2015 1/8th IC IFMAR World Champs – Americana, Brazil
In November Luke and I set off to Americana, Brazil to attend our first IFMAR World Championships. Growing up RC has been a huge part of our lives, and attending a World Champs was seen as the pinnacle. Dad (Selwyn) had attended his only Worlds 26 years ago in Heemstede so it was awesome that we could take him along as mechanic to relive this experience.
The track was flat, high speed and very smooth which is totally different to what we are used to running at our local tracks. Square concrete curbs outlined the whole track, while a steel fence surrounded the perimeter of the circuit. This rewarded consistent driving while also seriously punishing any minor errors.
We had received our cars only hours before boarding our flight to Brazil, so were very keen to get to the track and iron out any issues. Thankfully we didn’t have any major issues in practice and it didn’t take long before we were up to speed and doing consistent lap times.
Having the first two days with only international competitors allowed us enough time to establish a base setup and start learning the track. The next three days were controlled seeding based on your best three consecutive laps. By the end of day five we had very few issues and were feeling very confident heading into qualifying.
Qualifying was done using the best 3 rounds out of 6 by points. Due to the track being so unforgiving our aim was to go for consistency and accumulate points early in qualifying. The first day of qualifying was definitely the hardest day for both of us as we struggled with technical failures and driver fatigue. By the end of the day we had both only registered 1 result each and collated a large collection of broken parts.
This put extra pressure on day two of qualifying as we each had register 2 decent runs or face the chance of having to bump up through the lower finals. Thankfully we were able to put the issues of the previous day behind us and have a great day, each registering 3 good runs each.
1/8th B Final (Jayden)
After just meeting the cut off for the 1/8th finals I had little to loose and went out to enjoy the experience. I started off grid 7 in the 20min final and made a perfect start, avoiding all the early carnage and was in 4th within the first minute. At the first round of pit stops I was sitting in a comfortable 5th matching the pace of the drivers ahead of me.
At that point it became apparent that pit strategy was going to play a part as a variety of 4min and 5min strategies were being used. I was able to apply a 5min pit stop strategy while the leaders couldn’t get the tank time so had to resort to a 4min strategy.
Some slick pit stops and cautious driving meant I was able to run a perfect race. I finished 5th, not quite enough to bump up to the next round of finals however very satisfied that I was able to run an error free final. It wasn’t until after the race that I realised how close I had got to bumping up to the ¼ finals. After 20 minutes the top 5 all finished on 65 laps separated by 12.4 seconds.
¼ A Final – Luke
Qualifying 25th meant I started 5th in ¼ Final A tucked in behind some world class drivers.
P1 – Shoki Takahate was off P1 who is a young Japanese driver racing for KM
P2 – Patrick Shaefer in P2, the owner of Shepherd
P3 – JJ Wang the winner of the worlds warmup race
P4 – Henrique Winik, a Brazilian driver who eventually made it all the way to the main final.
Because of rain delays on the Friday the quarters, semis and main were all scheduled to run on the Saturday. In the morning the track was wet which meant my race was delayed until 1:40pm. Lamberto Collari (9 times world champion) was roped into placing my car on the grid as a photo opportunity before swapping over with Jayden to help with the rest of the race. The plan was to use the same pit strategy used in Jayden’s final as it seemed to work well and we were able to do 5min runs in qualifying (just..).
Things started smoothly with a quick jump up to P4 as Patrick Shaefer hit troubles. I was able to keep a nice gap back from Henrique and I had a comfortable lead back to 5th. I was happy to sit in 4th and see how things played out. Unfortunately at lap 13 I hit trouble as my body got tucked up under the rear inside wheel causing the car to be erratic, it slowly improved but I decided to pit early so that it could be untucked.
It got tucked again within a lap so there was little that could be done. As the body stabiliser wore itself down it was more manageable. With those troubles I gave up one spot and knew I had my work cut out for me. On lap 31 my car ran out of fuel on the far side of the track and it was game over. Flaming out on this particular track had huge penalties as there was nowhere for marshals to run around the side of the track. I got back out but it was only for fun as I had lost almost 3 laps. I finished the race in 7th, hugely disappointing considering the potential possibility of bumping up if I was able to run a clean race.
