WHEN: Most Friday evenings. TIME:

31 March 2009

Race Report - Formula Libre - 2009-03-27

It was Friday the 27th and that meant Libre racing. The club was packed with 16 racers, Costa was busy assisting all the newbies in between race control, Mike had that mean "I'm gonna kick butt tonight" look in his eyes, Erlo was experimenting with his new car, a FLY Riley, Phil was quietly confident with his quick white GT40, Brad was hastily setting up his FLY Ferrari P4 with all the Slot-it "go faster" spares, the new recruits to the club were getting in some valuable practice and Ashwin, well he was late as usual. The scene was set for an exciting evening of racing.

Qualifying got off to a flyer with Mike and Erlo squaring up against each other for some close racing. The GT40's of Phil and Ashwin were off the pace with disappointing results. Ashwin then got up to his old tricks and started to feverishly strip and re-build his red GT40 before the second qualifying. The FLY Riley raced by Erlo looked exceptionally fast and posed a serious threat to the likes of Mike, Phil and Ashwin for the rest of the evening. Costa persisted with his FLY big block V8 Mustang and young Aryton looked good racing his trusty Opel Vectra. The GT40's were much faster in the second qualifying but could not match the pace of Mike and Erlo. Mike top qualified followed by Erlo, Ashwin, Phil, Costa and Bradley. Brad showed signs that he may be shrugging off the cobwebs and returning to his best by putting in a top six finish here.

Celeste and Brad

In the first race, the young guns Luke, Gwain and Mikheel raced against each other and there was a lot of noise, fun and excitement to be had. Mikheel is a seven year old, new to the club and is very keen and excited about his new hobby, much like a kid in a candy shop. With Luke and Ayrton, the kids do add some spark and life to the club, something that has been missing in the recent past.

Two newcomers - Aubrey and Gwain

In the middle race, we had Ayrton racing against Johannes, also new to the club. Johaness impressed with his consistency and he placed 9th overall. Ayrton, in my mind, is probably the most improved driver over the last six months or so and he had a good race to place 6th and I suspect that soon he will be racing against the big boys and that will be something to look forward to.

The top race was fast and exciting as it always is with no room for mistakes here. The lead changed several times. Erlo and Ashwin got off the line quickly and streaked away from the rest of the pack, Mike had to contend with the extra grip on black lane and Phil, Costa and Brad were well placed in the middle of the pack. Erlo took the lead when Ashwin fell off but could not hold on to it and this gave Ashwin the chance to take the lead once again and he would go on to win the race. Mike and Erlo had an intense battle for second place with Erlo winning that battle, the FLY Riley indeed looks very promising. Phil had handling problems with his very quick white GT40 and placed a disappointing forth followed by Costa in fifth. Ayrton sneaked in to pip Brad for sixth place.

Old Dog Ashwin - here seen doing his "go faster" modification.

The race results are as follows:
1. Ashwin - 105.49
2. Erlo - 103.77
3. Mike - 103.54
4. Phil - 101.47
5. Costa - 98.45
6. Ayrton - 94.45
7. Brad - 94.11
8. Jacques - 87.43
9. Johannes - 84.53
10. Kevin - 82.42
11. Celeste - 81.36
12. Luke - 74.41
13. Gwain - 68.64
14. John - 67.45
15. Aubrey - 66.53
16. Mikheel - 61.60

I chatted to Mikheel's dad and he said that his son actually counts down the nights to go to Friday Libre racing. I must admit, I do the same as well. This class has transformed the club. The class is well attended and always attracts the younger generation. Racing is always close with cars even finishing on the same lap this year. The noise and enthusiasm generated by the kids all adds to the atmosphere and sense of excitement on a Friday evening on which the Libre class is raced. Be there to experience it!


30 March 2009

Portable Track Event - Manor Gardens Primary School - 2009-03-29

Saturday 27 March saw the Green Team set up at the Manor Gardens Primary School Fun Day. Once again, the Team's eye catching shirts drew comment from the organisers and public! We have taken heed of Dave's suggestion and are investigating printing on the shirts.

The Green Team - Mike, Phil, Ashwin, Erlo and Costa

The weather was fine and we were in a good location. This turned out to be our second most successful show to date with 145 youngsters and one or two oldies, having a go. The best to date has been Thomas More with 230 participants! It seems that the schools are our best bet and with a slightly higher charge and some bargaining around the stall fees, we should do a lot better in future. We are learning.

Good location at the school.

The Ninco Digital system performed flawlessly. We have been trying various car/motor options to find something suitable for novices which requires a measure of skill, but at same time handles well and is forgiving. Costa has done most of the research and it seems that his latest product which was put through its paces on Saturday is a winner. A R299 Carrera car with a R15 no name Mabuchi type motor stole the show! The digital chip costs R180 giving a total cost of R494 as opposed to the Ninco version at R675.

