ROAR 1/8th Electric Nationals, Rome NY
Updated: Aug 5
This past weekend I attended my first 1/8th Electric Nationals since 2019! This year the host was CRC Raceway in Rome, NY which was just over a 6 hour drive for me. I had been to this facility 1 time before last year for the Rumble, so I knew a bit of what to expect. Tire wise I focused on Components and Diamanté knowing they would be good all around tires for the weekend, and for Truggy it was Gridirons.
We got underway on Thursday with track controlled practice. And before that even kicked off the local news was on site and I got to do a quick onboard video for them and answer some questions about R/C. VIEW NEWS HERE. Then we got down to business with the event.
The track is similar surface and technicality to my home track with lots of switch backs and tight sections where you have to be nimble. Overall I didn't require much in the way of changes from my setups I've used lately. Early on and throughout early qualifying I was primarily on SS and SSLW compound and they were working great. I had many of the fastest laps throughout practice and I was feeling pretty comfortable overall. Most of us thought we were only going to get to practice on Thursday and then wouldn't get to run again until Saturday because storms were coming in Thursday night and were forecast throughout the day on Friday. But the overnight storms were much less and the Friday ones never happened and the weather was beautiful and the show went on!
Friday brought with it two qualifiers and I was able to get a 4th in Q1 of truggy and a TQ in round number two. SSLW Grids were working great on the track that maintained a bit of moisture due to the cloud cover all day. In buggy I had a negative wire come unsoldered in Q1 so I replaced the wire and the bullet connector and got a 4th in Q2. I was running SSLW Components in buggy and they were feeling great in these conditions as well which were a slight line with a bit of dust in the groove and more outside of the groove but it still had a bit of moisture and temps in the upper 70's.
Saturday brought with it clear skies and temps into the low 80's. I wouldn't be able to better my finishes in Truggy on this day and a TQ and 4th would qualify me 4th overall for the A-main. In buggy I was able to grab a P2 in Q3 but as the track dried out considerably more for Q4 the SSLW just seemed too soft and I lacked drive and some grip and was off pace. They offered open practice after qualifying was over and I tried some Soft compound in buggy and some SLW compound in truggy and it was noticeably better. My buggy was also starting to over hook on corner exit making it a bit hard to drive with the drier conditions. So I tried moving my Ackerman forward and removing my bump shim and this really helped smooth out the steering and it was easier for me to drive on these conditions. With a 2nd and a 4th in Buggy I would qualify 5th overall into the triple A-mains.
Saturday afternoon actually brought A1's and first up was truggy. I did my best but my cars were just a bit harder to drive on the drier and in many corners dustier conditions. I was able to stay up in the front pack though and managed to finish where I started in 4th. In buggy I was able to get by 2 guys who started ahead of me as they made mistakes as this track was prone to help cause. I would get into 3rd and just maintain there as the lead pair had a bit more pace than I did, but I was still pleased with a 3rd position.
Sunday brought A2 and A3. In the morning we had a final shakedown practice and the track had some moisture in it again from the previous night watering. My cars and especially my buggy were phenomenal and I was half a second faster than everyone on average during the practice on soft Diamanté. However A2 conditions were again drier and I just didn't have the same pace or comfort as when it had some moisture in it. In truggy I still pulled out another 4 in A2 and buggy I got another 3. It would all come down to A3 but in truggy I got landed on a lap in and sent to the back and that was the end of that one. In buggy I managed a third 3rd place position. Overall this would put me 5th in Truggy and on the podium in 3rd in buggy!
Overall solid results for me and a ROAR Nationals Podium is always a nice addition!
This weekend I also tested out my new EcoFlow Delta 2 Max and 220W Bifacial foldable solar panel at the track. Joe and I charged our batteries off it all weekend. I brought it fully charged and we were there a full 4 days with not just all the racing we did but lots of practice as well. I only had to A/C charge the unit on Friday due to cloudy weather, but otherwise the solar panel and the units 2,000+Wh capacity provided all the quiet power we needed as the generator sat on my table and we used it with out soldering irons, chargers, and phone all plugged in and going off it!