NSW State Titles

June 24, 2014 Leave a comment

As I said previously, it’s pretty quiet here now that I have my facebook page going, but I do like prefer this format for wrap ups

Last month I raced at the NSW State Titles at my home track SMA. Going into the event I was not feeling very confident because my lap times weren’t where I thought they should be, but once practice started it was obvious that my times were actually really good and it was just the track that wasn’t offering up as much grip as it had last year. While I was struggling a little for steering off the straight, my car was easy to drive and with the help of Vercoe, Damo Z and others during the practice day I got the car pretty well set for racing.


Racing got underway Saturday in perfect conditions, which was just what was needed since we had a number of visitors from interstate making up a very high quality modified class that included Ryan Maker (VBC), Simon Nicholson (Kyosho), Ari Bakla (XRAY), Jordan Cullis (Durango), Justin Vergunst (Tamiya), Corey Broadstock (Yokomo), Ed Clark (Schumacher), and others.


Q1 for mod was a super close affair with the top 8 drivers all running 19 laps, I was 2nd .9 behind Ryan with Simon just .3 behind me in 3rd, and Jessie Davis .4 behind him in 4th. Early signs were that Ryan had a slight edge and the rest of us were going to have huge fight!


From Q2 onwards tyre strategy became a factor, Ryan and Jessie ran new while Simon and I ran 2nd run, and that was how we finished. For Q3 I ran new tyres hoping the others would run old but everyone ran new. Fortunately I was able to put in a good run and I finished 2nd behind Ryan, with Jessie 3rd and Simon 4th. This meant Ryan had 3 TQ’s and would be very hard deny 1st on the grid, and I was provisionally 2nd.


Q4 was to be held under lights as the days are quite short this time of year. With Jessie and Ryan having used all their new tyres and Simon seeming like he was going for a standard new-old-new-old-new-old strategy I saw Q4 as a good opportunity to put in a TQ run so I opted for new tyres again. Unfortunately I had a shocker, rolling on the 2nd lap and then dumping from forgetting to charge my battery mid race. Simon pulled a surprise and ran new tyres so he was able to TQ, which relegated me to 3rd in the next regrade.


Sunday was another excellent weather day. Q6 Simon pulled out another excellent TQ run to set up a Q6 showdown for TQ. Ryan ended up 2nd and I was 3rd. Q6 threw up a bit of a surprise with Ari the only person with new tyres putting in a TQ run, effectively sealing TQ for Ryan, though Ryan was 2nd so he would have got it anyway. I was 3rd and Simon 4th. For the run I decided to try a setup change which I thought worked out pretty well so I didn’t plan any changes for the finals.


With  2 sets of new tyres for the a-mains, strategy was going to be less of an issue. The grid was to Ryan, Simon, Me, Jessie, Ari, Jordan, Nathan Reese, Justin, Corey, and Gary Huang. For me the finals were terrible – I got spun around at the 2nd corner of all 3 finals. In the first A-main I pulled off to save tyres, Ryan took the win from Simon and Ari. In A2 Ryan again took the win to wrap up what was a pretty dominant event for him. I ended up 4th after coming back through the field, but after 2 curb rolls I decided my new setup was too hard to drive so for A3 I put my setup back to how I started the weekend and went 2/10th faster – should have just left it! After being spun around for the 3rd time (at least a penalty was given) I came back to 4th which netted me 4th overall, Simon won A3 from Ari which meant the podium was Ryan, Simon, and Ari.

I was pretty disappointed because I felt I had the pace for a podium but I was basically denied the opportunity to even try and race with the guys in front of me on the grid in every final.


A lot of the finals were messy and part of the blame has to rest on this terrible grid. The last time the club used this layout the grid was at least twice the spacing here and the starts were not such an issue, but also driving standards and laxed refereeing were factors. Not to harp on, but my weekend was basically ruined and 100s of dollars wasted because of the finals, so I can see why many racers don’t bother with sanctioned events.


Finals aside, the event was quite successful and turned up some very deserving winners in Ryan Maker (mod) and Jeffery Mackie (13.5). The racing was very close in all classes, and the finals produced some excellent racing once the first lap carnage had sorted itself out. As a consolation prize, my AWESOME paint finally won a concourse! Shame the body had been so beaten up from the finals!

Now that states are behind us I’m looking ahead to AOC in Melbourne in July, and I’ve also booked the SA titles in August. Both these events should be super fun because there will be excellent competition again and they are both being held on high grip indoor tracks. Can’t beat guaranteed racing!

