The World Championships are finally HERE after a 2 year build-up! Here in the USA, in Las Vegas, only a few hour drive from Pro-Line Headquarters in Southern California where all of our Tires, Wheels and Bodies are made. This is exciting because the race has been held all over the World since the last time the race was held in the States 8 years ago: from Thailand, to Argentina, and then finally to Italy where Ty Tessmann won his 1st World Championship and gave Pro-Line our 12th Title.
Sunday was the first full day of Free Practice for all of the racers that qualified directly into the program and would be a good indicator for what the track would do the rest of the week. Each practice was 10 minutes long with watering before each run. The qualifying runs will be 10 minutes also, which is a few minutes longer than most races, so this is good practice as the track goes from wet to dry conditions over the course of the run. Word in the pits is that a few top guys will attempt to go the full 10-minutes of qualifying without pitting for fuel in an attempt to save about 7-seconds but risking running out of gas/flaming out, so this will be the big story once qualifying begins on Tuesday.
The Pro-Line team mostly stuck to M3 Hole Shots and it looks like that will continue to be the go-to tire for the next day or so. Ty really likes the M3 Electroshots, which is Pro-Line’s new tire for the World’s, and is posting good times with those and Dakotah tried M3 Fugitive Lite tires for the 2nd round of the day and liked them saying to me that they will only get better as the track continues to groove in. Overall, our guys make up the majority of the Top 15 whether you look at the top 3 laps, fast laps or overall practice times, so things are looking great so far.
Just like most races, the changing Track is going to be one of the major storylines of this race. After only 1 full day of practice, the RC Tracks of Las Vegas track is developing some serious bumps and holes. Check out the Neobuggy track walk after today with Pro-Line drivers Neil Cragg and Lee Martin to see what I am talking about. Track temperature is also an important factor for selecting tires. After one of the 10-minute practice runs and before the crew was able to throw down some water I felt the dry, grooved line at the end of the straightaway expecting it to be warm from the hot Vegas sun, but the track surface was cold. This is the main reason why M3 is the correct compound for both the wet and dry conditions right now. We will see if the track will become more abrasive or hold more heat as the track continues to change.
Tomorrow is 2 more rounds of Practice but the last 5-minutes of each will be used for seeding the drivers into qualifying heats. This means that most of the racers will treat this like qualifying runs, so the relaxed atmosphere thus far will likely become more stressful. Check back tomorrow for another update on how Team Pro-Line is doing at the Worlds! Be sure to check out Pro-Line’s FB page for videos and pictures from the event.