Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dirt Trax RC Fall Classic

So after about 5 hours we arrived at Dirt Trax RC. The place was PACKED with a total of around 80 or 90 entries I think. Tracked was freshly packed and looked decent. The jump faces were a little abrupt and there wasn't too much of a landing transition but the layout looked fun and should make for some tight racing. the track blew out pretty fast as they have a large sand content. Big pin tires were in order early on in the day. I used JConcepts Goosebumps and Proline Step Pins in the back with JConcepts Green Groovy's up front. I ended up changing camber link positions, wheelbase, shock oil, shock position, ESC settings, gearing, slipper setting and ride height...haha. Base set up was way off! First round was a little sketchy with too many mistakes. I still managed to pull off a 17 lapper, but it was a slow one. Round two the car was better but I just had too many crashes. Third and fourth round were no good either. the track was pretty loose in some spots and I struggled trying to lay the power down. This left me 3rd in the B main (wow). I really needed some more track time but Friday practice wasn't in the cards for me.

2wd Open B Main
Everyone pretty much ran Step Pins or Goosebumps. I noticed by later in the day there was a harder surface exposed on the racing line. For the main I decided to use JConcepts Flip Outs and I think it was a good choice (for me at least). A bit of a gong show start put me into second place and then I biffed it off the double table to go to like second last. I managed to work my way back up into the mix. The race was pretty good with the top 4 of us training around for a bit and jockeying for position. Not a whole lot of passing but lots of gifting of the lead by all of us. I worked my way into the lead for a bit but I crashed off the double table and gifted the lead to a hard charging Matt Stacey. Chased him down for a few laps and got within a second of him when we got into some lapped traffic. Eric Deschenes must have thought the battle for last place was important as he would not move over even though the announcer told him he was a lap down and the battle for the lead was coming through. We tangled a couple times before I could get around him (yes I am bitter). Drove my ass off and closed in on Matt about a second per lap but I was one or two laps short as the buzzer went and he managed to hold me off to the finish to take the bump up spot to the show. Matt drove a super clean race. So my day was done.

2wd Buggy B-Main Results

1. Stacey, Matt -17 Laps - 6 min 18.32 sec (X Factory X-6²)
2. Summach, John -17 Laps - 6 min 20.03 sec (Kyosho)
3. Catricala, John -16 Laps - 6 min 5.94 sec (Tamiya TRF201)
4. Laliberte, Steve -16 Laps - 6 min 16.38 sec (X Factory X-6²)
5. Glover, Joe -16 Laps - 6 min 20.13 sec (Tamiya TRF 201)
6. Breen, Sean -15 Laps - 6 min 0.41 sec (PSI LMX)
7. Wright, Tom -15 Laps - 6 min 3.11 sec (Tamiya TRF 201)
8. Deschenes, Eric -15 Laps - 6 min 8.21 sec (Schumacher)
9. Gutuescu, Mihai -15 Laps - 6 min 18.95 sec (Tamiya TRF 201)

2wd Open A Main
Total gong show! Rough start and lots of banging going on. I think in the first 1/4 of the race half the field broke out! (I think they all did it on the same lap too!) Matt did the B Mainers proud by getting into the third spot, David Lecuyer was in the second spot and Damian Lamy was GONE in first place. He stretched out a comfortable lead and then smartly put it on cruise control for the remainder to take the win.

2wd Buggy A-Main Results

1. Lamy, Damian -17 Laps - 6 min 1.86 sec (Associated FTB4)
2. Lecuyer, David -17 Laps - 6 min 15.63 sec (X Factory X-6²)
3. Stacey, Matt -17 Laps - 6 min 18.38 sec (X Factory X-6²)
4. Solt, Jake -17 Laps - 6 min 19.42 sec (Associated B4)
5. Tyler, Kevin -16 Laps - 6 min 3.28 sec (X Factory X-6²)
6. limlaw, Joe -4 Laps - 1 min 41.49 sec (X Factory X-6²)
7. Lamy, Gaetan -3 Laps - 1 min 1.93 sec (Associated FTB4)
8. Gagnon, John -2 Laps - 0 min 38.9 sec (TQ Racing)
9. Legault, Benoit -2 Laps - 0 min 42.69 sec (Schumacher)

4wd Open A Main
Another gong show start. I missed a bunch of this as my loaner camera was all screwed up and I tried fixing it. I think it was Joe Glover out in the clear from the start and took the win with Benoit Legault in second and Damian Lamy in third. I'll let the video do the talking.