Finally, my mate Cam sent me this copy of Racing Lines magazine featuring coverage of the ACT Titles and some great shots of my car. Really chuffed to have myself in print, this ones gone straight to the pool room!



Categories: Uncategorized

New year new me…

March 28, 2014 Leave a comment

… only kidding, I hate those stupid new year new me posts that pop up at the beginning of each year. But, there has been a bit of change in the first quarter of 2014. First of all, I am no longer running a Tamiya, because basically I did not get on with the 418. After AOC Yatabe I came back wanting to buy the new Yokomo BD7’14 black series, but the aggressive pricing and excellent spec of the 418 were too compelling to resist. It was an really nice build and the car was the nicest looking car I’ve ever owned but it just didn’t seem to hook in on the low grip tracks I race on.

So enter the BD. A few people know that as long as I’ve been a Tamiya fanboy I’ve also had a soft spot for Yokomo. When I raced as a teenager my first TC was a Tamiya TA02 which was heavily upgraded to include things like the FRP chassis and TRF shocks, but my first pro(ish) kit was a Yokomo YRF2 which I still have. People often blame that car for ruining TC – basically it was a FWD touring/pan car hybrid which even in the lower spec FRP version that I had was incredibly fast. I fully intend to restore mine one day! In recent years I have been close to buying a yokomo many times, but always ended up being swayed by one brand or another. This time I have finally committed and so far the car is going great… I love the stealth look and it seems like it has so few parts compared to the Tamiyas that I’m used to – the kit barely came with a single shim! The learning curve has been steep but I think I am slowly getting there, and I am enjoying having a large number of fellow drivers running the car who I can share knowledge with.

This blog has been a little quiet because I have also started a Facebook page. WordPress is an excellent blog platform but for posting on mobile it is much easier to use Facebook. As such, I’ll be posting coverage of any events I attend on Facebook and I’ll keep this blog for recaps, setups, tricks and tips, photos, and anything else that doesn’t suit the FB form. If you want to check the FB page head over to http://www.facebook.com/mcpheerc

Lastly I just want to mention the last event I went to which was the ACT titles. It’s nearly a month on and I still reflect on just how much fun this event was. I’ve attended a lot of events in ACT, 4 outdoor titles in a row, an indoor titles and a couple club challenge rounds, and I think what makes ACT events so enjoyable is that the club are unreal hosts. They always make us feel welcome, the pits have a great atmosphere, and their tracks are always awesome to drive on. Last year was the first event on the new track, and while the layout was great fun the grip left a little to be desired. This year the club has given the track a new surface and infield and extended the drivers stand, despite suffering vandalism of their container just a couple of months before. They also selected a perfect tyre for the track, and as a result the event went off without a hitch. I made a last minute decision to head down and I am glad I did – the weekend was easy going and stress free, and with nothing to worry about I could make the most of socialising with friends and enjoying racing… until I got Laryngitis and couldn’t talk for most of Sunday. I really can’t wait for nationals at the same track, I think it’s going to be unreal fun and the track will offer up some great racing and great times for everyone that visits – is it November yet??

Some photos:

My short lived 418… so pretty – now racing in KL with my new mate Zack!


IMCC cup 2014. Took the win in F1 thanks to borrowed tyres from Dan M!


BD7’2014 – the red wire is gone now


The best paint never to have won a concourse @Ryan Designs


Best track in the country?


We were so lucky with the weather. Both days we had storms looming but it only rained briefly on Sunday morning


Winnnnnnnn! 4 years in a row I’ve been in the hunt for this trophy but I had so much bad luck in previous years, super happy!


Categories: Uncategorized

My Final 417 Setup

December 11, 2013 3 comments

With my 418 on it’s way it will bring the end to a fairly successful campaign with the different iterations of the 417. The car has proved to be a solid performer at both event and club level, and I will be sad to see my 417 raceberry go onto greener pastures. That said, the 417 has never endeared itself to me in the same way that the 416 did, so “as they say” – out with the old and in with the new!

With the 418 about to drop and already doing well in the hands of the team drivers, I decided to try and set my car up like the 418 – and the result was pretty damn good! The setup is based on both Marc’s BIRC winning setup and also my AOC Yatabe setup, which itself  was based on his 418 setup from the Czech Republic ETS.

