away with Hallowell/Baker and the new R250 powered Elliptical in its
first race setting the pace in the first heat with a workman like
3.22. The second heat was a cracker with Andrew Nugent and Paul
Stein crossing line first in 3.17.62, just over a second in front of
Richard Justic and Andy Kerr. Andrew was having his first
competition fly for quite a while and handled himself with aplomb as
he is a very experienced pilot. Murray Wilson and Lance Smith were
having some issues with their usually reliable gear and should have
been right on the heels of the other two. Two backwards starts in
the first heat and a compression screw back-off on landing in the
second heat put paid to their chances.
Steve Rothwell had Chris Scully performing pit duties with the
Dimpled Dumpling. Chris was learning on the job and at the end of
the day, could be justly proud of his second round 3.24. Steve was
again using a Graupner 7x7 prop which he found works well at Albury,
being ½ a second /10 faster than a full APC on the day. However,
that’s not to say it’s the best prop for all conditions. Still lots
more testing to do.
Harry Bailey and Ken Hunting teamed up as their respective flying
partners were unavailable, John Hunting being ill in hospital. We
all wish John a very speedy recovery. They flew well, but couldn’t
crack into those sub 3.20’s that is now required to make a VTR final
at just about every meet! How times have changed…I recall an era
back in the 90’s when no one could break 4 minutes! What a
revelation the R250 has been. With a clean, light model, anybody has
the potential to win a race.
second round provided the suspense we love in team racing.
Justic/Kerr improved their time by more than a second and Nugent
/Stein did almost the same. Both locked in their position in the top
three. Then Hallowell/Baker improved to 3.19, despite going hard and
slow for most of the second tank. Had a good engine run been there
for the entire race, a 3.10 time would not have been out of the
It was left to the two newly crowned champs, Wilson/Ellins to tip
them out with a do or die effort. As we all know, Mark is World F2C
Champion and Graeme is the current British VTR champ. So these gun
flyers gave it all and came up a fraction short. To be precise,
37/100th of a second short! That’s racing, boys!
The final was a Dimpled Dumpling vs Voodoo 5 vs Elliptical. All were
quickly into the air but it was ‘race over’ straight away for the
Ellipical as it was way under compressed. Nugent/Stein and
Justic/Kerr had similar airspeed. It was going to be very close. As
often happens in Vintage A, the position the motor cuts in the
circle dictates the amount of time gliding and this can add 4 or 5
seconds to a stop. And there was little doubt this had a bearing on
the eventual outcome.
Meanwhile, the Elliptical finally got the compression adjustment on
the last tank and showed it was clearly the fastest model, passing
the others with ease. But much too late! So it was Paul Stein who
again showed his class with yet another victory. Andrew Nugent did a
top job filling in for Paul’s usual pilot, F2C World Champ Rob
Fitzgerald. No doubt Andrew will be in high demand over the coming
months. Pilots of his calibre and experience are extremely rare!