Victorian IC Championship titles 2012

Capricorn RC Australia – Race report

Vics 2012 A small group of interstate drivers converged with the local drivers on Australia day (Jan 26th) to prepare for the annual state championships at the renowned Lilydale track, home of the MRCCR (Melbourne Radio Control Circuit Racers). A field of 200mm drivers consisting of over 50% Capricorn chassis’ based cars joined the 1:8 specification with a healthy mix of LAB-C08, Motonica, Shepherd, Serpent based cars.

The blues skies and hot weather was to prove a challenge for drivers to manage their tyre and engine tuning strategies. While the field was small, the quality and level of racers was high, including  Australia champions Peter and Steven Jovanovic, 1:8  drivers such as Ashley Seward with a recent switch from Mugen to Capricorn, Andy Bishop and Tim Westwood (Mugen Seiki), Derrick Miller representing Shepherd and the return of Ryan Maker now in 1:8 driving for Serpent. In 200mm expectations were high for Peter Jovanovic and Ricky Vocale and much interest with the youngest driver in the field Chance Karlsson.

It was a relaxed atmosphere with ample time to complete the event, with Thursday assigned for open practice, Friday blended into a controlled practice day giving all drivers a chance to prepare their cars in readiness for the event. With the limited drivers, the event was to be a challenge for the best to seed themselves into the top four and the rest of the field were vying for finals starting positions and bragging rights. Regardless, there were no holds barred and the lap times were equivalent to any other major event on the on-road calendar.


200mm tourers

Saturday 1:10

The event timekeeper was crippled by illness and reports came that he was in hospital making for a late start to Saturday qualifications. By the time the rounds began the track temperature had risen and the track temp was well in excess of 40c.

Round 1 saw Peter Jovanovic take command of the morning conditions and set the TQ for the 200mm class with a 035/00:10:06.530  and was the only driver in qualification to break the 17 second mark with a 016.825  second lap. Ashley Seward demonstrated an awe inspiring consistency with his LAB C02 with a 10 minute qualifying deviation of 00.984 sec having recently switched from the Mugen Seiki to Capricorn RC. Ricky Vocale also set his best time early in the meeting and secured a top 4 position  in the first round which set the tone for a Capricorn RC dominance for the top 4 positions from the very first round.

In the other heats, new recruit  Luke Sinanian was settling into the Capricorn RC on his second outing with steady pace edging into the top 10 through the rounds along Steve Barker. While local George Tsakanias was juggling event duties, pitting for his son Alex in the pullstart class and setting highly respectable times and low deviations, demonstrating the consistency of the LAB-C02 over ten minutes in heat wave like conditions.

South Australian driver Andrew Gillespie was very fast in the MTX5 though fuel consumption plagued his event managing no more than 4 minutes from his Max Power engine which clouded what could have been a Top4 drive. Brendan Sola in the KM was also mixing it with the top runners and left his final assault to the latter rounds. The top ten had Xray drivers Gavin Gray struggling for a good run, while Wayne Thomas was consistent in all heats and Sunday was to become the decider for the overall standings.

Bravo! – Capricorn RC Australia

One name on everyone’s lips was missing at the top of the listing, young Chance Karlsson. This exceptionally fast and talented young driver was plagued by mechanical and electrical problems.  The Capricorn RC drivers were witnessing the demise of an unorthodox maintenance strategy and Saturday evening at the motel lead to a heart warming experience with the Capricorn RC Australia teams gathering in Peter Jovanovic Snr’s room. Three fathers of Capricorn RC drivers converged around a small table to begin a complete rebuild of young Chance’s car. Involving Peter Snr on the tools, Luke and Chance organising parts and father Lars dismantling the existing chassis and radio equipment. The night was in part long, but for the most part a warm memorable moment in Australian RC, it conveyed the solidarity of drivers to want a fair race, sharing their experience and watching the young face of the future of RC racing turn from plea to pleasure. The car was meticulously restored and with some track tuning (Peter Jr on Sunday)  was handed back to Chance and Lars in readiness for the final two Sunday rounds. 

