Victorian pylon racing started in earnest for 2013 on the first weekend of February with a 2 day event at Camperdown, situated in the western districts of Victoria. The Corangamite Model Aircraft Club is located at the Camperdown race course where they utilize the centre field of the course for r/c aeromodelling.
Events at this time of the year can be a rather hot affair. Luckily this year we experienced mild conditions with both days in the low 20s, partly cloudy and only one rain shower that stopped racing for a short time on the Sunday.
This event consisted of our usual 3 classes of Q500, F400 and FA1 (AUST F3D) and we were able to run 9 rounds of each class over the 2 days. It worked out quite well with roughly half the rounds of each class on Saturday and the balance on Sunday.
The racing was a very clean affair with not one plane destroyed in a mid-air or ground impact. It is a testament to the skills of all when there were at times, some very close racing whilst avoiding planes tangling in the air. There were only a few under-cart repairs required due to the rather hard/dry ground. We were all pleased to have Gary Davidson back racing with us after his accident late last year.
The Murphy’s were again in fine form with Beau in particular who is preparing for the World Champs later this year, coming in 1st place. Barry came 2nd & Tom Wetherill in 3rd place.
Terry O’Connor came 1st, Tom Wetherill 2nd and myself (John Schmidli) in 3rd place although a long way off the pace.
This was a bit of an upset (well at least for James Hurley and myself)! Daniel Arapakis in only his 3rd Q500 race (and before that a couple of races with a trainer), gained 1st place with some very quick times. James clawed his way back and finished less than 3 seconds away from Daniel in 2nd place. I (John Schmidli) came 3rd place.
Congratulations to Daniel. If you look at his past average times, you can see a large improvement each time. Nearly all his times were under 100 seconds and his best was 93.96 seconds. His acceptance speech was very amusing, referring to all who have helped him to date as uncles (ie Uncle Beau – his caller, Uncle Barry etc).
At the age of 12, Daniel’s path into pylon racing is a great example of how you can take up the sport beginning with simply having a go on some sports pylon races with a trainer (or similar) then getting into it a bit more seriously with the Q500 class. The Q500 class is a very affordable way to start racing and can be every bit as exciting as the faster classes. He has a great amount of support from his father but has also made friends with many of our experienced members who are very happy to give advice and guide him in the right direction.
At last count we only have three more races for F1A and F400 and five for Q500 in this 2012-2013 season.
FA1 – There has been no change with the top 3 although Beau Murphy in 2nd place is closing the gap on Tom Wetherill at the top. Glenn Matthews is still in 3rd.
F400 – Jim Orenshaw maintains the top position but now in 2nd is Tom Wetherill and 3rd is myself (John Schmidli).
Q500 sees the top 2 still being James Hurley and me (John Schmidli) respectively but Daniel Arapakis has moved up to 3rd place.
Our next 3-class event is back at Bazza’s paddock in Munro on March 23-24.
Before that, there is a Q500/EF-1 and Sports event at Baccus Marsh on March 10.
Although not an official VMPRA event, we are all welcome to participate in a 50 Lap Endurance race at Lilydale (LDMFA) on Feb 17. Classes will be Q500 and Sports.
Anybody interested in taking up pylon racing is encouraged to come to the Bacchus Marsh or Lilydale events. Introduce yourself and give it a go!