By Dan Lanthier
Just off the Carp Road exit of Highway 417 is the best kept RC secret in Ottawa. For those of us in the know we have been heading there every Thursday night for about a year to partake in some fast, fun filled oval racing. The West Ottawa RC Speedway (WORCS) started out as an idea in Kirk Earl’s mind that quickly became a reality. Kirk thought it would be fun to get a few of us together regularly to race NASCAR style ovals races with our touring car sedans on a banked track. Next thing we knew he had a banked oval track constructed in his garage and racing began in June of 2015. The track is equipped with an RC3 AMB timing system, seven direct wire house transponders to loan to racers without personal transponders and has plenty of pit space, power and parking. To keep things fun and fair any TC sedan can be run, preferably with a NASCAR body and the HPI stock car rims and tires. There are no motor or esc restrictions. How does this make it fun and fair you ask? Well that is taken care of by running lap rather than timed races, along with breakout times. We run two classes, 3.0 second breakout and 3.5 second breakout. The beauty of breakout racing is it doesn’t matter how fast or powerful your car is only laps that are equal to or slower than the class time count. Therefore discipline is needed to run as fast and consistent as possible without running faster than the class limit. You need enough speed to be able to pass but enough discipline to not go too fast or the lap doesn’t count. To say it has been fun and challenging is an understatement.
Not content with just the on road oval, Kirk also built an outdoor dirt oval to race Eastern Dirt Modified type cars on. Complete with a large driver’s stand, fantastic lighting and pa system, the track is a racers dream. For those of you who want to try it out, there is even a loaner truck you can run. The track is well groomed and maintained and has provided some of the best racing I have ever participated in. The EDM class is a 2wd Short Course chassis based class, so any SC 2wd chassis using either a Dirt Modified body (more open wheel) or a Dirt Late model body (full body) and SC wheels and tires (no 1/8). Motor rule is 13.5T with a blinky ESC (or stock equivalent). This chassis must be factory spec, no offset chassis or specific oval chassis allowed, but hop up parts are allowed. Basically this is a class that if you have an old SC truck collecting dust, bring it on out and race it! The racing format is lap count instead of timed heats (ie 50 laps vs 5 min) and rolling starts, 3 qualifiers, then mains. Another neat twist is the rolling restarts after all cautions. Whenever there is a crash we call a caution and all racers stop where they are on the track. We then line up in race order on the back stretch, with the person responsible for the caution taking the last place on the line. Once everyone is in order the cars stay in line and circle the track going green once they have reached the restart line. The beauty of this approach is closer racing as less chance of falling down laps due to marshaling problems and less chance of damaged vehicles as everyone stops when there is a crash. Kirk also keeps it interesting by introducing various twists to the program. For instance, the schedule includes some nights with single lap qualifying, twin 50 lap feature races, and a 100 lap feature race and free hot dog nights. If that doesn’t get you interest up, then just come out to see the racing under the lights, as it looks fantastic. Outdoor Oval runs every Thursday night into the fall and there is also a once a month Saturday Night Special Race.
The atmosphere at WORCS is fantastic. There is a great group of racers who come out to race, have a few laughs, help each other and provide tips etc. But mostly they come out to have tons of fun.
Talking with Kirk he has emphasized “… all the racing at WORCS our main goal is to have fun and lots of laughs so we try and keep things simple, fair and relaxed.”
So there you have it the secret is out, for a relaxed and fun filled evening of RC racing, at a first class facility come on out to WORCS at 154 Wilbert Cox Drive in Carp (West Ottawa). Kirk and all the regular racers will be happy to welcome you and I guarantee you will be glad you went.