Category Archives: Races

Race Summaries

Fred Hood goes 1.8 at Buena Park

My good friend and Slotcar Racing Legend Fred Hood had never been under 2 seconds with a wing car, so after the 1 Motor Open race on May 17th at the 2007 Wing Car World Championships at Buena Park I decided to see if we could get him under the 2 second mark.

I took the car I had raced earlier in the day and put another motor in it, a 85 1/2 Koford arm in a Koford setup, which I was pretty sure would go under 2 seconds as it had done in practice early in the morning before the race. I ran a few laps with plenty of choke to make sure the car would get around the track, and to make sure everything was ok. Several of those laps were in the 2.0 range on 14 feet of choke so I knew Fred was about to smash the 2 second barrier.

I handed the controller to Fred, and told him to go for it. He pulled that trigger like the seasoned pro he is, and within a few laps he smashed through that elusive 2 second barrier, and into 1.9 territory. A short break to let the  motor cool down, and to re-glue the track and he was ready for another run. This time I turned the choke down to 4 feet and on his second lap, there it was, a 1.825.

We tried to go faster again, and thought a 1.7 might be on running straight up without any choke, but the motor was already past it’s best and Fred had to settle for the 1.825 and leave the 1.7 for another day.
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Some Stats about Fred’s 1.825 lap

Track: 155ft Gerding Blue King
Feet per second covered: 84
Lap average speed: 58mph
Chassis: Slick 7
Bulit By: Tim Tyler
Armature: Koford 85 1/2
Setup: Koford
Magnets: RL 8 pack
Gear Ratio: 8/39 (GT1 pinion Slick 7 gear)
Tires: Koford big hub WX

2007 Wing World Championships May 17 – 1 Motor Open

Wow, what a field!

50 entries for the 1 Motor Open Race. It’s been years since anyone can remember a field in a single Group 7 race like this, and with such a strong local group of racers the competition was very very tough. It may have been lacking a few star names, but I promise you it was a world class field.

With the same format as 1 Motor Open at the USRA Nats this year it was a chance to see the format in action and see if everything worked out. Running the A,B,C main race format meant that qualifying was worth something, as racers were seeded into mains according to their qualifying position. Also with only 30 seconds to qualify on race power, and the fact that you did not get to work on your car after qualifying meant there were a number of interesting strategies that you could use for the race. A number of racers decided not to qualify, so they filled firstly the G main (yes the G main), with the rest of them in the F main. I did qualify and qualified 35th, making it into the E main, with a lap on 8 feet of choke to make sure I did not hurt my motor, turning a 1.98. Top qualifier was Benes from the Czech Republic with a 1.66, a pretty fast lap on race power in a one motor race.

The racing was close and fast all through the mains. Running early on in the F main after not qualifying were Forest Watchers and Carlos Aloise. Both were hoping that the track conditions early on would be better than in later heats. Both of them set a very fast pace right from the start of their main, and after 4 heats if this had of been a full on Group 7 race they would have been on a 1220 plus pace, pretty impressive for a 1 Motor race! Forest kept the pace up right to the end, finishing with 974, while Carlos was unable to match that after losing his motor. So Forest had set the bar high, very high, and it was now a case of go for it or go home.

I was up in the E main, and ran around the whole race mainly in the 2.0 second range, with a number of 1.9 second laps, and of course some 2.1 second laps as well. Unfortunately only a few laps into the first heat I was hit in the finger and broke an axle. My pit man for the heat Tim Tyler did a great job to change the axle/gear and tires to get me back on the track with a minimum of laps lost. I thought that might be the end of the trouble, but in the very next heat, the second heat of the race the exact thing happened again, in the same place. This sent Tim to the pits with my car yet again for another axle change. This was the end of my axle problems and the car ran pretty well for the rest of the race, without any other major problems. Going into the last heat I was chasing Frank Sarkella from Slot Car Raceway in Rhonert Park (The home of the 2008 USRA Scale Nats and bidder for the 2008 USRA Wing Car Nats). A little way into the heat I turned the choke down a  little and tried to chase him down. unfortunately it was not to be, and with less than 30 seconds to go int he race my car ground to a halt with a lack of power. I suspect the com had got out of round, and it was just not going to go anywhere fast. So in the end I was credited with a 28th place finish with 804 laps. Not a fantastic total, but a lot better than many others who blew up way before the end.

