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Friday – AE Team Testing at Revalation

Rc8t - ready to eat
Rc8t - ready to eat

We need to take a little time to thank Allison back at the shop.  She has been putting in long hours while I’ve been gone to allow this Wave / Test trip to happen.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that goes unnoticed, thank you!

Being in 2 places at the same time is more valuable than ever.  Paul was able to work the Florida State Series race in Florida while I’m out here at the Wave and test session in Cali.  We took a few wins at the state race including Pro buggy and Truggy while sweeping the Wave in California.  Pretty impressive stuff coming from team JConcepts.  Thanks guys!

Here is a question that has been asked quite a bit while I’ve been out here in Cali.  Jason, do you still work out of your house?  Seriously?  When someone asks me that I’m completely blown away.  We have 8 different 1/8th buggy tires, 4 different kinds of truggy tires and 13 different kinds of 1/10th buggy tires.  Not to mention different compounds, a complete line of wheels and about 80 different kinds of bodies.    Unless i’m subleasing from Tiger Woods this stuff would have to be in a building right?  Hey Cliff, do you put the SC10’s in the garage or attic?

From now on I’m going to roll with it.  Because maybe it is a compliment?Everything is in my house and what doesn’t fit in my house goes in the backseat of my truck.

Friday is a test day for the AE team out at Revelation.  Maifield, Pudge, Brent, Tanner…etc.

I worked closely with Maifield and Tanner as they were running the JC equipment.  Tanner was kind of on his own on Friday because Jose didn’t come in until Friday evening.   Tanner pretty much did all his practice and prep by himself.  He broke a few items and everytime I would look over he had the buggy torn apart.  All the guys took a few moments to help him out here and there with the King and Brent helping the most.    Sometimes it is easy to forget but man Tanner is only 13 years old.   Very cool.

Maifield’s buggy looked brand new.  He had all the new RC8b parts on the car and it looks really cool.  I anticipate this buggy doing pretty well because they have made quite a few changes and seems to be what the AE customer is looking for.

The tire selection of choice at Rev for the JC guys were Crowbars and Crossbows in blue compound.  We tested with a bunch of inserts and checked lap times.  Maifield is so fast in nitro it is scary.  He just has no fear with these vehicles and a lot of confidence in his equipment.  I consider myself an expert watcher at this point and the things these guys can do with the car are amazing.  I think when Maifield looks at a track he first looks at how big of PVC or pipe they use to create the layout.  I think Rev uses maybe 3″ PVC which is nothing for a 1/8th buggy.  3″ is a sign of weakness to an 1/8th scale driver.

Let’s get into team wiggle wheel now.  What am I taking about right?  This is the latest trend in driving created from driving 1/8th buggy.   Basically what happens is the guys adjust the way the buggy flys in the air in 4 directions now.  We all know the 2 directions front and back that is created from the throttle and brakes in the air.  Now you can also affect the buggy in a left and right direction by turning the wheels.  I would say whiggle wheel is fundamentally incorrect for R/C driving but is affective when done correctly.  It is probably much like a Fadeaway jump shot in basketball where you have to compensate for falling away with your shot while you are releasing it.  It is actually making is harder than it really is but it is unguardable when done right.  Technically your wheels should probably be straight when you land off a jump to reduce rollovers but with the speed of the equipment now and the tracktime everyone is getting you can make these small adjustments just in time.   JR Mitch and others have been doing this for years and even in electric but I think when JR was younger he was just having fun in the air and since he has progressed it is something he uses to his advantage.

Maifield has to be the Captain of team wiggle wheel with Mike Truhe as Co Captain.  JR Mitch is another on team wiggle wheels along with Steven Hartson, Ryan Cavalieri and Jared Tebo.  However Cav and Tebo do it less than the others.  I believe Cav and Tebo have pretty text book driving styles.  They are efficient at what they do and sometimes look slower than their actual pace.  Maifield and JR have very similar driving styles and they are worth the price of admission.

Oh, another thing about wiggle wheel, they sometimes turn the steering on the face of the jump to scrub off jumping height or to really whip it out in the air.  Bring your mouth off the floor, yes this is happening at the highest level of R/C.  Before you think your ready for the big time, check to make sure you can control your car in the air in 4 different directions while maintaining a landing area with 12″ of precision.

