So it’s 2015 and it was time for the first race of the year.
The venue, Padova – for the Italian Job Race. The race is organized and run by Mau and Evlin of Maugraphix, so big thanks to them and all involved.
Thursday 8th January:
This was the beginning of the race for us, an early start and off to Gatwick airport to catch our flight. A couple of hours at the airport passing the time waiting for our flight to Venice. Talking mostly about what we planned to try during the day once we arrived. Also talking about who would be quick, knowing the local Italian’s would be super fast as always managing to get lots of practice done.
Once it was time to board the plane the three of us were off to Venice. An hour and forty minutes later and we touched down in a clear dry Venice. We collected our bags and were greeted and met by Nicola Cappellozza to be taken to the track. Many, many thanks to Nicola for all his help getting from the airport and to the hotel. Great guy!
So off to the track it was! An afternoon of practice lay ahead of us, setting a plan of what we wanted to try. Getting the Nitro car dialed in was to be the first focus.
We unpacked and setup camp on one of the pit benches and got the nitro car ready for the track as quick as we could. We had fitted the Reds R5T/2104 pipe, with a plastic clutch. Last meeting we had run an Ali clutch, which caused excess wheel-spin and made the large jump on the left side very hard to achieve. The plastic clutch would give good traction, and reduce the wheel-spin, helping for the left hand jump section.
The first run would be to get into driving the track and to test a different tyre from the last time being here. We bolted a set of M4 Fugitives onto the car and out onto the track it was. The track feeling a little bit looser than in December, possibly down to the lower temperature. We did a 15-min run to start with, the car didn’t feel perfect but the change in clutch had made the left jump section consistent to jump. End of the run and back to the pits to make a change.
We had put the Orange spring on the rear to test (last time we ran blue), but the car suffered from the rear collapsing in the fast direction changes so back to the blue spring and back onto the track.
The change in the rear spring helped and stopped the rear collapsing during the fast direction change through the chicanes. A short 7-min run this time and it was back to the pits once again to discuss how the change had worked.
Feeling the car was working well now we looked to testing tyres to see what would work best for us. After the M4 Fugitive we changed to a set of M4 Hole Shot 2.0s to give them a try. Back out onto track with the Hole Shot fitted, a little less forward drive than the Fugitive we decided to do 8-mins this run then back to the pits to try the next tyre. M4 Blockade was the next tyre we tested, feeling balanced and with good traction they worked well but on the stopwatch were slightly slower than the Fugitive. Next up to test was Pro-Line’s newest tyre, the Electron in M4. The car had good steering and rotation on this but struggled for forward drive on the low grip track. This was the same as we found with the ION in M4, our car would not generate the forward drive needed on track for the key areas.
Next up was to test the M4 Suburb the same tyre we had ran last time. Onto track and the car felt great, good steering, rotation and forward traction and the stopwatch showed the fastest laps we had hit all day. We did 15-mins to see how wear on the tyre was and at the end of the run returned to the pits to check. The tyres had little wear and looked to be in good shape for the tyre we would use all weekend and for the Hour long Main.
After finishing the tyre testing on the Nitro car we felt that the setup was great and at ease with the car. It was time to try the Electric. We fitted a set of M4 Suburbs to the car and hit the track, running the car the same as we had in Las Vegas. The car felt the same as it had in Vegas, perfect. So an 8-min run and it was back to the pits. Feeling the Electric car was where we needed in setup it was time to get both cars cleaned up and ready for the next day – Controlled practice.
We got both cars ready then it was off to have some food, having a lovely Pizza each at the restaurant at the track. Then it was off to the hotel to get a good nights rest after a busy long day.
Friday 9th January:
Up and ready, we grabbed a quick bit of breakfast then it was off to the track.
The format for the day was four rounds of controlled practice, with the last two rounds being used for seeding. Seeding would be from your best 3 consecutive laps.
Nitro: First up was the Nitro class, fitting a new set of M4 Suburbs it was time to hit the track. Setting out of the pits last so we had some good clean space, it was time to see what sort of pace everyone had. After this first run, the fastest guys on lap pace were, Us, Alex and Darren. All very close together.
Electric: Once again we set off in clear space and the car felt great over the run, the new tyres taking about 2-mins to come in. Pace was great and looking at lap time were fastest.
Nitro: The second practice was a repeat of the first with all three of us once again posting the fastest laps, looking closer together.
Electric: Once again it was a repeat of the first, posting fastest laps.
Practice 3: The first of the two rounds that would be used for seeding.
Nitro: We ran the car the same as we had in the previous practice, just fitting a new set of Suburbs. We knew the first minute or so of the run would be bedding the tyres in, so the last few minutes of the run would be when we would want a clear track to put 3 laps together. Managing to get space, it was time to put the hammer down and get some fast clean laps in. Come the end of the heat and we had the 3 fastest consecutive laps. 6-tenths ahead of Darren in second and 1.4-seconds ahead of Alex in third.
Electric: Out onto track once again, with a new set of tyres fitted once again it would be towards the end of the run that the best laps would come. We struggled to get space for 3 laps and finished second fastest behind Alex who was once again super fast.
Nitro: The temperature had dropped from the last round and the grip had lowered a little, we used the run to test fuel economy knowing that improving lap times would be hard with the way the track was. The times from Practice 3 staying top and no one improving.
Electric: The plan was to get a clean space and try and catch the time Alex had posted in the last round. Managing to find space for most of the run it allowed us to put a great 3 laps in a row, 1.2-seconds fastest than Alex.
This gave us the Number One seed for both classes, feeling confident in how both cars were working on track. We readied both cars for the next day – Qualifying.
We then headed back to the hotel and had a meal with many friends, then it was time to hit the room for rest.
