With Tyler Vik dominating yesterday’s three rounds of 4WD Buggy Qualifying securing the overall TQ with his Xray, Q4 was about deciding the order of the rest of the grid behind the RC America team driver. Having recorded two 2nd and a 3rd fastest time yesterday, World Champion Steven Hartson finally pulled off a TQ run with the fastest 5-minute time of the weekend. The result sees the Associated driver start the triple a-Main from second on the grid ahead of JR Mitch, the Team Losi Racing driver also completing qualifying with his best run of the weekend with second in Q4 ahead of Vik.
With the local’s dominating proceedings in 2WD buggy, locking out the Top 4 spots on the A-Main grid, in 4WD JC Johnson will head up the local challenge as he lines up fourth with his TLR22-4. Local Associated driver John Walentia completes the top half of the grid ahead of Associated team-manager Brent Thielke while team driver Tanner Denney just scrapes it through as a direct qualifier in 10th position behind top 2WD Mod contender Luke Smith who DNF’d the final qualifier.
4WD Buggy A-Main Grid (B-main winner bumps up)
1. Tyler Vik – Xray – 0 pts
2. Steven Hartson – Associated – 2
3. JR Mitch – TLR – 5
4. JC Johnson – TLR – 5
5. John Walentia – Associated – 8
6. Brent Thielke – Associated – 11
7. Chris Gould – X-Factory – 11
8. Anthony Honstain – Associated – 11
9. Luke Smith – Associated – 12
10.Tanner Denney – Associated – 16
4WD Buggy Qualifying Round 4
1. Steven Hartson – Associated – 21/5:08.207
2. JR Mitch – TLR – 21/5:14.568
3. Tyler Vik – Xray – 20/5:01.259
4. John Walentia – Associated – 20/5:02.289
5. JC Johnson – TLR – 20/5:03.093
6. Anthony Honstain – Associated – 20/5:06.451
7. Brent Thielke – Associated – 20/5:06.957
8. Chris Gould – X-Factory – 20/5:09.669
9. Thomas Tran – Kyosho – 20/5:12.741
10.Nathan Lovelace – Associated – 19/5:05.663
Michael Schoettler is the Top Qualifier of 2WD Mod Buggy at the JConcepts Spring Indoor Nationals. The talented Tacoma teenager secured pole position for this afternoon’s three A-Main encounters with his third & fastest TQ run of the weekend in the final of the qualifiers at the Tacoma R/C Raceway event. The second round of the JConcepts Indoor National Series, Schoettler has stamped his authority on the class with only fellow local racer Luke Smith, who will start second, heading his Associated all weekend when he TQ’d last night’s third qualifier. Of the visiting drivers it is 4WD World Champion Steven Hartson who is the highest qualifier with his Associated set to start 5th just in front of his team-manager Brent Thielke.
The only driver to post a 21-lap run, topping Q4 ahead of JC Johnson, Schoettler was clearly happy at taking the overall TQ honours at what is the biggest event to be hosted at the track of former World finalist Scott Brown. Changing the front axle trailing from 3 to 4mm on his Reedy powered B5M for the closing qualifier, the 18-year-old said this was the best it has been all weekend, the adjustment helping to calm the buggy down. Looking to the finals, he said he is ‘just going to try to drive a clean race and see what happens’ but added that following his Q4 set-up change he is now ‘more comfortable with racing it’.
Changing to a set of tyres that looked very similar to those he used to top Q3, saving those for the finals, Smith said they were not very good and he struggled. The only driver who could challenge Schoettler for the overall TQ honours the 20-year-old would as a result manage only the 6th fastest time. Considering raising the rear ball cup stud for the finals to try make his B5M a little more predictable, he said on his Q3 tyres he knows the buggy is good and he is confident he can have a good race with Schoettler. Happy to wait behind the Top Qualifier for the first few laps he said hopefully the can break away from the pack after which he can then pressure the No.1 car into a mistake.
Enjoying his best qualifier in Q4 with 2nd for the round, Johnson starts the final fourth. The TLR driver feels he is slower than his rivals but got the result because he ‘didn’t wreck’. For the finals he said his plan is to just drive a race that puts him a position to capitalise on any mistakes by the two in front of him.
