January 9th and 10th saw the Pacific NW kick off its first race of 2016 indoor season and what a great way to celebrate the new year with a fantastic race in celebration of one of the industry’s greatest ambassadors…. Kelly Lunsford. Now, in it’s 2nd year of the great Lunsford Race, last year’s champion was none other than TLR/JConcepts’ Dustin Evans. Unfortunately, Dustin is preparing for the Reedy Race and was not unable to attend to defend his crown. On the plus side, without Dustin in the mix, this leaves the 2016 Lunsford Race champion completely undecided and open to all the hungry racers out there.
This year’s Lunsford Race format is a bit different from the previous year. In trying to make the racing more interesting, NW Hobbies’ track owner Casey Vitale and Kelly Lunsford came up with a twist that would dedicate Saturday for 2wd modified, while Sunday was left for the 4wd modified class. In both 2wd and 4wd, there would be 2 qualifiers ran to decide the starting grid and then double A-mains to decide each respective class champion. Finally, by combining both the 2wd and 4wd modified results, there will be 1 overall Lunsford ’Grand Champion’. While this special format is only for 2wd and 4wd modified classes, the rest of the classes would run your typical 4 qualifier and triple A-mains.
The 2016 Lunsford Race layout was fast with elements of challenge and technicality. This track had a mix of everything. It was easy enough that allowed for close racing, but had very tricky tech sections like the chicane sections that kept everyone on their toes. The flow was great as the whole track felt connected and well planned and executed. The elevated 90-degree box turn going on the straightaway was another obstacle that reeked havoc all weekend long, but very rewarding and fast if nailed perfectly. Thanks goes out to Brad Borneill for coming up with the fun, fantastic layout.
Lastly, thank you to Mr. Kelly Lunsford for simply being you. You are a true gentlemen and ambassador of this hobby and I can’t thank you enough for being such a great source of inspiration. The RC industry is blessed to have you a part of it and thank you for all you do.
With the best-combined 2wdmod and 4wdmod results, the 2016 Lunsford Grand Champion is the talent from T-Town, Tacoma’s own AE/JConcepts’ Harley Yoshii. With his 2nd place finish in 2wd and 1st place finish in 4wd, Yoshii takes the trophy home for a year and gets his name engraved on the Lunsford trophy as the 2016 grand champion! Congrats to young Harley for his excellent win!