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STCC Round 2: Eastbourne Full Report

STCC Round 2 – Eastbourne.


Report by John Painter
Pictures by Andrew Keen

A brilliant sunny day on Saturday changed to a colder greyer day for Sunday and round 2 at Eastbourne, but that didn’t deter a full compliment of drivers turning up. A full set of heats would mean a busy day for race control but Andy did a brilliant job even with the wet weather causing a small delay in the proceedings later in the day. The track is still fairly new so grip is a little lower than some tracks. This would lead to drivers finding the main problem would be turn in, or at least the lack of it. With not a lot of easy passing areas it would make for some tight racing and difficult times in qualifying.

The day would start off with a quick chat from Mike Smith and Tim Boniface followed by the renowned aroma of the bbq drums cooking breakfast. Time for the drivers to now ready themselves for round 1 of qualifying.

Qualifying
The day would kick off with TC3 going out to qualify. With the ever threat that rain could produce itself later in the morning everyone was looking to get a good drive in as soon as possible. The track was still cold and a bit dirty in round 1 but current championship leader Jason Moggridge would show he is moving into the favourite spot for this years crown. A 19 /300.62 was what he mustered very very closely followed by local man Alex Boniface just .37 of a second off his time. Stuart Colby had a good run, another local driver putting his knowledge to good use and putting in a time 5 seconds shy of the front two. Round 2 and the track had improved enough to see faster times, and that it did. Alex put in a new fastest run with a 20 /305.04 to take over the top spot with that man Jason dropping to third spot with an improvement of only 1 second. Up into second spot came Dominic Shore not happy with 7th on the grid with a good 20 /313.52 . Young Ben Mannell joined the thin end in this round putting up a 19 /305.99 . So, it really would come to the last round. There was no ‘sure thing’ for pole and anything could happen. Out they went and it would be Dominic who would show the group how it was done by taking over pole on a 20 /304.87 . Alex Boniface wouldn’t improve but his round 2 time would be enough to see him second. Stuart Colby kept up his improving times and put in his best for round 3 securing 3rd on the grid. The big mover though was Oli Meggitt, coming from obscurity into the thin end to grab 5th for the ‘A’ main. Young Ben had also done enough to be up there in the game setting himself up 9th on the grid. So, your top 10 would be :

PosNameResultRoundAvg LapBest LapClub
1Dominic Shore20/ 304.87315.2414.15Barham
2Alex Boniface20/ 305.04215.2515.52Eastbourne
3Stuart Colby20/ 306.47315.3214.58Eastbourne
4Jason Moggridge20/ 307.60315.3815.00Southampton
5Oli Meggitt20/ 310.90315.5514.76Southend
6Scott Carter20/ 314.47315.7215.03Milton Keynes
7Dave Ringsell20/ 320.41316.0214.91HRCC
8Mark Trinder19/ 300.11315.8015.23Maritime
9Ben Mannell19/ 305.99216.1015.33Coastal
10Matthew Reynolds19/306.91216.1515.44Maritime


TC2 this year is very hotly contested. With 50 drivers trying to get into the top 10 it would make the qualifying tough and demand the driver to get it spot on when it mattered. Paul Pinkney started the day rolling taking top spot in round 1 showing that 21 laps would be the way to go. Dave Saul was just a gnat’s whisker from a 21 in second spot followed by David Shedd a few seconds back. Everyone knew that round 2 would see better times as the grip appeared. Dave Saul this time was on the move and broke into the 21’s with a run in 306.86 pushing Paul into second spot. Andy Robson would pick up his pace and move into third spot being the last on 21 laps. Everyone knew now you had to either hit 21, or have a fast 20 to be in the ‘A’ main. Round 3 would see times improve for a host of drivers propping up 21 lap runs and, with the exception of Paul Pinkney, all the drivers would have the best run this go round. Lucky Stuart Rand who had been having a nightmare day (and start to the season) would finally get his car hustled round and into 10th spot to claim the last place on the grid. Your top 10 then looked like this :


