|Road Course Class Champions
World G.T. 13.5 - Presented by TM R/C Racing: Josh Cyrul
Touring Amateur 17.5 - Presented by Trinity / Epic: Donovan Pinkerton
1/12 GTP 17.5 - Presented by TOP Racing: Andrew Knapp
Touring Expert 17.5 - Presented by Xenon Racing Products: Mike Haynes
1/12 GTP Modified - Presented by Viper R/C: Josh Cyrul
Touring Stock 17.5 - Presented by Team Tekin: Austin Harrision
1/12 GTP 13.5- Presented by Competition Electronics: Mike Dumas
Touring Modified - Presented by Thunder Power R/C: Jilles Groskamp
|Oval Winners Class Champions
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies: Steve Pemberton
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT: Chris Odom
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports: Tommy Peters
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S.: Monti Panzica
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing: Bryan Mansfield
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP: Kevin Koback
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics: Chris Clayton
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C: Andy McClellan
Oval A-mains *coming soon*
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies:
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT:
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports:
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S.:
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing:
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP:
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics:
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C:
World G.T. 13.5 - Sponsored by TM R/C Racing: The big story in the big pan cars was TQ Josh Cyrul's half lap trouncing of the field, getting up onto the 28th lap all by his lonesome. About half a lap back was the fields best hope at reigning in the top qualifier, 2nd place Mike Dumas, who made quite a comeback to competitive racing this weekend with good showings in all his classes. With Dumas as the exception, everyone else was about a lap or more back on raw pace and would need a sizeable shakeup at the front to have a shot at the palm tree trophy. That shot would never come, as the tone went off and the field of graphite slabs vaulted away, most everyone got a clean start including the two leaders who immediately begun gapping the field. By the end of the first minute both leaders could see traffic ahead and Cyrul had a comfortable 1 to 2 corner lead over Dumas, but the lap times told a more interesting story. By lap 6 and 7, fast laps were being logged and Dumas set the stage for another 4 minutes of suspense by going 2/10ths faster than Cyrul. At the halfway point Dumas had steadily closed the gap down to just one corner, but Cyrul was constantly dealing with lapped traffic and his lap times were suffering for it. Both drivers were throwing their cars around, Dumas chasing, Cyrul running, and it showed. In the absolute center of the track, where the oval layout doesn't intrude, both cars were bicycling on the right hander leading back towards the drivers stand. Could one or both traction roll in the heat of battle, ruining a great race? At the 4:05 mark, Dumas tapped a board losing a couple seconds. With less than a minute to go and Cyrul lapping cleanly, Dumas went for broke clipping every apex with zero margin for safety, reeling Cyrul in to a gap of 0.8 of a second. The tone erupted from the announcers booth, leaders on their last lap both dealing with courteous lapped traffic, through the infield and approaching the last chicane. If Dumas had a chance, Cyrul would have to make a mistake here in the last corners. But out onto the backstraight safely, Cyrul had sliced through the last chicane without incident and blasted across the line for the win. Dumas was right behind him for the second place finishing position, with Marcus Mobers rounding out the top three as the only other car remaining on the lead lap.
Touring Amateur 17.5 - Sponsored by Trinity / Epic: Ten racers with something to prove is a great recipe for exciting racing, and these amateurs did not dissappoint! Right at the start, TQ Donovan Pinkerton gave us something to gasp at by traction rolling out of the lead. 2nd Qualifier Rodney Barrett was quick to snatch that lead and proceeded to run away with it. Tucker Moore stormed up through the back half of the field from his 9th place starting position like a Spanish bull runner getting as far as 5th by the second lap. Pinkerton's acrobatics relegated him to 4th in these opening laps, with Jason Graham and Brandon Skewes trading paint for the 2nd and 3rd positions. Barrett's reign at the top was short lived though, as in two laps kind of short, with carnage taking him out of the lead and eventually the race. The ensuing mayhem shuffled Pinkerton, Graham, Skewes and the marauding Moore throughout the next few laps. It wasn't until the halfway point around lap 12 that things started to take shape. Pinkerton got by Graham for the race lead, but no sooner had he broken free from the pack, Pinkerton heard the call from race announcer John Catricala that Moore was still charging forward. Taking Skewes for 3rd a lap before swindling 2nd from Graham, Moore wasn't out of steam dispite coming from 75 feet back at the start of this roller coaster A-main. With a minute and a half to go the three leaders were dealing with heavy traffic. Pinkerton had the plow down with Moore and Graham in hot pursuit, one and two corners back respectively, trying to stay in the leaders clean wake. Catricala's calls for courtesy sent the back markers scrambling for high ground as the clock wound down on the Moore-Graham freight train. The last seconds saw all three weave through the final chicane and out onto the back straightaway where 3rd place Graham was caught dead at the line. Moore's longshot race was granted one final lap by the racing gods, but victory would require a last lap pass on Pinkerton who had just clicked off his personal best on the lap prior. From a gap of essentially nothing just two laps earlier, Pinkerton proved persistent as he put together a perfect last lap, exited the chicane out onto the back straightaway and took his maiden amateur win! For his troubles, Moore rolled home 1.5sec behind after an exhilirating come from behind attack to claim second place.
1/12 GTP 17.5 - Sponsored by TOP Racing: In what can only be described as a supremely stacked class of talent, the slowest of the doorstops took to the track for eight minutes of processional awesomeness! The opening lap chaos claimed Larry Fairtrace and Sal Amato who eventually battled back to midpack finishes. TQ Andrew Knapp led a freight train of pursuers past the one minute mark, including EJ Evans (2nd) and Kenny Lambert (3rd), who by lap 4 had settled in to claim their trophies on the podium later in the evening. But a lack of pass completions didn't dampen what was otherwise an exciting exchange between the 2nd-5th runners. By the two minute mark, Knapp had a 2 second gap on the battle for 2nd which was getting hot and heavy. Lambert had tapped out allowing Evans into that 2nd place position, but managed to keep the pressure on Evans for a few laps, peeking underneath in the infield sections of the track. Evans put the hammer down and put in enough perfect laps to gap Lambert during the middle portion of the race. Meanwhile, 3rd place Lambert fell into the clutches of Naoki Watanabe who, dispite not completing the pass, put on a clinic in how to rub fenders, tiny, little, highly flexible fenders on twitchy cars that are visibly indifferentiatable at speed, and somehow never violated Lambert's racing line. Talk about supremely respectful racing! But again, no passing actually took place. Behind this quiet duo was the Robinson, Fairtrace, Amato lineup who were clicking off laptimes on par with the leaders, just half a lap back and stuck in position. The halway mark saw all the battles subside for the next two minutes as the racers presumably regrouped to ponder their lack of overtaking. With 1:30 to go Lambert had reeled Evans back in, leaving Watanabe to deal with the encrouching Robinson. As Lambert's infield pace nipped away at Evan's buffer, Robinson brought all the frustration of the midpackers to bear on what was left of Watanabe's charge. With just a minute to go, Robinson made the move and made it stick. You read it right, a pass completion! And if that wasn't exciting enough, two corners ahead Lambert was once again peeking down the inside line on Evans at every apex. On what would end up being his penultimate lap, Evans had to lift in the middle of the chicane to avoid tapping the third island. That small error took just long enough to bring Lambert alongside, but the only room Evans left was on the outside line. Lambert took it cleanly and out onto the back straightaway they drag raced across the loop for their final lap. The clock expired with only the top three on the lead lap. Knapp was now 4 seconds clear of the fender banging battle for 2nd place, one more clean lap from the win. All eyes were on Evans and Lambert with Evans on the inside line through the sweeper. Lambert used the outside line to setup the approach to the infield on a straight shot to the cross-town esses. His change up worked well, so well in fact that his exit speed placed him inside Evans rear fender as they exited towards the driver stand. Both cars flopped about, but fittingly, no pass occurred and they blasted away from the scene as fast as they had arrived. Towards the left side of the track it was still a nose to tail affair for Evans and Lambert as Knapp crossed the line for the win. Through the final chicane it became obivous that Evans steely resolve would prove strong enough to hold Lambert off for 2nd place. For having to battle racers ahead and from behind, Lambert took home a hard fought 3rd place and welcome spot on the podium during the trophy presentations later in the evening.
Touring Expert 17.5 - Sponsored by Xenon Racing Products: In a class where full factory racers meet hardcore weekend warriors, there's never any safe bets on the outcome. Sometimes the Pros stomp the joes with a classic schooling, but other times the Joes snatch an underdog victory in classic David vs. Goliath style. This class is ripe with intensity, and today's A-main was no exception. Setting the stage for the story to come, Mike Haynes took the TQ honours by less than a second over Mike Dumas and Keven Hebert, proving that determination and a discount over retail can indeed get the job done these days. The grid was set, cameras were rolling, and the crowd hushed. As the tone erupted from the speakers, Dumas and Hebert got great starts but Haynes lumbered out of his grid position. By the first corner all three were on top of one another, running in lock step through the esses. Dumas's car was fast entering each corner, but slow coming out, and Hebert was noticebly checking up by the middle of the first lap. Haynes got out to a one corner lead by the first run through the chicane as chaos scrambled the field behind him. On the right hander leading to the chicane, Hebert put a fender underneath Dumas but lifted off just in time avoid outright spinning him. On the very next left hander Hebert was again underneath Dumas, but this time their racing lines converged before Hebert could back off. The ensuing wreck spun both cars out in the path of EJ Evans who got paint from both Hebert and Dumas before finding clean track into the chicane. Travis Schreven got the lucky dog award coming from 7th on the grid to 3rd on the first lap after spinning Fairtrace early in the lap and then clearing the Dumas/Hebert debris field without incident. Out onto the back straight, Haynes had a two second gap over Evans and Schreven as Hebert got shuffled back to 5th. It was only a few laps later that the real battle began with another shake up, as Evans tapped the sweeper and broke out of 2nd place, Schreven rolled by uncontested and began hunting down Haynes. Meanwhile on the same lap, Hebert managed to get passed Austin Harrison who also tapped the sweeper wall, and got passed the slowing Evans at the very next corner. The running order was now set for a battle of the fast laps as the top three struggled to answer eachothers attacks. Haynes leading Schreven and Hebert at the 1:20 mark with a corner seperating each racer. Haynes clicked off an 11.789, followed three laps later by Schreven who was charging hard with an 11.727. In the meantime, Hebert had logged an 11.767, staying in touch with Schreven to the mid point of the race. Hebert then tapped the last corner leading onto the straightaway, exacerbating the error because it happened entering the fasestt portion of the track at the same location as the loop. Hebert regained his composure and began clipping apexes by mere inches to claw back lost time. Haynes small lead was being eroded by Schreven's constant pressure, nipping away a few tenths every minute or so. Up front Haynes was leaving room between his car and the boards, trying to stay cool under pressure and avoid any unforced errors. With just under a minute to go Schreven brought the excitement level up a notch by tapping a board and losing enough time to bring Hebert within striking distance. They freight-trained through the infield, Schreven running scared, Hebert clawing away at the blood trail. Ironically, Schreven's bobble was just what he and Hebert needed to get back in touch with Haynes. They pushed one another to the fastest laps of the last minute, closing the gap from more than 2 seconds down to nothing. Race announcer Catricala did the math over the mic as the leaders crossed the line and it became apparant that they wouldn't beat the tone for another lap. It had all come down to the lap they were currently running. Haynes tightened up the line to almost nothing, leaving no room for his pursuers to even think about getting by. Into the last chicane and none of them were off line, wrecking or fading away. Nose to tail they weaved past the last three apexes and out onto the back straight. Across the line it was Haynes first and Schreven second, two Davids beating the Goliath of AE's Hebert to the top steps of the podium, putting the big factorys on notice that the middle ground in touring cars is still not safe to poach for an easy win! Proof positive that this class is alive and well in today's racing community, every single car that finished the race (1st-7th) remained on the lead lap! How's that for close, competitive racing?
