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!


Solidly into the Semi's

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!

DNX408 looking Good!

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 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! 😉

My Neo Collection.

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!

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Cactus Classic

March 24, 2012

Sunday March 25, 2012

Thanks goodness it’s over. Now don’t get me wrong, the event itself is great and the track and people putting on the show are awesome. I just can’t take any more bad luck in one week. It seemed like it was never ending issue after issue. Most of them mystery issues which I still don’t have answers to. It’s hard to be able to take any solace in anything that I did this weekend.

I now go home with about 8 days to prepare for the Neo-Buggy event in England. That is the best thing in R/C in that if you have a terrible weekend there’s always the next weekend where you can start with a clean slate once more. I’ll be very happy to be back running my Nitro buggy again.

As for the Cactus Classic, I know when next year rolls around i’ll be ready to go again. It is a great race that attracts the best drivers from the World over.
I’d also like to congratulate Joern Neumann for winning the 4wd Mod SC class from the #5 grid position in the first two mains. Way to bring it home for Durango!

Until Neo-Buggy.

Friday March 23, 2012

Qualifications have begun here at the Cactus Classic just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. It’s an all electric weekend meaning i’m having to get my throttle finger adjusted for smoothness again after my punched weekend in China last week. So far it has been an up and down start to the week for me. Luckily it is headed in the up direction currently.

In 2WD Mod buggy I struggled with set-up on the slick track for all of practice and my first qualifier. In Q1 I ran a pretty clean run but just felt so loose and slow and finished around 25th. Still much improved from my practice effort. For Q2 I made a couple of changes like shorter wheel base and new rear tiers opting for AKA soft Rebars. The track also had traction come up and I felt like my car was awesome! I could actually drive it. I made quite a few early mistakes however including on the first lap where I parked it at the end of the straight for a 6 second crash. Overall I got around 17th for the round buy had a top 5 laptime which gave me a lot of hope for Saturday qualifying.

In 4WD Mod buggy my Durango DEX410 had been my bright spot throughout practice and I was hoping to carry that over to qualifying In the first qualifier I was running top 5 yet it was still early and I tried to ‘quint’ the front section and blew out a shock cap. In Q2 my car was really good. I was 2nd behind Maifield and putting in the fastest laptime on this track of a 22.8. I eneded up having my speedo shut out 3 times though (as did so many other people this weekend, and I know it will continue (front jump is a killer)) but we know what was wrong with mine as it was a software issue that will be resolved for Saturday. Anyways I was still able to finish my run and take 7th for the round. So hopefully I can back that up with a top 3 run Saturday to make the A-main.

In 4WD SC Mod I battled a steering issue in the last practice heat and in Q1. So I really needed Q2 to be good to feel like my weekend was turning around. I wasn’t reseated into the fast heat but in my Q2 run I layed down a fast run even with many crashes which needed marshaled. In the fast heat it seemed they were all blowing out to some extent and no one touched my 13 lap run which gave me TQ for rd 2. So hopefully Saturday I can turn that into an overall TQ for the class!


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Sunday March 18, 2012

Well my time in China has come to an end and I’m now actually sitting in the airport hotel in Hong Kong getting ready to catch some Z’s before my flight in about 7 hours. My time in China was great (except for China banning the use of facebook and my hotel not having internet connectivity the last 2 days.) Otherwise R/C wise the track was a blast and the people were very friendly and accomodating. I met a lot of great people and I was able to share a lot of my knowledge of driving style and in air control that the Chinese had never seen before. It was a pleasure to be able to show these people something new and be able to put on a good show. As for results I took the TQ and victory in E-Buggy. In Nitro Buggy I also took the TQ but had a still undiagnosed issue in the main which kept me from being able to run for more than about 5 minutes total. All said though the takeaway from the event was being able to make such a positive impact on the people in attendance and meeting so many great people. I also signed more items and took more pictures than I can count. It’s so gratifying seeing people who truly love the hobby and enjoying themselves at the track! I look forward to a return visit in the future!