Overall I was happy to almost get tot he end, and I went out trying to pass Frank, and had nothing left. You can’t ask for more than that, especially with the field being as big and as competitive as it was.

Tim Tyler was up next in the D main, qualifying with a 1.86. Tim ran strongly throughout his race, having a few problems like bent wheels etc, but he did manage to stay out of trouble pretty well and ended up with a spectacular 9th place overall. With IOC points on the line for the top 8 we had joked earlier in the day that he probably would end up 9th, and so it was.

As the C,B and than A mains ran it was clear that Forest had made a clever strategy call in not qualifying and running in a lower heat as contender after contender ran fast enough, but blew up, leaving Forest as last man standing at the end of the day. This being Forests first World Championship the assembled masses decided he needed to celebrate, so he was doused with Gatorade and anything else racers could find to add to the fun. A great end to a great days racing, with a fantastic future class.

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2007 Wing World Championships – Practice Continues

It’s now Tuesday May 15th, and practice continues as the event rolls into it’s first race tomorrow, for Group 27 Light.

The Group 27 light is not a class normally raced in the US, so it will be interesting to see how many racers sign up for this one. Basically it is a class for single magnet Group 27 powered cars, using a steel chassis, and is run in sprayglue only, no messy glue here!  After the locals have raced in this class for the first time, who knows, we might see more of this class here in the US.

As for my buddy Tim Tyler, he continues to test and get ready for the racing later in the week. He will race 1 Motor Open on Thursday, Group 27 on Saturday and of course will run Big Dog Group 7 on Sunday in the feature event, the Group 7 World Championship. As for me, I will only run the 1 Motor Open race on Thursday, using the car that Tim raced in the warmup races last Saturday, so at least I know it goes around the track.

The international racers continue to arrive at Buena Park Raceway, yesterday saw the ever popular Gugu arrive from Brazil, along with the rest of the Brazillian racers. Reggie Coram has been in town for a few days, as have Michael Sillen and Stefan Tordfeld from Sweden.  More racers will be arriving day by day, with a lot of the US racers arriving on Friday. This will be one of the biggest Wing races for a long time in the US.

More over the next couple of days.

2007 Wing World Championships – Warm Up Races

Saturday 05-12-2007.
2007 Wing Car World Championships at Buena Park Raceway.
1 Motor Open and Group 7 Warm Up Races.

My good friend Tim Tyler arrived in town on Thursday afternoon to attend the Wing World Championship races at Buena Park, from Australia. Tim is staying with me while he is in town, so we are commuting the 40 miles back and forth between my place and Buena Park on and off for the next week. Tim is a multi time New Zealand and Australian National Champion, and should be pretty competitive with everyone on the fast Buena Park King track.

Saturday was the 2 warmup races ahead of next weekends main races. The only class I intend to race is the 1 Motor Open race on Thursday May 17, so until then I will be helping Tim out wherever he needs it. Tim ran both races, taking a strong 4th place in the 1 Motor race, and then followed that up with a great 3rd place behind Michael Sillen and Rick Salvino in the Group 7 race. A great effort, and a sign of hopefully more to come.

Practice continues Monday and Tuesday (May 14,15) with Group 27 Lite on Wednesday, 1 Motor Open on Thursday, practice on Friday, Group 27 on Saturday and the final race the Group 7 World Championship on Sunday May 20th.

VISIT MY PHOTO GALLERY FROM SATURDAYS RACING

05-12-2007 15:35 CURRENT RACE RESULTS FOR WORLDS OPEN GROUP-7
PL DRIVER H 1 H 2 H 3 H 4 H 5 H 6 H 7 H 8 H 9 LAPS AVG B TIME LANE
1 FORREST WATCHERS 152 150 x 148 151 150 141 140 152 1184 148 1.8629 ‘ORANGE’
2 RICK SALVINO x 144 143 151 117 143 148 149 147 1142 142. 1.8590 ‘BLUE’
3 TIMMY TYLER 148 142 141 x 141 137 141 140 136 1126 140. 1.9684 ‘YELLOW’
4 REGGIE CORAM 143 147 119 139 x 133 135 140 143 1099 137. 1.9173 ‘BLUE’
5 JIM LANGE 142 x 146 82 152 145 134 147 34 982 122. 1.8591 ‘GREEN’
6 BOB DUNN 133 144 138 117 45 143 138 25 x 883 110. 1.9177 ‘GREEN’
7 AL CHUCK 149 85 139 136 117 58 133 x 22 839 104. 1.9177 ‘GREEN’
8 STEFAN TORNFELD 148 143 143 95 147 91 x 20 0 787 98.4 1.9170 ‘ORANGE’
9 MIKE WHO 140 112 67 57 0 x 0 0 0 376 47 1.9176 ‘ORANGE’

