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!

-Lutzinator

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!

-Lutzinator

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! πŸ˜‰

-Lutzinator

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Delta Winter Series

January 15, 2012

Sunday January 15, 2012

Yesterday I made my way down to Delta R/C for the Delta Winter Series. I made an ambitious task of running 3 classes. It was a reasonably quick day and very busy for me with basically nonstop racing/ marshaling/ and pitting. I ran my Durango DNX408, DEX408, and Pre-Production DNX408T. This was a Nitro weekend so there was just 3 of us that wanted to run some E-buggy as well. I took the TQ and Win in that class and set the fastest lap time of the day with my DEX408. It was working really good.

In Truggy it just felt good to be back! I guessed on a starting set-up for my truck and really didn’t have time to tinker with it. It was very fast but just a little too loose. However this was a lot of fun and I got in my drift mode that I hadn’t been able to do in a long time. I was able to take the TQ and Win and put the Truck and Engine through a good 25min full throttle test! Both came out on top! πŸ˜€

In Nitro Buggy my DNX408 felt a bit off to me. We are doing some testing and quite honestly the test we are doing for me I don’t think is making me faster. For sure it made my buggy feel locked in and so very easy to drive. I think for 99% of the people out there it would be a welcomed change. However for me on this tight indoor track I need my car to be loose and for me loose is fast. Thus I was feeling like I needed more steering constantly. The rear was just so stuck I couldn’t break it loose. I ended up qualifying 3rd and in the Main after crashing on the first lap and going to last place and being 7/8 of a lap behind the leader at one point I was able to make it back up and only loose by about 3 seconds finishing in 2nd place. Overall it was a positive day. Felt good to get out and race again. I learned some more about set-up and thing are getting figured out to make the Durango Product even better for the Public!

Next Sunday barring the rain staying away I plan on racing at NorCal Hobbies. During this week I hope to make it out to some electric tracks and do a bit more testing and getting a grip on my electric cars for the Reedy Race!

-Lutzinator

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2011 Season Recap

December 13, 2011

December 13th, 2011

As the season wraps up for me (except for some local practice and testing) I like to reflect on my season and see how i’ve progressed throughout and give thanks to those who have supported me. I had to cancel my last two larger events of the year because my wife was put on bedrest as our 2nd child looked to be coming early. However things have slowed down and while he may come any day it’s a wait and see game for now! We look forward to welcoming him into the world soon! In the meantime i’m preparing for an amazing 2012 and making sure i’m crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s. I’m ready for the best racing year of my career but let me not get ahead of myself here. 2011 was a great year for me and I like to consider it a foundation year where i’ve built a solid floor and things can only get better!

As I reflect on 2011 I remember it starting off a little discouraging. It was a new company for me as I had just recently signed a 10 year deal with Team Durango. I was learning the car and with only having 1 Nitro car it was hard to get track time at some of the larger events. Eventually though with big props to Billy Fisher we got a good base set-up for the car and the year started to come together. In March I got my first bigger victory at the Psycho Nitro Blast and I knew that my year was going to be alright. Throughout the Summer I had some bad luck at some of the larger events with one off stuff that never happens but I always showed pace and for that I can look forward to better luck next year and beyond! As the year began to close out I was able to win a couple classes at every event I went to and it was a great finish to the season!

I am also big on Statistics. So here are some of my 2011 Season Stats:

1st Place Finishes – 33
2nd Place Finishes – 7
3rd Place Finishes – 1
Top Qualifier Honors – 36

Some of my best results include:
-Southern Nationals TQ and Win in Pro Buggy and 4WD SC, Win in E-Scale
-Psycho Nitro Blast TQ and Win in Pro Buggy
-Silver State Nitro Challenge 3rd Place in Pro Buggy
-OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge TQ and Win in Pro Buggy
-ROAR 1/10th Offroad Nationals TQ and 2nd in Pro 4WD SC
-Byrons Challenge TQ and Win in Pro Buggy
-Byron Fuels Western Cup TQ and Win in Pro Buggy

Miles Flown – 1**,**5
Hotel Nights Stayed – 80+
# of separate Airplanes flown on – 73

So again I just want to thank all of my sponsors who made my 2011 year a success in my eyes! I look forward to my best year ever in 2012!

2011 Trophy Presentation

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Sunday November 20th, 2011

Mission: Complete Trifecta ………….. Result: Success!

Main day rolled around and the goal of the day for the race was to avoid the chance of rain! Luckily we got it all in about 30 minutes before the rain started! For me as robotically mentioned above it was a success. Here’s how it went down.

Short Course – Going into the main I thought to myself that this was going to be my toughest 10 minute main to finish that i’ve had yet in this class. Reason being is that usually they have been triple A’s and thus if I screw up the first one and dump (a la R/C Pro Finals) then I still have 2 more to readjust my driving. At this event there was only 1, 10min A-main and so I really needed to drive cautious. Out of the gate Josh Wheeler and myself got out ahead and built a little lead and put on a show for the crowd for the entire race. For the first 9 minutes we were never more than say 1 second apart. I could tell he was using more battery than me and so I hoped that if it came down to it he would dump. I stayed conservative for the most part but about 4 minutes in a made a small bobble and let him by but when we got to the straight where I had been taking it very conservative I decided I wanted the lead back and so I pulled trigger just that one time and flew by him on the straight. I would again give up the lead say 7 minutes in and then I decided to just push him to hopefully make him dump. With about 1 minute to go I knew I had conserved a good amount of battery so I decided to start to push it. I got really close behind him but he tubed it and got stuck but I was right behind and I bumped him off the pipe and instead switched places with him and I got stuck. He then got about a 5 second lead because I had to get marshaled. Then the next lap was the last lap and over the double in the middle he dumped! So I was able to take the win on that account and when recharging my batteries I only used 4400 MaH in the 10 minutes! I tell you what, conserving batteries is no fun to me but it’s cool to be able to use it as a strategy to help when it works as well!

