January 23, 2018
This past weekend I headed down south to the Southern Indoor Championships near Montgomery, Alabama. This year the event had over 500 entries and no chance of Tornados! Instead we had some uncharacteristically cold mornings and days for the south to contend with.
The track was a little drier this year than years past and on practice day a groove actually formed before they decided to water. The conditions were pretty slick and tire selection was a challenge for sure. Primarily I ended up on my go to tire and compound being super soft long wear impacts in buggy and super soft long wear grids in truggy.
Qualifying for started bright and early on Saturday morning and or if the gate my truggy was on point. The tires were dialed in and I took an 8 second margin TQ to start off my weekend. Nitro buggy was next and I ran a pretty solid race. I had a couple slow ups in traffic but overall clean. In the heat after me though Chandler was scorching and beat me out giving me a 2nd. In Ebuggy I had a good solid run for a TQ.
The final two qualifiers continued with success in truggy. Taking TQ in both and thus the overall TQ for the event. In buggy it was more of a struggle as the conditions were difficult. There was higher grip areas and lots of dust making an inconsistent surface. My cars were a bit twitchy on the steering and then loose in the rear because of it. My goals on setup became to desensitize the steering a bit by lowering my steering speed, going to heavier front diff and heavier front sway bar and spring. All this helped but but it was a process through my final runs. I didn’t have another great run in either buggy but still managed to qualify 2nd overall in Ebuggy and 3rd in Nitro buggy.
For the mains they decided to run the pro nitro program earlier in the event so there would be more spectators and people to watch. I thought this was a great idea though it did feel a bit weird. First up was Nitro truggy around noon and it was a 30 minute affair. I chose my AKA SSLW grids for the task and they were up for the challenge. I had a solid start and quickly started to work up a lead. My truggy doing what it does best. My truck still could have been better with slightly heavier front shock oil as it was blowing through the stroke a bit quickly on some jump landings and faces but it was still super fast. In the end I. Early was able to put a lap on the field and took a nice victory to start the day.
Next around 2pm we had the 30 minute Nitro buggy final. I opted to try SSLW double downs in the front and impacts in the rear. My goal being to mellow out the steering a little. They blew off the track before our run and my car felt pretty good in warmup. But the dust came up quickly and I just struggle mightily with the aggressiveness of the front end and the traction conditions. I did my best to adjust my driving lines and style. At one point mid run I was nearly 20 seconds out of the lead but had finally secured a solid hold on 2nd. I started to put in some faster laps really concentrating hard on my lines and steering points. I was able to make up ground and get within 8 seconds of the lead with 4 minutes to go but I got caught in traffic and lost my momentum. So in the end I settled for 2nd place in a hard fought race. What I would have changed would be to have run impacts all the way around and gone even higher on front bar to 2.5.
The triple E buggy mains would close out the long day. In A1 I quickly put myself in a hole as in the top left trying to avoid the huge hole I rolled on the pipe putting me back in last momentarily. I worked my way through the field and up to a 4th place finish. In A2 I had a much better run and battled with Ogden for half the race. We swapped the lead a couple times before he made a bigger mistake and I got a 4 second advantage and brought it home for the win. It was all down to A3 and my car was actually the best it had felt. I got into the lead and stretched out early as the pack was crashing. I quickly had about a 10 second cushion with 3 minutes to go when I started to feel like my battery was going soft. I yelled down for Matt and looked down pit lane but I could see him. I tried to start to conserve but within 2 laps while crossing the line with 2 minutes to go my battery died. I had forgotten to change my battery before the run. Rookie mistake right there. This thus cost me the win and overall victory and I had to settle for 3rd on the podium. I ran SSLW impacts in all 3 A’s and was pretty pleased with them.
Overall 3 more podium finishes to start the year and another Nitro truggy TQ and win. I’m looking forward to some redemption at the upcoming Nitro Challenge in truggy and hopefully can put it all together.
