The 2017 Suft City Classic began for most of us on Friday. The track layout was open, flowing, not overly technical, but racy and fast just how I like them. This was my second time racing at OCRC Raceway and I was once again treated with a great atmosphere as was everyone who attended. OCRC is setting a very positive example for race events going in a slightly different direction of entertainment, more on that later. If you’re struggling to understand how a race can sell out in 3 minutes, come down to OCRC and take some notes.
Tekin just released our new RS Pro BE (Black Edition) and Spec R spec motors this week. The entire team who entered into spec classes was equipped with these this weekend. For those of you who haven’t taken a look at these new products, you’re doing yourself a diservice. From the word Go I was asked numerous times “Are you running Mod or stock, we can’t tell?” The new ESC and motor combination may not have had the best racing luck this weekend, but to say we had speed and power in abundance was and will be an understatement. We could triple in 4wd 13.5 and roll up to jumps others had to pay attention to. Power you can feel and use is what we as racers are always chasing for, so do yourself a favor and take a look.
I personally entered into spec classes this race which is not my normal option. Racing 17.5 buggy, 4wd 13.5 nad 17.5 ST truck to get as much data as we can to assure our customer have accurate informatoin to use these new items and get the most out of them. My Yokomo Yz2 DTM and Bmax4 were easy to drive but I managed to have some issues in qualifying getting through traffic cleanly in most of my classes. It’s pretty bad when Nick Black the RD at Surf City is on the mic and goes to say “I saw that and I’m not sure what to say other than WOW” during a few of my qualifiers.
This leads me into not so much of a rant, but perhaps some advice to those up and coming young racers who think they’re “racing” when they’re actually driving through people or doing bump and runs. Drivers etiquette is not something we hear at every race driver meeting but perhaps it should come back and become more frequent. I spoke to a few guys at AMS about this a few months back and this race had many of the same issues. In my qualifiers and even in my mains I was punted off the race line and either ended up side down or into a pipe. Drivers, if you get into another driver whether on purpose or not and you spin them out or worse yet cause them to crash you’re expected to pull off the race line and stop to give that driver back the position. Yes, that means it take the corner marshall 5 seconds to retrieve the car you help exit the track and allow him/her back in front of you, you stop and wait. This was something that was ingrained in me when I was learning to race. The elder statesman would educate on proper etiquette and it was expcted as normal.
Today the youth and perhaps even some of the older racers have either forgotten this, or simply choose to ignore these rules. As someone who’s called a few racers in his day, it’s extremely hard to not only call the race with finesse, watching 12 cars or more on the track, and providing the sound so the spectators are entertained is no small feet in itself. My hat is off to anyone with the stones to step in the booth and get on the mic to do it. If you think it’s easy, if you think you can do it better, step up and make it happen. But I bet you’re humbled the first time you do it.
This all being said drivers, remember at all times people are watching. Today everyone wants a “deal” or feel they need some factory support. When I began racing in this hobby sponsored guys were the top 20 guys in the nation. Names like Matt Francis, Brian Kinwald, Billy Easton, Adam Drake were considered factory drivers. Today we have new great names I for the most part, all of these guys follow the standard for acing etiquette. I watched Ryan Maifield pull over after getting into someone. He took the gamble on a risky pass, it didn’t work out and he did the right thing. I would have tried the pass as well had it been me. And I can gurantee I would have stopped as well.
This leads me into something that is lacking in most of the racers driving lists of talent that I really would like to see come back, Car Control. For all things good in r/c racing we need this to come back a hundred times over, and a hundred times again. You want to know why guys like Ryan Maifield, Ty Tessmann, Ryan Cavalieri are able to drive so fast, so hard, and with what seems like such little effort? They have an immense amount of car control. As a racer myself, there’s NOTHING like having car that you’re so confident in that you know you can put that car within an inch of where you intended it to be on the race track. These guys have put in the practice and effort to be so good at wielding their weapon of choice it is second nature to them. They know how to use brakes! Had the drivers that I had unfortunate contact with this weekend been able to do the same, I wouldn’t be writing this long winded post, promise.
A few of us elder statesman were in the 17.5 ST truck class and were talking about this on the stand before our race. We are agreed to have a good time and enjoy the race. I was passed cleanly by Danny Stojakovic, someone who I haven’t raced a ton, but have raced before. Robert Black and I had a great battle in our 4wd 13.5 race. After the race we both acknowledged each other with “Great race” and “You’re a tough man to pass Randy Pike.” This is what makes racing fun for me. Neither of us accomplishes are end goal, but we both had a good time racing each other.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I’m generally not one for complaining but I simply forsee this not getting any better. If we continue down this path, we’re doing it wrong. There were 350 entries at this race, most of which took time off work and spent their hard earned money to have a good time. With OCRC the “good time” is nearly guranteed if you participate in the fun. However as a racer it’s up to us to asure we race each other fairly and with good eitquette. If we don’t, we’re just a bunch of dorks and goof balls driving around a track ruining each others chances at getting better and having even more of a good time.
I’d like to thank all the Tekin team drivers that were at the race this weekend. I know we learned a lot together and I appreciate all your time with me this weekend, thank you. Thanks to Jason Ruona for always answering my questions and giving me good advice. Thanks to Travis Brock at SDRC for lending me his ear, and providing me with ample amounts of coffee over the weekend. And a very big thank you to all the crew at OCRC including but not limited to Nick and Robert Black and Jake Thayer. You guys have a wonderful facility, and you run it the way you want which is a rare thing now a days. Kudos you all of you for sticking to your guns and doing what you feel is right.
Lots of great pictures can be found here: Rugspingraphix