This past weekend I once again attended the Dirt Nitro Challenge which this year really lived up to its name. The Dirt was a huge challenge! With rains pounding the area days before we arrived, the track didn’t get finished until last minute, and thus it never got smoothed out. So the track started and continued to be rough, as the surface had clods of dirt and very uneven surfaces throughout. On top of that the water broke on the first day by an errant truggy in the first practice, and thus we ran a dry track most of the weekend. . . until mains.

Track before Pro Buggy A-main

Practice started us off on Wednesday with 2 rounds per class. Everyone was working hard to come to grips with these unique track conditions, and you could see it was going to be a struggle all week. The Tekno team was a fantastic atmosphere to be a part of as we worked together to get our cars on pace.

Come qualifying day one, we had Nitro truggy and Ebuggy on tap. The track was high bite and very bumpy. My truggy started the week off dialed, as I navigated the tough track to take an opening round TQ. Success wasn’t as high in Ebuggy with a 13th as I still worked on nailing down a comfortable setup.
In Q2 I really hoped to lock up TQ in truggy but the track got a bit of a slick groove midday, and I was a bit more uncomfortable. Still a great run in 2nd, as Maifield and I would battle out in Q3 for the overall. Ebuggy Q2 would be my drop round of a 19.

Q3 would finish off the night. I put in a run of my life in truggy staying ahead of the hard charging Tessman and Maifield to take the overall TQ with the fastest run of the entire weekend. In Ebuggy I really needed a miracle run with how things were going and I got it. I was in the B resort and took the victory even with feeling like I was making lots of little errors. The track was just so tough. Then in the A sort only 2 drivers beat my time thus securing me a 3rd, and a spot in the A in 10th.

Nitro buggy qualifying would happen on Friday and it was another long day especially only racing one class. My results were excellent for me though. First round held it together in the tough conditions to take a 4th. In the second round had a bit faster pace but also a 4 second mistake. Still took a 5th for the round. In the final round I was already locked into the main but did a couple setup changes and a different tire selection choosing AKA Soft Chainlinks. I was leading for much of the race before making a mistake and falling to 2nd for the round. But everything was coming together and I had qualified 5th into the A main.

Saturday was main day for Ebuggy and Nitro Truggy. The decision was also made midway through the day to start watering for the first time all week. Thus tire choice just got that much harder. For the Ebuggy A main I decided to go with soft chainlinks like I ran on my Nitro in Q3 the night before. It was the wrong choice for the new track condition. My car was loose on the surface that had a water glaze on top and I just struggled from the get go. I never got into a great groove and was only able to muster finishing where I started in 10th. I was a bit disappointed, and it left me questioning what to run for the Truggy final.

Truggy Qualifying Order

The truggy final would be a 45 minute affair and I would be starting on pole for this prestigious race. I chose super soft long wear gridirons and they were great to start. As the tone sounded we were off, with me leading the way. After 2 laps I got in a groove and started to pull away to a 3 or 4 second lead and my truck felt amazing. Suddenly though I lost my smoothness and it got hard to drive. It seemed as though my steering wasn’t being consistent and I just started to make mistakes. Perhaps oils heated up and we started to soft or perhaps tires should have been soft compound. About 7 minutes in I got sideways at the end of the whoops and into the pipe. I fell back to 3rd where my teammate Joe and I would find ourselves running together for the next 20 minutes or so. At that point I really started making a few mistakes and then drove into the hay bales after jumping the back triple going away while running 3rd. I’m not sure what happened or why. But the end result of hitting the bale with the wheel full turned was it pulled the screw through the steering spindle plastic. It was a hard hit that I just watched again. Maybe I just got on the gas to much and just made a big mistake. Either way race was then over for me. Quite the bummer as it had looked so promising. Big congrats to Joe though who took home another 2nd, and also to Alex for taking 7th in his first ever event driving truggy!

At least I got the TQ!

On Sunday we had the nitro buggy main. For some reason I wanted to try to improve my buggy further from my excellent qualifying results, and thus did some changes for the Amain warmup. The car was decent but perhaps not as good as in qualifying. But with an entire day between qualifying and mains for said class, it made it hard to really compare. Well come main time I chose to go with soft double down tires. I think I made the right decision there, but going with the setup changes I made was probably a wrong decision. My car was a bit tricky to drive and I had some gnarly crashes throughout the start of the race. I tried to find a groove but I just couldn’t keep it consistent the whole time. Some of my crashes were so violent that my throttle trim got moved somehow and I had to adjust it on the fly to make the car drivable again. You can’t put a car through as much punishment as I gave it without some consequences. Well in about the middle of the race I was able to get everything sorted, and it was great to be one of the only drivers doing 9 minute pit stops during the main. The Blok engine was running amazing and I just wish I had stuck with my Q3 setup on the car.

