BRCA Clubmans Bedworth 2019 Race report

As much as I enjoy racing and writing about toy cars, real life has been getting in the way a lot over the last year or so. So despite w...

As much as I enjoy racing and writing about toy cars, real life has been getting in the way a lot over the last year or so. So despite wanting to race at all of the BRCA Clubmans this year, I only managed to get down to the final round in Bedworth.

Despite never have raced on this new track, I was unable to get down early enough on the Saturday to do some much needed practice and set-up with the Tamiya TRF419XR. Speaking to to the other TRFUK guys I had been given a few pointers for the base set-up for a nice and neutral car so would just have it all to do on the Sunday.

It was an early start on the Sunday, and despite the heavy head caused by a few to many drinks the night before (OTBC!). I was actually ready to take the car out for the free practice session in the morning.

I was amazed at the grip from the start. I was running used tyres and the grip on this track was just phenomenal. The TRF419XR felt very stable from the first lap. A little too stable as it was pushing a bit too much on the way into the corner, but I was really happy with how it felt.

As the track was new to me I just wanted to get used to the layout. It is a fast, flowing track and it was really smooth. I have raced on carpet tracks that are more bumpy than this. As I started to go around I started to explore the kerbs and it wasn't long before my freshly painted ZooRacing DBX had a nice amount of roof rash.

After my short practice I still had a lot to learn about they layout and where to find some speed, but at least I knew that the chassis was working well and that I was also really slow on the straights, so would need to look at the gearing.
The TRFUK guys at the track.
For the first Qualifier I changed the motor timing (46deg) and gearing (4.35). Also I made a small change to the front camber to help with the initial steering. The TRF was even better this time out and I was slowly getting more and more confident with refining my driving lines. I was always going to be on the backfoot and I just wanted to enjoy my days racing so I had decided that I would go for a slow and steady approach to the day than a balls out pursuit of the ultimate lap.

The rest of the qualifying session had a very similar pattern. I spent ages trying to get the SMC motor to find its sweet spot (I didn't succeed), but I made no other changes to the set-up. The car itself felt really good, really easy to drive and I knew other than the motor, the main speed advantage would be to refine my racing lines.

I had learned from the first practice run that the kerb at the start of the sweeper takes no prisoners and flips the car for fun. This was in stark contrast to the end of the sweeper where the kerb was only a painted line. Allowing you to race over that at full tilt. Despite knowing this, I did keep avoiding it thanks to the innate driving sense that riding over the track edge is usually a bad decision.

In the end I qualified 1st in the D final. I was pretty disappointed that I didn't make it into the C final at least, but there was a full field of quality drivers and I paid the price for not doing any practice. 

The first final went well. I got away well at the start and behind me there was a first corner pile up so I had a comfortable lead from pretty much the first lap and I was able to just refine my lines but without trying anything too drastic to jeopardize the lead.

The second final was much more pressured. I was chased for the whole race by Mark Bruton-Young. Luckily the Tamiya TRF419XR coupled up with the excellent ZooRacing DBX shell was a great combination, it was just so easy to drive it gave me the confidence to keep on my lines and keep pushing, despite the hard charge behind. Suddenly with less than a minute remaining a back marker rejoined the track and T-boned my car. I thought I had lost it, but the racing gods were looking down on me and the car stopped rolling and landed back on its wheels and I managed to keep racing ahead, albeit with less of a gap. I was convinced that the car was broke for the next lap or so but I soon regained the confidence and kept my lead to claim a second win in two, so at least I didn't go backwards in the finals.

At least I got a pot :) My times in both finals would have easily ensured I was in the middle of the C-final. Despite not racing really hard my times were quicker than the qualifiers, again proving that one of my biggest disadvantages was not knowing the track. So I was pretty happy with the progress I made. Next year I will ensure I do the practice days :)

I was not the only Tamiya driver at the event. In fact there were 5 TRFUK guys racing in the 17.5 blinky class. Dan was in the A, Mark was in the B, Tony was in the C, I was in the D and Alistair in the E. So well done to all of those guys. Next year I'm sure there will be even more TRF420's at the tracks.

It was a great day with some good mates and everyone there was really enjoying their day, with some great racing and it was really laid back. If you have never raced at a national level, you should really try a BRCA clubmans event.
Racing 2042889971229636466

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