What a weekend that was!
Firstly, thank you to everyone who came out and turned laps. It was awesome to see everyone on the track and enjoying it! We hope to see you all back for our future events.
Secondly, massive thanks must go to our event sponsors. RC Hobbyland, Crazy Hobbies and Campbelltown Hobbies. Thank you for all of your support for this event, and your generous donations for our raffle!
Where do we start for the on-track action?!
We were unsure what the surface was truly going to be like but are very pleased how it turned out. Lots of grip and very consistent throughout the day. There was definitely some areas that developed a bit of character, but nothing serious.
There was soooo much track time on offer. Between qualifying, heat races and finals, there was plenty of action to talk about.
Qualifying went off smoothly with all classes seeing some really close times. A single 10-minute run where the top 5 average (non-consecutive) laps were used to determine the grid for the heats. Drivers were put into heat races based on this order.
Heat races proved to be an interesting affair. With the top drivers spread out across the heats, it meant they had to contend with slower cars. The patience of drivers was certainly tested and knowing when to push and when not to was going to be valuable. The final order was determined by race points, with all three rounds to count, adding consistency as a key part of the race program.
The top 10 drivers based on points made it directly through into the top 10 shootout. Each driver had three laps, with the fastest lap used to determine the final starting order. The next 12 (11 through 22) qualified for the action packed Last Chance Qualifier races, with the top 2 bumping up into the A-main.
The LCQ races were simply amazing! A tight battle for the top spots was seen in both 2wd and 4wd Open classes. In 4wd open, it was Jon McMillin taking the victory after a race long battle with Sam Muffet. Sam had a great late race battle with Chris Taylor for the last bump spot. In the end, a late mistake from Chris dropped him out of the spot, allowing Sam to make the 4wd A-main. In the 2wd race, the top 2 broke away fairly early and maintained a healthy lead. This allowed them to battle it out until the very end. James Muha and Sam Muffet were only separated by 0.3 second at the end of the race and wasn’t it exciting to watch, with both drivers swapping places multiple times.
The shootout proved to be quite popular among racers and spectators alike. There was almost dead silence from the crowd. Only the commentator and car could be heard with the odd cheer from the crowd when someone broke through with a top time. The pressure was on the drivers to perform, as everyone was watching. The most pressure would be on provisional pole sitters Ben Cribbin (4wd Open) and Ari Bakla (2wd Open) to see if they could maintain that #1 spot, they earnt in the heat races. The 2wd shootout was epic. It came down to the very last lap to decide the pole sitter. Lachlan Donnelly put the pressure on Ari, laying down a solid 24.372 as his fastest lap. Ari’s first two laps were just off the pace, but he pulled it together in the last lap and laid down a 23.988 to take pole! 4wd saw a shakeup at the front. Lachlan set the quick time of 23.4, then Ari beat it with a 23.0. But it was Jarod Ment, with a full send across the line in his last lap taking pole with a 22.822!
The finals saw some of the best racing action. With the track developing a couple of tough spots, there were plenty of mistakes made by even the most seasoned of racers.
In 2wd Juniors, we saw what the future stars of RC had to offer! Pole sitter Will Aiken looked solid all day, taking the win in Both A1 and A2 to wrap up the overall title. Brother of our winner, Fin Aiken managed to snag second in each race, netting him 2nd overall. The closest battle was between Zac Panic and Lisa Byrne for 3rd place. It came down to the last race of the day. Both drivers had a shot at the top 3 overall. Both drivers pushed hard, and it came down to less than 2 seconds at the end of the race! Zac Panic Snuck home for 3rd overall!
540 Buggy saw Dan Maher take a victory in A1, but he made mistakes in A2 which allowed Ron Curby to take the victory. It came down to A3. Two drivers with a shot to win. Dan Maher made an early break, but Ron Curby fought back up to within striking distance before a late crash ended his chance at victory. Dan used one of our club cars, and kindly donated the set of tyres and battery he used to the club as well! Lisa Byrne showed how good she was, getting in the mix in A3, unfortunately falling just short of the 2nd step on the podium, but she still managed 3rd overall!
4wd open saw some very intense racing action. Multiple drivers lead in almost every race. A1 saw the lead change 6 or 7 times in the race. A1 saw Ari and Jarrod get away early before coming together and allowing Lachlan Donnelly and Bend Cribbin to sneak through. Then both those drivers made mistakes and fell back behind our top 2 drivers. Jarod made a couple of critical errors late in the race and handed Ari the Win. A2 saw more lead changes and more close racing. Jarrod made a mistake early and let Ari and Lachlan through. Those two drivers proceeded to battle for the whole race, finishing just over 0.5 seconds apart. Ari grabbed the win and took the 4wd title overall. The last main saw Lachlan make a pass early on his AE teammate Ment, and take the victory, cementing 2nd overall for 4wd. Jarrod managed enough points to take 3rd overall, along with the most clutch shootout lap of the day.
2wd open was one of the most intense classes of the day. Ari snatched A1 away from Lachlan by less than 0.5 seconds. A2 saw Lachlan dominate, and take a comfortable win, sending the overall result to a final deciding leg. Ari led early, but a couple of mistakes on the back jump section dropped him back to 3rd behind Donnelly and Ment. Ari pushed to make his way back up, but fell just short, taking 3rd for A3. Lachlan would take the win, and overall 2wd Title! Ari managed enough points for second thanks to his win in A1, and Jarod would again take 3rd.
The overall Ryde Cup Champion was determined by the combined 2wd and 4wd results. The points were totalled by taking the best 2 of 3 from each class and combining them. It came down to a single point for the overall title. But in the end, it was Lachlan Donnelly coming out on top, with his 5 points to Ari’s 6 points. Congrats Lachlan on going back-to-back and earning another spot on our perpetual trophy!
We want to again thank everyone who came out and raced over the weekend. It was a great weekend, and we look forward to more racing in the near future.
The track is also open for practice now! The surface has settled in, and we are sure you’ll enjoy getting some practice in before state titles in August.
See you all at the next one!