The NC1 Porsche and the successful Carrera Audi R8.

The kids simply loved the racing. We even had three young girls with no money pleading for a turn. Although they had no money, they had contacts in the canteen and sharp as ever, Costa, Aswin and Erlo quickly made a deal - cup cakes in exchange for a race. The girls returned with the loot in no time and everyone was happy!

Kids enjoying the racing.

Some people never learn. Costa challenged Phil and was soundly beaten. He cried foul, demanded to swap cars for a re-match and was taught a lesson again!

Phil "teaching" Costa how to drive.

Thanks to the Team - Costa, Mike, Erlo, Ashwin, Phil, Ayrton and Luke. Thanks to Jackie for negotiating our attendance. Mike in particular did a sterling job taking tickets and marshaling. Regrettably, apart from Kevin and Mandy, no club members showed up. Another opportunity missed to see and experience Digital racing, and all of the hype and excitement it creates.

Never a dull moment with "tinkering" for extra performance.

The end of the main straight proved to be full of action for the marshalls wit htwo being needed at times.

Everyone lends a hand to ensure all goes smoothly.

Next stop Makouvlei - I wonder who remembers that one?! Actually Erlo is investigating a huge show in Toti on 2 May. Save the date and watch this space.

Report by Phil

24 March 2009

Race Report - True Scale 20/03/2009

True Scale night was slightly under-attended with only six of us there... the same six that were there last month. Good racing was had by all though with the racing split into 3 groups of two to facilitate the marshalling.

The first race was between Costa and Phil and because I am wrtiting this report, I can write that it was no contest!!! I walked all over Phil!!! Hahahaa... actually, it was a fairly close race with Phil battling a bit with a very narrow setup due to his body. He has got a new one though so his handling should improve at the next race meeting. I did get the better of him though even with a very gutsy performance be it only by 0.54 of a lap.

The second race was between Mike and Erlo with Mike finding a bit more speed during the race than at qualifying but it was still not enough as Erlo took it by 2.79 laps.

The last race of the night was poised to be close as Craig and Ashwin were seperated by less than 0.01 of a lap at the end of qualifying (less than one segment). It was tightly contested throughout with both of them trying to throw it away at times but in the end it was Craig who took it from Ashwin by 1.06 laps.

Well done to all.

We did have some visitors who popped in during the early evening, father mother and son who saw us at Baynesfield and decided to come see what it was all about. Although the youngster did not get to drive the true scale cars, he said that he would be coming to this Fridays meeting and race with us. Proof that our marketing at the fun days and fairs with the portable track does work and is worth the effort.

Final Laps and Positions:

Craig - 113.52
Ashwin - 112.46
Erlo - 109.43
Mike - 106.64
Costa - 104.03
Phil - 100.82

These finishing positions were identical to last months.

19 March 2009

Baynesfield Outing - 15/03/2009

On Sunday 15 March 2009, we took our portable track to Baynefield to raise funds and create interest for the club and it was a sucess in many levels.

The trip up in the morning was met with lots of rain (and a late Ashwin) but neither dampened our spirits. The rain stopped by the time we got there and we set up under cover just incase the heavens opened again. They did not and it turned out to be an awesome day.

There was lots to see on the day and one of my highlights was the six or so GT40's which pitched up and were on display. The sound of those GT40 V8's was something to behold.

The racing was a bit slow to start off with but built up nicely during the day although I feel our location was not ideal as we were tucked up between buildings.

We had an awesome time and I'd like to thank all those who helped on the day, Mike, Phil, Ashwin, Ayrton, Luke and myself, Costa.

The Team (Ashwin, Mike, Phil. Costa, Ayrton, Luke)

One thing worth mentioning was that we tried out our new Ninco car with the NC11 motor and it proved to be extremely good. We had an informal competition to see how many laps we could do around our track in 3 minutes. Ashwin posted a respectable 52.25 laps and a fastest lap of 3.04 seconds. Phil did 52.75 laps with a fastest lap of 3.03. Mike did just under 50 laps as did Luke. I did 52.25 laps as well with a fastest lap of a whisker under 3 seconds. and then it was Ayrtons turn.... straight out the blocks he was blisteringly fast. He came off slightly more often that us but still ended up with 57.75 laps and a fastest lap of 2.84 seconds. That performance prompted a flurry of activity to try better their previous laps but no-one else even came close! Well done Ayrton.

Obviously, the kids had fun!!!

16 March 2009

Race Report - Formula Libre 2009-03-13

What a good nights racing was had again on Friday. Mike proved that by putting in some extra time on the Wednesday night before the race meeting will pay big dividends. He eased away from us, winning comforably in the end.

The main race was, as mentioned above, taken my Mike with Ashwin a Phil having a really close race with Ashwin eventually finishing 0.06 of a lap in front of fast charging Phil (that is about 0.428 seconds after 12 minutes of racing). Costa was going well until he stripped his gears but excellent pit work (and some gracious patience from the other 3 drivers) saw him continue the race with a new set of gears.

