Luke my younger son was born with a skin blistering disorder, he has a genetic mutation (natural evolution) of keratin protein that binds the Epidermal layers of skin to the dermis beneath. This causes blisters and as a father I struggled to find an interest that Luke could commit to, learn the value of experience, patience, commitment and in the end learn to appreciate his own achievements and be proud of them.
For me, over thirty years ago I was building RC gliders from Balsa wood and PVA glue, in the days before Super Glue. It would take me three months to build the wings and 1 day destroy it. I myself used that experience to teach me patience and it was an experience I never forgot.
As my sons grew up mum was buying radio toys and each time I was excited to get my hands on a radio and servos I realised they were crappy surface mounted motors and I couldnt use them to make our own models. We would buy flat packs of balsa and make our own boats to play in the pool, we would also buy “my favourite” Aeroflyte balsa models and build them, my favourite was a glider that soared 200m got lift from a hand launch in the park.
As they grew up and were 10 years old we bought a delta wing soarer and 4 channel Air radio, we spent so much time lovingly building it and went out to fly it and in our first outing I set it down on the cliff went to get it and it was gone. I was so upset I swore never again to fly
We then went out to buy an RC buggy and bought an inferno buggy, we still have it today and still enjoy it in the streets
One day we were looking on Google and saw an an OnRoad track and near it was what we thought was an offroad track less than 30 minutes from our home. Naturally, the first thing we did to our Inferno was buy Proline Road Rage, we didnt like getting our model dirty and slamming it off the jumps.
We arrived at the on road track to find the offroad track was actually a BMX track, but what really caught my interest was a 1:5 scale model, immaculately kept and there was a father and son enjoying them. Little did I know it was the club’s president at the time Mr Trevor Kerr and the Australian 1:8 champion Michael Kerr.Needless to say, I had the biggest smile on my face.
The track was amazing, it was like a professional stadium with shelters, truing areas, race control, awesome pit lane, driver stand and without doubt one of the best RC venues in the southern hemisphere.
Next to the track was an amazing RC chop called Trackside RC, they had cars I had never seen before, Carbon fibre, alloys, amazing tools and I couldnt understand why I had never seen these before.
Within the week I walked into TrackSideRC and said what have you got for me I can afford. He pulled out a LeMans G4 with starter AM radio and for $400 I was ready to run. We went out to our first meeting and for all those who forget how nervous things are, try and remember, because we had all sorts of problems yet managed to sort them out and get back on track
It wasnt long before I found RC tech and all you folk and I had set my eyes on a G4+ LE as my own model, which I still have in immaculate condition. From there a few months later we entered the State champs and what an experience it was. All my arms were too tight, the engine wasnt run in, I had no idea about truing tyres and what was amazing for us was the support from all the other drivers who came to help us.
While we were 2nd to last we managed to get break the 20s laptime and that made me so happy, I remember clearly jumping with joy when telling Jeff Hamon we broke 20 seconds and next to him was Peter Jovanovic the 200mm champion (17s lap times) looking really strange at us. Guy was cold and Jeff leant him a Novarossi jumper to wear and my son Guy was so proud, as was Jeff and I for our milestone of an achievement.
Our race craft developed and we attended the Nationals later that year and met a good friend SPRacer, we shared information and helped each other he looked over our car and while we seemed to do everything right, everything usually goes wrong, RC can be cruel.
We visited interstate events and I love the BIG races in the AARCMCC format. NSW was a track we really enjoyed but the boys were still young and while Guy was performing well midfield he rushed a hi speed corner and the blue car was airborne and yet another poor finish but great experience.
I forgot to mention that as not to make my sons compete, Luke drove an E4 EP and Guy was the IC driver. I became very frustrated with the EP format and decided last year that Luke would join the IC class. Guy had lost faith in the team magic, the negativity towards it didnt help matters and as much as I tried to explain that “WE” needed to improve our race craft the damage was done so last year he chose to switch to Velox and Luke took over the G4.
Luke’s smooth driving style lends itself very well to the G4, he is a patient person who will completely pull down his car and clean every bearing and rebuild it himself. Sure I need to help with the setup but he has shown a maturity for RC that will help him in life.
He’s totally comfortable with the G4, he drove his first titles meeting earlier this year at Victoria and his smooth and courteous driving style was noticed by many. From the pit lane it’s a pleasure to watch even if his times are in the top ten it doesnt matter to me, it makes me proud.
He made his first bump and then one error pushing a little harder and a close friend put his Capricorn straight into the side of the G4 pushing the servo through the fuel tank.. Race over.
At the last Qld Titles, Luke drove solidly, but was underpowered for some reason, later I found that his collette was loose and while the car wasnt performing he was driving so well he finished the meeting middle order and completed it in the semis. Guy made it to the A-Main and for the first time drove against some of the best in the country and finished in 6th place with a very rich bottom end. It was his best finish and the V10 had pulled the pin out of the CV and we both felt that “this time luck came our way!”
So, this is not boasting about our achievements as they arent what you would call outstanding, but for us the experience is, we enjoy racing with our friends, we love our models, we appreciate the engineering and we dont like to bag different manufacturers.
Most all RC race spec cars are amazing pieces of engineering, they perform unbelievably sometimes and we accept that the sport operates at a very high level and we all have good and bad days.
In two days we will be attending the Australian national championships with a very high level of racers from around the country. We aim to finish and enjoy our racing in amongst the best in the country on a great track
In no specific order, special thanks to Jeff Hamon, Tim and Gary Westwood, Peter Jovanovic Snr and the boys, Chris and Jason Dorn, Luis Sola, Derrick Miller, Adam Bailey, Jeremy Simons, Nick Jameison, Greg Charleton, Daniel Morris, Lars Karlsson, Patto, Patrick & Joel Casey and last but not least Mr Trevor Kerr.
It’s a friendly reminder that we appreciate your support and great times in the pits and garages over the years, it’s not about the cars, it’s really about the special people we meet!