SPC Cotswold 11th September

Just a brief-ish report on today’s racing…

My first time ever at an SPC round, and a well organised and enjoyable meeting it was. Despite the apocalyptic weather forecasts from earlier in the week we were greeted with a damp track followed by a mostly dry day.

There were healthy heats of F10 (rubber-tyre) and F1 class (foam) and a solid turnout of 16 Minis spread across 2 heats.

Overall I was pleased with my race day – practice on a damp track showed that my new handout motor was in fine fettle, and the first round of qualifying on a slightly moist track showed that my last-minute decision to use carpet additive was the wrong one. The three remaining rounds of qualifying were all on a dry and occasionally sunny track, and although my times were slightly off my best from a month ago, I managed to TQ with a 13/306. It was a good day for all the Xevo Triumph runners, with John Ridding in second and Adie Parkes fifth.

Pole position at Cotswold is quite the advantage because you are right on top of the first corner with no chance of getting T-boned by traffic. In the first final I took too much kerb on the corner before the straight which gave John a sniff of the lead but I managed to hold my place and maintain my lead until the end with John second. The second final was a little smoother at the start and again I was never headed. John had to wait a long time for a marshal after crashing and ended up following Adie home for an all-Xevo podium.

SPC finalSPC final 2Setup is more or less the same as the one I posted recently with the exception of Tamiya touring springs (blue front, yellow rear), #500 front oil, about 2.5deg rear camber, 2 deg front toe-out. Most of these changes were aimed at making the car a bit more stable as grip was low.

This was also the last race I will be doing in Digit RC colours and very likely the last race I will be doing with the Xevo Triumph. I’ve made the decision to shut down the business and will be adding some very tempting offers to the shop soon. Thanks to all who have supported us, and don’t worry, I’ll still be racing…


Pre-SPC shakedown and a few Xevo setup tweaks…

Just spent the day at the Cotswold club meeting. We had a good turnout of Minis (5 plus 2 Mardaves) which was great to see.

A few of us used the day as a pre-SPC test. The Super Production Cup is coming to the Cotswold track in September and the numbers should be boosted by a few local racers.

Apart from the change in gear ratio, I had a couple of different parts on the car. First was some touring-length springs – I started the day with Tamiya blues on the front and Tamiya yellows on the rear and ended the day exactly the same.

Second new part was the recently released 3Racing gear diff. I built it up initially with 3Racing’s own diff locking grease – a quick bench test the night before suggested that this was going to work just like a spool on the track, and sure enough it did. Undriveable. After half-a-dozen spins into the grass the steering spindle called time and broke.

Cleaning all the grease out was a lengthy process – in fact I cleaned it out twice because the first rebuild didn’t feel right – so in the meantime I re-fitted the M-05 ball diff and the car was as awesome as ever, setting a 13/305 on the way to TQ. The first leg of the final was won in a 13/303 (with a short first lap), and for the second final I decided to try the gear diff again.

This time, it was filled with some Fastrax #7000 oil that has been in my pit bag for a very, very long time. First impressions were very good, the car was entirely driveable on the warm up lap, and as the race progressed I noticed that the car was carrying more corner speed with less braking required, and also had better pull on corner exit. The only negative was a slight turn-in understeer – which might be cured with a slightly lighter oil – and heavier front tyre wear. Result was a win in 13/301 and a fast lap of 22.8, the first time I have got into the 22s and the closest I have come to a 14 lapper.

The diff is staying in for the time being 😉


Xevo “Triumphs” at Super Production Cup

Congratulations to Xevo Triumph driver John Ridding who emerged victorious at the fourth round of the SPC at Broxtowe. He sent us this report…

“Thought you might like to know I top qualified and won both finals at the Broxtowe round of the Super Production Cup .

I was chased hard by Andy Travis with his rapid M05 and another Chippenham Club racer, Adrian Parkes, with a similar fully hopped up M05. However, my car was on rails, probably the best it has ever been and I was able to place it anywhere I wanted on the track with absolute confidence. In fact one of those days when it was a real joy to drive.

If Andy had won both rounds he would have taken the championship. However, there are now three rounds left at Colchester, Cotswold and Moto Arena. If I win both finals at each of these last three meetings than I can beat Andy to the title. Probably not on, but you never know. . . .”

For more information on the series visit www.superproductioncup.co.uk

Cotswold club meeting 17th April

Another lovely day at the Cotswold track today… my neck is nice and pink to prove it!

In 13.5 touring my main aim for the day was to find a good ESC setup. I use Hobbywing technology with a Much-More sticker on the side and a Speed Passion v3 motor. I’ve been unhappy with the low-end feel of both the 518_stock and 119_stock firmwares, so I decided to start afresh with the latest 211_stock.