1/12 GTP Modified - Sponsored by Viper R/C: There's an element of prestige about 1/12 Modified. The class is a brutally honest display of a racer's ability. Not only must these fragile, little doorstops be tuned to the absolute extent of their cornering ability, but their performance must be proven for more than the usual 5 or 6 minute races. In essence, to be competitive here is to be competitive anywhere. Concentration cannot lapse at these speeds, and there's more to think about than simply running clean. Paul Lemieux's experience in the 4th round of qualifying is a prime example where, after running a clean race, had leaned on the trigger a bit too much and dumped on the second to last lap. He started second in the B-main and was able to bump 'n run his way into this A-main, but an entire straightaway deficit would likely relegate him to a midpack finish at best. Up front, Josh Cyrul was TQ by about 3 seconds and remained the only driver to squeak out a 49 lap run. The spread to the bottom of the A-main is always bigger over these 8 minute runs than it is compared to the spread in the 5 minute classes, but Josh's two lap gap to the back row left little expectations for any attacks coming from past the 2nd or 3rd rows. When the tone went off at the start of the race, 2nd qualifier Keven Hebert and 3rd qualifier Mike Blackstock would need to make the most of their proximity to Cyrul, as this was the closest they would ever get to him. Unfortunately for them, Cyrul got away cleanly and quickly, while they were less fortunate. As the 2nd through 4th place cars rounded the sweeper and entered the infield all hell broke loose. Marcus Mobers got underneath Blackstock in the left/right switchback entering the esses and set his sights a bit too squarely on Hebert. Mere feet after passing Blackstock, Mobers ran up into the back of Hebert and set off a chain reaction that shuffled up everyone except the escaping Cyrul and the patient Lemieux. Cyrul proceeded to gap the field to a seemingly safe 6 second gap. The big winners in the first lap wreck were Mark Fischer and Donny Lia who came from 5th and 6th respectively to 2nd and 3rd respectively. By lap 4, Fischer had a one corner lead on Lia who also had a one corner gap back to the swarming mass of cars jockeying for positions behind him. Lemieux had spent the opening laps avoiding wrecks and picking off the back end of the field, passing Dumas first, then Hebert for 8th. By lap 9, Lemieux had stumbled across Hebert's gridmate Blackstock who was battling with Dave Ehrlich. No sooner had he passed Blackstock for 6th, his next target, Dave Ehrlich, was right there for the taking as well. After dispatching Ehrlich, Lemieux spent the next minute working open track to catch up with the front half of the field. Little did he know that things were about to change drastically up there! Leader Cyrul was getting plenty of courtesy from lapped traffic but he came under pressure from Dumas who was no longer on the lead lap. Dumas latched on around the 3 minute mark and managed to click off some fast lap times while staying behind to respect Cyrul's track position. This was an ominous sign of things to come. At the same time, Lemieux had caught up to the battle for 5th between Groskamp and Mobers just as things were about to get messy. Mobers and Groskamp got entangled exiting the esses and Lemieux took a clean inside line past the chaos and set his sights on 3rd place Lia who was still another corner away. Quite unexpectedly, Fischer's 2nd place car crawled to a stop in the sweeper and simultaneously increased Cyrul's lead by a couple seconds. At this point, Lia inherited 2nd place but Cyrul looked untouchable. Looks however, can be deceiving in 1/12 modified racing. Dumas was still hawking Cyrul despite not actually racing for position, but needed to keep circulating because Hebert was on track and catching Dumas for position. Here was Cyrul, leading the main by a healthy margin, but being pressured by the last two cars in the running order! And then the unthinkable happened. Lia had run a flawless race until now, but tapped a board in front of the least likely contender, Mr. B-main Bump 'n Run himself, Paulie Lemieux. Lia's bobble set him adrift in the tightly packed battle that Lemieux had just sliced through and he ended up falling as far back as 7th before recovering for a 5th place finish, a prime example of the harsh penalties dished out in 1/12 modified racing. The halfway point marked a triumphant run by Lemieux as the most unlikely contenstant to challenge for a win. Here he was inheriting 2nd place, but he had his work cut out for him with Cyrul so far ahead on track. We had already seen Lemieux dump once in this class, so the question arose; Would he chase the bait and risk dumping again? Lemieux pulled away from the midpack runners just as Cyrul was pulling up behind to work them as lapped traffic. The gap was staggering, basically a half of a lap, but the stage had been set. Lemieux on the hunt with Cyrul running safe. Again, Cyrul's pace came into play as Lia's struggle to stay in front of Blackstock put him in the tough position of needing to pass the leader. Lia kept the pressure on, but respected Cyrul's position by refusing to pass him outright and risk an accident. With 2 minutes left to go the track was hot with action as the leader became embroiled in lapped traffic battles while being dogged by Lia, and Lemieux continued to hunt on maximum attack. There were numerous instances where Cyrul ran up on an accident scene before the participants were done flipping. Lexan was touched and deep breaths were taken. Just 2 minutes after taking over the 2nd position, Lemieux had chopped Cyrul's lead down from half a lap to only 2 seconds. The crowd cheered as Catricala announced the ever closing gap. At the 7 minute mark Cyrul had stepped up the pace in reply to Lia's constant (albiet lap-back) pressure. Lemieux brought the gap down to 1.6 seconds, but Cyrul was clipping apexes closer and visibly pounding the throttle, lunging from corner to corner with increased ferocity. With 30 seconds left on the clock, 1st and 2nd were both on the straight together with 5th place Lia sandwiched in between. On the penultimate lap, Lia decided to part ways with Cyrul after looking underneath at the exit of the esses and graciously allowed Lemieux to come through before regaining pace. He had raced his way out of a crazy B-main, surgically dispatched all of the other talent between he and Cyrul, and now Lemieux had approximately 20 seconds to pull off a Cinderella win. Cyrul was lapping one to two tenths slower each lap as the clock wound down, and Lemieux was definitively the fastest in the closing stages of the race being the only racer to get back down into the 9 second lap range on his second to last lap. As Cyrul blasted down the back straight the tone erupted a half second later, ending what could have been a wild and epic run by Lemieux who was caught dead at the line. Instead, Cyrul gets credit for running a smart race, leading from flag to flag under intense pressure from unlikely sources, in dense traffic that was often tumultuous. For his efforts, Lemieux got a well deserved 2nd place finish. Mobers, who had started 4th, fell as far back as 8th in the opening lap bedlam, steadily worked his way forward to finish on the podium in 3rd place some 5 seconds behind Lemieux. This makes two 1/12 Modified wins in a row for Cyrul. Will he get the hat trick in 2012? Mark your calendars and tune in to find out!
Touring Stock 17.5 - Sponsored by Team Tekin: Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good as Eric Anderson was finding out. After starting 9th in 1/12 17.5, EA ended up 10th which wasn't so terrible considering where he started. Then he started 6th in TC Expert 17.5, but again finished 10th. This turned out to be an ominous sign of things to come as the Stock TC 17.5 cars were cut loose at the starting tone. EA left from the TQ position and immediately drifted wide through the sweeper. Francesco Martini wasted no time by taking the inside line exiting the sweeper. EA returned from the marbles to run alongside Martini into the right hander entering the esses. As the racing line changed from left to right EA regained the lead but was aired out by Martini just a few feet later. EA flipped wildly over the board and ended up nose first into the barrier in the opposite lane. Martini got run over by the rest of the field and courteously left the scene only after EA had pulled away. Unfortunately, EA only made it another two corners before getting spun around and punted yet again! He made it as far up as 8th in the next few laps, but was broken out by lap 4. The ensuing melee shook up the running order mightily, bringing a bunch of mid pack qualifiers forward to fill the vacancies at the front. Third qualifier Austin Harrison was first in line to deal with the EA/Maritni chaos. He puckered up tight and somehow missed it all to emerge in the lead with a comfortable 2 second gap by the time he reached the straight and crossed the timing loop for the first time. The ping pong match behind him produced a freight train of hyper aggresive drivers all on maximum attack. Out from the pile up, Corey Parsons led Dustin Layne and Sal Amato down the back straight and into the best battle to unfold during the race. Parsons somehow managed to roll in the sweeper allowing Layne to sneak by into 2nd place on the second lap. Amato struck bravely by heading down the inside of Parsons going into the very next set of corners, the tricky esses which are usually run as straight as possible. Amato and Parsons banged doors a couple times in relatively clean fashion allowing Amato to slip away into 3rd. Parsons had to make a few corrections on the wheel and got swamped by the next three cars. Despite the heavy traffic, Parsons kept it pointed in the right direction and by the back straight had fought off the attackers to run 4th on the second lap. The top four ran flat out for the next few minutes to click off their fast laps. On lap #7, Parsons managed to make perfect use of his 12.182sec lap by reeling in Amato and passing him on the following lap for 3rd, a position he would hold for the rest of the race. On lap #10, leader Austin Harrison went 12.177, followed by Layne's 12.382 on lap #14. Most impressively though was Martini's 19th lap that took the fast lap honours with a 12.122, back in 5th place! With only 30 seconds left to go, the battle for 2nd was close with Layne, Parsons and Amato all on the back straight together. The seconds wound down and when the tone finally went off the battle for 2nd was stopped dead in it's tracks, caught at the line, frozen in time. Layne held on for 2nd with Parsons rounding out the podium positions. Leader Harrison got across the line for an uncontested lap to savor his perfect race and ponder the company on the podium later this afternoon. With the 2nd through 7th place runners all finishing on the same lap, it's races like these that continue to bring new talent forward through the ranks, providing a place for their skills to develop and shine!
