Chris James / CJ
YZ-2 CA, YZ-2DTM, awaiting YZ-4SF
YZ-2 (original) as it just blitzed everything else at the time
Racing wise - team cheering Leeroy on to win the 4WD 2017 season
Team wise - rocking up in Vegas with the team for the Worlds
1st National (low) 2wd Final Win 2017
Multi-county Short Course Champion ;)
Apart from the Yokomo cars, it genuinely is the team. The support, the banter and advice.
Race Report: Telford Series Rd 4 - 25/02/18
-1 degrees C. Could there be anything worse? In a word....yes. -1 degrees C at 4:30am. That's what the readout said as CJ got in his car to go meet Freddie Russell for an 8am race day start at Telford Model Car Club. One of the BRCA National circuits and significantly different to the indoor carpet season that both of them have been focussing upon for the last few months.
The sun was coming out and the track was icy to start but it led to this
And for a closer look
So the boys set up camp
And thank heavens they did. The wind was stopped, the gazebo was up and now it was down to the racing.
Round one and the track was dry, a little sandy strewn with natural bumps that carpet racing doesn't prep you for. However a good show from Freddie with a 10th in round on an 11 in 319 whilst CJ was 19th on a 10 in 309.
Round 2 - the track had gotten quicker and a minor setup change of geometry for Freddie and ESC for CJ gave results of Freddie with an 11 in 325 and CJ hit up an 11 in 317s. After round 2, the positions were Freddie in 13th and CJ in 15th.
Round 3 - Freddie's YZ-2DTM was only feeling better and better. He was actively working on a set up for the National for the LMR team and round 3 saw his best result so far, an 11 in 312. CJ brought in another 11 in 320 as he didn't adapt to the growing grip levels and suffered from grip roll.
Overalls at this stage were Freddie in 13th and CJ in 18th.
Round 4 didn't see any change to these positions and changes were made to the car. Freddie adjusted axle heights, rear anti-squat and one or two other minute tweaks, CJ went into the final with stiffer springs, more anti-squat to cope with the bumps better and an impulsive urge to learn whips.
B Final - Freddie started 4th and CJ in 8th. The first corner was clean, the jump immediately after it, not so much. There was a huge collision of 4 cars, CJ managed to witness and drive round it. Freddie not so much. He was at the bottom of it as a car had landed on top of him and 2 more piled in. A broken car and a retirement followed.
CJ was feeling the benefit of the changes he had had suggested to him, and gained 2 places to come home 6th.
1066 (Hastings) club night on the 18th Feb 2018
1066 (Hastings) club night on the 18th Feb was one of the busiest club nights they've had in all of their indoor season. For those that haven't been and we heartily recommend that you do, they always put on a well run meet with a good flowing layout. The only thing that may be different to your regular racing is the track is portrait format i.e. longer than it is wide but a quick recalibration of your norm and you'll get a great night's racing. It's FTD qualifying with 3 quali rounds and a final.
Freddie and CJ went there to represent, Freddie in 2wd and 4wd for CJ. Of late Freddie has been doing some excellent mentoring for CJ, track advice, setup etc, really showing both his personal and the Team LMR spirit. All done in Freddie's distinct style.
Round 1 gave some great initial results on - Freddie scored a 5th in round, CJ came in with a 13th, a great show from both in a field of 49 on wonderfully grippy EOS carpet resplendent with a new jump and down ramp combo.
Round 2 and Freddie was on it again, in fact even more so, smashing 9 seconds off his previous run. With others improving as well it still saw Freddie push up to 4th overall, a true top 10%-er.
CJ was flying from the start, setting off from 1st having won his previous heat, until he got to the last 3 laps when he ran into a few challenges with back markers.
Round 3, and as ever, it all came down to this one. The pace in the top heat was as one would expect, clean but intense. Freddie had a good run, but couldn't quite pip his round 2 time.
A bit of back story, apart from on track advice, Freddie is mentoring CJ on build and setup. It's not that CJ is bad, but as his driving is getting better, his car prep needs to go to the next level. After 7 absolute flying laps, he lost steering to the left. Eagle-eyed Freddie knew straight away and greeted CJ with a beautifully phrased "Your maintenance let you down again!". A simple M3 nut had undone mid-heat.
The final placing saw Freddie in A4, CJ B10. The A final was great, it may have been a club night but the approach was full on. It's well worth looking at the video on 1066's FB page. Freddie was banging in laps and even though there were mid-race place changes, took 4th overall.
CJ started 10th and a good start claimed a few places but a rear end shunt on the 4th corner saw him put onto the ropes, losing the places he'd just earned. The recent advice of Freddie to make more apexes stick and Lee Martin's "Lines is Times" mantra ringing in his ears, his clean approach got him up to 5th.
