It’s time to get back into the flow of 1/10 again. Wednesday morning I flew out to CA and headed to my old local track, Hot Rod Hobbies. I would be racing 2wd Mod, 4wd Mod, and Truck Mod. Wednesday and Thursday would be Practice, Friday, Saturday having two rounds of qualifying each day, and Sunday with all the mains.
Track layout was good, with two big triple jumps right out of 180 degree turns. The day was a little more challenging than planned though. My connection in Oakland was tight because of a delayed flight out of Kansas City, so when I landed in Burbank, I had no bags. Thankfully I always try to carry on my cars and controller, so we still headed to the track. The traction would be really good to start practice and all my cars felt great. I tested some new Team Orion ESC and motor’s and we had everything working and feeling good. After practice ended, we headed back to airport to pick up my two Ogio bags that came in on another flight.
Thursday the traction seemed to go down a little, but was still good. The weather was super hot and brutal, and it was only going to get hotter for the weekend. The race had a decent pro turnout, but overall, the turnout seemed kinda low.
Q1 : First up would be 4wd Mod. I had my Kyosho ZX6.6 working pretty good and I thought I could have a good run. Unfortunately my car would get broken in warm up and I would get a late start. The track seemed to lose even more traction, getting less traction each day. Truck Mod would be next. I have been testing my RT6 with a RB6.6 laydown transmission and mounting my shocks on the front of the rear arm. My truck was amazing when the grip was higher, but I was fighting it some as the traction went down. Q1 wouldn’t go great, as I fought traction really bad, I got 4th. 2wd Mod would be my last class to run. The wind was also starting to pick up, that’s a normal issue at this event each year. The two triple jumps would be treacherous, having to judge the wind and decide whether to double or triple. I had a good start and lead a lot of the 6 minute qualifier, but it all came unraveled at the end. I ran one run tires and my rears went bald, I was losing my drive and cased both triples, crashing a few times. Finished 8th.
Q2 : The wind would still be a HUGE factor this round as well. For 4wd I made a couple small changes, trying to get a little more rear traction. Drivers were crashing quite a bit off the triples, with the front triple being really difficult with 4wd in the wind. I managed to only crash twice and get a 2nd for the round. Truck would be very similar with lots of crashes and lots of wind. I had made changes to my RT6 also, trying to get more rear grip. I drove really good in the wind and got the TQ. 2wd the wind died down and wasn’t a factor. I had a decent run, but struggled with side traction big time. Finished 6th.
Saturday my Dad came out to help and watch me race, he would also plan on coming Sunday as he lives 45 minutes from this track. The track pretty much settled on the traction level now, which was quite a bit less than the two practice days. The outdoor 1/10 races used to get good blue grooves and gain traction each day. Now with the drivers using different tire manufacturers and compounds, it seems like no rubber goes down at all. There is no blue groove whatsoever and the track gets more polished it seems and looses traction.
Q3 : 4wd would start out my day and my car didn’t feel great. The balance Front to rear just didn’t seem right and I was fighting it. The track is fast and you have to drive aggressive to go fast, I just couldn’t do that without mistakes. Finished 11th. Truck I made a rear oil change trying to get more side bite. Wasn’t any better, but I felt I drove good for how loose I was, finishing 3rd. 2wd I was really wanting to get some good runs to get a better starting position for the mains. Crashed too much again and got 6th.
Q4 : 4wd I would make some changes to help the balance. I had to start last in my heat as my Q3 was terrible, so I would have the fastest driver pretty close behind me right away. My car felt way better and the top 5 drivers were crazy close, all within a second or so. Tessman was the first car to start, so he was close to me the whole race and he was leading. I was trying my hardest to keep a small gap so I didn’t need to pull over and let him pass. Towards the end he got close, I moved over and then I was all over the back of him, having to check up some. That dropped me from 3rd to 5th. Truck I was still fighting a loose rear end, but I could still go pretty fast without pressure behind me. I got into the lead and was looking pretty good. With 6 minute heats, the hit temperatures, and two big jumps right out of corners, the slippers were getting hot. I had a little gap over 2nd, I should have started doubling the back triple. I cased and crashed on it, then went too tight and still went for the front triple and crashed off it. Dropped to 4th. 2wd I added .5 degree rear toe to try to get more rear traction. My car had a little more traction, but I had to use the brakes more to steer, so it was a give and take change. I had a pretty good run to get 3rd.
With the lower turnout, the track was open for an hour of practice after qualifying was over. I tested some heavier diff oil in my 4wd and a different Front shock setup on my truck. 4wd felt really really good, truck still was fighting rear grip.
4wd : Q1 DNS : Q2 2nd : Q3 11th : Q4 5th : Overall 5th
Truck : Q1 4Th : Q2 TQ : Q3 3rd : Q4 4th : Overall 3rd
2wd : Q1 8th : Q2 6th : Q3 6th : Q4 3rd : Overall 6th
SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY …. Race day with all the mains. They would have bump ups followed by triple A-Mains for all classes. With 12 or 13 classes, it would be a very long day with all those triple mains.