Having gone up in shock oil on his Kyosho, Ryan Matesa said this made his RB6 more settled but running a worn set of front tyres the pins were too low leaving it aggressive to drive. Posting fourth for the round, that is where the 18-year-old will line up for the final. Going to fit a front tyre with more pin on it for the opening final, he said due to the tight track passing is going to be impossible without errors and he is going to be patient at the start and go from there.
With local’s locking out the Top 4 places on the grid, Hartson heads the challenge of the visiting drivers this being the first time for the JConcepts Indoor National Series regulars to race at Tacoma RC Raceway. The full factory backed Associated driver said his LRP powered B5M is fast but he has not been able to come to terms with the height of the drivers stand. Struggling with jumping out of line through the triple directly below the drivers stand he said he expects a tough race.
Completing qualifying with his best run of the weekend setting the 3rd fastest time, Thielke said relative to Schoettler he has been getting faster every run. Feeling he made a slow start to Q4 losing further time as he started thinking about passing traffic rather that his driving, he said from 3rd to 8th on the grid all the drivers are ‘virtually tied on pace’ and he expects a pretty intense three races.
Starting directly behind Thielke will be Tanner Denney. The 18-year-old was the winner of the opening race of the series, the Winter Indoor National in St.Louis, but has found himself struggling this weekend. Getting off to a slow start in Q4, he said this saw him have to run behind Schoettler for a number of laps and this was very benefical in terms of showing him his lines. Taking 5th for the round, he said while his B5M is fast starting from so far back it going to be hard to do much in the race.
2WD Mod Buggy A-Main Grid (B-main winner bumps up)
1. Michael Schoettler – Associated – 0 pts
2. Luke Smith – Associated – 2
3. JC Johnson – TLR – 6
4. Ryan Matesa – Kyosho – 6
5. Steven Hartson – Associated – 7
6. Brent Theilke – Associated – 8
7. Tanner Denney – Associated – 8
8. JR Mitch – TLR – 12
9. Mike Brown – Schumacher – 14
10.John Walentia – Associated – 15
2WD Mod Buggy Qualifying Round 4
1. Michael Schoettler – Associated – 21/5:14.030
2. JC Johnson – TLR – 20/5:05.909
3. Brent Theilke – Associated – 20/5:07.234
4. Ryan Matesa – Kyosho – 20/5:08.755
5. Tanner Denney – Associated – 20/5:09.338
6. Luke Smith – Associated – 20/5:09.463
7. Mike Brown – Schumacher – 20/5:12.666
8. Steven Hartson – Associated – 20/5:13.464
9. Marty Barnes – Associated – 20/5:14.617
10.John Walentia – Associated – 19/5:01.264
Today’s schedule at the JConcepts Spring Indoor Nationals kicks off with the fourth & final round of qualifying, the best 2 of the four rounds determining the grid for this afternoon’s finals at Tacoma R/C Raceway. Drivers making the A Final will run triple mains with drivers from the lower finals getting the chance to bump up from single mains to become the 11th car on the grid of the main race for each class.
RC America team driver Tyler Vik is the Top Qualifier for 4WD Buggy at the JConcepts Spring Indoor Nationals at Tacoma R/C Racway. The San Francisco driver claimed the honour with his third TQ run of the day but felt he didn’t deserve to top the Q3 saying the only reason he got it was because his rivals crashed more. Running old tyres he said this was a bad decision in terms of his front tyres which were too worn. Running AKA Deja Vu on the rear of his Xray XB4 he said for tomorrow he will run a fresh set of Pin Stripes.
Posting his best run of the weekend JC Johnson was very happy to record the second fastest time. Describing his TLR22-4 as ‘pretty awesome’ he said the handling felt like a slot car. Planning to stick with the set-up for Q4 he said after the race a number of onlookers said his drive train sounded rough and so he will strip down the buggy to check over the belts.
Claiming the third fastest time Steven Hartson said his LRP powered B44.2 was the fastest its been all weekend thanks to his tyres reaching the perfect wear point. Unfortunately a bad closing few laps cost the World Champion his first TQ run. First he got caught up in the aftermath of a crash by Vik crashing into the Xray as it got marshalled. After this he had a coming together with JR Mitch as the TLR driver recovered from an off. To top of the tough ending Hartson rolled just in front of the loop with the marshal throwing him over the loop meaning he had to manually be given a finish time.