Saturday 10th January:
An early start, a spot of breakfast and it was off to the track again.
So it was qualifying day, the format being 3 Rounds, with your best two scores counting. We would also have the first Leg of the Electric Finals last thing.
Nitro: We fitted a new set of Suburbs, which we would use for all three rounds of qualifying, knowing that the first period of the race would be a little loose with the new rubber. Leading the heat at the half way point, we suffered from traffic in the last half of the round costing us time. Alex would take the TQ for the round, us in second. The traffic was unfortunate, as we would have taken TQ without it, but onto the next round.
Electric: We did the same as Nitro and fitted new tyres which we would run for all three rounds. We set off at a good pace, but unfortunately suffered due to traffic, the Marshall not seeing our car so the run wasn’t great, but the car felt very good so onto the next round.
Nitro: We knew the car would feel great from the off with the tyres having bedded in during the first run. We set off and pace was great, leading the heat and looking to put the quickest run of the day in, traffic at the end of the run however prevented us getting the quickest run of the day so far, but we took TQ for the round with Darren in second. It would be down to the last round of qualifying to decide who would take TQ.
Electric: Finding space on the track resulted in a near perfect run, posting the fastest lap of the weekend and the fastest run of anyone in either class. Giving us TQ for the round and taking it to the next round to decide once again who would take TQ for the class.
Nitro: Feeling confident with the pace we had shown in the last run, everyone set off and the times stayed very close between us, Darren and Alex. We suffered from some traffic in the second half of the run, and Alex and Darren managed to stay clean and traffic free. We ended up third in round, giving us second overall. A shame we suffered from traffic as we would have taken TQ without it, but we were very happy with second.
Electric: Wanting to drive a clean race, we got space and kept the run consistent and fast. Resulting in TQ for the round, giving us TQ for the class. The first final would be later in the evening, so we prepared the car ready.
Electric A-Main – Leg 1:
The final was to be 10-minutes in length, with us starting on Pole followed by Alessandro. The flag dropped and the final was underway, keeping clean tidy lines we started to gap the field. Taking the win of the first leg, putting us in a good position for the next day.
That evening we went for some food at a local restaurant with the Rossi’s and had some great laughs, with tears at some points due to all the laughing. The restaurant is one that every time we leave feeling too full, they never leave you hungry!!
Back to the hotel for some shut eye, before the busy day we had coming.
Sunday 11th January:
Getting to have a little bit of a lie in, we had breakfast a little later than the previous day’s then headed to the track to prepare both cars for the day’s events.
First up would be the second leg of the Electric 8th, followed by Semi Practice, Semi, Leg 3 of Electric then the Main Final the last item of the day.
Electric A-Main – Leg 2:
The final set off and it was a case of holding off the pressure from behind and trying to make a gap. Managing to get a gap to second it was a case of driving smooth and clean to bring the car home, taking the win and the Overall win! Another leg still to come, we would use it to test used tyres ready for Nitro.
We used semi practice to bed a set of tyres in for the Main Final (hoping we would make it) and then a set for the Semi Final, using the time on the set for the Semi final to test fuel economy. We worked out that the Reds R5T would allow us to run for 8:40, meaning we could pit at 7:30 for the finals.
The Semi-A was up first, Alex and Darren having a great battle for the lead. In the end it would be Alex who would take the win ahead of Darren both posting a great time. Needing to do a faster time than this Semi it was onto our Semi.
We lined up on pole and the plan, to keep it clean, fast and try to set the fastest semi time. The final set off and we gapped the field, pitting at 7-mins with Liam and Marco giving us the fastest fuel stop laps of the weekend. Staying out front and pushing hard to chase the time of the first Semi, the final horn sounded and we crossed the line. We had managed to get through for an extra lap on Alex’s time so would line up on Pole for the Main. Baruffolo finished 2nd in our final 28-seconds behind followed by Berton another second behind him.
The lineup for the Final would be:
Main Final – Nitro:
The final was to be One Hour in length, so we prepared the car ready for the Main, making sure we had done everything we could to give a perfect and reliable car.
The final set off and we lead off, followed by Alex and Darren. We started to pull a small gap from the chasing two, who were locked in a battle with each other over second place. Alex unfortunately suffered from an issue with his car and was forced to have to return to the pits to try and fix the problem. This gave Darren second, Berton however was chasing and was on Darren’s tail, managing to make a pass and put himself into second. We made our first fuel stop and exited still in the lead. Just after our first fuel stop, heartbreak was to hit its next victim, Darren suffering damage to a servo forcing him into retirement. A shame for him as he looked good for the podium for sure.
We kept at the head of the field driving great, clean and fast. However Berton was catching, finding speed that he had not had in the Semi when we had pulled 30-seconds on him. We kept going, clean and fast. Berton put a moved up the inside coming onto the main straight and took the lead. Looking to have found an edge on us from somewhere. We tried to catch but he managed to keep pulling a small gap. We kept to our fuel strategy and the car was perfect for the whole main.
At the finishing flag it was Berton who would take the Win, followed by us in second and Wollanka in third two laps behind us both.
So it was Kyosho 1, 2 in both the Brushless Class and the Nitro class.
In Electric we took the win followed by Berton. In Nitro the reverse with Berton taking the win from us.
A great event, and a near perfect result.
Both Kyosho MP9‘s working great. Reds power in the nitro and Tekin Power in the Electric both performing flawlessly.
Thanks to all sponsors who make it possible:
Kyosho, Pro-Line Racing, Reds, Tekin, Byron, Sanwa, BittyDesign, Maugraphix, LRP Batteries, SMD, Inside Line Racing, Ghea, Racer, Rudebits, RDRP, Racers Design Products.
Till next time, thanks for taking the time to readout report.