Sanford and Son RC headed out to Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA on May 21st for the Heritage RC Park Grand Reopening Race. The track had closed down a few months ago, so we were happy to hear about the reopening, and eager to support this great facility. This race had been postponed from an earlier date (because of rain). There were a number of outdoor and indoor races in the area on the same day, but even so, the turnout was 100+ entries. The race would consist of two six-minute qualifiers and 30 minute A Mains for the nitro classes, and 7 minute triple A Mains for the electric classes. The layout for this race was designed and built by the world famous Joey Christensen of The Dirt Racing. The track would be watered every other heat.
The competition for this round would include TLR’s Dylan Nelson and Don Vinkemulder, AKA’s Pres Ilog and Adam Schick, Mugen’s Jaques Ballow, Victor Guerrero of Hot Bodies, and fellow Kyosho drivers Anthony Howarth and Alex Hartmuller.
1/8 Scale Electric Buggy
Ever since I turned the EPA down just a little on my radio (about a month ago), the E Buggy has been so much easier to drive. This day would be no different. I would be in the first heat of E Buggy (of two heats). I mounted up a fresh set of soft compound AKA GridIron II tires. They were perfect on the watered track. I was able to drive a clean, consistent race, and was able to get the TQ for my heat. Dylan Nelson put in a blistering run in the second heat, but I was able to hang on to the TQ by two seconds. I stayed with the same tires for the second round, and on a dry track, I was able to better my TQ by a little more than a second. I would start on the pole for the 7 minute triple A Mains.
A1 started, and as I landed the very first double, I was taken out from behind. There was a huge pileup, and the race director called for a restart. In the restart, I intentionally went high into the left hand turn after the double, and was able to get away clean. However, after a right hand turn, I cased the big uphill double jump. The turn marshall had to wait for traffic, so by the time he turned me over, I was dead last. I pressed too hard, resulting in another crash later in the race. Even so, the car was so good, I was able to claw my way thru the pack, and would finish second to Dylan Nelson. Pres Ilog would finish right behind me in third.
In A2, I got a much better start, and ran a clean race. I held the lead wire to wire and was able to finish the race in first place. Ilog finished second with Nelson in third. It would come down to A3, with myself Nelson and Ilog all with a chance for the overall win.
In A3, I again got a good start and was able to break away slightly. A few laps in, I crashed in the 30 foot bump section, giving the lead to Nelson. However, a few minutes later, I retook the lead as Nelson crashed in the same section. I was able to run mistake free the rest of the way, while Nelson was taken out on the straight by a back marker later in the race. I took the A3 win, and finished first on the podium.
1/8 Scale E Buggy Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho / AKA)
2. Dylan Nelson (TLR / ProLine)
3. Pres Ilog (Tekno / AKA)
1/8 Scale Expert Nitro Buggy
I cannot say enough about the Kyosho MP9 TKI4. As advertised, it turns much better than the TKI3 did, and has noticeably more grip. I also used soft compound AKA GridIron II tires for Q1, which would be run on a wet track. I made no mistakes and was able to get the first round TQ with a victory lap.
In Q2, we would have a dry track. I opted for Super Soft compound GridIron IIs this time, hoping they would give me a little more traction. This turned out to be a great decision. The car was completely planted, and I was able to beat my first round TQ by more than 6 seconds. I would start on the pole for the 30 minute A Main.
My tire of choice for the A Main was a fresh set of AKA Impacts. Everyone got a good clean start, and landed the first double cleanly, then into the 180 degree right hand turn into the big uphill double jump. Hartmuller, who qualified second, hit the uphill double with some extra throttle, and landed in front of my car, taking the lead. He left an opening on the inside, but when I went for it, he shut the door. I hit my brakes hard, but just nicked his rear wheel, sending him flying. There was a small pileup, which allowed Vinkemulder to slip into first place.
Vinkemulder had a good 4 or 5 second lead, but I was able to close the gap, and passed him when he crashed in the 30 foot bump section. More than a few cars made the mistake of trying to go thru this section too fast, with disastrous results. I extended my lead steadily, and was able to maintain my lead over Vinkemulder even after I pitted at the 8:30 mark. Vinkemulder was pitting at 10+ minute intervals, but I was able to race clean most of the race, negating his fuel mileage advantage.
Hartmuller was battling for second and third the entire race, but unfortunately suffered a flameout late in the race. Vinkemulder and Nelson battled for second place for the last few minutes of the race, which allowed me to extend my lead even further. I got a victory lap, and finished on top of the podium.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho / AKA)
2. Dylan Nelson (TLR / ProLine)
3. Don Vinkemulder (TLR / ProLine)
Everything really came together this weekend. I was very consistent with both cars, and my equipment performed flawlessly, so I am very happy with the results. I am very grateful to my sponsors: Sanford and Son RC, Kyosho, KO Propo, AKA, DE Racing, Tekin, TTN Racing, Vision Racing Products and Upgrade RC.
Radio duties for both cars were handled by the KO EX-1 KIY transmitter and KR-413FH receiver. The nitro car was equipped with the KO BSX2 Response H.C. servo for throttle, and both cars used the KO RSX2 Power H.C. servo for steering.
My Kyosho MP9e TKI was powered by the Tekin RX8 Gen2 ESC and Redline T8 Gen2 1900 motor. Both buggies were mounted with AKA GridIron II tires. (I used soft compound AKA Impacts for the 30 minute nitro A Main).
Thank you to Heritage RC Park, and to track manager Anthony Howarth and the track crew for a great job getting the track ready. Thank you also to Jaime B. Leon for helping out in the pits. A special thanks goes to race director Victor Orellana for keeping the program running smoothly, and for a great job on the mic.