So I just got home from Xiamen, China from the 1/10th 4wd portion of the IFMAR Worlds 2017. It was literally just 3 weeks prior to the event that I made the decision to see if I could go. Everything fell into place to make it happen and so within 10 hours of arriving home from the Battle of the Sikest Thornhill I was back on a plane headed to China! I arrived late (but as early as I could) and got in around 2:00 am on Thursday morning (morning of 4wd practice.). So by 6 am we were in a taxi and on our way to the track. I had a lot on my plate getting tires glued up and learning the lay of the land and trying to get on the track for my first practice around 8:30 that morning.
Fortunately I had some help from Carson and Jonathan Yeung as well as my hero of the weekend Tommy Fung who all pitched in to help me glue up my 15 sets of tires. I found it a little confusing on how or when we needed to have the tires glued by as they were a controlled tire and were kept in an impound situation. So between all my first practice runs I kept going back upstairs to finish gluing up more sets. I would be able to finish gluing all my sets by the end of the day but it ended up being a bad decision to do so. I found out shortly after gluing my last set that some guys were gluing their foams to the rims. With the bumps and high speed sweepers and relatively higher grip surface, gluing the foams was helping keep cars more consistent and easier to drive. So there was a strike against me and was something I wasn’t able to rectify.
Practice seemed to start out ok and in fact on my first time on the track I had one of the fastest single laps of anyone on my 4th lap no less! And I made a post that I should just go home now on facebook as it started out way to good! That would have been a wise thing in retrospect. haha. As practice continued on that first day I began to struggle more with traffic (being in an earlier heat as having not attended the last worlds.) I also just had a hard time with the track itself. The mixture of high grip sections coupled with a couple slick spots due to the track glossing up or dust make a challenging surface for me to be consistent on.
Qualifying would start the next day and I was working with the guys back home though facebook just trying to get a set-up I could be comfortable with. I would have some good starts to a couple qualifiers but then just blow out at the end for one reason or another. In one of the qualifiers I lost my wheel on the last lap while on a decent run. My best qualifier was the 3rd one when I was able to put in a clean run overall and seed 11th for the round. I was hoping things were on the up and up and I would be able to follow that up with two more good runs. But my Q4 was riddled with mistakes and Q5 didn’t happen on Saturday morning due to rain right as we were getting underway with that 5th qualifier. So they ended up just taking 2 of 4 runs for qualifying results and that gave me an 11th and 25th which seated me 23rd overall and thus 3rd in the C-main.
I know I didn’t have the preparation going into the event and I know I arrived late and all but I still am so used to just being able to still do well regardless. So this wasn’t a result I was very pleased with and it was a hard pill to swallow. I’m sure some things like gluing the foams would have helped a little. Other things I didn’t try but after talking with others after the event would have helped include making the car super flexible like I did on carpet. I thought about it during the event but was a bit afraid due to the inconsistent jumps. But sounds like it would have greatly helped make the car a lot easier to drive. I should have taken off the rear chassis brace and removed some unnecessary screws and loosened others. I’m sure this would have helped. I also should have brought my lighter battery packs (my 3600’s vs. my 4900’s.) I think they would have assisted in landing better on all the flat landings since there were no downsides to jumps.
So there is a number of things I learned, some in retrospect. I wish I could try it all again as of course i’m sure many would. I’m so grateful to Tekno, Tekin, and ProTek RC for helping to make it all happen for me. I know it wasn’t the result we had all hoped would be possible but a beautiful thing about R/C is there is always another race just around the corner. I will regroup and try again at the next one and work towards a better result.
Again a huge thank you to Tommy Fung for all of his help to make this trip a reality for me as well. Also to Jonathan and Carson Yeung for their assistance with gluing tires and just being ready for those first runs! I am so very fortunate to be able to do what I do and I am so grateful for everyone who has supported me!