Well, that’s Summer 2019 wrapped up, and a great summer it has been. A part season completed with the new Answer RC sponsored HB Racing package, learning lots, both on our travels and at home. Safe to say, if you haven’t heard – it’s incredible! Thank you once again to Pete @ Answer RC for the support.
In a year which included the latest addition to our family, baby Bradley, racing took somewhat of a backseat in the early months of Summer – with no Paddy Piston (the finale) and missing the first national round in Cork, it looked set to be a quiet one – before the addition of the HB D819. This kick started the motivation and desire for the remaining national rounds (3/4) alongside the normal club summer championship at NIMCC.
NIMCC Summer 2019 Championship
A fun, shortened series at NIMCC this summer, with the intent there to attempt some 1/10 rounds and factor in a busy schedule of racing across all of the championships and clubs. With 6 rounds in total, 5 with the new car after the first was a DNF, lots of time was spent dialling in the setup – and generally got there in the end.
The high grip Astro was super fun to push the car on and it just did everything it was asked to do.
From a personal perspective, by nearer the end of series, I was managing 14 lap heats for the first time ever and as the last few rounds completed, it was more of a regular, consistent feat. Some poor results in there too, and some bad luck, but all in all I am super happy to have scraped a top 3, taking P3 in the championship overall.
RCCAOI 2019 National Championship
Makes sense to start with the fun, rather than the racing. I mean, what more could you want at 28 years of age, than touring the country for 3 weekends away, to race toy cars?! All joking aside, what a fantastic few trips away we had this year, to Cork and then Navan. Super enjoyable and the crack was mighty. All 3 National rounds we attended were run flawlessly and massive credit to the clubs who made the effort. Thanks for having us.
Having missed round 1, my first round was round 2 at BADMCC, Aghalee. Here I would make my first National A final, after winning the B and bumping. That was a brutal 65 minutes of racing but a thoroughly enjoyable day and I was delighted with the result – somewhere I really struggled in both rounds last year.
Next up was the 5 hour trip to CRCCC, Cork. Merv and I set off at 6.30am and made it in good enough time for a quick pub stop and tour of the local’s steam engines, down in the back shed! The track was immense and super fun to drive on, though tricky. Battled hard with Connor all day, but he had much more consistency and ended up in P6 after quali. I took P8 and a second consecutive A final spot – only for the meeting to be halted and final qualifying was take as a result. Have ya ever seen as much rain?! Nevertheless, Geoff lit the BBQ….
Last, but by no means least, was NNN, in Navan. We had a great day in the Saturday, a few pints in an empty pub on Saturday evening and then a fun filled, weather mixed day on the Sunday. Safe to say I struggled with the conditions and I spent more time on the wrong tyre than anything else! Good fun though and the crack was yet again fantastic! I can’t quite recall my final position, but it was a mid B Final spot after quali and I don’t think it improved, though I had to battle hard for 20 minutes to end up ahead of Brian O’Carroll on the second last turn of the final lap.
Overall result was in the top 10 (the original aim before the season started) – ok, too 10 sounds good. It was 10th! Still – a good improvement on last year and a few good races along the way.
All in all, first (nearly) full series with the new HB Racing D819 and I don’t think I could have been much happier. NIMCC – 3rd and Nationals – 10th. I will take that. However, next year will be all about consistency, and hoping to improve on that overall National result, and close the gap on fellow HB Racing men Alan Scroggie (National Champion 2019) and new to the team, Andrew McLean – who I’ve a funny feeling is going to take serious stopping in 2020! If I can stay with a few laps of these guys during a 20 minute final by the end of Summer 2020, I suppose that’ll be a step forward.
One final shout out, to Mervyn Craig – the man literally travelled far and wide with us this year, for no other reason than to support, help and generally keep me right! Couldn’t, and wouldn’t have done it without him there. Cheers lad.