Having TQ’d the opening round of 2WD qualifying this morning at the Short Course Showdown Nationwide Tour in Dallas, factory Losi driver Dustin Evans carried his form through to the premiere class putting his TEN-SCTE top of the 4WD time sheets. The largest grid of the five classes running this weekend at Mikes Hobby Shop, Evans once again displayed why he is one of the top electric off road drivers in the world as he finished a lap up on fellow Losi drivers Josh Glancy and Quincy Hughes.
The only driver to post a 17-second lap, Evans joked after the run that it looks like he could be in for an easy day of wrenching with both his trucks are working perfectly. Used to being kept a lot more busy between runs when racing 1:10 buggy, the 25-year-old said the lack of work required in running Short Course is one of the big appeals of the class especially for newcomers. With a reseed to be carried out after the second round of qualifying, Evans expects the competition to hot up for Q3 as the top drivers will get grouped in the same heat. With heads up starts, a format he really likes, the Losi drivers is looking forward to mixing it with his rival picking out Mike Dumas and Quincy Hughes as being potential threats.
Competing only in 4WD, 14-year-old Josh Glancy was very happy with his opening qualifier. Describing his run to the second fastest time as a ‘good clean run’, the promising youngster who comes from a 1:8 Off Road background said his TEN-SCTE was working well but he plans to try a lighter shock set-up for Q2 to try and fine tune the stability of the truck.
Despite traction rolling three times during the 5-minute qualifier, Hughes was happy to set the third fastest time. One of the men to beat on club race nights at Mikes Hobby Shop, the Losi driver will lower the ride height and says he may also take out some droop for Q2.
Responsible for feeding the drivers and teams that make up the 230 plus entry at the final date on the inaugural Short Course Showdown Nationwide Tour, Mike Dumas, who runs the Pickles & Peppers diner located at the track, said he had to make a dash for the drivers’ stand which wasn’t the best way to start his first qualifier. Setting the fourth fastest time, the former onroad ace said his Panther tyred Losi needs improving and he will switch to a harder set-up for Q2. The winner of a hotly contested club race held on the track on Thursday night Dumas is confident he can challenge for the top spot once he gets the truck more to his liking.
Another youngster to get his event off to a strong start was Hunter LaFlower. Making it five Losi’s at the top of the time sheets the 15-year-old, said his truck was really good but pushing a little too hard he made a few mistakes. Liking the flow of the track that Mike Darnell created for this event, LaFlower said his focus for Q2 is to just settle down his driving rather than go messing with his set-up.
Highest place non-Losi for the opening 4WD qualifier was Team Associated’s Brian Kinwald. Starting his heat from the back of the grid, which he said cost him a little time as he worked his way to the front, he once again said he found conditions ‘loose’. Using the same additive as he did in 2WD he said he didn’t switch to additive as he is a little short on his second option and he wants to save that for his 2WD. In an attempt to give his SC-10 a better feeling Kinwald said he will go with a completely different set-up on the rear shocks.
View our event image gallery here.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Losi’s Dustin Evans has topped the opening round of qualifying for 2WD Modified at the fourth and final event on the Short Course Showdown Nationwide Tour which is taking place at the amazing Mikes Model Shop facility in Dallas, Texas. The US 2WD Buggy Champion took his Orion powered Losi XXX-SCT to the fastest time ahead of Team Associated’s Brian Kinwald and Randy Pike’s Tekin powered Losi.
Winner of the second date on the Showdown tour when it stopped off at Trackside Hobbies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Evans was the only driver to record 16 laps as he set the fastest lap of the opening qualifier. Not happy with the performance of his 2WD truck recently, the factory driver said yesterday’s open practice was very productive and he is really happy now with his set-up. Running AKA super soft Wishbones Evans will leave everything as is for the second of the four qualifiers. Asked about the track Evans said it worked well for Short Course and while it looked easy the centre double double was hard to pull off every lap.
The man with the most wins of the tour in 2WD and a legend of Off Road racing Kinwald described his run as ‘loose’. Running JConcept Barcode tyres on his SC-10 the multiple former World Champion put the lack of grip down to the sauce he used on his tyres and plans to try a different sauce for his next run. Really impressed by the facility here at Mikes Hobby Shop, the ‘Dirtinator’ described the track as ‘pretty simple’ but hopes in Q2 he can mount a stronger challenge to Evans.
