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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

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

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

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