1/12 GTP 13.5 - Sponsored by Competition Electronics: Unfortunately, none of the following words describe EA finishing anywhere other than 10th, but you can't knock the guy for trying. EA made it up the order as far as 6th in the opening laps after starting 9th before eventually breaking out. That's four 10th place finishes out of four A-main appearances, a year EA will surely hope to forget! However, the fortunes at the other end of the grid weren't much better as we're about learn. The starting tone saw Andrew Knapp get away from the TQ position cleanly and pull out a solid first few laps. The fight for second got hot and heavy immediately, although 2nd qualifier Mike Dumas initially got away cleanly. Marcus Mobers tapped the inside of the sweeper allowing a few people to slip by as he corrected, most notably Donny Lia made his way through and now trailed Mike Blackstock and Mike Dumas as the pack headed for the righthand side of the track. Turning right towards the chicane, Blackstock peeked underneath Dumas and spun into the inside board for a moment. That brief moment was all Lia needed to snatch another position away from the less fortunate. No sooner had Lia cleared Blackstock's wreck he came across Dumas who got loose and had to recover from the marbles off-line. Lia went down the inside of Dumas entering the chicane and made it out onto the back straightaway in 2nd place. Passing a handful of national champions and factory pilots on a nerve wracking opening lap, Lia made the most of it by settling in and clicking off the second fastest lap of the race (10.455sec) on his 7th circuit. Only Knapp was able to go faster over one lap, ripping off a 10.390 on his 5th time around aiding his rapid getaway from the swarming pack. Meanwhile, Dumas was also finding the groove and managed to log a 10.462 lap in the hunt for Lia's rear diffuser. By the 1:30 mark Dumas had gotten close enough to Lia that any slight bobble would likely shuffle the running order. Just 25 seconds later, Lia was working the chicane and tapped the middle island allowing Dumas to slip by with almost no room to spare. This running order remained in place for the next minute, Knapp leading Dumas by a little more than a full corner, with Lia still hot on Dumas' heels. That status quo was shattered when Knapp had trouble getting courtesy from a lapped car. The squabble went on for a handful of corners through the center part of the infield and the delay brought Dumas to within feet of Knapp. Out onto the back straightaway and finally clear of traffic, Knapp began to open the gap up once again, but the pack wasn't giving up. Dumas was leading a throng of mid-pack runners who were all lapping cleanly and quickly consisting of Lia, Blackstock, Mobers and Groskamp. Dumas had another two mninutes of chasing until his big break came. Knapp tapped the final chicane coming out onto the back straight just as Dumas had put three ballistic laps together. The combination was enough to put Dumas alongisde Knapp on the straight and down the inside line entering the sweeper. Dumas took a clean line entering the infield and began playing defense as Knapp changed rolls to that of hunter. Eight more laps of close racing were shaken up when Dumas tapped an inside wall approaching the chicane. Knapp was so close that he didn't even need to change his racing line to grab the top position back. Dumas didn't lose much time and was back in the hunt right away. Persistence was paying off in this main and Dumas was about to reap the rewards yet again. Knapp made it less than a lap in the lead before running wide exiting the midfield esses. Dumas was right there and took the lead back without hesitation. It was only another three corners later, in the middle of the chicane that Knapp tried to get past Dumas again. This time though, both cars lost traction and veered off into the outer barrier under the announcers booth. Catricala stood up in the booth to make the race call as both cars emerged from the carnage side by side and out onto the back straight. Down into the sweeper it was Dumas on the left on the inside line with Knapp on the right, door to door, touching as they reached the end of the straight. Neither car was able to stay in the groove with the other car leaning on it and both went off HARD into the outside barrier in a violent, end over end flipfest. The crowd went nuts, people yelling for their driver of choice to get back on track ahead of the other. Dumas got the lucky end of the deal as he landed on his wheels further along than Knapp, and proceeded to get back to the business at hand. Knapp recovered and got back into the groove right in the middle of the aforementioned mid-pack runners. It took one more corner to change Knapp's race from good to bad as he tangled with Lia, parking both cars nose-first into the board. Knapp would eventually finish 7th with Lia hanging on for 5th. Up front, Dumas had his hands full. All the door banging he and Knapp were doing had eroded away their lead over the freight train of mid-pack runners who had been methodically lapping for the last seven minutes. From their first lap tap until now, Blackstock and Dumas hadn't seen hide nor tail of one another, but the race wasn't over and Blackstock was moving in fast for the kill. After losing out in a controversial last corner lunge at last years 'birds, Blackstock was keen to see this race out to it's absolute end. In the waning laps while Dumas ran clean to consolidate his position and victory, Blackstock took back a full two seconds of raw pace and pulled right up behind Dumas to within one corner. The back end of this battle had Mobers and Groskamp charging hard within a corner of the battle for the lead. After almost eight minutes of racing, multiple lead changes and insane door banging battles, five cars would make it across the timing loop before the race clock expired. Four of those cars had a shot at the win with Groskamp chasing Mobers and Blackstock, and everyone bearing down on a tired Dumas. The quartet slithered through the final chicane and then the unthinkable happened! Dumas ran wide exiting onto the back straightaway, pancaking the outside barrier with a ferocity usually reserved for heavy touring cars. Blackstock must have had flashbacks from his WGT loss the year before. Focusing all of his three million years of racing experience on that inside line, Blackstock looked down the straightaway to the finish line and buried the trigger as soon his car straightened out. Dumas didn't have to wait for his car to straighten out, as the wall took care of that for him. Both cars at full song, ESC timing ramping up, Blackstock looking left, and Dumas staying right along the wall. To the line they came with Mobers and Groskamp exiting cleanly onto the straight immediately behind them. The crowd erupted as Catricala announced the winner. "WOW Dumas took it by a tenth of a second!" Blackstock wasn't granted revenge from last year, but his persistence earned him a solid 2nd place after running mid-pack for most of the race. Mobers held off Groskamp in the final laps to secure the last spot on the podium. In the wildest A-main so far, it was amazing to see the top 5 finish on the lead lap, but moreso to see the top four finish with less than 2 seconds seperating them after 8 minutes of racing! In the bigger picture though, a week of preparations, four qualifiers (five for the B-main bump 'n run winners) and 8 minutes of heads-up racing came down to the final lap for HALF of this field! Only at the 'birds.
Touring Modified - Sponsored by Thunder Power R/C: Sometimes great racing is highlighted by ballsy passing. Other times, great racing is notable for it's come from behind underdog wins. However, those examples require a loser, a less talented racer or an unlucky recipient to come in second place. This race, however, had none of those. The following recap describes 5 minutes of nose to tail racing where the top four were so evenly matched that they couldn't get by one another. They tried, they came close, they got squirrelly, they recovered with poise and purpose, but pass they did not. Right from the tone, TQ Jilles Groskamp led cleanly away from the grid. At most he had a one corner cushion back to 2nd qualifier and runner Paulie Lemieux, and likewise back to Cyrul, as well as to Hebert in 4th. These top four would hound eachother for the entire 5 minute run, starting with Cyrul who looked high and low, dove down the inside and treid to drive wide around the outside of Lemieux's car, all to no avail. Cyrul was nearly underneath Lemieux's rear bumper coming off the sweeper on lap 2 and turned away to avoid spinning him as they entered the infield. Cyrul's fast lap came on the very next lap (#3) showing that his tire treatment was ready to go right off the bat. Groskamp was next to log his fast lap, stamping his claim to the lead by ripping off an 11.267 which ended up being an entire tenth faster than anyone else would go! It was Hebert's turn next, coming through with an 11.366, technically the third fastest lap despite his 4th running position. At the 2:00 mark, Lemieux got too close to the center island of the infield esses, corrected, but broadsided the board bringing the rightside wheels off the ground while still turning left! Cyrul closed in for the kill but Lemieux never gave him the chance, closing off the line and getting back to hitting perfect apexes. Finally, after 2/3rds of the race had been run, Lemieux logged his fast lap of 11.361 enroute to finding Groskamps rear bumper in the waning moments. His late charge would hoist him clear of Cyrul's pressure and afford him one last chance at passing Groskamp as Cyrul and Hebert were caught dead at the line by the tone, both running 5:00 and seperated by a mere 6/10ths from the two leaders! After 5 minutes of nose to tail racing, where even the announcer was openly expecting someone to make a mistake, these two racers charged headlong towards a pack of lappers in a last lap, last ditch effort for all the glory. Three lapped cars and ten corners seperated Groskamp from another Modified Touring Car win and Lemieux wasn't going to let him take it easy. Groskamp would have to push for the pass on the lappers and his first opportunity came painfully late on this last lap. Making the left approaching the final chicane, the first lapped car pulled wide giving courtesy to both leaders. The tension was palpable as Groskamp negotiated the chicane with two more lapped cars directly in front of him. Lemieux was clear of the first lapped car and was now also in the chicane. The entire pack of cars shot out onto the back straight with Groskamp burried in the middle, fingers crossed, hoping no one would blow out. Safely squared up and hard on the power, Lemieux had done all he could by running a perfect race but today belonged to Groskamp as they crossed the line seperated by only 0.5sec. When four drivers can run four perfect races, their finishing order being seperated by the distance between them on the starting grid, it cannot be argued that Modified TC racing is dead in the United States of America! The racers got a 5 minute adrenalin rush, the spectators watched 5 minutes of teeth clenching suspense, and the 'birds once again played host to an historic battle between Groskamp and Lemieux. These are the only drivers to win Modified TC in the modern age of brushless and lipo at the 'birds. They are officially on notice though, with Cyrul and Hebert mere tenths behind at the end while running nearly identical lap times. Could 2012 be the year we see Groskamp and Lemieux dethrowned, or will Groskamp become the first racer to three-peat this class? Only time will tell. See everyone next year!
Oval B-main Bump 'n Runs
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies: While most of the Road BQs were unable to capitalize on their starting positions, Bill Rockenstyre took complete advantage of his and promptly drove his way from BQ to 10th in the A-main tomorrow afternoon. Little did Bill know, his performance sparked a trend that would echo down through the Oval B-mains as the laps unfolded.
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT: The trend stayed alive as Bill Mitchell made it out unscathed as the open wheel cowboys in SK diced it up to make the big show tomorrow afternoon. Bill's time probably won't allow him to challenge for a win in the A, but he's in good enough standing to take a stab at some midpack cars.
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports: It was more of the same in Stock Car, as BQ Dusty Dean went wire to wire for a place in the A-main. This was, however, a tense race with such a small gap between all the racers in this class. But Dusty, he is a stone cold operator and that will serve him well in the A-main tomorrow afternoon.
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S.: This class kept it short and sweet by having only ten entrants, thus the BQ-Screw award and Bump 'n Run were wholely just figurative concepts. These guys were too busy hanging on to their land missles to worry about deep fields or consolation prizes, so on to the A-main we go!
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing: Izzy Santiago was the only racer who bumped into A-main that wasn't a BQ. But the story of this Outlaw Truck B-main isn't so plain and simple and here are the gory details. Right on the tone, Mike Rutherford took the lead and hung on to it until the 31st lap when he was passed by Ray McDuffie for the lead. On lap 39, all heck broke loose! In a matter of 3 laps, Rutherford was pushed down to 4th but managed to claw his way back up to 2nd. McDuffie went from 1st, to 2nd, to 3rd and finally to 4th, ruining his shot at the transfer spot. Even John Dye got in on the action going from 4th, to 3rd, to 2nd, and back to 3rd again, remaining a position higher that his pre-calamity running order. But alas, it was Izzy who got the best end of this mid-race paint swapping-fest, taking his truck to the A-main in tomorrows last horrah!
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP: After witnessing the chaos in Outlaw Truck, BQ Eric Salvas took to the drivers stand knowing full well that the BQ trend had been broken. With his task at hand, Eric launched on the starting tone and never looked back. The other cars gave chase, banged doors and swapped positions, but it was all for naught. Eric Salvas led from tone to tone reclaiming his 10th spot in the A-main of COT 13.5. His time puts him in good standing for run at the midpack racers in a clean race, but if all heck breaks loose, look for Eric to lay it all on the line tomorrow afternoon.