4wd Buggy A-Main Results

1. Glover, Joe -19 Laps - 6 min 16.39 sec (Tamiya DB01R)
2. Legault, Benoit -18 Laps - 6 min 0.58 sec (Schumacher)
3. Lamy, Damian -18 Laps - 6 min 7.98 sec (Associated FTB44)
4. Birku, Abiye -18 Laps - 6 min 9.36 sec (Tamiya 512)
5. Bortolotti, Steve -18 Laps - 6 min 13.51 sec (Tamiya 512)
6. Gruver, Chris -18 Laps - 6 min 15.85 sec (Team Durango DEX410)
7. Stacey, Matt -17 Laps - 6 min 3.48 sec (Mihai Tamiya 511)
8. Wright, Tom -17 Laps - 6 min 13.21 sec (Tamiya 512)
9. Lecuyer, David -4 Laps - 1 min 15.08 sec (Team Durango DEX410)

Random Thoughts:
- We rolled into town in a bad ass pimped out right hand JDM Mitsubishi Pajero that Ryan Luna bought. It was totally trippy being on the left side of the car and in control of nothing.
- I can only wonder what the racing surface was like before they dumped some clay into the mix. Was pretty "beachy". Must have been a sand trap before!
- Good to visit other tracks! Good bunch of guys there and great support from the local hobby stores. Tons of great door prizes! Still can't believe we can't have a track in the Toronto area.
- The drive sucked. Up at 1am Saturday in bed at 11pm. 21 hours up takes its toll. I guess I am getting old. I fell asleep in like 5 minutes.
- California set ups DO NOT work at this track...haha...I must have changed a dozen things and while it was getting better it still wasn't where I wanted the car to be.
- Little Damien Lamy drove really well for a 12 year old! LOL Laid the smack down. I was told his dad built a nice track in their back yard for him to practice...I thought of this too, but my kid is going to play golf...where the $$$ is...haha
- Good racing for the most part. Most of the guys were pretty clean but the guys who weren't were REAL hacky.
- Who would have thought that a British Pub would serve decent butter chicken?! Abiye convinced me that it would be good simply because the picture on the menu "looked legit". It was actually really good.
- You cannot go wrong with Holiday Inn Express. Totally worth a few extra bucks to sleep in a nice room with nice bathroom and sweet free breakfast. I hate staying in cheap ass ghetto hotels.
- Insane variety of cars being raced there, which is refreshing. A/E, Losi, Kyosho, Tamiya, Durango, Hot Bodies, Schumacher, X-Factory, PSi Racing, TQ Racing and MRC/Academy were all present...crazy.

- JB I think actually took his shoes off when he went to sleep. I may be wrong though.
- JB set Abiye's Bose iPod dock to repeat play Milli Vanilli's Blame it on the rain and then left for lunch.

-Before we left Abiye rebuilt his shocks. I was shocked (haha pun) with what was inside them. half filled, black oil...awesome.
- Abiye trusted JB to glue his tires even though 3 tires coming off the rims that JB glued cost him the win at the RC Pro Series Canadian Finals.
- Abiye had zero luck in the A Main. He got the short end of every stick when it came to pile ups and marshalling.

Abiye's lovely shock oil...


The Pajero! This thing had LED lighting, 7" DVD, Bluetooth stereo (streaming iPad and iPhone music), GPS, independent rear heating controls, turbo timer, insane off road lighting etc etc.

The Track Layout (sorry I lost my auto stitch program)

Close up of the beach (freshly tamped)

The GTA Crew

"The Prodigy" 12 year old Damian Lamy (nice kid)

Damian's unique rear end (complete with sway bar and lead weight on the hubs)

A little tagging on Steve's Tamiya

Some of variety of cars at the event:

PSI Kit?