Nitro Buggy qualifying Order

For much of the beginning of the race I found myself languishing in last. But throughout the middle, I was able to make some adjustments and find a groove, and I was able to move up slightly through the pack through the race. By the end of the 45 minutes I found myself in 9th position. Not nearly what I wanted, but I learned some things and will work to come back stronger next time.

Congratulations to Maifield on the clean sweep of the mains. Very impressive indeed for such a difficult track. And also a huge congratulations to my Tekno Teammate Carlos Arredondo who took a commanding victory in Expert Truggy and a huge come from behind 2nd place in Expert buggy! 

As for the Teammate Challenge this race had the potential to really give me a big lead but I didn’t capitalize and thus we stand just 1 point apart!

Tekno Teammate Challenge:

Ryan – 34

Joe – 35

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Monday the 30th at 9pm was the completion of the LutzRC Pro Build #001 that was auctioned off on Ebay. 100% of the selling price of the Tekno EB48.4 that I built went to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I also posted on my LutzRC Facebook page that I would donate 100% of the sales on my website for the duration of the auction. I was able to raise another $630 through my website on top of the $1,850 that the buggy was auctioned off for. I donated a bit more to make it an even $2,500 that has been donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Donation from LutzRC Sales

I was able to do next day delivery of the buggy because the winner of the auction happened to live 10 minutes from me! His name is Randy Sing and I got to meet him today at my dad’s hobby shop to hand deliver his new purchase. Now his story was pretty awesome as well I thought, so I would like to share it. Randy has been in my dad’s shop a couple times and had a few Traxxas vehicles in his fleet. He has been practicing with some friends at a local indoor track with his Slash but didn’t have a true race vehicle. He and his buddies had been admiring the new Tekno E-buggy at the track and were considering getting one. Randy himself really wasn’t on Facebook but his buddy saw me post the listing and told Randy about it. He had a friend growing up in Medina who had Cystic Fibrosis and was told she probably wouldn’t see past graduation. She is now 41 and still working as a spokesperson for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and working with other Charities and Veterans organizations in the area. Well because of that connection he had with her, this donation also was towards a cause he really believed in. 

I got to meet and thank Randy Personally for supporting this great cause!

So now Randy has a brand new Tekno EB48.4 which will be his first real race buggy. He had me sign the body so he won’t run the body or wing, but the buggy he will be giving a whirl here in a week or two. I just thought it was pretty awesome that he was local to me yet we had never met. He had a connection to the cause this auction was supporting, and it’s his first foray into 1/8th racing. I look forward to helping him get fully set-up and making the most of his experience at the track! 

Tekno EB48.4 LutzRC Pro Build #001

I want to truly thank each and every one of you who either bid on the buggy, purchased from my website, or simply liked and shared the post to get the word out about this cause. You each played a part in helping to raise $2,500 for this great cause! God Bless you all!

A huge Thank You to all of my sponsors who made this auction possible as well!

TeknoRC – EB48.4, Ti-Ni Shock Shafts, Aluminum Servo Horn, Aluminum Cross Pins

Tekin – RX-8 Gen 2 + T8 Gen 2 1900kV motor

AKA – AKA tire of choice

Futaba – S9373SV Servo

Diggity Paint – Killer “Lutz Worlds” Paint Scheme

Dutch Oven Designs – Great looking decals!

ProTekRC – 6500 LiHV 4S 100C battery


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Tekno EB48.4 Charity build

January 25, 2017

I have a new program I am going to do as part of LutzRC this year called LutzRC Pro Builds. In my available time I will build up Tekno vehicles with my spec equipment in them and offer them to those interested. First up all of my sponsors chipped in a donated product to make my first build be a charity build. The charity supported will be the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as selected by Tekno owner Daniel Lewis, with the entire proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I want to thank all of my sponsors for making this possible.

Here is the products in this build:

Tekno EB48.4 with hop ups including (Ti-Ni shock shafts, Bearing sleeves, Alum. servo horn)

Tekin RX8 Gen 2 with Redline Gen 2 1900 motor (Same spec I run and speedo is programed with my settings)

Futaba S9373SV Steering Servo

ProTek 6500, 100C Silicon graphene 4S HV Lipo pack

-One of my personal bodies done up by my painter Diggity Paints

-Decals provided by Dutch Oven Designs.

-One set of AKA tires mounted (your Choice of tread and compound.)

-This car is engraved with serial #001 and is initialed by me with RL.

You can see the listing HERE on eBay and bid to win this item! Thank you for your support and even if you can’t bid on the item I would greatly appreciate if you could share this auction!



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This past weekend we took to the South again and another crazy weather weekend was in store. Where two weeks ago we were dealing with ice in Mississippi, this weekend it was Tornados in Alabama! It’s a good thing these were indoor races. However a Tornado about 2 miles from the track on Saturday morning caused us a 4 hour delay and running in the dark for 2 more hours after that. 5 power lines were toppled just down the road and as the power company raced to fix them we ran through the electric program with available sunlight coming through the roof windows. This allowed us to get the program in after the power was restored and qualifying finished up around 1:00am Sunday morning.