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics: The BQ transfer trend could officially be acknowledged if the TOUR Truck BQ, Brett Patti, simply sealed the deal and parted ways with his B-main compatriots on Saturday evening. Problem was, 2nd qualifier Brandon Lourenco led from the start, led through the halfway point, and put up comparable lap times to Patti. Spectators gathered as this great battle was broadcast over the PA system. Both leaders sliced through traffic. Patti stayed in touch while 3rd on down got lapped by the 28th circuit. And then it happened. On lap 35 Brett made his move, made it stick and never looked back. Just 13 laps later, Brett had gapped his rival and got an unchallenged victory lap on his 48th time around. The BQ transfer trend was undoubtedly back in action!
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C: Matt Stegeman walked proudly to his favorite spot on the drivers stand, smug in the fact that his BQ starting position would obviously grant him safe passage to the A-main tomorrow now that the other BQs had done all the hard work. And then ten Mod 10.5 cars scrambled off the starting line. Eight made it past lap one. Stegeman puckered up as the laps clicked by. Positions were traded like hot stocks on his back bumper. The pursuers bounced up and down the running order as horsepower outweighed sanity. The last transfer spot of the entire event was on the line here, and Stegeman had to run scared until the very last lap shaking off 2nd place Tom Pedano who came from 6th, highlighting how dicey this B-main was. With qualifying for the 17th Annual Snowbird Nationals officially over, no one was more relieved than Matt Stegeman who took a deep breath and got another nights rest before his event would end. On to the mains!
Oval Round #4
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies: Steve Miller started a nice trend for the top five racers by beating his earlier time, bumping himself from 9th to 5th for tomorrows A-main. Unfortunately for Steve Downs (4th), Mike Bean (3rd) and Steve Pemberton (2nd) they all got faster by the same margin and remained in the same order. And then there's Phil Marabella, who apparently didn't get the memo because he failed to improve his TQ time which, for the record, he didn't need to as his earlier TQ run withstood the test of time. Bill Rockrockenstyre earned the dubious honor of being 10th qualifier, but received the BQ Screw award for his troubles.
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT: The second heat of 1/12 saw Phillip Harwood qualify for the A-main with a time good enough for 9th. James Mitchell also improved his time, but was the unlucky recipient of the BQ-screw trophy for landing 10th, gaining him access to the B-main later this afternoon. Also improving their times in the A-main were Cam Odeen who gained a whole lap and three spots on the grid, good enough for 5th, While Jeff Helms put his earlier TQ further out of reach by 9/10ths of a second.
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports: It took 12 heats of stock cars until someone finally broke into the A-main. Chris Clayton didn't just join the party, he kicked the door in and got about halfway through crashing the party before someone's time got in his way. Walter Stuber was lucky enough to stop the intruder with his 5th place position, but Dusty Dean was the unlucky soul who got bumped to the B-main, making room for Clayton's 6th place run. The last hoorra for this intensely close field of racers came courtesy of George Verbonitz, who lept from 7th to TQ in the last heat of Stock Car 17.5, leaving no more opportunities for his fellow competitors to answer back.
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S.: The 4th round of Pro Mod 7.5 would have gone by without incident, as the first heat didn't produce any change in the qualifying order, and the second (and final) heat of this class only saw one change. But what a change it was! Out of the starting blocks, Andy McClellan took the lead for three laps, handed it over to Pete D'Agnolo for a few, then snatched it back, running away with a new TQ of 68 in 4:02.39. That's more than a second up on Monti Panzica's previous TQ time, and half a lap faster than Andy's prior time! Watch for the sparks to fly in this class once the mains get underway on Sunday!
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing: In the first heat of Outlaw Truck, those 2C 21.5 powered torque monsters, saw Ray McDuffie throw his hat into the A-main ring with a 56 in 4:03.99. But alas, this field is as competitive as it is exciting to watch, and the very next heat gave some more truck racers an opportunity to make the show. Opportunity they did not waste. Three racers put their trucks in the top ten from this heat of Outlaw Truck. Mel McCoy finished second with a 56 flat which was good enough for 8th overall. Sean Vanthoff logged another 56, in 4:01.43, for 9th. Mike Rutherford, although putting down a 56 in 4:01.56, got the B-Screw award for his efforts and would have to race his way into the A-main later this afternoon with the rest of the B-main commandos. Since all five racers in the last heat of Outlaw Truck were already in the A-main, this final qualifier was just for bragging rights. If it wasn't bad enough that Bryan Mansfield was already a lap out on his next closest competitor, he managed to roll around an additional lap in this 4th round, bringing TQ up to a 60 in 4:03.1. However, Chuck Flanagan wasn't going to let Bryan run away with the show. He bettered his prior 2nd place time by more than a lap, bringing the fight to Bryan's rear bumper, just a second behind the TQ time. Look for some real short track truck action to erupt in this A-main tomorrow!
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP: In the deep field that is 1COT 13.5, it took seven heats of racers until someone got close enough to threaten the top ten. Gary Warren came close, landing just 0.2sec outside the big show. The next heat was comprised of racers in the 6-10 qualifying positions, so their goal was to avoid being Mr. Unlucky #10. To that effect, Dusty Kemp did well to win, planting himself way up 4th, and guaranteeing himself a starting position of at least 7th if (and it's a big IF) the bottom three racers in the next heat went faster than they had before. Tommy Peters also secured a spot in the A-main with an 8th place starting position. Eric Salvas ended his qualifying efforts with his personal best of the week, worthy of the notorious BQ-Screw award and a spot in the B-main Bump 'n Run later today. Kemp got lucky while marshalling the final heat of COT 13.5, as his previous 4th place time was only bettered by Johnny Broyles, putting Broyles in 4th and Kemp in 5th for tomorrows A-main. Up front it was once again the Kevin Koback show as he pushed his TQ out to 59 in 4:01.36, some 0.32sec faster than his matching 2nd and 3rd round times. Talk about consisten! Tight racing will be on the menu tomorrow when this group rolls off to write their names in the history books of the 17th Annual Snowbird Nationals!
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics: The sanctity of the top ten remained in place through the 4th round of qualifying in TOUR Truck, but tomorrows A-main is shaping up to be an exciting one. The top two trucks are on a lap all by themselves. The next 5 trucks, half the field, are huddled onto a lap of their own. Finally, the bottomw three trucks, including whomever gets the lucky bump from the B-main, are down yet another lap. The topic for this A-main is surely to be traffic! Brett Patti will hope for the best later today as he starts from BQ in an effort to make the big show.
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C: There were plenty of movers and shakers in the eight heats of Mod 10.5. Eric Salvas made his move from the seventh heat of cars, placing himself 9th in the top ten, tailing Johnny Broyles whon won that heat and eventually settled into 8th on the grid. That relegated Matt Stegeman to the BQ spot for todays B-main Bump 'n Runs. It was in the final heat of Mod 10.5 that saw the biggest shake-up. The hectic schedule may have caught up with the top two qualifiers (Koback and D'Agnolo) as they chose to sit out the last round. With every heat, more and more shuffling proved ominous for the top two and it was their own heat of racers that eventually dethrowned them. Kevin Koback's prior TQ was reset by heat winner Andy McLellan, putting Koback in 2nd overall. Close behind McLellan in this final heat of qualifying for the entire 2011 Snowbird Nationals was Monti Panzica, who took the 3rd starting position, pushing Pete D'Agnolo down to 4th from 2nd. The top 4 are split by a second on 64 lap runs, and the bottom 6 are also split by a second on 63 lap runs. This one is going to be hotly contested tomorrow afternoon!
Road B-main Bump 'n Runs
World G.T. 13.5 B-main - Sponsored by TM R/C Racing: (3:45pm) Big thanks to Microsoft for making a certain Windows XP notification sound awfully similar to the starting tone in RCScoring Pro! The ensuing false start and subsequent spur checking claimed Steven Boise's gear, but he was given a couple minutes grace while SpeedMerchant's Bruce Carbone made the repairs. The start was fairly clean and much to his own surprise, Steven Boise was reeling in the leader. Cory Parsons had broken away from the pack and into the lead right from the start, but by the 3/4 mark he had Boise right behind him with Michael Bruce in 3rd gaining time on both of them. Down to the last lap, those top 3 racers weaved through traffic nose to tail. The race expires on the tone, leaders are all on their last lap together, backmarkers make way and into the last chicane Bruce sets up Boise for an over under move. Parsons cut another perfect apex to enter the back straight uncontested as the sound of lexan banging erupts a foot behind him. Bruce took the outside line entering the chicane, waited for his racing line to swap back over to the inside of the middle chicane apex, their doors banged solidly, and Bruce got the unlucky spin as his WGT nosed into the board. Boise was bumped slightly off line but corrected, headed out onto the back straightaway and took the 2nd place finish. Bruce managed to salvage 3rd after his heroic come from behind effort, but the B-main bump 'n run award went to Cory Parsons who drove flawlessly from 2nd on the grid to his hard earned 10th starting spot in tomorrows World G.T. A-main!
Touring Amateur 17.5 B-main - Sponsored by Trinity / Epic: Leading the first lap of the B-main bump 'n run would normally be a good thing for any racer. Except when the entire field takes their turn at leading for a few feet prior to logging the very first flying lap. Quite frankly, we lost count of all the lead changes! It was nuts. The sound of lexan was deafening. The scent of burnt motor eminated from the pack. 1st and 2nd broke away from the calamity, Thomas Burnside leading Justin Fawcett. With just a handful of laps until the end, Burnside traction rolled allowing Fawcett to sneak on by. No sooner were they settled in, Fawcett decided to Maaco his body, but had enough of a lead to get across the line in 1st, fist pumping from excitement, giving him another day of racing in the A-main of Touring Amateur 17.5 tomorrow morning.
1/12 GTP 17.5 B-main - Sponsored by TOP Racing: (4:15pm) The first lap saw some mid-pack carnage dislodging a few racers from their starting positions, but the leaders broke away cleanly with BQ Calandra leading Catricala away from the field. Catricala kept the pressure on Calandra peeking under at the apex lap after lap. Eventually Calandra tapped a board trying to defend his position and fell to 2nd. Catricala spent the next few minutes building a gap, but Calandra answered back. By the 7:10 mark he had cought Catricala and they were nose to tail for the the next 30 seconds. With 20 seconds left for a move, Calandra got inside Catricala entering the infield wiggle chicane. Inside turned to outside line as they hit the next apex, they bumped doors and Frank's car angled off into the board. Catricala's car wasn't fazed, rounded the remaining corners safely and collected his permission slip to start 10th in tomorrows 1/12 13.5 A-main!
Touring Expert 17.5 B-main - Sponsored by Xenon Racing Products: (4:51pm) At the starting tone everyone breaks away with relatively little lexan drama. BQ and early leader Rocky Burney tapped a board on lap 7 but only lost one spot to Brian Busse. In heavy traffic the top three weaved with hurried restraint. Eventually, Rocky's luck ran out receiving a tucked fender and a few seconds of marshalling, dropping him to 5th. In the chaos, McNichols got ahead of Busse and the two battled nose to tail around the halfway mark. As the race progressed and backmarkers were dispatched, McNichols built a lead of 1.3 seconds by the finish, which still had the top 3 on the same lap. Tomorrows A-main of Touring Expert 17.5 is going to be intense, and McNichols can only go forward!