PosNameResultRoundAvg LapBest LapClub
1David Saul21/ 306.17314.5814.24HRCC
2Darren Simpson21/ 307.81314.6614.44Eastbourne
3Paul Pinkney21/ 308.23214.6814.14Milton Keynes
4Andy Robson21/ 308.77314.7014.12Southend
5Nathan Parker21/ 311.84314.8514.21 
6Malcolm Hall21/ 312.60314.8914.60HRCC
7Phil Williams21/ 313.26314.9214.66Southampton
8David Shedd21/ 313.48314.9314.37Maritime
9Tim Harrop20/ 300.59315.0314.36 
10Stuart Rand20/ 301.72315.0914.48Maritime


TC1 got underway with current champ Mark Fuller putting up the fastest time ahead of local man Tim Hancock. Another local driver Terry Edleston would pick up third spot this round with a consistent run. The cars couldn’t seem to get all the power down in round 1, but come round 2 you could see the cars being pushed much harder. Mark this round would go one lap better than his first run with a 22/ 309.79 followed close by Ricky Copsey just .10 seconds shy of Mark, these two being the only drivers to break into 22 laps. Terry kept up the pressure though and held third spot through this round. Dave Reece would join the gang in the top 10 this go round as would John Fillingham. Down to the last round and all eyes where on the Mark / Ricky pairing. Both of them had enough to take the pole position in them and everyone was sure it would be a close run thing. Mark would put in some stunning laps though and pull off a 22/ 306.94 to go pole, Ricky claiming 2nd spot with a 22/ 308.05. Ashley Wiffen got the speed he needed and the laps came in for him this round bringing 3rd spot on the grid. So, for the ‘A’ main your top 10 where :


PosNameResultRoundAvg LapBest LapClub
1Mark Fuller22/ 306.94313.9513.50Southend
2Ricky Copsey22/ 308.05314.0013.60Southend
3Ashley Wiffen22/ 309.47314.0713.64West London
4Terry Edleston22/ 310.44314.1113.71Eastbourne
5David Reece22/ 312.69314.2113.70Maritime
6Tim Hancock21/ 303.56314.4613.51Eastbourne
7Chris Barrett21/ 304.05214.4813.66Isle Of Wight
8Bryan Loynes21/ 307.51314.6413.97Maritime
9James Brewer20/ 300.38215.0214.54Coastal
10Robert Brooks20/ 301.46315.0714.24 


Finals

With qualifying now wrapped up the finals would start out in earnest. The sky wasn’t looking its best and the threat that rain could fall was getting ever more apparent. TC3 would be the first set of finals out. Just as the time was closing to begin the heavens just opened showering the track fast and hard. This left it wet with standing water and drivers questioning “should they go out”. As the time for the final came only 6 drivers made their way to the track. This would definitely be a leg that was about cool heads and attrition. If a driver hadn’t prepared for the wet you would know it right now. The leg began with Alex Boniface picking up the lead as pole man Domonic Shore decided to wait this one out. Stuart Colby took up after Alex with a bit of a gap back to Ben Manell as he had started 9th on the grid but up to third from the start. This race would be about keeping yourself out the worst puddles, driving smart and just getting to the finish line. Ben it had to be said looked the best out there. He was keeping it smooth and beginning to pull in Stuart. At lap 4 Stuart expired so Ben was off after Alex. Only a couple more laps later and he was in the lead with Alex now circuming to the ‘water effect’. Ben continued to drive smart, he had no one to rush him so he just built up some laps just in case anyone else came back onto the track. He would see this race home to the cheers of his supporters. And excellent job of controlled driving. Alex would be appointed 2nd spot with Stuart 3rd.

After Leg 1 a drivers meeting was held in regards the rain. The options where to continue as we where, to only run this leg or to take qualifiers as the points. It was clear though the STCC bunch are hardy racers as the overwhelming majority was in favour of continue as we where. So on with the legs.