A1 : 4wd : starting 5th I just wanted a clean start and staying with the lead group to give me a good shot towards the end. Got a great start and my car was driving awesome. After a couple of minutes, I was in 3rd and catching the battle for the lead. Ty was leading, Rivkin second, and I was all over Rivkin. He bobbled just slightly down the steps, I clipped his wing, and I was full brakes trying not to get tangled. I ended up snagging the pipe, just barely and then 4th got stuck into me. Dropped back to 7th and fought to 5th right at the end. Truck : I was just fighting rear traction like crazy, especially when trying to race close to other trucks. It was a disaster run, finished 4th. 2wd : I struggled bad with rear traction in this main also. Just not being comfortable trying to push and drive a good race pace. Got passed in the last corner on the last lap, finished 5th.
A2 : 4wd : I made a front end setup change to try to get better rotation in the tight corners, and I was excited to race. I felt like my 4wd was my best handling car and I could fight for a podium and possible win if they crashed up front. My setup change was awesome, but I made a big mistake and cased the back triple, breaking my wing mount. My wing was all over the place, sometimes just being really low on one side, sometimes turning 90 degrees, and I think it even spun all the way around a few times. I was still pushing hard and my car was driving great. I worked my way into 3rd and was battling with Cavalieri as he was behind me. My wing was 90 degrees and really effecting my car jumping in the windy conditions. I held him off for a few laps and was driving the best I could on the last lap to stay in front. After the front triple, Cavalieri was going to jump farther than me off the step up into the final corner. He smashed into my wing in the air and I went into a endo. He didn’t seem like he was going to let me go back by, but then he decided to slow down in the sweeper just before the finish, I was too close and not expecting that, I didn’t get far enough inside of him and clipped his front wheel which sent me flipping and I went from 3rd to 7th in the final 20 feet before the finish. I was super heated and no happy at all with that move. Truck : I got a decent start, but my truck was still too loose in racing conditions. I got loose after the step up, had to check up slightly and got bumped into the pipe. Then it was a battle trying to get back into a groove. It was a pretty rough race after that with some banging and crashing, I ended up 5th at the end. 2wd : I changed up my rear end setup, trying to get more grip. My car felt better in some sections, but not at good in others. I had a decent run, ran in 4th for most of it, then Tessman broke while leading, so I moved up to 3rd and that’s where I finished.
A3 : Heading into A3 I had no shot at any podiums, so I just wanted to have some clean races and finish my weekend on some kind of high note. 4wd : My Kyosho ZX6.6 was feeling awesome and I worked from 5th on the grid to 3rd and was trying to catch the leaders. I was running about the same pace as Tessman and Rivkin, so I wasn’t catching or losing to them, but I was pulling away from Cavalieri in 4th. I cased the triple in the back towards the end and let Cavalieri catch up, but I held him off to finish 3rd. Truck : I got a good start and was pressuring Evans on the first couple laps, but then I got hit from behind by Tessman at the end of the straight and was sent to the back. I worked back up to 4th, and would finish there. 2wd: Wanting to have a good finish to the day, I wanted to be more aggressive and move to the front. On the first lap, I ended up tangling with a car in front of me when he bobbled and I was dropped back some, then had a HUGE crash off the triple right after that. My car landed upside down and somehow wasn’t broken, so I raced on. I was fuming inside and then drove terrible for a couple of laps, spinning out and getting stuck on two pipes. About 4 laps in, I was only one turn away from getting lapped, and I was not going to have any of that. I put the hammer down and got into a groove. It seemed like my tires warmed up just perfect and my traction was better than it had been since practice. I was making passes and pulling away from the leaders too, so it was all good. With a couple of minutes to go, I got into 4th and was not too far behind the leaders as they were battling hard and making some mistakes. On the final lap, Tessman and Rivkin tangled and I passed them both to finish 2nd. I was bummed on my first minute, but extremely happy with the 5 minutes after that and the finish, the never give up attitude paid off again!
4wd : A1 5th : A2 7th : A3 3rd : Overall 5th
Truck : A1 4th : A2 5th : A3 4th : Overall 4th
2wd : A1 5th : A2 : 3rd : A3 2nd : Overall 4th
One really cool feature at the Hot Rod Shootout is the Pro/Am event. The top Pro drivers are teamed up with the rookie drivers and we combine our points after qualifying and the mains. We use their points from Rookie, and our points from 2wd Mod. I was teamed up with Zack Kimberley and he was awesome! He qualified 3rd and finished 2nd, with a great win in A2. I qualified 6th and finished 4th, and combined we finished 2nd overall in the Pro/Am.
Thanks for reading, see you at the next race, God Bless!