Area 51 – 4wd – Dec 2012

Written by Tony. Posted in Live Race Reports

The THINGThis year Area 51 was certainly going to be challenging, especially one of the features (THING) mentioned in the 2wd report.
In the evening it was decided to check the ‘THING’ with a 4wd car.
Theoretically with the added traction, power and so on of a 4wd car, it was decided that the jump will remain.

Or would it!!

Practice Sessions
Joining the party today was Lee Martin the joint current 4wd British Champion as well as local hero John Spencer multi National A finalist.

Both top drivers and of course potentially will be affecting the main A final

With less drivers for the 4wd event to the 2wd the day before, the club decided to do 4 minute practice sessions.
This was good and we would also see how the drivers with their 4wd cars would cope with the ‘THING’

Round 1
area514wd1Well round one started and there were some suprises in who was going to be quick through the day.  Young gun, Jack Embling looked real good in both practice sessions and was extremely consistent over the THING jump.  Many were surprised when Jack put his Tamiya buggy right up into 2nd place in round.  It was yesterdays winner Tom Cockrill topping the round 1 charts, with his new K1.





Round 2


A big pause in the racing after round 1 and in my opinion a mistake by the club.
They decided to change the THING jump.  Why on earth would you change it now at this stage, I just couldn’t and still do not understand.
We had 14 heats the day before and everyone suffered with it all day from practice through 4 rounds of qualification and all the finals.
Today we already managed 2 longer practice runs and already 1 round of qualification.  At this stage I actually got a little annoyed and I expressed my view to Matt Owen.  This was purely at frustration as the organisers already ask my views on numerous occasions and didn’t execute any of them.   Helllllooooo!!!!!
I was probably a little out of order so I apologise for that but on the same token in my eyes the only reason the THING jump was changed, was because a couple of the superstars drivers just couldn’t get on with it.  That is my view and although Kev Lee was trying through the day to change my opinion and or to see it a different way, at this late hour it still remains. Since this report I was told some cars broke but my opinion still remains!

Anyway, the person that in my opinion it was penalizing the most, was young Jack as he was copping with the jump THING really well and for sure young Jack raised some eye brows when he TQed round 2 after pro Tom Cockerill pulled out with a problem.  Jack had now semi secured top 3 on the grid and was looking good.  Nathan Ralls took 2nd and Mark Penny came in the picture with a 3rd in round.  Ben Cosgrove driving his Durango in at number 4 with Matt Owen himself taking 5th in the round now that he could cope with the adjusted THING

Round 3
area514wd4Round 3 came round very quick.

Tom Cockerill took the round and put his Schumacher car on pole with only young Jack having an opportunity in the 4th round to take it away.

Mark Penny had a great run to take 2nd in round and Kev Lee coming in 3rd in round after some set up changes to his Kyosho

All looking very interesting for round 4 but surprisingly Lee Martin was not yet showing his pace with a 3-66-5 in the 3 rounds completed



Round 4
area514wd5On to round 4 and at this stage I worked out there were many drivers sitting the the B final that could make the main with a good run.  Myself included.

Tom puts in another blistering run and TQed the 4th round and took pole for the meeting.
Mark Penny has another 2nd in round to put himself 3rd on the grid.
Chris Crainger from the touring car world and former worlds A finalist puts his K1 5th on the grid with a 3rd in round.
4th in round was young Jack but he already secure 2nd on the grid.
5th in round from James Helliwell from Robin Hood Raceway and that secured him 7th on the grid.
6th in the final round was Ben Cosgrove and that along with his 4th puts him 8th on the grid.
7th was Matt Owen and that gave him the last spot in the main A final.
8th in the round was Nathan Ralls but he already secured 4th on the grid.
9th was Mark Fletcher but he was to compete in the B final.
10th was Paul Penny but that only secured the BQ spot.  Good effort though Paul even with all the transmitter problems causing a share with brother Mark.
Lee Martin had no improvements and was to line up 6th on the grid. Maybe too many mince pies for our national  champion!

John Spencer
area514wd3John was hoping to be make the main A final with his K1 after beating Elliott Boots (Elliott broke!!) the week before at the Herts club but missed out and ended up 4th on the grid for the B.


area514wd6This is the top 3 finals and how they lined up









Main A final and result
area514wd9Well it has to be said that Tom was the class of the field this weekend.  He took the 2wd win yesterday after a battle with Kev Lee and today was on such a high he was near unbeatable.  A massive well done to Tom.  Mark Penny drove his heart out in a couple of the legs to take 2nd place at the metting and the only man to beat Tom in the finals with his last leg win.
Kev Lee made double podium just like Tom so a solid show for the Kyosho man











Area 51 Conclusion
The Silverstone club moved the venue from the big warehouse where the original event was held to their Tuesday night venue at Moulton College.  I personally feel this lost some impact to this now once a year event .  No one can fault the efforts of the club or the massive work load to build such a complex track but in my opinion it was just a bit too much.  OK I know you are thinking that may sound a bit harsh but after many years of racing and a club organiser in the past, I have learned that the best tracks are the tracks that the majority can drive and enjoy.  Like I’ve said many times, the fast guys will always be fast so never penalise the lesser driver.  I repeat though, the passion for racing and the effort by the Silverstone club is second to none but please lads, no more THING jumps 🙂