2014 Silver State – Victory for McBride and Kyosho!

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Another Silver State is in the books, and it was rough in more ways than one. Cody was pleased to grid up 4th in the buggy main, and bump into the Truggy main.

I have to tell you, the conditions were brutal. It went from water every round, to a completely dry blown out track on Sunday. Due to the extremely windy conditions, it just wasn’t possible to water on Sunday. We made some adjustments for the rough loamy conditions, and finished qualifying well, but adjusting to the dry track was difficult. We rolled the dice to stick with the softer settings and paid the price for it. Cody ran X3 Bigblox in the buggy final, and the tires were good, but we needed stiffer rear springs and more traditional diff fluids. I have to give the McBrides credit for making the right adjustments. They had a more traditional set-up and it was obviously better with the pace they had. Sometimes you just don’t know what you have until you throw it down for the main.

It was great to have Yuichi Kanai over from Japan. He enjoys Vegas because this is where he won the worlds in 2000. I helped pit him in his races, and he finished 2nd in the 40+ buggy class.

That’s pretty much all we have to say for now, as we are already on the way to Neobuggy and on a layover in Minneapolis. Neobuggy should be quite different as the surface is more controlled. We are pumped to use last years set-up with a few tweaks to get more speed this year.

Here are a few pictures:

2014 JBRL Series is Under Way

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The 2014 JBRL nitro series got under way this weekend, and in spite of a busy schedule, we were able to attend. We drove out to Thunder Alley RC Raceway Friday afternoon to get some practice for Saturday’s race. All of practice we were trying some different shock setups and got my buggy pretty good. My Kyosho teammate from Australia Kyle McBride was here preparing for Silver State, so it was good to see him and his dad out here racing.

 Truggy:

We would not be able to get the truggy on the track for practice at all on Friday, so the first qualifier would be my first run with the truck. Racing started early Saturday morning and truggy was up first. In the first round Drew Moller, Adam Drake, and myself would have a very close race. Drew had a little crash over one of the many difficult jumps on the track and that would move me to second only 1.4 seconds off of Adam.  It felt good to be on pace without any practice. For the second qualifier I had some settings on the radio wrong, and I had to pull off. 3 other drivers from round 2 would beat my time and put me 5th on the grid for the 15 minute main. The truggy main was very exciting as Adam and I would battle for the entire main. I would make the final pass with about 4 minutes left and pull about a one second gap and hold it there for the win. Drake would end up 2nd and Team Kyosho’s Kyle McBride would end up 3rd. I ran Proline M3 Holeshots on my truck.

 Buggy:

The first round of buggy I would get TQ, with Drake 2nd and Kyle McBride 3rd. In the second round I could not better my time from the first round and Drake would end up beating my time by about 2 seconds. I would be 2nd on the grid and Moller 3rd. At the start of the main it was a lot like truggy, Drake and I were battling and I finally got by. After Drake went in for fuel, I was just cruising around and I had a problem. For some reason my throttle response was bad, because of what I think now is a receiver battery issue or bad connection with the battery. I cased a jump and crashed. After that I went in for fuel and when I came out Adam was in front of me because of the crash. I worked hard and did cut down his lead but ran out of time. I finished 2nd and Drew Moller was 3rd. My tire of choice was Proline M4 Holeshot 2.0 on the Proline stiff rim.

Wrap-up:

So after the first round, I gave up 2 points to Adam in the buggy class, and I’m leading the truggy class by one point. It’s too bad about falling behind in buggy, but it’s ok with 6 rounds yet to go. I also wanted to mention Kyle McBride ran the e-buggy class and won, which is pretty impressive for him to come in from Australia and beat Adam in his own back yard. I want to give a special thanks to my Dad for all his hard work. Even though he was sick, he was still sitting out in the cold helping me. Also Levi Jackson, Rob Jackson and the JBRL crew for a fun event. Thanks everyone!! (Photos courtesy of Rugspin Graphix. Thanks Steve!)

2014 Psycho Nitro Blast- Winner, Winner, Waffle House Dinner!

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We headed down to Georgia for the Psycho Nitro Blast and a crazy few days of racing!

Practice went well, but the track got difficult for qualifying. The first qualifier was going well as I was battling with Carson Wernimont for the TQ in buggy, but I had a problem and DNFd. That re-sorted me into the bottom group the following day. Q2 was rough as I think I got together with every car on the track. I still collected 8 points though, and it gave me a shot to get into the main. Q3 was really important for me and I refocused and put in the best run I could. The traffic was much better this time and I had a clean run, which gave me 5 points for the round and a free pass into the A Final where I lined up 7th.

