Xray Challenge @ Brown's
This past weekend I headed to the eastern Ohio boarder just off the Ohio river for the second annual Xray challenge at Browns Hobby Shop and Raceway. Joe Bornhorst built this years layout and he gave us some big air to contend with including a 45ft triple jump! Tires seemed to be a most critical element this year and it was really tricky come mains on Sunday.
Friday was our practice day and I was debuting the new Kyosho MP10Te 1/8th Electric Truggy. I opted to run shorty 6400 packs in the truck and a Tekin 1900 motor and it was possibly a bit stressed on this high speed and larger track with big jumps you had to really stab the throttle on to clear, especially as some of the tops of the doubles deteriorated. The track was pretty green and was very dusty for early practice and I actually found success breaking out some old school tires in my buggy with some soft Crossbraces. As the day wore on the heavier loam went away a bit and we likes Soft during the day Grids and Impacts, but as dusk came on and the moisture in started to stick around a little then Ultra soft P1's were the ticket.
Saturday came qualification day and it was a great start for me. I was able to sweep TQ position in Q1 and Q2 in all 3 classes. It was a great start for the new Kyosho MP10Te and my MP10e and MP10 TKI2 were also on point. As we ran on this day and temps approached 90 we were liking SSLW Gridirons in truggy and the buggies and I also had success with soft Components. Overall those first two rounds gave me the overall TQ in all 3 classes. The fear now was rain in the forecast possibly overnight and on Sunday. So they opted to run lower mains on Saturday night leaving just 3 hours of program for Sunday.
I was awoken around 4:30am by the sound of rain and it seemed pretty heavy on the trailer so I was hoping we would have a decent track to run on if it were to stop. Fortunately it turned out to be the perfect water that the track needed and the track was in optimum condition for the Sunday finals. The tricky part was choosing the right tire as we watched the sun start to peek out. Would it dry out? Would it hold the moisture? It was a big guessing game and I had already glued up a number of tires and I didn't want to keep chasing the what ifs.. In truggy I ran regular SS Gridirons and it was probably the right choice. Unfortunately what I alluded to at the beginning came to fruition. I was able to hold the lead for a few laps, the swap positions with Joe for a couple laps until I actually endoed onto my lid before a 180 under breaking. I dropped to 3rd and Joe and Joey were on a mission and I just couldn't make up ground, just staying the 2 seconds or so behind. Unfortunately about 9 min into the main I dropped a cell or something as I lost most of my power and had to retire from the main. An unfortunate ending but all in the experimentation phase of the class and it was good to see the pace I had first weekend out with the new truck!
As we got close to the buggies at the end of the program I watched Chicky run Ultra soft typos and absolutely crush it out there on them. I didn't bring any as I never thought they would work on this track but due to the perfect rain they were absolute money. So I opted to go with Ultra soft P1's in ebuggy and they were pretty good in their own right. Chicky ran the Typo's again and hot lapped us all but the P1's were solid for me and I was able to hold a wire to wire victory in the 10 minute main with my Kyosho MP10e. This ebuggy is so good and is a pleasure to drive each time out with it!
For the final race, the 30 minute nitro I was agonizing over what tire I wanted to run. I didn't feel like I had available what I wanted. I was afraid to run the US P1's again as the track was beginning to dry and I just didn't think they would last the 30 minutes. I opted to run SSLW Chainlink and all told it wasn't the best decision. As I got on the drivers stand I saw that while the track was drying you could still see an underlying moisture to it. When I went out for warmup laps I felt decent but I didn't have much steering or forward drive. It was just a wrong compound choice. I probably would have been better off going with the used set of regular Soft components I had used during qualifying. It seems the regular compounds do better often when there is still moisture in the track. All told I felt off pace and quickly after the main started Joey was able to get by me and I fell to 2nd. I was able to run my race and run a pretty clean race and stay in it. I was doing an extra pitstop than Joey and throughout the main we would swap the lead on our pit stops. On lap 36 I was able to get back into the lead when Joey made a longer mistake and I was able to hold it through our last pit stops, but Joey was on a mission at the end and with 3 laps to go was on my bumper putting on the pressure. I gave it all I had but he was able to get by me when I jumped inside the pipe on the right side jump (if I remember correctly). I tried to mount a return charge over the last 3 laps and was able to get right on his bumper just before the S section on the last lap but I tagged the pipe and he sailed away to victory. So I had to settle for bridesmaid on this one but congrats to Joey on the victory. Very happy for him as he puts in a lot of hard work and really wants to make it in this industry!
Overall a great weekend of racing with nearly 300 entries and a fun track and beautiful setting to race at.