Ben Doyle reports – “The weather has been so poor over the last few weeks I have not had the chance to run in the engine or setup the car properly before this weekend. Neither did I have a body shell painted for Race Day, (a quick spray can on it in the back of my van sorted that out quickly) 🙂 Just waiting for the return of my body which is being painted by RacePaintsUK. This Sunday just gone 6th December it was Round 3 of the Nene Valley Raceway Winter Series. The day consisted of 3 qualifying rounds with 2 scoring rounds to count towards the Main Final.
I was quite anxious as this would be the first run of the car on the track. The other racers were aware that I was driving the caster and it was all eyes on the New Car. ( let’s see how it performs ) they were thinking. Well, The clock started and I was into the first heat. During the first round I was getting used to the handling of the car the way it responds, what the car is doing with this setup on the track. I was getting a good feel for the grip, steering, throttle response etc So I could make changes / adjust for the next round. Anyway, at the end of the 5min qualifying run, the caster zx1.5r came out on top. (Ben Doyle 8/ 5m12.960 Caster Racing ZX-1.5R 0.21 – 3.5cc)
During this time I spent a short while changing the shock oil in the front, adjusting the ride height on the front and back and camber change on the front.
This round was a little more stable, the car was allot more responsive but found the rear end of the buggy was a little too unstable. I had plenty of steering with huge amounts of grip on the front end which was pulling the rear round. ( during this round, I had a new entry driver hit me in the side, forcing me off the track, crash and loose pace / time) my times would have improved if it was not for this unlucky event. (Ben Doyle 8/ 5m24.560 Caster Racing ZX-1.5R 0.21 – 3.5cc) I drove the buggy home to finish the 2nd 4min qualifying heat. By this time the new Go 5port engine was really starting to open up. Bearing in mind, the engine was running very rich due to being new.
I made a few tweaks to the engine, leaning it out a small amount and added slightly more Neg camber on the rear with a softer shock oil. Changed the toe in/out setting on the front and added Expo to the steering.
By round 3 the car was becoming a lot more stable, bumps being ridden with ease, jumps lading soft and smooth etc. The car was driving well, the engine performing faultlessly and really enjoying this round. I was held up by a slower driver but being consistent got me to the main A Final. Lap times improving and consistency was coming along. By this round I was beginning to understand the characteristics of the car and learning to drive it well. (Ben Doyle 8/ 5m12.950 Caster Racing ZX-1.5R 0.21 – 3.5cc)
Overall Qualifying Results:
The best 2 rounds counted towards your main Grid Position for the final. With my best two rounds I was placed 1st on the Grid for the Main A final. (1 Ben Doyle 16/10m25.910 Caster Racing ZX-1.5R 0.21 – 3.5cc)
Intermission before main Final:
During the break period before our main finals, I changed my receiver battery, checked the car over for loose fixings, changed air filter etc etc etc and made sure it was ready for the final. I made slight adjustments to the engine ( as it was still really rich ) so I could make a 6-7min pit stop.
Main A Final:
Well the main final started and I led the final from start to finish. Having to make 2 pit stops in a 15 min main final. (1 Ben Doyle 22/15m14.660 Caster Racing ZX-1.5R 0.21 – 3.5cc)
As the Nene Valley are running a Mixed 1/8th class, it was not just buggy’s in the heats and finals but Trug’s and Electric Buggy’s too. I feel that the Caster ZX1.5r buggy performed faultlessly this meeting and really showed that it is a contender within its class. The electrics had to make 1 5sec forced pit stop on the track but I had to make 2 pit stops up in / on the put ramp. Still keeping the chasing pack off my tail. I would like to say that I am very pleased with the durability of the caster and its level of competition. I am also sure that Caster & Answer RC would be pleased with the Win on my Debut outing. Thanks Pete @ Answer RC, Caster and all others help with setups & advice.”