June 21, 2007

Can-Am Challenge / RC-Pro Series Rd1

Can-Am Challenge / RC-Pro Series Rd1

We were contacted by our partners at the RC Pro Series with a report from the first round of the Great Lakes Division, held in Ontario, Canada at the end of May at the Hamilton track. Here is the full report from that event.

With RC-Pro making its first venture into the Canada this was surely going to be a good race. The Can-Am Challenge has grown on its own merit in the three years the Ontario 1/8 On-Road Racing Club has been in existence. Some big names from the Midwest Series crossed the border for their first trip to the challenging layout in Hamilton. This was surely more of a Can-Am Challenge than in the previous year’s races.

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The RC-Pro format of 10 minute qualifiers was a first for many racers and seemed to be liked by a majority in attendance. Tire wear was fantastic so no one was concerned about eating through a lot of tires on the Hamilton asphalt. The track was open Friday for practice and many took advantage of the opportunity to get some laps under their belt. Aaron Buran and Paul Cicarello were testing bodies to see what worked best for them. The new Proto-Form Shadow was seen at the race for its debut on Gary Swayze’s Evolva. Ted Hammer, Brian Berry, Raye Juhl and Howard Bortman were in attendance representing the Toledo contingency. Raye “Fossil” Field was in attendance as well amusing all the racers! Eli Ezrow, Mark Unger and Dennis Young made the trip from Cincinnati to see what all the hype was about this Hamilton surface. Ontario regular Corey DeLong from Rochester, NY was able to drag Kim Suphankomut from Buffalo out for the race. Canadian regulars, John Elliot, Lou Vanderwey, Bill McLean, James Mak, Allan Lai, Steve Bortolotti, Dan Engelbreth, Patrick Chan, Peter Yu and others, led by Captain Swayze, were in full battle gear. Could the Canadians hold off the American invasion?

The weather forecast for the weekend was changing by the minute, but we were still able to field four full heats in 1/8th scale, two heats in Nitro Touring and the 1/5th scale boys put on a show in their heat.

Several 1/8th racers were able to put in 29 laps or more in the first round of qualifying, but in heat #4 Brian Berry was able to pull down 32 laps to hold TQ in the first round. After 3 rounds Brian’s first round time (32 laps- 10:07) was still able to hold the TQ spot with Paul Cicarello (32 laps- 10:20) and Eli Ezrow (31 laps- 10:02) holding down the top three spots for the A-main start. Running 10 minute qualifiers there was a lot of give and take on the track. Everyone wanted to finish and get in a good run. The marshals got a little bored, but that’s a good thing!!

In TC, Wayne Vince was able to match most 1/8th qualifiers with 29 laps in 10:16. Steve Bortolotti and Francis Lee were able to hit 28 laps in round two rounding out the top three qualifiers for the TC A-main.

1/5th scale fielded a full heat with Kuniharu Ujima, Dino Delanos and Alpha Ha, all with 22 laps, holding down the top three spots for the A-Main start.

On Sunday the racers voted to forego the fourth round of qualifying and get right into the mains as the weather forecast was questionable. We had an hour or so of controlled practice and decided to start the mains at 11am.

In the 1/5th scale main Kuniharu Ujima and Jeremy Dobb battled it out for the entire 30 minutes, finishing only a lap apart, and Dino Delanos was third. Rounding out the 1/5th scale A-main were Ray Ramnath, Alpha Ha, MC extraordinaire Hugh Lawson and Ken Deline.

The B-main TC saw Art Trinos grab the lead after a few laps and never look back. Dennis Lee worked his way from the back of the pack to grab second after a few pit cycles and a little attrition. Alpha Ha had just enough to hold off Cedrick Chow for the last podium spot. The B-main rounded out with Ray Ramnath, Tim Kwok, Greg Tong, Kim Suphankomut, Ryan Allison and Ron Dziuban.