So here it is, the main changes from the normal 417 setup are listed below

  • Longer front wheelbase – this increases front bite and makes the car more stable on power
  • Narrow rear end – this improves direction change and provides more on power steering at the expense of stability
  • Short rear link (outside hole on bulkhead) – probably the biggest change, this improves rear side-bite on corner entry then provides more steering on power
  • Higher front roll centre – increases corner speed and initial steering
  • Camber links raised – smoothes car out and increases corner speed

At the BIRC race Marc also ran the 1.3mm front roll bar, which is something I tried prior to changing many of the other settings and found it made the car very easy to drive but took away corner speed – now that I have made more changes I would like to try it again because the car had huge corner speed but was now maybe a little too aggressive.


Note: this is a raceberry setup, I doubt it will work well on regular 417s as is

Categories: Setups

AOC Yatabe Setup

December 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Here is my setup from Yatabe. The car was quite good but in hindsight I wish I had tried a shorter rear link


Categories: Uncategorized

AOC Finale – Yatabe Arena, Japan

November 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Japan to compete in the AOC finale race at the historic Yatabe Arena in Japan. I have always wanted to visit Japan and Yatabe, and the planets aligned earlier this year when Jetstar announced some cheap airfares and the Australian Nationals turned out to be a massive non-event. It worked out great and I didn’t spend any more money than at the Nationals last year!

I travelled to Japan on Wednesday and arrived at the hotel in Tsukuba on Wednesday night, which was also when many people arrived like Scotty Ernst, the Live RC guys, and many of the other travelling competitors. Yatabe Arena had organised a shuttle bus to and from the track each day which made getting around easy.


Arriving at the track I was blown away by the awesome facility! In addition to the main on-road track there is a smaller carpet sport track, a large drift track, a small drift track, a large off-road clay track and a small astroturf off-road track. There is also a fully stocked hobby store, kids play area, and cafe with Japanese chef.

Thursday was my first chance to hit the track and I focussed mainly on getting my power right and finding a base setup as the track layout was being changed that night so everyone would get equal track time on the race layout. Things went pretty well, and I was very impressed with the Ride REX30 LT tyres being used, although the wear was slightly higher than the RE32 LT we used at the Melbourne round.


On Friday we were greeted with the new layout which was about 80% common with the layout from Thursday, but ran in the opposite direction and now with a large on-power sweeper onto the back straight and an on-power fast chicane which was a real test of setup. As the grip climbed I found a setup that was fast and easy to drive so I was feeling good for Saturday.

Saturday morning was an earlier start, and the day began with practice for those who couldn’t attend Friday and a drivers meeting. The event a large with over 170 entries across a range of classes, and the modified field was very impressive including Ronald Volker, Naoto Matsukura, Hayato Matsuzaki, Andy Moore, Shin, Steve Weiss, EJ Evans, Meen V, Chavit S and a host of extremely quick locals. Also in attendance was Yokomo designer and Ronald’s mechanic Umino Yukijiro, HB Designer Toshihiko Hara, my friend and Andy’s mechanic Hiro Kasuya, and Kyosho designer Chikuba. In terms of chassis in use, it was about 80% Yokomo, and 20% everything else with Kyosho, TOP and HB the next most popular. I only saw 4 Tamiyas including my own and 2 Xray.


I was in the 2nd heat of 4 for Q1 and it went quite well with a very safe round netting me 15th overall with 98% consistency. For the next heat I decided to scrub in a second set of new tyres, which turned out to be a mistake as most people ran used tyres which were faster. I still managed another clean run and with some setup changes suggested by Hiro I put in a 21 lap run and regraded to 8th in the B heat. Q3 and Q4 both went to plan as well, and I bettered my time from Q2 by over 7 seconds, however while I had managed 4 top 20 times I still dropped to 22nd overall.


Sunday was to see the 5th and final round of qualifying and I was still a chance of making the B final, with JJ Wang, Hei Fang Wang, Charlee P, and Chavit S all being very close on points. Unfortunately for me 2 laps into Q5 I traction rolled coming onto the straight and the others had excellent runs leaving me 21st and CQ, just in front of Chavit. The finals did not really go to plan, 3rd in C1 and DNF (spur gear) in C2.


Simon on the other hand had an EXCELLENT run, and with strong finishes in Q4 and Q5 he made it into the A main lining up 8th on the grid, awesome! The good thing about being in the C is that I could watch the A without having to marshal, and what a race it was by Simon picking his way through the carnage and finishing 3rd in A1, meanwhile Ronald took an easy win. A2 and Ronald again took the win to seal the overall victory – great work and a super nice guy! A2 was less good for Simon, finishing where he started. A3 went better for Simmo, with another great drive and midfield result meaning he finished 5th overall. An excellent achievement and well deserved.


