JConcepts TNS Series, Round 2

Sanford and Son RC headed out to Coyote Hobbies in Victorville, CA for the 2nd Round of the JConcepts TNS Series. We had a practice day on Friday, December 26, with two rounds of 5 minute qualifiers and 5 minute A Mains on Saturday. There were 260+ entries for this round.

The competition for this round would include Matt Olson of MIP, Travis Brock of TLR, Nick Wautlet of Team Associated, Andrew Smolnik of Hobby Pro USA, Tyler Robinson of Mugen, TTN teammate Bryan Payton, and Kyosho teammates Cody Turner and James Raschko.


1/8 Scale E Buggy

We were not planning on attending this race, but found out that the 1/8 scale eBuggy class would be combined with the eBuggy Lite class. We decided to put the Kyosho MP9e on a diet and see how she would perform against the eBuggy Lites, some of which weigh more than 600 grams lighter than the MP9e in stock form. We built up a brand new MP9e, but incorporated a number of carbon fiber parts and a titanium screw kit. With the lightweight Tekin T8i motor and RX8 Gen 2 ESC we were able to knock the overall weight of the MP9e down to 3140 grams. We would still be 440 grams heavier than Matt Olson’s MIP Pro8, but the car felt fantastic in practice on Friday, so we were looking forward to some great competition.

There were two heats of 1/8 Scale E Buggy, and I would be in the second heat with Olson. For Saturday’s first qualifier, I mounted up a set of AKA Clay Typos. Olson got out to an early lead, but as the clay Typos got heated up, the Kyosho got better and better. I took the lead on lap five. On lap nine, Olson broke an axle pin and had to retire. However, Brock had a good run in the first heat, so I knew I could not let up. I got stuck behind traffic briefly, but was able to get thru with only about a 2 second delay. Right before the straight, there was a tricky left hand turn combined with a double jump, and on the final lap, about 50 feet from the finish line, I landed the jump a little sideways and traction rolled. I sat on my lid for a good 5 seconds until the marshall rescued me. I finished with the TQ, but I knew the time would not hold up.

In the second qualifier, the track was very wet, and I had trouble clearing the triple jump in the middle of the track. On lap two, I lawn-darted the triple and bent the front shock tower. The car was sliding thru the turns. Olson had a good run however, topping my first round TQ time by two seconds. The crash on the final lap in Q1 had definitely cost me the TQ, and I would start second on the pole to Olson. I checked my lap times for Q2 and they were almost a full second per lap slower than my lap times for Q1. However, my first round Fast Five, Fast 10 and Fast 15 lap times were still .2 seconds per lap faster than Olson’s TQ time in Round 2, so I knew I had a good chance in the A Main.

I had no idea how wet the track would be for the A Main, and I debated switching to some Super Soft tires, but instead opted to replace the Clay Typos with a set of Clay Typos that were much more broken in. It proved to be a good choice, because in the A Main, the car felt the best it had all weekend.

Olson and I both got out to a good start in the A Main, and we started to pull away from the field. Early in the race, I went too wide on the sweeper at the end of the straight and traction rolled. I dropped to fourth place as two other cars passed me. My MP9e was locked in though, and I quickly made my way back into second place. I was gradually reducing Olson’s lead as I got into a groove. Olson’s lead was less than two seconds when I got stuck behind a crashed car in the middle of the track. I lost valuable time to Olson, who was throwing down consistent laps. I again worked my way up to within a few car lengths when I was slammed into the pipe by traffic. Time was running out, and I pushed the MP9e as hard as I could for the remaining two minutes, but fell about two seconds short, finishing up in second place to Olson. Kudos to Matt for running a near-perfect A Main, and providing some great competition the entire day!

I cannot express how happy I am with the performance of my Kyosho MP9e TKI on AKA clay Typos. The Tekin T8i motor and RX8 Gen 2 ESC was perfect for the very small Coyote Hobbies layout, and even though the car was 440 grams heavier than some of the eBuggy Lite cars, with the correct tires, the MP9e still ran slightly faster lap times.

1/8 Scale E Buggy Final Results:

1. Matt Olson (MIP)
2. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
3. Tyler Robinson (Mugen)

I also raced 2wd Mod Buggy. There were 33 racers in this class. In practice on Friday, the Kyosho RB6 was on rails with AKA Chainlink rears and Typo fronts, both in clay compound. However, on Saturday I had a disastrous Q1, as the car was sliding all over the track. Before Q2, I broke out the dremel and made a full set of slicks from some Clay Typos. The car was much better in Q2, and I was in second place, a few seconds behind teammate Cody Turner with two laps to go. I made two careless crashes on the final two laps and slipped to fourth place for the heat, but most importantly, slipped out of the A Main and qualified 6th in the B Main.

I ran the slicks in the B Main, and the car was very good. However, at the start, there was a massive pile up in the uphill left hander, and I was caught up. By the time the marshalls got it sorted, I dropped to tenth (last) place. I ran a perfect race for the remaining laps, and was able to work my way all the way up to third place with just a few laps to go. I pressed hard, and was closing on the second place car driven by Smolnik, but I ran out of time and missed the bump to the A Main by less than 1 second.

My Kyosho RB6, equipped with the Tekin RSX with the Redline Gen2 7.5 motor was very good.

As always, the KO Propo EX-1 KIY transmitter performed flawlessly with the KO Propo KR-413FH receivers in both cars. Servo duties were handled by the BSx2 Response H.C. in the RB6, and the RSx2 Power H.C. in the MP9e.

I would like to thank all of my sponsors for making it happen: Sanford and Son RC, Kyosho, KO Propo, AKA, DE Racing, Tekin, TTN Racing and Upgrade RC.

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