Published on Monday, 08 October 2012 14:50
Written by Ryan Lutz
Southern Nationals in West Monroe, Louisiana
It all started with aspirations of greatness. The opportunity to push myself and mechanic further than ever to try to claim the glory that is the quintfecta! Let me squash that dream right there as to be quite blunt, it didn’t happen. What started out promising with the makings of a successful weekend turned bleak by the end of Sunday with those types of things that go wrong that just make you shake your head in a left to right motion. The goal going into the weekend was of course of perfection and going 5 for 5 in TQ and W’s. What transpired was 3 TQ’s and 2 W’s. Not a total wash but i’m just at that point in my career where sometimes I expect so much more. I don’t like to have to settle for what couldaben, shouldaben, wouldaben. Anyways here is how it breaks down in my first attempt of the year at a quintfecta. (I’ll have one more shot at it at the R/C Pro Finals in a little less than a month.)
4WD SC – On Friday during my first practice packs on the track I made it 3 laps before I broke the rear aluminum diff hoop. Of course this being a part I wouldn’t expect to break I didn’t have any spares and so luckily I was able to have someone next day air me the part so that I could compete come race days. Come Satruday the part arrived around 11AM. To late to make the first qualifier so I had just the last two left and needed to make them count. Having only had a couple laps on the track and when it was much smoother I wasn’t sure how I was going to fare. Luckily my Durango DESC410RV2 was up to the task and was absolutely blistering on this track. I ran some soft cityblock kicks and the truck was just money everywhere. Down the long front straight my Tekin 4600 4-pole and ProTek batteries supplied all the power I needed and it was smooth sailing those last two qualifiers. I was able to take commanding TQ’s of both rounds and secure the overall.
Come Sunday it was time for Triple A’s. In A1 the first race of the morning and starting on pole I just took off and did what I did during the quals. I built a stronger lead lap after lap and went on to win by quite a margin. In A2 it was much the same. The track had dried out a bit and a groove had actually formed in some areas making the track a little faster. I was able to put in a few 41 second laptimes with my SC truck which was only just a little over a second slower than my 1/8th scales! My Corr was dialed and went on to compliment the TQ with the Win.
1/8th Electric Truggy – My prototype e-truggy for some reason had me struggling on this track this weekend. This vehicle probably received the least amount of TLC of any of my cars and unfortunately in my eyes it showed a bit on the track. I was only able to qualify 2nd in the light field of vehicles and in the main also finished 2nd overall. I just couldn’t keep the rear behind the truck. Not sure what it really was but will be looking forward to the high bite track in Porter Texas for the R/C Pro Finals. I did have a good time with the truck though because my Tekin 2250 was just ballistic allowing me to have some fun and pull of some front and back flips as well as some straight-away wheelies. So all was not lost! Fun was had! :-)
1/8th Electric Buggy – My Durango DEX408 was dialed this weekend. The rough track was no match for it as I was able to take some commanding TQ’s in all 3 qualifiers and thus taking the overall TQ. Come main time it was much the same as in 4wd SC. I would start on pole and never look back. Pulling a larger lead each lap coming away with some solid victories in both A1 and A2 and thus the overall W. Tire of choice in Ebuggy was AKA soft Grids.
1/8th Nitro Truggy – My DNX408T was dialed yet again on yet another track. This truck is just so easy to drive and forgiving that it made the bumps feel like nothing here at the Southern Nats. I was able to come out of the gate strong and put in a couple of the fastest laps of the weekend, sub 39 seconds with my truggy. The first two qualifiers were solid with me being able to take the TQ’s and thus take the overall TQ. Come main time I was looking to translate that TQ into another W. However for the math majors reading this you will notice that all 3 TQ’s and both W’s are already accounted for. So that must mean the start of my weekends demise starts here, and you would be correct! It started out fine and dandy with me holding on to the lead from the get-go with Wheeler in tow. For the first 9 minutes we were never more than 3 seconds separating us but I was able to constantly hold the lead. After the pit stop I started to get into my groove and began putting a bit of a gap between us. I got it up to 6 seconds a few minutes later when all of a sudden my rear wheel axel pin snapped in half and my wheel went careening off down the track. *cue the head shake left to right*
So that was the end of my A-main run. Quite the dissapointment as I felt I for sure had the truck and mentality for that victory. Guess theres next time.
1/8th Nitro Buggy – It was time for my third race with the new prototype buggy. This being it’s first time on a loose and pretty blown out surface. Set-up changes were in order to help soak up the jumps and make the car more forgiving in the rough. In qualifying I struggled by my standards and just didn’t quite feel comfortable with the car. I was able to TQ rd 1 however and then in rd 3 had the opportunity to take the TQ but had a lap from down under and missed out on the overall TQ by .2ths of a second. Come the A-main a few more changes were made and I felt confident I would be able to have a solid race. However with less than 2 minutes from the sound of the tone I was broke and out. (that tone being referenced was the start tone, I never even got to start the race.) I broke a steering bell crank on a tumble after the start finish line on my first warmup lap and with it being a prototype car I didn’t have the part necessary to fix it and thus was out before it began. Utter heartbreak.
All in all though I enjoyed the event. I think this is one of the must attend events as it’s a great big track that always has a super fun layout and it’s inside and well ventilated. I look forward to it every year now.
Up next I am going to the Dirt Nitro Challenge Italy in just over a weeks time. This will be my first time to mainland Italy and i’m really looking forward to it. Should be some great competition and also will be good to get in some good testing with the new buggy with Gerd, Jorn, and Hupo.