Saturday March 17, 2012

What a blast! I think today I ran one of the most fun 10 minutes of my life! It all happened in Q2. First up was E-Buggy where I tried SS Gridirons and they were dialed. I was able to break my lap record and get down to a 28.3. My Durango DEX408 felt awesome and I started to get comfortable and throw down come nice whips off the jumps. Up right next was Nitro Buggy with my DNX408. In warmup I wasn’t terribly happy with my set-up. I think I crashed 5 times on the lap before coming in to fuel to start the race. However once the race started it was 10 minutes of awesomeness! I found a comfort that I don’t think I’ve ever exuded on a buggy. A level of comfort normally reserved for my truggy. With this track lending so well to my ‘all out’ style of driving and with nearly every jump section being a perfect ‘whip’ candidate it was all I could do to keep my grin from touching my ears. Jump after jump I exaggerated an ‘out of control’, ‘controlled run-away’, style of driving with whipping finesse that I’ve never been able to pull off before. I was inverting my car to where the chassis was probably 100* from being flat level. Every jump I tried to out do my last attempt and make it more extreme. The best was with about 2 laps to go on the back huge double leading into a 90* at the end of the straight I closed in on a competitor within a couple feet and through down a monster whip and ended up basically downsiding his car smoothly and kept on going! It was epic! The spectators were ooohing and ahhhing and I was just in my element! I can’t wait to go do it again tomorrow!


Friday March 16, 2012

Made it to China, this place in insane! Looking forward to doing some testing/practice today at the track! More updates to come.

Wednesday March 14, 2012

Had a long day at the track today testing, testing, testing. Came away with some good information but am still left with more testing to accomplish. Wasn’t able to go to the ‘race’ track again due to it pouring down rain on it again last night. So went again to the ‘practice’ track and dodged some drizzle throughout the day and got a rare glimpse of the sun for about 5 minutes in the late afternoon. Tomorrow I am jetsetting again as I head off on my first trip to China. Will be a 3 day race weekend in China, but my main focus while there will be the continued testing of the Alpha engines, pipes, ect.


Tuesday March 13, 2012

Did some testing today finally though on a different track that was a bit rough. Saw the sun for a few minutes and all I can hope is that it sticks around and gives us a good day tomorrow to do some testing on the track we raced at this past weekend. Also had some good talks with the Alpha Boss and some really good ideas were tossed around. I’m very excited for what’s coming down the pipe line out of Alpha and I know it’s going to be super positive for all customers! It’s such a blessing for me to be a part of such a great company and people. I’m having a great time, learning a lot, and hopefully helping to further the product and make it better for the end consumers!

Monday March 12, 2012

Today was a different kind of day. To start off did a 2 hour Journey into Taipei to do a photo shoot for the new “Lutz” edition engine. They brought in a #1 Taiwanese Model to do the shoot with me, (or for me to stand there looking dumb and her to do her thing and make the photo look alright! haha.) Anyways that was a fun hour of the photographer trying to keep me from looking so rigid. Should be some interesting photos when there done! After that went back to the Alpha Plus office because guess what….it was raining again! So I spent the last 5 hours of the day rebuilding my buggy for hopefully some testing on Tuesday. We have so much we want to test, just need some cooperation from the weather! Alpha also anodized most of the aluminum bits on my buggy to match my engine head! Looks sweet!

Best looking buggy on the planet!


Sunday March 11, 2012

Arrived at the track bright and early this morning to see that it had rained a little again but the track was run-able. Then just before it was time to start racing the rains came again and it just became a mess. My mistakes yesterday that cost me my two qualifiers were compounded today as I was looking at having to run 3 x 15min mains and then a 30min main to be able to make the A-final. Well i’ve never had any luck in wet rainy conditions so I was just hoping to finish my first main. I was quite impressed that as the 15 minutes went by my engine was still running very good. I was able to win my first main by a few laps but brining my car back to the pit after the race I soon realized how much work was ahead of me. I only had 15 minutes before my next main would be up and this is what I had to work with:

My Poor car after first 15min main.