After a long practice session I made a small breakthrough. Too much boost timing seems to bog the car down badly. Running at 36 steps with the motor on +10 mechanical timing resulted in ballistic speed throughout the rev range.

These are the settings I was using in the end (indicated by “+”). The car was as fast as anything else on the track today, although motor temps were close to the limit. Gear ratio was 7.3:1.


Unfortunately my racing was cut short by a silly driver error (watching the lapped traffic not my own car) which saw me flip into the grass at high speed and break the rear shock tower mount – again.

Mini class was a real pleasure. Although there were only three entrants this time (would love to see a full heat), I had some super-close battles with John Timberlake’s 4wd car. He had a couple of tenths per lap on me in qualifying and the first final, but in the second final I seemed to have regained a bit of top speed while John lost a little grip, and I managed to sneak ahead of him for the win. A little rubbing, but nothing unfair, and great racing. We had both knocked almost a second from our best laptimes at the first round.

I’ve made a few changes to the front of the Xevo in an attempt to keep the rear end more planted (ackermann and bump stops mainly), and they seem to have worked. The car has been super stable indoors and out for the last couple of race meetings.

Here is the setup for the tarmac track. On carpet my only changes are to the gear ratio (20T pinion), front tyres (Sweep 25 with glued sidewalls) and additive (Nosram carpet).



Race Report – CWIC Rounds 9/10 – 13th February 2011

WARNING: The following race report contains a number of excuses. These have been put in italics!

The final event of the Chippenham Winter Indoor Championship (CWIC) was held on 13th February at the Christie Miller Sports Centre in Melksham. This included rounds 9 and 10 of the 2wd Mini championship.

The track layout for this final round was fast and flowing, with a long, wide sweeper leading into a switchback, a short straight and a flowing sequence of chicanes.

The Mini entry was the healthiest it had been all series – 25 cars – so healthy that Heat 1 had 15 competitors in it because there wasn’t room for them anywhere else! 15 Minis on track looked and sounded spectacular with a lot less crashing than you might have expected, this class really suits the size of an indoor track (30mx16m at the CWIC).

It was good to see two more Xevo Triumph’s at the meeting, as well as my own Triumph and at least one Xevo Chariot.

Round one started badly for me, since this was only the second race on the newly laid track the grip was quite low and as a result I clipped a marker and rolled. After another driving mistake which didn’t need marshalling, I managed to set some quick laps in the last half of the race and caught the leaders, TQing the round with a 20/307 (ish).

I was first away in round two and had a solid run which resulted in a slow 21 lapper, another TQ.

Round 3 was another solid run to set TQ for the finals with a 21/304 (ish), some 10 seconds ahead of the second place car (a Tamiya M-05), although I was conscious of being a bit slow around the long sweeper which was reflected in my laptimes.

I’m normally wary of making changes before the finals, especially when you already have the advantage of pole, but I decided to gear up from a 22T pinion to a 24T. And what a difference it made!

I had a good start from pole and led through the first corner complex. Onto the straight and the HPI Saturn 20 motor was really singing, so much so that it was still trying to accelerate through the sweeper. Brilliant! Result was a comfortable final win in 21/301, almost a lap ahead of the second placed car (another M-05). Maximum points from Round 9, and half of the day’s targets met.

Onto the second final (Round 10). I started quite well but was a little wide into the second apex of the sweeper. This gave the second-placed car a glimpse of the lead, so he stuck his nose in, but he ended up tagging the back of my car, spinning me, and sending his own car wide. We were both well down the field, and I got tagged again a little later on the first lap, crossing the line in roughly eight place. Fortunately the traffic fell in my favour as others collided with one another and the track markings, and I managed to work my way up to third. After a great battle with Andy Travis’s M-05, the Xevo’s superior speed through the sweeper showed and I managed to get through on the inside. A lap later I got up the inside of Chris Brain’s Xevo Chariot through the first chicane and settled down to build a lead.

Everything was looking good until about 4 minutes in, when I got distracted by a marshal and clipped a marker, rolling the car. Although the car landed on its wheels, when I tried to pull away it span out. My transponder had come unstuck, and re-stuck itself onto the bottom of the chassis! Thankfully the marshal noticed this and re-attached it, although by that time I had lost just over a lap and finished in 5th or 6th place overall, with Martin Reeder’s HPI Switch taking the win.

Of course, I already knew that the velcro pad under the transponder had lost it’s stick. Bad prep on my part.

Nevertheless a good day for the Xevo. In two appearances at the CWIC, the car has secured two TQ’s and won 2 of 4 rounds. With better driving and prep, it could easily have been 4 from 4.

In the championship overall, other driver’s scores from earlier rounds meant I couldn’t win, and to take second place would have required two wins on the day and bad results from the other contenders. I’m very pleased to have taken the third-place trophy home with me, and congratulations to Bob Styles for winning this years 2wd Mini championship.