4WD Mod Buggy Qualifying Round 3
1. Tyler Vik – Xray – 21/5:12.615
2. JC Johnson – TLR – 21/5:13.670
3. Steven Hartson – Associated – 21/5:14.600
4. Chris Gould – X-Factory – 20/5:04.150
5. John Walentia – Associated – 20/5:05.754
6. Luke Smith – Associated – 20/5:07.965
7. Anthony Honstain – Associated – 20/5:08.439
8. JR Mitch – TLR – 20/5:13.857
9. Tanner Denney – Associated – 20/5:14.079
10.Yoshii Harley – Associated – 20/5:14.256
Luke Smith ended Michael Schoettler’s domination of qualifying at the JConcepts Spring Indoor Nationals at Tacoma R/C Raceway, the Associated driver TQ’ing the penultimate round of qualifying by 1.685 seconds from the Q1 & 2 pace setter. Kyosho driver Ryan Matesa made it an all local Top 3 with Team Associated’s Brent Thielke the best of the visitors with the 5th fastest time.
Making a number of changes to his B5M, Smith said everything worked as expected and he was very happy to pull off a TQ run putting himself in contention for the overall TQ honours going into tomorrow morning’s final qualifier. Having struggled with tyres that didn’t come-in in Q2, for Q3 he switched to a more worn set of AKAs which worked from the start. The 20-year-old ran a stiffer shock package going up in oil as well as changing the front axle trailing from 3 to 4mm on his Reedy powered buggy. Asked about his plans for the final qualifier he said the plan is to leave the set-up but in terms of tyres he might try something different depending on how conditions fare out, the track set to get a watering ahead of the final day of the event.
Suffering a bobble on his opening lap, Schoettler said he was still happy with second for the round. Posting another new fastest lap of the event, the 18-year-old would lose time after suffering a tangle with Thielke but said he threw away the round with some late driver errors as he tried to close down Smith. In terms of his B5M he said his front tyres became too worn causing the front end to become too aggressive adding that he will fit a newer set for tomorrow’s action.
Matesa said he ran a more worn set of JConcept tyres which while making his Orion powered RB6 faster also made it more ‘sketchy’ to drive. With the track set to watered overnight, the local teenager said expects the track to be looser for the final qualifier and with this in mind will run tyres with more thread along with stiffening up his shocks so to make the buggy a little easier to drive.
TLR driver JC Johnson posted the 4th fastest time. Running thicker shock oil in his TLR22 for Q3 he said this allowed him to drive it a little harder. Admitting he doesn’t have the outright speed of Schoettler or Smith he said for the morning he plans to run the same set-up.
Having laid down the early TQ pace, Thielke was very happy with his B5M after a rear ball cup stud adjustment. He said he was also able to put what he learned from running behind Schoettler in Q2 to good use running his fastest lap of the weekend on the second lap of Q3. Unfortunately a misunderstanding by both himself and Schoettler as he tried to let the latter through cost both drivers time as the Associated’s got tangled. Again running JConcepts Barcode tyre on the front of his buggy he said for tomorrow he will probably try running a fresh set along with making a front camber link adjustment to try and sharpen up the steering.
2WD Mod Buggy Qualifying Round 3
1. Luke Smith – Associated – 20/5:02.561
2. Michael Schoettler – Associated – 20/5:04.246
3. Ryan Matesa – Kyosho – 20/5:05.669
4. JC Johnson – TLR – 20/5:06.185
5. Brent Theilke – Associated – 20/5:07.307
6. John Walentia – Associated – 20/5:10.781
7. Tanner Denney – Associated – 20/5:13.581
8. Rudy Rico – Associated – 20/5:13.621
9. Mike Brown – Schumacher – 20/5:13.984
10.Harley Yoshii – Associated – 20/5:14.554
MIP have some shown us some pre production versions of their all new stock class 17.5 Bi-Metal CVA shaft assemblies for use with both rear and mid motor Team Associated B5 buggies. The shaft is made from 7075 aluminium for light weight and features their well known replaceable puck system, while the CVA joint is made from hard to wear steel. Both parts are keyed and are screwed together and work with the standard Associated wheel axles. The final versions will be hard anodised and the complete set comes with the aluminium diff halves, dogbones, CVA joints, puck system and all fasteners and offer considerable weight savings to the drivetrain with the dogbone being 33% lighter than the kit version and the diff halves 44% lighter.