The other classes were sensational to watch too with A1 of 12th scale being a standout race as well as the cool Japanese GT500 class A1. Check both these races out online, they are definitely worth watching.

With AOC run and done we had a day to see the sights of Tokyo – no where near enough time in hindsight. We made it to a load of hobby stores in Akihabara followed by shopping in Harajuku and Shibuya before heading to the airport for my flight home.

A few takeaways from my trip:
1. Yatabe Arena is amazing and their hospitality was great
2. There’s nothing like racing on carpet. It’s with regret that I hear AOC Melbourne is going to be on asphalt next year
3. It’s best not to ask what you are eating if you are out with Hiroshi
4. Overseas there are no speeches at presentations. Even Ronald just collected his trophy and went and stood on the podium
5. The lack of Tamiyas was a real worry
6. Canned hot coffee from a vending machine is surprisingly good

And now here are some random shots from around the place

Control tyre additive – the best idea in RC this year


There were stalls by Lee Speed, TOP, Yokomo, and Trion. Yokomo were showing their new BD7 2014 black edition as used by Ronald – a very sexy piece if kit!


Delicious food from Yatabe Arena Cafe


The on-road sport track – I wish we had one of these at home


The drift GP track. They held a huge drift meeting while AOC was on, seriously cool to watch but I think I’ll stick to touring cars


Masami’s trophy room including all his championship winning cars


My wife’s idea of heaven


Japan’s most famous intersection. It wasn’t quite peak hour so not as impressive as in the movies


Categories: Racing News

TRF417 Base Setup – Carpet

November 8, 2013 1 comment

And now for the carpet setup…


I have had very little time to run on carpet but my car was excellent at AOC Melbourne and hopefully it will be again at AOC Yatabe a fortnight from now.

A few changes from the asphalt setup, mostly to take away the bite that carpet gives:

  1. Front shocks more upright – this is track dependent but it improves turn-in and stops the car from bitting mid corner
  2. Lighter oils – as the grip comes up you may need to increase oils but I found 400 best for shocks and 2-3k in the rear diff. For traction roll try harder rear shock oil, 500
  3. Less camber change/higher front RC – again to take away front bite, improve direction change and also increases corner speed
  4. Springs – different springs for carpet. I like the Tamiya springs, but I will test more with Yokomo springs at AOC. For lower grip carpet a softer spring may be better like Tamiya blue front and yellow rear (kit springs)
  5. Wider track width (1mm wheel spacers) – again takes away some bite but also improves stability. This is track and grip dependent too but well worth playing with

Some rebound can also be helpful on carpet – it will again take away some grip particularly mid corner where the risk of traction roll is highest, and it will improve responsiveness even more. The last thing you want on carpet is a lazy car!

Categories: Uncategorized

TRF417 Base Setup – Asphalt

November 7, 2013 2 comments

I often get asked for set up tips, so I’m posting a basic setup that will work in most situations along with some tips to help tune the setup for different tracks. This stuff is my opinion only and based on my experience with Tamiya cars. I’m sure there is lots of other stuff that works but these are my “go to” tips for most track conditions

First the setup…


Now a few caveats… firstly this setup sheet is based on the 417V5 with HL dampers. I use HL dampers all the time because they are easy to build and I don’t find the aeration any faster. I chose the V5 because I use the V5 shock towers and bulkhead heights – I actually use 417X bulkheads shimmed 0.5mm to V5 height.

If you have a 417x and want to run this setup you can either shim all the bulkheads up 0.5mm or add an extra 0.5mm shims to the camber link heights on the bulkheads, so that would make them 4mm and 3.5mm respectively. Shocks positions will be 3 front 5 rear on the X towers. To put this setup on a 417, in addition to bulkhead heights you also need to add an extra 0.5mm on the front camber link due to the older style front kingpins which are 1mm higher than X/V5. The shock positions are different on the 417 towers too, 2 front 3 rear (if I remember correctly)


The first rule is that your car has to be flat (de-tweaked), balanced, and have equal shock lengths and sway bars. Look back at my 417X build to see how to build a perfect car. I use a hudy ultimate setup station for setting camber, toe and tweak, and tamiya droop blocks. You don’t need fancy stuff, toe can be set with verniers (and pythagorus), and camber can be done with a quick camber gauge and setup wheels – I do this when I don’t have time for the setup station. Droop gauge/blocks are a must!

I set droop with everything attached – sway bars, shocks etc – because that’s how the car will run on the track. Refer back to the first rule! This doesn’t work unless you’ve done the hard work in getting your car perfect!