Leg 2 would be a lot drier. The track though a touch damp would see 9 of the drivers go out to battle. From the starting mellay Dave Ringsell had the most luck and would pull out into the complex in 1st place. Matt Reynolds would take chase up from 10th on the grid closely followed by Ben Mannell in 3rd. By lap two Dave was tussling for position with Ben who had got past Matt for second spot. Dave would surcome to Ben and hand over the lead a lap later but then Ben made a mistake allowing himself to drop back to 4th. Dave therefore took up the lead again and would be fighting off Matt who was still floating around behind him. By the second minute of the race Dave was still holding off from Matt but now Dominic Shore had found some pace battling back into 3rd spot. Dave kept up the pace and would stretch his lead with some consistent laps to almost the whole straight looking clearly like he might take this leg win. Matt was still back there though and Dominic not far off him either. Back markers would now come into play and Dave was finding it hard getting through. This allowed Matt to pull back some of the lead Dave had on him. A mistake now by Dave would prove awful luck for him. Matt took full advantage and slid on by before Dave could re-join and would take the lead to the line ahead of Dave 2nd and Domonic 3rd.

Leg 3 and the win was still very much undecided. In essence any of the top 5 drivers from both legs could take the win. This leg would be like a one-run final in that case, do, or die. With more rain having produced yet another very soggy track this race would be about total control. No standing water this time, but the track was immensely slick leaving the cars like they where on ice. From the off Stuart Colby got the kicker and took up 1st spot followed by Alex Boniface and Mark Trinder who did a fine job up from 8th spot. Stuart continued the procession of cars round for the lap but behind him a slight mistake by Alex allowed Mark through. Mark then would have his mis
take on the very next lap dropping him back down the field. Stuart was doing a grab job of controlling this run building a lead the length of the straight but no one told Dave Ringsell this. Though not featuring up the front he was definitely getting to grips with his Corally and pushing on hard. At lap 6 he shot through the pack and into the lead with some brilliant driving leaving stunned Stuart to chase after him. The remains of the race now would be a three-way run between Dave, Stuart and Mark. Dave always looked to have the upper hand but late into the race backmarkers caused him to loose a lot of time. Stuart tried his best but he just couldn’t close that gap letting Dave take this leg, Stuart second and Mark third.

So where did that leave us in regards the overall top 3. Well it was worked out and the top 3 appointed but with a major upset about to happen. Domonic had been found illegal in scrutineering and would have his time docked. This meant that the overall win would go to the young man Ben Mannell followed by Stuart Colby and Dave Ringsell. A brilliant day for Ben im sure, he had run some good races, and been pretty consistent throughout.



TC2 was next up. A couple of drivers wouldn’t want to venture out in the rain with so much standing water. The first corner would be a difficult one. Dave Saul led them round but some sliding and bumping allowed Nathan Parker up into 2nd from 5th and Stuart Rand came up from 10th into 4th spot. Dave continued to drive smooth but Stuart Rand had found his water wings and was on the move, now up to 2nd spot on lap 2. Phill Williams was doing a great job and was up to third spot ahead of Andy Robson. Stuart had set his sights on Dave and did seem the faster car of the pairing. Dave would do his best but on lap 7 Stuart found his way underneath Dave on the apex of corner 3 and would take the lead. Stuart now would motor on, the lead building every lap from Dave who looked to be taking a cautious air now consolidating his 2nd spot. Stuart would build his lead through the remaining minutes coming home to win 7 seconds in front of Dave with Phil a lap back but in 3rd spot.

Leg 2 and this time a damp track was to be had. Darren Simpson got the best start and took up the lead followed by Dave Shedd from way back in 8th up to 2nd. Pole man Dave just had to push on and that he did taking back top spot on lap 3 from Darren. Back behind these guys though and the TC2 Rainmeister was on the move. That man Stuart Rand was scything through the field and was in hot pursuit of the top 3. By lap 4 he was into second spot and gunning for Dave. By one and half minutes Dave was being pushed hard by Stuart both of them battling hard but it would be Stuart again who got the upper hand passing Dave and going into the lead. By the 2 minute mark Stuart was starting to pull away from Dave. Tim Harrop was now up there as well from 9th on the grid. With the battling going on he had made time up on the front duo and was now sitting with Dave on the lead lap. Both Tim and Dave now would battle it out for second spot allowing Stuart to disappear into the distance and by the 5 minutes grab the win. Lap 7 and Tim got the upper hand ahead of Dave and would set off to build a little margin. Dave was never to far off and when Tim made a mistake at 4 minutes Dave took advantage but then on the same lap made a mistake himself giving back second spot to Tim. The pair would cross the line with Tim taking 2nd spot by just under a second from Dave 3rd.

