View Full Version : 2012 WRCA Round 1 - REPORT

05-04-2012, 04:25 PM
WRCA 2012 - Saundersfoot Rd1

The New Dawn

The first round of the 2012 WRCA summer regional series kicked off with a fully booked event at the Saundersfoot club situated in one of the most beautiful parts of South West Wales.

The track is a throwback to the all-grass tracks of yesteryear - excellent track lane width, numerous overtaking areas, long straight and not too many man-made features ( a table top and small jump ), it was a real old-skool grass track. You could easily just drive round it, but knocking off the tenths with the right lines into the flowing series of corners or deciding just how much to lift off the throttle - if at all - at the end of the straight into the sweeping right hander meant it was a real fun challenge, no matter what your skill level. And when you did get parts or all of it right, was immensely satisfying.

There is a nice high, solid rostrum on a shipping container, with a lower rostrum in front for wheelchair users ( which meant our two very popular drivers who use wheelchairs, Chris & Jay, could now race with us ) and the carefully thought-out track design meant field of view was very good no matter where you were situated on either of the rostrums.


After booking in of the 30 x 2wd’s, 20 x 4wd’s and a handful of trucks, and a short ‘free’ practice session, it was onto the drivers briefing. The briefing pointed out the rules of the day, H&S pointers and any other required info to all attending. After this, main practice was held in heat order & timed to give the qualifying starting order.

There was a good mix of drivers, old and new, and from far & wide that came to the event. Special shout to Griff, 44, for attending. He managed to dye most of the grey out of his surfer locks just in time to be able to race…. ;)


While most of us were grafting away trying to take every opportunity to practice and learn the track at the start of the day, David Jackson was so confident of his ability he decided to miss both practices and the first round to give the rest of us a chance. When he finally turned up, he donned his ‘ I have a bad hangover but don’t I look like Maverick from Top Gun ?’ sunglasses, and promptly proves his confidence & ability and qualified a strong 5th in the 2wd A . However 4wd didn’t go quite as well for ‘Maverick ‘ Jackson as he could only manage to qualify 3rd in the ‘B ‘ final… possibly more alcohol needed for 4wd Dave ??

4WD Heat 2 gets underway…

Paul ‘ Trackside Spares‘ Knight keeping lines tight, trying to make up as much time as possible just in case his tyres come off again…

Huw ‘ I miss my Ansmann ‘ Jenkins’s B44 literally overtaking Ian Tomlinsons Tamiya DB-01R on the tabletop….

As qualifying wore on throughout the day, it brought up some interesting facts. For example, some drivers still haven’t worked out that you really need to glue your tyres on properly. Naming no names obviously, but James Mills, Chris Mills, Paul Knight & Matthew Jessop all seemed to suffer this oversight when racing… its just as well that they don’t have literally decades of racing experience between them or that might well be a very embarrassing fact ! A good lesson for all drivers, old and new there – never take anything on your car for granted !

Car breakages through the day seemed to be quite few and far between, the good track design, skill and ( mostly ) considerate driving between drivers being relatively kind to the cars. I do have it on good authority however that Dean Morgan is single-handedly keeping Schumachers front CAT suspension arm production line team working overtime – 4 broken on Sunday, all left hand side ! Is that a record at a single meeting for the same part ?

Special mention for Axeman & Reg, racing commentators extraordinaire! It really livened up the day whilst qualifying, and they can only get better & better. Axeman and Reg, illegitimate children to Whinnie the Poo and a Rottweiler, seem to have found their natural calling to the microphone. Reg was actually seen marshalling with his microphone in his hand – in fact he came so attached to it we were all surprised he didn't tape it to his Transmitter and commentate whilst racing… !

In the Pits

Team Lunchbreak…. Paul working out where he has to glue his tyres for them to stay attached to the wheel, Huw actually eating his ex-ansmann B44, and Chris trying to work out exactly where those 3 packs of Chicken Crisps & Can of Coke got to…. Ahem… Ta Chris, I was very hungry…

Team Schumacher - Talywain Division.... CAT grass set-ups desperately needed !!... Is grass actually legal these days Steve ? ... And where exaclty DID you put that microhone Reg ??