So I did the best I could to get the heavies off as I could see that the rain wasn’t going to let up and the next run would be the same. So come that second main I shocked myself again and it ran as good as it could for the conditions and I took another victory by a couple laps. Here is what it looked like after that second main:

After the second main.

For the third main I got out front again early and got a lap or two lead but with 4 minutes to go the engine started to richen up and eventually it flamed out. We came back and replaced the plug and I went and did another lap or two and on the last lap it died again. Fortunately I had built enough of a lead that I still miraculously finished 4th in the final bump position to the semi’s. Unfortunately though the motor was toast having ingested some water and dirt. 🙁

So in the preparations for the Semi Finals we had to put a brand new engine in the car. This was going to require a lot of luck to get this engine to run correctly in these conditions. If you’ve read any number of my blog posts you will realize that one thing I don’t have is luck so you can guess what transpired in my semi. On the start the engine being so tight it ate a plug and I started a 1/2 lap back. After I got going again it wasn’t tuned right and it just flamed again. As they tried to adjust the tune I tried my best to convey in sign language how to adjust what I thought needed adjusting. Unfortunately the communication gap between English and Mandarin is to great and eventually I had to come off the drivers stand to change the plug and retune the engine. I then was able to run about 15 minutes but with 5 to go I crashed and the marshals were unexperienced paid marshals and it was literally a 15 second sit upside down and it flamed and that was that.

Alpha Team

So some positives were I had a lot of fun on the track even with the unfortunate weather conditions we all had to deal with all weekend. I also did the best i’ve ever done in rainy conditions running for about 40 minutes of good running. Everyone was also saying I was still #1 because my lap times were much quicker than anyone. Either way I had a good time and look forward to my race in China next weekend.
In the meantime I have a photoshoot tomorrow for my “Lutz” edition engine as well as some testing tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday if the weather clears up.


Saturday March 10, 2012

Woke up today to look out my window and see dry ground! That was a great sign I thought. About halfway into the drive to the track however the skies were opened up and it was pouring! So I arrived at the track to find it under water yet again. Eventually the rain did let up and with some squeegees and yellow sponges the track crew was able to get the track in running condition by about 1 o’clock. This meant a shortened schedule for the day. They did 1, 5 min practice for all the heats, then sorted for Qualifiers. They then had 2 qualifiers of 6 min each.

I was able to TQ the practice round by 20 seconds in the 5 minutes. I was pleased with that. In my first qualifier however the racing portion of my day went sour. We spend most of the day trying just to stay warm in the cool temps and high winds. Thus really working on my car wasn’t a top thing on my mind. I didn’t feel like I had ran very much runtime on my car in the previous day so I didn’t think anything of my battery. However with 2 minutes to go in that first qualifier my batter took a dump and I bowed out on a TQ run. My lap times were about 1 – 2 sec a lap faster than the field but hey, if ya can’t finish…

Anyways round 2 came around and it was rocket round so I knew I just needed a good run. I had a great start and was on TQ run again. However I ended up having a mysterious cut a couple minutes in. We believe it was due to an older model glow plug that I had put in (not realizing that the design had sense been updated and improved) and we believe that is what caused the cut. This then gave me 2 DNFs so I will be in one of the first mains. I don’t quite understand the format for the mains but I just figure tomorrow I will get there and race, race, race until I come away with the checkered flag! haha.
I was told many people were happy that I didn’t qualify well. This was due to them being happy that they will get to see me run more tomorrow. They are impressed by my hammer down driving style and they want to watch it as much as they can! 😉

So tomorrow I will put on a show! Give the people what they want! 😀


Friday March 9, 2012.

