Sanford and Son RC headed out to Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA on September 17th for Round 4 of the Summer Series. The layout for this track was created by the world famous Joey Christensen of The Dirt Racing. There were a number of outdoor and indoor races in the area on the same day, so the turnout was light, but the good news is that there would be 20 entries in the 1/8 scale EBuggy class! The race would consist of two five-minute qualifiers and 30 minute A Mains for the nitro classes, and 7 minute triple A Mains for the electric classes. The track would be watered every other heat.
The main competition for this round would include TLR’s Don Vinkemulder, Tyler Hicks from Team Associated, Tekno RC racers Adam Schick, Art Sanfratello and Pres Ilog, HB Racing’s Jose Castelan, Chris Melero of Agama, fellow Kyosho drivers Anthony Howarth and Loch Stigre, and a number of fast local racers.
1/8 Scale Electric Buggy
I was able to get in a little practice before qualifying, and the E Buggy was good, but the car wasn’t rotating as well in the turns as I would have liked. It felt like the car had a little too much rear grip in the turns. I raised the inner rear camber links, and the car rotated much better. There would be 20 entries in the class, so they split us up into two heats. I would be in the first heat, and the track would be watered. I got off to a good start, and held the early lead. AKA/Tekno driver Ilog would press me early on, but I drove a clean, patient race. I would set the first round TQ (which held up in the second heat), and I just missed an extra lap, finishing Q1 with an 11 lap 5:01 run.
The setup change mentioned earlier helped, but I wanted to free up the rear end even more, so I moved the rear hubs forward 2 millimeters. The car was even better thru the turns in Q2, but the track was dry this round, and the car was a little bit loose. My lap times were quicker, but I made a few mistakes. I won my heat, but was unable to better my round one TQ. My Q1 TQ held up thru the second heat, and I would start the triple A Mains from the pole position.
For the mains, I compromised on the rear hubs and moved them back 1 millimeter. The setup change was spot on. I got a great start in A1, and was able to lead the race from start to finish, without any mistakes. A2 started, and I got a great hole shot. Kyosho driver Loch Stigre ran a good race, but I was able to pull away for the win. My two wins in the first two A Mains meant that I would be able to sit out A3, and finish at the top of the podium.
1/8 Scale E Buggy Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho / AKA)
2. Loch Stigre (Kyosho / AKA)
3. Adam Schick (Tekno / AKA)
1/8 Scale Expert Nitro Buggy
I jumped out to an early lead in Q1 of the Expert Nitro class, but another car, who had crashed on the turn before the straight, re-entered the track on the straight and took me out. I was fortunate to land on my wheels, but the incident knocked me down to third place. I stayed clean the rest of the race, and was able to take the win by one second, but the incident cost me an extra lap. I would have to settle for an 11 lap, 5:01 run.
In Q2 on a watered track, the car was fantastic, and I settled into an early groove. Howarth and Vinkemulder pushed me throughout the race, but I had a mistake free run. I won Q2 by 2 seconds, and got my 12 lap run, finishing with a victory lap. I would qualify first for the 30 minute A Main.
My tire of choice for the A Main was a fresh set of soft compound AKA Impacts. The tires held up very well for the entire 30 minutes, and there is enough tread left on the tires for a future practice run or two.
Grip had been coming up all day, and the car felt like it was just on the edge of traction rolling thru the high speed corners, so I decided to raise the rear inner camber link position for the A Main. It turned out to be a great choice. I could hammer the throttle thru the high speed turns, and the car stayed planted. I got the hole shot at the start of the tone, and was able to avoid getting taken out on the first turn. Howarth was right on my rear bumper, and we both pulled away after the first few laps. After the high uphill roller in the back right corner, I had too much throttle thru the rutted section. I caught a rut and bobbled, allowing Howarth to slip by. I stayed with him for the next few laps. I was patient, and eventually retook the lead.
My pit man got me in and out of the pits very quickly, and the tune on the motor was perfect. I was able to relax and get into a good rhythm. Howarth retired on lap 28 with a blown diff, and Vinkemulder was having motor issues, so I was able to pull away to a comfortable lead, and cruised the final few laps to victory.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho / AKA)
2. Don Vinkemulder (TLR / ProLine)
3. Jose Castelan (Hot Bodies / Proline)
Everything really came together again this weekend. My equipment and tires performed perfectly all day, so I would like to say thank you to all 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 soft compound AKA GridIron II tires. (I used soft compound AKA Impact tires 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 race director Victor Orellana for keeping the program running smoothly, and for a great job on the mic.