Another important consideration is the size of different rubber touring car tyres. For example, Ride RE32 tyres are about 2mm larger in diameter than the REX34, and Sorex and Team Powers are in-between. You can’t swap between these tyres and keep the same settings. When you put on big tyres and reduce preload to get the same ride height, your camber and droop will increase and your roll centre will lower. When you put small tyres on the opposite will happen. The same goes for when you raise ride height for a bumpy or high speed track, for every 1mm of ride height you need to increase droop by the same amount to get similar handling.

Settings Explained

These are the most common adjustments I make to my car when tuning setup for a different tracks

Arm sweep: changing the FR split block to B will provide more overall steering and make the car steer more “round”. This is best for tracks with sweeping on power corners or corners.

Anti-dive: adding 0.5mm under the FR split block will increase high speed steering, improve braking, and make the car more stable on power at the expense of low speed/exit steering. This is best for high speed tracks with open corners, or tracks with heavy braking

Droop: for bumpy tracks run an extra 0.5mm droop over ride height – e.g. if you raise your ride height 0.5mm to stop scrubbing you should increase droop by 1mm so the car will not be as upset as easily by the bumps. Increasing front droop can improve on power traction but I prefer to increase the rear shock angle or to decrease the diff oil. Increasing rear droop to 4.5mm can improve mid corner steering off power

Diff: I play with the diff a lot. I always start with 3k (kyosho) at a new track. If I have enough on power grip and entry steering then I will go up which will give more on power steering and corner speed. If the car wants to spin when you apply power or is lazy turning in then you can go down. I’ve never had much luck with less than 2k because it feels like it diffs out, but I’m sure on some tracks or in slower classes lighter oil will work

Shock angles: for big tracks I lay the shocks down but for most tracks holes 4/5/6 are where you want to be (2,3,4 on X front tower). Laying the front shocks down will give more mid-exit steering at the expense of entry steering, laying the rears down will give more rotation and high speed steering at the expense of on power grip. If you can’t get on power without the car stepping out then stand up the rear shocks. If you really want to get funky you can flip the front arms and run hole 2 which will soften the spring and give more mid corner bite.

Springs: to be honest, on asphalt, if you aren’t fast with HPI silver you’re doing something wrong. If you can’t get HPIs then Ride Red are basically the same.

Shock oil: like springs 450 works in most situations. For higher grip or higher temps then go up in shock oil, or as grip increases at an event if your car gets worse then normally going up in oil will get it back to where it was. I almost never split the oil front to rear on asphalt, the exception is for tracks with high speed chicanes then sometimes a slightly harder front oil can work well.

Camber links: these are tricky things. First of all I never change the length on the bulkheads. As far as the height goes, normally I don’t touch the rear but I do change the front quite a lot. The rear camber link with 3mm inside and out is near enough to zero camber change, so your camber will stay static at 2deg through the entire roll of the car. The front at 0.5mm/3.5mm is a little camber change, so the front will increase slightly in grip as the car rolls – perfect for that bit of mid corner rotation For more steering you can add more camber gain, so dropping the inside to 3mm. If the car is biting mid corner or has mega steering you can add shims to 4mm. If the car feels stuck or over gripped, on SOME tracks raising the links to 4mm front and rear can make the car faster – I normally find this is a little strange, it feels like double the corner speed but the car is slower to change direction and it wants to “keep turning” on power, and even when you put a lap together it’s rarely faster. Again this is just my experience.

Body: for asphalt I normally use LTC-R mounted 6mm forward (6mm of bumper foam). On layouts with many hairpins or direction changes the Mazdaspeed 6 can be better. I haven’t tried bodies from other brands

Suspension blocks: I’ve put this right down here because it’s the first thing that people change but it should be one of the last. C/C XA/E should work in most situations. For spec classes, less toe can provide more top end, in which case I would go to XA/D. For large tracks a wider car can be faster, so D/D X/E is an option. I almost never run narrow like the last worlds set up, I think that only worked on that track with those tyres and no additive. The one time I used something similar was on tyres that were only good for one run. A narrower rear end can increase rotation in some cases, so C/C XB/D, that can be a bit scary to drive though! Also for a bumpy track less toe is better.

