This past weekend I flew out west to join up with the Tekno team in what would be a good final test for the IFMAR Worlds. The location was the Pro-Line test facility in Banning, CA. The reason it should be a good test for worlds is that they watered for most of the runs and the track got some character to it by the end. i.e. ruts, holes, and bumps! This is my favorite style of track surface and it’s always great when Levi Jackson designs and builds a track! I would run my standard 3 classes at this event with primary focus being on the hotly contested Pro Nitro buggy class where 9 of the top 25 drivers in the world were in attendance.

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

I also enjoy the format of this race as it’s completely unique and only a 2 day event. You get 2 practice tickets to use up first things Saturday morning per vehicle. For me because of 3 cars I could have practiced 6 times but ran out of time only running each vehicle 1 time. Then it’s right into qualifying where there would be three 6 minute rounds with all 3 counting. But they were also gate start and qual point type format but only based on where you finished in your exact race. Out of the gate things looked great as I would Win all 3 of my heats in round 1. Now both buggy classes had 2 heats in our class while truggy had just 1. So there was the potential for ties and that is what would end up happening. In Q2 they did a resort and put fastest time from Q1 in heat one then 2nd fastest in heat 2, then 3rd fastest back in heat one and so on. This split up the top drivers a bit more and made the heats more even. Q2 would continue to go my way as I would take the Win in all of my heats again.

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

So heading into Q3 things were looking great. But with this format it would only take one issue and you could be down and out. And with gate starts you never knew what was going to happen on those starts. Well Q3 started out great with another victory in Ebuggy which set me up with a tie with teammate Joe Bornhorst. The tiebreaker was combined laps and times of all 3 rounds in which I would take the overall TQ. In truggy I would take another win in Q3 to secure the overall TQ in the class. Nitro buggy was the last race of the day and at the first corner things looked rough as I found myself at the back. But within 2 laps I got into 1st until I crossed the line and did my line just fine but the guy in 2nd jumped the track, hit the pipe, and ended up taking me out. This set up a chain reaction of things as the ensuing pack was rabid and I found myself in dead last again. By the end of the race I only managed back to 4th so that put me as 3rd qualifier overall for the class.

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

All 3 classes had triple A-mains but the Nitro’s were unique. You could consider it still a 45 minute main but split into 3 x 15min sessions. This gave you a chance to change something if you wanted to come back if something went wrong. Each 15 minutes session was split with a 5 minute break in-between which I primarily used to change tires and air filter. A1 of E-buggy was up first and for the class it was a standard triple A-main with 10 minute mains. I got out to a good start and took a commanding victory in A1. As A2 rolled around the track was getting a bit rougher and my set-up wasn’t quite conducive for the conditions. I tried my best and ran as clean as I could but would settle for 2nd place. In A3 at the end of the night we did a lot of set-up changes and the car was totally different. It was better in sections but I just wasn’t comfortable and after having just run Nitro buggy I just didn’t have my electric finger. I settled for 3rd which put me into a tie once again with Joe! Again, combined laps and times from all 3 mains counted and I would take the overall victory by about 6 seconds.

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

The Truggy triple A-mains were pretty straight forward for me. My starts in A1 and A2 were not the greatest as I would get swallowed up in those first corners. But in each one I would fight back and regain the lead a few laps in a pull away from the field for some commanding victories. This pretty much secured that I just needed to finish A3 reasonably well. At the start I again was caught in the fray but again worked my way up to 2nd behind Joe. Joe had found his Mo-Joe though and was cookin in this one. I tailed along and made a pretty good race of it. In the final minutes I was about 3 seconds back and by the second to last lap I threw down the fastest lap of the weekend with a 34.9! This put me right on Joe’s bumper but I made a mistake on the last lap and took 2nd. Still this was enough for the overall victory and gave me a shot at the $1,000 bonus if I could also win Nitro buggy!

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

So I was pretty excited to get Nitro buggy underway as my Tekno was feeling great and I thought I had a good shot at things. At the start though things were rough and 2 laps in I was amazed at what I noticed. The guys who qualified 1st, 2nd, and 3rd were running 10th, 11th, and 12th! That’s how crazy the gate start can make things! I just couldn’t catch a break for the first 7 minutes or so of the race and was wallowing back in the pack. Finally after first pit stop I began to work my way through the field and found myself in 4th on the last lap with an outside chance at 3rd. But the guy in front of me was having some type of issue and it messed him up over a jump which collected me and sent me to  my lid. This knocked me down to 6th for A1 and things weren’t looking to good. The buzz on the stand was also pretty tense as during that 5 minute break there was some jawboning and tempers flaring for sure. I kept my composure and put my focus down for a better A2.

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

A2 started much better as I tucked in behind everyone on the first corner and creeped around the first corners on the inside while everyone else blasted outside and into each other. I came out of things in about 3rd and quickly moved up into the lead and turned on the blasters. I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me and I just continued to pull out to a greater lead as the field fought for 2nd. I would come home with the victory in this one and now with 7 points I still had an outside chance at taking the overall victory!

In A3 my goal was a repeat of A2 and the start was very similar. I tucked under the field and held tight to the pipe around the first corners and again found myself in 3rd. It took a couple laps but the guys in front of me made mistakes through the left rhythm section and I took the lead and again didn’t look back. I pulled from the field and soon found Joe to be in Tow running in 2nd. We went on to finish Tekno 1-2 in A3. With how people finished in A3 my 8 points were enough to take the overall victory by 2 points and thus win the $1K bonus for winning both Nitro classes! Pretty pumped about that with the strong field in the class! My AKA Super Soft Gridirons were dialed all weekend and were able to keep me out front throughout!

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Next up i’m heading out in a couple hours to Kansas City for the Byron’s Challenge. Still have this and my event the LutzRC Hometown Shootout next week before I head off to the Worlds!

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

-Lutzinator

Levi wasn't entirely happy with handing over the 1G! ;-) Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

Levi wasn’t entirely happy with handing over the 1G! 😉
Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix

If you enjoy this content please like and share! 🙂
2

Comments are closed.