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  • Writer's pictureRyan Lutz

Peach State Classic 2023

This year I got to attend an event that looked like a great one when I saw it last year and that is the Georgia Peach State Classic. They didn't disappoint with a fast layout that was fun to race on. It's a covered pavilion track and thankfully so as we got to race through some rains and also enjoy the natural beauty of northern Georgia. I raced my primary 3 classes in this one, but the weekend started with a clinic just after arrival on Thursday. I would have 4 drivers to work with as we went over some tips and looked over their cars to be sure they would be staring with their best foot forward come race time.

Friday saw practice and it started it with groupings by skill level and class which was really nice. The pro guys all got a 1hr 30min time slot where we got to run in which allowed for a clearer track and we could run multiple tanks to check mileage and other things. Then at the end of the day there was an open practice where everyone was able to turn some more laps. Overall I really liked the practice format they offered. They also allowed volunteers to marshal the pro session and they were all entered into a raffle for some awesome prizes!

Saturday brought about qualifying and really it didn't go too great for me. I had changed my setup a decent amount in practice in the buggies as the track had lots of high speed sweeping corners and I just felt like I needed a bit more rear support and so I tried some different rear link positions and roll center changes. But when I got into qualifying I just wasn't feeling comfortable and so I decided to go back to the geometry I ran at the last event at LCRC and just go up on diffs. I had gone down for this event to 7-7-3 but decided to put in what I was running at LCRC at 20-15-10 in the buggies and it really seemed to help as we got into the later rounds. Tire wise I really wanted to run the new Lux tire but it seemed like it was just a bit too dusty in the line at this venue. So my go to ended up being SSLW Zip fronts and Double Down rears in Q3. In earlier qualifying I was also trying SSLW Components and Diamanté which also were doing well. My only highlights as far as qualifying results though were in Q3 with a 2nd in Nitro buggy and TQ in Ebuggy. Overall I would be starting 3rd in Ebuggy, 4th in Nitro truggy, and 7th in Nitro buggy, though my cars all felt better than that so I was hoping for a good Sunday.

Come main day we had Nitro truggy up first with a 30 minute main. I had been running SSLW Scribbles again in truggy with good success just like LCRC. Starting 4th I tried to hold position but 3rd tagged a pipe on lap 3 and I got into him and thus I fell back to 5th. After that though I moved up to 3rd by lap 6 where I paced the lead pair and caught up to them to within about 1.5 second as I came in for my first pit stop. I knew with my pit man Will Walker on the gun I would only loose about 4 seconds on the pit stop and my hope was that the leaders would battle and come into the pits together and slow down just enough for me to take the lead when they came out and that is exactly what transpired. As they came into their first stop about 2 laps later I raced down the straight and into the lead and I did! I strung together 12 consecutive 26 second lap times and extended out to about a 9 second lead by my second pit stop. I was able to basically maintain that distance for the remainder of the race with an overall clean run and taking the victory by about 11 seconds at the end of the 30 minutes. I'm very pleased with how my Kyosho MP10T has been working lately and my set-up changes seem to boil down to the D block. For tracks with more grip I run 2.5* rear toe and on tracks with a little less grip where the steering is really good still I go with 3.5* to lock the rear in.

Next was Ebuggy A1 and I ran the SSLW Zip Downs in this one. Starting 3rd I set off with the lead pair before p2 made a mistake and I got collected on lap two knocking me down to 6th. Then another issue had me in 7th on lap 4 and I had my work cut out for me. I was able to put in some clean laps after that though for the remainder of the race and moved up position by position as the race transpired and into 2nd with a nice launch pass in the back right over Tebo on lap 20 where I held on to finish 2nd.

Next up was the Nitro buggy 30 minute main and for this one I was starting 7th. I felt decent at the start and moved up slowly to 4th on lap 10 and then to 2nd for a few laps on lap 20. However I then had a string of mistakes as the track was getting rougher and dustier in the line and I was struggling at times with that condition. I then was basically in a battle for 3-5 for the remainder of the race and fortunately I was able to take the final step on the podium on lap 60 and hold it until the end of the race taking 3rd. Looking at lap times of the race I didn't have the pace of others however I was first in Standard Deviation. I'm not sure exactly the calculation for this metric, however I know it has to do with consistency and so even though I didn't have the raw pace in this one, my cleaner more consistent laps allowed me to reach the podium. \

The final race was ebuggy A2 and it was the last race of the night and the track was at its dustiest. I felt like I was really struggling for grip in this one however I was able to hold onto 2nd for a good portion of the race before hitting a car that was upside down and falling to 3rd. Overall my time from A1 and that p2 position would allow me to take 3rd overall in the class.

On top of the solid 3x podium result I was also doing a fundraiser for Operation Underground Railroad where I was selling tickets to win my Kyosho MP10 TKI3 body at the end of the event. The winner was drawn around 11am on Sunday and thanks to some generous donation we were able to raise $785 at this event. I will continue to do this at all my remaining events throughout 2023 to support this great cause and work to raise awareness and work to end human trafficking.

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