Today got to head to the track in Taiwan to do some practice for the race meet this weekend. Turns out I brought some rain with me last night and the track had quite a bit of water on it when we got there. However with a few hours time and some yellow sponges the track got into running condition and I was able to turn a few laps to get used to the layout. A few drivers have been here for 3 days getting some track time in when the weather was nicer so i’m just glad I was able to put in a few tanks even with the track being a bit wet and muddy as apposed to grooved as it had been. My first time on the track I ran the Alpha Plus test Agama because the track was so muddy and they were kind enough to let me run it so I didn’t ruin my car. Also in case the rain came back I would at least be able to have some time on the track. After a few tanks another person let me drive their Hot Bodies car for a few tanks. So, after I had driven everyone elses car at the track I decided it was time to pull out my Durango for some laps.

I ran about 5 tanks of fuel through my buggy and in the end felt like I was pretty hooked up. At first sight of the layout I was a bit intimidated and put off by the 5 huge mogul corners in the middle of the track. However after getting accustomed to them I really eneded up liking them a lot. The track is a lot of fun. Only thing that is shocking to me is how everyone is parking at the end of the straight away where there is a perfect berm to launch your R/C into the windshield of a real car! I just know it’s going to happen! Anyways tomorrow is qualifications so I’m looking forward to laying down some good runs and having some fun.


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Monday Early AM Feb 27, 2012

The completion of the Dirt Nitro Challenge has commenced and all that is left is the fond memories. An unbelieveable nearly 700 entires in total encompassing 3 different tracks and many different classes. Today I ran my 4wd SC Mod as well as Electric 1/8th Buggy and Nitro 1/8th Buggy. Let me recap how it transpired.

-4wd SC Pro Mod – I had taken TQ in this class and was looking to stay out front during the 7 minute main event. I got a good start and pulled a little lead but would make a mistake allowing Wheeler to get on my tail. I would shortly there after get crossed up again and get bumped off the track momentarily dropping back to 2nd for a couple corners but Wheeler would also make a mistake allowing me back by. I would take this opportunity to clean up my act and build a lead on the field and take the Victory with my Durango DESC410R!

Lutz Champion in 4WD SC Pro Mod

-E-Buggy – In this class I had qualified 6th. I thought I could do pretty well and it went well for the first 5 minutes or so. I had worked my way up to 3rd place until I was taken out by a driver who shall remain nameless for now. I got pummelled and then added my own mistakes on top of it all and fell all the way to the back. I worked my way back up during the waning moments but it only got me up to a 7th place finish which was a bit dissapointing but is what it is.

-Nitro Buggy – First I had to get my way through the B-main to have a shot in the A. I was starting as BQ and so I knew I just had to stay out front and stay clean. We changed set-up before the main from what it was in qualifications and it was much better. In the B-main I never relinquished the lead and stayed relatively clean and was able to take a solid 20 second win in the 30 min main.
In the A-main I had a great start and moved up quickly to the top 6 or 8 or so. However shortly there after the same driver that took me out in E-buggy decided to take me out again! Grrr I was a bit upset. Anyways this shot me to the back of the pack in nearly last. I clawed my way back towards the front and eventually had worked my way up to 5th place. I had my sights set on 2-4 but I just made a few to many bobbles in those closing laps to put on a serious charge. Either way though to make it from the B-main and finish top 5 in the A-main was quite a feat for me I feel. I felt like I drove one of my best Buggy races ever. Just had some bad luck with a ‘hack’ at the beginning but other than that ran pretty solid!

My favorite part of the main was absolutely smoking a number of other drivers down the 200+ foot straight. My Alpha Plus A872 was strapped!

This was a fun albeit very long event. I look forward as always to the next year of this event. This year may as well have been a small worlds here this weekend as 90% of the top drivers in the world were in attendance.


Saturday Feb 25, 2012 (10:30PM)

If anyone knows of anywhere that sells a substance called ‘luck’ please let me know as I’d like to purchase all of it! Today was Truggy mains and I was very positive going in that I had a good shot at being in the running. As the main got close we got delayed for well over an hour as they repaired the audio system for the track. My Durango DNX408T Prototype and myself were ready to race. Soon enough it was time for the horn to go off and for racing to commence.