We would like to thank everyone that supported us to attend this event. As this was our first Worlds and first event outside Australasia we had little idea of how we stood comparable to professional drivers that race RC cars for a living. Being able to stand our ground against the best in the business and meet so many people that have the same passion as us made the whole trip worth while.
Thanks to the following people / businesses that helped us;
– Team Infinity / Creation Models
– Trevor and Sandy Reid
– TSB Community Trust
– Pit crew – Kim and Selwyn Duthie
NEWS: THE NZRCA HAS A NEW AND IMPROVED LOOK! No more will we be bound by the Yellow and Black but instead any single colour to suit will work. After months of toying with the idea of a new versatile, modern and user friendly logo the NZRCA Executive with the assistance of Graphic Designer James Dale are ready to release the new look. The Logo is simple but professional and can be used in any colour to suit your club, different event advertising and promotional material. Check it out now!
2015 NZRCA Remits, Nominations and Events
Below are the 2015 remits, nomination and event applications that will be voted on at this years AGM. Please contact your local clubs for more details regarding voting.
2015 NZRCA Remits
2015 NZRCA Executive Nominations
2016 NZRCA Events
The New Zealand EP Off-Road National Champs are done and dusted for another year. Since the completion of the event over Easter weekend it has been joked over social media that it appeared you had to have a name starting with S to have a chance at the titles. Over 9 classes throughout the event they were all seen taken home by 3 different people. Shane Van Gisbergen took home 4 of the 9 titles, Shane O’Connor with 3 and Scott Kendall walking away with 2. It didn’t all come easily though, there were plenty of names in contention at this year’s event.
First we’ll cover 1/8th Buggy. After the first round of finals Shane Van Gisbergen was a lap up on the 1/8th EP Buggy field with a convincing win with Andrew Webber taking out 2nd and Shane O’Connor in 3rd. The second round of finals sore no change in the top three spots and with two 1st place finishes under his belt, Shane Van Gisbergen had already won the title. The third Final saw Van Gisbergen sitting out which had O’Connor and Webber fighting for the points to secure their final positions. Andrew Webber kept it together and got the win with a two second lead over O’Connor securing him an Overall 2nd Place and Shane O’Connor an overall 3rd.
1/8th EP Truggy saw Shane O’Connor only one second behind Van Gisbergen’s 1st place finish making for a very interesting second round of finals. But we didn’t see any changes after the second race with Shane Van Gisbergen in 1st and Shane O’Connor three seconds behind in 2nd and once again Van Gisbergen was taking home the title after just two rounds. In the Final round Van Gisbergen decided to race and this time Shane O’Connor came out of it with a 1 lap lead on the rest of the field including Van Gisbergen. Unfortunately for O’Connor the title had already been claimed but this did secure him the 2nd place overall. Shane Mangu came in for a podium 3rd place finish with one 3rd and two 5ths.
The first round of 2WD Modified Buggy sore Shane O’Connor 2 seconds quicker than second place Shane Van Gisbergen which was a change from the two 1/8th scale classes. Andrew Webber secured a 3rd place finish in the first race. In the second round Shane Van Gisbergen fought back to put him and Shane O’Connor on an even playing field. Mark Bidlake made himself known coming from a 4th place finish in the first race doing one better with a 3rd place finish in the second, not sure what happened to Andrew Webber who finished the second race with 6th place finish leaving the podium wide open. The third round sore the title go to Shane Van Gisbergen with a convincing one lap lead over 2nd Place Shane O’Connor. Neither Webber nor Bidlake were seen in the 3rd place spot in the final race, but instead coming from 7th place in both the first and second rounds we saw Luke Duthie taking the 3rd place finish. So after three finals Van Gisbergen took 1st, Shane O’Connor 2nd and Mark Bidlake managed 3rd place on equal points with Andrew Webber bring it down to all 3 rounds being counted, this had them still on the same points so it came down to qualifying.
4WD Modified Buggy had Andrew Webber winning the first round of finals with Luke Duthie only one second behind in 2nd and Shane O’Connor in 3rd. In the second round Shane O’Connor flew to a 1st place finish showing Andrew Webber and Luke Duthie what he is made of. Webber came in second , Mark Bidlake taking 3rd. We also saw Luke go from a 2nd place finish in the first race, to an 8th place finish in the second. The third round was where it would be decided. Shane O’Connor once again pulled out a stunner and took the win seeing the title go his way. Mark Bidlake was on form claiming 2nd and Luke Duthie had a comeback in 3rd; something had Andrew Webber not finishing the third round putting him in 9th for that race. So after three rounds we have Shane O’Connor in 1st, Andrew Webber held onto 2nd and Mark Bidlake took 3rd.
