This past weekend was the 2024 SIC or Southern Indoor Championships in Autaugaville, Alabama. No tornados this year but it did get a bit chilly over the weekend. As it seems to be the new theme for Racetime events, the track is built with a lot more water but then left to basically dry through the weekend. Friday stayed wet all day also due to the rain outside but the weekend was dry and the track changed quickly.
Practice things felt pretty well with the wetter track, I was using SSLW or Clay Diamante and they both were good. Come Saturday qualifying as the track started to dry out I was more on just the SSLW Diamante, and even tried the Lux though it was a bit too dusty of a condition for the Lux. Then I tried the Components AB and they were the easiest of all to drive and that’s what I tried to stick with the rest of the weekend.
Qualifying was a bit of a struggle for me as the conditions were what I classify as my most challenging for me. Grip in the line but then dust just outside of it and holes in the line as well. My MP10e TKi2 was decent through qualifying and I was able to seed 6th overall. But in the nitro classes I was just making too many mistakes. Fortunately did enough to make the A main though in 13th in nitro buggy and 9th in Nitro Truggy.
Sunday brought the mains and lots of thinking on how to make the cars easier to drive on these conditions. I was limited on my tires so had to make some compromises. For the buggies I had 1 set of SSLW and 1 set of SLW components. So my plan was to try the SLW in Ebuggy A1 and if they were better to use them for nitro buggy. Well because they were pretty hard for the cold conditions I heated and sauced and bagged them for an hour to try to soften them up. Beyond that in correspondence with Phi’s dad we decided to go with 5 hole pistons instead of the 8 hole we had been running. Went with 5x1.4 front and 5x1.5 rear. Also to the brown rear spring. Even more I also brought the diffs back down a little from where I had gone up to. Ended on 10-7-6 but went up on sway bars to 2.4, 2.6.
First up we had the truggy A main and my truck just didn’t feel comfortable this weekend. Perhaps I should have gone to the 5 hole setup in truggy as well, something to keep in mind next time I’m on a similar surface. I also was short on tires in the right compound and so actually used an odd match of SSLW Scribbles in front and Diamante in the rear. They felt decent but I think I was just too soft on front sway bar and as mentioned probably would have done better with 5 hole pistons. I battled best I could but in the end took 8th which at least was a +1 from qualifying.
Ebuggy A1 was next and in warmup I was stoked. The setup changes were dialed and I felt way more comfortable, the most I had all weekend. I had a good start and moved up and battled near the front. It seemed though that the tires were maybe a touch too hard and just lacked a little pace compared to some of the others. I had a couple bad crashes but still managed a 5th and now had a good setup to put on my nitro buggy.
Nitro buggy was up next and I had the one set of SSLW components ready to go. No sauce and they felt great and the setup changes were a big improvement. Perhaps only change I would have liked to try was maybe even higher on rear bar to 2.7. Next time. But at the start I moved up quickly and was into the top 5 from 13th on the grid. I felt pretty solid and my new Alpha Plus Falcon engine was singing beautifully. Unfortunately there was one jump in particular that I just had my worst crashes over. The left to right double in the center back. Every so often would it it and get a flat 1/4 spin that’s impossible to save and have a tough crash. I also had a couple long crashes battling with others and just kept falling out of the top 5. I had the pace and the car to be there but just too many mistakes in this one. In the end I was able to come away with a 6th position which was solid after how the weekend was going. Pleased with the progress and the ability to work with another fast guy. It’s going to be a good year!
Finally was Ebuggy A2 and it was a rush to get it ready with just 10 minutes to do so. Not having more tires I used my used set from Nitro buggy which were pretty worn but It’s what I had. I also opted last minute to throw the new insta360 Go3 on the roof and I got it on just in time to capture the A2 final. The footage ended up pretty good but unfortunately it oriented in portrait instead of landscape so a lot of the side view is not there which bites but at least I got something. That something includes jumping pit lane back onto the straight thanks to Bornhorst giving me the bump into pit lane. You’ll have to watch the vid to check it out. 😉
The race also went really well at the start as I moved up and even into 2nd I believe before that same double kicked me wrong again and I lost some positions. I ended up at the end battling in the 5-7 range I think and had some great battles and good footage of it. With a 5th and a 6th in the end I would finish 7th overall in the class. I had the car for more but that’s racing and I’ll come back stronger next time.
For this year I also want to reinstate my teammate challenge that I did a number of years ago with Bornhorst. Phi and I will take all of our finishing results from every class we both run at the same event and tally them up through the year. 1 point for each finishing position and -1 for TQ and lowest total at the end of the year wins. So far after one event Phi has the lead with 15 to my 21. So he’s off to a good start but I’ll get him next race! 😁 still deciding on what to call the challenge. Talls vs smalls, old vs. young.? I’ll decide by the next event we are both at which may not be until Silver State. Right now Talls vs. smalls is winning out.
Set-up Notes for MP10T:
-I believe I should have gone with the 5x1.4 and 5x1.5 pistons in truggy as well at this event. I believe it would have been better and easier to drive in the rough. Would have probably used 700 oil front and rear with that set-up.