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05-12-2007 10:51 CURRENT RACE RESULTS FOR WORLDS 1-MOTOR G-7
PL DRIVER H 1 H 2 H 3 H 4 H 5 H 6 H 7 H 8 H 9 H 10 H 11 LAPS AVG B TIME LANE
1 MIKAEL SILEN 111 x x x 113 119 119 116 117 118 113 926 115. 1.9179 ‘GREEN’
2 FORREST WATCHERS 110 119 118 117 112 116 122 109 x x x 923 115. 1.9173 ‘ORANGE’
3 STEFAN TORNFELD x 108 116 116 111 112 114 116 115 x x 908 113. 1.9679 ‘ORANGE’
4 TIM TYLER x x x 110 111 110 113 105 113 107 111 880 110 1.9770 ‘WHITE’
5 RICK ELTING 94 108 111 106 x x x 66 112 110 108 815 101. 2.0265 ‘GREEN’
6 ADAM KIRCHHOFFER x x 110 114 116 112 104 110 97 0 x 763 95.4 1.9680 ‘BLUE’
7 MARCO SALVINO 111 117 117 x x x 111 34 75 63 95 723 90.4 1.8594 ‘BLUE’
8 JIM LANGE 110 113 112 111 115 112 0 x x x 0 673 84.1 1.9683 ‘GREEN’
9 BRENDAN AQUIRRE 68 85 109 67 107 103 x x x 15 0 554 69.2 1.9680 ‘YELLOW’
10 DARRYL ATKIN 104 79 96 115 22 x x x 0 0 0 416 52 1.9170 ‘ORANGE’
11 BOB DUNN 102 111 x x x 92 0 0 0 0 0 305 38.1 1.9800 ‘ORANGE’

1 Weekend, 2 Races

It’s over. One of the craziest and most tiring slot racing weekends I have ever been through.

Due to having to schedule around the Wing World Championships being held at Buena Park Raceway over the next couple of weeks, the biggest SoCal USRA Scale event for the year (The Western States) ended up being scheduled on the same weekend as the final race for the NorCal SCRA championship for the 2006/007 season.

I had a big decision to make, which races could I make and which did I have to miss. The problem was I was leading two championships in the NorCal series, and was second in another (out of three championships I have been contesting in NorCal this year), and because of the recent USRA Scale Nats I had missed the last round of the NorCal series, which was ok as they allow one points score drop per class for the season. Meanwhile in SoCal the Western States races not only count for 1 1/2 times points, but has to be counted in your championship (ie. cannot be dropped), so if I didn’t make the Western States races my SoCal championships were basically over for the year.

The Norcal race was held in Chico on saturday, while the SoCal race was being held at Buena Park on both saturday and sunday. My only option was to try to do both events, traveling to Chico for the saturday races while missing the stockcar races at Buena Park, then driving through the night to get back to Buena Park for the sunday races there. A nice plan, but quite impractical as the two venues are 500 miles apart! Up for the adventure was my NorCal travelling mate and sponsor, Monty Ohren from Best O The West. He had just traveled from California to Pennsylvania and back for the USRA Nats by car, so a short 1000 mile trip was nothing.

Friday saw us traveling up to Chico, arriving there about 8:30pm. Of the three classes I was to race each had a set of things I had to achieve to win the championship in that class. To win the 4" Stockcar Championship I only had to finish in the top 10, while in the LMP class I had a 12 point lead, and with a 15 point margin 1st to 2nd I would be guaranteed the championship if I won, or finished in front of Mike Rocha. If Mike was to win the race the Championship would be his, no matter what I did. In the GT12 class I was in second, 10 points behind Ray Chamberlin, so in that class I had no choice but to win, as Ray had been very fast and finished in the top 3 at almost every round this year.