2WD Modified Truck sore Shane O’Connor take out the first round with Anton Huber’s two seconds behind in 2nd with Gavin Davidson in 3rd. After the second race we saw Shane O’Connor secure the title with a second victory and Anton Huber’s in 2nd to try and secure a second place podium which was all dependant on the third round, race two sore Nick Moore in 3rd. The third round saw Shane O’Connor sit out the Final round with Anton Huber’s taking the win securing 2nd overall, with Nick Moore taking 2nd securing 3rd overall.
In 4WD Short Course also saw Shane O’Connor securing the title after just two rounds and Anton Huber’s once again with two 2nds after the first two rounds fighting for that podium finish. In the first round we saw Chris black come away with a 3rd place finish. The second race saw Ben Hansen take the 3rd with Chris Black dropping down to 4th place in that race. The third round sore Shane O’Connor sitting out and once again Anton Huber’s coming in for the win. Alec Webber and Matt Whitmarsh showed their faces in 2nd and 3rd with Chris black once again in 4th. In the end Shane O’Connor took 1st, Anton Huber’s took 2nd and Chris Black drove himself into an overall 3rd place finish. In 2wd short course Shane Van Gisbergen won the first race with a three second lead over Shane O’Connor in 2nd and with Mitchel Voice taking 3rd.
2WD Short Course saw the two Shanes both fighting for the number one spot. Shane Van Gisbergen might have won the first race but Shane O’Connor came fighting back to win the second with Mitch Voice once again in 3rd, this title was going to come down to the third round. In the end it was Shane Van Gisbergen claiming his 4th title of the weekend with Shane O’Connor taking 2nd Overall and Mitchel Voice showing promise in 3rd after just his first National Champs Mitchel Voice will be one to watch in the future.
4WD Stock didn’t start out too good for Top Qualifier Scott Kendall who thought his weekend was over after a tussle with a marshal’s foot and no spare anywhere at the event. Luckily after a 4 hour rounds trip and a CNC Machine, Slavich Designs came to the rescue. The finals began and Scott took the first round with a very convincing 10 second lead on 2nd Ben Hansen, with 3rd place going to Chris Black. The second race sore Scott Kendall come away with the title with a convincing 1 lap lead on the field with Gavin Dawson in 2nd and Chris Black’s son Jacob Black knocking his dad from the podium with a 3rd place finish. The third round would now be used to determine the rest of the placings. Scott chose to race the third round keeping everyone honest which he once again dominated, Chris Black followed in 2nd and Gavin Davidson in 3rd. After 3 Rounds Scott took 1st, Chris Black 2nd and Gavin Dawson 3rd.
2WD Stock saw more bad luck for Scott Kendall who was TQ until his Transmitter died after the first corner of the final qualifier; this final qualifier saw Matt Whitmarsh take TQ and no races left for Scott to fight back. Scott though he was out for the weekend as he did not come with a backup transmitter, but after realising it was just the batteries he was back in it. Finals arrived and in the first round Kendall held a 7 second lead over Matt Whitmarsh who got 2nd with Ben Hansen in 3rd. The second round went much the same seeing Scott Kendall take home his second title for the weekend but that round didn’t come without its issues when it was revealed the computer didn’t count. The round was not re-run but instead the competitor’s positions were based of manual counting and the honesty and integrity of the competitors who knew where they had come. But with the controversy of the second round some people were not convinced. This saw Scott Kendall going into the third round to prove he deserved the title and came away with another convincing first place with Matt Whitmarsh in 2nd and Richard Price in 3rd. After three rounds Scott Kendall took the overall 1st, Matt Whitmarsh 2nd and Ben Hansen 3rd.
All in all the racing was close, the track was awesome and the competitors raced clean and fair. Shane Van Gisbergen has made a real impression in RC car racing in both IC and EP off-road around New Zealand taking 4 titles at this year’s Nationals. Shane O’Connor always comes ready to race and brings his A game every time, taking 3 titles home from these Nationals to add to his fast growing collection. Scott Kendall now has 27 years and 11 titles under his belt after this national champs; but the question is, who will take home the titles next year? Get training New Zealand the racing is getting faster, the competition is getting closer and some of the young guns are starting to come through fighting.
