|Nov 10, 2014, 06:04 PM|
Joined Jan 2013
Unfortunately, I don’t have as many “lessons learned” to write about this race compared to last because it was my second event, and this time I was more prepared and (lightly) more experienced. The track layout was basically the same from the Nats, minus the chicane at the beginning of the far sweeper. This made entry into the sweeper obviously easier, but made the complete turn (I felt) a little tougher because of the higher entry speed. The obvious benefit was a higher exit speed which made for some amazingly fast back straightaways, which was great fun until my front brake decided to take Sunday afternoon off (more on that later).
Saturday quals were super-fun, but in super-hot conditions. Lito took some track temps on the cooler Sunday, I’m not sure if he got any Saturday. I felt like my driving continued to improve some from the last event even though I fell back into r/c car mode (panic and hold steering input) a couple times early. Once I was able to shake that off, my consistency and times improved in the more positive direction.
In the stock config, I was simply slower than the other guys, but could (occasionally) hold my own around the tougher portions of the track, so getting lapped was less frequent. Since I ran both classes with the same bike, I was lightly reluctant to change too many things at once since I already had to change so much (motor/ESC/rear brake settings), and probably suffered from some self-confusion. With the same steering setup for both classes, I got much better entry/exit consistency in stock, probably attributable to the lower/similar speeds, which made hitting the apex much more controllable with braking. The steering is actually pretty “hot” at these lower speeds, and leads to some interesting “early” turn ins on the faster corners. Also, “blipping” the throttle to extend turning lines with the brushed setup isn’t the same as with 6.5T of brushless torque, so my (brains) throttle curve needed some serious adjustment EACH RACE. One thing of note is that with the brushed setup, I could, on rare occasion, pin the throttle all the way around the sweeper and most of the back straight. If able, and others couldn’t, I made a little time, but that was probably a less than 50% happenstance, and could (did) easily lead to violence if swinging wide. Also, my back-straightaway control was certainly more “there” with the lower speeds (more on that later). After the first qual rounds (and first few wipeouts), I noticed my brand-new pre-painted yellow (which I guess is a strange version of orange in China) body was literally shattered in more than a few spots. My stock (originally un-painted) body had survived many licks, and eventually self-destructed after no less than 500 endo’s and wall-hangers, most of which made the announcer say “WOW” (more on that later). The pre-painted body has to be made of some (lame) differing material, because it literally lasted 2 heats before requiring MAJOR amounts of gaffer tape to “stay together”. Rather disappointing considering the cost and increasing rarity. My stock motor was running just under 120˚F, comparable to others, leaving much room for more pinion. The stock quals only pulled my battery down to 8V in like 6 mins, so I could lighten my ride up there if wanted, too.
Saturday superbike quals were super-fun. Blistering temps = blistering grip. The fast entry into the sweeper made for some ugly-fast back straights. I practiced with a variety of nitro/gas car guys and was able to show them what’s what a couple times, silently to boot. Of course, they had to wait for my next 3 turns before passing. ; ) In terms of open-track respect, I’d have to give them 2 thumbs up for waiting patiently (for the most part). I think I only got booted once by some fool trying the inside-line while I was fully-leaned and still rolling on the throttle. I had fiddled a little with my front brake in light of trying to adjust out the occasional tank-slap in braking corners, and had both the front and rear really hooked up at the end of the straight (or so I thought). After one of our runs, Jimmy (half-laughing) stated my bike was consistently lifting the rear end with full brake from full tilt. I couldn’t see it from the drivers stand, and I guess I luckily/successfully remained off of the steering at that point. He said it looked awesome, but was awesomely dangerous. All I knew was those brakes were working! I could easily add another 10’ before the brake zone this event. I inspected them and noticed that the wear on the front disc has grown in thickness/width/diameter/area. In essence, I think the disc was not fully “worn in” to enable full pad contact due to the slightly tapered effect the stock front-brake pads have. They probably started getting into shape at the end of the last event. In other words, I previously only saw wear on the disc around the outer 1/8”, and now they’re gripping a good ¼”. In any case, they’re working, and well, and like any good 2-stroke, work the best about 10 seconds before blowing up (more on that later). I thought my super-bike driving was really coming along for certain moments. I was actually able to make time on the boys, interrupted by obviously novice mistakes that left me flying (over the curb) and them passing with brutal consistency. I had many groups of great turns with Litto, Dwayne, and Jimmy, and after all, that’s what it’s all about, right? I came back from every superbike event with a big smile, and even got the announcer to say “WOW” after I streaked down the back straight a few times, which admittedly isn’t hard given the number of times he says it (like every 14.6 seconds in the expert nitro 4WD a-main). I did still suffer from the lack of any real directional control when at speed. At one point, Dwayne pulled my bike, twisted the steering, inspected the servo pushrod assembly, and declared it suspect. I’ve been running small sections of fuel tubing with light pre-load in the stock springs. Apparently, I might have less of a struggle with a little built-in slop. I have since deemed a dedicated tune-up session as a requirement before ToysForTots next month. DotsDay anyone? I could also use some advice on the variety of front-end swing fulcrum locations installed with the little plastic inserts (Step 5 if you’re following along with the SB5 manual). I’m running stock, and would appreciate any insight into the relative cause/effect of change.
