Classic B was next as
it was held over from Saturday. Six teams took to the air with some
mixing and matching of pitmen and pilots going on among the
It was really good to see John Nolan having a crack in the Classic
circle. His own design model flew very nicely with Steve Rothwell as the
pilot. The OS FP 25 engine needs a little sorting and then it should be
right on the pace. Just for the record, the fastest Classic B model in
the world is Mark McDermott’s Lone Gone, also with an OS FP 25. It
regularly records less than 15 seconds for 7 laps.
The Cosmic Rays had the B25R/Crescendo combination wound up with their
airspeed the equal of any. It was only a couple of extra flicks both
times on the restarts that kept them out of the final. Their heat times
were amazingly consistent with a 3.15.44 and a 3.15.47!
Harry Bailey thought he had won the lottery when he scored reigning
World Champs F2C pilot Hugh Simons to fly for him! Their second round
time of 3.09.31 with the B25R Galaxie was only 37/100ths of a second
away from FTD.
That belonged to John Hallowell & Mark Ellins who posted a 3.08.94 with
the new orange Rocket and OS FX power. This was the first time a .25
ball race engine has been run at a competition in Australia. They have
been used in the USA in their Classic B for at least 10 years. They flew
the untried Streak in the second round using Melbourne settings but were
way too rich on the day.
Murray Wilson & Mark Poschkens got their act together in the second
round with a smokin’ 3.09.63 with the Galaxie and B25R. ‘Posh’ was on
pitting duties filling in for engine man Lance Smith who, although he
couldn’t be at Albury this time, was there in spirit with his stamp on
most of the engines used.
The Dream Team of Ken & John Hunting tried hard with a best of 3.19.69
but could not reproduce their excellent times of the last Albury Nats.
Just like then, at this competition, half the teams were separated by
less than a second!!! As has been said many times before, if you like
close racing, there is none better than Classic B.
The final promised more of the same, but as is often the case, it didn’t
happen. Murray & Posh changed fuel brews and couldn’t get the right
setting back so they slowed right down and effectively threw in the
Hugh and Harry showed
early promise but seemed to slow down a bit as the race progressed and
were often passed by the orange Rocket. Meanwhile, Mark Ellins needed
just three flicks to win the race… one at the start and one at each of
two stops. As Mark said later, “it was just two 3.05 heats back to
back.” So the new Rocket was victorious in the first competition for the
OS FX engine in the very fast time of 6.10. Not quite Paul Stein and
Fitz territory yet, but we’re working on it!
The OS 25FX engine used by the winners was stock standard out of the box
except for a head modification by Lance Smith to increase the
compression ratio and improve high speed burning. Lance would be very
happy to assist anyone requiring this modification. A Rothwell ‘B Class’
venturi was also fitted screwed into a delrin ‘top hat’ expertly made
for the OS by Andrew Nugent. An OS R5 plug was used and a 7x7 APC was
the prop of choice.
Further solo testing of the same setup the following Sunday showed a
best speed of 15.65 and up to 55 laps using a fuel containing 20% oil,
20% nitro, 10% IPA, 5% xylene, 5% iso propyl benzene and 40% methanol. I
have little doubt that 15-20% IPA would work just as well as the xylene
and IPB. Lots more testing still needs to be done. With Lance, Murray
Wilson and Gavan Opperman, we are down at Frankston just about every
weekend trying to find the ideal set up. I believe we are now getting
very close! The GMS .25 ball raced engines are also going very well.
Lance Smith can supply these engines in racing tune at a very reasonable
As a reminder, the new Classic B engine rules are as follows: Allowable
engines: Any engine (max. .30 cid) manufactured for commercial sales
prior to January 1, 1961. Any “modern” (max. .30 cid) plain bearing
engine. Any of the following modern ball race engines are allowed:
OS FX .25 GMS .25 Enya SS.25 BB (diesel or glow) Thunder Tiger PRO 25 BB
Rothwell R320BR Irvine .25 ASP .25
Glow plug engines in the above list of modern ball race engines must use
a 1/4 “ x 32TPI standard thread glow plug. No Nelson plugs, Turbo plugs
or button heads are permitted in the modern ball race glow plug engines
Everything else remains the same. The existing OS LA & FP, Brodak, Enya,
Thunder Tiger and other .25 PB engines can continue to be used.