Tony Vocale A special mention must be given to Tony and Ricky Vocale who also nurtured and mentored Luke Sinanian parting with valuable  track knowledge, setup advice and instilling a confidence into him that elevated his performance over the course of the event. It’s a quality that is often frowned on in other sports yet RC is a passion for many and this example of selfless care is what brings us together to race and participate regardless of cost, you can’t buy that kind of personality, it’s handed down through the generations and sets RC apart from other competitions, it’s altruism, a lesson all young minds need to witness and experience. 

Sunday 1:10

While the majority of Capricorn RC drivers had already posted their fastest times with the exception of Luke Sinanian and Steve barker who improved slightly to secure their positions in the finals. While Brendan Sola (KM driver)  posted his best time it was the Xray driver Gavin Gray who bumped out Brendan and secured himself 3rd position in the top 4 with a brilliant drive late in the qualifiers with a 034/00:10:07.734.

With the rebuilt C02, Capricorn RC youngster Chance Karlsson  set aside round 5 dialing in the 2 speed and then showed his talents in round 6 driving towards a top 4 position when he ran wide around a backmarker, clipped the wall and slid off track on the front straight and ended his assault at the qualifiers in 14th place.

Eighth Scale

Saturday 1:8
Qualifications began with Andy Bishop setting the pace in the mid 15′s closely followed by Ashley Seward in the LAB-C08 and Tim Westwood all on the same lap completing 37 laps in the allocated 10 minutes. Round 2 saw Peter Jovanovic stamp his authority with a 038/00:10:07.749 heat along with Andy Bishop raising his game followed closely by Ashley Seward. By round three the high temperatures had taken it’s toll on the track and the drivers,  lap times fell, round 4 was much the same with no change short of Ashley Seward improving his time to 38 Laps as he seemed to comfortably settle into his new LAB-C08.

It can be a cruel sport…

Outside of the Capricorn camp drama unfolded as Tim Westwood’s MRX5 suffered a power supply failure and was a near write off. President of MRCCR and established figure head of the Victorian RC racing scene Mr Gary Westwood who had tirelessly managed the event in all areas in the extreme heat stepped up to a mammoth challenge to get the car back on track. It was back at the hotel where the commitment to our sport shone brightest with a die hard assault on rebuilding the MRX5 from scratch. Personally witnessing this admirable trait of our sport was inspiring and it was an evening of motel room hopping working as an assistant organising parts and holding the flash light where needed. The tenacity that is often displayed in RC extends beyond the boundary of RC racing, it’s a credit to the people, the commitment and the sport as a whole.

Sunday 1:8

With the weather still clear and plenty of sunscreen on hand the early rounds were the last opportunity to set the pace. Sunday morning saw several 1:8 drivers improved their drives. Ashley Seward secured himself a top 4 position along with Andy Bishop and brother Steven, with Peter Jovanovic retaining the TQ position and moving directly into the finals edging out Tim Westwood 6 seconds off the pace also on 38 laps for the ten minute qualifying rounds.

Semi Finals 200mm

Semi B

A poor start on the timing system saw Luke and Tony Parreiro stall at the start giving the rest of the field a lap head start. Derrick Miller (Shepherd V10)  took the lead but with Chance Karlsson lapping one second faster, the Shepherd’s lead was short lived as the youngster took 1st position from the veteran on lap three with Andrew Gillespie from SA holding third position. While Chance and Derrick were holding their own positions, a problematic pitstop by Andrew Gillespie and errors by others left the door open for Luke to move into third position. A flame out by Chance on lap 34 let Derrick Miller regain the lead and then a flamed out pitstop by Derrick allowed the youngster back into the lead, then it was Chance’s turn again for a flame out losing 1 minute allowing Luke into 2nd for a two laps where he yielded to his fellow club mate and maintained his consistent times and the semi B finished with Derrick 1st, Chance 2nd and Luke with a good 3rd. Capricorn RC drivers completing the semi B in 2nd. 3rd, 4th and 5th. Chance moved directly into the final the the Semi A was to determine whether Luke would make his first A-main event.

Semi A

With the top 3 Capricorn drivers seeded in the A-Main two more Capricorn RC drivers were in the hunt for the finals. Brendan Sola made his assault in the KM and secured his place with two laps in hand. while MRCCR committee drivers George Tsakanias drove a very clean run with low deviations and Steven Barker shadowed his performance to edge into the A-main.

