Race Reporter: Randy Pike
Finally returned home from a great weekend at the 30th Annual April Fools Classic. The April Fools Classic was one of my very first “travel” races back in the 90’s. I’ve always had a good time at this track. Something about the vibe always being more positive than others. The local racers are hard core, fun to race with, and provide a quality race for all who attend. Considering how long this track and this event have been going, that’s a testament to the facility, its owners, and the racers who race there. A few of them I’ve raced since the good ‘old day: Cliff, Moose, Robbie and Sr, Smitty, Eric, Ron, and even Murf himself.
I arrived a bit later than originally planned when I race here. Typically I try to get there on Wednesday when the track starts coming into it’s higher grip levels and tire wear more predictable. The layout was open, fast, and had a good mix of obstacles. I was entered into the 4wd 13.5 class, 2wd Expert Stock, and 40+ 13.5 2wd Buggy(Yes I’m old enough now). 4wd 13.5 had the highest entry count, topping 7 full heats.
Early on my 2wd was good but needed some changes for my driving style and the layout. Josh Bend a Yokomo teammate was there to lend a hand and some additional eyes on. With his help a few tweaks provided me a raceable car going into Friday’s qualifiers with only 2 packs on the car. Thanks Josh!
4wd 13.5 is one of my favorite classes. Not only are the speeds more manageable, the competition is fierce and plentiful. Early on my car was really good running Jake Thayers Desert Classic setup as a base. Again a few tweaks to a different from sway bar, a quick gear change to a 75T spur courtesy of Factory RC’s new Yz4-SF Lock Out and my trusted Avid spur gears gave me the perfect gear ratio for the track. My car was a missile, easily clearing the triple while hugging the inside corner and making it with room to spare! In the turns the new car is simply in another zone. I ran the older generation car prior to this, and I can tell you there’s NO comparison.
Qualifying went well. Running JConcepts Dirt Webs gave me a consistent platform to race on. I would do decent considering my lack of track time, posting A qualifying times which allowed me to make all my A’s, my goal for the weekend accomplished. Although I’m at these races to work, it’s nice to set a small personal goal to aim for while having fun. Remember the fun part !?
In the mains my 2wd runs were good but not great. In 40+ I was hit in warm up by a car going the wrong way. I did not notice my front upper deck was snapped before I even got started. In the main it was clear my car was not normal, hooking on every right turn, including the sweeper. Once the leaders caught up to me it was clear my car was going the wrong way slow, so I pulled off to enjoy the race as a spectator while assuring I didn’t affect anyone else’s race.
2wd Expert stock my car was good. Triple A’s for this class gave me nothing to lose starting form the back of the field. A few quick passes had me up to 5th in 2 laps. I’d struggle from there on out with traffic and good racing not doing much better in the race. The remainder of the A’s would go about the same way, ending up 7th overall if I recall.
4wd 13.5 however was a different story. In qualifying my car was on Tq pace each and every round. I would take two 2’s putting me 3rd on the grid. From this spot I knew who I needed to get around. Lucky for me I’ve raced both of them before. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew I had to get it done quickly so I wasn’t consumed by the rest of the pack. I’d get collected in the triple area falling back to 7th. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I put my head down. My car was $$. I could put it anywhere I wanted on the track knowing it would stick. I set off passing at least one driver each lap, catching the leaders with 2 minutes to go. A bobble caused them to get together handing me the lead, I’d take the win. A2 again from P3, I’d set off with the same game plan. This time the pack was much more compact on the 1st lap. The leader would bobble over the triple, 2nd would get through. I’d get collected by the rear, dropping me down the pack. Again I had everything to gain. I was down to 7th or 8th if I recall. I took off and made short work dropping a few 14.8’s to get right back into the race. A few guys would collect each other after the triple, I’d drive through the marshal’s legs up to 3rd now! I’d force an error on P2 and set my sights with one minute to go on the leader. Each and every lap a 14 second lap, the only driver to do so. 2 laps later he was 8 feet in front of me coming up on traffic, perfect. He’s get caught up and that’s all I’d need….Going on to take A 2 with a 2 second lead and the overall win!
To say my Tekin RS Pro BE Spec R Yz4-SF was on another level was an understatement. Controlled by the new Tekin T180 servo powered by ProTek 100c Graphene LiHv batteries, running JConcepts tires along with Avid Bearings, Factory RC Lock Out, all worked on with MIP tools made for a great combination.
What I love most is that ALL of these products are available through your local hobby shop or favorite online retailer right NOW!
Last but not least I’d like to thank the entire IRCR staff, you held yet another one of my favorite races. Thank you!
As always I’d like to thank my sponsors, without you I would not have been able to have this success:
Tekin, Amain, ProTek, JConcepts, Factory RC, Avid, Yokomo, MIP, Sik Lidz, and Imagine It Graphics.
For setup sheets from this event and more visit… RandyPikeRC.com