This race is one of my favorite races because of the track and overall atmosphere. Rick and Richard St.Cyr are great hosts and they have built a world-class track, which is challenging and fun! The track is like European tracks with grass run offs but what makes it unique is the elevation on certain parts of the track. Two years ago I raced here and had a great time. Last year I missed this race because of the EP Worlds in Holland but I am glad I made it back this year and will definitely come back next year.
Rick and his family also hosted the “Famous” Saturday night BBQ dinner on the lawn right next to their home and track. The food was great and I had a good time. Oh… the night before, Rick brought out 6 go-karts for all of us to drive, I had a blast!! I also had a chance to drive the 8 scale EP conversion of the old MRX4s which Rick and Mark converted, pretty cool!
Now to my race report:
This track felt different compared to two years ago, I would say the grip was a little lower than before but not as bumpy as I thought it might be. I spent the practice day mainly trying to set up my MRX5 and had a real hard time finding a suitable setting. For my 10th scale MTX5, it was worse. Ai and I tried our setting from 2 years ago but the car was not working as I’d like, so we had to find other ways. Although I wished we had more time, due to the track must shut down at 6PM because of the neighbors, we were only able to get my 8th scale to a drivable state. My 10th scale had issues but we didn’t have any time before qualifying to make it better.
When qualifying started, my MRX5 was in great shape and I could not believe how well the new Aluminum clutch bell and black shoe worked. My car felt good and I was able to make 30 laps with a fast 13.3 second lap time. For 1/8, I manage to TQ the class. For 10th scale, we simply struggled with setup and only managed to qualify 5th into the A-Main. But Ai and I felt good about the finals as we were confident our race pace was going to be fine.
In the 1/10 Final, right off the starting line I moved into the #2 spot behind Richard and after he had some issues, I lead the race pretty much from start to finish. The car was still not perfect but drivable and race pace was fine. Ai’s pit stops were perfect.
In the 1/8 Final, I lead from start to finish without any problem, my fastest race pace lap was 13.4, just 0.1 seconds off my fastest qualifying lap so the car was working great. I did however, come in for tire change 35 minutes into the 45 minute finals, the front tires were getting too small and because of a comfortable lead, I made the call to come in to change tires. Overall, I thought the MRX5 WC performed well and the NEW Aluminum clutch bell and black shoe was a huge difference in performance.
Well, the race went by too quickly, I really enjoyed seeing friends and meeting new friends. Dave Ehrlich was great in calling the race and to my fellow Mugen drivers Tom, Andy, Basel and all others, I hope I was able to be of help to you guys. I hope to see all of you next year at Timezone, this is one really great race to be at! Thank you Rick and Richard St.Cyr.