Monday April 9, 2012
9:00 PM UK time – A long day and weekend has come to a close and the results are in. To start off the day I had to battle it out in the Semi-Final to earn a berth to the A-main. I started #5 in my Semi and was able to hold my own on the start and stay in the top 6 the entire time. I just worked on staying clean as 7th on down battled it out and fell behind. This gave me a good cushion to just cruise for the 20 minute semi. On the last lap some crashes by those ahead of me allowed me to move from 5th to 3rd on the last lap. This proved to be a good thing as the ‘F-1 style seating format’ for the A wasn’t used and thus it went off semi-final times which allowed me to start 5th on the Grid for the A-main.
The A-main was a 45 minute affair. I again had a solid start moving up to 4th for a bit before a few laps in shorting the double at the end of the straight and loosing a few positions and putting me in a battle with other drivers again for the 4-7 spots. This put us behind Tebo and Tessman who checked out. I still fought as hard as I could and my car was the best it had been through the weekend. After a few pitstops I was pretty solid in the 4th position with room to spare to Cav in 5th. However with about 10 minutes to go I made a few bobbles with lapped traffic and crashed in some poor places to do so and allowed Cav to catch up and pass me. He and Maifield then battled with about 9 minutes to go and crashed each other and on my pit lap I moved into 3rd for just that lap before relinquishing it due to the pit stop and crashing on the subsequent lap. I made a few more mistakes destroying any chance I had of battling with Cav at the end but I held onto 5th place and finished a solid top 5. Overall i’m pretty pleased with the finish considering this is basically an ‘Indoor Worlds’.
Next up on my plate is the Silver State event in Las Vegas in a week and a half. I’m planning at the moment to run 4 classes but i’m not sure i’ll have the time to get them all ready. Either way should be a good time and looking forward to battling for the Win. Also to drive Truggy again!! It’s been nearly 2 months. Way to long!
Sunday April 8, 2012
8:30 PM UK time – After having qualified in the top 12 (9th overall) I was able to partake in the ‘Dash 4 Cash’ event this evening. It took the top 12 drivers in reverse starting order and gave them 10 minutes to battle it out for the cash. In the couple laps of warmup my car really felt pretty good. I had made one change to the rear and I was pleased with the way the car was handling. At the tone starting from the 4 spot I approached the first corner and made sure to give enough room to #3 but of course #5 wasn’t as courteous and took me by the wing and spun me out. I dropped to about 9th and after completing lap 1 I crashed again over the triple after the line and got caught on a spike and had to wait for marshal assistance. I was now about 4 seconds behind 11th! 🙁 Well I started to put in some good lap times and with others mistakes while battling I caught up and made it through some traffic and at one point I believe I was up to 6th. With a few bobbles near the end I fell back to 7th which is where I finished. What was really encouraging was I finally got my lap times in line with everyone else and my car felt really solid. On top of that I ran for 10:45 during the Dash without fueling and still had 1/8th a tank! I can’t believe it but am ecstatic about that. Granted I always get better mileage at this location more-so than any other track on the planet but still! This is great! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to lay it down and run some clean runs to make the A and finish good. I really feel I’m going in the right direction and I have a shot!
2:50 PM UK time – Finally was able to get a better run in. Did a lot more changes to my car and am running it softer than I ever have before. For this track it’s finally starting to come together for me and at just the right time. I had one bad crash where I needed marshalled. Other than that it was a pretty solid run which put me 5th for the round. This should put me in the top 10 overall and also hopefully a good spot for tonight’s Dash for Cash! Looking forward to that and then the mains tomorrow. I’m feeling more confident now and i’m ready to lay it down!
11:42 AM UK time – Usually Sundays are reserved for the mains. However here at Neo it is another day of qualification with some lower mains to commence later this afternoon. Today consists of 2 more final rounds of qualifiers making a total of 5 with 3 counting in qual-point format. Now yesterday I put in three runs good enough to get me into the semi’s so today my plan was to push a little harder to see what I could do. Unfortunately this track is a ‘slow is fast’ track as mentioned before and thus me pushing harder only resulted in more mistakes and errors on my part. I bobbled here and there, shorted this jumps and overshot that one and it resulted in a 15th for the round. So I am remaining pretty consistent in my finishes, it’s just that i’m now going the wrong direction. Hopefully for the final round I can turn things around and put in a good showing and get up to pace.
Happy Easter to All!
