Rug Racers Reloaded - The Report

This weekend Rug Racers returned, to Wodson Park, although for those familiar with the series it looked somewhat different.  This was a ...

This weekend Rug Racers returned, to Wodson Park, although for those familiar with the series it looked somewhat different.  This was a one off event called Rug Racers Reloaded, which we felt needed to be dedicated to Martin Laxton for his vivacious love for HRCC & Rug Racers and the sport. Martin loved to help bring youngsters into RC racing, which was his forté, and those youngsters are still at HRCC to this day, be it a few years older.  'The Martin Laxton Memorial Cup' was a one off Trophy, which was presented to Martin's son Stuart by his Mum Vicky, to look after, like his Dad looked after HRCC & Rug Racers.

Martin is one of the main reasons that HRCC still exists & allowed it to continue to grow and finally spawn into Rug Racers to be a race series that has Martin written over it with his ethos of having fun and nurturing young talent while engaging in laughter that goes hand in hand with the hobby.

He left an indelible mark on many people, enough to ensure that his spirit & wit will continue to grow through HRCC & Rug Racers.

Nothing then can be more fitting than seeing what is his legacy at work so the people that have come together to put this series on & the funds at the time that were available to make it all happen.

Martin's determination & graft helped to save a club from going under, with next to no money available, to have enough to give it all back to the racers in the form of new equipment & better facilities – Thanks Martin.

It was obvious to see as soon as you arrived that this year was different, the RR team had been releasing information over the last few months leading up to the event so most people had a good idea of what was in store.  A new layout,  rostrum,  black 'ETS' carpet, track perimeter & other more subtle changes are what greeted everyone.

Onto the racing then, this year saw a change in the classes 13.5 has been dropped in favour of Mod in the TC classes to run alongside 17.5 Blinky, the GT class again features the growing GT12 class alongside this year’s guest class of GT10.

Qualifying got under way with what is now a familiar sight at Rug Racers & HRCC with a podium full of kids, the future of our sport.  This year there is no separate kids heat for GT12 as will be seen later they are holding their own amongst the adults so deserve the chance to race where they qualify.  Darcie Smith was the early pace setter storming off with all 4 rounds with her closest challenge coming from Jake Vincent.

At the sharp end the main challengers were between Chris Wilkinson & Ben Vincent with Ben taking R1 & 2 while Chris nudged ahead in R3 & R4, R4 saw the top 4 within 3 secs of each other so close racing in the drive for pole.

17.5B again produced some very close racing Matt Worton the defending Series champion looking to get a grip early found himself pegged back by Jimmy Maddison who was fastest in 3 of the 4 rounds he would have the close attention of Colin Jackson & Malc Hall as well to contend with what would be an interesting finals encounter.

Mod Open was, well fast, due to some late drop outs there was a mix of abilities but they managed to police themselves very well indeed these cars are so quick that during the qualifying rounds it was impossible to read who was in first place. At one point two tenths of second separated the top seven racers.  Andy Murray was fastest in 3 of the 4 rounds with Brian Eldridge edging R2, Harley & Ashley were running them very close for the top positions.

GT10 the guest class for this year, with power & grip provided some interesting racing, Martin Southall was the early pace setter with R1, Chris Wilkinson with the next 3 rounds with the very close attention of Owen Smith another of the clubs young stars.

The GT12 D Final Leg1 had Ethan Southall on pole despite them all being 10 or under the racing was very good and clean Shane Chipolina opened a good gap and was able to cruise to the Leg 1 victory just ahead of his brother Conor, with Holly Cook coming home in 3rd place, Leg 2 was a closer affair until the closing laps again with Shane keeping his car tidy was able to take the win from Ethan & Conor to finish top of the pile.

The GT12 C Final Leg 1 head of the pack was Dave Taylor with the talented youngsters of 8-year-old Darcie Smith lining up 5th & Jake Vincent 8th for company.  Dave Taylor was lead home by Michael Vale with less than 1s separating them, Leg 2 was a bit scrappier but a great drive up from 4th by Stan Boots took the 2nd leg win with Michael Vale 2nd & Mike “Marmite” Cook in 3rd.

The GT12 B Final saw Owen Smith on Pole another talented young driver at 11 but showing good racing maturity and a lot of speed to go with it.  He blasted out of the gates & held his nerve to the finish line to finish 7s clear of Alan Chipolina or Snippy to the rest of us up from 3rd place, Leg 2 saw an incident packed race which was finished with Mark Passingham taking the flag.

The GT12 A Final Leg 1 Chris Wilkinson on pole got away well but an incident on lap 2 left him chasing the field the racing closed up in the final stages with Tim Hancock taking the win from Stuart Barber with the next 4 cars less than 10 secs apart.  Leg 2 got off to a flyer with Chris & Ben making a clean break from the field this left them in clear track to race for the full 5 mins with the biggest moment coming on the line where Ben Vincent was able to take the win on the loop form Chris Wilkinson by 200ths of a second with Tim Hancock coming home in 3rd place.  Ben Vincent took the overall win for GT12 with Tim Hancock 2nd & Mr Mardave Chris Wilkinson in 3rd place.

