February 20-22, 2015 marked the dates for the 37th annual Motorama event, as well as the 7th year featuring 2 RC tracks. Ever year registration opens November 1st and it reaches max capacity of around 350 entries per track, this year only taking about 5 weeks.
This year was my second time attending and it’s always a great time. The format was a bit different this year, running only 3 rounds of qualifying (best 2 of 3 in the qual point system) and triple A mains, double mains for all the lower mains. The winner of the first main bumped up and would run both of the mains for the higher main, not running the 2nd of the lower main (ie if you won D1, you ran C1 and if you didn’t win C1, you then ran C2, you don’t run D2) Your finishing position of both mains were then added, lowest to highest for your overall finishing position, the tie breaker was who had the best single finish, not the best finish in the second main like MX.
Friday started the RC portion of the event with open practice cycling between novice, stock and mod. In the rest of the facility was just set up, there wasn’t any spectators or other events going on. With this format you either didn’t get to run much or spent the entire day waiting in line. I only got in 4 runs total. I had my radio battery die in the early afternoon and decided to charge it slowly (1a) so I wouldn’t need to worry about it the rest of the event. From the time the low battery alarm went off I only had about a lap before it wasn’t working right. This of course prevented me on getting another couple practice runs in though. Practice went until 4pm, then at 5pm round 1 of qualifying began. Qualifying is pretty standard, randomly sorted heats of 10 cars.
Saturday morning then was a resort for round 2 of qualifying based on your first round, then the 3rd round off your best 1 of 2 runs. Scotty Ernst on the big track and Charlie Suangka on the awesome track where the guys in control running the show not only keeping the racers organized but keeping the spectators entertained. Never a dull moment on the awesome track, but I did find the audio quality pretty poor on the big track when sitting in the stands just by nature of the set up they use. After all the qualifying was over there was all the mains created and E mains an lower were ran on the 1/10 side (I didn’t spend much time by the big track so I don’t know how many they ran) for their first main before calling it a night. This revised format was to prevent super late nights so everyone could get some much needed sleep.
My qualifying efforts were pretty poor. Between the very little track time and clearly wrong tires/prep, I couldn’t do many clean laps. I ended up in the J main in 2wd mod buggy, E main in 2wd mod SC and G main in 4wd mod buggy. Luckily for me there was 1 bump up in each race so I knew I had a chance at a few more races.
I was first up in 2wd buggy. I was starting around 6th and knew I’d have to pass a few cars and avoid carnage to have any kind of decent finish. I managed to get through traffic fairly quickly and ran 2nd more of the race slowly catching the leader. He wasn’t making any big mistakes but with a few laps to go I got right in behind him. He was doing a good job protecting the inside so I knew I had 1 good chance on making the last lap pass. There was a triple at the back left corner at the track that everyone in the lower mains was doing the double single, but doing the triple was plenty attainable if you lined it up right. I was right behind the leader for the first section of the track, went a little wide and lined up the triple and landing right in front of who is now in 2nd, Charlie and the rest of the crowd went wild. I managed to make it stick in the next corner on the inside and finished off the lap basically unchallenged, getting myself a plaque and bumping to the I main. In the I main I had 2 decent runs (within 2 seconds of each other) finishing 2nd and 4th, giving my 2nd overall in the I main.
Next up was the 4wd G main. I had a good start to the race and by mid way through I worked my way up to 2wd. This time passing for the lead didn’t quite go as planned. I got right beside him on the outside giving him plenty of room before the triple (that everyone in 4wd was clearing) and got driven right into sending me in to the pipe and being passed by a handful of cars. Working back through the pack I wasn’t as successful and a bit more contact forced me to settle with a 4th place finish not getting my the bump I was gunning for. The second main was nothing too special other than running 0.007 seconds faster then my previous run and finishing 3rd. A 4th and a 3rd tied me for 2nd but with the best single finish being the tie breaker, someone with a 5 and a 2 took the 2nd spot.
2wd mod SC was last and basically cleaned up from the 3rd spot on the grid taking the win. I got pretty nervous around traffic (SC+low main=hacks) but got by without too many issues. There was a couple inconsistent people but just had to lay defence/self-preservation to avoid being hit and got through fairly cleanly. Bumping in to the D main was tricky starting from the back, but consistency and avoiding trucks was key to doing well. Avoiding wreaks is good, but if you then crash you’ll get mixed in with a big pack just as quickly. I managed to get a 4th and a 3rd tying for 2nd but losing the tie breaker to someone with a 6 and a 1 so I settled for 3rd.
All in all, I had a great time despite being much slower than anticipated. With this show I’d highly recommend making sure to finding time to check out everything else there. There’s midgets, go carts, arena cross, battle bots, 4 car shows and a vender area to check out. It’s really a great experience and well worth the 8 hour drive strait south. It was great catching up with Paul at XFactory as well as meeting Gotti Junior from the Radio Impound Podcast as well as 7 time national oval champ Kirby Hand. I plan on going back again next year if the timing all works out again.
Big thanks to Team Great Hobbies/Team Durango Canada for all the support, Sam, Wes and Sean from Kingston for all the good times, and a special thanks to Sams parents, Marie and Tom for all the running around they did for us keeping us health.
All the pictures I took can be found here: http://s696.photobucket.com/user/rcjunky1/library/Motorama%202015s
Words and Picture: Andrew Burghgraef