Oldschool RC EURO MASTER 2022 Vintage Meeting
Today I wil try to make a little race report from the Oldschool RC Euro Masters 2022 Vintage Meeting.
The Race Track of the Megadrom Geilenkirchen
The day I made my registration for this race, I realized, that my last race was 3 years ago – the Oldschool Euro Masters 2019 at the RC Arena Limburg. Unfortunatelly they closed the doors 2 years ago and we lost one of the most amazing indoor tracks in Europe. So this race was held in Geilenkirchen/Germany this time. A indoor touring car track at the Megadrom Geilenkirchen.
Ready for the Road Trip
When preparing my cars for this meeting, I really was in worry about my driving skills. I never was a top level driver, but I was in worry, that I had lost my skills completely over the years. So I had to make sure, to wrench and setup my cars 100% correct to be focused on driving.
Some of the cars I took to the race
I wanted to race 3 different classes. 1:12 pan car, 2WD and 4WD. And all my 3 cars never has seen a track before. The only exeption was my VITEC 2WD, what has the last race exactly 30 years ago 1992 at the German Championships.
The VITEC 2WD slept 30 years for this race.
And this time I wanted to take some cars, what are not really the fastest on a indoor touring car track. Instead of taking my trusty Kyosho fleet, what was very fast and never broke 3 years ago, I decided to make an experiment to take cars with Sub-C batteries. I really wanted to know, if it´s possible to make them fast.
So I took my fresh restored VITEC 2WD, my Yokomo 870C and one of my latest projects, the Schumacher SPC in 1:12 class. All powered by Sub-C batteries.
But to be on the safe side, I took some of my other Yokomo cars with me, just in case I need a spare car.
Day 1 – 1:12 Racing
The time schedule was tight and we only had a few runs for training. In this class were only 27 turns brushed and 21.5 turns brushless motors allowed. I choose the brushed option.
The Schumacher SPC
After the first run it I had to adjust a lot of the steering. High end point and dual rate is the most important thing in 1:12 racing. I was surprised, how much I had to reduce the steering travel on the Schumacher SPC to find a good ballance between driving through small corners and also have a stable car on the straight. I also had to adjust the gear ratio alot!
To be honest, the first laps were horrible. The car was hard to drive and I felt my lost driving skills over the years. Not a nice view on the track. But after adjusting the steering step by step and find a good gear ratio, my skills came back slowly.
The SPC on the track
The great thing was, that my kitchen table setup worked perfectly! I never touched the setup until the end of the race. The car was super easy to drive! Maybe it was a good idea to use the solid axle option, instead of the differential. So I could focus on driving and finding good lines on the track.
Then the qualifying started and I was pretty surprised to find my name on P2 on the list. Only behind the english gentleman Philip Barlow with his RC12 L3.
Kyosho 4WD 1:12 car
There were many different cars in this class. Some RC12´s, some Corally´s and Kyoshos (Hello Equipe France!). The speeds of all cars were very different and the result was a bit chaotic on the track in some situations. From my side, it is totally okay. All have same issues and the goal was, to keep your car out of the madness.
Video A-final 1:12
Philip´s car was the fastest. And on this point I realized, that they worked with 3 persons on his car with setup and wrenching – the whole day! The british team was one unit. They helped each other and they were super focussed to be fast! I think, this was very impressive. This is only a Vintage Meeting, but they worked the same way as on a World Championship. You have all my respect, gentlemen!
Philip Barlow´s RC12 L3
The qualifying was over and we started the finals. I started from P2, Philip from P1. His car had a lot more power and speed with his brushless system and Lipo power, than me, with my brushed/sub-c setup. So nearly no chance to win against him. And he is an excellent driver! But I could catch up some seconds with every run.
A1: A very chaotic race. Philip won and i was second behind him.
A2: Again – chaos. I tried to keep my car out of madness and Philip destroyed his RC12 at the wall on the straight. So I was the winner. WOW!
