We also debuted the 30% Lutz Blend VP Racing Fuel at this event and sold out of the 12+ cases that were brought to the event. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions on the fuel but I think it's and instant success and should be an excellent choice for 99.9% of the drivers out there! There is worldwide distribution for it as well as anyone who has access to the VP fuels will be able to get this blend as well!k of the program and it all ran very smoothly! In building the track this year I was told they built it with a lot more water. They also decided to water more often during the event which included every 3 hours during practice and once before and once in the middle of every qualifying round. So this changed up the tire game a little compared to last year and it was important to keep an eye on the track to see what would be ideal for the conditions.
During practice the track was pretty loose feeling overall and very smooth with a relatively easy layout making for the assumption that racing was going to be very close and really tighten up the field of drivers. As the day went along a few sections started to develop some bumps and if you ran close to when they planned to water, the track was drier and lap times got faster as we started to dip into the 29's. Primarily I was liking SSLW Grids and maybe P1's during this time and into qualifying. I was also putting a little Yellow liquid wrench on them and bagging them for a while before my runs. The Long wear responds better to the tire sauce and the long wear also has a bit stronger pin integrity feeling to them which seemed to be better for me on this track as far as feeling like it was making more traction vs. the standard compound maybe folding over a little to much.
So as the first round of qualifying got underway I was super busy that morning. I felt overly rushed and the track was holding way more moisture than it had on Friday. So I was having to scramble to mount and sauce some tires and do some set-up changes as the track was also starting to get rougher. I switched in the buggies to the VRP 5 x 1.6 hole pistons to try to help navigate the bumps better. In the first round my truck I missed the tune and was rich and only getting one warmup lap and go didn't have a chance to fix it and I was off pace. In ebuggy I had a multiple crash round and so I was pleased when my Nitro buggy run was solid but the results were close and I took 4th. As Q2's came around I started to catch up on my set-up and things I needed to do. I was able to get a really good TQ in truggy and some better results in the buggies. In Q3 it was a 3 way battle for TQ in truggy as I got 2nd in this one which put us in a 3 way tie with a TQ and 2nd amongst Tebo, Bornhorst, and I. I was able to win the laps and times tiebreaker though by 2 seconds for the overall TQ in Nitro Truggy! In the buggies I had a couple more solid runs which would end up seeding me 5th in both buggies. However I got my set-up feeling good in that final round and knew the mains were going to go much better.
Come main day we had truggy up first around noon and I was keeping a keen eye on the track. They were only going to water once on Sunday right after the truggy main. I noticed as we approached that there was still moisture in the the track but it was dryer than qualifying for sure. I was still going to stick with SSLW AKA GridIrons but I needed to decide if I wanted or needed to sauce or not. I chose to do a quick sauce and also go up 50 cst on my shock oils as I was rolling a bit too much in Q3. Both choices were good ones. I had a decent start and for the first 4 laps held the lead before Tebo got be me on a mistake by me and Bornhorst was right there too. We all battled for the next 6 laps or so swapping positions until I was able to get back in the lead and start to lock it down. I ran a pretty clean remainder of the race and Tebo would fight back a couple times mid race and get close but would make a mistake or get caught in traffic and it allowed me to have a comfortable victory in the end! It was a great debut as well for my new Ryan Lutz Blend VP Racing Fuel!
Next we had Ebuggy A1 which was a crazy race. I had a good first 3/4 of a lap on my SSLW P1's. (They had watered after truggy and this was maybe an hour or so after truggy). I moved up from 5th to 3rd but on the top right I made some kind of mistake and ended up on my lid and fell to 10th. Next half lap going over the step-up got bumped from behind and landed on my lid on top of step-up and fell to dead last about 12 seconds behind the lead. So it wasn't looking too good. But I fought back and the attrition of this race went crazy. All the top leaders were breaking down and I was working through the pack. I had just moved into 2nd when I landed outside wide on the first double. I jumped back into the lane but an oncoming car railed me from behind and shattered my rear arm in half. I tried to limp around the final minute but couldn't clear the step-up and was out.
Up next was the 30 minute Nitro buggy main. Now the track was starting to dry a bit and was the driest it had been since practice. I chose to run SSLW Catapults with some sauce due to the denser pin pattern. I also chose the catapult because they don't catch ruts and the line was getting pretty blown off. Overall my car was good and I again moved up from 5th to 2nd quickly in the race. It was a great race with Tebo, Bornhorst, and I all battling for the top 3 positions. Tebo would get a bit of a lead and Bornhorst and I would swap positions for a good portion of the race. In the waning 3 minutes I was within 2-3 seconds of Tebo for the top spot but I went to deep off the back straight and hit the dust and clipped the pipe with my back left wheel. Unfortunately due to what amounts mostly too thinking it wouldn't effect me I had a stripped screw on the left side of my D block I figured would be fine. But this targeted hit to the rear left it pushed the D block back and the hinge pin fell out and I had to retire with 3 minutes to go in 2nd place. Boy I feel like a dummy for not replacing the part. I am fully to blame on that result and it will sting for a bit.
Finally we ran Electric A2. We were doing the IFMAR format for two mains meaning your best point total counted and then laps and times to decide the tie breaker. All the top guys from qualifying needed a good run after what happened in A1 and I was no exception. I had a decent start and moved up from 5th to 3rd on the second lap. I made a mistake however and lost 8 seconds and fell back to 6th. It was then catch up time and I was able to put in some good laps and move up to 3rd and just a second behind 2nd. If I remember correctly I had just moved into 2nd and then made another error falling back to 4th with just two laps to go. At that point it was too late and I had to settle for a 4th. My car was really good overall and I ran AKA SSLW Grids no sauce as the track was at it's driest of the weekend and grip had definitely came up. Overall though with the format my 4th place finish wasn't good enough to do anything so I finished a disappointing 7th overall.
So overall it was an up and down weekend. High's and Low's with many of the low's being avoidable ones and the onus of that is on me. The highs also consisted of having a good team of drivers at this race as the Nemo/Agama brand is absolutely growing here in the USA. Having Brandon Rose debuting here at his first bigger race was fun to get to know him a bit better. Also watching Tyler Jones and Steve Harris both doing great in Ohio and California! This is going to be a great year of racing for NemoUSA / Agama!
We also debuted the 30% Lutz Blend VP Racing Fuel at this event and sold out of the 12+ cases that were brought to the event. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions on the fuel but I think it's and instant success and should be an excellent choice for 99.9% of the drivers out there! There is worldwide distibution for it as well as anyone who has access to the VP fuels will be able to get this blend as well!
Next up the Montpelier GP in France with the Nemo Racing crew! Looking forward to it! :-)