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RACE COVERAGE: International Indoor Championships (IIC)

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Main Photo: RACE COVERAGE: International Indoor Championships (IIC) 10/4/2013
By Eric Swanson

What do you get when you mix R/C cars, "America's Playgound," and some of the world's best racers? The 2013 International Indoor Championships (IIC) in Las Vegas, Nevada! One of the largest and most prestigious carpet racing events in America is taking place this week inside the Riviera Hotel!
LiveRC is on site and set to bring you all of the live racing action throughout the entire weekend including live scoring, live audio, live video, and moving cameras for select races!

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(All times are local Pacific Standard Time, or UST -0800)

Wednesday: 12 p.m. - finish (Practice)
Thursday: 8 a.m. - finish (Q1, Q2)
Friday: 8 a.m. - finish (Q3, Q4)
Saturday: 8 a.m. - finish (Mains)

THURSDAY: Qualifying

Racing at the IIC is officially underway! The event's participants -- 420 entries -- completed two rounds of qualifying in the clean, quiet confines of the Riviera ballroom today. Two more rounds will be run on Friday to determine the grid for Saturday's main events.

If you aren't familiar with the IIC, you will want to know that "rocket round" qualifying is used for the event, meaning that a driver's best overall run will qualify them against the rest of the field. This makes qualifying exciting for fans and nerve racking for drivers as their consistency isn't rewarded as much as their ability to throw one good run together. It takes a different approach from drivers than IFMAR racing requires, but definitely plays into the uniqueness of this event.

Another different aspect of the IIC is the main format. All classes have single A-mains with nine participants that qualify directly. The 10th driver is whoever has the fastest laps and time from any of the lower finals- meaning that a driver from the D-main could theoretically throw it in the A-main on finals day. Both of these measures play into the "wild card" factor of the event and make things really interesting to watch.

Here is how they ended up after day one:



The ballroom at the Riviera Hotel and Casino

The ballroom from the sky. Try not to look at the carpet if you have a history if seizures. 

The pits

This is what over 400 entries looks like.

This is what over 400 entries looks like on the heat board. Let's take a moment to remember the legions of brave trees who sacrificed their lives so that we could see our lap times. 

Does the layout look familiar? It should, if you're an IIC fan. The layout stays the same each year, just like a full-scale circuit! We dig this. 

The 2013 version of the always impressive IIC backdrop! 

The man behind the mic (and the race itself) Scotty Ernst! In case you aren't familiar with Scotty, he has travelled the world to announce races. He has applied the knowledge he has gained in his many years of travel to make the IIC one of the coolest races in the world. 

Hey look- LiveRC's Erik Jensen is on hand as a part of the IIC staff working tech! 

Last year's mod sedan champ Ronald Volker set the pace on day one of qualifying.

Martin Hudy sits in front of a slew of XRAY cars. 

Paul Lemieux was Volker's closest challenger in Q1 and four of the five minutes in Q2. The two drivers were battling for the lead when Lemieux's car flew off the track at the end of the straight. 

Someone must have left an oil can in Paul's engine compartment.

More qualifying to come tomorrow! See you then! 

FRIDAY: Qualifying 

Qualifying is over and done here in Vegas! Today saw most of yesterday's fast times get washed out by runs in Q3 and Q4. In fact, the TQ times in every class were set today and only a handful of A-main runs exist because of runs completed yesterday. The drama peaked in Q4 for nearly every class as a combination of more repetitions and faster track conditions created the infamous "Rocket Round." 

Here is how things ended up:



Scotty talks with Bill Jeric about "Tuning Haus"
Donnie Lia's 1:12 TQ run

Mod Sedan Q3 Heat "A"
Mirrors everywhere.

By the end of the weekend, nearly 2,000 tech inspections will have taken place. Hats off to the hard working tech crew! 

Drew Ellis and a friend hard at work.

Tekin has some pretty cool tech going on this week. Here, Randy Pike helps a driver analyze their data that was logged during a race on their ESC. That is pretty rad. 

The Tekin RS Spec ESC is what drivers in the Spec GT class are using this week. After the event, drivers have the option to buy the systems at a reduced price. Not a bad deal! 

Scale realism is so hot these days. Tamiya is here with a handful of beautiful tiny race cars.

Speaking of scale realism, IIC has been adopting more and more realistic classes over the years. This is a really cool part of the "vibe" this race has. The only thing I can't get my brain to digest is the amount of Chevrolet Camaro bodies with Tamiya stickers on them. Somewhere, a bald eagle is crying. 

The only way the IIC staff can maintain their "Iron Man" schedules during IIC is with the help of Bubbas. 

Associated's (and Canada's) Keven Hebert on his way to TQ'ing Super Stock Sedan

In very workman-like fashion, full scale racing veteran Donnie Lia destroyed the field in Modified 1:12 qualifying. 

Speaking of destroying fields during qualifying, Ronald Volker enters main day as the clear cut favorite in the premiere modified sedan class.

Tune in tomorrow for the main events to see how it all goes down! 
SATURDAY: Main day

10:30 a.m. -- The finals are officially underway! All lower mains are being run now with A-mains starting on race 37. According to the timetable the officials have created, we should be getting into those around 12:30 p.m. PST. 

Scotty and I caught up with both Tamiya and Tekin this morning to see what was new in their camps. Check out the interviews below:



5:30 p.m. -- The mains are done! Lots of great racing happened today, especially in the ELEVEN A-mains that were run this afternoon! 

Here are the results:


That does it for our coverage from IIC! Thanks for tuning in! See you next time!

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