January 9, 2018
The 2018 season has gotten underway with my first trip to the January Jam at Flowood R/C in Flowood, Mississippi. At this event I decided to run 3 buggy classes for the first time as I wanted to help promote the new Tekno EB410 as well as my 1/8th buggies. This meant my Truggy had to sit this one out, but it will be back again in a week and a half for the SIC. The layout this year was a lot of fun and it kept you busy with really no time to relax. Lots of lefts and rights made it hard to pass but it kept you on your toes and it was a lot of fun I thought.
For most of the event I was using Clay typo’s in my 1/8th buggies and Clay Chainlink / X-Link in my 1/10th buggy. These tires were great and had lots of grip so long as I could stay in the groove. Knowing they wouldn’t last my Nitro final however I decided to try clay chainlinks in Q3 of Nitro buggy. They weren’t as good with the taller pin compared to the typo’s though. During qualifying I would take the overall TQ in all 3 classes on Saturday which was a nice birthday present for me. Now I had a decision to make for main day and what tires I would be running in Nitro buggy.
I had limited supply of Clay typo’s and I had to make them last and hopefully win the first two A-mains in E-buggy else I didn’t know what I would run in A3. I had a great first run in A1 taking a big win. In A2 though on my lower treaded tires were making my car a bit hard to drive and I made a couple mistakes and Jake got by me. I would catch him and a couple times he stuffed the pipe right in front of me and I would get the worst of it. Other times I caught up only to crash on my own. On the second to last lap though Jake got caught in an upside down car and flipped over, as I came through the section I got flipped over by the marshalls foot but he marshaled me first and I came away with the win. Not the way I would have wanted it to happen but that’s racing as they say. So with the A1 and A2 wins I was able to win the overall in E-buggy. I decided to run A3 to test tires for the Nitro buggy main. I put on Super Soft Long Wear impacts, which are my go to tires anymore. They felt good and my laptimes were still good so I mounted up a fresh set for the 30 minute Nitro buggy main to finish out the day.
In the 1/10th buggy class I would have a commanding victory in A1 but in A2 I hit some marbles and broke a tie-rod in warmup. I didn’t have enough time to get back on the track so I got my car prepared for A3. In A3 I had another solid run taking the win and the overall in 1/10th 4wd Mod. I ran Clay Chainlink in front and Clay X-Link in the rear.
The last race of the day was the Nitro buggy 30 minute final. I chose to run the AKA Super Soft long wear double downs as I was out of impacts it seemed. They felt great though on the grooved track and my car was on rails. I got out to a quick lead and just pulled away from the field. My car was pivoting amazingly through the corners and everything was working great. I got a 1 lap lead before the 10 minute mark and was able to bring it home with a 3 lap margin of victory by the end of the run.
Overall I had a great time at the January Jam. It’s always good to see my friends in Flowood and have a good time racing. I got my 2018 off to a strong start and looking to keep the momentum going as I had to Alabama in a week + for the SIC event!
December 20, 2017
This past weekend I attended the RC Pro Finals in Texas. This series is currently a primarily Texas series but they are looking to once again grow it to a National series throughout the country in the coming years. I was invited to attend a looked forward to the event. As I arrived and saw the dirt I was expecting it to be much like the RC Pro Series used to be or the PNB in it’s early years. Which is to mean, I thought it would be loose and get really blown out! But amazingly as the event wore on the track held together better than I think anyone anticipated and we had some great racing.
I ran my primary 3 classes and had a mixed bag in qualifying. The track was deceptively challenging and I made a number of mistakes that perhaps I don’t usually. I also was fishing for the right set-up on the tricky conditions. In the end of qualifying I had secured TQ in Nitro buggy and would start 2nd in both E-buggy and Nitro Truggy.
On main day E-buggy would have a triple A format. Nitro Truggy was a 30 minute final and the end of the day would be capped off with the 1 hour Nitro buggy final. In E-buggy A1 I put an early pass on Dillenger over the back table top as I was the only person launching the whole thing. I would make a mistake on 2 of the coming laps giving the lead back, but each time I would again jump over him on that back table. Then he followed me around until around the 7 minute mark where he made a bigger mistake and gave me some clean room to take the A1 win. A2 ended up being a little more of a blowout victory as Jake had an early mistake on i’d day about the 3rd corner and I got away clean and put in a really good run. I would win that one by nearly a lap to take the overall victory in E-buggy on my AKA Super Soft Long Wear impacts in front and grids in rear.