1/12 GTP Modified B-main - Sponsored by Viper R/C: (5:57pm) Some serious heavy weights took the start of this 1/12 Modified B-main in a last ditch effort to make the big show tomorrow! BQ Naoki Watanabe made a good start but tapped a board in the opening laps allowing the Wisconsin Wheel, Paulie Lemieux, to slip by. Naoki wasn't going to let Paulie slip away though, latching on to his back bumper (diffuser?) for the next few minutes. In the meantime, Walter Henderson scrapped the outside wall coming onto the back straight and proceeded to blow over, tumbling down the track as cars blitzed by. Paulie had been building a decent lead of 2.5 seconds at the 3 minute mark. Around the halfway point, both leaders were in the same section of track when an accident amongst backmarkers evolved directly in their path. Paulie and Naoki squeaked through but the traffic allowed Naoki to close the gap down to nothing. Jari Taskila was the next contestent to completely blow over on the back straightaway, highlighting the amount of power these little doorstops are packing under the hood. Naoki tapped two boards over the next minute losing some of the time he'd gained back earlier, leaving the gap at 1.7 seconds with 3 minutes to go. Joe Trandel had been silently chasing Naoki and those mistakes put Joe in striking distance. Naoki was forced to go on the defensive for a couple minutes. Trandel eventually tapped a board leaving comfortable gaps between himself and Naoki, and the gap up to Paulie was safe as well when the tone went off. Not one to take a loss in stride, Naoki continued to slice through traffic even on the last lap when all hope was lost, proving he is a racer at heart, regardless of his finishing position.
Touring Stock 17.5 B-main - Sponsored by Team Tekin: (6:12pm) Right from the get go, BQ Bill Sydor's chances of advancing went south. By lap 5 he got shuffled back to 5th in rough traffic and ended up 8th at the finish. Justin Lessard inherited the lead and stretched it out to 3 seconds by the halfway point. At 3:15 the only threat to his lead came in the form of a wall that he tried to drive through, but alas, his lead was large enough to withstand this adventurous choice of racing line. By the finish a couple minutes later, there was a 3 second gap between 1st and 2nd, and another 3 second gap back to 3rd, making for the least tense finish of the Bump 'n Runs so far, with Justin Lessard going to the A-main of Touring Stock 17.5 tomorrow morning.
1/12 GTP 13.5 B-main- Sponsored by Competition Electronics: (8:15pm) Eagle eyed readers will note that all of the BQs, so far, have been buried in their mains. So it was with a heavy heart that Jari Taskila donned the Mickey ears and climbed atop the drivers stand. At the start, Haynes was caught sleeping, got swarmed by the mid-pack racers, and eventually got taken out and fell way down the running order. In the next minute, 2nd place Bryan Wynn tapped a wall but didn't lose much time. Fairtrace was running in 3rd until a visit to the wall dropped him down to 8th. Jari and Bryan got away from the field by lap 10, and by some small miracle, Haynes had fought his way back up to third at this point. At 2:45 Bryan tapped again, losing a few seconds. Around the halfway point two backmarkers wrecked right in the path of leader Jari who deftly manuevered around the wreckage. Bryan worked his way back up to Jari and spent a couple minutes threatening to pass, but at the 6 minute mark he tapped another board, taking himself out of contention. To the line, Jari wins and breaks the evil curse of the BQ failures, moving to the A-main in 1/12 13.5 tomorrow afternoon.
Touring Modified B-main - Sponsored by Thunder Power R/C: (8:54pm) No sooner did this race begin than the top 2 put a nice gap on the field. BQ Francesco Martini led Travis Schreven for the opening two laps until the bumped, nose to tail, tucking Martini's rear fender. Weylan Rose got past for 2nd spot and proceeded to drift his car both on and off the power, driving the wheels off the car. Francesco managed to get back in touch with the leaders, even getting as close as 0.1 seconds. In the heat of battle, Rose and Francesco came together violently and two turns later Rose limped his broken car off the track. In the mean time, Peter Robinson had been hunting the lead group and cought up to them just as the Martini/Rose wreck occured. Capitalizing on the chaos, Robinson made the most of it by snatching the 2nd spot relegating Martini to 3rd. Nose to tail, 2nd and 3rd shadowed eachother to the end. At the line, it was Schreven with a well deserved win and Robinson held off Martini for the 2nd spot.
Road Round #4
World G.T. 13.5 - Sponsored by TM R/C Racing: (Saturday @ 8:30am) It's status quo for the big pan cars with Josh Cyrul hanging on to TQ with his 2nd round run standing the test of time. The remainder of the top 9 going straight to the A-main is as follows: Mike Dumas, Markus Mobers, David Elrich, Jari Taskila, Brian Wynn, Joe Sumasky, Randy Grosse, and Mark Burt. The BQ-screw trophy goes to Michael Bruce who missed the A-main on his qualifying attempt by 3/10ths of a second. Road B-mains begin around 12 noon when Bruce will have a chance to bump his way into the A-main.
Touring Amateur 17.5 - Sponsored by Trinity / Epic: (11:50am)The battle for the fastest of the slowest in TC saw half the top ten go faster in this 4th round, while the other half sat on their quick 2nd round times. When all was said and done, Donovan Pinkerton led the charge, taking TQ honours in a diverse field of racers who've earned everything they've achieved here. The lap spread is larger than some of the other TC classes, but there are a few hot lappers near the back who are determined to bring the fight to the front of the pack. Tomorrows Touring Amateur A-main is bound to be a phenominal show!
1/12 GTP 17.5 - Sponsored by TOP Racing: (12:21pm) After a hectic 4th round of qualifying in the ultra-stacked 17.5 powered 1/12 class, the printed results told most of the story. Andrew Knapp stole TQ away from Kenny Lambert who broke out early. Kenny was able to sit on his 2nd round time which gave him the 2nd starting spot for the A-main. A few of the other racers shuffled around within the top ten, but the biggest jump was Peter Robinson's 4th round pass that put him in the show. Unfortunately for Frank Calandra, his first round time wasn't good enough to fend off Eric Anderson which relegated Frank to BQ. What isn't obvious from the printed results was that 6th place qualifier Sal Amato had transponder issues in the fourth round while putting in a great drive that, arguably, may have been really great. Look for the possibility of fireworks when this A-main sets off tomorrow morning!
Touring Expert 17.5 - Sponsored by Xenon Racing Products: (12:45pm) The meeting ground between Stock and Mod TC has always provided a great show and this round did NOT disappoint! Down to the wire, Mike Haynes and Mike Dumas were both going faster than Keven Hebert's 3rd round TQ. The clock expired, with suspense hanging thick in the air, back straight packed with spectators, and the smell of hot motors wafting by, Catricala made the call, "Haynes takes it!" The two Mikes got ahead of Hebert, locking out the front row for tomorrows A-main. Rocky Burney inherited the dubious role of BQ, courtesy of Andrew Hardman's 4th round effort getting into the A-main.
1/12 GTP Modified - Sponsored by Viper R/C: (1:07pm) The big boys of 1/12 had put in their good runs earlier in the week, as 4 of the top 5 sat on their 1st or 2nd round times. TQ Josh Cyrul did the deed in the 2nd round and was never challenged, remaining the only 49 lapper. Mike Blackstock was able to break that trend in the 4th round, hoisting himself up into the 4th starting position, close enough to make a charge as the veteran has done so many times before. Lemieux somehow dumped, and couldn't make it across the line on his last flying lap, despite a push from Cyrul's front splitter. Paul will have to race his way into the A-main during the bump 'n runs later today.
Touring Stock 17.5 - Sponsored by Team Tekin: (2:49pm) Less than a lap separates the TQ Eric Anderson from the lucky dog in 9th, Kevin Hawkinson. With so much on the line and plenty of fender space to lean on, the A-main of Touring Stock is sure to please. Bill Sydor, despite earlier qualifying speed, was reglegated to the BQ position and left to fend for himself in the bump 'n run main.
1/12 GTP 13.5 - Sponsored by Competition Electronics: (3:00pm) The 4th round of 13.5 powered 1/12 was a breeding ground for 45 lap runs, but sadly for prior TQ Markus Mobers, he was unable to improve upon his 45. Both Andrew Knapp and Mike Dumas took advantage of this to nab the 1st and second qualifying spots respectively. Groskamp and Eric Anderson were the only other racers able to improve their times in the 4th round, putting Groskamp in 6th and EA in the lucky 9th spot. Jari Taskila was sent to the bump 'n run B-main to think about his qualifying technique.
Touring Modified - Sponsored by Thunder Power R/C: (3:15pm) Two racers stepped up in this 4th round of Mod TC. Keven Hebert put together a 27 lap run but that wasn't fast enough to move him up the leader from his 4th place qualifying position. The other mover was none other than Jilles Groskamp who, once again, made his presence felt by passing Lemieux on track, staying cool under Paulies subsequent attacks, and finishing with a new TQ of 27 in 5:07.547! No one else in the top ten moved at all in the 4th round of qualifying. Mr. Martini was no exception either, and had to make his case for a spot in the A-main slugging it out with the rest of the B-main marauders.
Oval Round #3
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies, (10:30pm): 1/12 saw a major increase in pace with almost everyone going faster. Phil Marabella held on to his TQ position by raising the bar to a 61 in 4:01.55, a full lap beyond the others. Steve Pemberton hauled himself up from 5th in round 2 to snag the 2nd spot in this round with a 60 in 4:01.04, and Mike Bean fell in line one second behind that for 3rd.
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT, (10:35pm): The trio of Helms, Humble, and Odom (a lawyers group perhaps) improved on their times but remained in the same order. Humble and Odom did manage to close the gap to Helms considerably to an uncomfortable 0.99 seconds.
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports, (10:59pm): The deepest field in oval this year wittled away at their times, ever so slightly, across the board. TQ got faster by 2/10ths, and likewise for all the positions down through the order, with 10th going 7/10ths faster. The pack is condensing upwards towards the TQ spot with each successive round of qualifying. To credit the phenominal driving in this class, the top ten is as follows from TQ on down: Brian Deel, Eric Thomas, Randy Burke, Patrick Simkins, Walter Stuber, George Verbonitz, Mike Miller, Alan Behler, Dusty Dean, and Tommy Peters. This group is seperated by just 0.79sec. OMG!
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S., (11:07pm): It's musical chairs in Pro Mod 7.5 as half the field traded positions with their next closest competitor. Monti Panzica swapped with Kevin Koback, handing the TQ hat to Monti for round 3. The two Steves battled on track for ownership of 6th spot inverting their 2nd round positions leaving Salvas victorious over Miller. With Cyrul signed up and stalking the oval pits, the jury is still out as to whether he will put in a qualifying run or even run the main. We all remember what happened to his 6 cell mod car years ago. Perhaps he's still a little shaken?
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing, (11:33pm): The bottom half of this field saw a few of the unlucky souls from the earlier rounds of qualifying get clean runs hoisting them up into the top ten. Up front though it was status quo with Bryan Mansfield leading Chuck Flanagan and Tracy Lambe. Flanagan was the only one to improve over his 2nd round timeby a small 3/10ths margin.