A3: I counted at least 3 brits wrenching Phil´s wreck in the pits to make the car ready for A3. I brushed some dust from my Schumacher and enjoyed a Cheesburger.
A nice Corally
But they got the car done short before the A3. Phil looked a bit stressed, but he won A3 pretty easy against me and was a well deserved overall winner! Congratulations for the win and all my respect to fight until the end! Never give up, guys! That´s the spirit of racing.
The day ended with the price giving in all classes. Oh, and I won the Car-Of-The-Day trophy with my Schumacher SPC! That is nice!
Day 2 – 2WD Racing
Instead of using my trusty and super fast Kyosho Ultima from the race 3 years ago, I decided to give my 30 years old VITEC 2WD a go. With brushless/Sub-C cell setup. I knew, this car was made for super bumpy and slippery tracks back in the days. And now it is the total opposite. A flat high grip track with some small ramps for jumping. The long arms of the suspension really don´t like this kind of tracks, but I wanted to know, if I get this thing fast anyway. So my expectations wasn´t the highest to win this race.
The practice time was pretty short and the very first run after 30 years was with very mixed feelings. The first feeling was „Yeah! It runs again! WOW!“ and the other thing in my mind was „I totally need to change the setup!“
My kitchen table setup was too soft. The car was too nervous on the high grip track and hard to drive. So I changed to harder springs and oil step by step. Each runs was better, but not good enough to get a stable handling. So I spent the whole morning with changing shock oils, instead of driving.
Jamie Booth´s Tamiya Astute was quick.
But at some point, the shocks felt okay and I was able to get the car ready for racing. I also changed the geometry a little. The power and speed was ok with the Sub-C cells. No problems there.
In qualiying I tried to make some clean runs. Not super fast, but safe. The VITEC 2WD felt good, but the other guys wasn´t slow. Quickest was Jamie Booth with his hyper tuned Tamiya Astute. He drove in his usual style super safe and elegant around the track. Not spectacular, but efficient and tight around the corners. Always impressive to see his driving style. His team mate Lee Broadhurst drove an identical Astute and both were the fastest guys this day. Lightyears away from the others.
Apart from the perfect builded cars, they already had an excellent setup in their cars. And they are great drivers!
In overall I ended up at P5 after qualifying. My car ran better with every battery pack and my driving skills was there. P5 was much more, than I expected! So I was super happy for the finals!
A1: I have to say, the finals were tough and super intensive for all drivers. There were no 50+ seniors on the drivers stand. There were adrenalin pumped teenies on steroids! With the sound of the starting signal, old bastards with big belly, flat foot, lost hair and arthritis in the fingers turned into crazy animals. The nice vintage meeting turned into a nuclear war on the track. No brain no pain, just send it!
I really can not remember everything, what happend there. All the adrenaline jam over the last 3 years without racing exploded in the finals with a big bang. I only can remember, that every final was a battle and crazy things happend. 2WD was just the beginning. In 4WD it was a total adrenalin trip. My hands started shaking after the first laps and the whole body was shaking at the end of the final. It took some minutes to came back to the real world. The real time.
So I ended up at 5th in the first final. I lost nothing and I won nothing. Fair enough.
Video A-final 2WD
A2: Same situation here. A wild bunch of elderly people on the drivers stand. No chance to stay calm. War on the track. I started from P5 and because the chaos I found me on P2 after the start for some laps. Then I realized that. Got a shock about it and made a huge driving error. Then on P3. At the end of this run I had a good P4. Jumped not straight and the car landed on the rear wheel first. The 30 years old upper suspension mount plate broke and I was out of business for this day.
A3: No spare part. No start. So I could enjoy the last final from outside. And of course this was fun to watch the guys, who battled the toughest fight in their life this day.
The broken part
After all the drama, Lee Broadhurst was able to win this class with his Tamiya Astute. Congratulations!
Interesting: Dirk Simon´s DSPPC Schumacher Cougar. Very nice design - and fast!