In the second race, Brad and Ayrton had a very close meeting as well with a tyre coming off slightly on Ayrton's car determining the wining gap between the two in Brads favour. Erlo was in all sorts of trouble, firstly with tyre choice and secondly with being taken off quite a few times, that it gave new member Jono an opportunity to catch right up with his new Ferarri 330 P4 which is proving to be a car with good potential. Kevin was also having all sorts of problems with grip on his car and it dropped him down the leader board.

In the first race, Luke, Celeste and Vic kept it close with Luke taking that tussle. Vics car has potential but is seemingly lacking something - we will help him figure that one out.
The visitor to our club, Greg, was using one of Brads older cars and was affectionately called the "spin out" because of those exact dendancies. None the less, he also drove well considering.

Final Results

Mike - 103.52
Ashwin - 100.95
Phil - 100.89
Costa - 95.40
Brad - 92.67
Ayrton - 90.70
Erlo - 85.49
Jono - 84.64
Luke - 79.54
Celeste - 78.56
Kevin - 71.93
Vic - 69.42
Greg - 59.26

09 March 2009

Race Report - 1:24 Production (06/03/2009)

Friday nights racing was top class once again with the new gearing proving to be a big hit with regards to the handling of the cars. They seem to be better suited to the Falcon motors and the motors semed to be running much cooler.

Racing was tight with a few hoping for good results after spending many hours on Wednesday night seting up and tuning their cars.

Craig had his Cheetah 11 running very sweetly with the new motor and new gears and ended up winning the night with 151.62 laps.

Ashwin and Erlo had a very close battle with Ashwin using his tried and tested Flexi 5 and Erlo with his brand new JK X24 chasis that he assembled and set up on the Wednesday night. Ashwin ended up ahead with 146.45 and Erlo very close behind on 146.15 which is the equivalent of a gap of 1.5 seconds after 12 minutes of racing.

Phil, Tony, Costa and Mike had their little battle going on although Mike was compromised and dropped off a bit during the middle stages of the race after picking up a pin in his gearing. Once the pin was removed, he was flying again but had too much to catch.

Ayrton and Gordon had, as usual, a cracker of a race with Ayrton showing the "old man" the way home by 1.11 laps (about 5.5 seconds). The new guy, Bruce, topped of the list of runners with a test car and finished off with a respectable 98.06 laps... not bad for a first time.

A great nights racing was had by all and I think that many people had their best racing in a long time and more importantly, the results were very close from top to bottom.

The big question now is will the motors last... and new chassis should I buy.

Final Results:

Craig - 151.62
Ashwin - 146.45
Erlo - 146.15
Phil - 139.44
Tony - 138.95
Costa - 137.87
Mike - 130.92
Ayrton - 124.29
Gordon - 123.18
Bruce - 98.06

05 March 2009

Formula Libre 2009 Rules

Click on the picture on the left to enlarge it, to be able see the rules for this season. They are effective Feb 2009.

Please read through to make sure that none of these rules are contravened as random scrutaneering will be done this year.

Formula Libre - 27/02/2009 - Race Report

When last did we have 22 drivers in an event? The Formula Libre race last Friday evening was a huge success with some very exciting and close racing. We actually had 23 drivers, but unfortunately Gordon had to leave early. We would have had to extend the four groups to five if the likes of Brad, Celeste, Tony and prospective new member Marcus had been able to attend! New members Vic and Jono were in the thick of the action. Kevin and Luke were back for more and will be joining soon. Visitors who enjoyed themselves and whom we hope will be back included Bruce and son Ronan, Zsolt, Marko and Robert. It was great to see Mark Bray and son Andrew at the Club after a long absence.

After the introduction of Formula Libre last year, it soon became the most popular class and it seems that the decision to run the class twice a month this year, was a good one. The Committee will be importing upgrade kits, spares and controllers for the benefit of new members and to support the Class during the year. Scalextric cars are available on order from George of Hillcrest Hobbies - contact number 031-7658585. Phil has a price list and catalogue at the Club on Fridays.

Racing was close and exciting. There was the usual battle out in front between the GT 40s of Ashwin and Phil, and Mike with the Can Am Porsche. The GT 40s came out on top with Ashiwn taking the lead only on the final segment. Phil came close to winning and was half a lap ahead of Ashwin going into the last segment. A track fault on yellow forced the white GT 40 to slow going into the donut on every lap. Ashwin slipped by for his second win in as many races this season, while Phil had to be content with second. Mike fought hard for third place and is now tied in second place with Phil in the Championship. Costa in the evergreen Chev Camaro was fourth with Erlo and young Ayrton closing out the top six. Costa is threatening to bring his new Ferrari P4 into action soon while Erlo is still experimenting with tyre compounds. It promises to be an exciting season.