Roll centre: another setting I rarely change, I find 0/0, 0.5/0.5 should work in most situations, or anti-dive as mentioned above. If the grip is high then raising all the blocks 0.5mm can be good, and if you have plenty of steering or the front end feels lazy then just raising the front blocks 0.5mm can also help. For super high grip 0.75 or 1mm of anti-dive is an option

Ackerman: again something I rarely change. You can get more aggressive entry steering by using less shims, or more smooth entry steering and more exit shimming by using more shims. On the RB conversion I use 4mm shims.

Wheelbase: I find this wheelbase setting is pretty good for most tracks. If the car has plenty of steering and is loose on power than a longer front wheelbase will help. If the car lacks corner speed or is “snap rotating” then a longer rear wheelbase can help I normally only go an extra 0.5mm either direction

Sway bars: I’ve never had any luck with changing the front bar! The rear is a more frequent adjustment, I use the 1.3mm to increase stability and the 1.1mm if I need the car to rotate. 1.2mm is still the best for most tracks

That’s enough for tonight, let me know if there are any other settings you would like explained.

Categories: Setups, Tips & Tricks

AOC Round #2 – Melbourne, Australia

July 8, 2013 1 comment

It was a HUGE weekend of racing this weekend with the inaugural AOC event in Melbourne. This was the first time an international event like this had come to Australia so the entry list was impressive. All the top locals from all over the country were there and we were joined by international drivers Ronald Volker, Keven Hebert, and JJ Wang. The event was also the first time an Australian event was being held on CRC race carpet, so apart from the 3 internationals very few of us had ever run on the rug before.

The first day groove, no filter #aoc2013

Having only ever heard Scotty Ernst commentating on videos, it was a bit surreal to have him there in person. He runs an AMAZING event, it’s definitely the slickest show I’ve ever seen with top notch organisation helped by the assistance of a hoard of volunteers from the SERCCC club and other clubs from the Melbourne area.

#scottyernst laying down the law #aoc2013

I put my car down on day 1 with a guessed setup and it was actually surprisingly good first run, the carpet was green and there was no groove but I was able to lap cleanly from the outset. As the grip came up the car kept getting better and better so I focussed mainly on getting my power right and learning the track.

The pits half full on day 1 #aoc2013

Day 2 was 4 rounds of controlled practice with the best 3 consecutive laps to determine the seeding order for qualifying. My car was still really nice to drive and I was able to seed 6th for qualifying. As the grip came up the only changes I made were to harden up the diff from 2k to 3k, increase the rear droop slightly, and lower the height of the front camber link to get the car to react quicker.

Fist pump! #aoc2013

In round 1 of qualifying I put in a decent run to 7th on the grid, but not making 25 laps in the cold early conditions I knew the time would not stand. The next run I tried a softer spring and was on pace for a good time but I had a roll costing 1.5 seconds so even with a 25 lap run I dropped  down to 11th overall – rocket round is dangerous like that. My next run was better but not perfect, I was able to make 25 laps and bump back into the top 10 but only 9th which meant the 4th round was going to be tense! As the lower heats ran many of the people who could knock me out faltered, but my time was slightly bettered so I was dropped to 10th on the grid before my last run. It wasn’t to matter because I delivered in the last run, bettering my previous time by over 3 seconds and jumping up the order to start 6th for the amains, behind Ronald, Keven, Tim, Simon, Ryan and in front of Ari, Ben, JJ, and Sandy. Not bad for a privateer!

The TC Mod A Main boys hard at work along with Scotty's great calling.... #aoc2013

I was so happy to make top 10 I really didn’t care how the mains turned out, I just wanted to drive the best I could and not take anyone out and I mostly succeeded. A1 my car was AWESOME, I followed Ryan around for a few laps while he was being held up by Simon who had lost pace by running on a fresher set of tyres. Ryan went for a pass on Simon but it didn’t come off, which let me sweep around into 5th and gave me a better line coming onto the straight to pass Simon for 4th. Simon dropped back into a 3 way battle with Ryan and JJ which let me pull a gap and cruise to the finish. The next final was no so good, my driving was not as clean and after having a close battle with Ari I dropped back to 8th and that’s how I finished. A3 again was not so great, there was a crash at the start which I got caught up in and my body tucked. I was able to come back to 7th, which meant I finished 7th overall, JJ taking 6th from 8th on the grid with a 4th and a 5th. A great result for and a real pleasure to race wheel-to-wheel with a field of world class drivers.

Chuffed! #aoc2013

Here is the setup I ran

TRF417 setup – craig mcphee – AOC Melbourne 20130707

Categories: Racing News

RROC finals

May 27, 2013 Leave a comment


Finals day at RROC 2013 started out cooler and overcast, something I was glad about because my car had been better in the cool and lower grip conditions so far. The day started out with invite on a track that had seen very little practice that morning so was maximum loose.