Looking at what I had to do I decided to concentrate on the GT12 car in practice on friday night, as that was the class I had to win. I tested the 4" Stockcar first, trying a couple of motors and settling on a race setup quickly, then put that car away for the race next day. next I tested the LMP car, with the aim of finding a consistent and fast car. I tested about 8 or so motors, found a couple I thought would be raceable and then settled on running the same Parma Flexi 5 chassis that I had won the GTP race with at the USRA Nats. Next it was time to test the GT12 car. Again I tested at least 10 motors in various combinations before settling on 4 I would have available for the race. I also settled on running the BSP chassis with a Parma Ultimate body. Meanwhile Monty took his first laps on the track with his LMP car, and was actually comfortable on the Chico flat track.

About 11:30 we left the raceway for the night, had some dinner and then turned inf or the night, discussing our experiences of the tracks and cars through dinner. The raceway opened at 8am, so we were there right at 8am to make sure we got maximum practice time, as in the NorCal races, once the power is turned off at the end of practice, that is it for the day. During practice I ran the Stockcar again for a few laps on the banked track. it was fast and driveable. The LMP car remained as it was the night before, but I did test a few more tire compounds, settling on the widest stickest tires I had with me. The GT12 car also was good in practice, and I was confident I had a competitive car.

First up for the day was the 4" Stockcar class. As there really was no pressure on me in that race, apart from making a top 10 finish it turned out to be an easy race. My car was a little tight as I was running soft tires, so I had to be careful not to get the car out of line, but it was fast, and I cruised to an 8 lap win. Typical, an almost perfect race when I really didn’t need it, and I was successful in taking the season championship.

Next up was the LMP race. With the large number of entries, all of the races a big round robins, so i  was sitting out for a while, watching the other guys racing, marshalling and getting nervous. Once I came in the nerves disappeared, and the race was on. Not seeing the competition can be nerve racking at times, but it was one of those races where I just tried to put in the best 8 heats I could, and hopefully the results and championship would take care of themselves. As it ended up, Herman James took the win, and I finished in front of Mike so the Championship was mine.

Onto the G12 race, the last race of the day. With Ray Chamberlain having a 10 point lead over me in the championship, it was win or bust for me, as I knew Ray would be fast, as he has been all year. Again I was sitting out for a while at the start of the race, while Ray was up pretty early on. To me watching from the sidelines, Ray put up a couple of pretty impressive heats, as did Herman James, Fred Hood and Chris Chakires, it was going to be a fight to the end.  The lead in the race seesawed around between the 4 of us throughout the race, but I managed to hang on and take the win from Herman, Chris, Fred and Ray. The win was enough for me to secure the championship, three out of three for the year.

By the time the awards were given out and we were ready to leave for part 2 of the weekend it was 11:30pm. One stop for dinner/breakfast and we arrived at Buena Park at 7:04am, just as the raceway opened.

After all the flat track racing of saturday in Chico, it was kind of a disappointment to be on the flatout King track for the LMP and GT12 racing. Racing on the King means one thing, find the motor with the most horsepower, find the hardest tires you dare to run, and the lightest car you dare to run. Strap it all together, hope it lasts and hang on. I was pretty sure of the chassis/body combination I would run in LMP, as you just can’t beat a JK Cheetah 7 with a JK Lola Judd body for lightness and straight line speed on this track. I ran through as many motors as I could and found my fastest couple, and I was ready to race.

With 8 lining up for the expert race it was a straight out fight to the end. As soon as the power went on Duran Trujillo charged out into a good lead that he would never lose, but there was a fight raging for 2nd. Jonathan Forsyth, myself and Jerry Johnson form Arizona fought the whole race long, most of it on the same lap. At the end it was Duran taking 1st, followed by Jonathan with a lap over me, and Jerry no more than 6 feet behind me. A very close race.