Our rental car was a little full!!

The layout for this years SIC was a lot of fun with some big air and and some fast air sections as well. The surface was a little on the looser side and I was running primarily AKA Super Soft Gridirons and Impacts. Though I also tried some ultra soft Grids and even Super soft enduros in A3 of Ebuggy.

Some practice carnage on my body!

Qualifying day started with 2 rounds of Ebuggy where I was able to TQ the first round and take 3rd with a crash in the second round. Then we were able to play catch up with the Nitro program once lights returned. I was able to throw down one of those killer runs in truggy taking TQ by around 8 seconds. My truck felt amazing and I was getting 10:30 runtime to boot with my punched driving! In Nitro buggy I also took TQ of the round finishing out a perfect Q1. In Q2 I sealed up the Truggy overall TQ with another good run. In Nitro buggy Joe edged me out setting up a Q3 battle.

Q3 of Ebuggy saw Joe with a great run going until the last lap where he crashed allowing Drake to take the round. I would end up qualified 2nd with Joe in 3rd. In Truggy I had overall TQ with Joe starting 2nd. In Nitro buggy I was able to put in a clean enough run in my heat to take the TQ for the round by 2 seconds and thus the overall with Joe to start 2nd.

On main day Ebuggy A1 was up first but we had a new challenge to contend with. We would start our mains from a gate start which funneled through a right Joan’s dog leg and into the front stretch. You could tell some people hadn’t done this before as there were some epic crashes to be seen. I never had a great start in any of my runs but would always manage to pick my way through the pack and into a fighting position. In A1 it was Drake who got out front and Joe and I followed. Halfway through Joe made a killer pass to take the lead as I still languished in 3rd. But with 1 minute to go Joe dumped while leading handing Drake back the lead as I settled for 2nd.

In A2 Joe and I found our way to the front of the pack and proc ended to battle for most of the race remaining within 3 seconds of one another. In the end Joe edged me out by a second. A3 would determine the final order and at the start Drake got out front again while Joe was way back in the pack. This left it up to me to bring it home. I started to reel in Adam and was able to put in a pass and take the lead. I extended out a 3 second lead with just two laps to go when I came to the bowl where 4 cars were crashed or bouncing off one another. This was a blind jump face to me from my position on the drivers stand and I guess I hit one of them and got lost in the bowl not able to see my car. This cost me 10 seconds and thus the win and having to settle for 2nd overall with Joe in 3rd.

2nd place E-buggy

Nitro truggy mainI was hoping for a great battle with Joe but it never materialized. At the start Joe got a killer holeshot with a little help from his pit guy and he was gone. I took a bit to get through some traffic and then made a 5 second crash on my own. I was quickly 9 seconds back and just had to put in some clean laps. I knew I was doing one less pit stop than Joe in this 30 minute final but he was in a mission. I just made to many errors, stuffing the pipe after the straight twice and a couple other incidents with crashed traffic. I ended up putting in a slight late race charge but came up 4 seconds short with Joe taking a solid victory. Another Tekno 1-2 finish!

TQ+2nd place Nitro Truggy

Nitro buggy was up last and it was an ugly start for me. I was going well until the end of the straight and just got caught up with others and knocked to around 10th. Ogden, Drake, and Joe were all top 3 and I had my work cut out for me. I quickly picked off the field and into 4th with my car feeling awesome on SS Impacts to start the race. I caught up to Joe and put an inside pass on him through the whoops and set my sights on the leaders. A few minutes later it was a 3 way battle for the lead and then we started swapping positions during the pit stops. Eventually Ogden and I were out front and extending the lead. I’ll be honest and say he had the pace over me at this race and I was doing all I could to stay with him. He made a couple mistakes and with about 5 minutes to go I had a 7 second lead. I knew he would be pushing hard and I’ll be honest that my mental game wasn’t on point and I was a bit nervous and thus a bit cautious. As we slithered through traffic he inched closer and closer until he was only 1.5 back with a lap to go. I calculated I just needed a clean lap and regardless of how close he got he wouldn’t have enough to make a move if I just ran my line. Well he went for a Hail Mary jump and stuffed it and flamed himself out. So I was able to come away with the victory in the hard fought race!

TQ+Victory, Pro Nitro Buggy

Overall another really good weekend with increased competition. I had two TQs in the nitro classes. A victory and two 2nds. I was also able to gain a lead over Joe in our Teammate Challenge. At this event I tallied 3 points while Joe got 8.

Another great weekend for Tekno!

Next for me is the Dirt Nitro Challenge which is the first big big race of the year. Can’t wait!

SIC Podium trifecta!

Teammate Showdown (lower score better)
Ryan – 6
Joe – 11

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Out here at the Southern Indoor Championships in Alabama and got a couple good practice laps in with my Tekno NB48.4! Check it out!

Running on AKA SS Long Wear gridirons.

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