The TC A-main looked to be a close field with the exception of Wayne Vince who had the field covered in qualifying. Could he hold everyone off for 30 minutes? At the start Wayne Vince, Steve Bortolotti, Lou Vanderwey and Francis Lee were able to pull out front in a train and separate themselves from the pack pretty much holding down the top four for most of the race. James Mak made a hard run from 5th up to second before he retired just before the last pit cycle. At the end it was just as expected with Wayne Vice grabbing first. Steve Bortolotti and Lou Vanderwey finished off the podium followed by: Francis Lee, Mark Rodney, James Mak, Art Trinos, Ray Juhl, Peter Yu, Dennis Lee and Kuniharu Ujima.

In the 1/8th scale C-main we had a few top runners with some poor qualifiers that were going to be stuck attempting to bump up if they wanted to run in a higher main. Ted Hammer and Steve Bortolotti battled it out for the bump up spots and were able to hang on to get into the B-main. Corey DeLong rounded out the third spot in case one of them slipped up a little. The rest of the C-main was as follows: Bill McLean, Dave Presnail, Danny Lo, Ron Dziuban, Gary Climie, Chris Bramford, Jimmy Lo and Tim Kwok.

With little time to prepare for the 1/8th B-main, Ted Hammer and Steve Bortolotti were able to get ready and start at the tail end of the grid. Ted and Steve were able to fight their way to the front again against some top competition to bump up to the A-main. Allan Lai was only 4 seconds behind Steve keeping the pressure on for the bump up spot till the last second. Rounding out the B-main were: Mark Unger, Dan Engelbreth, Gary Swayze, Dennis Young, Patrick Chan, Art Trinos, Raye Field and Peter Yu.

The 1/8th A-main grid was ready to get this race underway with the threat of rain imminent. It seemed to be that A-Main was stacked with Kyosho’s/Delta’s having six cars in the feature race. At the start Brian and Paul were able to get a jump on the competition with a clean entry into the sweeper and swapped 1-2 for the first 3 cycles of pit stops where Brian ran into trouble and retired. Ontario regular James Mak made a huge jump to the front on the start running up into third behind Paul and Brian. James fell back a few spots shortly into the race after the front runners made a charge back on him. Ted Hammer who bumped up from the C-main pulled right into contention running in 5th position after only a few laps. Our other bump-up contender Steve Bortolotti ran into problems quickly when his engine expired after running hard all day. Lou Vanderwey’s Murnan Mod also expired early in the main taking him out of the race. John Elliot never seemed to get in a groove and managed to run right in the middle of the pack all race with some consistent laps. Toledo racer Howard Bortman had some bad luck with a chunked left rear tire that got him a few laps down till he was able to get it swapped out. Eli Ezrow managed to hold his third starting position till the last cycle of pits stops came up and James Mak was able to get by him for third. The top five finishers all had average lap times within 0.8 seconds over the entire 30 minute main and Eli Ezrow ripped off the quickest lap in the A-main. At the end it was Paul Cicarello, Aaron Buran and James Mak taking the podium. The rest of the field rounded out with Eli Ezrow, Ted Hammer, John Elliot, Howard Bortman, Brian Berry, Lou Vanderwey, Steve Bortolotti and Nicholas Martin. The Hard Charger award goes to Ted hammer for pounding out a 5th place a-main finish after bumping up from the C-main!

Just as we concluded the racing and took a few pictures of the top finishers the sky opened up. It was great timing and a great ending to a perfect race weekend. We look forward to seeing some more American racers make the trip up north for “The Canadian Gas Nationals”.

Brian Berry – 1/8 Open TQ
Wayne Vince – 200mm Sedan TQ

1/8 Open A Main
1st – Paul Cicarello
2nd – Aaron Buran
3rd – James Mak

200mm Sedan A Main
1st – Wayne Vince
2nd – Steve Bortolotti
3rd – Lou Vanderwey

The full results can be viewed here, go here to see all the podium photos.

Thanks to Carlton Eppes for the report and pictures.


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