Special thanks to Andrew for the following racer report:
April 12th, 2015 marks the date of the Small Addiction RC Spring Fever Smackdown held at Twissted Raceway in Cortland, New York. Twissted is ran by a great guy by the name of Brian Rosato who’s only been in the hobby for about 15 months. He’s done an amazing job growing the hobby over this winter with the Spring Fever Smackdown wrapping up his first indoor season of running a track. There was 164 entries between 9 classes, 2wd stadium truck, 2wd buggy, 4wd buggy, 2wd stock buggy, 2wd SC, 2wd prolite SC (an intermediate class, for novice drives to move up in to without joining the faster drivers), 4wd SC, Novice and Vintage. Each class had lots of close racing to watch and every win was well deserved. I was running my DEX210v2 in 2wd mod, DEX410v4 in 4wd mod and a borrowed SCTE in 4wd SC
The track was a surface unlike anything I’ve ever driven on. It was turf, but when you hear of artificial surfaces, you think of consistency, and this surface was far from it.
Here’s how it looked during set up. You can see some sand off line where the track was the week prior but that’s about it. The turf is very thin with a little squishiness to it, similar to what you’d see when mini golfing
This is from mid-day during the qualifying. There is a distinct groove with sand from buried in the turf to off the line. The traction was coming up and I was dialing in more steering in my buggies (the pro4 already had plenty) and lap times were picking up.
This is the most surprising part. There was a break after the 2 rounds of qualifying for the raffle and door prize drawings. After then the track almost looks dusty, kind of hard to see in the pics but it looked like the sand dust from the air settled after nobody running for a while making it very slick.
This made the mains interesting. The 2wd mod winner and 2wd stock runner up ran the same car in both classes. Even on the strait in the groove I couldn’t put down any power with my 2wd car. 4wd SC is just scary on a track that small no matter the surface with what feels like 6000hp, throw on the wrong tires and it was a handful for sure. It took a few laps to get familiar with the cars again in the main, and I ended up running all 3 back to back to back as all 3 felt completely different, and unlike any of the previous rounds.
The track is inside a small size hockey rink style enclosure with pitting at one end beside the track (well, the other end was the Twissted race team, the computer set up and all the prizes) and outside backing on to the track
There was plenty of space for everyone, the 3 of us from Ottawa had 2 3×6 tables set up which is nice. I’m not a fan of being super cramped and this wasn’t an issue there. There was a little canteen in the building with reasonably priced delicious food, including chicken finger, burgers, French fries and all the other common stuff you’d find in a sports facility canteen. Overall it was a nice facility and well ran.
Enough about the great facility and on to the racing. They ran 2 qualifiers with single mains to get the whole program in to one day, about 23 heats in total. The calling of the races was tag teamed between 2 guys that did an excellent job keeping delays to a minimum to not exceed the 2 minutes between each heat.
I was most concerned going in to the event with 4wd SC. Running these trucks is like taming a monster, you can’t drive with finesse and go fast, you have to drive hard, but you can’t crash either. I never had the preferred mini pin style tire, all I had was dBoots Multibytes so I wasn’t sure how much grip I would have. After the first practice session on the truck I was feeling pretty good that I’d be able to get around the track, just don’t get heavy on the throttle finger on the strait. The Tekin 4300kv pro4hd motor is just insane and going full throttle was giving me nothing but troubles trying to shut it down at the end of the short strait. The first qualifier was a hack fest. It felt like I was passing cars every third turn and was taken out by every second car. I did my best to get as good of a run as I could to get a good resort spot hopefully in the higher heat. With my luck I was first in the lower heat and was really concerned that I needed to go faster with possibly more traffic. All I can say is thanks to the announcer he did a great job calling slower traffic and they did a great job giving my room when needed. After the first couple laps of clear track I was on a pace of something like 2 laps faster than the rest of my heat and managed to get a very clean run in. I think I had contact with 1 truck which is to be expected running these slightly guided missiles. That great run put me qualifying last in the A main, just what I needed. Looking at lap times I knew I was going to be out classed in the main but I did my best to just do clean laps and see what happens. The lower traction in the main paired with the wrong tires made it a real handful. I guess the whole pack did that and everyone finished right where they started. Taking home 8th in the A main in a borrow truck I rarely run and a track I’ve never been to is good enough for me.
Next was 4wd mod buggy. Something with this class just makes it a blast. I brought both my dirt and carpet set up cars. I was planning on running the carpet car but with heat issues at the local track I brought the dirt car along just in case (both run completely different motor/esc packages, the carpet car still being very new to me) but the Trackpower MS-1 and matching 6.5 motor ran cool and flawlessly all day. Having the strait unlike the local track kept temps cool and had no concern with the longer mains. I had 2 decent runs and managed to qualify into the A as well, which with 4 mains was a surprise to me. The car felt fast and easy to drive so I was feeling pretty good about it. After a nice clean run I managed to take 6th in the A, a win in my books given the level of competition.
My final class to run was 2wd mod buggy with my DEX210v2. I was running rear motor and a bulk of the guys ran mid, but I found the grip was to a point where rear didn’t seem to be much of a disadvantage. After a decent first run and a good 2nd run, I qualified last in the A as well, yes, I just made the A in all 3 classes running on a new surface at a race with over 150 entries. I was very pleased with my qualifying efforts. After running 2 4wd classes back to back then going to a 2wd car, I had to get as many warm up laps as I could. The car felt good but didn’t have enough steering entering the turns. The lower grip threw the balance off more than I would have liked but that’s all part of the game. It is what it is and all I could do is drive it around and not crash. I knew I wouldn’t have the lap times to recover from many accidents so I was doing some defensive driving just doing my thing. After running 7th for most of the race, I passed a few more cars near the end of the 8 minute main somehow finishing 4th. That was my biggest surprise of the weekend. I was just happy to make the show let alone not being a back marker.
All in all it was a great event to attend, well worth the 7 hours of driving in 1 day I did (it was a 23 hour day on 2 hours of sleep, details). Brian and his crew did a great job and look forward to seeing what they have planned moving forward. This was there last event at the current location. Thanks to all the event sponsors for supporting the local race scene there and all the great prizes given out. Many people left with some really nice stuff.
Thanks to all my sponsors that support what I do including first and foremost Great Hobbies and Team Durango, being part of Team Durango Canada is amazing and a lot of fun promoting possibly the best cars to run. I also want to that my newest sponsor, Exotek, for jumping on board making some really nice aluminum hop up parts that are more than just bling, Skyrc for amazing value speed controllers that perform amazing, along with a big line of other electronics including motors and chargers, and the Radio Impound Podcast, simply the best podcast to listen too. Without all these great companies I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Words/Pics by Andrew Burghgraef aka “the Burg”