xrayxrayHome XRAY homeXRAY X-shopXRAY X-forumRCAmerica
supportsearchcontactguestbooksite map
newsproductsaboutusworldwide headlines

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Race report by Timothy Lee
The 2010 Serpent Tour Australia, organized by Walter RC Hobby City was recently held at the John Grant International raceway home of the 2001 IFMAR 1/8 scale I.C Circuit World Championships and the New South Wales Radio Control Racing Car club. The Track surface is excellent offering awesome traction and extremely low tire wear as a result of its recent resurface. The track has a really nice grass infield and undercover pit facilities.

For this event organizers decided make use of the new track layout options and deviate from the original layout which provides and extra short straight at the end of the sweeper and a fast open chicane after the esses. This layout is a little nicer and more flowing than the original layout for the touring car classes but is a challenge for 1/8 scale as it tends to be harder on engines due to the extended sweeper being able to be taken at wide open throttle.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Entry numbers for the three day event (one day practice and two days racing) were good especially in Nitro Open Tourer, EP Super Stock, and EP Stock all attracting a stronger mid-field than usual. XRAY was represented in Nitro Open Touring, EP Modified, EP Super Stock, EP Stock and 1/12 scale, I elected to race EP Modified and Nitro Open.

On Friday I aimed just to focus on the T3 Chassis setup as I already had a good power package. On the NT-1 I knew the car was close but I would be wasting my time on set-up chasing the track this early. I just focused on the engine, clutch, pipe, 2-speed, gearing and importantly making the required 5 – minutes for qualifying which was always going to be hard with 5 minute qualifiers. At the end of practice I was pretty happy with the run time I could get from my Novarossi engine even though I had to run a pretty heavy clutch to just make 5 minutes but I could already feel that I would be battling with a little bit of understeer.

I tried a few tuned pipes but I could not make run time as I think that the newer generation is more designed for the INS box which we do not run here in Australia yet. After practice I was very happy with the T3 and felt pretty confident going into qualifying.

In Nitro Tourer at the start of qualifying I had some problems with the engine going a little bit rich throughout the runs in combination with some bad understeer which I had managed to mostly dial out by the end of the qualifying rounds by changing body shells, decreasing the rear toe and changing to thicker rear diff oil. There was still a little bit of understeer going into the final but the car was better now and my lap times were getting faster every round.

The setup was much harder to find than usual, I put this down the electric cars on the track making a big difference to the available grip with the use tyre additives. After the changes I finished up Second behind Ric Bartolozzi who dominated qualifying. Other XRAY cars in the final were Alex Kousass (7th) who was very fast but struggled with fuel economy, also both Tommy Lee (8th) and Joel Casey (10th) bumping up from the B final into the A main with their NT-1’s.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Nitro Open Tourer Qualifying:
1. Ric Bartolozzi
2. Timothy Lee XRAY NT1
3. Kyle Hazell
4. Darrin Campbell
5. Chris Reade
6. Andrew Bardetta
7. Alex Kousass XRAY NT1
8. Tommy Lee XRAY NT1

9. David Chen
10. Joel Casey XRAY NT1

In Modified entries were a little down but I had some good racing with multiple Australian champions Simon Nicholson and Darrin Campbell. I was really happy with the T3 and held TQ for the first three rounds of qualifying until the fourth round when I could not make use of the cooler track conditions when of my premounted tyres became unglued in the first few laps and Simon was able to take the TQ by two seconds. I could not better my time on Sunday while Simon put in two more fast runs.

EP Modified Qualifying:
1. Simon Nicholson
2. Timothy Lee XRAY T3
3. Darrin Campbell
4. Chris Hamilton
5. Matthew Kellett
6. Walter Ly

XRAY also had a strong presence in the other EP Classes. Firstly in the Stock class where Grant Booth who despite missing the practice day and the first day of qualifying was fast straight away setting the pace and taking the TQ with his T3 even with the limited opportunity of only two rounds of qualifying remaining on the final day.

In the Super Stock class Bradd Vercoe in a similar situation not attending the practice day or the first day of qualifying managed to qualify second on the grid with his XRAY T3. There was also a small field of 1/12 scale where Brett Douce TQ’d with his XRAY XII Link chassis despite some runtime problems on the large track.

EP stock Qualifying:

1. Grant Booth XRAY T3

2. Owen Laughlin
3. Andrew Sienniak
4. Gavin Heatherly XRAY T3
5. Mark Groom
6. Alex Tyson
7. Wayne Morris
8. Scott Griffiths
9. Wayne Cavanaugh
10. John Hemaloto

EP Super Stock Qualifying:

1. Troy Laughlin
2. Bradd Vercoe XRAY T3
3. Craig Mcphee
4. Luc Botton
5. Cristian Silva XRAY T2’009
6. Grant Mount XRAY T3

7. Wayne Morris
8. Simon Arnold
9. Adam Fuller
10. Albert Abit

EP 1/12 Scale Qualifying:

1. Brett Douce XRAY XII
2. Andrew Miller
3. Sang Jae Park
4. Alex Tyson

In Modified it was a battle between Simon, Darrin and myself resulting in some very close racing. In each of the finals we found ourselves fighting for position which was very exciting in the high speed sections of the track. Simon took the win in the first leg, I won the second leg and Darrin won the third after Simon and I got caught up in a racing incident leaving the final result to be determined by the next best points.

