ChunCheon 1/8th Off-Road Championships in South Korea
Last week I jet set across the pacific ocean in the new Delta A350 plane to Seoul, South Korea. Our final destination though was a 2 hour drive inland to ChunCheon which seemed to me to be a major sports town! The R/C track was only one small part of the huge event the city had going on that weekend. There was Ice Hockey, rock climbing, baseball, soccer, a dog show, BMX, speed skating, a concert venue, and probably many other things I didn’t notice. (Though I did see on a couple guys shirts at the hotel they were from Pakistan and were there to play Carrom!) All in all it was an awesome experience that I was blessed to be a part of and I couldn’t have been there without the one and only R/C Panda Kevin Lee! Kevin rented a 15 passenger van and took 8 of us from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, and USA around all week! He was awesome and made the trip such a great experience.
But the trip almost didn’t happen for me. I was told there was a Typhoon to hit at the same time I was supposed to be landing in Seoul and I almost backed out. But I figured if they were flying the plane then they knew what they were doing. Fortunately the typhoon weakened and was basically just a rain event though this did keep us from getting any practice on Friday.
Come Saturday I saw my first sunshine ever in South Korea (I had been one time before about 8 years ago and it rained every single day of my trip). We had a slightly delayed start but they decided to do one practice round. The track started relatively smooth but I had been informed it would be a sugared high traction track. But the rain washed that thought away and it ended up pretty loose and marbled. Fortunately I brought some SSLW Impacts and Grids so that was an appropriate tire for the conditions. After that one practice we went through two qualifiers on Saturday and took best one of two to seed the mains. I was able to TQ each round in both Nitro Buggy and Electric Buggy and would start on pole for the Odd semi and the A-main respectively. The track at the end of the day had gotten very rough and many jump faces were making jumps almost unmanageable. That night though they worked on some sections and added some carpet to a major jump face and it seemed to work very well.
As we went through the day on Sunday it was looking like it might rain on us again. So they did what they could to hurry along the program a little. We had a 20 minute Semi-Final which I was able to win handily as the track was now very rough in sections again. Next we had the 8 minute E-buggy final which I was able to throw down some of my fastest laps of the weekend even with the tough track as my EB48.4 was just killing it! The final race of the day was the 45 minute Nitro buggy final. I opted to run SLW Ibeams as there was quite a bit of dust and the traction had come up a bit in some sections and I hoped they would just be easy to drive. Fortunately it was a good choice and I got off to a good start. Korean Native Danny Choi kept me honest the first 5 minutes but I found my groove and began to pull away. Ended up with I believe a 3 lap victory in the end and some more good practice on a challenging track condition.
On Monday we went to GRC track in Seoul where I was allowed to run a locals EB410 on an indoor carpet track! It was a ton of fun and a great way to relax before my evening flight. I really just had a great time hanging out with friends, meeting new ones, and playing with R/C Cars! Also got to try some new foods and enjoy some sitting on the floor authentic Korean BBQ which was delicious!
Next up is the 3D Southern Nationals in a couple weeks.