I headed down to the track this morning and I was greeted by mud. Its been raining down here at the Farm II since Wednesday and the sun has finally made its way out of the clouds. They ran two round of qualifying yesterday in the pouring rain and two more rounds are starting now. I talked to a couple of guys at the track and they tell me that it takes a couple of days for the track to dry out. It looks like well be seeing some muddy cars during the mains. I hope the A-main guys know how to mud proof their cars. Its hard to walk around down here if you dont have boots so I shot what I could from the side of the track to give you guys a quick look.
Mud, mud, and more mud.
Check out that drivers stand.
Jammin Jay Halseys boots give you a good idea of what the guys are dealing with.
Every section of the track is a mud bog. Looks like they should be running monster trucks instead of buggies.
The sun is out and drying up the track and the racers got together and voted on starting the last two rounds at 4pm instead of 1pm to let it dry out as much as possible. This way everyone would have a more equal shot at the number one starting spot for the main. A lot of guys didnt run at all yesterday and some are not going to run until the last round. There are bump ups at this race so theres still a chance to make it in the main from a lower starting spot. Theres only going to be 10 guys in the A-main. The standings up to this point dont really mean much. It was a miracle that anyone even finished a round; the puddles and mud literally ate the cars. Guys were covering their buggies with plastic bags and saran wrap to keep them as clean as possible so they could make it to the end. The track today is a lot better but still a little muddy at this point so guys are narrowing tires, covering air filters, and taping up their bodies to help their chances. There are just over 100 entries at this event and they are able to complete a round in less than two hours. Jimmy Babcock of Hot Rod Hobbies fame is calling and running this race and he runs a tight ship. Tomorrows mains should go quickly. After the first 2 rounds the top three are Lance Norick (1st), Kelby Robberts (2nd) and Atsushi Hara (3rd).
Some of the air filter modifications that the guys are making for the round 3.
Narrowed tires are the hot setup early in the race. The guys hope that theyll get their buggies through the mud a little easier.
Billy Easton is running a early prototype of the Serpent 1/8-scale buggy this weekend.
Team Jammins Chad Bradley gets his buggy ready to hit the parking lot to check his engine.
Team Associateds Ryan Cavalieri making some body mods.
Past world champ Team Kyoshos Yuichi Kanai is in the house and has a dude here to work on his car.
This trick Kyosho buggy belongs to the current world champ Mark Pavidis.
These little storage containers are permanent pit spaces. They have electricity, AC, and lights. Thats dialed!
Team Hot Bodies pro Atsushi Hara is one of the fast guys so far. Hes stands third right now.
I thought a squeegee was for water; this guy used it to push some of the mud away from the pits.
Jimmy Babcock is on hand to call the races. This guy does a great job.
A couple of the guys walked the track to
see what they were up against in the next round.
Masking tape is being used to keep the mud out of the bottom of the buggies.
See what happens when you give a racer a rental car and mud.
Well, the track didnt dry up that much. Everyone still had to deal with muddy conditions for the last two qualifiers. This meant they had to use up more tape and WD40 on their cars. A lot of the guys are going to up late cleaning their buggies for tomorrow. Speeds were up but you had to watch out for the mud outside the groove. The buggies were like flies on fly paper when hitting the stuff. These conditions were very hard on engines, clutches, and bearings. Pit men were wearing safety glasses and rain coats so they could do their jobs without having to worry about getting mud in their eyes. Racing finished around 9pm and Team Jammins Taylor James took home the TQ spot.
Here are two shots of the track.
Look at all the mud on that buggy.
Its going to take a lot of work to get these buggies back to running condition.
This group of guys are waiting for the hose.
The race is officially over and Team Mugen driver Runaud Savoya from France took the win. Team Losis Mike Truhe came in second, and team Kyoshos Raul Peris took the third position. Mike got out of the hole first and pulled away from the field. He was dominating and pulled two laps ahead of the rest of the guys. Two flame outs forced Mike to give the lead to Runaud. Mike chased him down and caught Runaud when he started to have radio trouble. Just after Mike took the lead he had drivetrain issues with one minute to go. Runaud was able to hole it together enough to cross the finish line first. What a finish! Thanks to all the sponsors and the Farm II for a great race and great facility. This is one track you should check out.
Team Kyosho driver Mark Pavidis strapped a O.S. ,18TZ engine into his buggy for todays race. I asked him why and he simply said Because I wanted to try it out.. His buggy was fast during the warm up race just before the ¼ finals but just wasnt fast enough to get him into the main.
While I was walking through the pits I spotted Team Serpent driver Billy Easton working on a new Serpent 1/8-scale buggy. He told me that it was an early prototype and things will change. Here are a few shots of what they have going on as of now.
Andrew Smolnik from CEN was driving a new buggy this weekend. Theyre calling it the Rematrix for now and it was good enough to get a spot in the main. Andrew finished 4th overall with it. Not too bad.
Heres Mike Truhes buggy just minutes before the start of the main. He had some drivetrain issues in the race just before.
Team Jammins Taylor James was able to hold the guys off and keep his number 1 starting position in the main.
Here are your winners. 2nd Mike Truhe (left), 1st Renaud Savoya (cen
ter), and 3rd Raul Peris (right).