This past weekend marked round 4 of the 2013 TOP NOTCH SUMMER SERIES. With 3 Rounds already in the books, Round 4 traveled south to SDRC (San Diego R/C Raceway) in San Diego CA. With a fresh layout installed by the boys at SDRC, the track had tons of flow and the building was packed days in advance in anticipation for the event. On Hand were drivers from TLR, Kyosho, AE, Tamiya, and Techno RC sporting tires ranging from softs to super softs and even a few people running clay compounds.
As I did my testing I felt quickest on Clay Compound tires (Pro-Line MC) conditioned with Trackstar RC Black Tire Sauce. For Both my TLR 22SCT 2WD SC Truck, as well as my TLR SCTE 2.0 4X4 SC Truck, I went with Pro-Line Racing ION SC Tires in the MC Compound. I had also tried the Pro-Line Racing Suburb 2.0’s but felt much quicker on the Ion’s.
For my TLR 22 2WD Mod Buggy, I went with Pro-line Version 1 Suburbs out back using a slightly older Pro-Line closed cell insert. The reason for the older insert was that it was slightly softer as it had been used prior to this tires and created more traction than a brand new insert would. For the Front end of my Buggy I went with a Pro-Line Racing ION with a open cell foam that was cut down from a larger rear foam and stuffed into the tire. This was slightly softer than using a closed cell front foam which resulted in more steering for my car.
As racing got under way my first class up was Mod Buggy. With stiff competition in this class, I still felt confident with both my car and my tires going into round 1. I was able to put together a great run with only 1 small bobble near the start of the race which left me 2nd at the end of my run. During the second round of qualifying my run did not go as well but my 1st round time held up and I would be starting second on the grid.
In 2WD Mod SC my TLR 22SCT was hooked up and untouchable all day. The Pro-Line ION SC tires were by far the best choice anyone could have made for tires. I was able to put down a blistering pace and hold it from tone to tone in both the first and the second round of qualifying.
In the 4WD SC division I didn’t have as much luck. I haven’t really been driving much 4WD the past year as I have been focusing on buggy. The week I decided to pull out my TLR SCTE 2.0 and see how she felt. Now being in the backyard of Techno RC this is one of the fastest classes at SDRC on any given night. In round 1 I was able to run nose to tail with the fast boys and netted myself a second place finish for the round. In round 2 I made a rear camber link change to try and settle the rear end down and make the truck easier to drive. Making this change kept the truck from rotating enough and slowed me down a bit. Also… I was passed on the clock pushing me back to the 3rd spot on the grid for the main event.
As the MAIN EVENTS rolled around up first was my best class, 2WD Mod SC. My truck was good and I was confident in this class. As the tone sounded I immediately jumped out to a decent lead and got away from the pack. At about the 4 minute mark I had a decent lead of about 8 seconds when the lapped traffic started giving me some issues. I was spun out twice in one lap by 2 different drivers and then blocked on top of that. I almost lost my lead but was able to gather it up and take the checkers in Mod 2WD SC.
Next Up was 4WD SC and I was ready for battle. I as starting 3rd on the grid and had my eyes locked on the top spot. As the race started I come out swinging and put my truck on its lid 2 turns into the race pushing me back to the 4th position. I was able to get back to 3rd rather quickly but battled with Carlos for most of the race while the leader ran his own race. With about a minute to go I was able to recollect the 2nd spot and hold it until the race was over.
As the premier class of 2WD Mod Buggy took the grid I was super excited for this race. My car felt great in warm ups and this was bound to be a great race. As the tone sounded the pack took off and we freight trained around the track for a few laps. I then started to pick up the pace a bit and ended up clipping a pole and flipping my buggy over. However, I did get lucky and landed on my wheels only loosing 1 spot which put me back to 3rd. From there on out I hammered down and moved up slowly. Once I reached the front of the pack I kept after it and stretched my led until the end of the race giving me my first Mod Buggy win at a Big Race event.
I just want to take a moment to thank a few of the people that made this possible.
TLR for the great cars, PRO-LINE RACING for the best tires and inserts in the industry, NOVAK for the smoothest and coolest running motors, Notch and the TNS Series for giving me a great place to run, And Scotty B of SDRC Raceway for the amazing facility. Also, a huge thanks to Jimmy Wright of Track Star RC for the help with Tire Sauce and a ride to the race.