This past week marked the running of the 2015 CRCRC Winter Midwest Electric Championships! I made the 7 hour trip through the bitter cold and bad weather conditions to race with some of the Midwests very best. With over 400 entries including the likes of Jared Tebo, Ryan Cavelieri, Dustin Evans, Travis Amezcua, along with many other top level drivers, this race marked the largest event I’ve ever had the pleasure of traveling to.
When we arrived at the track and finally out of the subzero temperatures, we were greeted with a huge pitting area full of racers. The Ohio RC Factory definitely has a very nice area to house the hundreds of racers that attend this event. Moving on to the track, we were met with a fast and flowing layout that would go on to produce very close racing in all classes. The very high traction racing surface would cause me to struggle a little bit as I had never experienced a racing surface with this much grip, nor have I ever used Clay Tires. Thankfully I was able to rely on my fellow Tekno drivers for the setup help that got me through the weekend!
I spent practice taming down the reactivity of each of my cars, as well as getting used to the fast layout. For rubber I quickly decided on Electrons in Clay compound for both my 4WD Short Course and my E-Buggy as they seemed to be the easiest to drive and still had plenty of traction and awesome forward bite. With a little progress made on the setup of both vehicles, I went into the first day of qualifying not really sure what would end up happening.
The first round went pretty well, despite still not really having a handle on how my cars felt. I was able to get pretty clean runs in and had a good qualifier in for each class so I could really shoot higher in the next rounds. Unfortunately luck was not on my side, and I had one or two mistakes in each class that dropped me down from podium paces to pretty far down in the running. The second day of qualifying wasn’t much better. I was still struggling with consistency on the difficult track surface. Again I would get up to a top two or three pace and make a simple mistake which would drop me down to the middle of the pack. I would end up qualifying 5th in the A-Main of 4WD Short Course and 7th in the A-Main of 1:8 Electric Buggy.
For the Mains, I again decided to take some advice from my teammates and use what had been working for them to calm their cars down. Unfortunately this also meant I would go into the A-Mains a little unsure of exactly how my cars would react. I put my head down during the warmups of each Main and really focused on how the cars handled so I could drive my best. The first Main of each class went very well, I was able to avoid the early race pile up and work my way up the pack. I wasn’t able to get by the third place driver in Buggy so I settled with a fourth place finish. In SCT I had a late roll-over that dropped me back down to 5th where I finished. The next two Mains were not so forgiving to me in the Buggy class, both races I was caught by a pileup or rear ended by another driver and the best I could manage after such a long first lap was a 7th. Short Course on the other hand was very clean (bet you haven’t heard that one before) and both A2 & A3 I was able to work my way up the field to the 3rd spot.
After all was said and done, my rough runs in Buggy netted me a somewhat disappointing 7th overall, and I was just out of a podium spot in SCT with a 4th place. Despite these finishes, I had a fantastic time at the event. It was great to meet all my fellow team members, and I learned quite a bit about how to setup for the higher bite tracks. I can’t wait to come back next year and try again!
As always, my Pro-line Tires hooked up phenomenally all weekend in both classes and gave me the consistent traction I needed to pull off fast laps in a row.
My Hobbywing speed controls ran cool and smooth all weekend and my Hobbywing motors gave me the balistic power I needed to make the most of the many short chutes on the track. And finally, my awesome Tekno vehicles ran great all weekend and reacted well to all the setup changes! Very proud of the package I will be running for 2015!
Thanks to all my sponsors: Tekno RC, Pro-Line Racing, and Hobbywing North America!