The team manager at Tekin electronics, Pike ran a fresh set of Panther tyres which he said took a few laps to come in but overall it was a solid first run. Looking to find a little more steering on his XXX-SCT, the racer from California is planning to add some extra weight to the front of his truck.
Also driving a Tekin powered Losi, local track hot shot Quincy Hughes set the fourth fastest time just 6/10th shy of Pike’s time. Making his Short Course Showdown Nationwide Tour debut, Hughes was happy with the performance of his AKA shod truck and says he has no plans to change anything for Q2.
Advising Kinwald on his tyre choices here in Dallas, JConcepts’ Paul Wynn took his Reedy powered Associated to the fifth fastest time. Also finding the track a little ‘slick’, the man responsible for body design at JConcepts has been an A finalist at all previous tour dates and is hopeful he will qualify directly this time round having had to bump up from the B Main at the last two events. Running his latest body creation, the Highflow, which features some nicely moulded air escape holes, Wynn said the size of the track doesn’t realise the full potential of the holes but instead the benefit is the lower weight helping to reduce body roll.
Completing the Top 6 for the opening qualifier was 18-year-old Cody Hollis. Driving a Kyosho Ultima SC, the Oklahoma driver said his truck was not great to drive but by keeping his run clean he was pretty pleased to take sixth. Lacking forward traction he hopes by lengthening the rear camber links he will have a better package for Q2.
In the other 2WD drive classes Kevin McCoy topped the Stock class from Brian Butts while Kent Everett and Ron Simpson set the pace in the Novice and Traxxas Slash Spec classes respectively.
View our event image gallery here.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
It is fair to say that as a sport rc racing has not been great at finding ways to open itself up to new audiences but over in the US one class that is changing all that is Short Course. As a full size motorsport this form of off road truck racing enjoys huge popularity and TV exposure in America and in a trend started by Traxxas the r/c industry has been able to create a partnership with full size teams that has benefited both the team’s big brand sponsors and more importantly hobby shops across the States who now have a product that the general public can instantly recognise.
With the creation of the Slash, Traxxas opened the door for fans of the full size trucks to emulate their favourite drivers with a radio controlled scaled replica that was durable and fun to drive and came ready to run at a price that was affordable to the masses. Now title sponsors of the full size TORC Short Course Championship, Traxxas have created a hugely successful marketing program with a massive presence at each event which exposes the rc sport to a potentially huge new audience. Two of the pioneers of rc offroad racing, Team Associated and Losi have also realised the benefits of being linked with the success of 1:1 scale Short Course racing and have developed their own marketing programs with various teams.
While the manufacturers are enjoying strong sales of Short Course trucks, the big winner is the club racing scene. With the majority of Hobby Shops in the US housing their own tracks, attracting new blood into the sport is vital to their survival and many shop owners have hailed Short Course as one of the greatest things to ever hit the industry.
Looking to raise the profile of the class, well known international race promoter Scotty Ernst this year created the ‘Short Course Showdown Nationwide Tour’ and having heard plenty of hype about the racing Red RC have traveled to Dallas, Texas, for the fourth and final date. Arriving at Mikes Hobby Shop we were immediately blown away by the huge facility. A legend of the sport, Team Associated’s Brian Kinwald summed up just how impressive the place is by saying ‘I could live here’. Making his first visit to the track Losi’s Dustin Evans said the place just blew every other venue in the country away.
Having previously stopped off in Maryland, Wisconsin and California, with Mike Truhe, Steven Hartson, Evans and Kinwald among the winners, the tour has gone from strength to strength with this weekend on target to have over 200 entries booked in. In the premiere 4WD Modified class the large entry is set to make this the biggest Short Course race ever run. In addition to the top category there are also classes for Traxxas Slash, 2WD Novice, 2WD Stock and 2WD Modified. Having today to learn the superb track which shop owner Mike Darnell prepared especially for the Short Course Showdown’s visit, the event gets fully underway tomorrow with the first of three rounds of qualifying.
Supported by Horizon Hobby, Losi and Spektrum, we will bring full coverage of the weekends proceedings starting in the morning with a full round up of the action from the opening qualifier.
