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Old 16-07-2015
stall4king stall4king is offline
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Default RHR Regional Report!



Apologies about there being no photos...oople wont let me add attachments for some reason...if anyone knows how to solve this please let me know and I will add them on later


Robin Hood Raceway played host to Round 4 of the Mid East 2wd and 4wd Championships and those in attendance were treated not only to some typically challenging tracks and close racing, but also some very welcome ‘scorchio’ weather….and judging by the hoards of red faces wondering around the pits, the mundane and slimy process of applying sun cream was not high on the list of priorities!

The two day ‘National style’ format for some of our Regional events may split opinion but they are now somewhat customary and appear to be here to stay…for the meantime. Having run 4wd on the Saturday at the previous two day meeting it was this time turn for the 2wd’s to take to the track first, giving those who are unable to race on Saturdays the opportunity to not miss out on further rounds of the championship.

Arriving at the track on Saturday morning I was impressed with the layout the on-loan Broxtowe track builders had set out for us. As is always the case with a RHR layout, it offered the driver many challenges including off camber corners, fast chicanes, tighter sections and also the odd little jump here and there….and that’s without mentioning the tracks natural bobbly surface. As racing got underway it transpired that lap times ranged anywhere from fast 25 second laps right the way through to mid 30 seconds.

Sundays track for the 4wd event offered a somewhat different challenge. At first sight the track looked much faster than the respective 2wd layout, and perhaps that is why many struggled to get to grips with it. I cannot speak for everyone else but I think I overestimated the pace at which the track could be circulated, and after much frustration it was not until after the finals had been run that I realised this. Although the track did not appear as tight as the 2wd layout it did not mean you could drive exponentially faster and it contained some very tricky sections, most notably a sweeping left hander which led to a deceivingly difficult little double jump just in front of the rostrum. If you hit it too wide you landed off line heading into the ‘bomb hole’ and if you didn’t hit it straight you were left praying for an alert marshal! Those who were switched on quickly learned that the pace at which you negotiated this section would also be suitable for most of the rest of the track.

With this in mind I think that sometimes (alright, most of the time!), as racers, it is easy to blame the car or moan that the setup is wrong instead of coming to the realisation that we are just trying to drive too damned fast! It is helpful to understand that every track…every corner and every bump…has an optimum speed at which it can be taken in relation to your setup. It can be easy to forget, and I frequently do, that we are not only racing our cars, but we are also racing the track. If we can understand how our cars react to each part of the circuit, where it is safe to push and where it is wiser (and sometimes against our racing instincts) to just let off the throttle a bit and pick our way through the less stable sections of the circuit, I’m sure it would result in more consistent lap times and fewer errors. A more prudent way of attacking a track does not only result in better lap times but also a more relaxed mindset whilst you are racing as you are not constantly trying to push the limits…a simple case of ‘less is sometimes more’ springs to mind. Anyway…..

With it being mainly dry for the majority of the weekend, tyre choice was relatively straight forward, with Schumacher’s yellow compound, in some combination, offering the best package. In 2wd some ran the low profile cut staggers, whilst some, including myself, preferred the uncut option. I went for the uncuts as I felt they were a safer bet without sacrificing too much time over a lap. On the rear it was just a case of deciding how many spikes to chop off your yellows, it appeared that taking the outer and inner spikes off the tyres was the most preferable inclination.

Although I struggled to make an early decisive tyre choice for the 4wd event, others did not dither about so much. Whilst Yellow spikes were again the prime tyre for the rear of the car, there were conflicting views on what would be most suitable on the front. Some opted for 2wd yellow spikes whilst an ever growing majority were shifting towards using 2wd low profile staggered ribs (some using the uncut option and others using the cut variety). It seemed a bit strange to me to be using them on a 4wd but as it transpired they offered a nice balance of pace and stability.

Round One

It was no surprise to many in attendance that the quickest out of the blocks in 2wd was owner of the track and all round nice guy James Helliwell with his KF2. Having started from 7th on the stagger he soon made his way to the front to take a comfortable round win. I also had a good start to the day in taking 2nd and Jack Neal claimed 3rd. James Mcfadyean was looking strong all through the race but a last lap error left him settling for 4th in round. Other notable performances came from Nick Gurnell who steered his KF2 to 5th, Anthony Potter who was getting the most out of his VBC Firebolt to take 6th place and perhaps most impressively was Matt Dunning who grabbed his chance to take 8th overall.

As in 2wd, there was someone who took the round by the scruff of the neck to signal their intent in the 4wd class. Jack Neal, starting 2nd on the stagger, quickly took the lead and never looked back…an ominous sign for the rest of us for the remainder of the day! My old adversary Mr Galley was also relishing the challenge and claimed 2nd place whilst an ever improving John Brook rounded out the top three. Nick Gurnell continued his good form to take 5th but my man of the round was Yokomo convert Ian Ward who rolled back the years to grab 9th overall!

