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Race report by John Van Beers click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
The Ultimate Open, hosted by the Taranaki Radio Control Car Club in New Plymouth is one of the longest running annual events on the New Zealand racing calendar. It is unique in the fact that both IC and electric cars are present at the same meeting. This year’s event attracted about 100 entries with the biggest class being stock touring with approximately 30 entries. In New Zealand our stock touring class is run with 540 silver can motors and a maximum battery limit of 1500mah. It is a great formula and makes for some very exciting racing. Cars need to be very free in the drive train and need to be geared just right for maximum efficiency, not forgetting that a smooth driving style is essential.

Saturday/Qualifying click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
Stock was split into 5 heats, each heat consisting of 6 cars, which gave drivers a fair chance of posting a good qualifying time over 3 rounds. The pace was hot but unfortunately so was the track so qualifying times were about 10-12 seconds off track record pace. The local guys were setting the pace exchanging positions within the top 5 spots throughout the day. Going into the third round I was sitting in third position and hadn’t yet achieved the elusive 16 laps. After studying the split times from the previous races, it was apparent that I was losing valuable time from about the 3 minute mark on due to excessive heat build-up, so I decided to gear down and subsequently got 16 laps and the TQ spot by ? a second over fellow Xray driver Leon Dravitzki.

Sunday/Finals click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
I was reasonably happy with the T2 in qualifying but the car was very twitchy in the turns so I decided to give the car less castor, more camber and a fraction of toe-out. The car was now a lot easier to drive and far more consistent than before. Race one was a bit of a lottery to say the least with many pile-ups. When the dust had settled Leon had taken the victory with his T2 while I managed a comeback from last place to take 2nd.
The second race wasn’t much better than the first but this time it was my own fault. I turned too soon on the second corner and rolled. Lucky for me many of the other driver drivers had traffic issues, which enabled me to catch up and take the win but it was only a 15 lapper as opposed to Leon’s 16 lapper in the first race.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
For the last race I knew that a clean start and crash-free race was required and that’s exactly what happened but was it enough? Yes, but only just, as combined results were extremely close with only 1 1/2 seconds separating 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The T2 proved to be very efficient for stock racing and managed to take the 2 top spots.

Final Positions

1st John Van Beers Xray T2
2nd Leon Dravitzki Xray T2

3rd Murray Hodges
4th Robert Watson Xray T2
5th Mal Southgate Xray T2
6th Glynn Danaher Xray T1FK04

7th Chris Wischnowsky
8th Antony Gilroy
9th Liang Chen
10th Scott Kendall


John Van Beers Set-up sheet.