This past weekend, Leisure Hours Raceway hosted the Chi-Town Shootout sponsored by Team Checkpoint & R/C Car Magazine.
The electric off-road classes were: Mod Buggy, Mod Truck, Mod 4wd, 19 turn Truck, 19 Turn 4wd, 19 turn Buggy, Brushless-Lipo (Outlaw) Truck.¬† For those that aren’t familiar, Leisure Hours Raceway is on the far southwest side of Chicago and¬†feature a large, indoor clay track.¬† This was a new track layout for this weekend, and practice began Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and mains on Sunday.¬† The event was fairly well attended with about¬†140¬†entries, primarily Midwest area drivers.
The pits are always an interesting place to people watch.¬† I’m always amazed at the people that drag their television and XBox to play video games in the pits.¬† A unique sighting, was a guy brought his George Forman electric grill and¬†cooked burgers right in his pits.¬† The unique clay track had many people dremeling their tires down to slicks.¬† Nothing like the smell of cooking burgers and burning rubber…
I knew that simply finishing the 20 minute Outlaw Truck main would be key, so I prepared as best as possible.¬† This track is notorious for breaking rear body mounts on trucks.¬† The night before, I removed my rear mounts¬†and boiled them, hoping to increase their durability (which my wife was stoked about :).¬† I also pinned up the rear of¬†my Pro-Line Crowd Pleazer¬†body,¬†in attempt of avoid it acting like a¬†’claw’ and grabbing¬†the clay track.¬† I also doubled up the rear wing, just in case.¬†¬†It felt like¬†I was preparing for battle, but it was everything I could do of to reinforce my ride. two-wings_lo.jpg¬†
In my 6 minute Mod 4wd race, I got off to a clean start.¬† I settled in to a groove and felt like I was on the attack.¬† The Hot Bodies D4 buggy is one of my favorite cars in my fleet, as it’s lightening quick and is totally dialed on this high traction track. I wasn’t even certain until the awards ceremony, but I got a respectable 2nd place trophy. For the 20 minute brushless / lipo Outlaw Truck A Main, I was starting in 9th position.¬†¬†In my previous qualifiers, I did the math and I knew I would be extremely close to finish the 20 minute race with the battery I had.¬† In fact, I calculated I would come up about 6 laps short if I went at the same pace as my qualifiers.¬† My plan was to take it easy for the first 15 minutes.¬† I would race at 80% and save the truck as well as the battery, and pick up the pace for the remaining 5 minutes.¬† I finished 5th place, a satisfying 4 positions better than I started.It was a great weekend and a I was pleased with my results.¬†¬†Like many, electric offroad was my first r/c passion way back when, and with the new technology, it’s come back full circle.¬† With both brushless motors and lithium batteries becoming accepted in competition, I’m extremely pleased at how easy and fun¬†electric racing has become.¬† Both my Hot Bodies Cyclone D4 and Associated T4 ran lipo batteries and brushless motors.¬† I could not believe how much this totally changes the landscape for electric racing!¬† I no longer need a box of motors, a box of batteries, a motor lathe, discharge tray…heck, I didn’t even bring a soldering iron or motor spray!¬† I ran the same battery and same motor in each car the entire weekend.¬† Totally awesome!¬†