TORCH Indoor Winter Series Round Three 17th December 2017
TORCH’s new EOS style carpet is only in it’s 3rd outing and whilst it’s new, so are its features.
These things take time to build up but that didn’t stop TORCH laying on a challenging track that rewarded commitment.
The track can be seen in the picture below, but an overview is a good size straight into a short sweeper right onto a hairpin right followed by one left.
This led into another sweeper, a kicker, the loop and then a kicker with a good size gap into what can best be described as a piece of Toblerone.
An immediate 90 right, a kicker before a hairpin left swept down to a 135 deg right with an immediate kicker, a chicane and then back to the straight.
Another good showing from Team LMR - Freddie Russell, Jeremy Ketchell, Chris James, and Matt Keene, all of whom are Mid South Region regulars. So even if there racing wasn’t going to be good, there were no signs it wouldn’t, the banter and camaraderie would be through the roof. Freddie brings oodles of knowledge, Jez brings the outgoing attitude, Chris, mainly sarcasm and snacks and Keeno dressed like a model.
Somehow the rounds were broken out with Keeno, Jez and CJ all in the same heat, heat 5. Keene put a good opening pace in coming 4th in a round of 8 with a 16 in 314. Two places behind that was Jez on a 15 in 305 and just behind him was CJ with a 15 in 308. So like all races that Jez and CJ attend, the tone for the day was set. Game on.
This put them 14th, 22nd and 25th overall in Round 1 in a field of 46. A few errors made on a very high grip carpet surface which could be addressed will hopefully see improvement.
Freddie went out well for the first time on this carpet dripping with grip and put in a very respectable 16 in 307 with the car straight out of the box. That’s a 4th in a field of 8.
After an hour of discussion, jokes and a lot of M&S cheese twists the 2wd trio stepped onto the rostrum for the next round and the good news is they all improved on their previous times. Jez came 8th with a 15 in 302, an improvement of 3 seconds and less errors than seen before. CJ jumped into the 16 lap pace in 316, however he wasn’t too happy as he realised the timing sheets say “V50” rather than “Senior” - a minor clerical error with huge ramifications, or so he thought. Matt stayed in the 16 lap pace putting a solid 305 on table.
The previously mentioned abundance of Freddie’s knowledge showed both in slight changes to the car and on the track - he smashed it taking 1st in heat, with the top 3 fastest laps and a time of 18 in 312, yes 18, an improvement of 2 laps.
He smashed it.
Here’s the overalls after round 2 - Matt was 18th, CJ was 24th and Jez was 27th. The latter 2 position changes did constitute a new range of gags in the pits
Another improvement for Keeno, just missing the 17 lap pace by 2.6s, giving a 16 in 302.6, Jez was just 6s behind him with his 3rd out of 3 improvements so far in the day. CJ struggled with the vast amount of steering he had and that led to a 15 in 311. It didn’t help that a back marker rejoining the track took him out, so much for Racing etiquette. In the heat that gave a 3rd, 4th and 7th in the heat.
Round wise, that had Matt at 17th, Jez at 22nd and CJ 3 places behind at 25th.
Freddie proved his and the car’s consistency again in Round 3, the time may have been a little slower, due to back markers mainly, but he certainly dominated the top 10 fastest laps, owning 7 of them. Even to the point CJ joked he felt disappointed in Fred that he hadn’t got the clean sweep only taking the top 5, 8th and 10th.
With 2 TQ’s so far he was sitting merrily at #1.
The round was a little scrappier than the previous ones but not too bad however times were down this time out for the 2wd team - Jeremy took 5th in the heat as top LMR team driver on a 16 in 310, Matt was 6th 2.1 seconds behind and CJ 7th bringing up the tail end Charlie time with 15 in 309.
Freddie however, what can we say - On a roll big time. He’s always been good at 4wd but with a front shock oil change he not only took another TQ, her went and got all 10 of the fastest laps!!! The man deserves a cake or something.
Going to the finals - Matt was 20th overall getting a B10 start, pushing Jez to be in pole for the C final and CJ 5 places behind him.
Fred, with 3 TQs under his belt, was in pole all the way for the 4wd final.
The finals were to be over 2 legs due to time constraints on the venue so:
2WD B Final
Leg 1 - Matt brought home an 8th with a 15 in 318 and the 4th fastest lap.
Leg 2 - even better, a 7th on a 15 in 300.232s. So close to a 16 lapper.
Overall - 9th place
2WD C Final
Leg 1 - Jez got 2nd with a 15 in 301, a great start for the finals for him, CJ lost 2 places on his start bringing in 8th with a 14 lap pace in 309 - he can be quoted as saying “...well that was physical”
Leg 2 - Jez smashed it bringing home 1st as the only person on 16 laps, time wise that was in 317. CJ was 3 places behind in 4th place, 14 in 302.
