Racing started with the individual qualifying runs. James Cleave was top qualifier with 6.170, ahead of  Will Stemman on 6.262 and Lee Parsons on 6.298.  This compares with  Will’s 2019 TQ time of 6.245 seconds.

A big talking point was the first brushless motor to race at the National. Bob Budge’s  best qualifying lap was 6.951 sec. (His time with a conventional car in 2019 was 6.867 sec.)   In the qualifying run you noticed Bob’s car was almost silent.   With other cars on the track the silence was hidden by the high pitched scream of conventional cars.   Later in the day we had the first brushless motor in a National final with Bob taking 8th in Main Grade.

1/32   Nationals   2021

F1 Championship  29 August

The F1 class ran on Sunday,  starting with best presented body which was won by Pat Skene.    Here’s the winning car and Pat (complete with face mask) receiving the trophy from Woody.

Bob Budge and Richard Mack are the new national constructors champions - chassis by Richard and electronics by Bob.  

The constructors was an annual award back in the days of scratch built chassis that was sometimes  awarded for innovations such as Gary Fletcher’s gyro cars.

Brushless motors have been used in radio controlled racing for years, and there have been slot car experiments using off the shelf radio control electronics in the car and full power on the track all the time.   The key difference in Bob’s cars is they are driven with a normal slot car controller which gets away from all the issues of having power on the track braids all the time.  The clever bit that makes that happen is the electronic speed control (ESC) board which Bob is developing.

What’s a brushless motor?  There’s a full article about that due in a few weeks, but very briefly -  In a conventional slot car motor the magnets stay still and the windings rotate.  Brushless turns that the other way round with the windings staying still and the magnets rotating. To make a dc motor rotate the current in the coils needs to be frequently switched between clockwise and antclockwise. That’s achieved with brushes and commutator in a conventional motor and is done electronically by the ESC in brushless.

Main Grade Final

David Austin
      Ron Kiddell    Stan Alton    

Mark Witham      Ant Hawkes       Pat Skene      

Aston Offer      Bob Budge      

The 33 racers were seeded into 4 heats, just as in Saturday’s racing. That produced the qualifiers for the final, James Cleave taking top spot with 218 laps, less than 2 laps up on Will Stemman.   Ron Kiddell was the top main grade driver, an impressive 10th overall  on 199 laps.

Main Grade Final

Aston Offer led the main grade final from the start, early in the race Stan Alton was the closest challenger, but David Austin recovered from a slow start to pass Stan for second.  Aston went on to win by 2 laps from David followed by Stan and Ron. It was great to see a win for the youngest driver at the event and our current INTRO 32 champion.


Aston’s winning car

The Overall Final

Will Stemman     James Cleave       Mark Harwood     Josh Bryant       Chris Thomas   Paul Shepherd       Ross Grogan        PGreg Harwood B

James Cleave’s winning car - Horky Chassis, Motor - Cahoza 8 mag F1 setup, PK 42 turns of 28 gauge arm, gears 5:30,  Won 0 Won Klingon tyres: Kolhoza 2016 Mercedes bodyshell

Overall Final

James Cleave lead from the start to take the Grand Prix championship for the 8th time. Will Stemman was his closest challenger for the first 3 segments, but car troubles eventually consigned him to 8th.   Chris Thomas took second,  having had a slower first half, the 2015 champion matched the winner’s pace over the last 4 segments to finish 6 laps behind James.  Mark Harwood scored the  brother’s best result with 3rd some 10 laps behind Chris.

 Overall Championship  

 Main Grade  

     2nd                    Champion                      3rd                              2nd             Champion              3rd

Chris Thomas             James Cleave        Mark Harwood           David Austin        Aston Offer        Stan Alton

Full Results

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