Mawson wins New Zealand Nationals with borrowed Serpent 835

The New Zealand Nationals for 1:10 235mm took place recently and despite not even owning his own car it was Greg Mawson, using a borrowed Serpent 835, who scored a double National win as he claimed the top spot in both the Can-am and Saloon classes. Greg sent us this account of the race –

The 2008 IC On Road Nationals were held over Easter weekend by the Taranaki Radio Control Car Club. I was the main event organiser, but had recently started to concentrate on off road, so had no cars to run at the event. That could have meant a long weekend stuck in race control instead of out on the track but lucky for me I made a comment about how I liked the look of the 1/10 235mm 2wd cars at the previous Nationals. I was quickly offered a car to drive at the 2008 Nationals, which I accepted with some apprehension.

I had never driven a 2wd car before and I tend to be an aggressive driver. The car arrived the week before the event, but I had limited time to practice. I only put 3 tanks through the car with a Can Am body before the event.

The first class running was Can Am on Friday with 3 heats and a 30 minute A Final. I had been getting quite used to racing at large events, but for some reason in the first race, I was more nervous than I had been for years. I had no idea how I would go against the seasoned pro’s, although I had one advantage, track knowledge as I was the only one in the class that was a local.

To my surprise I quickly settled in to the lead and the nerves started to also settle. I took a win in heat one and then took out the remaining 2 heats being the only one getting 17 laps. Both Kevin Frewer and Kevin Dench put in good times during the heats only a few seconds behind me each time. That track knowledge was helping me a lot, but I was also getting more used to the car as well.

With a decent warm up to the final, I mainly practiced my start. I could just imagine myself on pole and ending up facing the wrong way after spinning off the line. Lucky for all of us it was a clean start. Don Collins and Kevin Dench started battling for 2nd behind me, so I could concentrate on fast laps instead of defending my position. Consistent laps and some quick pit stops gave me the win over Don Collins in 2nd and Bev Winter in 3rd, who just scrapped in front of Kevin Dench in 4th. Some very close racing between 2nd to 4th.

Saturday and Sunday consisted of 5 heats and a 30 minute A Final for Saloons. I hadn’t driven the car with a Saloon body yet and I know with 1/8 and 1/10 4wd that the body can make quite a difference. To my surprise the Saloon body didn’t seem to feel much different to the Can Am. I was expecting tougher competition today as the other competitors became more familiar with the track and got a bit more out of their cars. I was proven right in Heat 2 with Kevin Frewer taking the win closely followed by myself. There was consistent duelling between myself and Kevin, but lucky for me after the 5 heats had finished, I had claimed pole and was the only one to get a 17 lapper. Kevin Frewer was extremely close to the 17 laps, but didn’t quite get there.

In the previous final with Can Am, I had gone with 5 minute pit stops, not being familiar enough with the car I choose the conservative route, but for the Saloon final, Kevin Frewer was so close to me that I had to go with a 6 minute stop like a lot of the other competitors. I once again got a clean start with Kevin Frewer right on my tail. Both of us pulled away from the others with him only a couple of meters away. The gap was maintained to the first pitstop, where my stop was 3 seconds faster. I was able to very slowly stretch the lead and once again at the next pit stop, got anther couple of seconds. I seemed to get through the traffic slightly easier than Kevin Frewer and eventually got myself a lap up. At the end, I was able to secure my 2nd National tile for the weekend, with Kevin Frewer in 2nd and Kevin Dench in 3rd.

A big thank you to Terry Harrop and Kevin Dench for arranging the car for me and to Kevin for setting it up. I’ve been told if I don’t have my own car for next years Nationals, one will be found for me, so that these guys can get their own back on their home track. Thank you also to Bev and Trev Winter of Zoom Resources for their continued support.

Greg Mawson

Source : Serpent

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