Finally back home and trying to recover from a back to back travel schedule. I’ve always had a great time at the AMS race and this was no different. A super fast layout was put in and the weather was much more pleasant this time around! RaceTime and their entire crew did a superb job with this event. 475 entries meant for a long race day but we got out of there right after 11pm on Saturday.
I ran 40+ E Buggy and Open E Buggy this year. Running my Mugen Seiki Mbx7r Eco buggy for the 2nd time really only required a few changes to the car from the MFG cup. I picked up the new CVA sets and one of the new HT center diff setups. I could tell immediately the extra drive off the corner this combination gave me and highly recommend the upgrades if you haven’t pulled that trigger yet. I was running the award winning Tekin Rx8 Gen3 ESC and T8 Gen2 1900kv motor I pretty much always run. Powered by a pair of 6100mah ProTek LiHV graphene shorty packs gave me upwards of 15+ minutes run time on the AMS layout!
In 40+ Tekin teammate Martin Harrison managed to out qualify me taking Tq with myself 2nd. Mark Moon was also in the mix during the triple A’s. Martin had a mechanical in A1 giving me an opportunity that I just couldn’t snatch. I was struggling something fierce with the right side hip kicker jump. That damn thing was the biggest pain in my ass. It was such a simple jump that I just couldn’t hit right 90% of the time. When I did hit it was beautiful but the rest of the time it was as ugly as…..well never mind you get it. That all being said I’d take 2nd in A1. A2 would be up and Harrison and I would take off from the tone and would freight train around for a lap or two. I don’t recall the exact incident but knowing me it was that damn hip jump where I’d lose my body because some idiot(me) forgot the body clips in a rush to get on the track. I’d fight back up and catch the top 2 which was hilarious because the entire time Lance MacDonald the RD was yelling at the “car with no body” going around the track. I’d catch the lead battle and manage to get around Harrison who got caught up in back markers and take another 2nd right behind Mark Moon who’d take the overall winning A2. A3 it was Harrison and myself. He’d have to beat me to win the tie breaker for 2nd and he’d do just that giving me 3rd overall.
I’d also run Open E Buggy which had over 60 entries alone. The competition in this class as legit to say the least. I felt like a relic on the drivers stand during the triple A mains however. I was old enough to be most of these kids daddy! LOL Regardless this old man wasn’t taking anything away from the young talent. A1 had me 7th on the grid of 13 total cars. I’d buy my time letting the front runners take each other out hoping that old age and treachery would outweigh raw speed and youthful impulse. My plan would work as I would being picking them off one at a time putting pressure on them as I went along. On the second to the last lap I’d catch 3rd place driver Grayson Thompson and make a clean pass only to give it right back two turns later going a tick wide. High five to Grayson Thompson for being clean in that race. A2 would I’d go in with the same plan, be patient and put the screws to the kids! LOL I’d get up to 3rd in a few laps and battle out with a swarm of youngsters and this is where things get a little crazy. There were no less than 4 or 5 of us battling out in a dog fight for position. Something I will concede right away is the talent of these young drivers when it comes to whipping the cars around. BUT with all due respect….and I mean in my best Ricky Bobby voice…. with all due respect some of them need to learn how to actually RACE! I’d setup a blue/pink car for pass, execute that pass, actually manage a great downside on my nemesis the right side him jump(1:10 LOL) and blast through the sweeper only to get ran over from behind and ran all the way into pit lane! No stop, no “sorry bro”, nothing. I’d of course put my head down, grit my teeth and go back to work once again to catch this group of young guns, make clean passes and get back up to 3rd with 2 laps to go and have a few last lap passes and get passed to take a 5th for this round. A3 was much of the same only for me suffer a very rare mechanical, F word. All things tallied up, I’d take 5th overall.
This all being said, I had a great time. If I can offer any advice to the young up and coming racers that may read this, it would be this. While you’re physical car control is fantastic being able to whip, nay nay, and your scrub game is tight, learn how to actually race another driver. There is something pure and genuine about setting up another driver for a pass, being able to execute that pass, and knowing you owned that moment legit without ANY question about it. I’m lucky to have raced with some of the best racers on the planet, and have been passed by those guys. Being able to pay that back to another driver is a reward that should be felt by any racer. If you pass a guy and to make that pass you have to psychically shove their car off the race line that they’re occupying, that’s not a clean pass. Better yet if you blast their car off the track, or spin them out entirely do the right thing which is stop and wait. I don’t care if you lose 5 positions doing it, be the better racer and do the right thing. We’ve all blown a pass and taken someone out, I’ve done it. But I can tell you that I’ve waited every single time. This was the race ethic I was shown by the best in the business. I can hear the comments now… Rub’ns racing yo! This is true, I’m down for a squirrelly battle any day but make it legit. If you open the door, that’s on you. But if your doors are literally blown off the track, well that’s on “that guy” and we all hate “that guy!”
I’d like to give a special thank you to Paul Wynn for all of his help this weekend. Also thanks to all the Tekin team for working hard and proving hard work pays off in results. Thanks to all the Tekin customers for their support as well, there were so many of you!
And as always thanks to all my sponsors for helping me get to these races: Tekin, ProTek, Amain, JConcepts, Mugen Seiki, MIP, Avid RC, Yokomo, Sik Lidz, and Imagine it Graphics.