Next was the 30 minute truggy final and I was starting behind Drake for this one. I made a mistake really early on and fell back to around 4th. I quickly worked back to 2nd but was about 6 seconds or so behind Adam. I would be doing 3 pit stops in the final and he was doing just 2. The pit lane was a huge challenge in that it was very narrow and if a truck was on the rails, the next car coming down the line would knock it off. This happened to me on the 1st and 3rd stops costing me some valuable time. Midway through the race before my 2nd stop I was on Adam’s tail meaning I still had a full stop worth of time to catch up on him. By the time we each had a stop to go I was gaining and after our final stops I was able to take the led on his mistake with about 4 minutes to go and pull away to a nice victory!
Finally was the pro buggy A-main for 1 hour. Again it was a battle between Adam and I at the start. This time I was starting in front but I made a mistake I think over the whoops section and Adam got by. We would end up swapping the top spot off and on for the first 16 minutes or so. I had the lead at this point by a couple seconds as it was my pit in lap but I felt I was being run a bit long on this second stop. And then it happened as I was going over the back table I felt it go lean and sure enough I ran out of gas one corner before the loop. Thus I had a 96 second lap (Lost 60 seconds of track time) and was now a lap and a half behind Drake. Well I knew there was still a lot to play for and I put my head down and charged ahead and worked my way back into 2nd. Then I set my sights on simply whittling away at the lead. I was on Super Soft Long Wear Impacts in the front and Grids in the rear and they were just getting better and better. Soon after a pit stop session I found myself back on the same lap. Meaning I was within 36 seconds of the lead. I kept charging and in the closing 10 minutes I was narrowing the lead by 0.5 – 1 second a lap. Soon with 1:30 to go I was on Drake’s tail and closing fast. We went through the double triple single section and I was on his bumper but I stuffed the pipe and spun around loosing 2 seconds. We only had one more lap in which I closed the gap but finished 1.3 seconds behind in 2nd. I obviously regret not being more cautious in that corner and instead waiting for a better opportunity to pressure him or to make a move. But it is what it is and to make a race of it after loosing 60 seconds at the end of one hour was exciting for me and those watching!
That was my final event of the year and now for some end of the year business obligations and some much needed family time!
Merry Christmas to all!
December 1, 2017
The Auction has completed and with your help bidding and sharing the posts we were able to raise $3,569 for Samaritans Purse Charity. Your support is very much appreciated! 😀 ******************
Thank you for checking out my Charity Auction Preview. Here you will find all the information on how to bid, the rules that will govern the auction and to which charity the proceeds will go.
INSTRUCTIONS: (Please read so there is no confusion)
All of the auctions will be held on my Ryan Lutz Racing Facebook page.
-Each day a new set of items will be available to bid on. I will post the items before Noon EST and each day that set of items will end at 9:00:59 PM EST.
-If you want to bid, make a higher bid in comments below the picture of the trophy you want. (Be sure your on the original post on Ryan Lutz Facebook page)
-Highest bidder at 9:00pm EST (New York time) on that day it’s posted wins. (Please note Facebook timestamps comments. I will choose the last one posted at 9:00. If you bid at 9:01 it doesn’t count.)
-I use the Facebook time stamp when I highlight over the persons time of comment. If it says 9:00 to me and it’s the highest bid then that’s the winner. If your in question bid high and out of reach!
-If you win I’ll message you and see if you just want a signature or a personalized message on the item.
-I will PayPal you for your winning bid.
-At the end of the Auctions I will write a check to the charity. 100% of winning bids will go to the charity. I will also take care of any PayPal fees and the shipping cost. . Even for international bids! I would like to support the same Charity that I did last year which is Samaritans Purse. I can divide the money among many worthy causes through this great organization.