Before GT12 there was some track time to test and get ready. I had decided to run my BSP chassis with a JK Audi body as everything else I tested was too loose, as after the LMP race the track had loosened up somewhat, in fact it had got to the point where it was downright slippery, and everyone was sent scrambling for softer tires and higher downforce bodies. I tested a number of motors, and finally settled on the 4 strongest I had, just in case I needed more than one during the race. With the track being so slippery I searched for the softest stickiest tires I could find, finally settling on a pair of Kelly White Label tires to start. These are super soft, and have a super small hub (about .250id I think) so offer great traction, but they do wear quickly. They went the two first heats, and I looked at them before the 3rd heat and decided I had enough to do another heat. At this point I was leading the race, but it wasn’t to last. Halfway through the 3rd heat I was hit while going around the donut, and the rear of my body was torn, which allowed the rear of the body to collapse at speed, so I spent the rest of the heat just trying to make laps and get to the end. I managed to rebuild the back of the body with bullet proofing and tape during the lane change, but I had lost enough laps that the win was gone, ending up in 5th place after a change back to Alpha full hub untreated tires. Pretty amazing to actually have to run soft wide tires on any car on that track, but then sometimes you just never know.

With that it was the end of our full on racing weekend, and I headed home to get some well deserved sleep. Next up it’s the Wing World Championships at Buena Park Raceway. My friend Tim Tyler from Australia is coming up to stay with me for the week and racing several classes, while I will be trying to race 1 Motor Open.

Some HO Racing

Now, for something completely different.

The SSI Raceway HO track On Saturday April 28th I went to SSI Raceway in Burbank, a raceway I have visited many times as part of the On The Hill Gang 32nd scale racing club, but this time I visited to race HO cars on Rene’s fantastic routed HO track. This was the first time I have raced HO cars in a competitive setting ever. I did spend one night racing in NorCal a few years ago on Paul Gawronskis home HO track with Paul, Brian Saunders and Fred Hood, but that is about it for my HO experience.

The G-Plus and Club Stock carsWe were to race 2 classes, G-Plus without magnets and then what they call Club Stock, which are faster that the G-Plus cars and have traction magnets. As usual Rene had prepared some excellent loaner cars, with them being so good everyone decided to race his loaner cars in an "IROC" style G-Plus race. There were 10 racers for the G-Plus class so we ran two round robin semis and a main. I was a little worried as I thought my lack of experience with these cars would count against me in the races, but I managed to get through the semi finals in 2nd place.  The main got a little ugly, so it was time to stay on and make laps, which I managed to do, taking the win in my first HO race.

For the 2nd class, the Club Stock cars, the power on the track was turned up to 18 volts. Talk about out of control! Driving the tiny cars now took a whole lot of skill and concentration, as they could barely be seen as they zipped around the track. Fortunately the tricky straights with corners were able to be taken at constant speed with these magnet bound faster cars, making the track a whole lot easier. Into the first heat, and chaos reigned. The little pocket rockets were flying every which way, but I used the fully optioned HO controllers the best way I could, and turned the knob marked "Power" down as far as I could, and set about circulating and avoiding accidents, which was still not easy. In the end I managed to rack up more laps than anyone else, and so was declared the winner. Not bad for my first attempt at taming these little out of control cars.

The whole day was really enjoyable. As it is with the On the Hill Gang races, the host put on a great spread of food, sodas and of course some beer. Nothing better than racing some slotcars with a fun and relaxed group of people over a few beers. The guys form the club were all very friendly, and really enjoy their racing. It was interesting for me to see some of the equipment some of them bought to the races with them, the same as stuff I take to races, but just everything is smaller!

Who knows, I might just be back next time the HO club visits Rene and his SSI Raceway.

View the gallery from this race


2007 USRA Scale Nats Day 9

Wednesday April 18th was the final day of the 2007 USRA Nats, the day everyone had been waiting for 24th Eurosport.

Before the 24th Euro race it was time for the C-12 Euro cars to hit the track. This became a pretty one side race with Jason Greene dominating qualifying and the race, running away from nats host Lou Cicconi by over 50 laps.

After the C-12 race there was a couple of hours of final practice for 24th Eurosport. As practice went along the track really started to rubber up, with thick berms building up on the corners. I had pretty much settled on running one of the 26g BOW armature motors in the new small Camen setups with thin magnets, but right at the end of practice the 26g motors were struggling to get through the heavy rubber build up.

Late in practice Fred Hood offered me a 22T 25G motor that he could not get into his car. I had already run plenty of low 3.4 second laps with the 26G motors, but I was down to about 3 feet of choke, so felt I really did need more horsepower. The car was handling fantastically on all lanes, so I tried Fred’s motor and immediately ran a 3.40 with 12 feet of choke, so put the car away and decided to run Fred’s motor.

