Saturday , 20 July 2024

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up

Capping off a great SoCal U4RC Summer Series was the 2018 U4RC Summer Nationals held at Cherry Valley RC Raceway. The actual race was Saturday, however the track was available on Friday for open practice. I’m glad I spent the extra time because Chris (the owner) had re-worked areas of the track, in some ways a bit more difficult as well!

Axial RR10 Bomber

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up
(Photo Credit: James C. Goad Photography)

My initial thought when showing up on Friday was to put 90% of focus on the Bomber, 10% on the DB48. That, of course, all changed after the first practice run. The RR10 Bomber was working fantastic – easy to drive, cornered well, handled the rocks and jumps great. I put two packs through it and was convinced the Bomber would be great for tomorrow’s race.

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up2.2 Solid Axle – Qualifying
The RR10 was fantastic through qualifying, even so with the track being much more challenging than ever! As long as I took my time and hit my marks, it seemed this car would be untouchable! My hard work finding a setup seemed to have paid off, ending qualifying with a 11-second TQ over 2nd place. This was certainly a confidence builder going into the mains.

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up2.2 Solid Axle Main Event
At the tone, I got a good launch and made my way through the left-side switchbacks in first place. Shortly after, Michael Pham made a great move for the lead, catching me a bit off guard. About 2 turns later, we touched – total racing incident – and unfortunately Pham got the worst of it. In the following rock garden, my RR10 bounced to the outside of the rocks and ended up on its lid (this seems to be a common thing at the beginning of all my races!). That cost me about 4 positions and, as usual, I had to play catch-up!

I passed Pham by the end of the lap and Jesse Villa on the next lap, but two mistakes had me on my lid and losing the positions again. Ok, we were a couple laps in – it was hammer time, and I put my head down and started clicking off some good laps. A couple mistakes from competitors and I was in the lead, keeping a calm pace and never looking back!

Retirement from the RR10 Bomber class was actually a real possibility, but now that I’ve found the setup that works for me, I’m more excited than ever to keep driving it! The 2018 U4RC Winter Season can’t come quick enough!

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up

A huge thanks to those that have supported me and the RR10 Bomber so far!
Car: Axial Racing RR10 Bomber
Servo: Hitec D-951TW High Torque Titanium Gear Servo
ESC: Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored ESC
Motor: Castle Creations 1406 Sensored 4600kV Brushless Motor
Battery: MaxAmps 6500mAh 2S 7.4v LiPo Battery
Wheels: Axial Racing 2.2 Walker Evans Wheels
Tires: Pro-Line Racing Hyrax 2.2″ G8 Rock Terrain Tires
Radio System: Futaba 4PX Computerized Radio System
Paint: Sharkbait Designworks

Tekno RC DB48

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up
(Photo Credit: James C. Goad Photography)

When I thought the ratio of practice would be 90% Bomber / 10% DB48, you can imagine my surprise when the Bomber was on-fire good and the Tekno RC DB48 felt off-the-pace.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it was blazin’ around the track, but the right switchbacks were really causing me some grief. For the life of me I couldn’t get this rig to rotate, even with some pretty major tuning for the entire day of Friday. Come Saturday, I was still tweaking on it but, as I would find out AFTER the Main event, steering was the least of my worries.

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up2.2 Unlimited – Qualifying
In Q1, I was on a blistering pace, even throwing down a lap time of 51 seconds, easily 8 seconds faster than the next Unlimited car. Half-way through the run, though, the DB48 just stopped; no steering, no throttle. I walked down the driver’s stand, thinking something failed (it was near 100°), but then noticed that it had re-gained power. I ran back up the driver’s stand and finished off my run, qualifying 7th overall.

In Q2, everything seemed fine. I set TQ over second place by 22 seconds! I guess the shut-off gremlins had figured themselves out. Ya, ok…

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up2.2 Unlimited Main Event
At the tone, I got another great start and was leading the pack through the switchbacks. A bad deflection through the U-rocks had me pointing the wrong direction and by the time I got turned around, Cherry Valley track owner Chris Pickering had made his way past. It took me a full lap to catch him; a slight mistake on his part allowed me to pass without incident. Ok, I’m back in the lead, time to pull away…

A couple turns later, the DB48 came to a stop, ironically in exactly the same place it did in the first qualifier! A tap from behind by another vehicle and it was going again, but now the fear of “what the heck is going on” was looming in my head.

At this point, I figured if it was going to fail, it’s going to fail. No need to baby it, let’s push hard get some work done. Unfortunately, this is not my typical driving style, so in my pursuit of Chris, I was making a whole lot of mistakes. That, in combination with the DB48 randomly cutting out, made for a very hard time catching Chris.

On lap 9, someone hit the timing loop (HARD!) and jacked up the scoring for a moment. It showed Chris in 3rd, even though he was actually leading the race. I think that got into his head and he started driving a little more erratically than normal. This helped me quickly reel him in and, as we crossed the start/finish line with only 10 seconds left, I knew I had to make my move! Luckily, he made a mistake at the backside of the track and I was able to squeak by, holding the lead and taking home the National title in 2.2 Unlimited.

I absolutely love this class, but it does pose a major beating on the cars. I was extremely lucky to win this race … and a great race it was! I’m sure Chris will be gunning for me next season!

2018 U4RC Summer Nationals Wrap Up

The Tekno DB48 is by far the best 2.2 Unlimited rig out there! A HUGE thanks goes out to them and the other manufacturers that have supported me!
Car: Tekno DB48
Servo: Futaba BLS1755SV S.Bus2 HT Programmable Servo
ESC: Tekin RX8 Gen2 Brushless ESC
Motor: Castle Creations 1515 Y Sensored 2200kV Brushless Motor
Battery: MaxAmps 5450mAh 3S 11.1v LiPo Battery
Wheels: Vanquish KMC 2.2 XD229 Machete Aluminum Wheels
Tires: Pro-Line Racing Hyrax 2.2″ G8 Rock Terrain Tires
Radio System: Futaba 4PX Computerized Radio System
Paint: Sharkbait Designworks

Axial Racing, available at AMain Hobbies
Tekno RC, available at AMain Hobbies
Castle Creations, available at AMain Hobbies
Futaba, available at AMain Hobbies
Hitec, available at AMain Hobbies
Pro-Line, available at AMain Hobbies
RPM RC Products
Sharkbait Designworks
Tekin, available at AMain Hobbies
Vanquish Products, available at AMain Hobbies

About Tony Phalen

Tony Phalen - As an avid RC enthusiast, Tony has been building, bashing and racing RC Cars for over 30 years. He has participated in every kind of surface racing events - 1/18 scale trucks, 1/10 scale TC, Rock Racers, Rally - if it had wheels, he's raced it! He's also worked on both sides of the industry fence; collaborating with many major manufacturers (as well as being a sponsored driver) to working for a high-profile industry magazine. During this time he has learned many tricks, tips and techniques and is sharing that knowledge on CompetitionX - the most informative RC website on the internet!

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