MiCC Round one Race report

Despite harking from the sunnier climes of the South of England, I have spent over a decade living up North. Whilst there can be no dispu...

Despite harking from the sunnier climes of the South of England, I have spent over a decade living up North. Whilst there can be no disputing the positives (Mainly pastry based), one of the big negatives is that there are no large indoor racing series to match the great ones that run every year back in my old neck of the woods.
Well it looks like that is now about to change thanks to Gareth Hollis and his hardworking crew, us racers now have the Midlands Indoor Carpet Championship. The goal was very much to cater for onroad 1/10 electric racers who cannot easily travel so far for one day events. The MiCC has three classes. 17.5 Blinky, 13.5 Blinky and Modified. I was keen to try it out and booked into the 17.5class.

The MiCC is based in Telford, neatly placed in the middle of England, and the venue is a large tennis centre. Upon arriving I was pleased to find huge and ample parking and there was already the smell of a cooked breakfast in the air which assured me that I was not going to go hungry.

Entering the hall I was really impressed with the size of the venue. The track looked larger than many outdoor tracks and the Pit area was also really large, easily able to accommodate the 140 racers.

I set up quickly as I was in the second practice heat and I wanted to quickly charge the battery before taking the Tamiya out for a spin. Unfortunately the electric kept cutting out in the pits so everyone was unable to charge the batteries. The MiCC team quickly responded and working with the racers the problem was isolated and we were back in business.

Obviously this lost time didn't help me charge my battery before the practice (Well I think I got 100mah), however I was keen to just go out and get a feel for the track. Up on the podium you could really appreciate the size of the track. I drove around and started to get a feel for the layout. The track surface was really flat and smooth. The layout was really flowing and you could really crank it up on the large straight. The kerbs were also really well done, you could ride them a little but hit them too hard and they would unsettle the car and launch it in the air.

I didn't even compare my times at the end of practice as I knew that the gearing was way out as I hadn't fully comprehended the size of the track, and that the battery was not charged. I just went back and charged the battery and slapped in a bigger pinion.

Fist thing though was time for breakfast, Carnival Pizza provide the catering at the event and I was blown away by the quality of the food. I had a fully loaded breakfast baguette and a cup of Tea and to be honest that made the 5.30am early start to get to the venue worth it.

I enjoyed the breakfast a bit too much and also was busy socialising and got caught out that my round was about to start so only managed to get some of the control additive on the Volante tyres a few minutes before the first Qualifier. I was still very much in learning mode and despite the set-back on the tyre prep I was still impressed with the grip that the track already had. The heat was quite mixed but I started to find more decent lines and started to push the Tamiya harder to see where its limits were. The Zooracing DBX was providing me with more than enough steering however the rear was a little loose on some corners. I put this down to bad tyre prep, and just popped in the laps, again I could see that I was still too conservative with the gearing and I was being left behind on the long straight so I just looked for decent lines in the infield.

For the second Qualifier I had put the additive on 15 mins before the race, and had a bigger pinion installed. The car was notably faster and the grip was good. The steering was also very precise and sharp enabling me to be more confident at entering the corners at higher speeds. As I explored this I found that the front of the car would dig in, especially at the end of the straight. This did make me less aggressive, but I could tell the car was overall quicker and I had gained an extra 17 seconds over the first run although it did seem to bog down at times.

Since buying the SMC motor, I have found it quite hard to gauge. It is revvy, but I find the best endbell / FDR combo seems to vary wildly. Luckily I bumped in Chris Parrot who runs the SMC and he gave me a few pointers so I moved the end bell timing up to 47deg and was keen to see how that would fair.

To counter the front digging in, I simply moved the shocks out one position to just stiffen up the initial feel of the spring as it entered the corner, and reduced the front camber a little. The car was fantastic, and I again gained a huge amount of time. The Tamiya responded so well to the set-up and I was becoming more and more confident with the layout and the way in which the chassis was just asking for me to push it more.

Next up lunch, top quality food really helps makes a days racing much more enjoyable.

For the final Qualifier I went up even more teeth on the pinion as I could tell that some were still a bit quicker at the end of the straight. I went out and the car was superb, I was close to 20 laps but the timing system had a glitch and everyone lost several laps in our heat, so we would have to do the Qualifier at the end of the current round.

I made no changes this for the re-run and the car was superb from the start. The combination of the track layout, the grip, the speed and the handling of the TRF was brilliant and I had a smile on my face as I charged around the track. Again I was much quicker unluckily a couple of the back marker tapped me and made me loose a few seconds but I still improved on my best.

I qualified third in the c final, I was aiming for the B final so was close, but the first two runs had put me on a back foot and the few critical seconds I lost in the final round could have helped me scrape into it, but I was fine as I was loving the racing.

I took my position at third place on the grid, confident that I would have a good crack at improving my position thanks to my later qualifying times. However I didn't even manage to get past the first corner. Despite seeing impending disaster at the front corner and going wide I still got hit side on and it knocked the electrics out of the car, GAME OVER!

It was a great days racing. The venue was great, the racing was excellent and did I mention the food???  I hope to do the remaining events of the season. Next goal the B-final.
A TA07 with the Alien RC chassis conversion
Also honourable mentions to other TRFUK guys at the track, Chris Whitworth and Jake Elwood who were fast all day.

Some photos thanks to the MiCC facebook page. For more info visit them here MiCC 

Some big review articles coming soon :)
Racing 355146407918235458

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