New Hope for 5th Scale RC Racing in Ontario

After the Canadian RC Nationals of 2018, the 5th Scale community fell into a slump. The Canadian RC Nationals are held at Walton Raceway, which is first and foremost a MotoCross track and only used by the 5th Scale RC racers that one weekend a year. So it’s not a venue we can just go and race at or practice on whenever we want. The only track we could use was RCAcres…

11th Annual Lupus Grand Prix

Words of wisdom by driving coach/instructor Shaun de Jager Photo by Rob Beintema, Courtesy of The Brampton Guardian

This year started with a charity event raising money for Princess Margaret Hospital while going for a Guinness World Record and now I’m entered in the Lupus Grand Prix, a charity event for Sick Kids Hospital. See Press Release below…

For Immediate Release
Date: Thursday September 27, 2018
Toronto, Canada

Formula Kartways Sponsers Go-Karting Teams in Lupus Grand Prix for Sick Kids Toronto, Saturday October 20th, 2018

In an attempt to raise funds for the Lupus clinic at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital, Formula Kartways of Brampton to date has entered 3 teams in the 11th Annual Lupus Grand Prix. The 90-minuteteam endurance race in outdoor go karting will take place on Saturday October 20th, 2018 at Goodwood Kartways 5200 2nd Concession, Stouffville, Ontario Canada L4A 7X4.

Drivers for Formula Kartways include Matt Hayley who broke the Guinness World Record earlier this year for most laps for indoor go karting in 24hrs (certification pending) & Shaun de Jager, Matt’s coach for the Guinness attempt, advanced instructor and former Pro racecar driver. Teams raise money through pledges to determine their starting position for the race and all of these funds go directly to the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children Pediatric Lupus Clinic where 60-70 new cases of Lupus are diagnosed in children and teens each year.

Lupus is an auto-immune disease where the immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. It is a potentially fatal disease capable of damaging virtually any part of the body. In the most severe forms of this disease it can cause disfiguring rashes and scarring, miscarriages, kidney, heart and lung failure, strokes, seizures, and heart attacks. Sick Kids Lupus clinic commenced operation in 1986. Today Dr. Earl Silverman and his team treat 200+ patients every year including 50-60 new diagnoses annually. The average age of these patients is 12-13yrs. It is the largest pediatric SLE Clinic in the world, the first combined rheumatology/nephrology clinic for either pediatric or adult and they see more new untreated SLE patients than any other center in Canada including adult centers.

Over the past 10 years the Lupus Grand Prix has donated over $140,000 to the Clinic. The Hospital for Sick Children has recognized the contribution made by the Lupus Grand Prix with a plaque on their Donor Wall.

Organizer Bill Bryan founded Lupus GP in 2007 to raise funds for this relentless, indiscriminate disease when his mentor Pat was diagnosed with Lupus. Pat consistently perseveres through the pain and fatigue of her Lupus to volunteer her time to motorsports marshalling. The first Lupus Grand Prix was held in 2008and has been growing annually.

This will be the first year Formula Kartways will be sponsoring teams and inviting their customers to participate. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged. There will be raffles and donations will be accepted on site. It is free to attend. Anyone wanting to contribute to the success of Formula Kartways’ teams at the Lupus GP and support this worthy cause can make a donation on team captain Shaun de Jager’s page here.
Tax receipts will be issued.

-30-Media contact: Dulce Barbosa
M: 416 888 3550

Canadian Nationals 2018 – 1/5th Scale Offroad RC Racing

How can a weekend of camping and racing be so disappointing and wonderful at the same time? Here’s how…

I’m a total newbie when it comes to RC cars. I’ve owned a couple toy ones as a kid but earlier this year, I saw some friends driving their 1/5th scale, gas powered RC cars, and took a liking to it big time. Before I knew it, I found myself owning a used and hugely beat up HPI Baja 5B SS 2WD buggy with a bunch of spare parts.

The outdoor, off road, racing community is pretty well established but needs some serious organization. There aren’t a lot of venues to race at and running an event takes a huge amount of work and lots of volunteers. Even just practice days takes a lot of effort by the land owner to make sure the track is in race ready condition.

A couple months ago, RC Acres finally opened for a practice day so off I went. Up until then, I was only running my buggy in the parking lot at my work trying to get down some basic driving skills. 2WD cars are the hardest to drive but that’s what I had and if I can get good with that, I can drive anything. The practice day at RC Acres was my first time driving at a purpose built off road track. I crashed a lot, broke some stuff, fixed the car and learned a lot. My next time out was the Canadian Nationals at Walton Raceway. I knew I was going to be way out of my league but hey…it will be fun. My goal was to just learn the track, work on technique and stay out of people’s way who have had years of experience doing this.

My HPI Baja 5B SS Buggy ready to race.
My HPI Baja 5B SS Buggy ready to race.

Friday was practice day and at first things went as expected…I crashed a lot and broke stuff. Easy repairs but there seemed to be an underlying issue with my buggy…It wouldn’t turn much. After some trouble shooting, it seemed that my steering servo was pretty worn out and it was time for a new one. Thanks to some help from Andrew at SkyCraft Hobbies, I bought a new servo and installed it. Then a new problem popped up. My receiver kept browning out. Tried different servos, checked the wiring, tried different receivers. Some of the most experienced drivers around were helping me find the problem and we were all left scratching our heads. In the end, it turned out the battery I was using couldn’t keep up with the load of my new set up. Once again SkyCraft came to the rescue and provided me a new battery. It looks the exact same but was made by a different company and problem solved…after 5hrs of troubleshooting. My Friday of practice was a write off and I only got 15min of track time.

Got hit by a Losi 5b Buggy and waiting for the ambulance.
Got hit by a Losi 5b Buggy and waiting for the ambulance.

Bring on Saturday. Time for practice, qualifying and some racing…but not for me. Since I hadn’t done any marshalling on Friday, I figured I would spend as much time doing so in the morning that I could. So when the first practice session started I went out on the track to marshall and I was the only one out there with about four cars were on track. That’s when things went wrong for me. A driver made a big mistake on a jump that I was standing near and his 5B Buggy came flying at me at well over 40km/hr. I had about half a second to react and tried to protect my ribs from the impact. My right arm and hip took the hit and it was a whopper.

I was helped off the track and the pain was intense in my arm. A huge thanks to everyone who came to my aid and tended to me and my injuries but it wasn’t long before they realized that I needed some proper medical attention and called an ambulance.

It wasn’t long before the paramedics showed up and they took me to a local hospital convinced that my arm and wrist were broken. The paramedics were great and so was the staff at the local community hospital 10min away. I spent half the day there waiting for x-rays and a final verdict from the doctor. The x-rays didn’t show any obvious brakes but they weren’t sure about my wrist. The choice was made to splint my arm & wrist and release me. The owner of Walton Raceway was nice enough to drive to the hospital to pick me up and bring me back to the track.

From here on out I was just a spectator, although I did still go out and do some marshalling, even though it wasn’t a smart idea considering the condition I was in.

The rest of the weekend was amazing…as a spectator. I couldn’t race and I couldn’t safely marshall, so I sat on the sidelines and watched. Buggys, trucks and…what the hell is a Horrman? Well it looked kinda funny but it won the 2WD class and the driver came all the way from Germany to do it.

We had drivers from all over Ontario, Quebec, several from Germany as well as the USA come to compete this weekend. Although I didn’t get to do any racing, I’m glad I stayed after I got hurt. It was a great weekend of camping, making new friends and watching some cool racing. I’ll make sure I’m ready for next year.