At the start I became ‘that guy’ who crashed over the triple on the first lap and caused a bit of mayhem. I fell back to about 12th and worked on finding a groove and getting comfortable with my truck. The first 7 minutes or so weren’t so hot for me as I wasn’t feeling terribly comfortable. Eventually though I made some small tweekes to my driving and I started laying down some fast consistent laps and playing catchup with the field. A little after 16 minutes in or so I had worked my way up to 5th and had my sights set on 2nd – 4th. At that point I was driving my best and I knew I had a solid shot at 2nd for the race and with a bit of luck could maybe work on catching the leader. Unfortunately for me on that next lap I landed the back double and my rear inner upper suspension arm screw sheared off! 🙁 I had to pull it in while my mechanic ran back to the pits for a screw and tools and I ended up loosing a little over 4 laps. I came back in and made sure to stay out of others way but at the same time I found myself to be going faster than most so I would catch them fast and then let them have some room then catch them again. When you are back due to an issue you don’t have the courtesy of ‘racing’ others. So I made sure to stay clean while all the while throwing down my fastest laps of the race including the Hero lap of the entire weekend so far of a 38.7. In the end I finished 14th just 4 laps off the lead. (same amount of time I lost to my broken screw.)

Durango DNX408T

I also ran 1 qualifier in Short Course today. I ran a pretty much flawless run and took the TQ by about 12 seconds. I might run the 3rd qualifier on Sunday morning but otherwise plan on just waiting for the A-main where hopefully my time will stand up and I will be able to start on the Pole.

Tomorrow is also Nitro Buggy and E-buggy mains. It is going to be another extremely long day tomorrow. I plan on getting plenty of runtime in though including a bump to the A-main. Let’s see how it goes!


Saturday Feb 25, 2012 (12:30AM)

Buggy Qualification day has come to a close and unfortunately i’m a bit dissapointed in my results. Here’s how it went for me:
E-Buggy – In Q1 I had a nasty tumble after a few good solid laps. Well that tumble kept going and ended up with me in another lane and an oncoming car that couldn’t aviod me to where we collided and he broke out while I broke my shock shaft into 3 pieces. I drove the last 4 minutes on 3 shocks and still managed a 12th for the round. In round 2 I had a decent run with only a couple of mistakes. My DEX408 felt pretty good and I managed a 3rd overall for the round. In round 3 my car was awesome. I switched to SS Gridirons for the slightly cooler conditions and my buggy was money. Unfortunately I made to many mistakes but I also had some killer lap times dipping into the 39’s. I haven’t yet seen where I qualified overall for the mains but it should be a solid top 10 in the A. Not what I would want but at least i’m there and my car feels great.

N-Buggy – I struggled a bit with set-up on my Nitro buggy. We’ve been trying to fine tune the suspension trying to get the right piston/oil/spring combination. In round 1 my buggy was very hard to drive. But I stuck with it and just wanted a clean run. I came away with 11th for the round which was great considering I didn’t feel comfortable. For round 2 we stiffened things up a bit and the car felt mucb. I was very pleased with it but it seems I just wanted to see how many mistakes I could make which would cost me and only garner me a 14th for the round. Going into round 3 I knew I needed a good run to make the show. My car felt pretty dialed and I knew I had a chance. First lap was decent, little bobble but nothing major. Second lap was good and put me on good pace. After that though I just kept making little mistakes here and there eventually just giving me an overall poor run. Not quite sure where I qualified but i’m sure it’ll be top 5 in the B-main. O’well, just means more track time for that A-main! 😀

Today was also Short Course practice day. I went out and practiced 4 times and got my DESC410R all dialed in. Overall i’m pretty pleased with it and look forward to qualifications tomorrow. Should be some good close exciting racing.

I also want to give a shoutout and huge congrats to Carson Wernimont for his awesome runs today in Nitro Buggy. He looked amazing in his DNX408 and I believe qualified in or around the top 5!! Awesome job Carson!


