Coming off an epic 3rd place finish at the 2018 ROAR 1/10th Nationals in 17.5 2wd Stock Buggy class, AE/JConcepts’ AJ Marasco has been on a terror lately in the very competitive stock classes. Adding to his list of podiums and wins, last weekend AJ grabbed the top step at the JConcepts Super Cup hosted by Beachline Raceway last week where he excelled on the super fast astroturf surface.
Under the direct guidance of JConcepts’ Paul Wynn, Jason Ruona, and also from Trinity’s Kevin Abbott, AJ has been able to find a lot of success in the uber-popular, highly competitive 17.5 2wd class. Here’s a closer look at AJ’s Beachline turf slaying 2wd and what makes it so fast besides the talent behind the wheel.
There’s been a lot of people trying out the JConcepts P2 body on high grip surfaces, but AJ feels that F2 body provided him with more steering and more rotation that was perfect for stock racing on turf. If all-out performance is your thing then grab the ‘Lightweight’ version of the F2 body to reduce weight and lower the chances of traction rolls.
This speedy 2wd is decked out with the tower mount Aero Front Wing instead of the lower mount Aero wing mainly for the reason that AJ likes the way it jumps vs the lower wing. At high speeds, the tower mount front wing helps keep the front end tracking smoothly on the high traction surface while jumping with a more ‘nose down’ attitude. You can also notice the JConcepts Aluminum Servo Bracket holding the Reedy RS1206 servo, which is the same upgrade that you can find on Ryan Cavalieri and Spencer Rivkin‘s B6.1s.
Also from the top picture, you can see the classic JConcepts Fin titanium turnbuckles on AJ’s 2wd shaving unwanted grams while increasing durability over the standard steel/chromoly pieces.
As we move towards the center of AJ’s ride, we can see the stealthy JConcepts machined Laydown|Layback motor plate for the B6.1 making an appearance. For stock racing, the machine motor plate has been a hit for its lightweight properties and clean look. Something that might fly under the radar is the 3-wire holder that AJ has that hold the motor wires in place for a more ‘pro look.’
The power source comes from Trinity’s White Carbon HV 4000mah battery and the Monster Max 17.5 High Torque motor and Hobbywing XR10 Pro ESC.
The latest trend is running the short Fin Titanium Shock Standoff in the rear as well as the front. This gives you the option to space the shock mounting location forward or back and affects how the shock feels as it travels through its stroke…. more angle, more progressive feel.
One of the options AJ uses from AE is the Kashima coated shock bodies, machined internals and gold nitride coated shock shafts for butter smooth shock action. Another fancy upgrade is the Lunsford Titanium screw kit throughout, but AJ keeps the steel shock mounting screws in the towers for those extra hard crashes that could leave the titanium screws bent.
If you notice the spindle height is all the way up allowing lower ride heights without sacrificing shock travel and steep suspension angles that can make the car inconsistent. But those with eagle eyes will notice the JConcepts Slim Front Mono Wheel is modified by cutting the lip off and mounting the tire directly to the edge of the wheel. This provides a wider mounting surface and actually makes for a flatter tire profile. From testing, the Swaggers had a much more consistent feel with the modified rim.
The rear of the car shows the addition of the new JConcepts Rear Diffuser for the B6.1. AJ noted that running with the diffuser on, he felt more comfortable in the high-speed sweeper than with it off and that he “likes the look of the diffuser while driving his car,” so it stayed on.
In option colors of yellow or white, the JConcepts Mono Rear Wheels have been praised by the team and preferred by most of our team drivers including World Champions such as Ryan Maifield, Ryan Cavalieri, and Spencer Rivkin. Also, you can see inside the AE aluminum hubs, AJ uses the Trinity Ceramic bearing kit for increased performance.
From the top side of the car, the overall package is clean and put together with a dialed wiring job. The layout of the electronics is pretty standard.
On the bottom side of the 2wd, we can easily see the JConcepts Chassis Tape being used to protect the chassis from major scratches and dings. With the ability to stick and peel multiple times, this unit has been a wonderful addition in keeping things looking fresh with style. You can also see that AJ used the brass front bulkhead for smoother steering response.
At the Super Cup, the JConcepts crew tested out a new wing that is currently referred to as the “High Traction Wing” in-house. Designed for ultra-low ride heights, G’d out turns, the High Traction Wing incorporates a position, rake angle, and side dams that don’t rub on the tire. There are a few new ‘Speed ribbings’ that not only strengthen the wing for durability but also channels the air straighter over the wing for improved flow and effeciency. More info on the new prototype to come.
The JConcepts front tires have been a racer’s favorite as the Swaggers front tires provide an easy steering feel that’s less prone to traction rolls and smooth throughout the entire steering input.
Look at that tire! The prototype ‘Nessi’ rear tires already have a win under its belt with very little actual testing and track time. Built on a new, stretched low-profile carcass, the ‘Nessi’ tires are designed for more performance on turf with closer packed pins to improve wear, consistency, and traction. As AJ commented in testing both the Lockness and Nessi tires, the “Nessi tires were so consistent and easier to drive than the Lockness.” We’ll have more info soon!
Here’s AJ’s winning setup from Beachline. If you’re running on a similar surface, give it a try and see how it works for you. Click or save the photo below for a closer look. Of course, comments and questions are always welcome!