Round 3 of the RCX challenge was hosted at Avion Raceway on the 21st of July 2013. With an exceptional turnout of 38 buggies, 11 truggies and a first time class of 7 electric buggies, everyone was looking forward to a day filled with racing action.
The usual format would apply of 4 rounds of qualifying heats in the morning and then the main finals in the afternoon. With the outstanding turn out, it was later decided at lunch to scrap the final round of qualifying to allow the "A" main drivers the opportunity to complete the race before it was too dark.
Racing was underway at 9:30am with group 1, heat 1, kicking off the action. A few new and old faces on the drivers stand saw Christof Meyer secure top spot with 6 laps in a best time for heat 1 of 336.63s. With 5 other drives each completing 5 laps respectively, Christof would be the man to beat in the remaining heats. He also topped the group taking heats 2 and 3 improving his 6 lap average by 30s.
In heat 1, group 2, Daniel De Azevedo from Komati topped heat 1 with returning driver Mark Remcken taking the second. Mark the only driver to secure 7 laps in heat 3 showed he is still on the pace when you consider he has not raced nor practiced much this year.
Group 3 was a mix of fast and consistent drivers. Jose Goncalves quickly set the pace in his Mugen power by a Novarossi with farther and son team, the Frommann`s in 2nd and 3rd respectively in heat 1. Warren who had an issue in heat 1, quickly repaired his car to bounce back and take heat 2 by 3.25s from Jose. The consistent performance in the 3rd heat gave Warren top spot securing him an "A" main qualifying starting position of 2nd.
Group 4 hosted the top 10 ranked drivers of RCX after 2 events. Justin was out the starting blocks quickly topping Miguel by 10s in heat 1. Miguel must have then had some "Red Bull" or strapped on a second motor or something like that taking heats 2 and 3 setting an average of 46.17s and 45.91s respectively. Miguel also set a lightning fast lap of 43.63s showing he was going to be tough to beat in the main finals regardless of whatever anyone else was drinking!
The first heat of the truggies heats saw only two starters. Both David and Quintis completed 7 laps with only 6 secs separating the two. David new to the class also topped heat 2 with Quintis securing heat 3 with 7 laps is 335.52s.
The second heat of truggies was taken by Brenden Du Preez with Rudi Labuschagne close behind in second place. This group was somewhat off the pace of David and Quintis in the previous heat however the third heat was much improved with Chris VD Weshuizen and Brendan both completing 7 laps with a best lap of 45.42s set by Brendan showing that they were now ready to battle it out for top spot in the finals…
The final group of qualifying was set for the electric buggys. With a total of 7 in the class, a first of a kind for RCX. Thomas took first place in heat 1 with a best of 48.28s. Christof driving an Associated RC8.2e bounced back to set a best time of 47.53 in heat 2 and Adam then set a PB of 47.80s in heat 3 to complete the qualifying heats. With that said Christof took TQ for the final with Thomas in 2nd and Adam in 3rd.
The first round of finals was set for the D qualifying drivers. With 8 starters, Johan in pole was the driver to beat if you take statistics into consideration however sometimes we all know you just need a little luck in this sport to give you an edge! Mj starting in 4th worked his way up to second with Johan slipping down to 3rd at the end of the race. Jacques Brits took top spot on the podium up from 2nd with 26 laps and a best time of 1850,38s.
Round two of the finals saw the likes of Paul, Leo, Christo, Arron to name a few battle it out for P1. With a strong field, this would be no easy race. Paul who started in 8th worked up to the front and never looked back driving a faultless final to win with 33 laps and an average of 55.62s. Leo completed another successful final taking home 2nd with Christo in 3rd. Mark who started in pole, dropped out the race 10 laps into the event with a suspension issue. Better luck next time lads…
The B final was set for 30 minutes of dirt ripping action. Daniel who was in pole was ready to keep the likes of Christof, Adam, Chris, Pedro, Hein and Albie at bay. After the start, Adam took an early lead only to let 4 cars pass him 3 laps into the main as the marshall decided he would also rather enjoy the racing as opposed to assist the drivers. Daniel then moving to P1 simply applied the pressure driving a faultless race to the checkered flag with Christo and Adam following him home. Chris VD Weshuizen looked as though he would be strong contender for P1 however a few technical issues saw him slip down the leader board to end 5th. Pedro who ended in 4th, drove consistent lines showing that fast is not only about top speed performance.
The electric final was held shortly after the B final and would run for a duration of 10 minutes. With Christof in P1, could he hold out to take the win? With Christof setting the fastest lap time of 48.28s, it was not enough as he dropped to 3rd with Thomas taking P1 and Adam P2. An enjoyable race to say the least! We look forward to seeing more drivers enter this class over the next few events…
The truggy final was going to be interesting battle if qualifying results were anything to go by. David ranked P1 dropped out only 2 laps into the race opening the door for the other drivers. Brendan would take this opportunity to steal P1 from Quintis who is has showed solid performances in each race he enters. Captain slow, Anthony who had a relatively quiet day took P3 up from 7th. Herman came home in 4th with 21 laps some 3 laps off the leader. Wykie took 5th a further lap down on Herman. Congrats to all the drivers for making this an exciting race.
The final event of the day, rounded up the 10 best qualifying buggy drivers on the day. With 9 of the 10 starting, we all waited with baited breath to see if anyone could stop Miguel, with a deteriorating surface and ambient light reducing rapidly, this was going to be an exciting race regardless. After a quick restart, Justin was the only causality off the starting grid, flaming just before the buzzer and having to start from the pits at the back of the field.
For the first 10 minutes or so, Jose Goncalves was providing exactly what the spectators wanted to see, resistance to Miguel!, Jose was able to maintaining a reasonable lead ahead of Miguel from lap 2 up to the 6th lap, until a few small mistakes allowed Miguel to reduce the gap to just few meters allowing both drivers to pass each other time and time again around the circuit. At the first fuel stop, Jose flamed in the pits which gave Miguel a lead Jose would never be able recover. Warren then moved to P1 around the 13 the lap mark with a pushing Miguel not far behind him. Warren managed to hold him off for 9 odd laps until Miguel took an inside pass and squeezed the throttle leaving Warren in his dust riding home the win. Warren drove a fantastic final, securing 2nd. Justin again showed ultimate consistently, taking 3rd from 10th place with returning driver Mark Remken a solid 4th. Morne Louw capped the top 5 drivers of the buggy class with some fast laps most of us dream off... Well done to all the drivers for an awesome final with lots of spill and thrills...
The uncle then closed the day off with a short prize giving and quick thank you to all the people which make this series such a great event!
We look forward to the 4th round which will be held in KOMATI on the 7-8th of September. Lots of prizes up for grabs so well worth the effort guys! Let’s show some support to Thomas and his team. He has made a massive effort for our enjoyment. Keep your eyes on the website for further details.
Until next time, keep it on the wheels!