April 11, 2018

2018 Serpent Cup Australia – Report

Last weekend saw the running of the 2018 Serpent Cup at Sydney’s John Grant International Raceway in Moorebank, NSW, Australia. With big numbers in each of the classes, the racing was hotly contested and humid conditions over three days hosted by the New South Wales Radio Controlled Car Racing Club. Mugen Seiki factory driver Jeff Hamon, competing in 1/8th scale, 200mm Touring and EP Modified over the weekend was the early pace setter in Nitro Tourer taking the TQ ahead of some very fast local drivers. George Karozis displayed a great turn of pace and consistency in qualifying, only to be out qualified at the final attempt by Serpent driver David Chen and the Xray driver Andrew Bardetta in the last round of qualifying on Sunday morning, while Tim Moylan, Ricky Kradolfer and youngster Braydon Stanley (all Mugen) rounded out the top 7 direct spots to the A-main final.

1/8th scale again showed the speed of Mugen factory driver Jeff Hamon, as he set the pace early and would TQ and later broke the single lap track record. Locals Ric Bartolozzi driving his Shepherd and Mugen driver Leigh Dytor kept it tight in 2nd and 3rd positions, and thats how it would play out into the final as both Bartolozzi and Dytor battled it out lap after lap in the fight for the second step on the podium, before Bartolozzi had an excursion off into the grass and broke his Shepherd. Soon after saw the shock exit of race leader Jeff Hamon from first place who had a comfortable lead, promoting Dytor into first place, followed by the Mugen of Dan Kradolfer. It wasn’t long before Dytor would soon find himself with car problems and had to retire from the race, leaving Dan Kradolfer who qualified 5th on the grid now leading the race. Dan would drive a mistake free race, keeping out of trouble to bring the car home to win his first ever major event, ahead of the Serpent of Jamie Otten and Shepherd of Ric Bartolozzi in 3rd.

1/8th scale top 3:
1. Dan Kradolfer
2. Jamie Otten
3. Ric Bartolozzi

The 200mm Bump-up finals would see newcomer and Serpent driver Rob Russell make his first A-main race at his first attempt. The A-main final saw Jeff Hamon get away cleanly and into a commanding lead, while George Karozis and Tim Moylan would get tangled up in the first corner, opening the door for Ricky Kradolfer to take two spots before the end of the first lap. The next few laps saw Andrew Bardetta, David Chen and Ricky Kradolfer race super close, and trade places as they battled it out for second place, before Bardetta struggled to keep the pace in his car, leaving the door open for Kradolfer and Chen to race door to door, lap after lap, until Chen traction rolled, handing Kradolfer second place. Jeff Hamon then ran into engine trouble, handing the lead of the race to Kradolfer, before attempting to make a late fight comeback, but Kradolfer held his nerve, drove mistake free and took his Mugen to his first win at a major event, making it a Kradolfer brother double win in both classes, just two seconds ahead of Serpent driver David Chen.

200mm Nitro Tourer top 3:
1. Ricky Kradolfer
2. David Chen
3. Jeff Hamon

GT saw the ever impressive and raining Australian GT champion Ric Seymonsbergen TQ comfortably ahead of Lauren Hornsnell who had a six second margin at the end of qualifying over third qualifying spot of Steve Valletta. The final saw Seymonsbergen get out into a comfortable lead, before dropping back to second place for a number of laps, but soon regained the lead and help the gap comfortably to finish a solid two laps of the Rob Russell who had a cracking weekend, earlier making it into the A-main final of the Nitro Tourer race, now finishing on the second step of the podium, coming all the way from 7th on the grid, to round out an amazing weekend for the local driver. Rounding out the podium in 3rd was the ever consistent Steve Valletta, who after an few problems at the start of the final, made his way back up from 5th position to battle it out for second spot right until the end of the race, making for some great trackside viewing for the fans.

1/8th GT top 3:
1. Ric Seymonsbergen
2. Rob Russell
3. Steve Valetta

Thanks to Ricky Kradolfer for the report.


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