Tobago Organization of Radio Control Hobbyists (T.O.R.C.H)- "ISLAND HEAT"

Our brothers from the Tobago Organization of Radio Control Hobbyists (T.O.R.C.H) hosted, in conjunction with RCMOTT over the weekend of October 3-4, 2015 their "Island Heat" event.

From early morning on Saturday (3rd) competitors were seen erecting tents and prepping their cars, while the race organizers laid out the track and got the timing system up and running. By lunchtime practice sessions were underway and after lunch the qualifiers began. At the end of the first day, most competitors were certain as to where their vehicles stood and what changes were required for the gruelling race the next day.

Editor’s note: The Dwight Yorke Stadium offers a track that boasts unparalleled grip compared to any other venue in the country.

Our RCMOTT paparazzi scouted a couple of the competitors’ hideouts that night and observed all manner of changes being made to cars – from camber and suspension adjustments to differential rebuilds…we even spotted some paying a visit to the local machine shop!

The next day began with the remaining rounds of qualifying which separated the field into the respective mains. The B-main event featured an evenly matched field of competitors. The race which was thirty (30) minutes long, saw eight (8) year old Zameer Ramoutar establish a firm grip on the field as he found the race line early and then through an admirable level of consistency and determination, left the rest of the competition to as they say, ‘eat his rubber’ as he took both first place and secured a coveted bump into the A-main.

The A-main event which sported a field of aggressively fast drivers from both islands, suffered from no lack of action throughout all forty-five (45) minutes. It was clear though from the onset, that Steve St. Louis who, in pole position, was determined to put some distance between himself and his nearest rival, Jerome Gafoor.

Steve at one time opened his lead to nine laps but with a minor shut down late in the race, Jerome made a determined comeback pushing his car to the very limit of traction and closed the gap to just three laps.

The grapevine tells that Jerome swore if he had just one more minute...but no one will ever know. While he could not keep Steve from securing the win, Jerome did manage to capture the Fastest Lap award. Battling Jerome for second place all through the race was none other than Garvin “Snake Charmer” Grandison, one of T.O.R.C.H’s very own.

Whenever the attention diverted from Steve’s car it went straight to this pair of most intense rivals on the track. Several times the second place spot changed hands as Grandson gave no quarter, but was eventually edged by Gafoor for the silver.

Despite getting the bump, Zameer Ramoutar encountered problems with his car from the get-go and due to a late start, only managed to put in some seat time...but with cars and drivers of a noticeably higher pace than the B-main, it proved valuable experience for him.

Jason ‘Fastdry” Drysdale and Akeel Ali also had their own battle going on at the middle of the pack, with Akeel showing his technical ability on navigating corners while even from the qualifying rounds, Jason’s car seemed superbly set up to handle any and all of the turns.

Young Colin Coldero who proved a handful for most during the qualifiers had an unfortunate mechanical failure on his third lap and re-entered the race with the rest of the competitors too far ahead to make up lost ground. His skill as one of the youngest drivers however, definitely make him one to watch in upcoming events.

At the end of the day, despite the torrential downpour that accompanied the prize-giving ceremony, on-track rivals once again became off-track colleagues as laughter and applause celebrated the podium finishers. Awards were also presented for Fastest lap and Rookie of the day.

We wish to thank all contributing media personnel, especially Morten and Colin for their aerial drone footage….vids soon to come! Enjoy the pics.


by Ralph Deonarine