Leg 3. Stuart had done enough, he could sit this out if he wanted but decided to run. The track had had another spattering of rain so was very loose again, but at least there was no standing water. Darren Simpson would get a great drive off the line again as Dave faltered and would relegate himself to 10th. Paul Pinkney would feature in this race and by lap 4 had taken the lead off Darren who made a mistake loosing a few places in the process. Nathan Parker was off after Paul and on lap 7 he slipped by on the chicane. Tim Harrop had been quietly pushing on though through the grid and by lap 7 he was in shooting distance of the top 2. Over the next 2 laps he would take 2nd then 1st spot and begin a controlled run towards the line. Paul Pinkney would keep himself clean and drive consistent to keep the Rainmeister (Stuart) at bay. By the 5 minutes Tim crossed the line with a decant gap back to Paul who crossed in 2nd spot followed by Stuart in 3rd. However after scrutineering Tim’s car was found illegal so this promoted Paul to 1st, Stuart to 2nd and Nathan to 3rd. Overall then after 3 legs the clear winner was Stuart Rand, 2nd Dave Saul and 3rd Andy Robson who had just been ultra consistent.

TC1 now had their time to battle. Mark Fuller would line up on pole and lead the cars away. A mistake though saw Ricky Copsey and Ashley Wiffen though leaving Mark some work to do on a very slippery track. Mark got on terms with Ashley in the next lap though and powered after Ricky. Ricky made a big mistake allowing the preceding cars to filter through. Mark now back in the lead would drive smooth and try to build up a gap. Ricky now had the bit in his teeth, really pushing the car to the limit. Within 6 laps he was back on terms with Mark and gong after the lead. Behind this pairing Dave Reece was putting in some good laps and was up to third spot ahead of Ashley. As time ran out Ricky could do nothing but watch Mark cross the line to take this leg, Ricky 2nd with Dave Reece 3rd.

Leg 2 saw a dryer track and Ricky would take advantage of a bad start by Mark. Ashley found his way into 2nd spot and duly started harassing Ricky, but Ricky just had that slight edge keeping out of striking distance. Mark had regained his composure now and was up to third spot again. He looked to be settling into a pace keeping himself not more than a couple of seconds from the front duo. Ricky continued to run true and built a 3 second lead on Ashley, both circulating faster than Mark in this run who was still back in 3rd spot. By 5 minutes Ricky crossed the line with the win from Ashley 3 seconds back and Mark 3rd a further 13 seconds off the pair.

Leg 3 and a praying Ricky wanted rain, he knew his car was the fastest on a wet track so wanted that shower to happen. The shower didn’t materialise and from the off both Mark and Ricky made mistakes allowing James Brewer into the lead from 9th on the grid and Ashley into 2nd spot. Ricky got on top of his car though and pushed hard getting past James whose car died and squeezed past Ashley to regain the lead. Ricky was driving good lines and was pulling from Ashley slightly each lap. But Ashley would get it together and start putting in some quick laps himself to start battling with Ricky now. This would allow Mark to gain some time on the front pair and close up. But as time ran out Ricky had done enough again, Ashley just not able to make a move once more and Mark unable to really get on terms. So overall after 3 legs we had Ricky Copsey taking the win ahead of Mark Fuller 2nd and Ashley Wiffen 3rd.


A brilliant day overall, and although the rain disrupted play this was definitely an exciting round. Some drivers really showed some brilliant driving and cool heads in the wet conditions, especially Ben Mannell and Stuart Rand. This will be a round im sure both will remember. In the driver championships after round 2 the TC3 top guys where Dave Ringsell on 196 points, Jason Moggridge on 191 and Scott Carter on 189. In TC2 Dave Saul was up there with 197 closely followed by Paul Pinkney on 195 and Andy Robson on 194. TC1 saw Ashley up front on 198, Mark Fuller second with 195 and Dave Reece 3rd with 193. Clubwise the championship was still in the hands of Southend on 1496, last years champs Maritime 2nd with 1402 and previous champs Coastal on 1361 in 3rd.