I qualified 6th to secure a berth in the A main. Brian Saunders and Gugu were the only ones to go into the 2.3’s, while Greg Gilbert, Thomas Burnside, William Burnside and myself all qualified with 2.43 laps and James Grinstead was 7th with a 2.44.

Through having 25 racers the A main became a 9 man round robin, and I selected the sit out to start, so got to watch the first heat. As soon as I got on the track in the 2nd heat I knew I really had a car to contend for the win. I drove as hard as I could and on average after  my first heat was leading, and maintained that lead all the way through to the end of my 7th heat. Brian Saunders was right there with Greg Gilbert and myself for the early part of the race, but lost time when his motor came out in an accident. The final heat had me on white lane, and 2nd placed Greg Gilbert was on the very fast orange lane. I had 8 laps on Greg and thought my lead would hold up, however white was very very slippery. Brian ran on it before me and warned me how slippery it was, especially at the end of the main straight. It was so slippery the car was actually locking up and sliding into the corner. it was like someone had split something on the track, but there was nothing there. All I could do was back off, add a lot of choke and cruise around, hoping that Greg did not run me down, but with Greg flying on the Orange lane I soon knew I was in trouble. With a couple of minutes to go, Greg drew level with me, then put a lap on me, then just drove to keep ahead of me through to the end of the race.

So close, yet so far, but I have to congratulate Greg on a great race. he has been trying to win that one for a lot longer than me, hopefully my time will come in the future.

So that concluded the 2007 USRA Nats. Having the nats in a hotel was a fantastic setting, and the hosts Mark Greene and Lou Cicconi did a fantastic job in putting the race together. Everything ran smoothly throughout the week.

2007 USRA Scale Nats Day 8

Tuesday April 17th

32nd Formula One and 32nd Eurosport were to be raced in the one day. With the Eurosport race format kicking in, there was not going to be any more semi final madness, just qualifying and mains.

32nd Formula One Eurosport

I knew I would struggle with the old heavy F1 car in qualifying against the newer lighter cars, and that I would probably be racing form the B main, and so it was. TQ was Gugu with a 3.20, while I struggled my way to a 3.61 down in 11th place, but I was pretty confident that I would be competitive in the race.  A 14 car field meant there were to be 2 mains, 7 racers in each, and with 5 minute heats it was going to be fun. It was also fantastic to see the field of cars all looking great in original F1 liveries. before the event there was a lot of talk about having to paint the car in an original F1 livery, but as the instigator of this class I felt it was important to stay with the International rules that all of the current chassis are made to, and the was part of the package. After seeing the field, and seeing the remarkable pre painted bodies that Gugu has available, the detractors were silenced.

Being int he B main, my race was first up. As the race got under way it was clear that Greg Gilbert and myself were setting the pace, however by mid race Fred Hood put in a charge (after getting to grips with his car that had never turned a wheel before qualifying) and got to within a couple of laps of Greg and I. Greg and I ran very close throughout the race, ending up only 4 tenths of a lap apart, with me ahead. We both ran hard the whole race, as we knew that even a podium position overall could be possible.

Once the A main got underway, as expected Gugu and Brian Saunders were the class of the field, running side by side for quite a bit of time. Behind them Jonathan Forsyth was the only other driver to be near the average lap totals that Greg and I posted int he B main. In the end Brian took the win, 2 laps ahead of Gugu, who was 17 laps ahead of Jonathan Forsyth, who was  only 4 laps ahead of myself and Greg. So at the end of the day a 4th place with a 15 year old car and motor was not a bad effort, and I was happy after the first ever USRA F1 race.

This class really is a fantastic one, a real drivers class. you cna easily over horsepower the car, so motors are not an issue, and being 68mm wide you can run side by side, and pass without hitting each other (unless you slide out a lot). Despite what a lot of people thought before the races, this class was one of the highlights of the event, especially the breathtaking heat where Gugu and Brian were running side by side on adjacent lanes for almost the whole heat.

