Western Australian Challenge Cup Rd1

This past weekend saw Kyle Francis travel back to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia for the first round of the WA Challenge Cup, the track where last year Kyle Francis took home the Tripple state crown, winning EP8 Buggy, Nitro Buggy and Nitro Truggy all in the same meet. The track in Kalgoorlie is some 600km from the capital of Western Australia, Perth. After the drive up on the Friday the track was open from 6pm for drivers to get some practice in on the new layout. The unique red dirt surface was in excellent shape with the committee and members of the Goldfields Radio Controlled Model Car Club keen to show off their new improved track and facilities.

With over half the drivers coming up Saturday morning a further hour of practise was run just before racing commenced at 12.30pm. The format for the 76 entries was 5 rounds of qualifying on Saturday afternoon/ evening, followed by lower finals and semi finals and mains on the Sunday.

Qualifying was run hard and fast to get through the 40 races at a reasonable time on the Saturday night. Kyles EB 48.3 Sweep tired Electric Buggy was on fire, taking all 5 qualifiers and therefore TQ in a dominating display. His Tekno 48.3, Novarossi Powered, Sweep Tired, Highest controlled buggy was dialled, taking 4 firsts and a second to TQ Nitro Buggy! A great battle with Steve Smith in Nitro Truggy saw Kyle take the first qualifier in his Fusion X powered Tekno 48.3. Steve then won the next 2 Qualifiers which meant Kyle had to win the 4th Qualy to keep a clean sweep of TQ’s. At the end of the 4th Qualifier Kyle had triumphed by the slimmest of margins- 1second! With 2 wins apiece the final qualifier would determine the TQ. Kyle opened with a cracker first lap and never looked back, winning the race and taking the Nitro Truggy TQ. All 3 of Kyles Tekno cars were in a class of their own, more than capable absorbing the changing track conditions.

Sunday saw the first of 3 legs in EP8 start with Kyle out of P1, a clean getaway saw him race out to a 20 second lead by the 5 minute mark of the 7 minute first leg, unfortunately a driveline issue slowed him down with second rounding him up with seconds to spare. Next was the Nitro Buggy Semi, once again out of P1 Kyle raced away to record the win, unfortunately a couple of holdups with lapped cars meant his time was slightly slower than the first semi therefore he would start the main out of P2. Leg 2 of EP8 was up next and a rough start dropped Kyle down the field, a fine drive back to second at the end ensured he would still be in the hunt for the overall win.

Next up Nitro Truggy Amain. Out of P1 Kyle had made a few changes to the Tekno NT48.3, to get more car speed and did they work! At the end of the 40 minute main Kyle had won by 3 laps! Leg 3 of EP8 and Kyle needed the win to have any chance of taking the overall. A fresh set of Sweeps bolted on and away he went, with nothing to lose he recorded his fastest laps and best consistency for the weekend in EP8 to take the win and the Overall combined win. 2 from 2 so far so good!

Nitro Buggy Amain time. The top 3 drivers, Logan Bruecher, Steve Smith and Kyle all battled hard for the first 10 minutes with none getting the ascendancy for more than a lap or 2 before another got to the lead. A flame out to Bruecher meant it was down to a 2 car race which went on for the remaining 30 minutes. Steve mounted many challenges getting to within 4 seconds of Kyle, but in the end Kyle held fast to take the win and the clean sweep.

Results: 

EP8 TQ and 1st overall.
Nitro Truggy TQ and 1st place in the Amain.
Nitro Buggy TQ and 1st place in the Amain.