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP, (11:45pm): Who says lightning doesn't strike twice? Not Kevin Koback! With the rest of the COT field bearing down on him, Kevin put the hammer down attempting to gap the field. But low and behold .....he ran the exact same time that he TQ'd with last round, down to the hundreth! 59 laps in 4:01.68, TWICE! Monti Panzeca and Brian Deel each took a bit more than one second off their best times, closing the gap to Kevin while remaining in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics, (late at night): The 3rd round of qualifying brought improvements for almost everyone in the top ten. However, only two people were able to go fast enough to overhaul any racers and move up the order. Robbie Buggess rolled his pick'em-up truck to the 4th position after finishing 8th in the prior round of qualifying, displacing half the top ten in the process. Brett Patti made it two Bretts in the top ten by squeaking in to the 10th spot with a 48 in 4:02.22.
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C, (even later at nighter): Despite the two lap gap from TQ to tenth here in Mod 10.5, the racing is exciting and consistent as everyone except Monti Panzica improved their times, shuffling the order but keeping the top ten generally in in tact. Kevin Koback retained his TQ, pushing it out to a 64 in 4:02.67 with two more racers going 64 as well, Pete D'Agnolo(P2) and Andy McLellan(3). The rest of the best slotted in from 63 flat down to 62 in 4:01. With one more round of qualifying still to come, Monti Panzica still has a shot to redeem himself with a 64 lapper and a shot at TQ.
Oval Round #2
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies, (4:59pm): Any racer who thought going faster would get them closer to TQ Phil Marabella was sorely mistaken. Steve Downs managed to add a whole lap to his prior efforts, even usurping Mike Bean in the process. That 59 in 4:00 would have put him within striking distance of Phil's prior effort, but then Phil went even faster. He bumped TQ up to a 61 in 4:03, a whole lap faster than yesturday! While Bean was relegated to third, he did improve his time and sits just tenths behind Downs, well within range of a great showdown in the main on Sunday.
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT, (5:25pm): Despite Jeff Helms breaking out of this round, his 53 lap TQ held solid. Behind him there was plenty of action to shake up the standings. Nick Bell fell from the 2nd spot back to 4th when Chad Humble and Chris Odom improved their times, landing in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Had Helms been caught at the line on his TQ pass, he would have been just 1.5 seconds out on the rest of the field, making these results a bit closer than they seem. Open wheels with a full grid in the main is sure to be exciting!
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports, (5:40pm): Holy close racing batman! Top ten share a lap, are split between a 4:02-4:03, have run identical 4.3 sec fast laps, and are followed by an additional 31 racers who are all within a lap of TQ. Absolutely amazing racing. The epitome of stock car racing! All ten drivers deserve mention here, so in qualifying order from TQ down: Eric Thomas, Brian Deel, Randy Burke, Walter Stuber, Dusty Dean, Tommy Peters, George Verbonitz, Tom Pedano, Chuck Flanagan, Chris Clayton, and on down the list to the 76th racer who's going nearly as fast.
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S., (5:45pm): Four drivers are in with a shot of taking TQ in this class, but down to the hundreths of a second current TQ Kevin Koback got to sit on his 1st round time of 68 in 4:03.6. Sharp eyed readers will note that his time is frieghteningly close to being a 67 flat, which is exactly where the next three racers are currently sitting after 2 rounds of qualies. Monti Panzica improved his time to a 67 flat, Andy McClellan ripped off 67 flat some .15sec slower, and Pete D'Agnolo ran the only other 67 with a 4:01. This is the fastest class in oval competiting here, yet there are four racers with a grabbing the trophy!
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing, (6:05pm): The field in Outlaw Truck was shaken up pretty well this past round. New TQ, many people moving up and down the ranks, should make the next round of qualifying quite interesting! In the TQ spot, Bryan Mansfield settles in to enjoy the view for the time being. With another qualifier coming up in a few hours, 2nd place qualifier Chuck Flanagan and 3rd place qualifier Tracy Lambe are sure to be wrenching away in serach for those elusive tenths of a second needed to haul in Mansfield who's TQ run was about 3/4 of a lap out on everyone else.
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP, (9:15pm): An omen of things to come later in Modified 10.5, the leader board here in COT 13.5 is completely different than it was after the first round of qualifying. The top three have a lock on the 59 lap runs, nestling together in a 2 second window with Kevin Koback on the top step with a 59 in 4:01.68. Monti Panzia clicked off a 59 in 4:02.39, and Brian Deel got his 59 done in 4:03.67. If it wasn't for those three, this class would be just as tight as the Stock Car 17.5 class because 4th through 10th qualfiers are all stacked into a 1 second window on 58 lap runs!
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics, (9:38pm): The top three in TOUR Truck are still the top three, but the order has been rearranged by some awfully large jumps in performance. CHad Humble improved his prior TQ run by a lap, and so did William Turner who was 3rd after the first round. But all that did nothing to curb the attacking Chris Clayton who went from 3rd to 1st on a blistering run. With such big jumps in performance, one has to wonder if they can do it again in a few hours for round #3.
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C, (9:55pm): As if their dominance of COT 13.5 wasn't solid enough, Koback and Panzica did it again in Mod 10.5. Kevin Koback had to sit on his 1st round TQ but it survived the quickening pace of Monti Panzica who stepped up to within 2/10ths. Pete D'Agnolo got past Brian Deel to take the 3rd qualifying spot with a 63 in 4:01.07, less than a second off TQ.
Road Round #3
World G.T. 13.5 - Sponsored by TM R/C Racing: (Friday @ 8:10am) In the wee hours of the morning, the World G.T. racers took to the track, wiped the fog from their eyes and got down to business. About half of the top ten improved their qualifying positions in this early morning round, Mike Dumas being the fastest of the bunch leapfrogging Markus Mobers up into the second spot behind Josh Cyrul's round 2 TQ run. There's 5 seconds separating each of the top three drivers, so realistically speaking there may not be any catching the ironman Cyrul unless someone else steps up in a big way.
Touring Amateur 17.5 - Sponsored by Trinity / Epic: (8:49am) The amateurs are finding speed on their short day with just one crack at the track before oval takes over for a long day. Round 2 TQ Mike Larcher had to sit on that time and was relegated to 3rd in the standings. Moving up into the second spot is Rodney Barrett getting clear of Larcher by just under one second. The TQ run was put in by Donovan Pinkerton who managed to put 4 seconds between himself and his pursuers. Notable hot lap for this 3rd round goes to Jason Graham, a tenth faster than everyone else at 12.6. Thursday saw some 12.4 and 12.5 laps, so while the track may be slowing down, the consistency is allowing these racers to better their times over the entire run. It will be interesting to see if the faster boosted and modified classes exhibit the same behavior. Stay tuned!
1/12 GTP 17.5 - Sponsored by TOP Racing: The majority of this field was unable to improve on their second round times, including Fairtrace and Watanabe. Andrew Knapp found a considerable chunk of speed overnight and capitalized on it, running TQ pace throughout the qualifier with Rnd #1 TQ Kenny Lambert in hot on his heels. Down to the very last last lap, Lambert stayed consistent but couldn't close the gap on pace alone. Low and behold, Knapp lost 1.5 seconds on his last lap allowing Lambert to not only remain TQ, but also improve his time by a bit. Round 4 will undoubtedly provide quite a spectacle as this crowd lines up to settle this score!
Touring Expert 17.5 - Sponsored by Xenon Racing Products: (9:50am) The middle ground in TC class is providing some of the best racing so far. Down to the wire battles, hyper close qualifying through the entire group, diverse talents of factory drivers, partially sponsorshiped up-n-comers and privateers, all battling for the glory of a 'birds victory. Through three rounds of qualifying, Keven Hebert remains the TQ, and although he didn't improve his time, he did win the fast qualifier ensuring no one else could take TQ either. The Mikes of Dumas and Haynes can't be accused of sitting on their laurels though. Dumas improved his time getting onto the 26th lap with Hebert, retaining the 2nd position so far. Haynes, battling from the midpack of this fast qualifier, was on pace for that 2nd place spot until the very last lap. Losing just under a full second, Haynes collected the only other 26 lap run so far in "boosted 17.5" for the 3rd qualifying position. Other notables include Larry Fairtrace who got collected by a backmarker after clicking off a stunning 11.6 second lap, more than a 1/10th faster than current TQ Hebert! Austin Harrison also put in a good run for a spot in the top ten proving he can get it done with or without a boosted ESC.
1/12 GTP Modified - Sponsored by Viper R/C: (10:30am) The running assumption that Rnd #2 would be the rocket round is holding mostly true with the foam tired pan cars so far, with most everyone having trouble improving on their times in round 3. Not one to follow any trend, Josh Cyrul had a TQ run going through most of his qualifier until a small tap in the infield dashed his hopes of improving. Lucky for him no one else could put up the numbers to threaten his TQ which stands going into tomorrows 4th round of qualifying. NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver Donny Lia sits in the 10th position on his round 2 time, but was able to improve his hotlap by a tenth, making him one of the few who found speed during the overnight hours of wrenching.
Touring Stock 17.5 - Sponsored by Team Tekin: (11:05am) This round of qualifying proved to be faster for the bulk of the racers here in Touring Stock. Eric Anderson was able to regain the TQ spot after losing it to Austin Harrison in the 2nd round. EAs run puts him firmly in the lead with a 4 second gap, but he wasn't the only one to go 25 laps in this round. Francesco Martini also managed to rip off a 25 lap run placing him third in the standings with a 25 in 5:10.838, less than 7/10ths behind Harrison. Cory Parsons and Ron Goetter put in solid runs to get ahead of Bill Sydor's 2nd round P3 time, further shuffling the top ten. Less than a full lap covers the top ten, and fast laps are scattered around a 2/10ths window, with some of the slower cars near the front. Wierdness!
1/12 GTP 13.5 - Sponsored by Competition Electronics: (12:10pm) Not much changed at the front of the field despite some close, exciting racing. Mobers still leads the pack over Blackstock and Knapp, while a handful of guys further down made the most of cleans runs in this 3rd round. Donny Lia moved up to 4th, Mike Dumas got up into 6th, Dave Elrich slotted into 7th, and finally Jilles Groskamp cruised into the 8th spot.
Touring Modified - Sponsored by Thunder Power R/C: (12:46pm) The last, fast heat of Touring Modified put on quite a show. In the opening laps the top 4 cars were on TQ pace with a couple other cars also on a 27 lap pace. Lemieux, Cyrul, Groskamp and Hebert battled back and forth settling into that order for the rest of the race. As the minutes ticked away, the gap between each racer rose and fell, the most exciting of which between Lemieux and Cyrul, split by less than a second! John Cadricala called the race with ever increasing enthusiasm, bringing a crowd of spectators to the edge of the track. Lap after lap the gap fluttered back and forth, each racer answering the others attack. No taps, courteous traffic, brave lines, this was Modified Touring Car at it's best. As the master clock expired, Cadricala built a palpable suspense as the last cars crossed the line. Making the call, "Lemieux TQ by 3/10ths over 5 minutes of intense racing! And that was just a qualifier!" With track position and a spot in the first 9 up for the taking, the other racers had to balance being courteous to the 3 leaders on TQ pace while staying fast and consistent with their midpack competitors nearby, lurking, ready to take back any time advantage they could. Jilles eventually fell off from the 2nd round TQ, but finished up 3rd overall with a very respectable 27 in 5:09.245. The 4th and 5th spots went to Hebert and Fischer respectively. The Mikes lined up 6th through 8th (BLackstock, Dumas, Haynes), with Hubbard and Martini rounding out the top ten. Realistically, the top 5 could challenge for the win on Sunday depending how the first few laps play out. Stay tuned for the 4th qualifier and the last ditch B-main bump and runs tomorrow starting at 7am. Set those alarm clocks to catch the best in the business bright and early running World G.T.!