2nd Tim Hancock, 1st Ben Vincent, 3rd Chris Wilkinson

The 17.5 C Final Leg 1 with Mark Trinder on Pole & the young Reggie Bloy lining up 5th Mark took the 1st leg with just over a lap. Leg 2 again belonged to Mark but the battle for 2nd between Tom Evans & Liam Ross was decided by 1 sec with the latter prevailing.

The 17.5 B Final saw Owen Carter on Pole who retired on lap 16, this left a messy final open with Sam Jackson taking the win from 5th on the grid.  Leg 2 and a much cleaner affair allowed for much closer racing, Owen lead the pace with his closest challenge coming from Mr smooth himself Nick Upton who bought the car home less than 1 second behind.

In the 17.5 A Final leg 1 Jimmy Maddison to lead off with the #1 firmly affixed and lead from lights to flag with Matthew Worton 2nd & 2 tenths of a second separating them, Colin Jackson in 3rd.  Leg 2 got off to a hairy start for everyone but the 1st 2 cars multiple incidents through the field let the 2 front runners break away leaving a mountain for the rest to climb.  Jimmy & Colin raced hard for the duration with Jimmy taking the win for another perfect lights to flag display from Colin with Malc Hall a distant 3rd place.  Jimmy Maddison took the overall Win with Colin Jackson 2nd & the Matt Worton 3rd.

2nd Colin Jackson, 1st Jimmy Maddison, 3rd Matt Worton

WGT Leg 1 saw Chris Wilkinson on pole, a 1st corner incident saw all cars behind involved in an accident that would allow Chris to scamper off up the track to a 7 second lead by the end of the 1st lap, once the carnage cleared Martin Southall gave chase but Chris took the win by 5 seconds.  Leg 2 was a clean start for all with Chris & Martin breaking form the field and building a gap while racing each other for the lead until lap 20 when 1st Chris Wilkinson’s car stopped & less than half a lap later Martin Southall’s car also stopped both with electrical gremlins.  Michael Hull was able to power onto victory ahead of Owen Smith & Mark Passingham.  Overall winner was the superb Owen Smith from Mark Passingham & Chris Wilkinson in 3rd place.

3rd Chris Wilkinson, 1st Owen Smith, 2nd Mark Passingham

Mod Open B Leg 1 Dani Young on Pole & Dani Young on top she drove a perfect race to the finish line with nothing but daylight between herself & the 2nd placed Stuart Web.  Leg 2 started in carnage which shook up all the places, the biggest winner was Mark Coates from 9th on the gird lead at the end of lap 1, Doug Campbell had a brilliant fightback before an eventual DNF which lead onto a battle at the top between Mark & Dani Young with Mark pipping Dani to the win by 3 tenths of a second.

Mod open Leg 1, Andy Murray who had been imperious all day was leading them off the line, the battle behind was to be more mixed with various incidents putting the order out resulting in many good comeback drives.  Harley Eldridge fought back to finish 2nd ahead of an impressive drive from Terry Yarranton having recently switched to Mod racing.  Leg 2 was a close affair between Andy & Ashley Wiffen after Harley fell back through the field on the opening lap, Brian Eldridge pushed Ashely hard from 3rd place and got the job done on lap 23 to take 2nd spot which he would hold until the end.  Overall winner was Andy Murray from Harley Eldridge & Brian Eldridge in 3rd.

3rd Brian Eldridge, 1st Andy Murray, 2nd Harley Eldridge

All that remains is to thank everyone who came & for your generosity for the raffle where we raised more than £340 for Papworth Hospital, who treated and gave care to Martin Laxton.  We would also like to thank all our sponsors for their generosity in donating over £800 of raffle prizes.

Active Scale Models - http://www.activescalemodels.co.uk/
Mardave - http://mardave.co.uk/
Schumacher - http://www.racing-cars.com/
CML Distribution - http://www.cmldistribution.co.uk/
HPI Racing - http://www.hpiracing.co.uk/
Tonisport - http://www.fast-webshop.com/tonisport
Logic RC - http://www.logicrc.com/
RC Racing UK - http://www.rcracinguk.com/
Moody Fools - http://moodyfools.com/
Muchmore Racing UK - http://www.muchmoreracing.com/
Propel RC - http://www.propelrc.co.uk/
RC Racer Mag - http://www.rcracer.com/
The RC Racer - http://www.thercracer.com/

We hope you enjoyed the day and look forward to seeing you for Rug Racers the Series.

Full results from Rug Racers Reloaded can be found here: http://goo.gl/N1Zi7b

For full details about Rug Racers Reloaded and Rug Racers 2015-2016 series please visit http://rugracers.co.uk

Words - Martin Southall
Photos - Emma Conyers
rug racers 5267771660917265522

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