Overall - Jez took the win over 2 heats and CJ, who started 6th, finished 6th.
4WD A Final
Leg 1 - Freddie true to form, won. His time of 17 in 307 was 6 seconds, or a 1/3rd or a lap, ahead of 2nd place.
Leg 2 - Not the best start for Mr Russell, putting him well down the field after 2 laps. But, and it’s a big but, he climbed all the way up to 3rd, putting in the fastest 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 10th fastest laps in the final. Epic staying power there.
Overall - Freddie took the A final, his time in leg1 was faster so he took the final with a win and the 3rd.
Here’s a pic of today’s top winner and his YZ-4SF
Silverstone Winter Series Round Three 9th December 2017
Silverstone RCMCC had laid on a great track like normal for the third round of their Winter Series.
What the picture doesn’t show is the way the jump section in front of the straight flowed from one kicker into the next feature, a long flight time over a tabletop the length of the rostrum straight down onto the carpeted ground right into another feature.
The track then flowed into a section of small straights, hairpins, chicanes and mini sweepers round to the straight, through a series of rollers and ripples back to the loop.
LMR were out in force today - Duncan (Delia) Rist, Chris (CJ) James, Jeremy Ketchell and Mike Penfold and a couple of cherries were popped today. First outing for Duncan with his brand new Yokomo YZ-4SF and the first time driving a YZ-2 in anger for Mike.
A race report wouldn’t normally get any kind of comment in a race report however given the smile on Duncan’s face after just one go with the new car it’s got to be reported back he was absolutely loving it.
Duncan Rist placed 2nd in his 4wd heat with a 12 in 308, putting him 10th in a round of 20. For 2wd he delivered on another 2nd in the heat with a 13 in 311 and got 23rd in a round of 84.
Chris James 2wd put in 12 laps in 327 coming 6th in his heat, knowing that the errors made could easily be rectified, however, this did push him down to 65th overall as 12 laps were the mainstay for the majority of the field.
Jeremy Ketchell’s first round of 2wd placed 6th in heat as well with a 12 in 324, just pipping his teammate and placing 61st.
Mike Penfold used the first round as continued acclimatization to the YZ-2 and brought in a very respectable 11 in 302, a 69 overall.
Duncan dominated his 4wd heat this time - brought home 1st place on a 13 lapper in 305 and 2nd place was 21 seconds behind him, the rest of the heat were all on 12 laps or less. This is where the day changed for the rest of the LMR team, people could see the new car going round and lots of questions came our way along with a healthy array of positive feedback and approving nods. His 2wd heat was another improvement with a 13 in 310 too. Overall 4wd he’d moved up to 8th and 2wd he was sitting 27th.
Chris’ time improved by 17 seconds with a lot cleaner run and less consternation over the jump section giving him a 55 in the round and putting him 65th.
Jezza got 6 seconds quicker on a 12 in 318 moving him to 68th in the round. This then caused much banter in the pits between these 2 drivers as they are from the same club and race against each other frequently.
Mike fell foul of some very poor marshaling, which, and this is not Silverstone’s fault given the length and breadth of the country their events invite would have impacts on all of us at certain times. He did, however, get an 11 in 310 and was 73rd overall.
Another solid 4wd round for Duncan which can be seen in part here:
And after other people’s qualifying, he was 11th overall. 2wd he came 22nd overall winning his heat, just like round 2 and that made a 25th overall.
Chris’s 3rd round was his best, another great improvement using the go slow to go fast approach and gaining another 8 seconds for a 12 in 302. He was met off the rostrum by Jez saying “you just missed 13 by 2 seconds!” - great to have support around from the team.
As for Jez himself, he’d just squeezed into the 13s with a 324. Well done to him.
Mike also got a great run in, narrowly missing 12 laps by just 1 second.
The least said about round 4 the better, the marshaling had gone a little bit downhill to say the least, the awesome Silverstone crew did what they could to remediate the situation but we all suffered.
Finals in the order they ran
4WD B Final - DR started second and chased 1st place for a few laps then squeezed through going onto the straight and then walked away with it finished 10 seconds ahead of 2nd place. A great win for him and the new car.
2WD H final - Mike’s 5th place on the grid was no hampering to his performance, easily bringing home 13 laps in 317 and 6 seconds ahead of 2nd place to take the win. Well done mate.
2WD G final - CJ started 2nd and after a lot of position changes throughout the final, another win bagged for LMR / Yokomo with also his best run of the day with a 13 in 309.
2WD F final - Jez also started 2nd in what was probably the scrappiest final all day and finished 8th with 12 laps in 303.
2WD C final - DR was 4th on the grid but again a contest for the scrappiest final meant a final 10th place with a very respectable 13 in 314.
In summary - 4 LMR / Yokomo drivers, 5 finals and 3 wins. Go team!