Oval Round #1
1/12 Oval - Presented by Wacky R/C Hobbies, (10:55pm): Mirroring his practice performance, Phil Marabella took the first round TQ honors with a 60 in 4:02.98, with Mike Bean and Brian Wynn one lap back a piece. The surprising element to this class is that the racing line uses every square inch, from apron to outer retaining wall. Despite their small size, they run the biggest lines.
SK cars - Presented by Darkside/KSKT, (10:59): The open wheel cowboys put on another clean show for the spectators. Jeff Helms took the TQ spot with a 60 in 4:02.98, while Nick Bell held steady to the end collecting the 2nd qualifying position with a 59 in 4:03.88. Brian Wynn mimiced his practice times with a 58 in 4:00.15 to seal out the qualifying podium in 3rd.
Stock Car - Presented by Muddslide Motorsports, (11:36pm): It's fitting that the top 3 were the only racers to log 53 lap runs, but perhaps more fitting that the top 10 are all hot lapping identical 4.3 second laps. Randy Burke led the assault on the 43rd lap, leading the other two 43-ers by 2 seconds. Tom Pedano put a scant 6/100 of a second between himself and Walter Stuber to retain the second qualifying position going into tomorrows rounds. As a testimate to the compeitiveness and fair play stemming from the rules in use here, the top 64 (SIXTY FOUR) racers are all hot lapping within a tenth of the Top Qualifier!
Pro Mod 7.5 - Presented by P.R.S., (11:59pm): Kevin Koback is in rarefied air out on the 68th lap, with Monti Panzica and Pete D'Agnolo running matching 67s in 4:01, for 2nd and 3rd respectively. With blinding speed and violent turn-in, these Pro Mod 7.5 cars actually sound like they're pushing air as the pack rushes by the back straightaway spectator area. And the wrecks are spectacular!
Outlaw Truck - Presented by Windtunnel Racing, (12:10am): More horsepower, less downforce, and a healthy dose of cahones makes for some exciting, if not terribly close, oval racing. Bryan Mansfield nailed down the top spot with a 58 in 4:01.34 but Bill Rockenstyre kept him honest less than 2 seconds back on the same lap. Frank Valentino stayed relevant and in touch with the leaders on the 57th lap, just over 3 seconds back on pace. Why don't these trucks come with pre-cut vinyl gunrack decals for the back windows?
COT 13.5 - Presented by Team OHP, (Friday @ 12:59): Todd Smith labored to produce the only 3.9 second lap in the highly competitive COT 13.5 crowd, and for his efforts he took the TQ on the lone 58 lap run. In hot pursuit was Walter Stuber just got caught at the line with Jimmy Flack a 1/10th behind.
TOUR Truck - Presented by Competition Electronics, (Friday @ 1:25am): The TOUR Trucks rolled through for their turn on the clock. Race after race the TQ went faster and faster. Ultimately, the top honors went to the leader of the last heat, Chad Humble, putting the mark plenty high at a 49 in 4:00.44. The second place qualifier, William Turner, managed to stay on the lead lap some 3 seconds back. Chris Clayton was the fastest of the 48 lappers, running a 4:01.27.
Mod 10.5 - Presented by Viper R/C, (Friday @ 2:11am): The land missles closed out the first round of oval qualifying in glorious fashion with big wrecks, hair-raising passes, and that signature "whooosh" sound as they plow through the air down the straights. When the dust settled, Kevin Koback took the TQ spot with the first of four 63 lap runs for the leaders. His 4:00.30 was followed by Monti Panzica's 63 in 4:01.60 with Pete D'Agnolo following a thin 0.45 of a second behind. The top ten is seperated by just over a lap, and the fast laps are nearly identical. The two rounds slated for tomorrow should prove to be rather spectacular once the resort, well, resorts. :) Good night!
Road Round #2
World G.T. 13.5 - Sponsored by TM R/C Racing: Josh Cyrul goes really BIG in this second round of qualifying for World G.T. Raising the bar an entire LAP to 28 in 5:11, the next two closest racers put in nearly identical 5:09s, Mobers bettering Dumas by 6/10ths. But here's the kicker, the remaining 7 racers in the top ten are all back on the 26th lap, further exemplifying the amazing run that Josh put in.
Touring Amateur 17.5 - Sponsored by Trinity / Epic: The storm brewing in Touring Amateur 17.5 has bubbled to the surface with round 1 TQ Pinkerton sitting on his time, but being relegated to 3rd by Jason Graham who went 2 seconds faster on a 23 in 5:07.672. Meanwhile Mike Larcher put in the run of the round by TQing with a 23 in 5:06.218. Mike's fast lap was a full 3/10ths faster than Grahams which begs the question, how fast can he go? Stay tuned for round 3 action!
1/12 GTP 17.5 - Sponsored by TOP Racing: This class deserves more attention owning to the fierce battles taking place. Not only is the pace getting faster, but previous backmarkers are storming up through the field! Rnd 1 TQ Larry Fairtrace improved his time by a bit making it onto the 41st lap, but it was not enough to hold off the hard charging Naoki Watanabe who leapfrogged Fairtrace with another 41 lapper. If that wasn't enough excitement, Kenny Lambert through down the gauntlet with an even faster TQ some 3 seconds beyond the latter two drivers. The rest of the top 10 are still on 40 lap runs, but Sal Amato made big strides moving all the way to fourth during this qualifying round.
Touring Expert 17.5 - Sponsored by Xenon Racing Products: As a reminder that boosted TCs are animals, Mike Haynes Hot Bodies TCX went up in smoke entering the back straight. A quick thinking spectator snatched the car off the carpet before it could do any damage, but the car was too far into the straight so the catch fence had to be pushed down. By some miracle, spectators down the entire length of the fence leapt to their feet hoisting the fence back up in unison without a single car getting entangled! On to the racing action:...Round 2 of Touring Expert 17.5 was all about continuity. While Keven Hebert got out onto the 26th lap all by his lonesome, the tenth place qualifier Austin Harrisonwas also by himself as the only other racer who wasn't sharing a qualifying time with another racer. It's the buddy system! Second place qualifier Mike Dumas and 3rd qualifier Larry Fairtrace were both caught at the line for 25 flats. The next two racers in 4th and 5th, Burney and Haynes, shared a 5:03. Martini and Schreven split a 5:04 for 6th and 7th respectively, while Evans and McNichols shared a 5:05! These are difficult to drive boosted TCs and these guys are holding hands out on track. Nuts!
1/12 GTP Modified - Sponsored by Viper R/C: The big story for this round of Modified 1/12 is the stellar run by Josh Cyrul who leap frogged Hebert's 1st round run to take the top spot. Where most if not all other classes saw wholesale improvements in qualifying times, it was notable that this class only saw about half the top ten improve their times. Cyrul being the most notable as he skipped over Hebert with a nailbiting run that tettered on being on the pace to off the pace from one lap to the next. It wasn't until the final lap that the announcer was able to make the call, ending 8 minutes of suspense.
Touring Stock 17.5 - Sponsored by Team Tekin: Correction: After a burp with the RCLive results page, the Touring Stock line-up looks a whole lot more interesting. Austin Harrison was able to better his first round time with a TQ run of 25 in 5:10.163, clicking off a 12.0 fast lap in the process. Eric Anderson had to sit on his first round time which was safe enough to keep him in the second spot. Bill Sydor made the best use of a false start to regroup and click off the third fastest time when the race was re-run at the end of the round.
1/12 GTP 13.5 - Sponsored by Competition Electronics: While the top two remained in lock step, Mobers leading Blackstock, both were able to improve on their round 1 times to retain their positions. Andrew Knapp stepped up and found the third spot just a few tenths behind veteran Blackstock. All three managed to click off 10.4 and 10.5 fast laps!
Touring Modified - Sponsored by Thunder Power R/C: After two rounds of wailing modified brushless motors, Paulie Lemieux's first round TQ stood the test of an improved groove. Regardless of why, the battle to nab the second spot was once again fought out betweeb Jilles and Keven. This time around, depsite bettering his first round time, Keven could not hold off Jilles charge through a super fast, super clean, and impeccably courteous field of professionals. Jilles slotted into the second qualifier slotone full second behind Paulie, and just 3/10ths clear of Keven. And no one burst into flames!
Road Round #1
World G.T. 13.5 - Sponsored by TM R/C Racing: A rather stout field of WGT cars are in attendance this year and the euro-wheels are making their presence felt. Markus Mobers put in the 3rd fastest run of round #1 with a 26 5:02.291 leading the majority of the remaining top ten WGT racers who also put in 26 lap runs. Just ahead of that tight battle was Jari Taskila who missed out on a 27 lap run by a mere 9/10ths of a second, leaving round #1 TQ Josh Cyrul all alone on that 27th lap with a 5:04.505.
Touring Amateur 17.5 - Sponsored by Trinity / Epic: The first few races for TC this morning brought the noise back to the ballroom as the amateurs battled for 'birds supremacy and a coveted spot in the fastest resorted qualifier in the upcoming round #2. Donovan Pinkerton edged out Rodney Barrett for the first round TQ by a hair under 1 second, both of which went 23 laps. Just a few seconds back on the 22nd lap, Jason Graham nabbed the 3rd qualifying spot and a very deserved spot in the fastest, second round, resorted qualifier.
1/12 GTP 17.5 - Sponsored by TOP Racing: In what has become an insanely stacked class, the slowest 1/12 class will also become a showcase for the latest chassis kits. The top ten all ran 40 laps and are seperated by LESS THAN 6 SEOCONDS! The top three are Larry Fairtrace(1), Kenny Lambert(2), and Frank Calandra(3). The rest of the top ten is a who's who of national races, from 4th to 10th respectively, Eric Anderson, Andrew Knapp, Naoki Watanabe, Terry Rott, Peter Robinson, EJ Evens and Sal Amato. Great racing to ensue during the heads-up A-main in this class. With so many racers on the same lap, even the B-main in this class is going to be bananas!
Touring Expert 17.5 - Sponsored by Xenon Racing Products: Providing a middle ground for the multitude of sponsored drivers in the touring car ranks, Expert 17.5 is showcasing talent from both ends of the spectrum, from full factory drivers to the guys with multiple discount sponsorships. At the pointy end of the field a trio of drivers are showing the way with some interesting results. Larry Fairtrace holds the current TQ spot of 50 laps in 5:00.307, flaunting an 11.6 fast lap along with a 12.9 slow lap. Proving even more consistent, but lacking a few tenths of pace, Keven Hebert also has a 50 lap 5:00.838 run, but his fast lap is an 11.8 with a slow lap of 12.2. Mike Haynes logged the 3rd fastest qualifier of the day with a 25 in 5:03.600, running an 11.9 fast lap with a 12.8 slow lap.
