Thank you for the generosity of those who bid on my trophies and memorabilia this year. We raised $3,278.76! All the winners told me to decide where to put the funds to use. So I chose a charity called Samaritan’s Purse. I was able to pick specific areas to donate which were as follows:

Thank you!

2 x wool bearing animals
3 x Goat or dairy animal
20 x Freshwater wells to be dug or fixed
2 x household filters for contaminated water
7 x baby chicks
18 x blankets
$1,000 towards Louisiana Flood Relief
$1,000 towards U.S. Disaster Relief


Thank you to all who participated by liking, sharing, bidding, or winning the auctions! Together we all can make a difference! 

 

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Here’s an article I just wrote for Tekno as part of their “Tales from the Team” articles.

Silly Season and What It Means For The Pro’s

by 

“It’s that time of year when everyone in the R/C community goes out shopping for that shiny new deal that is going to radically fix their program and make them #1 in the world. With sponsorship of some level more prevalent than ever, it seems that nearly anyone can get some type of representation sponsorship. But what really garners the attention of the R/C community is when a top level pro driver is rumored to, or makes a big switch. 

People often boldly state in comments that what a pro driver uses for equipment has no bearing on them. But when a top name like Tessman or Maifield is rumored to be making a chassis change, there are hundreds of shares and thousands of comments on Facebook about the topic. We can’t help it. It’s juicy and captivating in our tight nit community to see what those who make a living at this hobby are going to do next.

Equipment does matter, especially for the Pros!

But do you ever think about what it truly means, and why these deals are happening? Is the driver not happy with where they are, or is the company not satisfied with said driver? Is there another company wooing said driver away with a better deal and promises of grandeur? Is it always about the money or could it possibly be about the opportunity to race with or work with people they like better? Is the driver seen as #2 on the team but wants to be somewhere where they are #1? Is the company in financial hardship and cleaning house or is there a pattern to certain companies based on Worlds years? 

Do you also consider that for these few drivers who make a living at R/C racing, that many of them are primarily classified as independent contractors? They are participating in this hobby at the highest level and doing so on generally year by year, or maybe a 2-year basis. Contracts tend to be short, and there can be a lot of unknowns heading into a contract year for the driver. Especially those who have a family to support, they are always at risk of it all not being able to work out in the near future. 

Jump or stay in the boat??

This hobby is fun, and it’s why we all get started in it. But as with anything, when it becomes your job or career there can be things about it that aren’t as rosy as when it was just a hobby. Also because this hobby favors late teens to early 30’s it can be a risky life choice to make. Many forgo higher education to be able to participate and compete at the top in this hobby. There also should be sights set on the exit strategy when those younger kids with faster reflexes begin tearing up the scene.

It is all about choices!

So when you look at these top names making moves as we enter each silly season, maybe try to figure out the reasons behind it. There’s more than one possibility and just as every one of us is unique, so is our life situation, and our career path through this awesome hobby! Here’s to everyone settling in where they can be the most successful and to an amazing 2017 racing season!”

Make sure YOU make the right choices and stick with them! 😉

Happy silly season to all!

-Ryan Lutz

 

Original Link here: http://www.blog.teknorc.com/2016/12/12/tales-from-the-team-silly-season-by-ryan-lutz/

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2016 Season Recap

December 9, 2016

The 2016 season was another great one for me. This was my second full year with Tekno RC, and the second year keeping the same primary race package together.

Here is how long I have been with each of my 2016 sponsors.

Tekno RC – 2+ years

Alpha Plus – 7 years

Byron Fuels – 6 years

AKA Tires – 9 years (since day 1)

Futaba – 5 years

Tekin – 7 years

ProTek RC – 5 years

PT RC Oils – 5 years

Dutch Oven Designs – 1 year

Diggity Paints – 1 year

LutzRC – 5 years

I was actually surprised how many years I have been with a couple of my sponsors. It feels great to be able to support some brands I really believe in for a long time.

 

Most of my 2016 Trophy Haul!

Some of my biggest highlights of this season include:

 -Buggyland in Spain, 2nd in Nitro buggy and TQ in E-buggy

-Fall Brawl victory in Nitro Buggy

-My best finish at the IFMAR Worlds in 1/8th Nitro in 9th at Tekno’s first Worlds.

-Helping to put on my first event, the LutzRC Hometown Challenge

-Triple Victory with Two TQ’s at the Sikcross event (A top 25 qualifying event)

-Gas Champs triple TQ and Wins in the Nitro classes.

-ROAR Nationals – 2nd in 4wd SC and Nitro Truggy, 3rd in E-buggy, 5th in Nitro buggy.

-I had my community magazine write an article on me and also my Church newsletter!

-Ran 5 classes again at the Psycho Nitro Blast!

