Sanford and Son RC headed out to Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA on November 12th for the final round of the Summer Series. The layout for this track was created by the world famous Joey Christensen of The Dirt Racing. This round was actually a make up for an earlier round that was cancelled. The race would consist of two five-minute qualifiers and 30 minute A Mains for the nitro classes, and 7 minute triple A Mains for the electric classes. The track would be watered every other heat.
The main competition for this round would include TLR’s Gil Alontaga and Don Vinkemulder, Mugen driver Jared Galligar, Tekno RC racers Adam Schick, Art Sanfratello and Bryant Peters, fellow Kyosho drivers Anthony Howarth and Alex Hartmuller, and a number of fast local racers.
1/8 Scale Electric Buggy
I was able to get in about 6 minutes of practice before qualifying, but the E Buggy was fantastic, so that was sufficient. The only change I made before qualifying was to raise the inner rear link to better handle the high bite track conditions. There would be 12 entries in the class, so they split us up into two heats. I would be in the second heat, and the track would be watered. I got off to a good start, and held the lead from start to finish. I would set the first round TQ.
I had the dry track for the second qualifier, but stayed with the same set of tires, as there was almost no wear from the first round. Again I got a great start and raced clean. I was able to better my round one TQ by a tenth of a second. I would start the triple A Mains from the pole position.
For the mains, I stayed with the same set of tires. No setup changes were needed, as the car was great. In fact, I would have almost identical lap times in the eBuggy A Mains as I did for the nitro car A Main. I got a great start in A1, and was able to lead the race from start to finish, without any mistakes.
A2 started, and I got a great hole shot. On lap one, I caught a rut on a right hand roller and almost flipped the car. I was able to stay on my wheels, but fell to third place. I got into second place pretty quickly, but Galligar was running a tight line. With a few minutes left, he went wide and I almost went for it, but backed off so I wouldn’t take us both out. I followed him around the track for the next couple of laps.
With 45 seconds left, I was right on Galligar’s wing as we went over the double-triple. I landed the triple just inside the pipe, and when I rounded the corner, I blew past on the inside. We both beat the clock for a final lap, but I stayed clean, taking the close win. My two wins in the first two A Mains meant that I would be able to sit out A3, and finish at the top of the podium.
1/8 Scale E Buggy Series Results:
1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho / AKA)
2. Adam Schick (Tekno / AKA)
3. Jared Galligar (Mugen / AKA)
1/8 Scale Expert Nitro Buggy
I jumped out to an early lead in Q1 of the Expert Nitro class, and stayed clean the entire race. I was able to take the win by five seconds, getting the first round TQ.
In Q2 on a wet track, the car was fantastic, and I settled into an early groove. Howarth pushed me throughout the race, but I had a mistake free run. I won Q2 by 5 seconds, but missed my first round TQ by a tenth of a second. I would qualify first for the 30 minute A Main.
My tire of choice for the A Main was a fresh set of soft compound AKA GridIron II tires. I would normally opt for soft compound Impact tires for a 30 minute main, but it was night before we ran the A Main, and the track was holding moisture very well. It turned out to be a good choice. The car was unbelievable!
In the A Main, I got the hole shot, and was able to avoid getting taken out on the first turn. Howarth was right on my rear bumper, and he tried to shove it in on the first left hand uphill turn. He took me out, but he did wait, showing good sportsmanship. However, I was now in fourth place. I knew there was plenty of time left, so I stayed cool and just drove the car. My pit crew gave me a great first pit stop, and I left the pits in second place, right behind Hartmuller. I stayed with him for the next few laps. I was patient, and eventually retook the lead.
My pit crew got me in and out of the pits very quickly, and the tune on the motor was perfect. I was able to relax and get into a good rhythm. I needed a marshall only once, so I was able to pull away to a comfortable lead, and cruised to a two lap victory.
I missed Round 1 of this series, and I knew going into this final round that I would need to TQ and get the A Main win just to tie for the series points lead. I got the TQ in all four rounds I entered, and got first place in the A Main for three of those four rounds. Vinkemulder got five second place finishes, and won the tiebreaker due to my 0 point throwout from the first round.
1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Series Results:
1. Don Vinkemulder (TLR / ProLine)
2. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho / AKA)
3. Gil Alontaga (TLR / Proline)
Everything really came together again this weekend. My equipment and tires performed perfectly all day, so I would like to say thank you to all my sponsors: Sanford and Son RC, Kyosho, KO Propo, AKA, DE Racing, Tekin, TTN Racing, Vision Racing Products and Upgrade RC.
Radio duties for both cars were handled by the KO EX-1 KIY transmitter and KR-413FH receiver. The nitro car was equipped with the KO BSX2 Response H.C. servo for throttle, and both cars used the KO RSX2 Power H.C. servo for steering.
Thank you to Heritage RC Park, and to track manager Anthony Howarth and the track crew for a great job getting the track ready. Thank you also to race director Victor Orellana for keeping the program running smoothly, and for a great job on the mic.