Archie Matthews clinches Jnr title as Tyler Standing blows Rookies wide open

10th Electric Circuit

RC racings hot new under 12’s on-road championship, the Tamiya Junior-E crowned Eastbourne's Archie Matthews its first champion on Sunday at a sunbaked West London Racing Centre.

Matthews started round four of the five-race series knowing second place to arch-rival Finley Lanaway was enough to secure the championship. The racing between the two young drivers has been extremely close all year, needing tie-breakers to separate them at every round so far. Matthews was the clear favourite in championship points, but the bragging rights were far from settled. Matthew's Dad explained, “I’ve been telling him all week second will do it, but he just wants to win the race”. So, as qualifying started Archie made clear his intent setting off as fast as he could from the first beep.

Too fast, in fact. A grip roll halfway around the first lap put his car on its roof. Lanaway knew he needed to win and have Matthews finish third or worse, took over at the front. Every race and every qualifying heat in the series so far has been nip and tuck between the two and this was no different, Lanaway coming out on top by just two seconds.

The result was reversed in round two, this time Lanaway was unable to catch Matthews, having to deal with the newly found pace of Aldershot’s Keny Hyde starting to mix it with the front two with Ethan Webb never far behind. The development of these Tamiya Junior-E drivers is as fast as it is a joy to observe for everyone involved.

Round three and it was Matthews having to deal with Hyde pushing towards the front of the race. After three minutes all eyes were on the battle for second, Matthews and Hyde swapping places once or twice a lap. Heading into the West London sweeper side-by-side Matthews came out of the contact worse, losing ground before a few crashes as he pushed hard to close the gap decided the end result. Lanaway from Hyde from Matthews - suddenly the title wasn’t a foregone conclusion and the championship leader couldn't hide his disappointment. Lanaway went on to TQ with a strong win in the final qualifier from Matthews and Hyde. The race was less dramatic but all the more impressive as the top three drivers showed a level of consistency that belied their age and experience, and Matthews bounced back to relieve the pressure from Hyde’s challenge.

The performance boosted both Matthews' confidence and his start in the first final race. After a clean start, the schoolboy demonstrated a textbook inside pass to take the lead from Lanaway before some sudden oversteer entering turn 10 gave the place back to the fastest qualifier. Two more half spins for Matthews suggesting grip was disappearing for the yellow and orange TT02, and a tumble roll from taking too much kerb onto the main straight at the end of lap five allowed Lanaway’s silver arrow to open a gap. 

Compliment after compliment flowed from the RC Racing TV broadcaster at the racecraft as Lanaway dealt with backmarkers - the young drivers unable to resist scrapping with the leader as he came through - to take the win by 5 seconds.

Junior 2

Kenny Hyde led leg 2 at the end of the opening lap, coming out on top in a 4-way dice through the opening corners. Hyde, Lanaway, Matthews, Webb entered the infield section on lap 2 - a result that would keep the championship alive into the final round at Adur in 4 weeks time. Lanaway and Hyde swapped places through the infamous West London D section at the end of the lap. Lanaway then won the drag race back into turn one. Matthews made another textbook pass into the hairpin, relegating Hyde to third, then passed Lanaway to lead. Contract during the pass left the leg 1 winner with work to do to catch back up and keep the championship alive. The 5-second gap had closed to 2 seconds with 90 seconds left on the clock. 1.8 seconds a lap later. Matthews feeling the heat as he came round to lap traffic. Two contacts in two corners left Matthews on his roof and Lanaway in the lead he would hold to the finish. A TQ and double win was a great result for Lanaway, while Matthews had the consolation of securing the title with a round to spare to make up for the second place in leg 2 that really should have been a first.

Commenting after the race, Lanaway said:

 “This is how I would want every race meeting to go - a perfect round for me. The weather was good and the track was hot so you had a lot of grip. Each round I feel like I am getting to know my new Tamiya TT-02 more and more. The finals at West London were really good. I was sad for Archie when he got caught out by a back-marker whilst leading the second leg. It’s a shame that the championship couldn’t have gone down to the final round, but congratulations Archie!” 

The new Junior category champion, Matthews commented:

“I am super excited that I managed to win the Tamiya Junior-E championship on Sunday at West London. I was a bit disappointed to come second on the day because every time I race I want to win. I am happy for Finlay as we have become friends since racing together and he deserved the win as we have been super close each round. I can’t wait for the next round at Adur so we can do it again.

I have really enjoyed the king of clubs series as well as my races I get to watch the top drivers in modified. They are so so fast its amazing. My favourite is Harley as she races for Eastbourne. I hope one day I can race modified, maybe even for the world championship as I’d like to race in different countries. That would be fun. “

My dream would be to race in Formula 1 for McLaren like my favourite driver Lando Norris 😀”

A double win for Tyler Standing takes the Rookie class championship into a final round decider.

The Rookie section within Tamiya Junior-E is for drivers with less than ten races experience. Tyler Standing joined the series with his cousin, Harry, and the two boys' journey has captured the attention of the whole racing community.

Tyler is a young boy with a rare condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and has not been able to participate in competitive sport before because of this disability.  His family chose RC racing as an accessible hobby and activity for the boys to enjoy together. Totally new to the sport, Tyler finished 6th in the opening round at Aldershot. Impressive in the wetter than wet conditions. In the warm weather at Eastbourne, he edged it over cousin Harry to take 4th place. Harry repaid the compliment, winning at round 3, with Tyler in second place. And now, this last Sunday Tyler won the applause from the fans with a double race victory. A fantastic achievement for our sunshine champ. We’re all proud of you.

At the start of the day it looked like Adlershot’s Top Gun Maverick Adams was the driver to beat, taking a hard-fought (dog fight surely–Ed) first round. Tyler, DNF’d with a technical problem.

Round 2 became a two way battle between Tyler, back at the front and the other Admas family Rookie, Emilia. The 9 year old delighted to win the round from Tyler with debutants Elliott Smith (age 6), Frankie Fletcher (4) and James Binnie (6) not far behind at all. Tyler upped the pace in round 3, setting the fastest time of the day so far - an impressive 11/322. Only Adams (M) being able to stay in touch, just 2 seconds back.

As the tyres started to struggle with the hot track, the fourth round was an untidy affair - Adams (M) coming out on top from Adams (E), Tyler and then Binnie setting his personal best time so far.

Cousin Harry had been running with the more experienced jnr section to even up the heat numbers, TQ’d from Adams (M), Tyler, Adams (E), Poppy Hyde, Fletcher, Binnie and Smith.

A mistake from Harry early in the first final upset the order, Tyler coming through to lead from Poppy Hyde after one lap. The following laps were a textbook display of RC racing; on the subject of Brownian motion. As the race settled it was Tyler leading from Maverick Adams. By mid-race Harry had worked his way back through the field into second, but Tyler’s consistently over the final two minutes was a lesson for all in how to win. Tyler hit the front of Leg 2 within a couple of corners with Adams (M) in hot pursuit. Too hot - as the Aldershot driver continued to write cheques his tyres couldn't cash. Cool as a cucumber in the scorching heat, Tyler led all the way to the end to win from Maverick, Poppy, Emilia, Harry, Frankie and James.

Tyler's dad, David summed up everyone's feelings, saying:

“It's fantastic to see Tyler be able to enjoy a hobby that he can excel at and enjoy with his cousin Harry. It is such a great opportunity for Tyler and all the other kids to relax and have fun but also to understand what it is to be successful and to compete.

And so say all of us.

Full results from round 4

The final round of Tamiya Junior-E is on 15th August at Adur Model Car Club.

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