By Mike Garrison
Race report written by Tom Erickson:
ROAR Region 5 10th Scale Off-Road Regional Championship
Winter temperatures arrived as drivers from across the Midwest traveled to attend the 2018 ROAR Region 5 10th Scale Off-road Championships. EN Hobbies in Columbus, Ohio hosted the event December 8th, 2018 with a super smooth and fast track design. The track space is 125’x75’ and Galen McCreary designed a fast and flowing track that included technical challenges for the top drivers in the region. TLR sponsored the event providing prizes for many of the drivers attending the event. EN Hobbies was awarded the ROAR National Championships for 2019 for good reason. They have enough space to pit 250+ racers, a large track space and huge driver’s stand. Outside you have enough parking to support each pit space and dozens of hotels and restaurants within site. All of this only minutes from the John Glenn Columbus International Airport. The hobby shop has all of those critical things you may need in an emergency. The location is growing to become a hobby and sports space.
ROAR Region 5 is the home of many of the nation's fastest drivers. In the stacked 2wd Buggy class qualifying was so close that it came down to the last laps of the last qualifier. Early on TLR’s Tyler Jones set TQ with Factory Tracks/Team Associated driver Aydin Horne only 0.9 sec behind. In the last qualifier Aydin was on pace to best Tyler’s TQ but the challenging track would not allow it. Tyler started from pole chased closely by Aydin and Austin Horne. Joe Harris and Brandon Masch followed as the top 5 flowed through the track on the opening laps. A slight bobble send Tyler back to third allowing Aydin to charge with clear track. Tyler pressured Austin for a few laps as Austin protected the racing line forcing Tyler to attempt to pass on the outside. The Off-camber turn section was especially challenging and Tyler was able to sneak by Austin there. Just behind the battle for 2nd was Brandon and Matt Cline fighting for 4th place. Aydin ran a fantastic main event leading most of the race but passing lapped vehicles was tricky and he was collected up in a pair battling for position. Tyler and Austin were close enough to take advantage of the mishap and charged forward. The tone sounded signifying the race was over as the top three were on the same lap. The gap between them only seconds. Tyler crossed the line first with Austin only 2.8 seconds behind in 2nd place. Aydin was only 1.7 seconds back in 3rd place. The 2018 ROAR Regional 2wd Mod Buggy Champion is Tyler Jones.
Stock Buggy was just as exciting as Mod Buggy. The top three drivers were within a second of each other and only 0.064 seconds determining Top Qualifier honors. It was Ean Reilley who came out on top. The main event started with the entire field flowing through the tricky off-camber section in starting order. A few laps into the 7 minute final, Ean had a really tough lap starting with the backside triple. Allen Horne stated that the back section was the most critical to keep you speed up. Getting through the left side small double and landing on the inside of the chicane setting up for the triple and then landing the triple smooth and on the inside of the sweeping turn was key. Ean just missed this sending him back to seventh place as the field was in a very tight nose to tail racing situation. Jim Bronson started second and avoided a tumbling Ean to take over the lead with Nick Richards close behind. Then Nick had trouble allowing both Andrew and Corey Daniels through. One small bobble could cost you a position. Brandon Weiland was able to get past Andrew and pressure Corey as Jim stretched his lead. Then he passed Corey to move into second. Andrew wasn’t done and passing his brother first on his way to battle with Brandon. As the clock kept ticked off Andrew passed Brandon and set his sights on the leader. When the tone sounded Jim was the first to cross and capture the 2018 2wd Stock Buggy Regional Championship. Andrew held on for 2nd place and Brandon finished in 3rd Place just ahead of Corey. The top seven drivers were all still on the lead lap!
In the super fast Expert 4wd Buggy class Aydin Horne all but dominated qualifying. Race announcer, Tim, was challenging Aydin to break the 20 lap barrier which he did in the last qualifier. Aydin started the main event charging forward from the tone. The opening laps were fast with the top three running flawlessly with Aydin, Matt Cline and Austin Horne nose to tail. Mike Legue, Allen Horne and Paul Ciccarello began battling right away working to get into the top three. Al was the first to move as Austin tapped a tube right before the big triple sending his car off track. Paul and Mike moved up the grid as Austin struggled to get back on pace. Then Al pulled off the track with a mechanic issue relinquishing third place to Paul. Mike and B main winner Brian Dunbar also shifter forward. Up front the battle for the lead was not over as Matt Cline stayed close to Aydin ignoring the action behind him. The final positions seemed locked as Aydin had rebuilt a gap on Matt and Paul was half a track back when Aydin broke a front arm on the last lap. Paul crossed the line first securing 3rd Place. Then Matt crossed the line capturing the 2018 ROAR Region 5 4wd Expert Buggy Championship. Aydin finished in 2nd Place.
With a smooth technical fast track design it was not surprising the racing was close and skill made a huge difference. The 4wd Stock Buggy class proved this as Top Qualifier honors was up for grabs until the last minutes. Jim Bronson set the pace first. Nick Richards then answered in the second qualifier. Brandon Weiland then pushed to steal the honors just missing the pace needed in the closing seconds of Q3. These three drivers set the pace in the main event. Nick ran flawlessly inching his lead forward slightly every lap. Brandon, Jim and Ean Reilley jockeyed for position each lap with little chance to pass. In the closing laps Jim and Brandon traded spots a few times with Brandon retaining position when the clock expired. Nick capture the 2018 4wd Stock Buggy Regional Championship leading wire to wire. Brandon finished 2nd and Jim finished 3rd.
The 13.5 Stadium truck and Short Course Truck classes also saw good close racing. Austin Horne dominated qualifying and the main event securing the Regional Championship. Aydin Horne and Joe Harris were close in qualifying as Aydin secured TQ by a second. Aydin took off at the tone in the main event and never looked back capturing the 2018 Stadium Truck 13.5 Regional Championship.
The 2018 ROAR Region 5 Championship is in the books. The stage is set for next year’s ROAR National Championship for 10th scale Off-road racing. The 2019 ROAR Region 5 Championships will be announced soon.