We’re normally very much Halifax/Dartmouth R/C focused on halifaxrcpark.com, but for those of you interested in R/C racing slightly further afield, here’s a little report on last weekends race at Cap Pele Revolution Raceway in NB that a couple of us from your committee attended.
The race series at Cap Pele runs from May until October about once a month and draws drivers from all over the region. George puts on a great event, with Mylaps/AMB timing system (with loaner transponders for those without their own), times uploaded to LiveRC, and classes for pretty much everything out there from 1/16 electric to 1/8 nitro buggies. The track George has built in his yard is quite a challenge for the drivers with some very interesting sections that are in his own words – “made to be difficult”. There’s some bumpy washboard, a couple of sets of double-jumps, a 90° tabletop plus a neat section of moguls that when taken exactly right mean you can cut the last corner by leaping clean over the track marking.
Personally I entered 2WD electric buggy, 4WD electric Short Course Truck (SCT) and 1/8 electric buggy. After just over a 2.5hr drive, we had time for a handful of practice laps before the qualifying rounds started at about 10am. Each qualifier lasts 5min and drivers start at 1 second intervals to allow for maximum qualifying pace. Here you’re looking to complete the most laps you can in the 5min period. Making few mistakes is important as consistency is king. And it’s important to let quicker cars past as cleanly as quickly as possible. The results from the qualifiers for each class seed your start position for the finals.
Both the 2WD buggy, and 4WD SCT had enough drivers for a couple of qualifying races, and then for both a B-main (second tier) and A-main finals race. I was fortunate to qualify in 7th for both classes which meant I only had to race in the A-main. Those qualifying 8th and below, raced in the B-main with the top three from that race taking a ‘bump-up’ into the A-main. 1/8 Electric buggy had just under 10 drivers so a single A-main covered everyone. My final qualifier in 1/8 E-buggy went well and I qualified 3rd on the grid for the finals.
2WD buggies are hard to drive cleanly. They under-steer like crazy when on the throttle, and then quickly turn to over-steer under breaking as the weight transfers forward making them the most difficult to drive cleanly. After a terrible start where I dropped to the back of the field, I managed to claw my way back up to 7th before the end of the 7min long final.
4WD short course trucks are big beasts but take the bumps well. I managed to put together a handful of successive clean laps to claw my way up the field from 7th to 4th place within three laps. Some tight racing followed for a few laps after a mistake from the driver in front found me up in 3rd. I was quickly catching the racer in 2nd but a big mistake a couple of laps from the end meant I fell another 10 seconds back – not quite far enough to be caught before the end of the race. But I’d managed to secure 3rd on the podium overall which felt great. You can see the entire race details here on Live RC: http://cappelerevelutionraceway.liverc.com/results/?p=view_race_result&id=959310
1/8 E-buggy are quicker still than the SCT races, but starting high on the grid made for a less eventful first lap and keeping it clean (or at least cleaner than the guys that followed) means I didn’t even pass or become-passed by anyone for the entire race. Check out my amazingly consistent position tracker from Live RC:
Overall, I was both happy and surprised at my performance. Obviously getting some R/C practice in at Halifax R/C Park has paid off a little over the years, and I’d encourage you all to do the same. We hope to be able to put on events like this in the coming years, but its dependent on keeping the track in good condition (which is always a challenge). We need more jumps and bumps though!