It’s a little late, but I wanted do a recap of my recent IFMAR 1/8 World Championship week in Sicily.
After practice I was feeling awesome and ready for racing to start. In Q1 I wanted to get a nice clean run and just focus on consistent laps. My run was good, hit a couple crashed cars, but never needed any marshals and finished it out. I was really happy with my car and my drive, but after my run, my car didn’t pass tech inspection and my run was not counted.
The questionable part of my car were 3 small holes in my body. It has passed tech the day before, but then after Q1, it wasn’t legal. We filed an appeal and it went through tons of stages and ended with an international jury vote. They voted that I get an official warning and I get my time back. That was great news, I sealed up those holes and just moved on. My time was good enough for 3rd in the round. In Q2 and Q3 I had pretty good runs, but had little bobbles in both runs. Q2 I got 5th and Q3 I got a 4th. I was really looking forward to Q4 and I was ready for my clean run and fight for a TQ. Towards the end of the race right before mine, it started to rain, and the track went very slick. We swapped to SS Gridirons right before the start and I just went for it. I felt really good in the wet conditions and had a great run, taking my heat win by 10 seconds. The rain really effected the speed of the track, and it really effected only 3 heats, and a few heats with the faster drivers still had a decent track. I got a 48th for the round with a perfect run. It was frustrating, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
The final day of qualifying was here and more rain came. It rained all night and was still raining when racing started. I did a lot of work to my setup to try to be fast in the slippery conditions. The track was extremely slick for my heat again as it was raining. I put in a different engine with it raining, and that turned into a terrible decision. It ran great in the warm up, but then right before the start it went super rich. I had to pit 3 times to lean it out during the qualifier, so my time was terrible. My car felt amazing and I was driving really well. A couple races later the sun came out and the track got drastically faster and some good drivers got good points with the help of the rain. Heading into the final qualifier, I had 3 good points, but I needed one more. I wasn’t too worried, I just didn’t want a mechanical issue like I had in Q5. I put my car back to the dry setup as the rain had stopped. I felt awesome and I was driving really good, then before pitting, I had a huge crash and it cost me 8-9 seconds. I ended 6th for the round, but without that mistake, my pace would have been TQ, so I was happy with that. I got a good point that I needed and I qualified 4th overall for the event.
Saturday was finally here and it was race time. I tried a few things on my car for the semi practice and it was a disaster. The grip was super high, so I wanted to go from 20/20/20K to 30/30/30K in my diffs. It wasn’t good and I wrecked my car pretty bad in the practice. Before the semi I was busy, I needed 3 diffs changed, shock oils changed, front shock tower and front bulkhead replaced, and new clutch on my engine. We managed to get it all ready and it was semi time.
I got off to a good start and felt really comfortable for the first few minutes, but then mistakes started to happen. It wasn’t the semi I wanted to have, but I finished 3rd and transferred to the final, something that didn’t happen in 2012. The final starting order is based off your semi race time, fastest being 1st, slowest being 12th. I was the 6th fastest, so I would start 6th. Made a few small setup changes for the final and I was ready.
I got a great start and moved up to 4th in the first few laps. The changes I made felt great and my car was fast. We were worried about my engine tune before the start, and decided to lean the top before the start. That decision would be a bad one and hinder my performance for the rest of the final. After 10 minutes I was battling around 2-4th and feeling great, but I knew my engine was too lean. It was starting to run on and idle really high, and with the tough track and bald tires, this made for a very long hour final. I ran in 5th for a lot of the final, but couldn’t hold onto it at the end and dropped down to 6th. After the race I was pretty disappointed. I felt like my car and my driving deserved better than 6th, I really felt like I could have battled for a 2nd or 3rd in that race with my engine tuned better.
Now the WC is over and it’s 2 more years that I have to prepare to get my ultimate goal in RC. Thanks to all my sponsors for their support, all my fans, and my family. See you all at the next race. God Bless.