Report by Ben Cosgrove Continuing our campaign at running RTR buggies in a national series we visited the Deerdale track in Nottingham on the 12th August. We once again asked some drivers to make special guest appearances to use the RTR cars and this meeting we had Graham Alsop and John Holmes answer the call. Graham used the Trophy Buggy Flux and John ran the Vorza Flux. As usual Ben Cosgrove and Terry Atkinson completed the team line-up with another Trophy Buggy Flux and Vorza Flux respectively.
We had 4 rounds of qualifying planned with 15 minute finals awaiting. The entry turnout was a little on the low side due to the Euros taking place and 'borrowing' some of the top nitro drivers like Boots, Willets and Bloomfield (Well done Darren on your Euros win!). We had a 4 minute practice bolted on to round 1 of qualifying to help the drivers to learn the layout. The track is an all Astroturf surface utilising many different types of Astroturf which results in a very high grip and difficult surface to drive on. There are many jumps and you never have a rest period on the lap especially as the main straight is relatively short. Lap times were around the 44 second mark so concentration was key to a good run. This is truly a track where you have to be controlled and accurate in your approach to get in a rhythm and stay fast. Qualifying went very well for the team with Graham taking overall TQ, John second and Ben third. All 3 RTR buggies were performing flawlessly and all 3 drivers were covered by less than 2 seconds after 6 minutes on fastest runs! We were the only 3 drivers who could make 9 laps and run sub 44 second laps in qualifying. Terry managed a good couple of runs to make the top 10 in 8th position for the final. Graham had a great final checking out on lap 1 and never looking back. John and Ben however had some interesting incidents with lapped cars and would both drop down the order only to push hard and get back up into the podium positions. On the last lap all 3 drivers made it across for the extra lap and were all on the same lap. It looked like Graham had won with John in second and Ben in third however John suddenly stopped with 3 corners to go and Ben managed to take the second spot. We traced the problem back to the LiPo cut off being at 3.4V per cell on the ESC which is designed to protect the battery and safely stop the vehicle. Terry bought the Vorza back home in a very respectable 7th position after being a s high as 4th at the beginning. It was a fantastic day for the team with a total domination around the technical track. We had lots of fun and also got a little bit sun burnt. Both Graham and John really like the electric class of racing as it is not too different to the nitro cars in terms of handling and lap times, great for going to a track and practicing by yourself or doing tyre testing to save your engine or to get around tracks noise restrictions. I think you may see these guys at an electric national again.