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2008 Cactus Classic – Jason’s notes from the Pits

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Cactus Classic –

It’s officially serious here in Arizona. What used to be just a battle between Associated and Losi has now turned Global. In addition to those chassis members, a serious contingent from Hot Bodies, Kyosho, Tamiya, Yokomo, Serpent and X-factory are now doing battle.

Associated is now promoting the 4wd class as heavily as 2wd and it appears 4wd might even be the biggest class in modified with the B44. Nobody would have thought that was possible 3 years ago.

I’m pitting next to Richard Cree, Richard Barton, Tony Truman, Paul Bradders and Neil and Mick Cragg all from England. They are all getting on quite good on the Arizona track. I would expect 2-3 of the English drivers to make the final. Neil Cragg and Lee Martin probably the heavy favorites although Bradders and the others are really wheeling it also.

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Masami is here and he is running truck! I’m going to get some photos of this. I know I have raced against him once before in truck during the mid 90’s at Winter Champs but this might be his first run with the T4. He looks awesome in 2wd and especially 4wd. The Yokomo crew was nice enough yesterday to wear their JConcepts t-shirts. I think they look quite nice πŸ™‚ Masami is sporting the Hi-Flow body and it looks awsome in his paint scheme.



2wd World Champion Hayato Matsasuki is attending for Hot Bodies. No sign of the Hot Bodies 2wd but im sure they would have liked to have been running it so maybe a small delay until the debut. For now Hayato is still running the B4 with the Hi-Flow body. He looks good, I expect him to make the A-final for sure.

Brian Kinwald is here racing with his X-Factory cars. I would like to see Brian regain his past form and take one of the classes. He used to dominate this event back in the day. Brian is using our RC10GT body on his prototype X-60. It looks pretty good considering it is for a gas truck. Brian is a hard worker when it comes to preparation
and a real hobbiest when it comes to R/C. Also Ryan Cavalieri, Greg Hodapp and Josh Newman have all either ran a BK style paint job or are still currently using it. Brian has always been a big trend setter.


Mark Pavidis is running the Kyosho prototype truck here. It looks good and brings back some memories from the old Winter Champs days when Mark used to run white wheel dots on his RC10T.


Greg Hodapp has returned but this time with the Kyosho RB5. Greg is a fantanstic driver when he is applied. He looks focused and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the A-final. His buggy looks good with the Illuzion RB5 body. Greg is one of the few that could beat Kinwald and Pavidis during their respective primes.


We have some new JConcepts products debuting at this race. First the new 0062 – Hi-Flow T4 body and second the Rulux – T4 front and rear wheels (quick change rear design) .

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I have also raised a bunch of eye brows this weekend by running the J82 in practice. Nothing funnier than the looks I’ve seen from drivers as I’m running away from a modified truck or running over a typical 1/10th buggy πŸ™‚ J82 jumps the double and triple on this track with ease. The J82 is hungry and its eating! Look for a racing class at this years ROAR nationals for the larger buggies πŸ˜‰


We have been doing a lot of tire testing at this years race. We have a prototype “black groove” tire called the Bar Codes that we are testing this weekend. We have a rear tire and 2wd front tire. We hope to eventually have the best tire for these type conditions but it requires a perfect combination of tread and rubber. I would look for the production blue compound Bar Codes in the next month in a half.


Practice is really hard at this race because the line is so long to hit the track, maybe 30-40 minute wait just to run 4 minutes. During that 4 minutes we try 2 pairs of tires. So basically 20 minutes of mounting and 30-40 of waiting for a couple laps of testing. Don’t forget that sometimes the track is dusty and it’s a poor condition for a proper test. I really wished i would have brought our Axial Crawler because it would be perfect to hold my place in line for practice and also it would be fun to crawl up the side of the SRS drivers mound. SRS does not really have a drivers stand for some safety reasons so they have more of a paved dirt mound.

Anyways- for years this event has been dominated by the BK Bar tire so it will be a serious challenge to de-throne that tire. Maybe it will happen this year or maybe it will have to wait until the ROAR Nationals in August. Looking forward to that.

Last weekend we had the biggest win yet for the JConcepts Racing Tires getting the win with blue compound truggy Double Dees at the Silver State so maybe we can make it back to back wins this weekend. We debuted the Rulux – standard off-set Half-ups wheel and also the Mono – Max-ups 1/8th buggy wheel in Vegas. πŸ˜‰ For those that don’t know Half- ups are the same size as the “LPR” equipment and also the Losi 8ight-T truggy wheel. Max-ups are made to the largest legal dimension for 1/8th buggy racing and hints at this by the name Max. JConcepts is in town and bringing the style πŸ™‚

It is a bitter sweet feeling watching the success of the B44.
Campaigning the BJ4 at this event for the past 3 years was really fun and competitive. Now that im the only AE team guy able to run the BJ4 it takes a little of the fun out of competing in that class.
JConcepts was a big factor in 4wd racing becoming popular once again and we take a lot of pride on the fact all the competition is based on the BJ4 design.

That’s it from the practice days. I hope to have some race updates later today.


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