2wd

James Helliwell
Jack Neal
James Mcfadyean
Nick Gurnell
Anthony Potter
Richard Yeo
Matt Dunning
Olly Vaux
John Brook

4wd

Jack Neal
John Brook
Iain Mellish
Nick Gurnell
Anthony Potter
Olly Vaux
Daniel Austin
Ian Ward
Adam Skelding

Round Two

Having already secured one round win James Helliwell was in no mood to take his foot off the gas in round two of 2wd. However, this time I was able to push him much closer, though eventually I missed out by one tenth of a second. Jack Neal and James Mcfadyean matched their first round scores to all but secure their place in the A Final. Olly Vaux put in a strong run to take 5th and Nick Gurnell also looked to have planted himself in the main with a 6th to give him a tally of 11 points. The performance of the round though must go to young Schumacher driver Ben Smith who took 15th overall. To witness his ongoing improvement is quite staggering considering his age and the short time he has been driving…I feel it wont be very long before he is establishing himself consistently in the top 20 of what is a tough Mid East competition. Although I highlight Ben for a special mention, it is great to see that the Mid East’s pool of junior talent is looking stronger than it has done in many a year, with further talent such as Broxtowe’s Laura Hicklin, Isaac Mcfadyean, Edward Callan and Thomas Gill, all looking to break through and move through the ranks.

In 4wd, like Mr Helliwell, Jack Neal was in stingy mood and gave nothing away in taking a further round win and with it one hand…or two tyres…on the pole position spot. I improved from round one having made a better, if not conformist, choice on my tyres, and Eugene Galley was strong again in taking 3rd place. Good drives from Adam Skelding, Dan Austin and Alex Callan gave them shots at the A Final whilst improvements were posted by Phillip Allcroft, Paul Crawford, Neil Saunders and Jonathan Murphy. Oliver Gurnell also shook off the cobwebs and showed his brother that he could still give him a run for his money and took a worthy 10th in round.

2wd

James Helliwell
Iain Mellish
Jack Neal
James Mcfadyean
Olly Vaux
Nick Gurnell
Eugene Galley
Shaun Thompson
Richard Drury
Kevin Bishop

4wd

Jack Neal
Iain Mellish
Eugene Galley
Nick Gurnell
John Brook
Daniel Austin
Alex Callan
Gareth Preece
Eddy Crump
Oliver Gurnell

Round Three

Once someone has two round wins to their name it puts a lot of pressure on everyone else to get going and mount a challenge. This is what I set out to do in round three of 2wd and after being gifted an opportunity, courtesy of an error by James, I set about trying to put in a good run. Unfortunately, for me, the belt in my KF snapped with half a lap to go which meant Eugene would cruise through to take a very welcome round win having only scored a 7 out of the previous two rounds. Rob Fox and Richard Drury also began to show what they are capable of to take 2nd and 3rd in round respectively. It was definitely a round in which those on the fringes of the top ten stepped it up a gear as Anthony Potter, Andy Wesson and Matt Dunning also gave themselves decent chances of lining up for the A Final.

Round three in 4wd saw John Brook continue his current good form by taking the round win by driving a very mature race whilst those around him floundered on the testing curves and undulations of the RHR track. Adam Skelding and Dan Austin both secured A final spots whilst Eddy Crump also gave himself a chance by taking 7th. The star of the round though was another young starlet, this time it was the turn of Isaac Mcfadyean to take the limelight in the junior class by driving himself to 6th in round, again illustrative of the talent of our local youngsters.

2wd

Eugene Galley
Rob Fox
Richard Drury
Andy Wesson
Anthony Potter
Matt Dunning
James Helliwell
Jack Neal
Iain Mellish
Isaac Mcfadyean

4wd

John Brook
Eugene Galley
Iain Mellish
Adam Skelding
Daniel Austin
Isaac Mcfadyean
Eddy Crump
Olly Vaux
Nick Gurnell
John Jones

Round Four

After 3 rounds only Eugene could deny James the honour of overall TQ, and likewise it was only him who could also scupper my hopes of a front row start in the final. However, I was determined to make up for round three, and taking advantage of an early error from James I gratefully took the round win. James Mcfadyean had been quick all day but he saved his best till last by taking a superb 2nd in round just in front of Jack Neal, Eugene, and Rob Fox who seemingly only clicked into gear in rounds three and four. Matt Dunning rounded off a good day by taking another 6th overall and Karl Marsden made a last gasp effort for the top ten by posting an 8th in round.

