Last week the 1/10th 2013 IFMAR World championship were held at the fantastic Silver Dollar Raceway, Owned by A Main Hobbies in Chico, CA, USA.
The first thing you think of when you arrive in Chico is that its a small farmers town with not much going on, until you see the mecca of RC tracks that it homes! Silver Dollar is a simple sublime facility with the huge backing of A Main hobbies it really is the Carlsberg of RC tracks! The drivers stand is vast and very inviting for racers and spectators, the pits are very well engineered and a comfortable place to be and the track? Well the track speaks for itself. Beautifully crafter dirt to make not only a fantastic looking track, but also one that was great to drive on.
The track crew was headed up by Kevin Jelich, and I could not give more praise for the effort and professionalism I saw from this guy and his crew. We had a number of rain days, and when I say rain, I mean RAIN. The track was basically flooded and it happened the night before 2wd finals. Everyone said the race was over for 2wd and that there would be no chance to race… Think again! Kevin was at that track through the night pumping off water and then a crew of about 20 A main guys worked relentlessly through the day to get the track up and running. Run we did and if anything, the track had more grip! truly awesome.
Onto some racing
I was accompanied by my TRF team mates and Tamiya drivers Marc Rheinard, Satoshi Maezumi. Ryuya Kato, JB, Tom Wright, Abby and the crazy Aussie Tod Trower.
We were running the new TRF201XM car with a few tweaks that we worked out while at the pre worlds. From the get go our cars were good. A few more tweaks here and there and we were all running competitive times.
After practise I seeded up 2nd overall showing the pace of the car and my components. Running the new PL Phantom body that I helped to design and it was working and looking great! The body gives really good stability without loosing any steering, also another vital part of this body is the rear fin, but due to IFMAR rules, this was not allowed.
Qualifying was as ever, a nerve racking time at the worlds. Will you be fast and consistent enough? Will you make mistakes? will you crumble? Luckily, everything went well. I TQed 1 round and took 2 x 4ths in the other 2. In round 3 I would not finish after running strong due to a broken Idler gear. With my scores and the rain not allowing round 5 to run, I would place 3rd overall on the grid.
Finals were tough and exciting, the first jump caused a few problems for all. After leading in every leg, it just was not to be that I could get the win. I did though win the final leg to claim 2nd overall. Still an awesome result and I’m extremely happy with it.
During practise my 511 prototype was running very strong! putting in fastest laps and trading with the fastest guys there. I seeded 5th after practise and knew I was in with a good chance. Also running the new PL Phantom body!
Qualifying: This did not go exactly to plan, but running strong in most rounds gave me the scores of: 3-4-4-8-10 to place me 5th on the grid. I had a huge crash with another driver in the later practise rounds and my car was never quite as good after that, but it was still going well and with this track layout, anything can happen in the finals.
Finals: Well anything did happen……. but not for me. I had 2 DNF’s in leg 2 and 3. Drivetrain issues being the reason, a broken spur and a snapped drive pin. I would end up 10th overall due to this but happy knowing I was on pace, just lady luck deserted me. The finals would be extremely exciting for everyone to watch, with 6th and 8th on the grid battling for the World Championship on the last lap of leg 3! you really have to watch it to believe it. Watch it at www.neobuggy.net
Congrats to Jared Tebo and Steven Hartson on their respective world titles.
I would also like to thank my sponsors personally:
Tamiya TRF – Cars
Viper – ESC
Pro Line Racing – Tyres and Bodies
Xpert RC – Servos Available at LMR Shop.
Protek RC – Lipos and accessories
A Main Hobbies – Support
Muchmore Racing – Motor and accessories
Stick it 1 Racing – Decals and wraps
Ultimate Racing – Oils and accessories available at LMR Shop
Nibbo Designs – Clothing
Also I would like to say a huge congrats and pat on the back for the whole A main hobbies crew. The track workers, Staff, organisation, bosses…. everyone! Never have I seen so much exposure to the outside world as this. They had TV advertising on local stations, Radio adverts, Flyers, I think everyone in town knew what was going on. We would enter shops and people would ask us how the racing was going, quite surreal. Also on Saturday night A main Hobbies put on a firework display and activity day for locals. They had try me traxxis cars, multiple food wagons and lots going on, but the fireworks display was truly amazing. It is probably the best display I have ever seen and I would do the worlds again just for that experience. As those of you who follow me will know that fireworks day has a very special place in my heart, so this really brought a tear to my eye. Thank you!