Sanford and Son RC headed out to our local track, Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA for Round 3 of the Pro-Line Championship Series. Turnout was not the greatest, due to the threat of continued rain, but the track crew worked hard to keep this round from being cancelled. Some much needed track maintenance delayed our start time, so our normal 7 minute qualifiers were reduced to 5 minutes. The good news was that the track would require no watering at any time during the day. A small layout change was made in order to get around a particularly wet part of the track. The new feature added was a fun little S-section.
The competition for this round would include TLR’s Brian Sullivan and Don Vinkemulder, Mugen drivers Robert Wickham and Jaime Boquiren, and some very fast local racers.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy
I was not able to get a practice day in on Friday, due to the rain, and we got a 1:00 PM start instead of the usual 10:00 AM start. After the track crew got the track drivable, I was able to get in about 15 minutes of practice. The car felt good, so I made no setup changes.
For Q1, I bolted up a fresh set of AKA Soft GridIron II tires. The car felt a little loose in the rear, but that could have been due to some sawdust that the track crew had thrown down to soak up the rainwater. I was having a good run until I caught a rut on the right-hand turn at the end of the straight and flipped. I lost about 5 seconds until the turn marshal could get to me. I slipped from first place to fifth. I had a great run from that point on, and was able to gradually work my way back up to the lead. I got in an extra lap, and got the first round TQ.
For Q2, I moved the rear shocks out on the tower to get more grip, and my lap times were almost a second faster. A few laps in, I was approaching a 90 degree right hand turn before a table top jump. The car in front of me went wide, so I took the inside and hit the throttle for the jump. However, the other car blasted back to the inside and we collided in the air on the takeoff. My car was upside down and backward in the air. I cranked the wheels hard right and punched the throttle, and miraculously, the car righted itself and landed on all four wheels, pointed in the right direction. I bettered my first round TQ by almost 9 seconds and would start on the pole for the 30-minute A Main.
At the start of the A Main, the cars in the middle of the starting grid got into each other on the first uphill turn, causing a small pileup. Vinkemulder and I pulled away early. I gradually stretched to a 12 second lead, and would pit at the 8:30 mark. My pit man did a great job, and got me out of the pits with an 8 second lead. By the 10 minute mark, I had stretched my lead to almost a lap.
On lap 31, Vinkemulder suffered a flameout, and Sullivan inherited second place. Wickham and Sullivan had a good battle as I increased my lead. I had a couple of small rollovers, but was able to finish the race almost a lap up on the field.
After the shock position change, my Kyosho MP9 TKI3 on AKA rubber and DE Racing SpeedLine Plus wheels was phenomenal.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
2. Brian Sullivan (TLR)
3. Robert Wickham (Mugen)
1/8 Scale E Buggy
For both qualifiers of E Buggy, I opted for a set of Soft AKA GridIron IIs tires, and it was a good choice. The car was very planted, and easy to drive. In fact, my lap times were a couple of tenths quicker than those of my nitro car. Usually it is the other way around. It may have had something to do to the rain-dampened track surface. In any event, the car felt fantastic! In Q1, I had a perfect run, and would get the first round TQ. In Q2, Gil Alontaga and Lock Stigre pressed me hard for most of the race, but I ran mistake free. I missed my first round TQ by less than a second, but would start first in the 10 minute A Main.
I got a great start in the Main, and pulled out to an early lead over the field. My Kyosho MP9e TKI, with the Tekin RX8 Gen2 and Redline T8 Gen2 1900 motor was fantastic. The AKA GridIron II tires on DE Racing SpeedLine Plus wheels were amazing. Stigre and Galontaga ran a great race, but I ran the entire 10 minute Main mistake free, and finished on top of the podium.
1/8 Scale E-Buggy Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho/Tekin)
2. Loch Stigre (TLR)
3. Gil Alontaga (Mugen)
For all three rounds of the series so far, I was able to earn the TQ and the win in Expert Buggy and E-Buggy. The fourth and final round will be on May 30.
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.
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.
Thank you to Heritage RC Park, to track manager Gil Alontaga and the entire track crew for overcoming the prior day’s rain and allowing us to race this round. A special thanks goes to Pro-Line for sponsoring this great series.