Pro-Line Championship Series, Final Round

Sanford and Son RC headed out to Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA on May 30th for the fourth and final round of the Pro-Line Championship Series. The expert buggy class would consist of two 7 minute qualifiers with a 30 minute A Main. The E Buggy class would consist of two 7 minute qualifiers and a 10 minute A Main. A layout change was made for this round of racing. A new S-section with a table top was added, and the straightaway was shortened and rerouted.

The competition for this round would include TLR’s Tyler Brown, Dayton Brown and Don Vinkemulder, Mugen drivers Robert Wickham and Jaime Boquiren, J.D. Mora from LRP, and some very fast local racers.

Expert Buggy Final

1/8 Scale Expert Buggy

We got to the track on Friday, because I wanted to try the newly released front shock kit and shock tower for the MP9. The shock tower is higher, to accommodate the new longer front shocks. The longer shock bodies and shock shafts allow about 5mm more shock travel. The new setup also allows for more droop. I set the droop setting to maximum and hit the track for practice. The new front shock setup definitely helped in the bumps, and the car seemed to land the jumps better, but the extra droop had an undesired effect. On braking for the corners, the rear of the car was losing traction, causing the rear end to break loose a little bit. My pit man suggested removing some of the front droop to reduce the weight transfer, and that did the trick. The car was dialed in again.

We got to the track early on Saturday and set up our tent. AKA Soft GridIron II tires had worked great for the entire series, so I bolted up a fresh set for Q1. On lap one, I overshot the straightaway a little bit and got into the loose dirt in the 180 degree turn before the double table top. I was in fifth place after the first lap, but I was able to gradually work my way back up to first place. Tyler Brown had a great race, but I was able to take the first round TQ by 5 seconds.

For Q2, I pulled into the pits for fuel after the practice laps, and the motor flamed out leaving the pits. My pit man got me restarted, but the motor flamed out again leaving the pits. My pit man got me restarted quickly, but time was running out for me to make the starting loop. I revved the engine hard for a couple of seconds and left the pits for the third time. The motor kept running this time, but I would get a late start. I started a lap down, but I pressed hard and worked my way up from 8th place to second. By the final lap, I had fought back to within seconds of the leader, but lost the round by 3 seconds to Tyler Brown. Fortunately, my first round TQ held up, and I would start on the pole for the 30-minute A Main.

I re-tuned my motor for the A Main, and had no further issues. I got a great start, and Tyler Brown and I pulled away early. After a few laps in, I had gradually stretched out a 5 second lead. When I pitted at the 8:30 mark, I had increased my lead to about 15 seconds.

As Vinkemulder, Brown and Wickham battled hard behind me, I stretched my lead to almost a lap. I pulled up right behind Brown, who was battling for second place with Vinkemulder, but I could not get by safely. My pit man saw this, and wisely pitted me a little early, at the 16:00 mark. By the time I got refueled and back on the track, there was some breathing room in front of me. A brilliant pit strategy by my pit man.

I made a couple of small bobbles late in the race, and required a turn marshal once, but fortunately I had a good cushion of a lead, and was able to grab a victory lap to finish a lap up on the field.

1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Results:

1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
2. Tyler Brown (TLR)
3. Don Vinkemulder (TLR)

1/8 Scale Expert Buggy Overall Series Results:

1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho)
2. Don Vinkemulder (TLR)
3. Robert Wickham (Mugen)


Expert Buggy Final

1/8 Scale E Buggy

It is hard to express how good my E Buggy has been for this entire series. The only setup change I have had to make for the entire series was a shock oil change to compensate for the weather. I ran the same set of Soft AKA GridIron II tires for both qualifiers and the A Main, with plenty of tread left for a few practice runs next week. The car was very planted, and easy to drive. Except for the A Main, my lap times were a couple of tenths quicker than those of my nitro car.

In Q1, I had a perfect run, and would get the first round TQ. In Q2, I cased the big double after the table top, and was fortunate to win the heat. I missed my first round TQ, but would start first in the 10 minute A Main.

I got a great start in the Main, and pulled out to an early lead over the field. My Kyosho MP9e TKI, with the Tekin RX8 Gen2 and Redline T8 Gen2 1900 motor was fantastic. The Soft compound AKA GridIron II tires were amazing, as usual. Stigre, Mora and Galontaga ran a great race, but I ran the entire 10 minute Main mistake free, and finished on top of the podium.

1/8 Scale E-Buggy Results:

1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho/Tekin)
2. J.D. Mora (LRP)
3. Loch Stigre (TLR)

1/8 Scale E-Buggy Overall Series Results:

1. Lucas Sanford (Kyosho/Tekin)
2. J.D. Mora (LRP)
3. Loch Stigre (TLR)

For all four rounds of the series, I was fortunate enough to earn the TQ and the win in Expert Buggy and E-Buggy, and I could not have done it without 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, to track manager Gil Alontaga and the track crew for a great job this entire series. A special thanks goes to Pro-Line for sponsoring the series.

MP9 TKI3

Heritage RC Park

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