In truggy, we were having similar issues with set-up and just general struggles. I managed to qualify 6th on the grid for Truggy. The conditions were brutal being very rough and loose, as well as changing all the time. I had tons of steering and the truck was loose in the rear, so we made some adjustments. My truck was much better in the main, but it was a little difficult to get used to the changes. Obviously it was good because I had second fast lap behind Barry Pettit. I was running in second after my last pit stop, and it looked like Drake was too far ahead, but then he stopped for a splash of fuel. I felt like I had a chance to win, but a few mistakes let Adam get away and take the win. I held on for 2nd and Carson Wernimont finished 3rd.

The buggy main was a real battle, and the buggies reacted twice as much as the truggies on the rough parts of the track. Again we made some big changes to the set-up because we knew what we needed to do. The tire choice was tough, but I was on X4 holeshots earlier in the week on a similar track, so I felt good about choosing X4 compound for the final. You can’t imagine how difficult it was because there was really only one fast line around the track, and in some places it was only a foot wide. It was definitely all about avoiding the holes and bumps. I was real happy with my car in the main, and I just managed the track and tried not to push too much.  My plan worked out because Carson and Barry were driving a little harder and crashed more. The X4 Blockades definitely came in about 10 minutes into the race once they got scuffed in. My Reds R7 Evoke engine was so amazing, it was smooth and the fuel mileage made me comfortable to know I had one less pit stop than most of the guys. Barry Pettit challenged me late in the race, but I managed to get the lead back and cruised the last few laps for the buggy win. Mugen teammates Barry Pettit and Carson Wernimont were battling for 2nd on the last lap, and Barry would keep it clean to nail down the 2nd spot, with Carson 3rd. Feels good to win one after all the seconds and thirds.

My car and equipment were so good this week. I ran Proline X4 Blockades on my buggy for the final, and M3 Holeshots on the truck. We ran 30% nitro Byron Worlds Blend fuel.

Big shout out to the Reds crew. They had our pit area sorted out, so thanks Jamey Powell, Casey Wilson and Alex Pilson for handling things. Also big shout out to Absolute Hobbyz who helped us get out to the race this year. Huge thanks to the PNB organization for putting on this unique and fun event. We hope to be back next year.

Here are some pictures and some video from the race:

 

Pro Buggy Final:

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Rocket Cars:

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2014 The Dirt Nitro Challenge Wrap-up, Cody Kaaang Report

“It’s called the Nitro ‘Challenge’, not the Nitro ‘Easy’..” - Joey Christensen

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No, it’s not called the Nitro Easy.. in fact, I don’t think the word easy was uttered the entire week (except when discussing how easy it would be to knock down the set of 9 jumps in the center of the track). There was a lot of pressure on Joey to change the notorious 9 pack, but in his usual calm confident manner, he stuck to his guns and left it alone. Guess what happened! People figured out how to get through it without crashing. Many of the pro drivers were singling the last 3 bumps if that’s what it took to stay on their wheels. Tip of the cap to Joe Dirt for once again pushing the drivers beyond their limit, and into the realm of “track management.” Cody was able to do triple, triple, double, single most of the buggy main and not crash (much).

The track was quite difficult because there was a lot of track jammed into the Fear Farm 1/8 scale track real estate. I heard someone say it was like Palm Desert and Thunder Alley joined together, and I have to agree. Very busy and it would take a lot of good driving to negotiate the many narrow lanes with 45+ second lap times. On top of the complexity was the limited practice, and changing track conditions, making it in fact a real challenge. The track was quite loose Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with the grip coming up at night. What you end up with is a real test of man, machine, and knowledge.

Qualifying

dustytrackDuring qualifying the track was quite loose, so much so that we started doing things to the cars for more grip. We used softer springs and lightened the center diff fluid in both cars. This was working because Cody’s pace was improving. In buggy Cody’s points were 13-6-3, which placed him 6th on the grid for the buggy final. 3 points the final round of buggy was a nice way to wrap up qualifying. Truggy was more of a mixed bag, with 5-4-6, which placed him 5th on the truggy grid.. We still felt like the truck was getting easier to drive. The e-buggy was ok, and his points were 9-5-23, which put him 9th on the grid for the final.

