April 12, 2014

Drivers get accustomed to Tacoma RC Raceway


Playing host to its first ever JConcepts Indoor National Series race and being the first time for all of the series’ front running drivers to visit Scott Brown’s Tacoma RC Raceway in Washington State, drivers have used the day to get accustomed to the track. Having run a day of open practice, drivers have had plenty of opportunity to get in a lot of track time but it won’t be until this evening’s single round of controlled practice that will determine the seeding of the heats for tomorrow’s qualifying that we will get an indication of drivers true form.


The biggest winner at the opening round of the series, the JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals in St.Louis, when he took the first big race win for Associated’s new B5 chassis, Tanner Denney has focused his attentions on his 2WD.  Describing his B5M as ‘pretty solid’, the 18-year-old said if he had any complaints about the car was that it was ‘probably too hooked up’.  Making some small chassis changes most of his work over the day has been on tyres with him running JConcepts’ Dirt Web tyre fitted with their new closed cell insert all round which he said is so far working out really well.  His first time to race at Tacoma R/C Raceway, he was complimentary of the layout and the consistency of the dirt but added that the triple section in front of the very high drivers stand is even after many runs ‘still tricky’.  Having run his 4WD Buggy a few times over the day he said it is fast but he is not comfortable with it and he needs to work on it for qualifying.


Splitting his attentions equally between his 2WD and 4WD Buggies, Steven Hartson said overall he was pretty happy with how his Associated’s feel on track adding that he’ll have a better idea of where he’s at when the seeding run is complete.  Focusing on getting tyres ready for qualifying he said he has changed little or nothing on his set-ups saying the track has improved over the day with the narrow racing line starting to widen up by the end of the open practice.  Running gold compound Dirt Webs on his 2WD and the rear of his 4WD with Gold Barcodes on the front, he said they feel good but the World Champion feels that once qualifying starts tyre wear could get high and so he may need to change from this.

JR Mitch

Winner of 4WD Buggy at the season opener, Team Losi Racing’s JR Mitch said both his 4WD Buggy and Short Course were running good but it was his 2WD buggy that was the ‘problem child’.  Changing the set-up on his TLR22 every run the Florida driver said while he can get one fast lap out of it he needs to find more consistency. Asked about the track he said having been a friend of Scott Brown for over 20-years it was great to finally come and race at his track which he said is ‘pretty fun’ to drive with the triple/chicane section in front of the drivers stand throwing up a bit of a challenge.

Brent Thielke

Associated Team Mananger Brent Thielke was pleased with the amount of running he managed to fit in with his B5M saying its the first real opportunity he’s had to do multi runs with the new car.  Working mainly on tyre prep for qualifying and on getting a feel for JConcepts’ new Dirt Tech closed cell insert, he said he is ‘pretty happy’ with how both his buggies are running, him also running 4WD Buggy.  Commenting on the track he said he ‘love(s) it’ adding that it has ‘nothing stupid’ yet its ‘still challenging’ and in terms of the surface its proving really consistent.

Jason Ruona

The founder of JConcepts, Jason Ruona is back again racing in his own series having enjoyed his outing at the season opener so much.  ‘Racing for fun’, turning up with just his car & radio with Thielke charging his batteries for him, the former top international racer is running in 2WD Buggy and 2WD ‘Classic’ and is happy with how both cars have been running.  Describing the track as ‘fun’ he said while he is used to high driver stands back home in Florida this one is extremely high and it makes the judgement of the front section tough.  Talking about his company’s new insert he said they have have made a step forward with Dirt Tech in terms of durability.  On a track like this where wear is low meaning tyres will be used more than normal he said this is good test for the new insert.


MIP/Schumacher driver Matt Olson is another on his first visit to the track and he was happy with how his day’s practice had gone.  A multiple JConcepts Indoor Nationals 4WD Short Course race winner, he said his MIP Pro4mance truck is good but still learning his Schumacher Cougar SV2 ride he said it was ‘phenomenally good’. With only 10 battery packs through the buggy since signing to run the British company’s buggies he said despite its looks, him describing the non cab forward bodyshell as looking like it ‘waffle stomped’, the mid motor buggy is running really well and its now a game of tyres.


‘Surprisingly good’ was how Xray’s Tyler Vik summed up his practice.  Trying ‘to run as much as (he) can’, he said both his 2WD and 4WD chassis felt really good all day.  Running a ball diff in his 2WD, he said he would also like to try the ball diff in his XB4 which he has been running with kit supplied gear diff.  Using AKA’s new Deja Vu tyre on the rear of both buggies with the new Pin Stripe on front of the 4WD and Typo on his 2WD, he is pleased with how they are working.  While ‘fun to drive’ he said racing could get ‘pretty scary’ due to the tight racing line.

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