The invite guys have controlled tyre prep. To me this is an awesome idea since it provided a level playing field for all drivers but also gave them the grip of traction compound. It was not a hassle at all for the drivers or officials so I think other events should take notice. The tech process in general worked great all weekend, much better than it does in Australia.


By the time my heat came up the sun was out and the grip levels were up. So far I had a 7th, a DNF, and a 4th so my goal was to keep it clean and lock in an a-main position. After some more advice from Marc I made a few small changes and the balance of car was greatly improved but still lacked corner speed. I was still able to win my heat and 6th overall for the round gave me 7th on the a-main grid. I had also reverted to my refreshed 4.5 which gave me back the power I was looking for.


For the first main I went to a harder diff and I could tell from the warm up lap that I had a car that was going to be competitive. I played it cautious into the first corner but tagged Steve Weiss and waited while he was marshaled. I quickly passed again and took off after the leaders who were battling hard. The car was by far the best it had been and I was driving great to boot. I passed another couple cars and was closing fast on Shaun C when he got loose coming onto the front straight, and I went up the inside glancing his car as I did. Charlie must not have seen Shaun slide out because he called me to give the place back which I did, next corner Shaun overshot and I was up into 4th or 5th. Next lap THERMAL! Disaster, the same motor as in qualifying. Still I set the 2nd fastest lap and my fastest of the event.


For A2 I changed to my spare speedo and borrowed a different 4.5 off. Viktor also told me my car was chattering on power, so Marc gave me some driveshaft blades to use in the front instead of the steel diff outdrives which were getting a bit worn. This gave me even more steering, and after a better start I picked my way through into 4th with a big gap behind me. TQ man Ethan caught a dome and I was now into 3rd and closing down on 2nd. My car was clearly better and I was right on their tail, unfortunately a bit too tight as I was caught out exiting the chicane and again had contact dropping me right down the field. It was looking pretty grim until the guys in front started battling and Lex got together with another car allowing me to pass both of them then put a move on another car on the last lap to take 4th. Hairy stuff!


I had used 2nd run tyres for a2, hoping that fresh boots would help me get thought in a3. After collisions in both mains I was way too cautious into the first corner and fell right to the back of the field along with another fast car. We battled close for many laps while slowly catching the cars in front, eventually I was able to put past and take off but I had lost 3/4 a lap on the leaders. Next up was Scuba Steve again, and he was keeping it super tight making it near impossible to get by. Eventually I made it past, but only progressed as far as 7th, which left me 7th overall. Ethan took the leg win to seal the victory – I’m really happy for him, he’s a nice guy and was fastest all qualifying so well deserved. As a consolation prize, I set the fastest lap of the final and my first 14s lap of the event.

In invite Marc started the day with a win to add to his 4 from day 1, with Viktor only managing 3rd. Paul L won also, so Marc was firming as favourite with Viktor, Paul and Chrissy the only ones with a chance of denying him. Rounds 6, 7, and 8 saw Akio come out and romp the field with 3 straight wins to put him up into 2nd overall! I tried to congratulate him, but he doesn’t speak English – I think he got the jist though.

The last run of invite saw a great battle between Marc and Juho, which ended with Marc taking the inside line into the amoeba and a drag race to the line. Juho kept it pinned and the cars glanced with the associated doing a wheelie the length of the straight then plowing into the boards. Marc took ended up taking the place by a thousandth of a second or something like that. Both drivers came off the stand laughing and high fiving, and afterwards Juho joked that they had 3 prototype cars, but “now we have 2”.

Viktor had a few bad runs, as did Paul and Chrissy which meant Marc took the win, Akio 2nd and Viktor in 3rd. A great result for team tamiya!


With RROC now in the books we pack up and say goodbye to a heap of new and old friends. Everyone was incredibly nice and friendly, and massively helpful! Here’s my mate Sean Williams,, one of the nicest guys in the pits and a great racer, he didn’t have the event he was hoping for but that didn’t take the smile off his face.


This is Hiro who is actually the hot bodies team manager. He spent the whole weekend helping people, myself included, and still managed 2nd place in the mod b-main.


Here’s the invite scoreboard. A lower turnout than previous years, but a class field nonetheless. You can see Marc’s domination, and how Akio had a near flawless day 2. For Chrissy it all went wrong in rounds 1 and 2 and despite having a really fast car he couldn’t come back from 2 DNFs.