An interesting note about Cavalieri is where he puts his finger on the trigger of the radio.  He doesn’t put it inside like it is intended he actually places it on the edge of the plastic instead of inside.  It is hard to explain without a photo but it is pretty cool.  He is left handed and there is a bump on the m11 radio when it is backwards where  his finger goes.   Apparently a lot of guys have tried to change to this including Kinwald but they could not be as consistent as they were before. It is easy to slip off for most but is natural for Cav.  The advantage I think is no time loss between throttle and brake.

Another thing that is becoming popular is the “send it” jump.  Normally these are single jumps intended by the track builder but they turn into a jump that the driver attacks and jumps as far as possible to the next turn. I do this a lot in 1/10th scale now especially with all the nitro tracks we race on.   It is just 2nd nature at this point and especially in 1/8th buggy.  Be on the lookout for a send it jump.

One thing of note- contrary to popular belief these drivers cannot just drive anything or a shoebox as it is pointed out sometimes.  They rely on good equipment all the way down the line.  If one of the items is not correct it will be noticeable.

Local Losi superstar driver Adam Drake came out and also did some practice.  Adam has a race trailer now so I’m glad to see some eastcoast influence on the westcoast. Welcome to the eastcoast style now Adam.  Adam’s nitro program is so good he now has extended help to Ronda.  He spent a good part of Friday dialing in Ronda’s Mugen buggy.  Man, Adam really knows how to make us all look bad.  We all could make adjustments to help our significant others this much.  Thanks for the learning lesson.

As far as Rev’s fastest driver, I would have to give the nod to Adam.  He is apparently there quite a bit and it really shows.   It was looking like Adam was going to home track the rest of the guys a little bit.    He is known for fuel mileage and it apparently doesn’t matter which engine he runs he can run 10 minutes plus while others are at 7:30 or 8:00.  Big advantage when you are already fast.

It was time for a lunch break at Rev and Jarosz and I went to Carls JR.  I got the normal boring food for myself but also got this orange shake thing.   Orange Crush just doesn’t happen at Cactus Classic now, it can happen at Carls JR for just under $3.  Sweet!  Hopefully they pickup Bar Codes at Carls JR next year.

We made a quickstop at the quicky store for some G2, water and grandmas cookies and headed back to the track.   Cav placed an order for grandmas cookies but we brought him an Oatmeal Creme pie.  Hopefully the creme pie will suffice.  They are all delicious and shouldn’t be made.

Jarosz has an interesting wiring setup in his Honda Accord.  A simple wire drop down configuration coming from the visor down to the radio.  I got tangled in it a few times until Chris made some fine adjustments.  Maybe it is time to call Unique Whips?

Most of the guys were giving Chris a hard time about his 1/8th buggy condition.  This thing looks like it is off the track from the Baja 500…..etc…etc.   I will have to be on Chris side with this one though.  Too many cars not enough time and not enough mechanics.

After the lunch break Maifield pulled out the SC8 and ran a couple tanks.  It was pretty cool because the track is so dusty and it just slides everywhere.  He did most jumps with the exception of the big double.   Makes me want one for sure.  The demo scheduled for the weekend should be fun.

At the end of the day we ran some final tire testing and we were happy with our selection of Crowbars on buggy and Cross Hairs on truggy.   Blue Compound on everything seemed to be the hot ticket.

Program, this is the latest term to describe your racing effort.  Look for more information on program in Saturdays edition.

We finished off the day by watching the Magic / Cavs game 2 and dinner at Outback.   B-ball game was beyond classic and it appears the Magic really match up well with the Cavs.  After a tight game 1, game 2 was the same way.   The Magic look like a different team against the Cavs playing with confidence and control.   I’m not used to Orlando playing well.

Turk the Magics 4th quarter player stepped up in the final minutes to hit a big mid range jumper.  It was a lean-in shot that could have been blocked from behind.  Good thing Turk is 6′-10″ in height.   He has a pretty good shooting program.  We are stunned sitting on the couch thinking what could possibly happen in 1 second.

Well, as it turns out everything changes in 1 second because Lebron hit a Jordanesque game winner and saved the Cavs season.   Unreal, MVP is the real deal.  Team wiggle wheels in the house.

Jason Ruona

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