Car: Team Associated RC10 B5 Motor: Reedy Sonic Mach2 8.0 ESC: Reedy prototype Batteries: Reedy 5800 65C SQ Radio/Servo: Airtronics
Associated team manager Brent Thielke is running the all new B5 in rear motor configuration here in St Louis. Having only run the car for a limited time before coming to the JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals he is still learning how to get the most from this all new platform but compared to his B4 he says it feels more solid on track with the car more responsive to the drivers input. BT is also running a number of soon to be released Factory Team option parts on his car including blue anodised aluminium rear hubs which are more durable and offer finer roll centre adjustment through the use of a vertical ball stud. Other optional parts include an aluminium steering set, aluminium rear arm mounts, aluminium front pin brace and graphite battery strap.
Steven Hartson is Top Qualifier of 4WD Buggy at the JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals at SmacTrac, St.Louis, the Associated driver securing the honour as team-mate Tanner Denney topped the fourth & final qualifier. Running in the C heat, Denney posted the fastest qualifier of the weekend finishing 1.4 seconds up on Xray’s Josh Wheeler. The only driver who could challenge Hartson for pole in the Main, JR Mitch looked on target to take Q4 but a late mistake dropped the Q3 Top Qualifier down the order with the Team Losi Racing driver only able to recover to take third just in front of Hartson. As a result Mitch will start third on the grid behind the B44.2’s of Hartson and Denney while Wheeler’s XB4 starts fourth.
Hartson said although Q4 was yet another rough round, he was ‘happy enough’ to take the overall TQ honours. The World Champion said his Reedy powered buggy is working well but traffic issues on the small track has left him a little frustrated. Looking ahead to the final, which will see 11 cars take the start as the B-Main winner bumps up, he said he hopes he can get ‘rid of the magnet’ that has been causing so many cars to tangle with him in the last two qualifiers. Expecting his biggest challenger to be Denney, he said based on Mitch’s pace in the final qualifier he too should be in the mix adding that the Florida driver was probably a little faster in Q4 than he was.
Denney said he ‘just got lucky’ with taking the final qualifier as both Mitch and Hartson had pretty significant errors in their heat. Describing his buggy as pretty easy to drive and having good speed, he said while ‘glad to TQ the round’ he wasn’t happy with how he drove for the 5-minutes as he had a few bobbles. Turning down his EPA for the final qualifier this made the car ‘a lot easier to drive’ and going into the final he is confident he can push Hartson for the win.
Asked about his error in Q4, Mitch replied ‘I kind of blinked I guess’. Happy with his TLR22-4 set-up, he said its quick enough to race for the win and he expects it to be a good race. Asked about overtaking opportunities he said with the track very dusty offline its going to be a case of forcing the driver ahead to overdrive and get out of the rather narrow groove.
Having already wrapped up the overall TQ for 2WD in last night’s third qualifier, Denney again topped the times with his new B5 taking the final round from the on pace TLR of JP Richards. Just 24/1000th off Denney time, Richards will start the A-Main from second on the grid. Putting in his best qualifier, Team Associated’s Brent Thielke set the third fastest time for the round but it is Team Losi Racing young gun Taylor Larsen, despite a poor final qualifier, who will line up third on the grid. Having started the event strong with a TQ run in the opening 2WD qualifier, Hartson has had a rough event since with Q4 proving his most frustrating run yet. Needing to be marshalled on the first lap and his ongoing issues with traffic he was unable to recover any ground finishing well down the order. With a 6th in Q3 to go with his Round 1, he will line up fourth on the grid followed by Thielke and TLR’s Cody Hollis.
In some of the other key classes at the opening round of the 2014 JConcepts Indoor National Series, offroad r/c legend Brian Kinwald took TQ hnours for 2WD Short Course over Hollis. In 4WD SC, Mitch will carry No.1 on his TLR SCTE 2.0 with Randy Cuthcart lining up second. In Mod Truck it is Hartson’s T4.2 who will lead away the grid followed by the TLR22T of Larsen.
4WD Buggy A-Main Grid (B-main winner bumps up)
1. Steven Hartson – Team Associated – 0 pts
2. Tanner Denney – Team Associated – 2
3. JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 2
4. Josh Wheeler – Team Xray – 5
5. Mitchel Gardner – Kyosho – 6
6. Cody Hollis – Team Losi Racing – 8
7. Nick Gibson – Team Associated – 12
8. JP Richards – Team Losi Racing – 13
9. Brent Thielke – Team Associated – 13
10.Chris Baumgartner – Team Associated – 13
2WD Buggy A-Main Grid (B-main winner bumps up)
1. Tanner Denney – Team Associated – 0 pts
2. JP Richards – Team Losi Racing – 4
3. Taylor Larsen – Team Losi Racing – 6
4. Steven Hartson – Team Associated – 6
5. Brent Thielke – Team Associated – 7
6. Cody Hollis – Team Losi Racing – 7
7. Trevor Nault – Team Associated – 8
8. JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 11
9. Matt Gosch – Team Associated – 14
10.Luke Richards – Kyosho – 14
With the Team Associated B5 making its race debut here in at the JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals in St Louis we took a look at Associated’s latest offering alongside a replica of its 1994 offering to see how the cars have progressed over the past 20 years. What better person to do this with than 2-time World Champion Brian Kinwald who is running both cars this weekend. Talking with the Dirtinator, who managed to turn the same fastest lap with both cars, he says the biggest difference over the two decades have been electronics but in terms of chassis the main change has been suspension with the modern cars better able to cope with bumps. With the on track performance not noticeably different between both cars on this small tight smooth track, putting them together on a larger track with bigger jumps would greater expose the Classic’s weaknesses with its modern counterpart able to jump, land and corner at high speeds better, all incremental improvements that would add up to a faster lap time. But in general however the fundamentals of both cars are the same with 20 years of evolution, as well as better materials and electronics, giving us a lower, lighter faster machine that can better cope with today’s more challenging tracks which have also evolved into the well groomed & sculpted facilities that we run on today.