As in the 2wd competition, there were still plenty of spaces in the A final up for grabs in 4wd going into the last round. It is always interesting going into the last round of qualifying, seeing who can keep their nerve under pressure, to keep it clean and ensure they don’t go home thinking ‘if I had only....’ Or, ‘if it wasn’t for such and such I would have….’ From what I can deduce, there were three drivers in the final round that showed some real mental strength and came through to pass the test and seal their A Final places. Eddy Crump and Anthony Potter both put in their best runs of the day but it was John Jones who stole the show. I had spoken with John just before going up to race, and enquiring what he needed to make the A final, he just answered with half a laugh “a miracle!”….Something must have clicked as he only went and put in his best run of the day to take 5th in round, and with it the number 10 spot for the A final!

After 4 rounds of tough racing the top tens lined up like this:

2wd

James Helliwell
Iain Mellish
Eugene Galley
James Mcfadyean
Jack Neal
Rob Fox
Richard Drury
Anthony Potter
Nick Gurnell
Matt Dunning

4wd

Jack Neal
John Brook
Iain Mellish
Eugene Galley
Daniel Austin
Nick Gurnell
Eddy Crump
Anthony Potter
Adam Skelding
John Jones

2wd Finals

I Final

1. Tom Walster
2. Ethan Gill
3. Kole Marsden

H Final

1. William Callan
2. Mark Brownsword
3. Callum Sherwin

G Final

1. James Wingfield
2. Nathan Maycock
3. Steve Ellis

F Final

1. Adrian Parkes
2. Martin Hopkins
3. Adam Crossland

E Final

1. Jimmy Maddison
2. Lee Romang
3. Edward Callan

D Final

1. Neil Saunders
2. Nigel Powell
3. Paul Gill

C Final

1. Ian Ward
2. Edward Crump
3. Jonathan Murphy

B Final

1. John Brook
2. Daniel Wooster (great drive from 10th on the grid!!)
3. Olly Vaux

A Final

Having discovered some competitive pace during the last two rounds of qualifying I was feeling quietly confident going into the final, though of course, there were nine other drivers who should have been feeling equally confident having made it into the top ten shootout. From what I could gather we all got off to a clean start but it wasn’t long until there was a train of four at the front who had broke away. I had good pace but although I could get close to James there was no room to make a pass, as I’m sure both Eugene and Jack could also testify in trying to pass each other and myself. Having pressured James as much as possible it was not until the final lap that his concentration slipped and a costly error going into the bomb hole allowed me to get through to take the win followed closely by a charging Jack Neal and Eugene Galley…I was delighted, and rather relieved, that I didn’t have to hold them off for any longer! Of the chasing pack James Mcfadyean topped off his good day in coming through for 4th place and Rich Drury managed to steal a place to finish 6th. Of the ten there was only one retirement with Rob Fox pulling out after 7 laps.

Top Ten

Iain Mellish
Jack Neal
Eugene Galley
James Mcfadyean
James Helliwell
Richard Drury
Nick Gurnell
Anthony Potter
Matt Dunning
Rob Fox

4wd Finals

G Final

1. Richard Bagshaw
2. Charlie Saunders
3. Abigail Dodd

F Final

1. Richard Law
2. Ethan Gill
3. Paul Fyfe

E Final

1. Chris Lovely
2. Steve Parkin
3. Kevin Weaver

D Final

1. Paul Gill
2. Daniel Town
3. Ben Smith

C Final

1. Russell Gardner
2. Andy Bulmer
3. Laura Hicklin

B Final

1. Andy Wesson
2. Isaac Mcfadyean
3. Alex Callan

A Final

Having dominated practice and qualifying it was going to be a very focused, determined….and skilful driver who was to going to deny Jack a win today, and after a clean get away he simply drove off into the distance to take the win and leave the rest of us battling for the remaining places. John Brook had driven brilliantly all day to qualify 2nd but a first lap error over the double jump saw his challenge dissipate before it had really begun. I had inherited 2nd place but as was the case all day I was driving too aggressively and multiple mistakes ensued which let Eugene through to take a comfortable 2nd place. However, the battle for the final podium spot was hotting up and it was Daniel Austin who took up the running. Driving very neat and tidy, like he had all day, he was looking very good value for 3rd place until agonisingly, and rather unfairly, an error at the end of the straight left his car irreparable and he was forced to retire. This meant that somehow I ended up 3rd with a rejuvenated John Jones chasing me hard from 10th on the grid to battle up to 4th. Adam Skelding also drove a good final in climbing up from 9th to finish 5th

Top Ten

Jack Neal
Eugene Galley
Iain Mellish
John Jones
Adam Skelding
Nick Gurnell
John Brook
Eddy Crump
Anthony Potter
Daniel Austin

Before I go and cook some dinner I’d just like to thank everyone involved for a great two days racing. A special mention to Mr Cockerill who ran both days of the meeting, and also to the people who gave their time in preparing the tracks and serving food and drinks throughout the weekend, I hope everyone had as good a time as we did.

Take care all; we’ll see you for the next installment at West Bridgford
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Old 16-07-2015
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Good report and many thanks.
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Old 16-07-2015
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Brilliant report Ian. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
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Old 20-07-2015
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Excellent report Iain ��
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