After a long and exciting weekend, I finally a moment and the energy to write about the carpet season finale at Thunder R/C in Nashville, TN. The turnout was decent with A and B mains in both VTA and 17.5 touring. The day started off rather rough as my car didn’t feel as good as it did the previous time I raced at this track. I was originally running Sorex 28 tires but later switched to Jaco Blues which were the spec tire sof the day. This was a blessing in disguise because the majority of my handling problems were coming from Sorex tires with holes in them. I realized this after I switched tires and the car was much better and consistent.
To my surprise the Jaco Blue tires were not bad at all! The Sorex/Jaco 28’s are still the best and apparently Jaco Blues have gone through a couple changes. They really handle quite well an I’m looking forward to running them this summer on asphalt. I also tested the new Sweep 30R as well. I did not like them, even over the “new” Jaco blues. They made the car push quite a bit – I’m sure with some setup work, these could perform better but who really wants to go through that through non-spec tires.
Qualifying had its share of problems, namely the driver. Unfortunately, I was placed in the lower qualifying heat that included foam TC drivers. Any battle with them usually ended up with me getting the raw end of the deal. With all of their traction, the foam cars are like hitting bricks with my rubber car. After calming my nerves and attitiude, I was able to put in a decent run in the third qualifier to solidify my dissapoiting BQ. I only missed the A main by a 1/10 of a second!
Before the main I used 3mm of shims under the rear link over my normal 1mm to get the ar to roll more and gain more corner speed. I also reduced the rear toe from 3 degrees to 2 degrees. These changes ‘unhooked’ the rear end more and made getting around the foam cars easier.
Although I was stuck in the B-main and I knew I would easily win it, I was determined to push the car while keeping tight lines. 3 minutes in I was super close to a 28 lap pace when the car traction rolled coming into the straight and stripped the threads on the front link. Although my run ended early, I was still happy because although I had problems with the car and my driving, I was able to drive hard and clean.
The guys in Nashville are great and Dirla puts on a great race. I was really impressed by the amount of support they give to the newcomers, especially in VTA. This is what racing needs – good people supporting each other and the hobby.