By Mike Garrison
Race Report from PROTOform:
A great field of drivers from Southern and Northern California, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada tackled a special Steel City R/C Speedway layout designed specifically for electric cars across 6 classes: Mod & Stock Touring, USGT, F1, PRO-10 and a new addition to the American on-road scene, 1:8 Electric.
Practice Friday was followed by 3 rounds of qual points Saturday and Triple Finals for all racers on Sunday. A couple unique aspects of this race were handout fixed-timing motors for the three spec classes, provided by Reedy, and a strict limit on how the Solaris spec tires were used, to eliminate all “tire games” and force all drivers to drive hard every round on the track. The weather was unseasonably cool with high’s in the low-mid 80s F (27 C) for the event, which was definitely welcomed by racers.
In the premiere Modified Touring class, JJ Wang showed why he had never lost a race at Steel City, sweeping all three rounds of qualifying with his XRAY/LRP/PROTOform combo. Fresh off his strong showing at the IFMAR Worlds, Lex Tyler put his XRAY/Hobbywing/PROTOform ride 2nd on the grid, followed by 1up Racing’s Randy Caster (Associated/Reedy/PROTOform). The mains proved to be a challenge for JJ, first losing traction in the first corner of A1, then losing a sensor wire trying to charge back up to the lead. Caster capitalized on the first corner mayhem to drive away to the A1 win. In A2, Wang had a comfortable lead before a servo horn failure put him out of contention. Once again, Caster seized the moment and put in a flawless run to take his first PROTOform Cup victory, with Tyler and Rick Hohwart (Associated/Reedy/PROTOform) rounding out the podium.
- Randy Caster – Associated / Reedy / PF Type-S
- Lex Tyler - XRAY / Hobbywing / PF Type-S
- Rick Hohwart - Associated / Reedy / PF Type-S
Stock Touring featured handout Reedy 13.5T fixed timing motors to equalize the field, creating close, fair racing. Johnee Fenimore and Lex Tyler swapped the TQ spot back and forth through qualifying, but in the end Tyler would line up from the pole. Lex would carry that momentum into the mains to win A1 and A2, while Fenimore captured A3 to finish 2nd overall ahead of Cesar Perez
- Lex Tyler - XRAY / Reedy Handout / PF Type-S
- Johnee Fenimore - XRAY / Reedy Handout / PF Type-S
- Cesar Perez – Associated / Reedy Handout / PF Type-S
The USGT class also featured handout Reedy motors, this time a 17.5T variant. The field featured a diverse group of scale looking bodies such as the new Ford GT from PROTOform, Corvettes, Camaros, Paganis and Cadillacs. PROTOform team manager/designer Eric Epp would pace the field with his Ford GT through qualifying to take the TQ. In the mains, Ken Gerberding would keep him honest with an A1 win. In A2, Epp would get tangled with a lapped car while leading before charging back up to the lead on the final lap. It came down to A3, where Epp would take the win over a hard-charging Gerberding and Cesar Perez.
- Eric Epp – Associated / Reedy Handout / PF Ford GT
- Ken Gerberding – Associated / Reedy Handout / PF Ford GT
- Cesar Perez – Associated / Reedy Handout / Exotek P-Zero
1:8 Electric was a fresh new class for the PROTOform Cup, seen as possibly the future of 1:8 racing. These cars looked awesome going around the SCS circuit with outstanding corner speed and instant acceleration. Brandon Cho was the class of the field all weekend, driving his ARC to the TQ and win over Walter Diaz and Tyree Phillips.
- Brandon Cho - ARC / Hobbywing / PF R19
- Walter Diaz – Serpent / Hobbywing / PF R18
- Tyree Phillips – Capricorn / Hobbywing / PF R19
The resurgence of PRO-10 continued at the PF Cup, with a strong field of cars ranging from 20-year old Associated 10L’s to brand new Roche P10W Evo’s. Paul Smith was untouchable in qualifying with his Trinity Evo 10, but was unable to finish the first 2 finals. In the end it was Rick Yoder who took the top spot on the podium ahead of Roger Leonard and Steve Bollew.
- Rick Yoder – Roche
- Roger Leonard – Kaizen / PROTOform P905B
- Steve Bollew – PROTOform Swift
The F1 class saw qualifying domination from Lee Passehl, but when main day came around it was wide open. All three main events were won by different drivers with some super close racing. Rajan Monteiro came out on top, ahead of Carlos Duarte and Passehl.
- Raj Monteiro – Tamiya / Reedy Handout / Bittydesign
- Carlos Duarte – Tamiya / Reedy Handout / PROTOform F1-Fifteen
- Lee Passehl - Tamiya / Reedy Handout / PROTOform F1-Thirteen
Congrats to all the winners! All in all, a great weekend of racing under the California sunshine at a World Class Facility. Thanks to all the brands who helped out and made the event a success: PROTOform, Team Associated, Reedy, 1up Racing, Solaris, Goodwine Glass and Steel City RC Speedway.
CLICK HERE for more event photos by Rugspin Graphix.