1/12 GTP Modified - Sponsored by Viper R/C: The spastic doorstops were out in force for their first crack at the clock. The top four clicked off 48 lap runs, with the 2nd and 3rd split by just 0.15 sec. Keven Hebert took this first round TQ, with Josh Cyrul in second and Markus Mobers in the aforementioned closely contest 3rd spot. The traction has come up a good bit, exposing more than a handful of these cars to wild bicycling and squirrely moments.
Touring Stock 17.5 - Sponsored by Team Tekin: Now officially the playground of sponsored drivers, Stock Touring continues to bring in big numbers and close racing. However, near the top of this particular pack are two racers who have made their mark in two totally different ways. Eric Anderson of EA Motorsport holds the TQ spot by just barely getting onto the 25th lap with a fast lap of 12.151. Proving to be a match for Eric's vast experience, relative newcomer Austin Harrison missed the 25th lap by less than a second with a fast lap of 12.163. The gap back to third qualifier Dustin Layne is some four seconds and fast laps falls by 2 tenths with the remainder of the field even further back. It appears that the new blood has the old gaurd squarely in their sites. Round 2 should prove to be a treat with resorts in every class!
1/12 GTP 13.5 - Sponsored by Competition Electronics: Markus Mobers is certainly getting his money's worth out of this years Snowbird Nationals, running multiple classes and doing well in each. Taking the top spot in 1/12 GTP 13.5, Markus was followed closely by Mike BLackstock just one second back on the 45th lap. Joe Trandell fnishes off the first round podium with a fast 44 lap run. A few of the more notable hot shoes blew out or broke out, so the second round of qualifying is sure to provide some great action!
Touring Modified - Sponsored by Thunder Power R/C: Because the heavy hitters of Modified touring car were spread out among the 4 heats in this class, we all waited with baited breath each race's ace took turns trying to steal the mental advantage of first round TQ. The first race set the bar rather high as Josh Cyrul threatened Paul Lemieux in the opening laps, peeking down the inside of a few infield corners. Lemieux hung on to the TQ pace as the first qualifier progressed, but Keven Hebert was steadly widdling away at the gap. Down to the last minute, it looked as though Hebert would sneak past for TQ, but Paulie responded. Clicking off numerous laps within a tenth (2/100ths to be exact) of his own pseonal (and class leading) fast lap of 11.175, Lemieux wheeled three perfect laps to close out the qualifier and temporarily secure the TQ position. The second race saw Mike Blackstock and Mike Haynes put on a clinic, trading the lead back and forth throughout their race. As the minutes wound down, it became obvious that neither would have the pace neccessary to dethrone Lemieux. The third qualifier, while impressive in it's own right, didn't produce any runs that would shuffle the top spots. But the fourth race would prove to be a nail bitter. Jilles Groskamp set out to reclaim his formidable presence at 'birds past. His opening laps looked very promising, flirting with the TQ in the first couple minutes. As the clock ticked away though, his fast lap didn't threaten Lemieux's, being some 2/10s slower, so it appeared that Jilles was threatening purely on consistency. By the time the bell signalled an end to the race and the entire round of qualifying, it had become apparant that Jilles would put humself in a good position despite being a few seconds behind the TQ. As it stands, Paul Lemieux holds TQ with a 27 in 5:08.881, Keven Hebert is in 2nd with a 27 in 5:10.660, and Jilles effort earned him 3rd spot with a 26 in 5:00.009.
"Prepare to Qualify"
Practice Day is OVER. The intensity went up a few notchs today and the competition followed suit with amazingly close racing in what were nothing more than glorified practice sessions. Both Road and Oval saw some hellacious wrecks and respectful driving, proving once again that while everyone leaves it all on the track, it's the best in the business who do so here at the 17th annual Snowbird Nationals.
Oval Practice by Heats has Concluded
1/12 Oval - Little cars, big motors: This class is a great way to transport a large lexan wing around the track with the least amount of car beneath it, using a large motor. In the second race, Phil Marabella took the practice TQ honors with a 60 in 4:01:31. However, in the third race, Steve Miller would go 60 in 4:01:71 keeping Marabella honest. Brian Wynn collected the 3rd fastst time in practice with a 58 lap run.
SK cars - Simple cars, tight racing: Open wheeled racing at reasonable speeds with respectful drivers makes for some great action. Jeff Helms showed the way with a 53 lap run, a whole lap up on his next closest competitor. The fight for the second spot was between Chris Odom and Dave Whitesel, with Odom nipping Whitesel for the 2nd spot by a mere 2/10 of a second.
Stock Car - The traditional oval pan class: Tighter than a new set of ballcups, the 17.5 field is going to be impossibly difficult to break into without a perfect run. The top 3 are seperated by less than a second, and the top 2 are split by 8/100 of a second! That's 8 hundreths, in practice! Eric Beltz eeked out the fastest run of the day against another Eric, Mr. Thomas, whose nearly identical run was just half a second faster than Dave Irrgang's maiden run with his new IRS Aftershock kit.
Pro Mod 7.5 - Unchained fury: While we could easily re-label this class as the KSG SCX-club, it's interesting to note that the 1st and 3rd fastest cars were, in fact, T-plate SCXs! Pete D'Agnolo took the top spot of the podium by a lap over the lone link-spec SCX piloted by Kevin Koback. Steve Miller rounds out the practice podium in 3rd with the other T-late SCX, a lap back from Koback. And talk about FAST, Pro Mod 7.5 cars are on edge everywhere. Just a nip of ice at the apex can send them around, collecting the entire field in less than 2 seconds!
Outlaw Truck - Haulin' more than your average trucks: The last bastion of 2cell pancars (pantrucks?), Outlaw Truck has a nice one lap spread between each of the fastest three racers in final practice. Brian Mansfield leads the way with a 58 lap run, with Tracy Lambe coming in 2nd with a 57 lapper and Darrell Taylor snagging 3rd fastest time with a 65.
COT 13.5 - Watch 'em fly: Kevin Koback "dun run away" with this one, lapping alone on the 59th lap. The battle behind him was much tighter between Brian Deel's 2nd fastest time of 58 laps in 4:00:50, andDusty Kemp's 58 in 4:00:91!
TOUR TruckBest selling car in America is...a truck: Despite a 2 lap difference from the 1st to 10th truck, there are three phenominal battles going down in TOUR Truck. The top three, Chirs Clayton, Chad Humble and William Turner, are all on 49s seperated by just 2 seconds. The next three trucks are all on the 48th lap. But far and away the closest battle is between the trucks in 7th through 10th which all ran 47 flats. ALL FOUR TRUCKS COVERED BY JUST 7/10s!
Mod 10.5 - Got rip?: The 10.5 crowd had to stay up the latest, but they put on a hell of a show to close out the organized practice at the 17th annual Snowbird Nationals. Kevin Koback stormed the field and clocked the only 64 lap run of the day. Behind his stellar performance was the battle for 2nd fastest between Monti Panzia and Pete D'Angolo with Monti nipping Pete by a scant second with both logging 63 lap runs. The racers occupying 4-8 all clicked off 62 lappers and were spread out by just 3 seconds. Not to be out done, the last two racers in the top ten of Mod 10.5 split by just a tenth on the 61st lap.
Onroad Practice Concludes
The quite intensity of 1/12 GTP 17.5 is broken by the brutal poundings of the Expert TC as this author settles in for a long week of frantic typing. To recap the practice times so far, we'll go class by class with the top 3 qualifiers in each.
1/12 GTP 17.5 - The Silent Assasins: Showing how strong the 1/12 chassis market continues to be, a different chassis manufacturer occupies each of the top 3 spots after todays round of organized practice. Sal Amato holds the 3rd fastest time wheeling a Speed Merchant Rev.6, with Frank Calandra running a box stock CRC Gen XL to the 2nd fastest time, leaving long time 1/12 hold-out Larry Fairtrace in the top spot of the day with the new TOP Rebel.
Touring Amateur - The Field of Diversity: Donovan Pinkerton nabbed the fastest practice time of the day with a healthy margin of 5 seconds back to Mike Larcher in the 2nd spot, but just 1 second separates Larcher from the third fastest amateur, Rodney Barrett.
World G.T. - First on the clock: Despite logging the first official timed laps of the event, the 3rd fastest qualifier of the day, running a CRC Gen XL, Dave Ehrlich said, "The track has come in, feels really good." In the second spot, running a Serpent S100, Markus Mobers sits 7 seconds adrift from Snowbird's perrenial ironman, Josh Cyrul running the same CEFX Griffin that took the honors at Cleveland.
1/12 GTP Modified - Surgeons of Speed: The fasest of the fast took to the track in a display of pure driving talent as the modified cars let it all hang out. Through 3 full practice heats, the audience was privy to every aspect of racecar handling from two-wheeling to drifting .....1/12 pans cars! The insanity bioled down to Associated's Keven Hebert being left all alone on top with his very own lap saying, "it drives easy...not working hard yet." In the second spot, Markus Mobers wheeled a Serpent S120L to a gap of less than 1 second back to 3rd place runner Jilles Groskamp. Jilles shook down a CRC Gen XL in practice, but will sit out of WGT to concentrate on 1/12 and TC classes.
Touring Expert - They don't wreck often, but when they do.....: If this class is any indication of how tight the racing will be in the slightly faster modified class, we are in for a good show this year. Touring Expert is a who's who of TC, with the top three seperated by LESS THAN 2 SECONDS! The practice podium has Kevin Hebert and his Associated TC6 on top, Mike Haynes and a Hot Bodies TCX in 2nd, and finally Francesco Martini in 3rd with an Xray T3.
Touring Stock - Tight racing is the name of this game: With just a second seperating the fastest run of the day from the second fastest, Touring Stock is living up to it's billing as racers wring every last tenth out of their setups. Cory Parsons takes the top spot wheeling an Xray T2'009, and behind the aforementioned 1 second gap finds 2009 fast guy Austin Harrison and his Xray T3 looking for a smidge more time. Clicking off the 3rd fastest time of the day is multi-class, euro traveler Francesco Martini and his Xray T3. See a trend forming here?
1/12 GTP 13.5 - More doorstops, more yank: Mike Dumas eeked out a healthy margin of 3 full seconds to claim the fastest 13.5 powered 1/12 of the day. Markus Mobers held a slim 3/10 of a second lead over 3rd fastest Terry Rott.
TC Modified - Heavy hitters, hitting heavy: With all the horspower available, modified touring cars embody the "have at it, go as fast as you dare" mentality. Jilles Groskamp laid claim to the fastest time of the day with his Tamiya 417, gaining some important mental collateral for tomorrows qualifying. Keven Hebert and his trusty AE TC6 just missed out on the top spot, behind by a scant 6/10 of a second, while Marc Fischer slotted into the 3rd spot.
LIVE FROM THE 17TH ANNUAL SNOWBIRD NATIONALS
Coming to you LIVE from the ballroom at the 17th annual Snowbird (Inter!) Nationals, coverage of all the action begins Wednesday afternoon. With non-stop racing comes non-stop action! Bookmark this page for up to the minute race recaps, industry news, sponsor announcements, and all the gory details on the quest for the Championship Rings! The busiest week in R/C is upon us once again, so buckle those seat belts and return your laptop monitor to it's fully upright position. We're going in hot!