Thursday Feb 23, 2012

Day one of qualifications is now behind us and the results for me are pretty positive. Today was Truggy day only and with this being my first big race with the New Durango DNX408T I was really hoping for a good showing. Practice yesterday was a bit underwhelming and I was just hoping to pick up the pace for today. Well come first qualifier the truck felt pretty good but on the first lap I crashed in a rumble section, got marshalled and was immediately going into the tough whoop section. Well as I got marshalled i was set right next to another car and we both tangled or something and I eneded upside down agian. Got marshalled again only for Cav to be coming through and we got tangled and updide down. Turned out to be a 51 second lap when the rest of my laps were 40. So I had a poor round finishing 26th.

For the second round I made some set-up changes like adding a lot more droop front and rear to try to soak up some of the landings and whoop sections better. I was on the new AKA soft Gridirons and my truck was dialed. I ran a clean run and finished 2nd overall for the round just about a second behind Maifield. In round three I knew I needed about a top 15 or so to make the A-main. I had a great first lap but on the second lap I crashed in a pipe and lost 4 seconds. I hunkered down and threw down some consistent 39’s including the Hero lap of the weekend in Truggy with a 39.276. With one lap to go I crashed again in the back before the straight and lost another 4 seconds. I still managed 2nd for my heat and eneded up 5th for the round! I’ll take that for those two big mistakes. So overall I had a 2 and a 5 which will put me 5th on the grid for the A-main on Saturday.

Ryan Lutz Q2 1:8 Pro Truck from RC Insider on Vimeo.

Looking forward to getting some sleep because tomorrow is fixing to be a 15 hour day. I will be running Nitro Buggy and Electric buggy as well as doing some open practice in Short Course! Should be fun and Busy!


Tuesday Feb 21, 2012

Today feels like a great day. I haven’t flown to a race since November which to me is an eternity! This is my first big Nitro race of the year and I am amped up for it. I will actually be racing 4 classes at this event. Nitro Buggy, Electric Buggy, Short Course, and the return of Truggy Time! Packing for 4 classes was very hard and so was getting them all ready. But I did and I am so it’s time to set off for what I hope amounts to the best racing weekend of my life. I have a new found focus this year and with having a year with Durango under my belt i’m really expecting some great results. Check back through the week to see my updates on how it’s all going!


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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Reedy Internationals Race of Champions has come to a close and I’m happy to announce that Team Durango at the hands of Jorn Neumann is the Invite Champion! Congratulations Jorn! So very well deserved and you drove AWESOME! It’s absolutely amazing that Jorn with 100% less track time at West Coast R/C than his main competitors was not only able to compete but literally drive some of the best races i’ve ever witnessed.
As for me in the open class I had an up and down day. Here is how it went:

My Durango Rides

In 4wd Mod I spent the morning getting my Durango DEX410 dialed in and making sure I could run over 10 minutes with no problem. In practice I did 13 minutes and everything felt great so I was confident in my upcoming B-main. At the start I was as patient as I could be and I felt like the field was moving in slow motion. Eventually I would catch some bad breaks in traffic and fell to the back. I worked my way up to 5th and threw down the fastest lap time in Open class of the weekend of a 18.9. Unfortunately a decision that was made before the B-main ended up costing me as I retired from the race early. All in all though I was extremely happy with how I got my car to handle throughout the weekend and with the ROAR Nationals being on the same track this year I feel much more confident with my set-up for that event now!

In 2wd Mod my DEX210 was running great. I was starting 6th on the grid in the A-main and was looking to just get some solid finishes. In A-1 my car felt pretty good. It did feel a little uneasy and loose at times but I attribute most of that to having just raced 4wd and me not yet having a real comfortable feel on the 2wd class yet. I always want to get on the gas instead of letting the car work. Anyways I ran a pretty clean race and at one point worked my way up to 4th. However Numan and Pillars caught up to me and we had a small battle. Numan ended up breaking and Pillars got by and thus I took 5th. In
In A-2 I had an even better start and moved up to 3rd. I would eventually go back and forth with Frank Rood for 3rd and 4th for a couple times until he made a mistake over the triple and I worked on trying to catch the leaders. I put in the 2nd fastest lap time of the entire weekend in 2wd and ended up taking 3rd for A-2. Overall this put me 4th place just off the podium.

