The 2015 Hardman Cup was held at West Coast Model Rally Club in Perth, Western Australia. An annual race that was first run in 1993 in memory of Travis Hardman who was killed in a motor vehicle accident returning from an away RC car race. Hardman used to love to race in the stock classes hence the reason why this race is a stock only race for 2WD and 4WD. All the best stock racers in Western Australia would be competing.
Tekin driver Darren Johnston would compete in both 2WD and 4WD with his Tekin powered Yokomo Y-Max 2WD and BMax4 III 4WD buggies. Having not ran stock competitively for a long time so it was going to be a bit of a learning curve for him. The race would consist of 2 qualifiers, a top 10 shootout and 3 mains.
Things went very well from the start where Johnston seemed to be able to find grip in his Yokomo Y-Max car that others were struggling with. The track had been rolled the day before and grip was at a premium. I easily won the opening qualifiers in 2WD and 4WD. In the second round Darren again won the round in 2WD but 4WD was now much closer with several drivers running very closely together. Johnston ended up 2nd in the round and losing TQ.
But this is where things were done a bit differently. A top ten shootout was now held in the 2WD and 4WD classes. This meant that there was a one lap dash between 10th and 9th and the winner would then bump to race 8th and so on until a new qualifying order was established. Johnston managed to win both classes so he was able to start on TQ for the finals. A special mention to Darren’s son Brayden who is 12 years old and also qualified for both mains bumping up in 4WD all the way from 9th position to 5th position on the grid. Brayden was also using all the same Tekin gear in his cars.
In the Finals Darren was lucky enough to get good starts in all the races and in 2WD this enabled me to run away and hide, winning all the finals competed in comfortably.
4WD was a different story with 4 drivers really battling. Because of his good starts Darren was able to hold off the other drivers and again win the first two A finals enabling him to sit out the third finals in each class.
“Probably the most pleasing aspect for me in this race is that through both classes and 8 races I only had to be turn marshaled once all day. I don’t know I have ever had a race meeting where I drove so consistently before. My Tekin equipment I used was strong all day and never missed a beat.” Darren Johnston