TQ Mid Motor

Schumacher 2wd

Schumacher 4wd


Damian's B4

Steve's Tamiya (sweet paint..haha)

Schumacher 2wd

Concourse winner

I think I got the shaft on concourse. Come on this shit is TIGHT! haha

High flying action over the double table (note plexi wall to keep everyone in check)

See Mike I was smiling!


Abiye and JB were playing on the beach and making sand castles with my car stand!

Local CTV news crew was there.

Thanks to Ryan Luna and Robert Bekkers for letting me use some of the photo's and video's. I am waiting till after Christmas to get a pimpin' new camera!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Next "Almost Live" Race Coverage - Dirt Trax RC Raceway, Ottawa, Ontario

We'll with a bit of luck, I managed to get the green light to go to our nations capital to duke it out in my first 10th scale dirt off road race in over a year! I have been meaning to make it out to Dirt Trax RC for their annual big race but just have not been able to do it (it is a 5 hour drive from Toronto no less). Old skool loamy dirt with a Goosebump type tire will be fun to race on. The race is drawing some of the fastest local racers, some of the fast guys from Southern Ontario and some fast racers from Montreal Quebec area as well. I will miss Fridays practice but when you have a newborn and a 3 year old (and a crazy border collie/cattle dog mix) you take the days the wife will give you! LOL. Still seeing who I can rustle together for the road trip but either way it should be a great time!

See you at the track!

Race info:



Quick video of the place

New lid ready to go!

Starting set up

Monday, November 8, 2010

Told you my new body would show up Monday! Never fails.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Toronto Hobby Show: Day 2 Race Day!

So Day 2 is here and 3 rounds of qualifying and single mains will all be run today. Round one for me was good. I was on a good pace but with a few laps left Steve Bortolotti was on my ass and we tangled going up the final jump before the finish line. This cost both of us the extra lap but the runs would be good enough to make the show.

1st round is done.....holy crap it is fast.

Round 2 was a bit of a gong show and I just made too many mistakes. Got in some hot laps but couldn't string them together for a clean run. This bumped me down a few spots.

Round 2....faster still...

Round 3. Tried a couple of set up changes, but they made the car traction roll like crazy so this round was a write off. I never got to see the list but I don't think too much changed order wise.

Not sure what happened to the computer system but something crashed and they ended up losing the first round data and had to build the mains from rounds 2 and 3. This...pardon my french...really f'd a few people and saw many racers who should have been in the A Main bumped out. Not sure what solution could have come about, but it wasn't fair at all to these guys. I know we were pressed for time from the delays but I would have been PISSED if it was me.
2wd Open A Main:
My race was over before it really started. At the tone we were all off ok, but in turn 3 the guy behind me on the grid (I think it was one of the Ottawa guys) figured he could win the race in the first lap and T-Boned me onto my lid. It wasn't even close to being a pass and this dropped me to dead last. I tried to triple the big jump to make up some time and just cased it and flipped onto the roof...right as the marshal was running to get another car. Even the announcer said that sucked...lol. This comedy of bad luck had me being lapped by the end of the first lap. So I now had to pull over and let the top 4 guys through and kiss any chance of a decent finish goodbye. I think TQ JB bobbled on the first lap and let Steve lead for most of the race but a traction roll later on let JB back into the lead and take the win. I couldn't see what was going on as the track and racing was just to fast and you had to really focus on your car. On a track this fast and with 11 second laps, one crash will put you down half a lap. I was hoping to finally have a good carpet result as I think I found a really good set up finally but it wasn't to be. Can't wait to get the RB5 dirty now though!

2wd Open A Main results

2wd A Main Video (my hack got missed but nice view of me getting lapped pretty much on the first lap...haha)
2wd Open B Main
I usually don't include lower mains, but this was one of the best races of the night. Ron's last lap Hail Mary pass at the finish line was a sweet attempt. Lots of lead swapping during the race too. Awesome.

2wd B Main Results

2wd B Main Video
4wd Open A Main

JB hates calling races so I said I would do it. Another amazing race to watch. Numerous lead changes and bumper to bumper racing. I'll let the video do the talking (I'll try and find a better one as my camera cut out part way through...) but Leonard Shinzano took the win with Abiye Birku in second and Steve Bortolotti in third (after a failed Hail Mary attempt off the triple let Abiye sneak in for second).