Team Schumacher - COBRA Division.... Dean : If i dont look at him directly, Spencer might not realise i'm pinching his last spare CAT front wishbone as ive broken all mine... keep it under your hat.... ;)

Team ' The Professionals'.... Dave Belsten in a slightly gay jumper, but looking calm & collected as he searches for his lucky 4-leaf clover, whilst Griff, 44, is desperately looking for his last bottle of hair dye...

Team Mills.... Chris : Jay, do you mean we actually HAVE to glue the tyres on ? What do we use ?? Ive never done this before... ???

2/3rds of 'Team Jessop'.... Dad, how the hell did you beat me in that qualifier ?!? Easy son, theres life in the old dog yet... now this bit goes here, that bit goes there.. whoops... sorry, was that your car son ? Ive seemed to have lost a bit...

Team DCM and Adam ' Hong Kong Phooey' McBride.... Steve's kids distracting him whilst they try to stow away the errant dog that turned up for the days racing, in the back of the car to take home....

Team Laid-Back.... This was the best pits bar none. Myself, Snake, Rich & Ian's plot of land. We didnt do things like wrenching on cars, changing tyres & set-ups. Oh no. We did the bare minimum possible, preferring to soak up the sun and take regular naps. If there had of been room, i wouldve brought a fold-out bed to sunbathe on. It wouldve been a belter of a day, if the racing hadnt of interfered.

Racers Babble


Possible the most important part of your car & kit. On grass, which changes throughout the day, it can be a pain to work out what tyre will work as the day runs on, even if you’ve been racing on grass for years…
At the start of the day, grip was good with Schumy Green Minispikes or Fastrax Turf Rippers ( I used these and was very pleased with them in rounds 1-2 in both 4wd & 2wd ) for example. As the day wore on, the previous good grip grass racing line wore to a dry, dirt & dust racing line with a lot less grip. Different tyres were tried as the day wore on – I saw Schumacher Yellow & Green spikes, BB Spikes, Fastrax Turf Rippers, various DBoots, Schumy Minipins all being tried - but Schumy Yellow Minispikes seemed to be the most popular for the finals.

Nothing is set in stone though – James Maggs swore by his minipins all day, Chris Mills liked his BB Green rears and Staggered fronts in the final. I used newish Schumy Yellow minispikes in the 4wd final and found them very good, but my Turf Rippers on my 2wd in the final were… not so good ! But as I didn’t have any 2wd Yellows, I didn’t have much choice !

In hindsight I would’ve kept the Turf Rippers on in Rounds 1&2, changed to new Schumy Yellow minispikes all round for rounds 3 & 4 and the final on both cars for consistency.


Belsten and Griff, 44, experimented with ball & gear diffs in their 2wd Durango 210s. Although they are more skillful drivers than most of the rest of us, it gives food for thought.

This from Dave Belsten –

“Griff swapped to the ball diff at lunch break, and much preferred the car with the ball diff. He said it made the car far easier to drive than the gear diff. I had a go on his car after racing had finished and I couldn’t tell much of a difference than to mine with a gear diff. However, Griff was running 3,000 weight oil in his gear diff compared to me running 650 weight oil.

I find the gear diff to have more drive, and also find it makes the rear end more consistent. However for loose/slippy conditions, the ball diff may be the safer option, unless you can moderate your left thumb. “

So there you go all you Durango 210 drivers. A bit of diff advice from the top!


The A final 2wd

This was a hard fought affair. Griff, 44, and Dave ‘Big Air’ Belsten were a class apart at the top, with Griff, 44, just nudging Dave out for the win, both with Durango’s. Adam ‘im still on Hong Kong time’ McBride finished 3rd with his Cougar, just pipping Chris ‘Rocky’ Mills and his Losi after a nail biting last lap, last-corner spin for both of them. Adam just managed to get his car facing the right way before Chris did, taking the last podium position.


