had a solid race to finish 2nd, Fred 3rd and judging by his lap times, he was still having rear brake binding issues.
Unfortunately Graham experienced a servo break before the start putting him out of the race. Alan had problems also, only managing 6 laps before pulling off.
Leg 2 and JV got a better start, leading start to finish. Fred only made the odd mistake to complete a very consistent race and come in 2nd. Karl was putting in the quicker laps and might well have grabbed 2nd place,  but couldn't avoid Ken who went down on the straight, on lap 16. This left Karl sidelined with a broken steering arm, but Ken managed to carry on to come home 3rd.
Overall a fantastic weekend of nitros, despite the weather. Hopefully the next and last round at Mendip 9/10 September will have even more entries, in what HAS to be the most exciting class of rc bikes!
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