-At Neo got TQ in e-buggy and was super fast in Nitro all weekend.

I want to thank all of my sponsors from 2016 who helped make it my most successful season ever!

Tekno RC (NB48.3, NT48.3, EB48.3,  ET48.3, SCT410.3)

Alpha Plus(Alpha Plus Ryan Lutz Worlds Edition Engine, Alpha Dragon 3 Engine)

AKA Racing (Amazing tires, wheels, foams, that keep me fast on any surface!)

Byron Fuels (30/8 Worlds Blend fuel, The most consistent fuel in the industry!)

Futaba (4PX Radio, S9373SV Servos, R304SB Rx)

Tekin (RX-8 Gen 2, Redline T8 Gen 2 1900 motor (2000 truggy)

ProTek RC (2600 Lipo Rx packs, 100C full size packs)

Dutch Oven Designs (Graphics, stickers)

PT RC Racing Oils (Shock and Diff oils)

Diggity Paints (Paintjobs!)

LutzRC.com (my small business that keeps me busy on my ‘off days’ haha)

LiveRC.com

R/C Hobby of Medina (My fathers Hobby Shop)

-Matt Wolter and Daniel Lewis among others at Tekno who have helped me raise my game and been there for me all season in the pits or a phone call away!

 

In 2017 I’m looking for my best season ever. I think everything is coming together this year to make that happen. The new Tekno .4 buggies are going to be the next craze, as they are much easier to drive and super fast. I can’t wait to kick off the year with some big races and hopefully some big wins!

-Lutzinator

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This past weekend I headed to the Atlantic and Myrtle Beach for the Fall Brawl at the Badlands. The event this year grew to epic proportions with 550 plus entries for an outdoor event. I think that’s the 2nd biggest outdoor offoad RC event by entries behind Nitro Challenge. The track was very fast overall with lap times dipping to 21 seconds and the surface stayed very smooth. The conditions however were ever changing and the paramount tire choice was the hardest part of the racing. I would say everything was being run from indoor clay type tires to soft long wear enduros or ibeams, and everything in between. With the huge turnout the quals were made longer to 6 minutes each but limited to 2 instead of 3. 

Photo Credit: JJ Sport Photos

Qualifications went pretty well as I tried a variety of tire choices and we were also saucing at times to get more grip especially for the cool morning runs. My truggy had a great Q1 on SS Grids with sauce and I went on to TQ in the morning slick track. In Q2 Ogden would squeak past me by a second and based what we were told the tiebreaker was, I should have been TQ but the computer printed otherwise and nothing could be changed so I ended up 2nd. 

Photo Credit: JJ Sport Photos

In Ebuggy my Q1 was amazing running SS Double Downs with sauce. I TQd by about 8 seconds as my buggy was on rails. Nitro buggy was where I chose a wrong tire trying Ultra Soft Double Downs with no sauce. They left the rear a bit loose and I was a bit off pace as some others had now found clay tires to be dialed. So I took 2nd for that round. In Q2 my Nitro buggy I tried SS Impacts with sauce and I was more competitive, but still a little off from the indoor clay type tires(I didn’t bring any). So I took another 2nd to start 2nd overall. In Ebuggy our last run was at 11:30 at night and I used SS Enduros sauced and they were easy to drive just not as fast as clay. I would take 3rd but overall would still come away with the TQ. 

Photo Credit: JJ Sport Photos

Main day Sunday started at 7am and the program was shortened throughout with shorter mains so we could try to beat the incoming rain. First up was Ebuggy where my buddy Red found me a set of clay Typos to run. I was hoping for magic but they just weren’t quite what I was ready for. I started on pole but crashed over the second jump and fell back in the pack. I quickly worked up to 2nd but JR had a good lead. I whittled it down to 1.5 seconds with a minute to go but got caught in some midair traffic sending me off the track and 5 seconds back. So in the end I finished 2nd. 

TQ+2nd
Photo Credit: JJ Sport Photos

The Nitro truggy main was next and my plan was to run soft long wear Impacts sauced. But 5 minutes before we were up a light rain fell and the track went from grip to slip and I quickly threw on my SS Impacts and sauced them quickly. In warmup I seemed to have a better combo than most, but that’s all I’ll know as I lost a steering servo while pulling into my pit guy for the start of the race. 

