The RCPS race team was in action this past weekend(May 20th) for the first round of The SERIES races at The SandPit R/C Track in Jonesville, MI. I plan to make it to 1 maybe 2 more of these yet this summer.
I’ll focus on how things went for me personally as nearly all of the team made the A mains in there respective classes and I have only ran a couple races of this level in the past 5-10yrs.
With over 290 entries the race schedule was shortened to 2 qualifying rounds and 1 main with bump ups from the B-Mains. The SERIES is a one day event, so this is a must…otherwise we would have been at the track running mains until 5am.
I ran 17.5 2wd Buggy and 17.5 SC truck classes… there where 50 stock buggies and 17-20 stock SCT trucks. Steller turn out for stock buggy, even being one of the harder classes to drive.
Having just received our shipment of PR Racing Buggy kits, I had about 2 weeks to get the PRS1V3-MM Mid Motor buggy together and get a decent setup on it. The Sandpit R/C track is challenging for indoor tracks these days….very low traction infield and high grip oval sections made for some interesting transitions. On Friday, I did manage to practice a few rounds just to get the layout down, but still struggled for rear grip. The PR SC201 SCT felt really good already since I was running it in rear motor configuration and have been running it off and on for about a year now at Sandpit. I ran the SCT with an average 17.5 stock motor and Toro 160amp ESC.
After practicing with the 3 gear MM buggy, I made the decision to try the 4 gear transmission from the SCT kit into the buggy for Saturday morning. I had the case and gears already…and it does bolt right in to the MM buggy, but it also used the gear cover and some screws for the SCT rear motor that I had to swapped back and forth all day. Unfortunately I didn’t get to practice Saturday morning as I was not prepared with everything for the swap and was still trying to finish it up. We had been running 13.5 motors for club racing, MODx made me run one of their 17.5 motors since I was pitting with them. The 4 gear would add some much needed stability on power and the motor was also pretty nice.
Needless to say, my qualifying rounds weren’t the best….once qualy was over, I was sitting 4th in SCT and 3rd in the B-Main for the Buggy. Too many mistakes and bad timing on traffic put me off of my best runs.
First up was the B-Main 2wd 17.5 buggy…. after a decent start, I got caught up with another car who I had track position on and was passing. Once that got sorted I was in 5th or 6th, then the first 5 cars got caught up in a pile up through a quad jump section. I made it through with only minor trouble, but came out in 2nd. I ran down the leader and took the lead with 2mins to go and pulled away. That would put me 11th on the A-Main grid. I wasn’t expecting much for the A and was just going to stay out of the way. On the first lap I had already picked off 2 positions and was being patient. The car was really good and I should have pushed harder. Traction was up due to the huge amount of rain outside and the high humidity inside. In the end I finished 8th with some of the top 2wd 17.5 buggy racers in the Michigan/Indiana/Ohio area.
The SCT A-Main would start strong and jump right to 3rd spot and begin an epic battle with the top 2. The PR SC201 truck was carving the corners and I finally found the right speeds to make it over all the rhythm jump sections. At one point I had caught and passed on the track the eventual winner. Lapped traffic would again play a role…a pile up with lappers would slow the top 3 trucks and drop me one spot at the same time. I would get back behind 2nd and we passed the leader when he made a mistake. While pushing for the lead, I made a small mistake that would drop me too far back to get back to him before the finish. I brought it home in 2nd.
It turned out to be a really fun weekend. I wasn’t the most confident coming into the weekend having only one club race day on the PR Buggy, but worked on it every round(there are no PR setups for this type of track, trust me!). Bumping to the A main in 2wd for the first time was kinda cool though.
I gotta say, the PR products are for real folks. They may not be a “Name Brand” yet, but they are very capable for any club racer and top notch for higher grip surfaces. I did, in the end, use parts that didn’t come with the MM buggy kit(4-gear MM from the SCT), but they are available from us. I also modified a couple parts to help deal with the low traction surface we had…more on those in another article.
I am, by far, not a Pro/Semi-Pro level R/C Racer….However, we race what my company sells to show you that it works and works well for the average guy with just some normal tuning.
Special thanks to Shawn and Mo(SandPit R/C), Kris and Nick from “The SERIES” as well as Fred and Rusty from MODx for the brutal 17.5 loaner Motor.