Sunday’s qual went well for me in superbike, finishing a respectively consistent 3rd. Stock qual on Sunday was a light/moderate disaster. I had started to strip the inside (wrench-side) of my pinion with having to remove it before/after each event to change motors, and despite all dreams/hopes/desires/prayers of it surviving 2 more races, gave up during the final qual. It slipped prior to start, I jumped off the drivers stand, sprinted to the pits, snugged it (or at least tried), and re-launched before the buzzer. Made it like 3 laps and the pinion flew off. Next.
The super-bike final was crazy off the bat. There was one starter guy for each bike, and no matter how loud we yelled for them to start us one at a time, they launched all 6 bikes at once, line-abreast, straight into the hairpin that resulted in a total fur-ball of lexan, carbon-fiber, and lithium. What a disaster. I thought every bike made it out somewhat alive and running, but soon “heard” that Dwayne may have gotten the worst of it since I emerged in second and he continued with some fruitful commentary. I gave Lito a slight run for his money in the first lap, and then made minced meat out of some corner and watched Dwayne pass and leave me in the dust. Yuck. My bike was working and my brain was kinda clicking so I kept the faith, and made some good turns. Had a most excellent sweeper and ran the back-straight at just under Mach 1, hit the brakes right on time and………………….nothing. I hit the end wall harder than if I just picked the bike up by hand and fast-balled it into the bricks. Huh. Did I forget to hit the brakes? Did I pull the throttle and not push the brakes? It had been a fairly long weekend at that point, and I thought maybe it was just pilot error. My trusty (if not slightly over-built) SB5 kept going (now with little if any front bodywork attached). The inside of the track was manageable, so I brushed off the brake loss to brain-drain and charged down the back straight once again, this time lifting early. No love, no brakes, whack. Kept running, and managed to only get lapped once (I believe), good enough for third. Total victory. In the end, the only thing I know is that the front brake servo isn’t working. It’s connected and I didn’t find any wire damage, but that’s all the diagnosis that’s been performed so far. Interestingly, someone else (Jimmy?) lost their front brake in the same race. Gremlins!
The stock final was started by Craig, who proved once again why we pay him the big bucks not to race an electric-bike. Happily/surprisingly, I managed to qualify second, and kept that position for about ½ lap before Dwayne schooled me with his smooth lines and consistent driving. Fortunately for me, his mechanic had a good Saturday night (rough Sunday morning) and he lost a slider on the sweeper. He was yelling for the guy to just shove it back in, which was funny to start with, and I figured the guy was deaf from running small-displacement nitro motors all day and joined in the yelling from the close-end of the stand. I’m pretty sure he never really heard us, so Dwayne’s only hope was from Craig sprinting all the way across the track to save the day. Happily for me, Craig didn’t make it across until Dwayne was like 2 laps down. Dwayne continued his drive with reckless abandon from that point on, it was like he was literally on rails. He passed me easily, and even un-lapped himself from Lito. The three of us battled for quite a few turns with some totally classic inside/out turns which really made it fun. Fortunately for me, the clock stopped before Dwayne could get back around one full turn and I took second. I wasn’t sure at first because the announcer kept announcing our gaggle as 1/2/3, and I lost track of positions about 9 minutes earlier, so I had no clue, and was as surprised as the announcer when I was declared second. Awesome! Lito had some slider issues throughout the weekend as well. Gremlins!
