2014 OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge at Dirtburners

July 29th, 2014

This past weekend I headed to Kirkwood Missouri, just outside the gateway to the west city of St. Louis. This is always a great event for all who attend as it has some fun features and Hobbico being a primary presenter of the event pulls out all the stops. The Raffle prizes are some of the best at any event and the special dash for cash race adds some spice!. Also they do two 20 minute Double A-mains for the Pro classes to make things more interesting. On top of it all the winners of the open and expert classes walk away with things like Radios and top of the line servos! This is a must attend event every year!

The Track!

The Track!

For me racing wise it was one of those up and down weekends. I had some success, some bad luck, a few mistakes, and in the end it resulted in a decent set of results. In qualifying I would take my Durango DEX408v2 Ebuggy to TQ in every round. This was the largest class this year as Ebuggy is very big in the midwest area. However it was also old school in that they didn’t separate by divisions for Ebuggy either. So it was just top to bottom see where you stand. In Nitro truggy I had a solid Q1 taking 2nd. I made a few mistakes which kept me from first. In Q2 I was doing well but had a steering servo go out on me. I’m still impressed though it lasted so long as I no longer run a servo saver and it’s been in there for months! In Q3 I would take the TQ and would thus qualify 2nd overall. In Nitro buggy I had a bit more bad luck and mistakes. In Q1 I crashed hard over the front table top on one arm and snapped the ball out of it. In Q2 I did a very bad tire choice and just wasn’t comfortable but came away with a 4th. In Q3 I was on the TQ run when my engine mount broke and flexed the motor and the clutch bell hit the chassis hard and stalled me on the landing of the triple. Thus I was to start 4th in the B-main.

E-Buggy double A-mains – In both mains I stayed clean and out front and just did what I do. Ran as clean of a race as I could and while the track was taking many other drivers out of commission my Tekin powered Durango kept going and I took two strong victories for the overall win.

Ebuggy TQ and Win!

Ebuggy TQ and Win!

Truggy Double A-mains – In A1 I battled with Wheeler and Gerard for a few laps before getting by and just extending my lead. Ended up winning by about 3/4 of a lap and was feeling good going into A2. In A2 I had a rough start. Kept making mistakes but something was feeling off. About 8 minutes in my car stopped on the track and I thought I ran out of gas as it was my in lap. However when my mechanic got to it, it was still running. It ended up doing this another 3 times during the race as it was my throttle servo going out on me I think. So I ended up doing poor in A2 and thus relegated me down to 4th overall and just off the podium. A little disappointing considering the A1 victory.

Buggy B-main – Well because I broke an engine mount in the last round of qualifying it happened to be a part that is a prototype part and I have no spares of it. So I wasn’t able to run my new DNX8 buggy in the mains. Fortunately my teammate Edwin Hartman let me run his DNX408v2 buggy. It just took about 6 hours of rebuilding and piecing together 2 cars that were pretty much worn out completely to make something that I hoped would finish the mains for me. Also I am used to running direct Lipo and super fast servos and my rent a ride was equipped with LiFe battery and slower servos than what i’m used to. As the B-main got underway I would quickly move to the front and stay out there for the most part while I worked on learning the car and and delayed responses I was getting. Unless you’ve gone from a battery and servo set-up like I had to a LiFe and slower servos like I used you may not understand the difference here. I’ll get to the details in a moment. Anyways I got a lap lead over 3rd and it’s a good thing for on the last lap my clutch bearing exploded and the bell fell forward and my car stopped moving. I didn’t get to finish the race but the lap lead allowed me to still finish 2nd and bump into the A-main.

Something I learned! – So there has been some videos and a lot of talk recently about ‘whipping’ your car and controlling it in the air to position it how you want to. Let me say that I now know it is much harder to do if your set-up is ‘slower’. By that I mean when I’m running my usual direct lipo and fast servos everything happens as fast as I think it should. The car does what I want it to in the air and I have complete control. When using a ‘slower’ set-up (LiFe battery, slower servos) the reaction can be slower than your thought process. When I would go to position my car in the air and do my last moment correction to land it properly it wouldn’t get back into the correct position because the steering wasn’t quick enough I would thus land a bit off and blow the corners. This was a good lesson for me to understand. So if you feel perhaps you just can’t get your car to really react in the air, perhaps some of it is due to a ‘slower’ set-up of electronics and batteries.

Just Chatting with trailer Cramer ;-)

Just Chatting with trailer Cramer ;-)

Nitro Buggy A-mains – In A1 I started a bit slow making some mistakes on the first laps. We were lucky to get the car on the track after running back to back Truggy and E-buggy mains right before the nitro main and I had to have the Hobbico/Durango team help to put my car back together for me. Anyways a few laps in and I had worked my way up to 5th. I was running hard with Matt Gosch for a few minutes. Then there was a crashed lapped car heading up to the triple and I got tangled and landed upside down Marshal couldn’t get to me very fast and I ended up flaming out upside down on my pit in lap. So I lost nearly 2 laps. I fought hard the rest of the race and caught up as some others had more terminal issues. I ended up 5th in the A1 main.
In A2 I had an awesome start. I was able to dart and weave through traffic and work up to 2nd place behind Wheeler. I felt I was catching him for a few laps before making a mistake on the blown-out double on the right before the front straight. That allowed Tebo to catch up and we battled for a while. I eventually crashed again and fell back a bit but still in 3rd. I fought hard driving as hard as I could and began to catch up again at nearing the end of the race doing some drifting and just pushing the car to the edge. I came up just short still and but took a solid 3rd with the DNX408v2 rent-a-ride. Thus with both rounds I took 3rd on the podium! Solid result all things considering!

Nitro Buggy Podium (3rd)

Nitro Buggy Podium (3rd)

Overall had a fun weekend of racing. Always look forward to this race. If you can make it a goal to attend next year!

-Lutzinator

Posted by Ryan Lutz

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