With Nationals just around the corner, many of the JConcepts team drivers are taking the time to fine tune their skills as well as making sure their equipment is up to par and at peak performance for the 1/8th Fuel Nationals in Chico, CA. With a good number of team drivers showing up for the 2017 Proline Summer Shootout, the event quickly became “The Event” for the weekend nearing 350 entries in total.
The 2017 Pro-Line Summer Shootout was hosted at Southside R/C Raceway in Lake City, Florida on Memorial Day weekend; May 26th – 28th. The Southside R/C track crew did a fantastic job getting the track race ready despite heavy rainfall earlier in the week. It takes a crew of dedicated men and women to make this happen and huge thanks to Lance McDonald, Brian Lewis, and many others behind the scenes for making this weekend a huge success.
Because of the heavy rain, the track held a lot of moisture up until Friday as Saturday consisted of mid 90 degree, Florida sunshine and quickly changed the scope of racing. The heat dried out the track and made tire choice a lot more complicated as many were finding themselves struggling for grip and consistency.
This year’s layout had high praise for being fun and challenging. One of the most notable features on the track was the off-camber turn that tilted 45 degrees and ran the length of a full lane. On top of that, the off-camber had a slight curve that went into a turn that became a tricky, high-speed chicane. As the track dried out over the course of the weekend, racers struggled to find the grip to stay on the embankment to compelte the chicane with speed. Making things all the more challenging, the wind would pick up in the afternoon making the bigger jumps more difficult. However, this is the beauty of outdoor racing as mother nature plays a huge part on the racing experience outdoors. Either way, the cream would rise to the top and the ones that mastered the elements would find their glory.
1/8th Expert Nitro Buggy
It was a great battle between two very fast JConcepts teammates in Nitro Buggy between Mugen’s Cole Ogden and HB Racing’s John McGinty III with McGinty taking the early lead in the main, but an unfortunately and costly crash resulted in McGinty flaming out and having to battle his way back to the top 5 in 5th. Posing the biggest threat to Cole was Team Associated’s Evan Vail as Vail was able to move into the lead for 5 laps. Cole would retake the lead on lap 34 and maintain it until the very end giving himself a nice 22-second cushion over 2nd. Serpent/JConcepts’ Griffin Hanna would move up from his 8th qualifying spot to finish a remarkable 3rd on the podium after 35 minutes of fine driving.
1/8th Expert E-Buggy
What a great weekend for Serpent/JConcepts’ Griffin Hanna in the 1/8th E-Buggy class with a TQ and double A-main wins in A1 and A2 to solidify his remarkable performance. From the very start, Hanna was in top form and had the pace and delivered each and every run. John McGinty III would also put in a terrific E-Buggy weekend by qualifying 2nd and finishing 2nd overall with 2nd in A1 and A2. Closing out the top 3 was Mugen/JConcepts Cole Ogden, who had issues in qualifying, but able to find his way to the podium. With JConcepts’ Patrick Rossiter and John Bernard finishing 4th and 5th overall, JConcepts would go on to sweep the top 5 positions in the E-Buggy class!
1/8th Expert Nitro Truggy
It was the McGinty and Vail show in the Expert Truggy class as the two would battle it out for the win over the course of 35 minutes. Unfortunately for the McGinty III, he would suffer a flame out late in the race that allowed Vail to cruise home for the win and McGinty III taking 2nd overall. HB Racing’s Eddy Cordoba would finish 3rd, Kenny Morris Jr. 4th and JConcepts’ Coty Ingram 5th.
1/8th Open E-Truggy
It was another showdown between 2 excellent JConcepts drivers, but this time in the Open E-Truggy class. Finishing with the exact identical results with a 1st and 2nd thus tying on points, the win would be decided by tie-breaker with the fastest run going to Mugen/JConcepts’ Patrick Rossiter. Tekno/JConcepts’ John Bernard would finish 2nd in a close and competitive race. Making it a JConcepts 1-2-3 sweep would be 3rd place finisher, Martin Harrison.
It would be JConcepts Jader Lopez’s weekend in the 2wd Modified class as Lopez would be the class TQ along with taking convincing wins in A1 and A2 to take the overall without question. Xray’s Deon Gray would finish 2nd behind Lopez with young Peter Gaylean 3rd on the podium.
40+ Nitro Buggy
Always a front runner in the 40+ class, Team Associated/JConcepts’ Jimbo Kvidera would finish on top after a slightly disappointing qualifying session. Kvidera qualified 8th on the grid, but somehow find the magic when it counted most to finish 1st overall. Luis Perez would edge out Bart Collins for 2nd while HB Racing/JConcepts John McGinty finished 5th behind Rob Lupo.
Congrats to TLR/JConcepts’ Martin Harrison for taking the win in the 40+ E-Buggy class. Harrison also set TQ for the class and was icing on the cake as Martin would have a terrific weekend with his JConcepts equipped vehicles.