Sanford and Son RC headed out to CVRC Raceway in Chula Vista, CA on September 28th for Round 4 of the TLR Off Road Grand Prix Series. My competition for this event would include TLR’s Don Vinkemulder and Brian Sullivan, XRay’s Mike Moralez, Kyosho teammates Brandon Aymar and Pierre Kiti, and a number of very fast local racers. The track would be watered every other race for both rounds.
1/8 Scale Expert Truggy
The front bearing in my truggy motor had begun leaking during the last round of this series, and the motor was experiencing a noticeable lack of power. I replaced the bearing the night before, and that solved the fuel leak problem. However, the motor still was not producing the power it should. I finished in 2nd place for the first qualifier, but my lap times were more than a full second per lap off the pace. I would just have to try and race clean and hope for the best. In the second qualifier, I again finished 2nd behind TLR’s Sullivan, so I would start 2nd on the grid in the A-Main. The motor’s lack of power made it almost impossible to clear the long triple on the left side of the track, so I had to back off the throttle more than a few times to keep from casing the jump. I found myself in third place with 1 minute left in the A-Main, but managed to catch second place on the final lap. Sullivan ran a good race, and took the top spot. Despite the motor issue, my Kyosho ST-RR EVO on AKA rubber handled very well.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy
For Qualifier 1, I slowly worked my way up from fifth place to first. A small bobble at the end of the race would bump me down to second place for the round. In the second round, it was a battle between myself and Kyosho teammate Brandon Aymar. Due to a near-perfect run, I managed to take the overall TQ, but Brandon was slightly faster, and I knew the A-Main would produce some epic racing.
My prediction for the A-Main would turn out to be true, as I got a good start at the tone, but Brandon squeezed past me in the rhythm section. As we approached the big triple in the back of the track, there was a freight train six or seven cars long. When launching off the triple, I accidentally clipped the rear of Brandon’s car. We both cleared the jump and landed on our wheels, but my front tire was caught in Brandon’s wing and we would require a turn marshall. Meanwhile, we both lost a few places.
On lap 9, the leader’s car (Moralez) caught fire, dropping him out of the race. Brandon and I slowly worked our way up to one and two, but I lost second place to Vinkemulder with a flip in the rhythm section. To make matters worse, I had a mishap entering the pits on one of my pit stops. There was a small roller leading onto the straightaway, and you have the option of either turning left going over the roller onto the straight, or going straight over the roller into the pits. There was a car caught on the pipe just ahead of me to my right as I was approaching the roller, and a turn marshall picked the car up and threw it down right in front of me as I approached the roller. I had two options: hit my brakes and risk getting hit by the traffic behind me, or stay on the throttle over the roller and hit the car that was just marshalled. I punched the throttle, launching my car over the roller and into the entrance of the pits. This would have worked had the marshalled car continued onto the straightaway. Instead, he turned into the pits and I landed right on top of him, flipping my car. By the time my pit man reached me and refueled my car, I lost second place (and precious time) to Vinkemulder. I drove flawlessly the remaining 8 minutes, and closed the gap considerablly, but ran out of time and finished in the final podium spot. I was happy that my Kyosho teammate Brandon Aymar recovered from our first lap mid-air collision to take the victory. My Kyosho MP9 TKI3 on AKA super soft Impacts and DE wheels was dialed.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Kyosho teammate Brandon Aymar for being such a good sport. He realized that our collision going over the triple was an accident, and was a complete gentleman about it. I am just happy that I did not cost Brandon his first place finish. Brandon is always a professional. Congratulations Brandon!
I would also like to thank all of my sponsors for making it happen: Sanford and Son RC, Kyosho, AKA, DE Racing, Track Star RC, Tekin, TTN Racing, Upgrade RC and EKD Paint Labs. Thank you also to TLR and DE Racing for sponsoring this event.