Shane Van Gisbergen takes the Double at the 2015 NZRCA IC Off-Road North Island Champs.
Things were looking bleak on Friday when the practice and qualifying was scheduled to start at the 2015 NZRCA IC Off-Road North Island Champs. Most cars got on the track for a practice before the rain came and flooded the track, hour later and over 50 buckets of Muddy water removed the track was finally open and qualifying got under way.
After 2 rounds of qualifying on the Friday and two more on Saturday morning it was clear that SVG was going to be the man to beat. After winning 3 of his 4 qualifiers in Truggy missing out on one due to what looked like a short lap being taken off his time. Auckland Driver and Current NZ National Truggy Champ Craig Underwood, Current NZ National Buggy Champ Chris Banham and Local Racer and last year’s North Island Champ Gage Peters all had a good go at Van Gisbergen but it wasn’t to be and SVG walked away with TQ. In Buggy SVG was the only racer to do an 11 lap race. Auckland Racer’s Jerry Davis, Shane O’Connor and Chris Banham all took turns to chase down SVG all getting a 2nd Jerry managing to get two 2nds. It was starting to look like the V8 Supercar Driver was unbeatable taking TQ in Both classes.
The A Main Finals were 45 Minutes long and many of the drivers had back to back races as they were in both Mains. The Truggy final was first with SVG on Pole, and some of New Zealand’s best right behind him. Shane took an early lead with Craig Underwood and Jonathan Coluccio chasing him down but Coluccio ran into some trouble and was next seen coming down off the stand. Gage Peters was following Jonathan and took the 3rd place spot with Mark Johnston hot on his tail. Something had Chris Banham at the wrong end of the results seeing him fight his way back up to 3rd and having it out with Underwood for second. Gage and Mark continued to chase down the top three spots but it wasn’t to be for Gage when he started losing positions. Mark continued on to secure 4th place. One person who made a very impressive first appearance at last year’s South Island Champs was Young Gun Jayden Jamieson who this weekend managed to just squeezed into the A Mains qualifying 12th. Jamieson Proved he was meant to be there as he slowly picked off racers and made his way up to a 5th place finish.
In the end, even with a flame out Shane Van Gisbergen took the win with an impressive 2 lap lead on the field. Current NZ Truggy Champ Craig Underwood took 2nd and Current NZ Buggy Champ Chris Banham took 3rd.
Now all that was left was the 45 minute Buggy A Main. The line-up included TQ Shane Van Gisbergen, Current NZ Truggy Champ Craig Underwood and Multiple EP Off-Road Champ Shane O’Connor. With the race under way, once again SVG took an early lead and it stayed that way right to the end. Shane O’Connor got taken out at the start seeing him fight back from 8th to battle it out for 2nd. A second podium for Current NZ Truggy Champ Craig Underwood wasn’t meant to be with his transmitter ceasing up giving him a couple of millimetres between full throttle and full brakes with no Neutral. He drove like this for 15 minutes but it was too much in the end. Jerry Davis had a very good drive sitting in second until facing it off with Shane O’Connor with the two of them swapping between 2nd and 3rd, in the end Shane got in front of Jerry but Jerry still made the podium with 3rd. Shane Van Gisbergen won the Buggy A Main by 3 Laps.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend and the weather in the end played ball. We were able to get through just about all the racing that was scheduled and have a decent length A Mains. Although the titles both went to NZ Born but Australian Registered Racer Shane Van Gisbergen, if they had to go overseas they couldn’t of gone with a better guy. It was a pleasure to have SVG here in Taranaki mixing into the NZ Scene. Van Gisbergen winning just means one thing… now he has to come back and defend it next year.
SVG as well as other competitors from this weekend will also be completing at the 2015 NZRCA 1/10th EP Off-Road Nationals Champs at the beginning of April, he definitely is keeping New Zealand Racers on their toes.
Welcome to the all new NZRCA website
It has been a long time coming but at last we have launched the all new NZRCA website. This website will contain a wealth of information about the Radio Control Car sport in New Zealand and the world. Information about:
- our affiliate clubs,
- sanctioned events,
- general and technical rules,
- news and information, and
- photos and videos