TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow

Bryan headed up to Newark in the 101 before Dave and I, to allow for our different travelling speeds - but we didn't quite work it out right and Bryan was waiting at the show for Dave and I for an hour!


The Newark show ("Robot Rampage") was to be the first outing for Roaming Robots. For those of you who haven't heard about this organisation, they are building a portable arena that they hope will eventually be to Class 2 standard, and with which they will run robotic combat events at shows across the country. But unlike other events where the public just get to watch, Roaming Robots have some machines that the public can pay to drive in full combat! It's a great idea that will let fans of the show find out what it is really like to take part, without having to build their own machine.

However, things didn't look too promising when we arrived - despite having worked on it since 10am, the arena was only about half finished, and the pits weren't set out properly - but everyone pitched in and it soon all began to come together. We took a short break from arena assembly to pitch our tents, but it was then back to the hall to continue assembling the arena. By half midnight though many of us were starting to fade, and only the hardiest stayed up until 4am, even then admitting defeat at fitting the last of the polycarbonate screens...

Today was the first day of Roaming Robots at the Newark Kit Car show. We had breakfast at the showground canteen - and we were not impressed! We didn't eat there again... The arena was still far from complete, so we set up our pit and helped with the arena where we could. But we weren't going to stay at the event today - we went off to the Teslathon in Derby, as it was on and we were nearby! What's a Teslathon? A group of like minded people who build Tesla coils (and other high voltage devices) who meet to compare the performance of their devices and swap tips and ideas... Guess what, Dave is thinking of building one!

We returned to Newark towards the end of the afternoon, just in time to catch the last battles and Roaming Robots public drive slots. We joined the BBQ in the evening, at which I showed everyone exactly how not to cook chicken on a BBQ... Afterwards we went to the clubhouse and saw Salvador, a band whos members work at Alstom along with the Stinger guys - musically they were pretty good (they all knew what they were doing) but they sounded crap - the mix was terrible, they need a sound man!

Second day of the Newark Kit Car show, with Roaming Robots. The days action was a mixture of the Roaming Robots pay-to-drive machines, and our "guest" robots. Our first tussle was with Wolverine and Vader - Wolverine won the bout.

Next we went outside - every year the car clubs have a vehicle pulling competition, but this year the robots were going to challenge them, and guess who had the ideal vehicle - of course, Bryan's 101! First up were Storm and Tornado, who set a reasonable time, but which most of the car clubs were able to beat.

Above photos courtesy of Tim Mann from Stinger.

With help from Humphrey, Storm and Tornado pulled again, improving the time previously set by the robots, but still not beating the better car clubs.

Above photos courtesy of Tim Mann from Stinger.

To prove we could do it, Tornado had a go at pulling the 101 on its own - it managed it, although not to the end of the course, as after three pulls the batteries were rather low!

Above photos courtesy of Tim Mann from Stinger.

But last to have a go were the roboteers themselves, who blitzed all the car clubs! Well, we are all used to lugging blooming heavy robots around!

So what was the "extra entertainment" that Newark Promotions had laid on? Well, we had the opportunity to have our robots photographed along with Miss Kit Car 2002, whose name if I remember correctly is Naomi. We weren't going to turn down such a good photo opportunity...

Above photos courtesy of Newark Promotions and Stinger.
Apologies for the edits but this is a family website!

Our last run was in the arena inside, with Wolverine again, and the Manic Mutants (Chris Organ and Sam Jones) driving Dantomkia. We managed to get Wolverine in the pit, but as soon as we pushed Dantomkia in as well, Gareth fired his self righter and flipped Dantomkia out again! We were still given the fight though.

We left towards the end of the event - but not before putting our money down and joining Roaming Robots - they did a fantastic job for what was only their first event, and their arena is excellent. We went home absolutely knackerred!

Have a look at the Newark Kit Car Show site, and also Roaming Robots.

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