My car was much faster in the third leg after making some big improvements to the front suspension allowing me to better my fastest lap by .4 of a second. I was the only electric car of the meeting to dip into the 17’s with a 17.9 which was a good lap time even for a nitro touring car. I remember last year the best lap time for an electric car on that track layout was an 18.6 which shows the rapid development of electric touring cars over the last 12 months.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Final Result EP Modified:
1. Timothy Lee XRAY T3
2. Darrin Campbell
3. Simon Nicholson
4. Matthew Kellett
5. Chris Hamilton
6. Walter Ly

Unfortunately, after winning the first leg comfortably Grant Booth was unable to repeat his victory after some bad luck. Wayne Morris took the hard fought victory. Meanwhile Gavin Heatherly managed to improve on his qualifying position to claim the final step on the podium with his T3 making it a double podium for XRAY in Stock.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Final Result Stock:
1. Wayne Morris
2. Grant Booth XRAY T3
3. Gavin Heatherly XRAY T3

4. Owen Laughlin
5. Mark Groom
6. Wayne Cavanaugh

In Super stock TQ Troy Laughlin made some mistakes whist Bradd Vercoe and Cristian Silva capitalized, both improving from qualifying after some exciting battles between the two making it an XRAY 1-2. After some more track time Bradd was able to get his T3 into the 18 second laps with an 18.9 and was the only driver in the class to do so.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Super Stock:
1. Bradd Vercoe XRAY T3
2. Cristian Silva XRAY T2009

3. Craig Mcphee
4. Troy Laughlin
5. Wayne Morris
6. Simon Arnold
7. Adam Fuller
8. Grant Mount XRAY T3
9. Albert Abit
10. Sang Jae Park

In 1/12 scale TQ Brett Douce could not hold onto the top spot due to ongoing runtime problems but did well to finish second behind Andy Miller.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

1/12 Scale:
1. Andrew Miller
2. Brett Douce XRAY XII Link
3. Sang Jae Park
4. Alex Tyson

Nitro Open Tourer:
For the nitro final I didn’t have time to make any changes to the car as I was busy trying to cut tyres for the final in between marshalling and preparing the T3 for the finals which were all run before the Nitro open tourer final and the 1/8 scale finals. As the event wasn’t running to schedule and we were running out of light, event organizers had to shorten the nitro A finals from 30 to 20 minutes and decrease the time between races which made it a bit stressful for everyone. I knew the final was going to be tough with a few past Australian champions on the grid. The last EP Modified final was right before the Nitro tourer A-final with only a 3 minute warm up between the races so it was a battle even to get the engine hot in time for the start.

I got on the track with only 2 minutes of the warm-up left and this didn’t really give me enough time to settle the tires either. The track was now cold and the car was behaving quite differently to before but it was the same for everybody. At the start the inevitable happened, the engine was not hot enough and it bogged badly off the line and I got collected by some cars behind me and I was in the grass. When I rejoined the track I was last and half a lap down on the leaders and pushing really hard but the car was pretty badly tweaked and would sometimes completely lose the rear end.

I worked my way back up into third behind Ric who was leading and Darrin who was in second. Then the e-clip holding the side pulley of Ric’s car broke and Ric was out. I pushed really hard to catch Darrin but the tyres were getting away from me. I closed the gap to within two seconds by the end of the race and finished second. If the race was the extra 10 minutes like it was supposed to be I feel that I would have caught Darrin in the end. Alex was doing well with his NT-1 now making the extra fuel stop until some aftermarket diff gears that he was using stripped and made his car un-driveable.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

Final Results Nitro Open Tourer:
1. Darrin Campbell
2. Timothy Lee XRAY NT1
3. Kyle Hazell
4. Chris Reade
5. Tommy Lee XRAY NT1
6. Joel Casey XRAY NT1
7. Alex Kousass XRAY NT1

8. Andrew Bardetta
9. Ric Bartolozzi
10. David Chen

It’s also worth mentioning that Ric Bartolozzi in a stunning display took out the 1/8 scale class with a very hard fought victory over Michael Kerr and Aaron Lee.

1. Ric Bartolozzi
2. Michael Kerr
3. Aaron Lee
4. Alex Yousif
5. Kane Alderton
6. Kyle Hazell
7. Vic Tucciarone
8. Chris Newland
9. Tommy Lee

Over the three days everyone enjoyed the racing and the great track facilities. It’s pretty rare that the electric field get to race on the same day as nitro and on such a large track. Thanks to the event organizers and sponsors. Thanks XRAY and HUDY for the T3 and the NT-1 and also to HEI International and Northern Beaches Hobby Centre for providing me with the Novarossi engine.

Set-up Sheets
Timothy Lee T3

Timothy Lee NT1