CML Winter Series Final Round
RC8.2 and Reedy 121 VR take the CML Winter Series title. Craig Drescher reports...
What a beautiful day. Mainly because it was my birthday and the sun was shining, everybody was smiling and the guys running the 8.2 were fantastic all day. We figured out some useful hints and tips and now the series is finally over we have everything figured out:-) Better late than never right? We had a staggering 7 cars from 14 in the final and some stand out performances throughout the day.
Neil had already won the series with a perfect score so this race was a PR exercise for him but he wanted to continue his dominance like he always does. Neils the only guy to dominate Sloppy at Stoke this winter and thats a feat in itself against the astro master. Another stella performance for Neil this weekend and need I say it- TQ and the win by 25 seconds.
Stoke is a tricky track to get right with little flow, lots of secret lines and a mix of high and very high bite astroturf. The track flows better when your out on your own but when your in traffic it can be difficult. Passing can be an issue because its a tight track and many of the braking zones are down hill, off camber and bumpy so you get lots of weight transfer, the nose sits on the floor and usually what happens is the car bottoms out, gets light and out of shape and flips. This is usually what happens when your trying to pass somebody. Many times you see the chasing car roll over the top of the car its chasing which is weird. Stoke has a habit of making the best driver look very average at times and you can loose your mojo very quickly. Its a precision drivers track and very difficult to get right. Placing the car in the right place at the right speed is essential and overdriving is common to try and make up ground but so is crashing in trying to do so. Its rewarding when you do get it right but a killer if you don't. The car set-up is so important here for corner speed and consistency but it also needs to work well over the skip jumps and bumps. If your car isn't set-up well the track can be very frustrating and difficult to drive.
I'm told that Stoke will soon be doing work on the track to iron out the bumps and improve the jumps to make it a more fluent and enjoyable track to drive.
With Craggy and Howells taking all of the top ten fastest laps between them it was a sweet day for AE and Reedy. Howells was desperate to get that last podium position from Taylor in the final to make it an AE 1,2,3 with a gallant fight at the back end of the main but he came up short by 2 seconds. Mortimer having done little running at the stoke track put in a blinding performance to bump up to the A in 14th spot and end up 8th overall. Jon Griffiths finally got his head around his 8.2 to put him straight in the final and enjoy his days racing. For me the performance of the day went to Lloyd Pitt who was awesome all day. Qualifying 8th and finishing 10th with some good pace was incredible and he's looking better than ever...
Mitch Booth had a good days racing to make the final but a mechanical failure put him out of the final when he looked settled in to take 5th overall. Matt Lawrence and Clive Maland also had a good days racing but were unlucky not to make the final in what proved to be a very competitive day. All in all I think everybody was happy with the days performance and nobody can deny the popularity and performance of the AE team. All that hard work and effort finally looks like its paying off and the knowledge and information available for the guys is now HUGE. Working with such a good group of guys makes set-up adjustments and information flow much quicker and easier. The cars get up to speed much quicker on a day and always get better as the day goes on.
The PRO RC boys were looking especially smart with their new race wear and logo's on show. It looked impressive.
More pack in the front made the car much easier to drive.
Flatter profile tires took away side bite with the aggressive Hobao Angle spikes. Full tires are actually easier to drive than cut tires. None aggressive direction is better.
Wing mounted further back makes the car more stable.
lighter oil makes the car easier to drive and jump better.
Toe in on the front wheels is better on high bite astro turf. Takes away initial steering
More camber is also better on high bite astroturf
Heavier front diff oil is better when the track is dry
lighter centre diff oil is better when the track is bumpy
Attached are two different set-ups. Neils winning dry set up which is more aggressive, click here, and Iain McCallum's mellow car set-up which everybody loved driving after the race, here.
CML would like to say a big thanks to eveyone at Stoke Nitro Racing Club for putting on another fantastic series. Cheers guys.