Sanford and Son RC headed out to OCRC Raceway in Huntington Beach, CA on January 18th for Round 3 of the JConcepts Top Notch Winter Series. The Top Notch Series (TNS) is an 8-race points based series, run at various tracks throughout Southern California. Last season, TNS averaged 230 entries per round and features race announcer “Notch” Johnson. Over $10,000 in prizes and cash payouts were given out last season. OCRC Raceway is the site of this year’s Reedy Race of Champions.
My competition for this event would include Team Associated’s Kevin Motter, Nick Wautlett and Wayne Wyrick, TLR’s James Raschko and David Jenson, Tekno RC’s Rudy Rico, Mugen’s Tim Long, Serpent’s Matt Schreffler, and a number of very fast local racers. There would be two rounds of 5 minute qualifiers, followed by 5 minute A Mains. Announcing would be handled by Notch Johnson. There were approximately 180 entries this round.
1/8 Scale eBuggy
There were 10 racers in this class, and we were all placed in one heat. The layout was very tight, with a number of 180 degree turns, S-turns, and two table-top jumps into immediate 90 degree turns. Because of the tight layout, I elected to replace my usual Tekin 2050kV motor with the new T8i (Indoor) motor. The weight savings would make my Kyosho MP9e TKI more nimble. It proved to be a wise choice, as my car was unbelievable in the turns. I was also trying some new tires, the AKA clay Handlebars. The track was very abrasive, and was brutal on tires. Everyone was running on slicks by the end of the night, but the AKA clay Handlebars just got better and better. With 10 cars on a small layout, the racing was very tight. I drew number 7 on the grid, and got caught in traffic a number of times, but managed to get the win. In the second qualifier, one of the other drivers stuffed the pipe three times right in front of me, but I still managed to better my own TQ. In the A Main, I started on the pole, and was able to get a great start and never looked back. The car was perfect, and I made a mistake-free run, taking the win. I can honestly say that my Kyosho MP9e TKI 3 on AKA clay Handlebar tires, with the Tekin RX8 Gen 2 and T8i motor, has never performed better on an indoor track!
1/8 Scale eBuggy finishing order:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
2. Rudy Rico (Tekno RC)
3. Matt Schreffler (Serpent)
Open 2wd Truck
There were only two entries in the Mod Truck class this round, so we were combined with the 2wd Mod Short Course trucks. In practice, my usual clay tires did not have very much grip, so I decided to go with Super Soft tires in the first qualifier. The grip was a little better, and I finished first. In the second qualifier, I went back to the clay tires, but sauced them heavily. The truck had so much more grip, and my lap times were considerably better. The RT6 handled perfectly, and I bettered my TQ from the first qualifier. In the A Main, I got off to a great start and took the win. My RT6 with the Tekin RSX and Redline Gen 2 5.5 motor is a blast to drive.
Open 2wd Truck finishing order:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
2. John Schultz (Coyote Hobbies, running Kyosho RT6)
2wd Mod Buggy
This class had two heats, and I was in the first heat. My RB6 felt good, and I finished second to Kevin Motter in my race. However, I would qualify in 5th place overall for the round. I made a setup change to try to get a little more steering, but the change caused the car to traction roll a few times. After the second round of qualifying, qualifiers two thru five qualified within 2 seconds of each other, and I would start fifth on the grid for the A Main. In the A Main, I got a good start and quickly moved up to fourth place. I battled Serpent’s Matt Schreffler for third place for most of the race, and got to within a second of the second place car. Time ran out, and I finished third on the podium. My RB6, equipped with AKA clay Typo tires, Tekin RSX and Redline Gen 2 7.5 motor was fantastic.
2wd Mod Buggy finishing order:
1. Kevin Motter (Team Associated)
2. Nick Wautlett (Team Associated)
3. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
I want to take this opportunity to thank Kyosho teammate Matt Castellano for helping me get my Kyosho RB6 mid-motor car set up last weekend.
I would like to thank all of my sponsors for making it happen: Sanford and Son RC, Kyosho, AKA, DE Racing, Tekin, TTN Racing and Upgrade RC. Thanks also to JConcepts and DE Racing for sponsoring this series, and to the OCRC track crew and owner Rob Black, and race announcer Notch Johnson for putting on this Top Notch event. I am looking forward to round 4 of the TNS Winter Series at ADRC Raceway on February 8.