King Of Clubs - The Conclusion

10th Electric Circuit

Eastbourne Electric Car Club has been crowned King of Clubs following a thrilling 1 point victory over Aldershot Model Car Club.

 

An outstanding team performance secured Eastbourne club the title as Mark Trinder, Stu Colby, Jak Sansom, Billy Fletcher, Morgan Williams and Ben Moorey put the disappointment of the last round behind them. The Seasiders third victory in the new regional 1/10th scale electric on-road championship came at the fast, flowing Aldershot circuit.

Aldershot Model Car Club was looking to win their home race. Their championship hopes then resting on either Adur Model Car Club, or the West London Racing Centre team pushing Eastbourne into third.

Multiple British champion Chris Grainger, representing Aldershot, described the circuits infamous high speed right-left double right chicane as among the most challenging corners in RC. Just one of the factors favouring the home team heading into the meeting.

The King of Clubs format - inspired by four clubs coming together to help each other with the impact of the COVID pandemic - incorporates an interclub teams championship within a more traditional drivers championship. Selected drivers score points for their team depending on where they finish in their final. As that can be any final (meaning a D-final win is worth as much as an A), the clubs need to select drivers in different classes and abilities to maximise their chance of success. A point epitomised by an Eastbourne club member, 9-year-old Archie Matthews, who couldn't attend the meeting, lending his Tamiya car to another club member to ensure the club had a racer in the class.

As it turned out, Eastbourne's Mark Trinder rewarding Archie's trust with a win in the Tamiya class from Adur's Mick Hendy, Alderhsots Mark Matthews and West London's Steve Adams.

Eastbourne chairman Stu Colby followed that with a close-fought win in the Front-wheel drive class. Crucially for the team effort though, Stu's battle at the front was with teammate Zak Samson - a 1-2 finish for the club.

The home team were confident their luck would change in the popular F1 class with Michael Lee - comfortable winner of previous KOC races. A 4th in the A final was the best Michael could do on the day, being outscored by West London's Kyran Umney who took second in the B - a shrewd selection by skipper Damian Giddins.

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Aldershots Ben Cane had broken the circuit record at the previous weekends warm-up meeting and did so again to TQ the 17.5 blinky class. Tyre woes left Eastbourne's Billy Fletcher - who had pledged redemption was coming after the disappointment of RD3 - only just making the A in a hotly contested A final line up. Adur and West London looked to circumvent the A selecting drivers aspiring to success lower down the field. Tim Langdell won the B for Adur, with West London's Soteris Liasi 2nd, Dave Ringsell 4th and Charlie Leonard 3rd in the D.

When the beeps went for the start of the A-Final, a mistake from Trinder in turn one killed his chances leaving the rest of the pack to chase down Ben Cane. Jay Westwood kept the pressure on, less than a second separating the two Aldershot men as the rest of the field battled for lower positions. A mistake from Adur's Matt Quinlsik on lap 10 dropped him down to 7th while Billy Fletcher, back on a trusted old set of tyres, fought his way through from 7th to an impressive third. At the front, Cane finally broke free of Westwoods stalking pressure, taking the win for his team with another new circuit record.

Adur's Mark Chambers had been knocking on the door of the 13.5 A final throughout qualifying. Skipper Mick Hendy was no doubt delighted with Marks 2nd place in the B-Final before another hyper-competitive A-Final involving team drivers from all 4 clubs. None of them had the match of Glenn Westwood however. The Aldershot chairman stretched away to win comfortably after pushing West London's Ash Wiffen into a mistake at the halfway point, leaving Ash to fight for second with Adur's Liam Hendy and Eastbourne's Morgan Williams. The three drivers showed each other maximum respect, nose to tail for lap after lap, Wiffen holding off Hendy by 19 hundredths at the line.

Going into the final race, the Modified Touring Car final, Eastbourne held a 2 point lead over Aldershot. Aldershots Christ Grainger TQ'd and looked set for the win, piling the pressure on Eastbourne's Ben Moorey, needing to 4th or better. In a field containing Zak Smith, Adrian Bidewell and Chris Ashton, Damian Giddins and Gareth Hobson this was no easy task. Still, Moorey showed his class to chase eventual winner Grainger home, taking second place and securing the title King of Clubs for this Eastbourne team.

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After the races, Eastbourne Chairman Stuart Colby commented:

"It's not often you can get four clubs to work together and produce a fantastic championship. But here we are at the end of what's been an incredible series. Each club has stepped up and presented their track in all its glory. Massive thanks to Andy Hyde for bringing us all together to get the King of Clubs up and running. No dramas, tremendous enjoyment, all solely aimed at helping the clubs. Roll on next year and KOC part Deux."

In response, Aldershot Model Car Club Chairman Glenn Westwood said:

"Congratulations Stu and everyone at Eastbourne club. I said at the start of this, we've never needed each other more. It's been a pleasure working together as four clubs to make this happen as a collective effort. On the track, Eastbourne has shown the togetherness Adur, Aldershot and West London are going to have to match to win this next year. And we're going to have fun trying for sure."

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Reflecting on the success of the series, BRCA Treasurer Jim Spencer said:

"The 'King of Clubs' is a shining light in the 1/10 Electric On-road area; people passionate about our sport who are delivering what the racers want, exactly what it should be all about.

This new series is an example the BRCA hope inspires others to work together for the good of the sport."

2020 Series Roll of Honour:

 

King of Clubs: Eastbourne Electric Car Club 

Tamiya Champion Driver: Mark Matthews, Aldershot

FWD Champion Driver: Stu Colby, Eastbourne

F1 Champion Driver: Aidan Gale, Eastbourne

17.5 Blinky Champion Driver: Billy Fletcher, Eastbourne

13.5 Blinky Champion Driver: Liam Hendy, Adur

Modified Champion Driver: Ben Moorey, Eastbourne

Best Junior Driver: Elliott Trinder, Eastbourne

Drivers points: https://www.rc-results.com/viewer/Main/Listing?listingId=2128

With thanks to our sponsors

Series title sponsor: MB Models

Series subsidiary sponsor: Hobby Circuit

Supporting sponsors: Basil Airbrush, Ludicrous lipos, MoodyFools, Monitex Racing, RDT Products, Schumacher RC

 

Images courtesy of RC Empire

For more information contact Andy Hyde, kingofclubs88@gmail.com

 

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