Sanford and Son RC headed out to Dialed In RC Raceway in Victorville, CA on April 2nd for Round 1 of the 2016 JBRL Nitro Series. The nitro classes would consist of two 5-minute qualifiers and the Mains. The eBuggy class would consist of two 5-minute qualifiers and a 10-minute A-Main. Attendance was great, with a little over 250 entries!
The competition for this round would include Spencer Rivkin, Kody Numedahl, Dayton Brown, Cody Turner, Jake Mayo and Jeff Guest from Team Associated, Mugen’s Adam Drake and Steve Harris, TLR’s Ryan Maifield, Tanner Denney, Mark Pavidis and Kevin Motter, Kyosho drivers Cody King and Colin Herzig, Drew Moller, Jeremy Kortz and some very fast local drivers.
This would be the first test of my new Kyosho MP9 TKI4, as I finished the build just a couple of days before the race. While the build went quite well, we arrived at the track on Friday for some practice, and I discovered that the car was very hard to drive smoothly, as the throttle was acting like a light switch. Even the smallest pull of the trigger would open up the throttle almost half way. To make things worse, during Saturday morning’s practice session, the steering servo was starting to twitch badly. I re-binded the radio with the receiver, but that did not solve the problem.
Next, I swapped out the throttle servo with a new one, and then scavenged the steering servo from my truggy and put it in the nitro buggy. After re-adjusting everything, the situation was better, but something was still not right. I would have to get used to the feel of the throttle, as I had no more backup servos. Also, when I went to practice with the eBuggy, those servos were also acting wacky. I swapped the leads on the throttle and steering servos of the nitro buggy, and determined that the radio was in fact the problem. I did not have a backup radio on hand, so I would have to go with what I had. Right before racing started, I decided to put the two suspect servos into the truggy, as I really wanted to run three classes. I would not get a chance to practice with the truggy at all, so I would have to wait until Q1 of my truggy race to see how the truggy would perform.
1/8 Scale Expert Nitro Buggy
The inconsistent throttle did make the car hard to drive, but even so, I was amazed how good the new TKI4 felt. The car had better steering overall, and the corner speed was noticeably better than the TKI3 had ever been.
I would struggle in Q1, but had a much better run in Q2. I narrowly missed the A-Main, qualifying 1st in the B-Main. I had a 9-lap 5:06 run, as did the 9th, 10th and 11th A-Main qualifiers, and I missed qualifying 8th in the A-Main by less than a second.
With 13 cars in the B-Main, the start was messy. I landed the very first double jump to the left of the pipe, and had to wait for a break in traffic. I got back on the track in 6th place. I drove hard, and gradually worked my way back up to second place behind Jake Mayo. I tucked in right behind Mayo and raced clean, finishing the 12 minute race in 2nd place. I would bump up to the A-Main.
In the A-Main, I got a great start and drove around a first corner pileup, moving immediately from 13th place to 5th, but before I got to the next corner, I slammed into another pileup. I was marshalled right back into last place. I pressed as hard as I could, but with the throttle issue, I could not drive hard and clean. I made too many mistakes, and finished 11th. Kyosho teammate Cody King would take the top podium spot.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Results:
1. Cody King (Kyosho)
2. Kody Numedahl (Team Associated)
3. Adam Drake (Mugen)
11. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
1/8 Scale Electric Buggy
The eBuggy was suffering from the same radio issue as the nitro buggy, and was extremely hard to drive consistently. I did not have a good first qualifier, but ran a flawless Q2, moving myself all the way up from the bottom of the B-Main to a 9-th place start in the A-Main.
In the A-Main, I got caught up in a pileup in the very first corner, and got taken out no less than 5 times throughout the race. I would finish 8th overall, out of 33 entries.
1/8 Scale E Buggy Results:
1. Tanner Denney (TLR)
2. Ryan Maifield (TLR)
3. Kody Numedahl (Team Associated)
8. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
Although the truggy suffered from the same radio issue as the other two cars, it was easier to drive, probably because I am full throttle just about everywhere. In Q1, the truck felt okay, but it was almost a second and a half off the pace. In Q2, I took out some droop front and rear, to minimize weight transfer when accelerating and decelerating, hoping this would give me more consistent traction. The truck was much better, but still a few tenths off the pace. I qualified 4th in the A-Main, right behind Adam Drake.
For the A-Main, I took a little more droop out of the rear of the truck, and the truck was unbelievable. It handled much better thru the long S-section, and I finally had the speed I needed. Rivkin broke away from the pack early, and Drake and I traded third and fourth place a couple of times early in the race. About 6 minutes in, I was going over the huge step-down jump on the left side, with Drake right behind me. Drake tried an inside pass on the downhill jump, but caught my wing. We both required a turn marshall, but fortunately I was able to increase my lead over Drake to about 4 seconds.
Drake pitted at about 8 minutes. By the time I pitted (at 9:30), I had a 7 second lead over Drake, but then lost it all with a slow pit stop. I came out of the pits in fourth place, almost two seconds behind Drake.
I still had plenty of time left in the 15 minute Main, and had pulled to within a second of third place. With a minute and a half left, another truck flipped on the uphill double jump right in front of me. I avoided the overturned truck, but in so doing, I got out of shape for the giant downhill jump and crashed. I would have to settle for a fourth place finish.
1. Spencer Rivkin(Team Associated)
2. Tanner Denney (TLR)
3. Adam Drake (Mugen)
4. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
After resetting everything on my radio to factory settings, then recreating all my models, I reset all the trim settings, and my radio and servos are working perfectly on all three cars again.
I am happy that my radio issues are behind me now, and I am looking forward to the next race. I am especially excited to see what the new TKI4 can do with the electronics working properly.
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 all cars were handled by the KO EX-1 KIY transmitter and KR-413FH receiver. The nitro car and truck were equipped with the KO BSX2 Response H.C. servo for throttle, and all three 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. The Kyosho ST-RR Evo 2 truggy was mounted with soft compound AKA Evo GridIron tires.
Thank you to Dialed In RC Raceway, and to Jimmy Babcock for running and announcing this great event.
Steve Burgess of Rugspin Graphix was on hand taking photos of the event, and we would like to thank him for the awesome pictures.