Chelmsford Carpet Oval Racing Club hosted the 2018 Shootout for two classes of Unlimited Bangers (abs and alloy), Formula 2 Stock Cars and Streetstox.
Streetstox are a class of car that I haven’t featured on the blog before. They are somewhat similar to a 1300 stock car but are smaller and don’t have suspension.
Alloy bangers are probably the most realistic class on the RC oval. The shells are made out of thin alloy sheet. Some people make they can be brought pre-built. Some of these pre-built shells are superb! They come with inner arch details, removable bonnets, parcel shelves, firewalls and more! Some people replace the plastic body mounts with metal ‘H’ frame style mounts which replicate the roll cages in the full sized cars.
As the alloy shelled cars hit each other they twist and distort, which means as the races progress cars bodywork begins to bind up on both the driven and steering wheels rendering some of the cars unable to continue.
The alloy cars also carry a lot more weight into impact than their ABS counterparts. The additional weight means that weaker components in the chassis’ are more likely to break, for example ; wishbones, kingpins and steering arms. The extra weight also puts more stress on motors and ESCs. Several cars were left visibly smoking after their races!
Alloy racing sounds brutal and it is. It’s also a rewarding challenge to keep the car going though.
I’m more of a racer than a wrecker. I’m not very good by my own admission but I like to try to get around as quickly as I can and weave my way around the worst of the carnage rather than through it. At the end of a race I will typically pull my car off track, do a quick bolt check, repair any cracks on the shell, put the car on charge and watch the next race. With an alloy one has to pull and hammer the shell back straight so it can go again! It becomes a cycle of crashing, fixing and repeating!
Of course, the alloy shells are more expensive than their plastic counterparts. A pre-made shell will set you back between £30-£50 excluding paint and stickers. If you can get the shell to last a few meetings though the initial cost does negate itself and once they begin to get a bit battered they look absolutely amazing!
CCORC was really busy this evening and I couldn’t find a spot in the main hall. Thankfully the kitchen is also used as a pitting area when needed so that’s where I pitched my stuff!
Just about everyone I was pitted with was an alloy driver. Behind me I had ‘The Shunters’
I was sharing a table with a group of alloy drivers from Croydon!
The smart car award always gives me the opportunity to photograph the other cars.
There were quite a few more alloys:
The Shunters’ American estate took home the smart car award.
There were 31 cars in the ABS class. ‘The Anarchists’ were all running Kamtec’s new Mercedes 600 Grosser shell. This comes as both the regular saloon (which fits an LWB chassis) and a Pullman variant (which fits the LWB chassis).
I’m a huge fan of the Mercedes W100 platform in real life. If you’ve known me for any length of time you’ll know that one of my many unrealistic life goals is to attain and restore either Idi Amin’s 600, which stands outside Uganda’s National Museum on blocks, or Kim Il-Sung’s car, which I believe is parked under the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang. (Kim Jong-Un, if you’re reading this for some strange reason. Let me know if you want to part with it! I’ll arrange transportation!)
There were 8 of the big Mercedes racing this evening. Knowing how rare they are as real cars, it did make it a little strange to see them all at once. Especially liveried up for banger racing!
Kamtec have done a really good job replicating this leviathan of a car!
Dave Nash was looking pretty in pink! I have a feeling this may have been a left over shell from The Suicide Squad vs The Condoms meet? Samantha from Sam’s Custom Designs does a superb job on the sign writing!
Here we have Jamie Townsend’s Chevrolet
Bob Beswick’s Cadillac
Lee Vockins from WRCC brought along this green Jaguar.
Daniel Jordan’s Granada Windsor:
Bob’s custom Cadillac won the trophy for ABS smart car. It was a lovely looking thing!
Koonta was running both an alloy and abs car! The matching pair look really good!
Following the car was a raffle. Tickets were given out on entry. One gets given a ticket upon signing in but extra tickets can be purchased. There was a huge range of prizes from free racing to body shells to beer to chocolate!
The racing for me didn’t go as well as it could have done. There were 15 cars in my heat including Kamtec’s Keith Dowsett. I made it my goal in my head to beat Keith in at least one race.
First race went really well! I finished 6th with 44 laps. One lap behind Keith who finished 5th!
In the second race I got knocked upside down on the outside of one of the corners and didn’t get righted for some time. I finished 12th with 29 laps.
About half way through the third race my receiver decided it didn’t want to talk to my handset anymore. This kids, is why you don’t buy cheap radio gear. I’ll have to keep my eyes out for a Sanwa or Spektrum unit in the future.
The final was an all in race so all 31 cars were on track at the same time. In the pandemonium I managed to get my car hooked atop one of the fence posts which is where I stayed for about 75% of the race.
It’s impossible to take bangers too seriously as it is an unpredictable class of racing and there will be times when it just doesn’t go to plan!
Unfortuantely I had to shoot off home not long after my final so I’m sorry I didn’t stay to help pack away!
I had a great night watching the alloys though and met some new faces which is always good!
Big thanks to Paul, Daniel, Graeme, Shel and everyone else who helps organise these events for a thoroughly entertaining evening and to all of the drivers for a good night’s racing and crashing!
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By Richard Francis