Next up is Brooklands. Anyone who doesn’t know this track should take a look at it on Google earth. It is huge (read that as HHHUUUGGEEE). The track itself is almost as long as a football field and predominantly 1/5th and 1/8th scale cars are the main stay of the track. Sure enough the track will be shortened to use the dogleg in the straight but this will be the high speed track of the series where we are going to see some bullets from competitors. Let’s hope the rain will allow us a dry day to really see what these 1/10th tourers can do.

A big thanks to the Eastbourne team once more for a great day, great food and a hospitable welcome. See you all at round 3 on the 18th of May.

TC1         
QFDriverChassisSponsorsSpeedoCellsMotorBR/BLBody
12Mark FullerCorally PHIHorizon Hobby ModeltechLRP Sphere TCTrakPower LipoCorallyBLMazda 6
21Ricky CopseyHB CycloneMirage Orion Hotbodies Nosram ModeltechNosramTrakPower LipoOrion/CorallyBLMazda 6
33Ashley WiffenXray T2-007 LRP Sphere TCYungton 4300LRP/CorallyBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
48Terry EdlestonHB Cyclone NosramOrion SHO IB4200CorallyBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
57David ReeceXray T2-008 NosramTrakPower LipoLRPBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
69Tim HancockHB Cyclone GM100TrakPower LipoOrionBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
710Chris BarrettYokomo BD LRP Sphere TCOrion 3600 LiPoCorallyBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
84Bryan LoynesXray T2-008 LRP Sphere TCTrakPower LipoNosramBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
95James BrewerSerpent S400Serpent UKSpeed Passion GTIntegy 4200LRPBLProtoform DNA2
106Rob BrooksAE TC4 LRPEP4200LRPBLAudi

TC2         
QFDriverChassisSponsorsSpeedoCellsMotorBR/BLBody
12David SaulXray T2-008Apex Models, Slikks GraphixLRP Sphere TCPromatch NRG 4600NosramBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
28Darren SimpsonTamiya TRF 415 MSX LRP Sphere TCOrion 3600 LiPoOrionBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
35Paul PinkneyTamiya TRF 415 MSXDemon Power ProductsLRP Sphere TCDemon 4300OrionBLMazda 6
43Andy RobsonAE TC5Colin Bliss Models, CMLNovak GTBTrakPower 3200 LiPoNovakBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
59Nathan ParkerTamiya TRF 416Extreme RC, Gav GraphicsNosram ISTCCore LiPoOrionBLProtoform Mazda Speed6
610Malcolm HallHB CycloneMirage TracksideNosram MatrixApex EP4200NovakBLMazda 6
74Phil WilliamsTOP ScytheDynamic Visions ltdNovakEP4200NovakBLMazda 6
87Dave SheddTamiya TRF 415 MRE LRP Sphere TCLRP 4200NovakBLMazda 6
96Tim HarropXray T2-008 LRP Sphere TC NosramBLMazda 6
101Stuart RandCorally PHIAxiomLRP Sphere TCTrackPower LiPoAxiom TrinityBLMazda 6

TC3         
QFDriverChassisSponsorsSpeedoCellsMotorBR/BLBody
19Dominic ShoreYokomo BD LRP SphereTrakPower LiPoNovakBLMazda 6
27Alex BonifaceHB CycloneAJR EntertainmentLRP SphereOrion 3200 LiPo TrakPower LiPoOrionBLDodge 3
32Stuart ColbyTamiya TRF 415 MSX NovakOrion 3600 LiPoNovakBLMazda 6
410Jason MoggridgeTeam Magic E4 RSFull Throttle MotorsportSpeed PassionFull Throttle EnergyFull Throttle BLHB Dodge
58Oli MeggettAE TC5RIDE HeatboardsLRP Sphere TCSMG EnergyNovakBLProtoform Speed6
66Scott CarterXray T2-007 LRP SphereIB 4200NovakBLProtoform Speed6
73Dave RingsellCorally PHIHorizon Hobby UKLRP Sphere TCPeak 4200LRPBLMazda 6
84Mark TrinderXray T2-008Xtreme RCNovak GTBTrakPower LiPoNovakBLMoorespeed Mazda MPS
91Ben MannellTamiya TRF 415 MSXSMG Shell Art Racing FactoryLRP SphereEnergy 4600NovakBLMoorespeed Mazda MPS
105Matt ReynoldsXray T2-007