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Liam Galvin reports on behalf of Elliott Boots RC

BRCA 1/8th Rallycross National Round 3 – Slough

So up this weekend for us was our 3rd Round of the Nitro 1/8th series, and this time we would be visiting Slough (after a change from the planned Wakefield venue).

The weekend began early on Saturday, packing and loading the car and heading to the track for 7:30. Once at the track, we setup our pit area and finished off the car, with just the exhaust to fit and make sure the radio settings were all correct. After this was done, we took a quick walk of the track to see what lay ahead for the day. The track looked like it had a fine layer of dust on top, which would make the track slick for the first round of practice. We decided we would wait until the first few heats had been on track before making a decision on what tyres we would test first.

rd3brca

Practice:

Round 1: Onto first practice and we started with the setup we had ran the last time we visited the track, which was for the SRS meeting last month. We chose to fit a set of Proline Blockade in M3 compound for this practice with the track still being very loose and dust. We hit the track and the car and tyres looked to be working very well. We finished the heat and took a look at the times, and we were suprised to see we were over 10 seconds ahead of the next quickest car! Onto round 2.

Round 2: The track was now starting to clear the dust, but still now appeared to be getting bumpy, as the surface was beginning to break up a little in some places. We chose to fit a set of the new Proline Suppresors in M3 as the edge of the tyre would help it not catch as bad in the ruts. Once again the whole car, engine and tyre package worked great, being quickest again! Heading to qualifying feeling confident.

Qualifying:

Round One: So we headed into qualifying, fitting a set of Proline Suppresor in X3 as the temperature was now starting to increase, and the harder compound should help stop the tyre moving around so much, and make it less edgy. The run got underway and we took up the lead of the heat, on track to take TQ. Part way through the heat something looked slightly amiss with the car looking to be doing some strange things, running on and bogging. The car then cut on track, grabbing it and heading back to pit lane to try and fire it back up, however it wouldn’t go. We headed back to the pit table to inspect the issue, and noticed a fuel line had split! If only it had happened in practice, but its one of those things in racing. Onto the next round.

Round 2: With the temperature still rising and track track now clear of most of the dust, we decicded that we would run Proline Blockade in X2, as with the higher temperature the tyres were starting to move around alot more on the track surface. We headed out and began our run, sitting at the front of the field, until a small bobble in a rough section of the track put us onto our roof, however the marshall point was having to watch two sections of track, and had a car to marshall on the other section, then getting us, which would result in a big loss of time for us. We still managed to bring it home 2nd overall for the round, knowing that the crash had cost us dearly. The track was now getting even rougher, so for round 3 we decicded some changes to the car would be in order.

Round 3: For this round we decided first off that we would change to Proline Diamond Back in X2, as the edge on the Blockade had make the car slightly edgy and the Diamond Back would hopefully stop it catching in the ruts. Next up we changed the car, the track surface was now very simular to the Euro’s warm up track had been, so we fitted the setup from that event to the car. Fitting hard wishbones front and rear, 16 degreee caster blocks, changing the tower shock positions front and rear, and going up in the rear shock oil, alot of changes be we knew the car should work well. Hitting the track for the run it was obvious the package was now dialled in and working perfectly. Having a near clear run, with just a few traffic hold ups, we were rewarded with the first 9 lap run of the day (and only), and TQ for the round, feeling confident now with everything working as we wanted.

Round 4: All we would do for this round would be chack everything over on the car, glue up a fresh set of the Proline Diamond Back in X2 again and hit the track. Once again everything was working great, a small bobbly in one of the roughest sections of the track we leave us requiring a marshall, the only other hold up beign a little traffic, be would would once again take TQ for the round (missing out on another 9 lap run due to needing a marshall).

This would leave us with TQ heading into the next day and the final round of qualifying, and after looking at the points we realised we could not be beated to TQ, so had the TQ for the meeting and the all important extra 3 points for taking TQ.

We then spent a little time still at the track catching up with some people before heading back to the house for a nice relaxed evening, watching the Moto GP race from earlier in the day, then getting an early night ready for the next day:

Sunday:

We awoke at 6:00am, greeted by a slightly dull looking morning with it appearing to have rained overnight, but we would have to wait till arriving at the track to see what weather they had, had overnight. We arrived at the track, and although they had a little rain overnight the track had already soaked it in, and was looking as it had the day before.

Qualifying
Round 5: With TQ already ours we decided that we would test a different tyre for the last qualifier to help make our decision for the mains. We fitted a set of Proline Fugitive in X1 to see how the different compound would work. We hit the track and it was clear to see the tyre compound was too hard, catching the car on the ruts and bumps making it nervous and resulting in a few errors. We would however still take TQ for the round even after the errors.

We decided that we would go back to Proline Diamond Back X2 for the mains. While preparing the car ready for the Semi however the weather took an unexpected turn, with the heavens opening soaking the track and changing conditions. The rain passed and the track began to dry once again though and come the Semi finals was totally dry once again.

Semi Final: We would be lining up on pole in the A semi final with a fresh set of Proline Diamond Back in X2 fitted. The main got underway and we began to create a gap from the cars behind, pushing to get a good time. We would have a nice clean uneventful Semi, and would bring it home for the win and would also have the fastest time which would lines us up on pole for the main final.

The conditions were still changing and the track appeared to be getting back to how it had been during qualifying, as in the semi the car didn’t feel the same as qualifying but we thought the track would come to us in the main.

Main Final: So we lined up on pole, sticking with Proline Diamond Back in X2. We would be doing 7:30 stops with our REDS R5T V3.0, not wanting to risk 9:00 with the changing conditions. The main set off and we got away to a clean start, but part way into the first lap, a rut caught us out and rolled the car onto its roof, needing a Marshall, and dropping us down to 7th. The next few minutes we battled through the pack back to 2nd behind Bloomfield, both making our first fuel stops then getting back out on track for battle to commence. For the next 30 minutes we would battle hard with the lead changing between us, with the track catching us both out a couple of times. Getting close to our last fuel stop, we were still in second, but Bloomfield made a mistake in front catching the pipe, being so close we were unable to avoid him and got caught on his car. Two back markers the also got tangled up. Trying to get out of the mess, we would suffer, with the flywheel getting caught on one of the cars rear wing and shutting the engine off! We got the car back to the pits and fired back up and out onto track, but we had lost a lap and we’re now sitting 3rd. We battle hard to try and catch back up to 2nd but the gap was took big with the remaining time. We would end up 3rd at the end. Heartbreaking result as we were looking to be in with a very good chance of the win. A freak incident that ended our chances.

We think we are still level leading the championship with Cragg, but until official results get posted we are unsure.

Thanks as always to all our sponsors as without you we wouldn’t be where we are:Kyosho, Proline, Reds, Tekin, Byron, Sanwa, Bittydesign, Maugraphix, LRP Batteries, SMD, Inside Line Racing, Ghea, Radio Race Car International, RDRP, JC Racing, Racers Design Products, Muc-Off.

Up next we head to Herts for the next round of the Truggy/E-Buggy Nationals. Till next time, enjoy!

Thanks for reading as always.

Team Boots

(Written by Liam Galvin – Mechanic)