To stay consistent, special thanks go out in alphabetical order……
Craig once again proved he is the coolest under fire. I think he raced in like 4 classes of cars/bikes, and is the type of guy you really want on your side. His 1/5-scale car racing was sick, and he persevered with a big win against some SERIOUS competition. His stock-class bike starts were again perfect, and he saved my a$$ no less than 3 times when the heat was on and I was stuck in the middle of some 2x4 island wailing for help from the half-asleep turn-marshals. For all this he wins my BEST DUDE of the weekend award, and I promise to try and never hold it against him that he uses (coughworksforcough) Airtronics. ; )
Dwayne once again proved that he can (and someday will) win each and every race he enters. His bikes are stupid fast and his lines and crazy good. Just following him around is a chore, passing a near impossibility. We had some maga-fun turns, and I think he enjoyed the equal-opportunity shredding. He has encouraged me to actually “tune” my bike with a dots-day, and I’m gonna have to take him up on that next time. Always friendly and ever-competitive, the ultimate biker and another guy that’s good to have on your side.
Jimmy had me worried on more than one occasion. He has his bikes so well setup, you can count on losing in the turn. Gremlins got the best of him this weekend, but he kept smiling, and best of all, kept us smiling. I think he brings a lot of respect to the crowd of 2-wheelers amongst the 4-wheeled masses, and I for one really appreciate that.
Lito has become the one to beat. I guess he always was, I just didn’t want to admit it to myself. I tried racing with him, and he kept schooling me to no end. I think I maybe passed him twice this weekend, which is sad compared to him passing me like 20 times. His lines are quite different than most, and his bike can handle it well, so much so that it confuses the heck out of you in the twisties. Think point and shoot. I was happy that a couple of my more fluid sweeps made it past him with some relative ease, but (unfortunately for us) his consistency cannot be beat, and with that, I got worked over. (Fortunately for us) he’s a super-nice guy and willing to give up any/all advice, of which he is THE bible.
Raj wins for determination and perseverance (again). His TT-nitro has 2 minds of it’s own, and uses them both at once. I think he was the only one who suffered from walls made of 2x4s and BIG nails more than me, and when he bit into them, they bit back hard. Luckily his bike is amazingly stable at slow speeds, so when his steering doesn’t work and/or his brakes decided to, well, take a break, he can continue on and make a fun addition to the race. I also need to thank him for letting me peruse his spare parts bin for a pinion set-screw. My entire bike is metric except for one screw, and you guessed it, that’s the one that stripped. Thanks again Raj, I owe that stock second place to you.
All in all, good fun once again. The announcer kept asking where Kevin was. I think there may be some love-connection going on there. I know, TMI. I recently made Kevin another cash offer on his new Jabber in the hopes of guilting him into finishing it so he can sell me his “old” and “useless” and “outdated” SB5. Not sure how that’s going. We missed the “way out-of-towners” too. Will/Nolan/Dave, I know airfares have gone up over the holiday season, but heck, they should go down for the preceding 2-week period then, right? Kevin, gas will never be this cheap again. ToysForTots 12/12-14.
|Category||Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Discussion||heads up on cheap R2 hobby sale... free post from windrider also!||gouch||Australia||27||Feb 06, 2014 01:32 AM|
|Discussion||H.U.R.L. Heads Up Racing League of So Cal.||Chief High Horse||Slope||105||Jan 01, 2008 03:36 PM|
|Discussion||Heads up guys wrongwings||klique||Flying Wings||6||Aug 05, 2007 09:13 AM|
|SoCal DS guys...Heads up!!||aneigher24||Dynamic Soaring||2||Dec 12, 2005 04:43 PM|
|Heads up, guys. Something to think about.||Lone Yankee||Electric Plane Talk||11||Mar 05, 2003 08:31 AM|