32nd Scale Eurosport

This was one of those races that just did not go well. I was way behind getting the car ready, and had problems getting the race body mounted right before the race, so had to revert to the old practice body, which really was not mounted in the right position. My car was good, smooth and fast, but I just did not cut a good lap in qualifying, leaving me in the B main, and then it seemed I was just always in trouble, and that of course led to a stripped gear in the middle of one heat, and a slow change with some trouble getting the new gear in, just cost me more time than I would have liked, leaving my in 6th overall, more than 100 laps behind overall winner Greg Gilbert from the A main.

The one high point form this race is that the new BOW Eurosport arm ran another full race distance in the 32nd car, without any problems. Encouraging for the future.

After the 32nd race it was time to finally get my 24th car onto the track, well finish building it then get it onto the track. Brian Saunders had finished building the chassis the day before, but with 2 classes in one day I had not had a chance to assemble the car. I did that, cut and mounted a new JK Audi and finally got onto the track after it had been cleaned and sprayed ahead of the 24th Euro race next day.

I cycled through a few of the motors we had prepared before the event, including a couple of 26 guage motors with BOW armatures. All were smooth and fast, it was just going to be a case of select the most driveable one and go with it.

2007 USRA Scale Nats Day 7

Monday April 16th. Wow, time flies, day 7 already, and I realised that I had missed seeing the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix over the weekend, and believe me I NEVER miss a Grand Prix, but with no Speed Tv at the Hotel it just slipped by almost unnoticed.

Looking out the window of the hotel the weather was terrible, cold and there actually was some snow out there. Later in the day it turned into rain, and suddenly parts of Philadelphia were flooded and the city was plunged into chaos. For us in the hotel we really knew nothing. With no windows in the ballroom C where we were racing unless we came outside for something we didn’t see anything, and thanks to a local pizza joint that had a pretty extensive menu, and deliveree, we really never needed to leave the hotel. It was pretty funny walking around the hotel, many of us were wearing shorts, while outside it was no hotter than 40 degrees (F not C), so we got some pretty funny looks form people who had just come into the hotel form the freezing weather outside.

Inside the ballroom it was GT12 day. I was looking forward to this race as I felt I had a really good car. The BSP chassis really suited the track, with our only problem being negotiating the D shaped donut. You needed to hit it right every time, as if you went too slow you would pop up, and if you went too fast you would risk tipping out. Brian and I worked on this problem, and after some body re-mounting found a reasonable compromise, and we were both fast.

The semi final draw was one of the most amazing I have ever seen. it was random, but you could never stack a heat better if you tried. if you look at the semi results you’ll see what I mean:

B Semi
1. Jason Burnside 298
2. William Burnside 295
3. Greg Gilbert 295
4. Brian Saunders 294
5. Chris Radisich 288
6. Fred Hood 283
7. Gugu 279
8. Jerry Herbert 254

A Semi
1. Jonathan Forsyth 283
2. Zac Grinstead 275
3. Herman James 274
4. Jay Kisling 265
5. Jim Stinnett 258
6. Dave Demott 257
7. James Grinstead 151

In my semi I drove as hard as I could, and I was more than competitive, but it was one of those races where I just could not stay out of trouble, losing a few laps that I just could not get back. The whole semi/mains system can be brutal at times, and this was one of the worst I have ever seen. You’ll see in the results that I finished with 5 laps more than the winner of the A semi, and even Gugu, 7th in Semi B would have been 2nd in Semi A, with 4 laps to spare.

So after the low of LMP, the high of 4" Stockcar and the high high of GTP, here I was again at a low, marshalling another main. I did keep myself busy helping out Zac Grinstead through the main.

After the Amateur GT 12 race was finished it was time to clean the track for the 1/32 F1 and 1/32 Eurosport races next day. I spent the rest of the day testing my 32nd Euro car, and ran my F1 car for the first time. With time running out before the nats I was unable to get a new F1 chassis, so I pulled my old early 90’s Dave Harvey 101 car (form England) out of mothballs. I knew it would not be anywhere near as fast as the new cars, but I knew it would be consistent and just run around and around.

With this being the first F1 race at the USRA Nats, and being on such a short track, the search was on Monday night for everyone to find enough chokes to tame their F1 cars. 40 to 60 feet quickly became the norm as everyone struggled to get horsepower out of their cars. With my car running an old .459 45T 28G I was in reasonable condition, only needing 20 feet, plus the 12 feet on the controller I was using. For it’s age my car circulated smoothly, not fast, but smooth.