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Rage Event UpdatePosted: 5/1/2009
Event: JConcepts Rage
The big news at the JConcepts Rage was the spectacular Carolina's R/C indoor track and racing surface. JConcepts Events race director Fred Reep put on a flawless high energy program with 5 rounds of qualifying and triple A-mains in the modified classes and 10 minute A-mains in all other classes. Several local drivers put on great driving performances while TQ'ing and winning many classes. Jason Ruona, Rob Meyer, Max Fluer, Jon Noon and Zach Mote continually turned the quickest lap times and qualifying runs in the modified classes. Jason Ruona with his JConcepts outfitted Associated B4 and B44 rained supreme in qualifying by TQ'ing 7 out of the 10 rounds of qualifying and winning the first 2 A-mains in both classes. Rob Meyer with his JConcepts outfitted Associated T4 TQ'ed and won the 10 minute A-main event in the modified truck class. Carolina R/C's own Alex Birmingham won the Stock Truck class while Steve Woody won the Short Course Stock class and Todd Walters won the Short Course Modified class. Brandon Ouellette took his freshly prepared Losi 8ight-e to a well deserved 1st place in the electric 1/8th buggy class.
The awards presentation made for a complete event with local model Heather handing out the awards in each class. Gold compound Bar Codes and Sevens was the tire of choice for the indoor surface in the 1/10th and 1/8th scale classes. In addition to the Rage awards the appropriate winners were awarded a new set of the popular Gold Compound JConcepts tires during the awards presentation.
Special thanks to the sponsors of the Rage – JConcepts, Carolina's R/C, Jab Graphix and Good Run Gear. For more information and complete report please visit www.jconcepts.net
Check out www.jconceptsevents.com for more information on JConcepts events.
It has been a full week since we returned home from the first annual JConcepts Rage at Carolina’s RC in Charlotte NC. Jason has been hounding me like a disgruntled redhead for a race report since about mid-day last Thursday. So here it is. Along those lines, I would like to refer to these as “event reports” from now on, since as many of you know by now I am pretty much useless for any kind of commentary about the actual racing on the track.
It all began ona dark rainy night back in September - Jason and I were standing on the driver’s stand inside of Carolina’s RC, watchin Allison drive a Slash around the track at 10pm one night. We were in town for the 1/8 IFMAR Off-road Worlds, held just down the street at The Farm. Jason popped up with a cute little idea that he is so famous for (i.e. BJ4, spoked wheels, happy hour @ Chili’s, etc) Jason suggested that we have a race at this place. At that time the track was pretty small by even most electric guys standards, but we thought it would be fun.
Within a couple of months, it was set - the JC Clash website was retooled to JC Events, and a full slate of smaller events spread over the nation were scheduled. The Bash, Clash, Rage, Wave, Rumble, were born. The first of these new events, the JC Bash was a smashing success.
So like these trips always begin, everyone shows up at the JC Factory, we load 42 metric tons of stuff into the trailer, pile into the F-350 and head off into the sunset in pursuit of RC racing fun. This time we were joined in the truck by Fred Reep, of RC Monster Motorsports fame, Fred came along to not only race, but to act as the scorekeeper and race director of the event. We finally departed from the Factory at about 3 in the afternoon, and were able to get 3 miles down the road before someone realized that something was left behind, and we had to return the factory.
Upon arriving, a local racer was standing in the parking lot holding a pair of Double Dee’s with a puzzled look on his face. Apparently this racer had driven to the factory to ask for some assistance in gluing his tires. While this is covered in RC racing 101, Jason calmly stepped out of the truck and assisted this racer in a matter of minutes. You don’t often see Wal-Mart levels of customer service in the RC industry. I was impressed. We were on the road by 4pm now.
We arrived in Charlotte later that night and pulled into the familiar old Comfort Suites, this was our 4th stay here in the last 20 months or so - Truck Nat’s, Worlds Warm-up, Worlds, and now Rage - and it is still the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at for an RC race. I went down the lobby the next morning to scope out the breakfast situation and found Zach Mote, Zach Genova, Sherwin Diaz, and Larry Genova all sitting on a couch in the lobby. All four of them on one couch - I’ll take a second for that mental picture to set in -…………… they had driven straight through the night, and they looked like death. The Zach’s were clearly ready to get on the track, Larry looked ready for happy hour, and Sherwin seemed to be wondering if anyone would notice if he just went to sleep in the middle of a hotel lobby.
The facility at Carolina RC is top notch, the track and hobby shop is situated in a huge 24,000 SF industrial building, with 24′ tall ceilings, and large roll up doors at one end. Since we were there back in September, they had relocated the track in the building, making it much larger and more centralized in the building. The track itself is approximately 60′ x 100′, or roughly 25% of the inside of the building. The hobby shop occupies another 25% or so, leaving nearly half the building for pit area and just general open space. We decided to park the JC trailer inside of the building behind the driver’s stand given the huge amount of space inside the building.
Local racer Alex Birmingham did an excellent job with preparing the track. The Rage had a great layout, one of those smooth, flowing layouts that allows you to easily put in a clean run, but is very difficult to go fast. I ran a total of 10 qualifiers and 6 mains for two classes, and I can only remember being marshaled 2-3 times tops. Track designers seem to keep forgetting that the layout doesn’t need to be an obstacle course to be difficult, and turning fast lap times is hard on any layout - I mean seriously, what layout is easier than an oval? And people will spend hours…days…even years trying to perfect a line to get around an oval layout faster than the next guy.
One of the neatest things about this race was the diversity of cars on the track. There were actually Losi cars racing! In Florida, we never see any Losi cars anymore. I ran Losi cars for many years, and on a higher bite surface, it is hard to beat that 1999 Triple X. Local guy Max Fluer had his Triple X flying around the track. I was marshalling when he TQ’ed the 4th round of qualifying…it looked so dialed going around the track… The Losi car with the Illuzion body just looks awesome…
One big theme for us out-of-towners was tire prep - the indoor surfaces like to have the tires prepared in a certain fashion to go fast. For this track, a tire likes to have the tread height reduced by about half. This seems like an easy fix right? Just go run the tires for a while, and they will be good right? Well, the JConcepts Gold compound does wear much. So we made a quick stop at The Home Depot, bought a drill motor, cut the ball off an old CVD axle, chucked it up in the drill motor, spun the tires up and sanded down the tread halfway. We ran the same set of tires on our cars all weekend. Myself and Zach Mote ran the same tires, front and rear, 2wd and 4wd….ALL weekend. At least ten practice runs, 5 qualifiers, and triple A-mains. At least 17-20 runs on a set of tires. This has to be the most affordable club racing on Earth.
All in all this was a fantastic event - Great facility, great people, and the area around the track is very nice with a great selection of restaurants and shopping. I still can’t get over spring time in the Carolinas is was absolutely beautiful - the bluegrass is thick and rich, flowers blooming everywhere, the air is cool and crisp…it was actually a shame to be indoors. Of all the times it would be perfect to have an outdoor race, it was that weekend. I was sitting at my pit table at one point on Saturday, and looking up and out one of the large roll-up doors, it was almost like a huge framed picture on the wall - the sun, trees and foliage. Next year Faulkner and I are bringing golf clubs. We can miss a round or two of qualifying to squeeze in 9 holes I’m sure…
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