Cast your mind back to the mid -90’s – groups like OMC, Che Fu and Coolio were at the top of the NZ charts and guys like Ian Rickerby, Ben Tiplady and Daniel Thompson were carving up indoor carpet racing in Christchurch. Some things have thankfully changed – but others stay the same! A lack of local electric racing in 2016 saw the birth of the Christchurch Indoor club in mid 2017 – which led to a resurrection of the Canterbury Indoor Champs – sponsored by Mainland RC! Interest had been brewing for quite some time and when the day came around we had 82 cars turn out with 41 drivers hailing from all over NZ – from Auckland all the way to Invercargill. El Presidente Luke Prattley had dropped a banger of a new layout with plenty of flow – she was all on!!
Qualifying started at midday on the dot – thanks to the organisational skills of Mark Eves on the mic – which allowed our guests flying and driving in to make it here in time. We started with some controlled practice that then seeded drivers based upon their three quickest consecutive laps and then moved into three rounds of qualifying true – which saw us closing the doors at around 7pm at which time the competitors could go and rest up, make some setup tweaks and find some food (and the odd beer!).
2WD buggy was always going to be the marquee class of the event – and with almost 40 cars entered, the competition was sure fierce! Early doors the young gun from Nelson, Jayden Jamieson was lightening quick in his first foray onto the rug in the prototype Tekno alongside Mark Bidlake in the Associated however as the qualifying went on local fliers Daniel Thompson and Ian Rickerby came into their own with Ian taking out the TQ in the new Associated B6.1.
This qualifying was a bit of a two horse race in some respects with Jamieson going at it head to head with local racer Daniel Thompson – these guys basically swapped leads right throughout until Thompson laid down a 23 lap run to take the TQ. Amazing driving! Again, the familiar names Ian Rickerby and Mark Bidlake were right amongst it with Ben Tiplady featuring too.
Mark Bidlake was pretty much untouchable with overall speed and consistency in the brand new Associated SC6.1. However just behind Dale Kilgour, young Corban Jamieson, Ross Martin and Kelly Rowse were all in a tight battle to push as close to the front as possible – in the chaotic short course field a good start is critical to placing!
2WD Stadium Truck
In what was undoubtedly the favourite spectator class, Auckland speedster Mike King set his stall out early however local racer Ben Tiplady in the slime green X-Ray was going fast in all classes and managed to snatch the TQ from King with the consistent Luke Prattley in third spot. Some wild racing was sure to be on the cards from this lot!
Congratulations to Mike King with the immaculate fleet of X-Rays who took out this award. A certificate for a body paint is on the way from Nick @ Sloth Graphix.
After the final round of qualifying bright and early, the final seeds were in and we were into finals time. Nerves were jangling and things were getting a little strained on the drivers stand!
2WD Buggy A-Main
The A mains were dominated by local racer Ian Rickerby in his seriously quick Associated B6.1 – with Ian taking out all three victories with 23 lap runs each time. Mark Bidlake, also racing an Associated did the Nelson team proud with a second in both A1 and A3 getting him the silver and Daniel Thompson rounding out the podium in the Hot Bodies D216, taking a 3rd, 2nd and 3rd.
Commiserations to Tekno driver Jayden Jamieson who qualified third but snapped a prototype carbon chassis in qualifier 4. Jayden finished the meeting in a borrowed Associated B6 but with an unfamiliar setup and controller didnt quite have his earlier pace.
4WD Buggy A-Main
This class was the most entertaining and hotly contested of the weekend with the Tekno of Jayden Jamieson battling with the Associated B64 of Daniel Thompson. Throughout the first two races they constantly swapped leads well ahead of the rest of the field. Jayden had TQ but Daniel drove superbly to take A1 and Jayden fought back to take A2. – it was high drama and down to the final erm….final for the trophy. It seemed to be going the way of Thompson but a lapped car caused the tiniest bobble on the last lap and Jamieson powered through for the victory and glory. The margin for error was so small at this level. Both of you are to be congratulated for some high quality racing. Ian Rickerby managed to add to his trophy haul and take 3rd place – just beating out rival Mark Bidlake.
Mark Bidlake was always going to have too much speed in this class and so it proved with the experienced campaigner taking first in each race. Behind him the battle was fierce and quite often the driving was rough and tumble with the bigger cars struggling with the tight track. Team C driver Dale Kilgour managed to take the 2nd position just ahead of local racer Ross Martin in the Associated SC5. Both young Corban Jamieson and Kelly Rowse were also there or thereabouts in every race. Special shoutout to the youngest racer of the weekend, Willie Sloan (5) – great to see you improving every meeting!
2WD Stadium Truck
This one was a very close run thing again with one single moment deciding the results. Luke Prattley had qualified third in the PR Racing Truck but managed to take the win in A1 ahead of Mike King and Ben Tiplady. In A2 Tiplady struck back and clearly seemed to have the quickest pace of all the competitors. King took second and Prattley third – like 4WD she was all down to the final race.
Tiplady had got off to a flier and was humming around the track however on lap 9 he was crunched by a racer going the wrong way down the back straight. The faithful X-Ray held together until the next corner where the rear shattered and Tipladys run was over – this left Prattley to push through for the A3 and class win also.
Tiplady managed to still get second in the class followed by Mike King – also repping Xray.
All the results can to be found here.