For the first time in months, I was able to make my way up the A12 to Hatfield Peverel to race at the Chelmsford Carpet Oval Racing Club (CCORC).
CCORC is (as the name suggests) a carpet oval track in Hatfield Peverel’s village hall.
Most of the cars raced there are 1/12th scale and are produced by companies such as Kamtec, Mardave and Large-It.
The banger racing class is the most popular which is supported by a range of stock car classes and 1/10th scale “super bangers”. There is also the Essex Stock Car Club, which hosts stock cars and non-contact hot rods at the same location.
It’s a good track, long and narrow. It can get a little bit hectic during the banger races but it makes for some fantastic racing with the stock cars.
At this particular meeting, all the bangers had to have shells that were based on cars produced by Ford with an engine displacement of under 1800cc. It sounds like quite a limited selection, but when you go through Kamtec’s website, there are actually quite a few shells that are eligible!
The bangers would be supported by Formula 2 Stock Cars and Streetstox (more on those later).
Being debuted on the night, by Keith from Kamtec himself, was the Mk7 Fiesta. He has two versions of this shell available. One is the car pictured below, based on the production vehicle, the other is based on the fiberglass National Hot Rod body which features significant aerodynamic modification.
It’s a really nicely detailed shell, as all of Kamtec’s latest shells have been. Keith and team have most certainly improved their molds over the past few months (compare their new K11 Micra to the old tooling. The new shell looks so much nicer).
As a banger it seemed to hold up well to the punishment. There certainly didn’t seem to be any catastrophic damage at the end of the night. I can see this becoming a popular shell at micro meets!
I opted to race an older Ford; A Mk2 Cortina. I’ve had this livery in my head for a little while but I wanted to paint it onto a pre-war shell such as the Ford Model Y. It didn’t come out as planned, but I still think it could look good with some different effects and on a different car.
That’s one of the many good things about RC banger racing. There’s no set right or wrong way of how to paint your body shell. They are all under £10 too so you can experiment with them a little and not feel too guilty.
The first race didn’t go that well for me. I had set the car up too high and as soon as somebody so much as looked at it, it would roll over.
As well as being set up to race, a banger has to be good in contact. When the car is too top heavy it will just want to to roll over every time it is hit, which was what mine was doing.
I ended up on my side in the far corner, far off of the racing line. It took a long time for a car to be launched onto that side of the track to knock me back onto my wheels.
I finished 11th out of 14 cars with 30 laps. The three cars below me did not finish the race.
After a quick lowering, the car seemed to behave much better. After one particular crash I got flipped into the middle of the track and landed on my roof. Kieran “Koonta” Briddock very kindly threw his car into the middle of the track to save me though.
The next lap he hit me head on, whilst we were both going at full pelt, on the back straight, but I’ll let him have that one haha! That particular contact shows how important car set up and shell choice is on a banger though. When we hit, his car came to a dead stop and mine back flipped back up the straight. His Mk1 Focus was a lot more sloped at the front than my Mk2 Cortina which may have helped. His car may also be a little heavier? I’m convinced that ballasting or weighting the chassis may help the car in contact. I’m not entirely sure that it’s legal in bangers so it may be that his car didn’t weigh any differently to mine. It’s something I will have to research further.
I finished 11th again but this time with 36 laps, so a bit of an improvement.
The third race went much better for me. I was able to keep out of the majority of the crashes and finished 6th with 44 laps. One less and I would have finished 5th! How close was it between me and Koota?!
The final was “all in” so all 28 cars on track at once. It was carnage but I managed to make my way around. I finished 17th of 28 which is ok for me!
It was good fun racing. I learnt a bit and I have a bit more to think about for next time.
The support classes were Formula 2 stock cars, which are based off of BriSCA Formula 2 cars. They are one of the more competitive classes in RC oval racing and have their own national series. It’s still a very affordable class of racing to get into though. Kamtec make a complete kit which is pretty much ready to race for under £200.
They run counter clockwise too more like American stock cars.
The F2s look like a fun class and I would love to have a go with one some day!
Streetstox are super short wheelbase stock cars with shells based on classic Minis, Hillman Imps and Ford Anglias. All have brushed motors, no differentials and no suspension. They are super basic but that means that are a very cheap class to get involved with and they make for some close racing.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! A big thanks to the team at Chelmsford for putting on another great event.
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By Richard Francis