Saturday April 7, 2012
6:05 PM UK time – The culmination of day 1 qualifications has come to a close and my response to my day is, ehh. On the bright side I managed to qualify for the Semi finals with finishes of 10, 9, 12. So i’ve been pretty consistent in my finishes, I just need to pick up the pace. I’m still not quite comfortable with everything and am just not at that point where I feel I can push the car. Granted this track is for sure a ‘slow is fast’ track with so many doubles and very few if any high speed corners. The fact that I’m getting 10:30 seconds of runtime at least is pretty impressive for me but also means the track is pretty ‘slow’. As for how my third qualifier went, I got great track position on the start and basically had clean track the entire run. So I can’t blame traffic for my problems. I drove a pretty clean race but did find a rut on the back jump that my car just didn’t like. I crashed really bad over it one lap and then next lap when I took it slower I still got out of shape so then I was afraid of it the entire remainder of the run. This was a very slow spot for me. Other than that it was decent in which I was only .1 of a second slower than my last run. However others picked up the pace which pushed me to 12th for the round.
Got to more rounds of qualification tomorrow. Sense i’ve already made the semi’s it gives me a bit more freedom to really try some stuff and see if I can’t find some magic formula! Wish me luck!
3:15 PM UK time – Round two is now complete. I did 5 changes for this round including different pistons, oil, and spring in the rear. Lighter rear diff fluid. A little less anti-squat and shorter wheelbase. Overall the changes were positive and I am starting to get a better feel for the car. The last couple laps of the race I was getting more comfortable so hopefully round 3 will be very good. In my rd 2 run I made a few mistakes the first half of the race, shorting jumps or landing off the track in the back once. I lost a few seconds due to this. However I was still able to beat my rd 1 time and get a 9th for the round. So i’m slowly improving. I plan on going a little lighter in center diff fluid for this next run as well as a fresh set of kicks. Hopefully I can run clean and see where I stack up!
11:50 AM UK time – Qualifications have begun and round #1 of 5 is in the books. I made some wholesale changes last night to get my car back to where I ended at last year. I was hoping this would get me a good starting point for the qualifiers today. As I went out for my run I immediately felt better about my set-up and just aimed for a clean run. I was able to keep it clean for most of the first 6:30 but on my last lap I made a mistake not clearing one of the doubles on the left side and caused me to crash. I still managed a 10th for the round which after yesterday I feel isn’t so bad. I have a few more changes I want to do mostly to the rear end to get it to absorb the landings a bit better and to roll some more in the corners. Right now it is stink-bugging a bit. Looking forward to round two to see if I can improve some more!
Friday April 6, 2012
Today was all about getting some practice in. For me i’m so glad that is all it was. I started the day off trying some new parts and some things I hadn’t ran before. It turned out to be more of a negative than a positive on this track and set me back just a bit. By the third and final practice I put on most of my set-up from last year and felt the best I had for the day. I’m still quite a bit off the pace of the current fast guys but hope to do a few more tweaks this evening to be prepared for tomorrows 3 qualifiers.
Thursday April 5, 2012
Well I made it across the Pond and safely to Harper Adams University, the site of the 2012 Neo-Buggy event. First impressions are good as always. The track is very large and looks challenging, especially the left side of the track. I feel depth perception is going to play a very big part on that portion of the track especially if you are on the right half of the driver stand and even more so if marshall number 4 happens to be standing up to marshal a car right there. The format for this event has some fun new features to it that should add to the excitement of the race and put even more pressure on the top tier of drivers. Tomorrow starts off with 3 practice heats. First a 10 minute open practice by presorted heats to get your bearings on the track and get a tune and such. Then the final two practices are 7 minutes apiece and they will be used to seed the qualification heats. Then on Saturday I believe there to be 3 rounds of qualifying in 7 minute heats and then 2 more rounds on Sunday. They will take best 3 of 5 Qualpoints to seed the mains.
Next will be the use of the IFMAR ladder format and where it gets interesting is after the semi-finals. The top 7 in each semi will make the A-main. This leaves 1 spot remaining for a Last chance qualifier. I believe it to be a 10 minute dash with the winner making the A-main. Next up is seeding for spots in the A-main. No, qualifying and how you finish in your semi’s mean nothing to how you start on the grid for the A-main. It will be done utilizing fast lap! 🙂 I think it’s 5 minutes for the group and the slowest 5 get seeded 11-15. Next the final 10 do 5 laps where the slowest 5 get seeded 6-10. Lastly the top 5 battle it out for the pole position with the fastest single lap taking the Pole position! Last but not least a 45 minute finally!
As of right now i’m getting organized in my dorm room. Getting tires glued and going over my car with a fine tooth comb to be sure it’s ready for battle.
Should be a great time. Check back for more updates throughout the week and tune into Liverc.com to watch the live action!
Wednesday April 4, 2012
It’s that time of year again! Easter Weekend is upon us and that means a journey across the pond to compete at this years ‘pre worlds’ event held at Harper Adams University in England. This is one of my favorite races of the year, if for no other reason I get a New sticker to add to my radio box! 😉
I’m looking forward to a great layout with tons of competition and I plan on being at the forefront of that field with my Durango DNX408 buggy! This race may only run one class but much like the Worlds, that one class can keep you extremely busy as you can just feel the need to make sure your car is pristine for every run as you prepare to show the world what your made of! I can’t wait, let the journey begin!