E-Buggy

The e-buggy final was a nice surprise, because we didn’t have very big expectations. Cody turned down the initial power on his ESC before the main, and it was better. I think the problem with the 1/8 electric stuff is too much bottom power. Cody moved forward from 9th on the grid, and after racing for 8 minutes, finished 4th. The guys were only able to do 12 laps in 8 minutes, so the entire thing came down to a 12 lap dash. The new Team Orion ESC and motors did great all week, with Cody’s team mate David Ronnefalk winning with the Kyosho MP9 and new Orion ESC and motor.

Truggy Main

As I mentioned before, the track was extremely loose earlier in the week, and even for the A main warm-up on Saturday it was still very loose. The traction really came up by the time the Truggy main came along, and frankly it threw us off. With our loose track set-up, Cody just had way too much traction in the rear, and not enough drive to get out of the corners. I give the other guys credit if they figured out the traction before the race. Cody deserves a lot of credit for driving hard even with a slightly wrong set-up. He drove into 2nd place and was able to maintain that comfortably until the first pit stop, but then a corner marshal rolled Mike Truhe’s truck right in front of Cody on the front straight and Cody just t-boned the Serpent truck full speed. I’m surprised they weren’t both broken with the severity of the impact. After the collision, Cody had some issues with his brakes. It was hard to get the truck going again after using the brakes because the linkage got mashed in the collision. After this it was just a battle for 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  Racing for 45 minutes, it becomes apparent when you are a couple tenths off the pace. If we could do it over again, we would thicken the center diff oil and increase the anti squat to 3 degrees. Cody just had too much grip for the high traction conditions, and could not get out of the corners with the lighter center diff fluid. He was really giving up time to the other guys with a bunch of front wheel spin. Cody ended up 6th in the end.

Buggy Main

For the buggy final we anticipated more grip, but still got surprised a bit. We did plan for traction because we learned something from the truggy race, but still there was too much traction. AdrienNot making excuses, just learning from it. Also we were attached to our previous set-up and felt confident in that, but if we could do it over again, we would reduce the rear toe-in, crank in -3 camber, and mount a set of big blox tires to try in warm-up. We ran them on this track before and they were really good. I’m kicking myself for not trying them. David Ronnefalk had slightly less rear toe in on his car, and that seems like it was the right thing to do. This would loosen the car up a bit and provide more straight line speed. Adrien Bertin was pitting with David all week and he is really good with the chassis settings, so that probably helped those guys.

Cody had a problem early in the race, but it was totally unavoidable. Right from the tone, the car behind was pressing from the right side and contacted Cody’s car 10 meters into the race. I’m not sure what it is about the start of some of these races, but it would be good if the drivers relax a little. You can’t win a 45 minute race in the first corner. Cody was trying to avoid the car to the right and behind him and hit a slower car in front which sent him to the back right away.  To me that’s just bad luck. We feel pretty good about Cody’s pace on the track considering the chassis settings could have been better. Cody just had too much traction and was on edge a lot. He bested Ty’s fast lap, which tells me we had a chance for a better result. Cody also fought off a hard charging Ryan Cavalieri, which is no easy task. Those guys were determined to do well with their new car, and it’s tough to beat them when they are hungry like that. After battling for 45 minutes, Cody ended up 5th.

Wrap-up

car1We had very good fuel economy at this event. We were literally on a 12:50 per tank fuel consumption pace the last round of buggy qualifying, and we were looking forward to stop at 11:15 in the main. Since the traction was higher Saturday and Sunday night, our fuel economy went down to 11:20 pace so we had to dial it back to 10 minute stops. We will continue working with Reds and I’m sure we can get back up to 12+ minutes per tank.

It was sad to see Cody’s team mate David Ronnefalk struggle with a couple flame outs when his pace was very good. It would have been nice to see him race the entire final, but overall the Kyosho cars looked good out there. We were really happy with our tires in all 3 classes, running M3 Proline Blockades in all 3 finals.

We have to be proud of decent showings in all 3 classes, but a little disappointed finishing 4th, 5th, and 6th. We’ve been talking about Cody getting close so many times, and we came up short this time. Of course we want to win, so we will just regroup and get ready for the next one. We feel good across the board about all Cody’s equipment, so we just have to have all the stars line up and we will close the deal. It felt really good we went through all 3 mains with no issues, because the last two years we had something go wrong. So I guess I can keep my job one more month..

Congratulations to Ty Tessman on his impressive double win, and Proline for winning Buggy and Truggy! Also David Ronnefalk, Kyosho and Orion on the E-buggy win!

Thanks for reading. Please enjoy the gallery and video..

 

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