View our event image gallery here.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The pre-event favourite to win this year’s 1:8 Offroad European Championships, many onlookers were not convinced that the Warm-up race winner could pull off victory following a below par performance in qualifying but when it counted most Robert Batlle was there to claim his second European title. Moving to Mugen for the 2011 season after the departure of Renaud Savoya, Batlle’s victory marks the fourth consecutive Euros title for Japanese manufacturer.
Having won his first European title in 2007, Batlle said he was delighted to be back on top after three years of being in contention. In what started out as a difficult week for the Spaniard, who struggled to repeat his pace from the warm-up race, he said everything came together for him in the final. Running a different fuel strategy to his rivals Batlle said with one less stop to do that advantage would play out in the final part of the race and it did. Working closely with Novarossi on his preparations for this year’s Euros he thanked the Italian engine manufacturer for making his winning strategy possible.
Having come so close to successfully defending his first EC title in Greece in 2008 until he was hampered by a broken wishbone on his then Hobao buggy, Batlle said this played on his mind for the last five minutes of today’s race. Having to repeatedly tell himself to stay calm over the last few laps he said the finish couldn’t come quick enough. The race was not entirely without incident for Batlle as he earned a ‘Stop & Go’ penalty for cutting the track. He also had a heart stopping moment with Jerome Sartel in the race. Lapping the Agama driver on the run down the straight the two touched wheels with Batlle’s Mugen coming off worse and ending up on its roof at the pit wall.
Securing the honour of Top Qualifier and then winning his Semi to secure pole position for the final, Jerome Aigoin said he wanted to be the winner but so did eleven others and in the end he was ‘very, very happy’ with second having never made the podium at the European Championships before. Describing his Novarossi powered Kyosho as being very close to having the perfect set-up, he said it was a tough race with the aggressive track conditions making it very hard not to make any mistakes.
A driver who knows what it is like to win Europe’s most important race, three time former champion Daniel Reckward said after such a close race he couldn’t be disappointed with third. Switching to a harder set-up on his RB powered Mugen after the Semi, the German said his package was the best it had been all week in the final and he paid particular praise to RB on their new tyres of which he ran the harder compound. The 1998 World Champion, Reckward said there was nothing between himself, Batlle and Aigoin in terms of pace and he was surprised by how little seperated them at the end of the race.
Adding to Reckward’s joy was the performance of his Mugen/RB team-mate Marcel Guske who finished a very impressive 4th. Surprising everyone by qualifying second overall, the 22-year-old recovered from a flame out at the start of his Semi to bump up in to the main for which he started 10th. After a poor start to the main race which left him at the rear of the field the German Nationals podium finisher said once he settled in to a rhythm he was able to cut his way up towards the front and still finish on the lead lap. His first time to contest the European Championship he said at the start of the week the idea of making the final was unimaginable so he was delighted with fourth saying he ‘might have to go and do next year’s Euros’.
The top TLR in the race, finishing fifth one position ahead of team-mate Yannick Aigoin, Martin Bayer felt the speed was there for a better result but two clashes with David Ronnefalk were too costly. The Czech driver said his 8ight felt good in the final but with the pace of the race so fast it was not possible to recover the lost time.
Ronnefalk, who retains his European Junior title, was clearly disappointed with his race finishing in 10th. Surviving a number of engine flame outs, the 15-year-old Swede believes heavy contact with the wall on the main straight caused damage to his throttle linkage. Causing his Orion powered MP9 to stop intermitently on the exit of corners, the factory Kyosho driver could on reflect on what could have been as he showed he had the speed, setting set the fastest lap of the race with Guske the only other driver to record a 28 second lap.
So the 31st running of the 1:8 Buggy EC is in the history books and the dust can now settle for another 12 months. Forced to watch his first final from the sidelines a year can not pass fast enough for Renaud Savoya who has already vowed to take back the title he has held for so long. A unique track that produced an entertaining race we would like to congratulate the MSC Sand club on putting on a well organised event. We would also like to thank our sponsors Team Durango, LRP and Mugen Seiki who made our coverage possible for this event.
Full results of the event can be found here.
View our event image gallery here. Video of the main final to follow.
Saturday, August 6, 2011