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National D final 4wd
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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