The final day of the opening round of the 2014 JConcepts Indoor National Series has arrived but before the Mains get underway there is one final round of qualifying to complete. With the original schedule for the Winter Indoor Nationals at SmacTrac in St.Louis set to consist of three rounds of qualifying, yesterday evening it was announced that a fourth would be added. With two from the four rounds to count the addition of the extra round opens things right back up in terms of the grids although Tanner Denney has already wrapped up the overall TQ for 2WD buggy.
Tanner Denney has claimed the first major TQ for Team Associated’s all new B5, the 18-year-old taking the honour of Top Qualifier in 2WD Buggy at the opening round of the JConcepts Indoor National Series in St.Louis. Having TQ’d Q2, the Arizona driver backed up his 21-lap run with another in Q3 to put the pole position beyond reach of his only potential rival for the top spot, team-mate Steven Hartson. Despite a late decision by the organisers of the Winter Indoor Nationals to add a fourth round of qualifying at the SmacTrac, Hartson’s 20-lap topping Q1 pace means that if if he was to TQ the final qualifier he would loose on tie break a 22-lap run needed is beyond even the World Champion.
Pleased at being the driver to claim the B5’s first significant achievement on what is the new platforms debut race weekend, Denney said he couldn’t have asked for more from it. Running a fully stock kit, the Arizona driver hasn’t changed anything since first laying it down on the track yesterday morning adding that he has tested its strength a number of times with it passing the test with ease. Commenting on his Q3 run, he said he made a couple of mistakes early in the run but able to ‘regroup’ he was able to take the round. Despite feeling the groove had got even smaller and describing the conditions as ‘very loose’ he was able to set a new fastest lap in the round with posting a 14.233 lap. Looking forward to the finals, the rest of the grid set to be determined in the morning’s newly added fourth qualifier, Denney said TLR driver JP Richards who again finished second fastest to him in Q3 is ‘fast’. While Hartson had a rough Q2 & 3 he said his team-mate is always going to be factor no matter where he starts the race from. With the winner of the B-main set to bump up making for an 11-car grid, he added on such a small track that everyone is going to be a factor. Predicting that they will catch traffic within a minute he said he has to be patient but joked ‘everyone knows I not the most patient driver’.
Having led Q3 for a time from Denney, Richards said his TLR22 was ‘great’ but again traffic was an issue. Coming up on 6-cars at the log section he said they wrecked in front of him and this cost him ‘a lot’ of time. Finishing the qualifier within a second of Denney just missing out 21-laps, the 20-year-old said for the final qualifier he hopes to have better luck with traffic as his buggy has good pace and is really easy to drive. Commenting on the 11-car grid for the final, the Ohio driver said it was going to be ‘a little hectic’ and like Denney believes they will be lapping just after the 1-minute mark.
Team Losi Racing’s Taylor Larsen made it a repeat of the Q2 Top 3 as he again took his TLR22 to the third fastest time. The 15-year-old had one crash which he said ‘cost him a bunch’ adding the track had got really ‘slick’. Happy with his rear motor configuration, his team-mates Cody Hollis and JR Mitch running mid motor, he said with two 3rds the plan for the morning’s final qualifier is to ‘try and squeeze out a TQ run’.
After starting the day off perfectly with a TQ run in Q1, Hartson could only manage 6th in Q3 behind Trevor Nault and Hollis. Having struggled after switching to a larger pin tyre for Q2 believing it would better suit the dusty conditions, he reverted to his Q1 tyres for Q3 but he struggled adding he is a little lost now in terms of his tyre choice for the dusty conditions.
In the third of the 4WD Buggy qualifiers JR Mitch took his first TQ run of the weekend, his TLR22-4 just .262 faster than Denney’s B44.2 with Hollis third. Changing to Gold compound on his Barcodes/Dirt Webs combination he said it was more down to consistent driving rather than the change of tyre that helped him to take the round. For Q4 he said he will revert back to the green compound feeling they offered him slightly better traction. Having taken the first two qualifiers, just like in 2WD it was a rough third 4WD qualifier for Hartson with the World Champion only 10th fastest. The result means the honour of overall TQ will be decided between Hartson and Mitch in the morning’s fourth qualifier.