Finals 200mm

LABananaRED Banana


Drama unfolded for Ricky Vocale on lap 5 when an incident that disabled the power supply to his electronics and ended his A main final early with a very badly damaged LAB-C02.
EDITORS NOTE: Speaking of Bananas, living in Queensland it is common practice to use a rubber band to retract the throttle servo in case of power failure. While many people assume that a rubber band will not return a powered servo, there are more times when a power failure or forgetting to connect a throttle linkage cause damage to our cars than radio errors. Our Spektrum radio system and other spread spectrum radios have greatly reduced transmission failures. Please, even if it’s the rubber ring around a balloon, or better still a silicon girls hair tie, just put one between the top needle and throttle ball and you will greatly reduce the risk of experiencing Ricky’s heart breaking damage. Back to the race…

Peter Jovanovic made an excellent start opening an early gap to Ashley Seward while Chance Karlsson was overtaking cars from the rear and edging closer to the podium with each lap. Laps 29 saw Ashley flame out losing a minute (3 laps) on the field, Peter Jovanovic maintained his blistering pace and extended his lead one minute ahead of the field. With Ashley’s set back allowed Gavin Gray Gavin (Xray) a brief moment in the race to take 2nd position and then two laps later suffered his own flame out. Chance pounced on this opportunity and jumped two positions and settled into 2nd position behind Peter. George Tsakanias was racing a strategic race using the consistency of the LAB-C02, he was by far the most consistent driver on track and used this to his advantage while others encountered flame out in the blistering heat. Luke Sinanian and Steve Barker were on the same lap at the rear of the field, capitalising on attrition with less than three seconds between them by lap 40, both were doing a great job allowing the faster drivers through and managing to loss in lap times.

Official grudge match

Luke Sinanian Luke’s father had a grudge to bear with the Australian organising body AARCMCC, a ridiculous engine management rule of two engines and one maintenance per engine had impaired his strategy at the national titles a couple of months earlier. With a good but aging LAB-E01 hard Tuned engine that be purchased at the Vic state titles 2011, the engine seemed to have an air leak causing throttle over run. After several consultations with Peter Jovanovic Snr, he managed the whole event with one Capricorn engine and without the allowed maintenance option. Father Harry had a new 353 in his kit, he chose not to burden the officials with engine marking and clearly demonstrated how this idiotic rule is more damaging to the middle and lower order and event officials than it is creating parity to the top runners. On returning home he pulled down his engine, cleaned the oxidisation on his crank and found the front bearing to be worn and expects the bearing seal was causing the leak.

Harry later said: “For those that insulted my mechanical skills, I trust you all get the message, in future I have no need to prove the point again, get rid of the rule, let us race and let race!

Back to the race…

Chance Karlsson By the middle of the race it was a top 3 Capricorn RC race. Chance had moved into 2nd place 1 minute behind Peter, with Ashley Seward 30 seconds behind chance, with Brendan Sola (KM) and George Tsakanias keeping them honest in close pursuit. Then on lap 55 more drama as Peter Jr lost 5 laps with his own engine issues allowing the young Chance Karlsson to take the lead! With 12 minutes to run Peter Jr was one lap behind and still in 2nd. Approximately 35 laps to go, Peter Jr lifted the pace and was chasing Chance with .5 seconds per lap in hand and this was to be a very close and exciting ending.

Chance demonstrated maturity beyond his age and maintained his composure on track. Peter regained track position onto the lead lap and was in the hunt for victory. Ashley was holding 3rd and George Tsakanias moved into 4th overall. Then on lap 85 Peter Jr had a poor pitstop losing 20 seconds and over the next 10 laps, Chance Karlsson kept his cool and crossed the line in front of the multiple Australian Champion, with Peter Jr in 2nd, Ashley Seward 3rd and George Tsakanias in 4th giving the Capricorn RC drivers a 1st,2nd,3rd & 4th finish for this close and very exciting Victorian 2012 200mm tourer championship.

Peter Jovanovic JrAshley SewardRicky VocaleAndrew Gillespie (MTX5)

1:8 Final

To be continued…

Comments are closed.