E-Buggy – I realized after the race that I used the wrong set of used tires in my E-buggy race. I had 2 sets of used impacts in my bags and I grabbed the ones with black foams instead of red foams. This explained to me why my car was a bit more edgy and catchy in the little ruts that had developed. Either way though I guess I just wanted to make the race that much more of a challenge for myself. Starting from the pole was actually a bad spot for me personally because it didn’t allow me to do my line through the section directly thereafter. So I crashed basically right away and had to work back through the pack. I did so quickly and made it up to the lead pair where we would swap places for quite a few minutes. I haven’t made so many boneheaded mistakes in a race in quite some time but I was just crashing more than usual. In the end though with about 2 minutes to go I got by David Joor for the lead and just cleaned it up to finish out front and take the victory.

N-Buggy – My DNX408 was solid for me once again. I am really happy with my buggy right now and it doesn’t matter where I race it I feel I have a good grasp on the car and that inspires confidence! In this 25 minute main I got tagged at the very start but did a 360 and didn’t loose position. I then gapped out a bit as 2nd made a mistake. I quickly got a 6 second lead and knew I wasn’t going to look back. I worked on running clean lines and not goofing up my inverse berm jumping section and it paid off as at the end of the 25min main I had a 1 lap victory.

Trifecta at the Texas Offroad Shootout

Overall it was a great event. A little light on turnout unfortunately but I was told there has been a lot of racing in Texas and the surrounding area lately so that may have been a big reason for it. ( I should know, i’ve been living in this region lately it seems! πŸ˜‰
The facility of Mike’s Hobby Shop is quite amazing and the locals really do have something special that they shouldn’t take for granted. I appreciate the hospitality of those that worked there and all the great people I met either for the first time this weekend or got to see again! This hobby really does have a great group of people!

Next up is the Fall Brawl in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I’ve heard some names like Maifield and maybe Drake might be there? I’m sure plenty more along with the always fast locals in that area! Looking forward to it!

-Lutzinator

Saturday November 19th, 2011

Once again I find myself in the South, this time just outside of Dallas, TX at the other large awesome Mikes Hobby Shop in the state. Wow what a facility. Indoor Electric offroad and onroad track and an outdoor offroad track along with a rock crawling course and a slot car track! Not to mention a huge hobby shop! This weekend i’m attending the Texas Offroad Shootout and running my usual as of late Pro Nitro Buggy, E-buggy, and SC. Here’s how qualifications went for me:

Short Course – On my DESC410R I decided to add a little more weight to the rear. I already had the side weights and the rear skid weight but I also added another 1 oz under the rear diff. This is the best my truck has ever felt on a large outdoor track. It really helped with stability and my truck was just excellent all day. I was able to TQ Q1 by about 6 seconds over Wheeler. In Q2 I was on another TQ run when my battery connecter melted ending my run. In Q3 I was able to beat my rd 1 TQ by a few seconds and thus take the overall. This event utilized Rocket Round which I hadn’t done in a while but either way I managed the TQ.

E-Buggy – This was again the fastest vehicle of the weekend on this track. I got down to a 26.2 while my nitro was 26.3 and Wheelers truggy was also 26.3. So my DEX410 was dialed once again! I went out and TQ’d the first two rounds by over a lap each one. In Q3 I made a few mistakes trying to drive it harder and drift it a bit and thus didn’t contend to beat one of my TQ’s but I already had it wrapped up and came away with the TQ!

N-Buggy – My DNX408 feels awesome this weekend. My Alpha A852 is screaming and yesterday in practice I was getting over 11min on this track! Woo hoo for fuel mileage! πŸ™‚ In Q1 I found a line on the top right of the track where I jumped over this section and it shaved maybe .2ths a lap off my lap time. One lap however I ended up over the berm loosing 10 seconds and thus qualifying 2nd for the round. In Q2 I came out and ran much cleaner and was 6seconds ahead of TQ and made a small mistake. I came back though and still took the TQ from Wheeler by 2 seconds. In Q3 we ran in the dark and it was a bit hard to see. However I was managing to keep it clean and I know I was nearly on a TQ run but I don’t know how it ended up. Either way I took the Win and thus the TQ.

So a trifecta of TQ’s which hopefully tomorrow I can convert into 3 W’s!
I had some photos and even a video of my E-buggy but when I uploaded them to my computer when I agreed to delete all the computer decided to make an error and loose all my photos and vids! πŸ™ Hope to have some tomorrow! πŸ™‚

-Lutzinator

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This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to do an interview with the guys on Radio Control Race Chat. If you haven’t heard of them or listened to the radio show yet you can head over to www.thevrcr.com and click on the tab for ‘Radio Show’ and listen live every Tuesday at 7pm PST, 10pm EST. You can also listen to all the past interviews either on their site or off of iTunes.

www.thevrcr.com/EDIT-THESE-FILES-TO-CHANGE-INFO-ON-SITE/audio/episode9.mp3
I come in around the 18:20 mark.

Thanks guys again for the opportunity! It was a great time! Everyone needs to be listening to your show! πŸ˜€

-Lutzinator

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