The B final 2wd

A closely fought final, with newly-sponsored Schumacher team driver Steve ‘ I am NOT taking that dog home’ Curtis-Rich who struggled all day with the Cougar in qualifying, just nudging Tim Bullock out for the top spot by a mere 2 seconds, with Matthew Jessop, who also struggled with his Cougar, just pipping James Mills out of third by another 2 seconds.


The C final 2wd

This was a good, solid final for the newer drivers, and returning-to-the-sport drivers. Ian Rae was a whole lap up on second placed Alan Morgan, with James Angell in third. There are some future A finalists here, you can see the skill is there – just need more practice, so keep at it !


The A final 4wd

‘Big Air’ turns the tables on Griff, 44, in this final, winning it by almost the same margin as he lost the 2wd A ! However the excuse made by Griff, 44, was that he was tired and needed sleepy-byes as he had been up all day. Understandable at his advanced age, and frankly he’s not used to being awake for 5-6 hours at a time so he can be forgiven somewhat for losing this one. Ian Ford, although he admits to being not a huge electric buggy fan as he is a 1/8 nitro die-hard, shows just what he is capable of when he does race 1/10 electric, coming in a close third. Durangos 1st, 2nd and 3rd.


The B final 4wd

One of the most improved drivers in the WRCA, Huw ‘ex-Annsman’ Jenkins wins a hard & very tightly fought race with his decidedly non-Ansmann B44 to take the top spot from Paul Davis. Dave ‘Maverick’ Jackson takes his almost-vintage Losi XX4 into third place, just pipping Chris ‘Reg’ Reardon and his Schumacher CAT in the process.



My apologies, I didn’t get as much info on this as I would’ve liked – next time I promise!


At the End of the Day

A huuuuge thanks to this man … Ian ‘ I miss my Nitro’ Ford. Along with the rest of the Saundersfoot crew, kept everything running smoothly as possible all day long :)

The standard of driving was very good across the board, from A-C finals they were fun to compete in and to watch –no major arguments or disagreements ( well, one or two disagreements but quickly sorted out ), mostly courteous driving, and without a doubt the standard of the drivers is getting higher and broader than I think it ever has been in South Wales. The WRCA should be rightly proud of the excellent start to the season.

Only suggestions I could come up with for next round are – possibly some toilet cleaner and extra toilet roll for the portaloo? I know there are toilets down the road, but if you’re caught short or your cars blocked in… And if a club member were to pop down the cash & carry for some fizzy drinks and choccy you certainly wouldn’t have any left at the end of the day ! Id probably eat most of the chocy .. :) Apart from that, I cant think of anything else to suggest... ?? I've seen reports of Nationals that weren't as good as this event…!

Ian Ford and the rest of the Saundersfoot crew deserve a huge round of applause for their efforts in providing a class track, wheelchair rostrum, a smoothly run meeting and lots of fun :)

Every other club in the WRCA summer series this year has a lot to live up to this season, as the bar has been set very high, right from the off… you have been warned !

My Bit

This is the first time I've reported on, well, anything tbh ! I know it’s not up to o0ple standard, but if you all want me to continue reporting on the WRCA series I am quite happy to :) Any suggestions you might have to improve the reports, I'm all ears !

Hopefully I will get better, and I do have plans… I want to get to know the newer drivers better to report on them as much as the drivers I do know well – you guys & gals are more important than us oldies so I will endeavour to start talking to you all at the next round and club nights too make it easier to write about you !

I want to do 2 or 3 driver profiles at each round ( good idea Chris ), have a table for manufacturers cars we all use, and have lots more varied pictures & videos of finals – which is lacking above slightly ! I’d like to keep the Racers Babble section going, as it might give a good point of reference for new drivers in setting up their cars at certain local tracks or just car set up in general.

However as I plan to run 2 classes each round this year, my time might be tight… so if anyone would volunteer to take some videos of the finals, that would be much appreciated ! I might also press-gang ( ! ) someone at each round to spend 10 minutes just asking some pre-written questions to various people for me. And after the event, if anyone has anything interesting they would like me to include in the report for the event, just PM me with it.

