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  • Writer's pictureRyan Lutz

Silver State Indoor World Championships

This past weekend was the Silver State Indoor World Championships held at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The event boasted a world record (probably never to be broken) 1,100+ entries and over 400 individual racers making the trip in from all over the globe! Due to the large entry count the days were long beginning at 7 am and one day (Friday) finishing at 1 am. Practice was limited to two, 4 minute runs where top two consecutive laps were taken to seed you into your qualifiers. Because of the nature of the dirt and the track continuing to get rougher as the day goes on it makes the first run faster so it was necessary to learn the track super fast to seed well in that first round.

Thursday would bring Ebuggy and Nitro Truggy qualifying where I would start strong with a 4 in round one of ebuggy. My backup was a 9th in Q3 which was looking better than that but featured a traffic accident. Overall seeding me 8th into the Amain. Nitro truggy was a rough round one but I bounced back strong in Q2 and 3 as the track got rougher taking a 4 and a 2 to seed 4th overall into the show. Tire selection was primarily SSLW Gridirons all day.

Friday brought the finish of qualifying with Etruggy and Nitro buggy. Etruggy had a rough Q1 with some mistakes but bounced back with a 3 and 8 to seed 7th overall. Finally Nitro buggy, the premier class started out good with a 4 and it’s a good thing. In Rd2 I had a decent run but the competition was so deep it was only basically 5 seconds between TQ and my 16th position! Fortunately that was enough to seed me 10th into the main. I wasn’t quite happy with my setup and was doing a bit of a change to the rear hub height and link positions and hoping it would work out well come the A main warmups.

Saturday brought Ebuggy and Nitro Truggy A mains. They put us midday early in the afternoon so we would be in ‘prime time’ for lots of spectators. First up was Ebuggy and my car was a little hard to handle. I had to switch to the heavier batteries this year for the main as the track was much higher speed than last year. I was calculating out to 5,100 mAh used in a main length so I couldn’t use my 4800s in the main. In the end my car was a bit too free in the rear and I got tagged by a couple of the youngsters on lap 1 and 5 dropping me as low as 13th. I came back to take 9th but it was a bit disappointing especially considering how amazing my buggy was in the second seeding practice. I just never replicated that result in the class. Next time!

Nitro truggy had a 45 minute final to battle it out in. My MP10T was solid all week long and I went harder with the tire selection on this one, running AKA SLW impacts in front and Grids in the rear. I feel it was the right tire selection as the track did dry out the most it had all weekend in this one. I had a bit of a slow start however dropping one position from my 4 starting spot. But about 5 minutes in I found a pretty good groove. I would battle a good amount with Rivkin in this one early on as we battled for that #3 position. We would swap for a while on our pit stops and I felt a bit faster and knew I had to pull a gap because he was doing one less stop. I was able to do so and on the final stop the leader ran out of gas promoting me to 2nd and I set my eyes on Maifield in the lead about 6 seconds ahead. I began to reel him in but I had to balance pushing harder with the bumps grabbing my truck. I over pushed a couple times and on the left hand sweeper / S section after the front straight caught me a couple times up on two wheels and loosing a bit of time. But I pushed as hard as I could and in the end came up just short about 1.5 seconds back. Perhaps just needed a couple more minutes to make it a battle but still very pleased as this is my best Nitro Truggy result in a good while at a premier event.

Sunday would cap us off with Etruggy and Nitro buggy. The track had a bit more moisture in it on this day so I went with SSLW Gridirons in Etruggy. Starting 7th I quickly moved up to 6th on lap 2 and proceeded to closely follow my buddy Bornhorst around the track for the next 8 laps looking to make passes but he kept closing the door until a mistake on his part gave me the room I needed to squeeze by into 5th. I stayed clean and put in the most consistent race of anyone in the field and with 5 laps to go got into 4th and that is where I would finish. Pleased with this result as my truck felt solid and I ran a good clean race.

Finally we had the 45 minute Nitro buggy final. After the Amain warmup I was pleased with my setup changes and just did a final change to shock oil and rear ride height and went with AKA SSLW Components in this one. Hadn’t raced them all weekend but felt they would cut the loam/dust a bit better than the Diamanté and be more forgiving in the bumps than the Grid 2s. Overall pleased with how everything felt for the main. May have gone a touch heavy on shock oil but the car still handled well. At the start I stayed in the freight train and moved forward one at a time until I was up to 6th on lap 4. Soon I found myself in a nice battle for the 3,4,5 spot with Fuller and Phend. We would swap positions on small mistakes or pit stops and really ran clean with each other. One stop we all pitted at the same time. Phend came in first and Myself and Fuller just behind. Will was super fast on the gun and we beat Phend out of pit lane and I at that time was again in 3rd. But a few laps later mid race I lost my groove for a little while making some small bobbles but costing me time and I found myself in 4th about 4 seconds behind Fuller for that final spot on the podium. I really wanted it and the last few laps of the race I tried to rally a comeback and closed in on the last laps. But again as in Nitro Truggy would come up just short, this time by just 0.5 seconds. Still it was a stellar result for me and I’m pumped with how good everything is working right now.

I'm very pleased with my program right now and am gaining some more confidence in my final results and looking forward to racing each time out. Next up for me is the LoneStar Challenge at Thornhill as part 3 of 4 of the MAO R/C Super Series! So far I have a 10th at DNC and 4th at Silver State. Lonestar and Visions being the final two races.

Set-up Notes:

I wasn't happy with my ebuggy set-up for the main and I would have ran on it the same thing I ran on my Nitro buggy. It was just the rear hub insert I was running the hole low and inside and it was just too loose. So I switched to high and inside hole position and it was better for the Nitro buggy. To copy to Ebuggy, I ran 6400 shorties in the rearward position with the 1950 T8i indoor motor.

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