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Jan 31

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Reedy Race of Champions and what I learned

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Well the Reedy Race of Champions has come and gone. To say I am disappointed in my showing is an understatement. That being said you know you are passionate about something when 1 day later you want to do it all again.

Thought I would write a short article describing things I learned while away. I know a lot of you don’t get the chance to travel or are intimidated by the whole “Big Race” theme. However if you ever get a chance to go to one, do yourselves a favor walk around, talk to people. It is amazing what you can learn.

The Reedy race is done on controlled tires. 2wd was Jconcepts gold Dirt Webs with Proline v2 inserts and 4wd was Proline Electon MC (Clay) and again Proline V2 inserts. Kevin and I got there early enough to be able to get an extra practice day in. The doors opened at 3pm we could get a pit spot and we thought our controlled tires. To our dismay the tires wouldn’t be handed out till that night at 8pm. We were a little upset but couldn’t do anything about it and bought tires for practice.
The track was very slick at first but was told the traction would come up. We laid down some laps and were getting somewhat faster by the end of the day. We didn’t want to change our setups due to the upcoming traction change. Kevin went out for one more practice and this time borrowed some traction compound from another Canadian. Wow is all I can say the car was way better.
Traction Compound thoughts:
We learned very quickly that traction compound with hard compound clay tires is a must. On the east coast with cooler temps we tend to run green or blue compound tires and I find that traction compound just makes them inconsistent. A lot of people now use Liquid Wrench on the clay tires as they find it works best and is way cheaper. However when you put that stuff on softer compounds it just makes them too soft and inconsistent feeling in my opinion. Reedy had their own compound made up of Sticky Kicks and liquid wrench. This stuff had zero odor and worked really fast. I coated my tires for a quick practice and they only sat for 5 minutes and the tires were just right.

One big negative I noticed with that much compound getting put down on the track was the inconsistent feel it left on the clay. Some corners were high bite others like the end of the straight had 2 foot line and if you didn’t hit it you were into the pipe.

Reedy-Race-2015-16 Reedy-Race-2015-60

Controlled Tire thoughts:

This is the first time I have run controlled tires at an event and I wish more did it. No more tire wars this is what you got figure it out. Reedy stamped our tires and they were teched before every race and marked on a sheet. I was very surprised though that we got to bring the tires back to the hotel after the controlled practice day. The next day I noticed some guys cars were glued to the track and I thought what are we doing wrong? Well turns out most of these guys were soaking their tires in WD40 or liquid wrench throughout the night to soften the tires up and get them broken in. Illegal yes, but how do you prove it? For this type of event I think all tires should remain at the track in a bag with your name on it to stop this sort of practice.

As for the tire choices themselves, the only change I would make is having the Proline electrons on the 2wd buggy and the dirtwebs on the 4wds. The electrons were almost bald before my last qual and I barely ran any laps. They are a softer tire with less tread and suit the 2wd better in my opinion.
One thing I do know is I will never buy Proline inserts. These things were horrible. We cleaned all our tires and went to put in the inserts and they left a nice blue fuzz on everything. On top of that you could feel them disintegrate over the course of a day. Jconcepts or AKA inserts are much better.

California advantage:

Watching all these drivers destroy me was really tough. I talked to a ton a people and every one of them said where’s your home track? I said under 3 feet of snow as we don’t have a indoor place for the winter. Most were astonished that we would fly all this way after not racing for over a month.
If you live in the area of OCRC, you have 5 tracks to choose from and could race like 4 days a week and practice the rest. Got a chance to chat with Brian Kinwald for about 30 minutes, in Arizona there are 2 tracks within 10 minutes of each other. The clubs use the same clay and tires. They alternate race nights and you can race 7 days a week! Man no wonder the competition is so crazy down there. How do we get better with the little racing we can do here in Canada.

Setups:

Obviously not going to post my setups as they just didn’t work. The track was by far the highest bite track I have ever raced on outside of carpet. I made a lot of changes to my 4wd and it just never came around. There was so much traction that I was lifting the front left tire on acceleration causing it to pull. Kevin’s 4wd was really good, which is frustrating as we run the exact same setup. Came home and checked out my car, turns out the back right shock piston had turned into a 3 hole piston. I had created 2 holes by blocking the others with tubing and glue. Arrgggg. Live and learn.
I laughed so hard when I realized I was the only guy running a rear motor setup. 3 years ago drivers thought Xfactory were crazy for trying to get the mid motors to work on a clay surface. Now there are all you see. Funny how things change, good on Paul for sticking with it. Yes, I will be changing to mid motor soon.

Manufacture thoughts:

Honestly all the cars looked good on the track. I was very impressed by the Losi 2wd buggy as it looked easy to drive. The Kyosho’s never looked great all weekend. Jareds 2wd was good for sure, but the 4wd looked like a real handful even with him at the wheel.

By far the most impressive were the Hotbodies 4wd. After talking to a few owners most said the harder your push the buggy the better it got. It was the only chassis that could launch itself onto the straight away and be planted instantly to be able to put the power down. The parts are very strong, saw some crazy crashes off the triple that would of broken 99% of the cars out there.

The least impressive was the B44, you can tell this is a very old design with a metal chassis slapped in. I have never seen so many blow up diffs and front arms in my life. It got to the point in the Invitational races that every time a B44 broke a front arm someone from Associated wisked the car back to the pits. Was sad to watch these incredible drives just touch pipes and you could hear the snap echo and the moans from the crowd. Noticed a lot of drivers running B5Ms as they were excellent, however noticed that the same drivers running Losi or Hotbodies in the 4wd as they were done with the B44 until a real update.

All in all, was a great trip. Learned a lot about what to expect the next time I go and yes I will redeem myself next time. Watching the world’s best race in 12 mains essentially was just amazing. Seeing 10 year old kids wheel the best out there was ever better.

Bring on Reedy Race of Champions 2016

By: Peter Harrison

Images by: rccaraction.com reedyrace.com

 

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