This past weekend I took the 4.5 hour drive east to rural Pennsylvania where one of the greatest gems of an R/C track exists. LCRC raceway is a fast flowing large off-road track and they have the surface down to a science to combat the unpredictable weather of the North East. During the weekend we had numerous downpours of rain, but each time the track crew flexed their skills at returning the track to primo running condition! In between we were treated to a steadily increasing groove where grip levels got pretty good on Saturday afternoon in the 90* sun. For this event which drew just under 300 entires even with the rain threat, I chose to run just my Kyosho nitro and electric buggies.
I arrived on Thursday afternoon and was able to practice for a couple of hours before the first bout of rain arrived. Tire wise I was primarily on the AKA SS compound as the track was still reasonably looser and thus tread wise was liking the gridiron 2s. On Friday we got some more rain limiting the amount of practice on the day but I was working on my set-ups to find a good balance for this fast smooth track. Everything I have been on thus far with my Kyosho rides has been more rodeo style dirt and rough. This was my first fast paced smooth track so a few adjustments were in order. One thing I wanted was more corner rotation and for that I went to the 3* rear toe pills instead of 3.5*. I also shortened the rear link on the rear upright to liven or quicken the rear end up a bit. I also moved my rear upright forward 2mm to have a bit more dog bone angle which for me allowed me to drive a little harder and still have rear end support and also put more weight forward under braking giving me a bit more steering in those 180's.
As we got underway on Saturday the weather was to be a toasty 90*, humid and sunny and the track continually formed a line and grooved up. As the grip came up I began to run a tighter pin tire and sometimes opting for the bar tires too. I ran SS Typo in an early qualifier when there was a line but not yet a black groove. As the groove began to blacken out I went to regular soft compound double downs for the afternoon runs. For the final qualifier which ended up being under the lights I went with SSLW double downs. I felt the track had enough black groove to allow the SSLW compound to work and overall the tires were good for the conditions. The other thing critical with a fast flowing track is the diff set-up. When the track was looser in practice and early qualifying I liked my standard front and rear oil set-up (but still a heavier center due to the high speed and always getting on the gas hard.) But when the grip comes up you need to go up in front and rear as well so as not to balloon tires too much. So early on was more of a 7-10-4 set-up to still get the necessary steering on the looser track, but as the grip came up I went to 10-10-5 which seemed good for the final qualifiers and the mains.
When the dust settled from qualifying I found myself in TQ of E-buggy with my Kyosho MP10e with a TQ in Q1 and Q2 and 2nd overall in Nitro buggy with a pair of 2s in Q1 and Q3. The forecast for the overnight though would throw a question mark into things as we got one of those downpours overnight Saturday night into Sunday morning. But the Track crew was pushing water off the track as it fell through the night and was up at 5 in the morning to get the track prepped so we could start main day by 7:30, just a 30 minute delay from scheduled! Amazing!
My first main would be the 3rd to last race of the day and it would be the 25 minute nitro buggy final. I was starting 2nd and I opted for Soft Chainlink for this final. The track came in perfectly in time for our main as the groove began to reappear and we were due for a great race. It was a 3 horse race out of the gate with Joe leading us out and Ethan right on my tail. I made a mistake on lap 2 falling to 3rd and then Joe made a mistake on lap 3 falling to third and I got to 2nd with Ethan now in the lead. It was catchup time now as Ethan was running super consistent and clean. Joe and I got into a bit of a battle on lap 6 and I wasn't able to go for the triple option on the right and he landed on me sending us both crashing. This gave Ethan about a 5 second lead. I was able to slowly chip away as we approached the first stop. At one point I was about 4 seconds behind Ethan and Joe was about 4 behind me and I was catching Ethan and Joe was catching me. I thought we are all going to converge within a few laps with a 3 way battle for the lead, but Joe had another mistake putting him further back. It was now up to me to chase down Ethan but it was noted after the first pit stop that he was able to do just 2 stops while Joe and I were doing 3. So we had to make up those 5 seconds or so also. Fortunately I have my amazing pit guys this year Mr. Will Walker on the gun and he kept me in it with our stops.
When we were both down to our last stops I was catching up to within 2 seconds or so, then on lap 30 he made his final stop giving me the lead and when I came in 4 laps later Will got me out quick and I came out of pit lane just behind Ethan. A lap later I was on his tail down the front straight and there is a tight pitchers mound chicane at the end of it where he boinked the pipe and I slipped underneath into the lead. Now it was preservation time Ethan kept me honest the remaining 9 laps getting right to my bumper a couple times, but I was able to hold him off and take the victory by just 0.7 tenths after the 25 minutes!
Our final race of the day was Ebuggy and we were in a rush to get going because one of those nasty storms was barreling down our necks. I opted to run Soft Components on this one. For warmup we only got 1/4 lap, basically from pit lane to the left side of the track to get gridded up. On the tone I held off Joe the best I could for the first 3 laps but I was missing my corners bad and having to close the door too often. Finally I made a mistake on lap 4 loosing 5 seconds upside down and falling to 4th. I moved back up to 2nd by lap 8 as my tires really started to feel good around lap 7. I was now feeling comfortable but Joe wasn't making any mistakes. Even with thunder rumbling over our heads and the threat of getting soaked any moment, he kept his composure and I would come home 2 seconds behind in 2nd in this one.
Overall a great fun weekend of racing at a premier facility. I always enjoy coming here to race and look forward to the next time I can attend. My Kyosho cars were working very well and it was great to see a good number of Kyosho cars in attendance at this one! I was able to help some with set-up and get them more dialed in as well!
Next up for me is the Southern Nationals with all 3 of my Kyosho Rides!
On this track I used 4,700mAh in 10:20 seconds of runtime in the main