Day 3 – 4WD Racing
After the experience in 2WD I felt, I can not go with fastest with my Yokomo 870C car, wich is equipped with Sub-C batteries. This car was made for bumpy and slippery tracks. Instead of destroying this old lady, I opted for the Yokomo Works 91 this day. With a Lipo battery and a brushless system inside.
My Yokomo Works 91 - a good car!
And this was a good decision! The Works was super fast from the beginning. I only had to use some thicker shock oil. That was all I had to do. To be honest, the car was too fast for this track. Because the super low weight of 1350 grams the acceleration and top speed was insane. With blinky setup and the 10.5T motor. So i reduced the high end point down to 90% on the throttle to make the car easier to drive. Because the front one way, braking was very critical. If you brake on the tight corners, the rear want come to the front. So I adjusted my driving style to not brake in the corners. It worked pretty well, because the handling of the car was so great. It drove on rails!
I opted the younger one to go with the other guys.
There was only 1 downside. Never land upside down after the jumps! I broke 2 magnesium bulkheads in practice. Because I had no more spare bulkheads I focussed my driving to jump safe.
The Tamiya Top Forces were super quick.
There was an armada of Tamiya Top Forces in my class. The fastest were from Jamie Booth and Lee Broadhurst. Hyper tuned, beautyful and with a perfect setup. But the lap times of my Yokomo were pretty good to fight against the british superiority.
After Q1 is was very surprised to see my name on the list as second after Jamie Booth! I knew, the car is fast and my driving improved over the days, but this was a little shocker for me.
A beautiful Yokomo from the french guys.
In the following qualifying runs I had a solid pace, but some other guys could improve as well. So I ended up on P5 on the starting grip of the finals.
A1 – A3: If you start a final in the middle of the grid, there is a 50/50 chance to win all or lose all in the first corner. Personally I like to start in the middle of the grid. Why? If you get older, you lose reflexes, but win experience! If you drive clever around the chaos in the first, or second corner after the start, you can drive around the chunks of cars, who drove too tight and crash each other. You simply can drive around them and win some positions. If you start from the front of the grid, there is a big chance, the half of the cars will stuck in your´s in the first corner.
I often could win some positions this way. But each time I am so surprised to see me in the front of the wild bunch after this manoeuvre, I get a little shock and crash 3 corners later. Easy come, easy go.
Video A-final 4WD
In this A1 finale it was exactly the same. I won some positions after the start and lost it 3 corners later. And again, just after your body has adds up all the adrenalin from the day before, it starts again to come back – and in 4WD 2 times stronger!
My Works 91 was so fast, I could go with the fastest (what was clearly Jamie and Lee). But many crazy things happend on the track. Huge crashes left and right. The sound of broken cars and the normal vintage racing chaos on the track. You only tried to keep your car out of the death zones. The rush in your brain when driving seems to block a clear mind. And maybe I drove a bit harder, than usual. Pride and shame gone through my mind when driving within 3 corners.
All finals were pretty intensive and there was so much happend, I really can not remember all details. But this experience after so many years of racing was very special. The whole weekend was so special. Maybe it was, because the super high grip track and corner speed? Or the track layout? Or because we all stuck the last 2 years at home because Covid-19 without any compensation? Anyway! It was amazing to be back on a track and I enjoyed every minute.
The Oldschool RC Euro Masters 2022 was a fantastic race for everybody! We had so much fun on and off the track and a friendly atmosphere over the 3 days. Had so many laugher and cool stories to share. It was simply awesome! To see the Britisch team, to see the French team, the guys from the Netherlands and Begium! And of course my old German companions.
Big shout out to Tommy Peter and Micky Wiedbrauk and all the helpers who made this race possible!
And of course the Megadrom Geilenkirchen! Excellent food and a great race director Dennis Kalinowski! Thank you so much!
Also big thanks to Hanno Boogard and Ralf Loch for photos and videos!