4th Place In Open in 2WD Mod

Overall i’m pleased with the result. I at least know that for the ROAR Nationals I will be competitive now. Also I truly believe this is going to be the most hotly contested ROAR Nationals in US History as there are so many fast drivers who basically live at this track. It’s going to be a huge accomplishment just to make the A this year. I’m looking forward to it.

A cool thing about this race and the location was there was about 150 – 200 spectators surrounding the track for all the mains. It was a very cool sight. Also there are so many young hot shots from either that area or other indoor clay tracks that all came to this race and put on a great show and were lightning fast. The future of R/C is looking good!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Today was the final day of qualifications for the open class with 1 round in the morning. Early on in the morning they had an hour of open practice where I worked on getting my 4wd dialed in. I felt like I got it pretty good and told people that if I didn’t TQ the final round of quaifiers that I would fire myself. Well luckily I did what I said I had to do and got the TQ for the round and also posted the fastest round of the weekend in the Open class. However this was still only good enough to put me 13th overall or 5th in the B-main with my 3 other poor rounds. However with gaining the momentum at the right time I hope to bump up and make a charge during the Double A-mains.

In 2wd I wanted to try to run my fresher set of front tires that had a fresher foam on them sense my first set seemed to have the foam deteriorating. However this turned out to be a poor decision as they just didn’t have the traction and I was pushing everywhere. I eneded up haveing a poor run not helping my cause. Luckily my first two runs of 7th and 2nd were enough to put me 6th on the Grid in the A-main come Sunday’s Double A’s.

I really feel I have a shot in both classes to take the win. It’s going to take some more focus on my part but I feel I have my Durango’s dialed now and I’m going to give it my all!


Friday, January 27, 2012

I’m down in balmy Southern California this week where the temperatures are topping out in the low 80’s! This is January right?? I’m attending the Reedy International Race of Champions for the first time and i’m quite impressed with the event. This is probably the biggest electric event I have ever attended and although I am not in the invite class there is still very thick competition in the open class consisting many fast locals and some of the fastest out of town racers in the country. My goal is to get some more electric time under my belt this year so that way next year I can be in the Invite class and really enjoy the Reedy Race format. As for how i’m doing here goes:

2wd Mod – In 2wd my Durango DEX210 feels awesome. I worked throughout practice to nail down a set-up and i’m very pleased with what i’m running. My car is doing everything well and outside of mistakes on my part trying to keep myself from driving my 2wd like a 4wd it’s been running great. In the 3 qualifiers thus far I have finished 7th, 2nd, and 7th. I have dipped into the 19.9 second lap time which less than 10 people in Open or Invite have done so i’m very pleased with how it’s going. I know i’m in the A-main and I look forward to the 10 minute A-main and really think I have a legit shot at winning.

4wd Mod – Now here’s the class that I am supposed to be good at. However I’m just searching for a set-up this weekend. Unfortunately up unto this point I just can nail down something that I feel ‘safe’ with. My car is super fast and I even layed down a 19.0 with only Maifield thus far dipping into the 18 second range. However my car just feels to agressive and I just can’t hang on to it consistently. I’ve done some wholesale changes to set-up each round and when I fix one thing it changes another. I will be getting there early in the morning to try to work it out. In my 3 round i’ve only completed 1 in which I got 16th with a few crashes. In my last run I was on a TQ run for a bit but just lost my groove and fell off before retiring a lap before the end. I know the car has it in it and I hope to find the set-up tomorrow and maybe make the C or B main and bump up from there! I’ve got the lap times just need the consistency.

It’s been fun thus far and watching the Invite races albeit a bit saddening to me (wishing I was a part of it) has been very enjoyable. I look forward to attending this event again next year and partaking in the Invite class and also having some more time on the electric cars to where I can feel comfortable in these classes that I just haven’t had the time to run enough yet. There growing on me though they will never replace my Nitro cars! 😉


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