Random Thoughts:

- It was a really fun event and I think we got some awesome spectating (and hopefully some new racer!). The show was small but pretty busy throughout the weekend.
- Thanks to Tamiya Canada for making the race happen. The track layout was super fast, flowy and fun.
- While I still prefer dirt, not having to clean your car is a definite bonus.
- Niftech traction compound is crazy stuff on this carpet...insane traction boost.
- I really feel bad for the guys who got hooped out of the A Main after the computer crash. That was balls.
- Some weird action in the 4wd B Main. They stopped the race after a couple laps cause someone didn't get marshalled???? All I got when I didn't get marshalled (in an A Main no less) was "That Sucks"...lol.
- I think the hottest item at the show were small RC helicopters. Every other person had one. I did see a fair share of guys leaving with RTR cars so that is good. I bought a little 4 channel heli myself.
- Nice to see people from Montreal and Ottawa come to the event. I don't think the Ottawa guys (who just race on dirt) were prepared for the crazy lap times some of the carpet off road aces could throw down. There is a learning curve for sure in adjusting your driving style and car set up.
- Nice to see the nitro guys show up too. They did quite well for not driving electric in ages.
- I was finally happy with how my RB5 performed on the carpet. Figures I find a set up and fastcats closes down.
- 140 entries. Hopefully this shows we can support an indoor facility? Rumours abound about a new indoor track opening up...but that seems to happen every year here.
- Fast lap in 4wd was Abiye with a 10.8 (only 10 second lap). Fastes in 2wd was JB Catricala with an 11.2. SICK SICK SICK times. I was pleased with an 11.4 for myself.

- Fred never hit one pole....

- Jay was one of the guys who got hooped out of the 4wd A Main due to the computer crash.
- Jay handled it with immense poise. I would have raised hell over it. His other qualifiers were crap and he had to race in the C Main.....ridiculous!

- So much for his trash talk. I must have scared him with my texting of my lap times as he didn't have the balls to show up...haha...he actually got stuck at work so I teased him all day with text messages and picture messages. Missed a good race boy!

- Mike got 2nd in the C Main. Good driving for a guy who has been away for 2 years and was using 2 year old gear.
- I am trying to convince him to go 8th scale this summer too. Good to have you back!


These two poles I thought were Fred's destiny...but he kept it clean and never did end up hitting either of them!

There were 4 or 5 Durango's here. Sweet looking car.

Nitro Ace George Stilliadis not having fun wrenching on 10th scale cars...haha

Carpet offroad Ace JB Catricala is running a little weight on the front of his B4

Overview of track

Steve Bortolotti singing Karaoke

Steve Bortolotti's Tamiya cars

Daniel Yachnin's Losi 4wd....old skool!

One of the Ottawa guys.

Another Ottawa racer...cool charger

Leonard Shinzano's RB5

Marelene & "Gump"

Hardcore Raceway's Jay getting prepped

Now that is a car stand

Should put these in a pop machine

Some of the "interesting" booths at the show:

Not sure what this game was but it was an airplane dogfight board game...

Yummy prawn & Worcestershire flavour chips and other food not normally sold in Canada!

Didn't know people still played with Mecanaco.

Not much was going on in this booth

Plasma cookware....the guy was not as exciting as the Shamwow guy (Shamwow had a booth here as well but the guy in the commercials wasn't in it)

Lots of Robot War booths. These things are BIG!

Some kind of Halo tourney or something like that. Lots of acne and virgins in this booth....not a chick anywhere near it either...lol

the latest thing here. Mobile gaming trailers. 5 50" TV's all networked etc running PS3 and XBOX's. Cost about $300 for the day at your house for a party. It was pretty pimp inside.

I will assume this booth will not be back next year....only because it is steam engine model building and...well who uses steam engines anymore and everyone in the booth was like 90 years old.

A fair amount of model train stuff this year.

- Forgot about the Dungeons & Dragons booth
- Insane Legoland booth
- Cool booth with 3 old skool Nintendo Entertainment Systems running Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Super Mario with a prize for highest score.

Quick few laps with my RB5SP2. Sorry, the camera flew off the roof after a few laps and I can't remember how to edit the video down.