Nitro buggy ended the day and again my plan was soft long wear chainlinks. But with the now slicker conditions Red came to the rescue again sourcing me some SS catapults which I quickly mounted up while the truggy main was running. They felt pretty dialed from the get go however I crashed after shorting the first double and fell to 9th on the first lap. I quickly moved up to 4th and then both third and second let be by as I came up on them and I set my sights on Ogden who was 5 seconds up. A couple laps later he got into a crash and I just moved past him into the lead. He eventually had to come in for a tire change as his was coming unglued. So now I worked up a 5 second lead ahead of Noah about 7 minutes in and that seemed to be the same cushion for the next 10 minutes as he stayed on my pace. After the last stop though I suddenly had a 14 second lead and eventually I found myself right behind him on the last 2 laps. I wanted to put him a lap down and I knew he wanted to stay on same lap and he fought me off hard and I couldn’t get past. So I came home with just under a lap victory. 

Victory!
Photo Credit: JJ Sport Photos

It was a very fun event and the track was great as always. I look forward to my return hopefully next year. As for me that concludes my 2016 racing season. Season recap to come as well as hopefully doing a charity auction again. I have a little one on the way in the next week or two so we will see what time allows. 

-Lutzinator

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Buggyland 3.0

November 22, 2016

This past weekend I made the flight across the pond to Madrid, Spain to take part in the Buggyland 3.0 event. This was my first time to Spain and I was greeted with a pretty awesome track. The layout was super fast and keeping momentum going was important. Also being able to jump and correct at high speeds and stay cool under the head to head battling. It was geared to be an IFMAR style format with 3 qualifiers and ladder finals including a semi and A-final but the weather dictated a different outcome. Practice on Friday went off without a hitch though I think we all expected higher traction. Sugar was applied but perhaps not as much as at least what I am used to. Coupled with the cool morning temperatures and the early runs were on the lower end of the traction spectrum. Throughout the day though the track would start to get a bit of a groove and traction came up. I ended up using SS Long Wear Impacts in the morning and Soft Long Wear Impacts in the afternoon runs.

Tekno Team at Buggyland

Tekno Team at Buggyland

On Saturday morning during the drivers meeting the organizers decided to condense the program a bit due to the forecast for Sunday looking like a potential wash out. They shortened it to two qualifiers and then began the lower mains and also completed the triple A-mains for the electric classes. All they were to leave for Sunday was the Nitro Semi finals and A final which hopefully a window of time would allow us to race.

Tekno Team having fun!

Tekno Team having fun!

In the first qualifier the track was again a bit slick as the moisture from the night and the 3*C / 38*F temperatures kept the traction down. I had an excellent first round taking the TQ in both E-buggy and Nitro buggy. In Q2 things got a bit tougher. In E-buggy I would make one small mistake and the field was super tight. I would take 3rd for the round by 1 second out of first however overall I would secure the TQ. In Nitro buggy my car felt awesome. I was running great but early on got caught behind someone who had crashed early and I had to follow for 3-4 laps before getting by. This was enough to also have me finish 3rd but overall this would put me as 2nd qualifier for the event.

Working hard!

Working hard!

E-buggy A1 was next and the triple A’s were a 7 minute affair each. On the second lap I overshot the back table single and fell to 2nd. Made another mistake to fall to 4th where I ran most of the race. Then with 2 laps to go I got back into 2nd only to give it up in the back right. I don’t remember what happened but I ended up on my lid far from a marshal and fell to 5th on the last lap, so a bit disappointing.

In A2 I ran a pretty solid race leading out for the first 5 minutes. But with the level of competition it only took getting out of shape one time on the tricky left jump section to let Boots by and I fell to and finished in 2nd. A3 was last and I was still hoping for a 2nd overall. I led for basically 6:50 seconds before coming onto the front section for the white flag lap. A lapped car got me slightly out of shape and allowed 2nd to close right behind and on the second jump section in the front he landed on me spinning me out and putting me in second now with 3rd right behind. I held on until the top left corner and I could just feel that last lap throw it in there coming and it did sending me off the track and into the unforgiving barrier breaking my car and I couldn’t even finish the last jump to finish the race thus putting me 7th in that heat and a disappointing 5th overall for the event.

And the rains came. :-(

And the rains came. 🙁

As we arrived to the track on Sunday morning things weren’t looking good. The track crew worked very hard laying down sawdust and doing all they could to prepare the track for the finals but the rain just kept coming and the great majority of drivers voted not to run in the conditions. I really don’t think it would have been safe for the marshals on this high speed track as well. So unfortunately the race had to be called and the final results were based on qualifying position. So I took 2nd overall which was at least a good finishing position for me.

Nitro Buggy 2nd Place. Photo Credit: Inforc.net

Nitro Buggy 2nd Place. Photo Credit: Inforc.net

Overall I had a great time and the track and facility were great. Also the effort by the track crew and organizers was top notch. I also have to thank Manel for all his help and having me over to Spain to race! I hope to be able to make it back again someday.

TQ in E-buggy, 2nd in Nitro buggy

TQ in E-buggy, 2nd in Nitro buggy

Next up is the Fall Brawl in Myrtle Beach first week of December.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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