The Faversham Triple Crown winter Series, supported by TLR / Horizon got off to a flying start with round one being held on the 14th October. Terrific racing, a friendly atmosphere and brilliant organization combined to produce a memorable day's racing that was closely fought and hard won in every class.
Inspire a Generation…
The Faversham Off-Road Car Club (www.forcc.co.uk), under the patriarch guidance of Alan Moon has become an integral part of the South East Region's rich fabric of racing but has managed to keep it's club identity in tact along the way, holding true to their roots and beliefs in grass-roots racing; catering for a club membership of in excess of 70 current members with weekly mid-week racing and boasting a historical membership of over 1000. It's a club that prides itself on the development of young racers and on a cold autumnal day in early October, there's little to warm the soul quite like a rostrum full of young faces, struggling to peer over the safety rail as they complete the first few laps of their burgeoning R/C adventures. Great work guys!
78 racers wended their merry way through the high street and back streets of Faversham in the dark and early hours of Sunday morning to the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for the series opener. With great club representation coupled with the Horizon / TLR team along with notable racers including Ellis Stafford and Spektrum's Grant Williams, the day was shaping up to be a classic right from the off and so it proved to be in all classes as the challenging, multi-surface track provided enough variation and a degree of difficulty that kept even the most experienced of off-road racers on their toes whilst the large layout with it's 30 metre main straight and flowing design (courtesy of FORCC's Dave Crew) meant that it was rewarding for everyone of all abilities.
With the club base more familiar with 4WD racing, there was no surprise to see a full house of 49 racers, spanning 5 heats in this class with notable top racers including Nathan Ralls and Ed Kerry competing for top honours alongside up and coming young racer Kyle Moon who is being carefully guided and supported by Nathan. Club Stalwarts such as Neil Gavin and James Clifford would no doubt keep up the pressure on the front-runners but after the four rounds of qualifying, it was Nathan's Associated B44-based machine that took the top qualifying honours ahead of Ed's Durango with Kyle's Tamiya machine in 3rd spot.
From his leading grid position, pole-man Nathan did his level best to make the A Finals interesting for all of the on-looking spectators. Despite having clearly the fastest car in a straight line, his was also looking the most edgy at the end of the main straight which ultimately saw him crash out of contention on a couple of occasions but which served to treat the crowd to the spectacle that is known as the 'Ralls Recovery Drive'. Second placed man Ed Kerry made the most of Nathan's misfortune to win the first and third legs of the final to take the overall win ahead of the Recovering Ralls whilst Kyle completed the podium courtesy of his two steady-paced third place finishes.
In the 2WD class, it had been a day long battle for pole position between the established off-road superstars of Grant Williams and Ellis Stafford with local hero Stu Rand snapping relentlessly at their heels alongside Horizon / TLR driver Chris Delves with these four drivers seemingly able to eke out an advantage over the ensuing pack.
But as with the 4WD class, the pole-man's curse would strike again with Grant seemingly unable to convert his qualifying advantage into a race win. Stu collected the pieces in leg one to take home the win whilst Ellis Stafford made all his years of experience count as his took home the wins in legs 2 and 3 to claim the overall victory. Stu Rand came home 2nd overall with a superb drive in leg 3 where he finished 2nd whilst Grant clung on for the 3rd place overall ahead of Horizon / TLR's Chris Delves who missed out on an overall podium despite finishing 3rd in two of the three legs. Horizon / TLR drivers Ollie Crew and Andy Carter finished 5th and 7th overall respectively making it a solid day for the team whilst Faversham hot shots Will Johnson, Michael Vincent and Tom Bate all drove superbly to claim their places in the A final alongside veteran racer and legendary commentator Dave Church. The 2WD class had been so competitive throughout the day that 9 of the top ten A finalists posted qualifying times that would have placed them in the 4WD A final, proving that you don't need to have drive to all four wheels to produce a great drive.
In the single heat SCT class, young Logan Stafford made his first full indoor racing debut racing his Dad's X-Factory SCT. It must have been a proud moment for dad Ellis as young Logan instantly revealed elements of the racing gene pedigree that has made the Stafford name synonymous with Off-Road racing since the late Eighties. He may have a little way to go to match his dad's pedigree but there's no doubting that he'll have the right support and guidance should he ever want it. At the sharp end of the SCT heat, it was Team No Idea's Martin Hayes who was unchallenged in taking the TQ and overall win ahead of Andy Johnson and Peter Fairhall.
As with all racing, there's an immense amount of work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes that makes events like the Triple Crown possible. With the added complexity of the hall being hired only for the day, the FORCC crew did a superb job of building the track and returning the hall to it's former, empty, glory at the end of the day. A big shout goes out to all of the Faversham club organizers, helpers and supporters who made this possible. It's impossible to name you all but you all know who you are. Thank you
Congratulations to all the round one winners and podium finishers. Round two of the Triple Crown Series will be held on December the 9th and entries are fast being taken so if you fancy coming along to experience the Triple Crown for yourself, why not head over to the club website www.forcc.co.uk for more details now.
Team No Idea
Local Racer and all round good guy Martin Hayes is a chap who, when he's not expertly piloting his SCT towards victory lane, can be found taking notes and pictures for his Team No Idea web reports which he refreshingly writes with humour, from a club racer's perspective and which can be found at www.teamnoidea.com.