If anyone wants to be taken off the pictures above, I can remove the picture completely or blur the faces – just ask and I will do it ASAP.

These reports will be on hosted on our very on WRCA site -


Top right hand side, under 'Race Reports'.

For this report, thanks to Axeman, Belsten, Chris & Jay Mills, John Toole & Ian for certain info & pics & vids, and to Balders for hosting help on the WRCA site, and Jimmy o0ple for sorting some problems i had on here :)

And a special thanks to Chris-on-Wheels for the 3 packs of Chicken crisps and the can of coke I had for my lunch that I nicked off him on Sunday !


05-04-2012, 04:58 PM
Great report.

Wish I could have been there to join the fun.

Look forward to Round 2 Report, keep it up Matt.

05-04-2012, 05:00 PM
Good job that Matt!
Griff (44)

05-04-2012, 05:45 PM
Great report Matt!
If we all try and get some pics and vids each round then the reports will be even better:thumbsup:
Im hoping for a better result without alcohol coursing through my veins lol

05-04-2012, 06:16 PM
oOple needs a like button :thumbsup:

Good report Matt, will happily take some photos throughout the year for you to add in as I only plan to do one class per round (still have a hard enough time trying to get the car around the track without confusing myself with 2 and 4WD at the same time!).

Ian "Team Laid-Back" Tomlinson

05-04-2012, 06:49 PM
Top stuff Matt well done mate

05-04-2012, 06:52 PM
Funny but brilliant report. Pity i live so far away as i do miss racing with big air at the wrca.

05-04-2012, 07:02 PM
As has already been said really top report and will be great to have one done for each round, keep up the good work :thumbsup:

05-04-2012, 07:11 PM
Great report thanks Matt. These Durango's don't go too badly do they? :thumbsup:

05-04-2012, 07:20 PM
Likey :thumbsup:

05-04-2012, 07:35 PM
no pics of the aberdare lads from club 22, orrr gutting. lol:o:p:thumbsup:

good report lads, keep up the good work.

05-04-2012, 07:39 PM
Great work matt! :thumbsup:

Adam 'I'm still on hong kong time' McBride

05-04-2012, 07:41 PM
Great report,

I will pack my camera now as well see what pics we can get.


Rich (Team Laid Back)

05-04-2012, 07:44 PM
Oh and Joanna asks where is the photo of the dog?

She doesn't care about the racing!

05-04-2012, 10:10 PM
Well done mat.thoroughly enjoyed reading your report..Hopefully il be in the next one:thumbsup:

06-04-2012, 09:07 AM
top one mat very funny the the ex ansmann middle name:lol:only thing i would say is that my cars a b44.1 not a b44:p but realy good work well done bud top marks A+

06-04-2012, 02:19 PM
Matt tha was a great report nd would love it if u do the whole season. Wat I will do next time is wen im finnished at the end of the day I will give you the sd card from my car mounted camera and then you can add the vids to the report if u think there good enough, and buy the way dad went and bought some glue of belston lol and then mine and chris tyres stayed on lol.

Jay"wat is glue used for" mills lol

06-04-2012, 07:38 PM
The future is Nuclear RC :thumbsup:

07-04-2012, 07:29 PM
great report matt ,excellantly put, keep going please :thumbsup: hopefully fixed all my wishbone problems with great thanks to schumacher. well done to saundersfoot for the start to a great outdoor season:thumbsup:

07-04-2012, 07:31 PM
What did Schumacher say about the matter?

07-04-2012, 07:54 PM
they replaced the front suspension on both sides , replaced my wishbones,yokes,pivot pins,hub carrier and gave me double in spares free of charge. supplied me with med flex wishbones , which i ran at caldicot last night. car felt superb.:thumbsup: schumacher beleive it could be down to a yoke misalignment. i dont know myself i was just chuffed to run all night at caldi with no repaires needed :D