Here’s the “poker chip”, which besides looking cool is the second apex of the chicane which is the hardest corner on the track, if you had good steering you could pass on the short front straight on the way in, the curb on the way out is really unforgiving though!


No trophy for 7th, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to take it home anyway with my luggage allowance.


The mod a-main minus a couple out of shot. Big thanks to Lex Tyler for the loan battery for a3. I asked why his body had a sunroof painted on it, if it was to see his speedie or something like that, “nah man, that’s just how I roll”. Classic!

I was beaten by xrays and associateds… Just like racing at home really!


Tyler Vik – no explanation needed


The champ! Near flawless all weekend and so helpful. Thanks again Mr Rheinard!


I had met Marc, Viktor, Kiyo, Juho and Keven at TITC in 2012 but this was the first time I’d met Chrissy and he is a really friendly guy and an unreal racer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him taking more trophies this year at ETS and other events


Invite top 10. Well done guys!


Invite podium, GO TAMIYA!!!


The fastest cars of the Reedy Race. The pace of the tamiyas had a lot of people scratching their heads.


I couldn’t resist taking this photo.


Categories: Racing News

RROC qualifying

May 26, 2013 2 comments


On Saturday RROC officially kicked off, and as most meets do it began with a drivers meeting. It was good to see that it is just as hard rounding the drivers up here in America for a drivers meeting as is is back home.


After the formalities were done a guy came out and played the national anthem on the sax. There’s just something about the US anthem and hearing it really got me pumped up to go race rc cars! It was made better that the Aussie flag was also blowing gloriously in the wind.


First to hit the track was invite. I’m not going to cover much of the invite, you can watch all the videos online, but I’ll mention the memorable stuff. From the outset it was clear the tamiyas were fast, as was Krapp and Paul. Everyone else was playing catch up. The first round was an all tamiya affair with Marc and Viktor both taking victories. Chrissy got tagged at the first corner, then while battling his way back clocked the boards and broke his car. He persisted for a few laps but then broke it even worse.


On to open, and things didn’t go exactly as planned for me. Grip had come up a lot from the mornings open practice and my car was really locked in with no corner speed. Early nerves also meant I had a roll and lost 5 seconds, meaning I would finish 7th overall. For round 2 I changed to the harder bottom deck and things were going well until something started binding under power causing the car to spin out. Closer inspection showed I had not fully tightened the bulkhead clamp at the rear, so I cost myself a potential top 3 run.

The second round of invite saw more trouble for Chrissy, not noticing an issue with his driveshaft from the first race incident meant he was a non starter. Another win for Marc and one for Paul. The third round of invite saw one of the best races I have ever watched with an epic battle out front between Akio, Chrissy, and Marc. Marc started well back, and slowly picked his way through, while Akio did an awesome job leading out front. Chrissy in 2nd had a faster car, but Akio didn’t put a foot wrong. Their battle allowed Marc to catch up, and a great 3 way race followed. Marc got by Chrissy and then past Akio, with Chrissy also making a late move to take 2nd. Akio would be disappointed with 3rd after leading for 4 mins, but man did he do a great job.


For the last round of open for the day a regrade based on fastest run was done. After my mediocre rounds I was BQ, which at least meant I had the number 1 on my car and a clear track for the run. My focus was to put in a clean run and I was able to do so setting a reasonable 24 lap run. My car was again not the best in the highest grip of the meet so far, but it was good enough for 4th overall. Tomorrow I’m hoping to zero in on a better setup for the higher grip conditions.


The last round of invite saw more great racing with Chrissy and Marc again going head to head. This time Krapp was out in front with Marc hot on his heels, and the pair gapped the field and threw down some amazing lap times. Chrissy’s car had mental steering, but Marc’s was super planted with colossal corner speed. At 4 mins in, Marc made his move into the chicane and took the win. Chrissy was clearly frustrated afterwards as you would expect, but again it was an awesome display of racecraft by both of them.


In the other invite heat Viktor took the win in a messy race where he had to fight back from nearly the back of the pack. Vik’s car is super fast, but it’s rotating a lot harder than Marc’s so it looks a handful to drive at times – luckily, our boy Viktor has some skill to handle it!


Tonight I capped off the day with a visit to the Cheesecake Factory in the Macy’s building in union square. There was a 1hr 20min line for a table but we were able to quickly find a seat at the bar and eat there. Our waiter recommended this chicken pasta dish and it was OFF DA HOOK! Not sure it carried the heart foundation tick of approval, but sure got mine.


Categories: Racing News