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August 5, 2010

BRCA National Southport (DEX410 – A Year on)

Filed under: News — Team Durango UK @ 9:56 am

DEX410 – A Year on.

How time flies, only a year ago the Team Durango DEX410 hit the UK tracks for the first time and made its national appearance at Southport. A year later and we are back at Southport again and this time the DEX410 has a younger sibling – the 410R and it’s the new kid on the block.

The number of Team Durango’s at the meeting has grown from one lonely car at last year’s national to now being one of the most popular chassis in the 4wd class. What has been most impressive to note is after switching to the Team Durango chassis, drivers have improved their racing and their standings at club, regional and national level. The chassis just seems to be able to get that bit extra out of the driver, giving them confidence in their driving and allowing them to push themselves, striving for even better results.

Southport National.

Based on the west coast of England, it is one of the oldest and most popular venues on the BRCA national calendar, where you can almost smell the sea air from the driver’s rostrum.  It’s not just a race meeting, but a ‘good old English trip to the seaside’ as well. With a trip to the English seaside, what else would expect but rain, and lots of it. It wasn’t heavy, just ‘that fine rain that soaks you through’.

The track though was holding up well and only required a little re-jigging and some minor sweeping of puddles during practice. However, the fear was how long the rain would last and would it put an end to the meeting? Practice was a matter of perfecting the waterproofing, and getting your car round; the wet astro-turf track was offering lots of grip as it became saturated with water, in some places it was a matter of avoiding the deep stuff.


Round 1

Thankfully the rain began to abate and sweeping the puddles off the track kept the racing going. In the earlier heats the number of cars finishing was surprisingly low; people just didn’t seem to get the water-proofing right and the brushless systems’ Achilles’ heel was found. As the heats progressed the number of cars finishing increased and the names atop the timing sheets sounded familiar. ‘Local-ish’ guy Stuart Wood set the early pace driving his new steed followed closely by the Durango’s of David Orbell (14th), James Helliwell (19th), Chris Bowater (28th), Graham North (30th), and Richard Coates (31st). As the final few heats rolled through, the timing sheet got ever tighter (which was surprising considering the conditions). In the final few heats Craig Collinson (12th) and Adam Skelding (10th) got their meetings off to a solid start.

Round 2

David Orbell once again set the early pace for the Durango Team, with another solid drive, putting him 12th in the round.  David’s recent jump in form after finding an issue with his transmitter has been pleasing to watch. His confidence is back and his driving is on the up, pushing his performances into the top 20 at every meeting now. Helliwell and North ended with similar round scores to previous and Nathan Waters (14th) got his meeting started after a water-logged motor stop him on lap one of round 1.

Terry 'Telsshells' Atkinson wondering if he's been beaten by his brother!

Terry 'Telsshells' Atkinson wondering if he's been beaten by his brother!

Round 3.

Orbell stepped it up again putting in a really clean run to put him 9th in the round (I can’t make a joke about Mr D.Orbell knocking on the door of the top ten as he was already through it!). Helliwell (19th) was being a little too consistent for his liking -just a few seconds would have made all the difference. Collinson hit the top 10, just behind Orbell. Waters was having one of those days. His speedo let all the magic blue smoke out as he turned his car on. A quick change of cars to his back-up ‘R’ version saw him get to the grid just in time and start lapping with the front runners, but wait a minute……it’s not counting…..arrrrrgh! No PT in!  Skelding got back in to gear with a 15th, Richard Ralph was getting faster and ended up 16th with Bowater a little further back in 21st and Coates backed up his earlier round 1 score with a 30.

Round 4.

The track was drying fast now and the grip was coming up, giving the Southport track some teeth to bite back at the driver who was pushing just that little bit too hard. Tyres seemed to be the main bone of contention: was it dry enough for a dry set-up yet? Most seemed to stick with what they had on, the odd couple gambled on a dry set-up and the jury stayed out…

The round ended up being a mixed bag of result with Skelding (8th), Waters (12th), Ralph (15th), Helliwell (19th), Bowater (21st), Coates (23rd) and North (27th) improving their points scores. Collinson finished 16th in round but didn’t improve.

Richard Coates is on target to get his F1 for the first time

Richard Coates is on target to get his F1 for the first time

After four very different rounds of qualifying the team were:

Adam Skelding 14th

David Orbell         16th

Craig Collinson   17th

Nathan Waters    20th

Richard Ralph     21st

James Helliwell  26th

Chris Bowater     28th

Richard Coates  36th

Graham North   40th

David Orbell was on a charge a weekend

David Orbell was on a charge all weekend

For only the 2nd time this season we didn’t have a car in the ‘A’ final, but a good representation inside the top 40 was again good to see, with drivers gaining valuable points towards their F1 licences. It was hard to put a finger on why we didn’t have the raw pace, but when we looked back at the timings for each round, this had been one of the closest nationals for a while; 2 seconds was more than 5 places in the top 20 in a couple of rounds. So, the glass was half empty on this occasion. Or was it? For most, a score had been dropped and the main goal of improving your points achieved.

As the National season draws to a close, the overall title is done as dusted. But, there are World’s and Euro’s places to be fought for, along with the coveted F1 licence grade. The season has lots still to offer and we’ll be challenging for the honours.

Wayne Collinson's DEX410R

Wayne Collinson's DEX410R

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