I arrived Saturday morning to the track. It’s newly sealed and still lacks traction. The traction improved over the weekend but some spots on the track were particularly slick. I raced in sedan with my Serpent 750 and Rex motor. I worked to remove steering and plant the rear end more to combat the tendency to spin out but it never really nailed it.

Chasing the setup dragon…

I tried softer springs and harder spring combos and the soft (orange/red) was overall the best for very low traction. I removed the rear flex tierod to aid in forward traction. Honestly, I feel lost on this car in both setup and durability. It’s been a painful journey to discover what commonly breaks on this car. I feel frustrated because I have no setups I can find that would be decent for these low traction conditions. The euro guys say the car is stuck on low traction but not here at NControl. Maybe try a brass weight up front, 42f tires, 199 width. It’s like RCCNT all over again but without the bumps.

Engine Issues

To add to ill handling, I consumed 2 qualifiers chasing my engine’s tune. I have to make massive changes to it weekend to weekend. My motor probably has 4-5 gallons thru it which is considered high milage for onroad. It starts and holds a good idle but I’ve wrestled with it for several race weekends now. It’s either a complete dog or ballistic and that changes round to round. So you never know what you’re gonna get each time you race. It’s hard to convince myself something that essentially works still needs to be replaced. Especially when a race motor costs around $400.

A Main fitting for the weekend

The main was a disaster. I didn’t tighten one of the motor mount screws fully and the motor got loose and stripped both gears in the warm up. I replaced them but the car felt as bad as it did Saturday, losing any progress I had made. The car was hard to control and I eventually broke it. Individual lap times were eventually 2-3 seconds off the fast crowd by the end of the weekend.

Reflections

At this point, I either need to make some big changes or give up nitro racing completely and just focus on being an electric racer. I don’t want to do this because I want to enjoy nitro. I’ve always wanted to be able to afford to race nitro touring cars since I was 14. Nitro onroad was very popular in Georgia at the time and made a big impression on me. Now fast forward, I can begin to afford it but it has me feeling like a newbie more often than not. I just want to be able to compete with my nitro car like I can in my electric. I’m no pro at electric but I can at least improve the car and be competitive at a good mid to upper level. I’m still not a high level driver and may never be but I like to think I have enough to be competitive, at least for a few people.

I’ve had weekends like this in nitro and they make me feel insanely upset. It takes everything for me to keep my mouth shut and pack my things to limit the embarrassment I feel. Embarrassment over my performance but also embarrassed that I feel so frustrated. I know it doesn’t make any difference in the real world but this is the only thing that I truly enjoy, aside from my family. I know no one cares how well I do beside me but I feel ashamed to even believe for a moment that I am a good racer who can achieve victory one day. I like to feel in control and this weekend, I barely kept myself and the car in control, again. I’ll have to think about where to go from here…