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Jason Ruona – Inside Test Report

testreport_650pxI have been racing RC Cars since I was 12 years old – that is a whopping 18 years now(I have been playing with these things the majority of my life – wow), and since those early days, you could not get enough inside info and technical data. Back when magazines were the only source of this kind of stuff, we would pour over the pictures trying to find any kind of tip or hint on the pro driver’s cars to improve our performance at home. Cliff”s famous body off two-page layout, RC10, Masami’s Gold Tub Worlds winner, Kyle Reed’s ’94 ROAR Nat’s winning prototype Double X – that was all we had.

Now in this age of the internet – there is unfeddered access to manufacturers, pictures, video, internet forums, feeds, etc. Like me, Jason is a product of the guys who studied that pictures of Cliff’s RC10 for hours, and he understands the desire of the average racer to know what the factory driver’s and manufacturers are up to – behind the scenes.

So with no further ado – this is the first installment of what we hope to do much more in the future – test reports from behind the curtains…only from Team JC.  -TD

By – Jason Ruona

Lake Park is the location for this installment of the JConcepts test report.

I get asked a lot of questions about where and when I practice my racing skills or perform product testing. So I thought it would be a good idea to bring everyone up to speed on what might be happening when they see me or the JConcepts crew as we attend a race or practice day.    For me, testing, practice or racing are completely different and require a different approach.  Most of my racing these days is dedicated to the product, our customers and on-track moments to help shape the product of the future.

Currently, I’m racing or involved in at least 6 different classes of R/C and each requires its own personal touch.  Without good people, friends and team drivers it would be impossible to have these vehicles on the track and for that I’m very thankful to those people.

Moving on to the test at hand, Jon Faulkner and I headed out to Lake Park for a little 1/8th buggy tire and insert testing.   We choose the Lake Park track on this day because it was the track we last raced at and the one I’m the most familiar with.  The track was still in good condition considering they probably have not had a race since the Outlaw Cup a few weeks ago.  It was still partially blue grooved and had a pretty serious layer of dust built up in a few turns making things interesting at hi-speeds.

We wanted to test inserts and do it without any preconceived notions.  Basically, we went to an old trick that we use and made changes to the tires and inserts without the driver (me) knowing.  I had no idea what I started on and finished on and it was up to me to try and feel the on-track differences while Jon kept track of lap-times.  All the tires we used we took photos of and took notes for the future.   This is something I have always done so it is really nothing new for us.

We brought along with us 6 different kinds of inserts including the ones that are included with our tires. All insert testing was done using the Crowbars in Blue compound which works very well at Lake Park.  Not all inserts were tested on this day because some have already been eliminated for these conditions or previously tested and results logged.  All these inserts have been already tested by us during race conditions at one race or another but this was the first time the best of the best were going head to head with each other.

Test #1

After some warm-up and tuning it was time to start as I remained on the driver’s stand Jon put on the first set.    My first impressions as I came out of the pits were, the buggy felt edgy but quick.  After a few laps I started to form an opinion about the feeling of the buggy; not knowing exactly what I was running I yelled down to Jon what I thought was on but he would not flinch as he said you will find out afterwards.    After 7:30 mark I pulled in for a pit and tire change.  Collecting my thoughts during the change I decided the buggy was hard to drive and looser in the dust than I would have liked.  It felt fast but unpredictable and actually felt very rigid.  I thought I turned some quick laps but I wasn’t happy with the way the run went overall.

Test #2

Coming out of the pits for test 2 I thought I knew which tires were on the buggy and already started forming an opinion.  The tires looked used or broken in from the drivers stand so I figured they were my main tires from the last race and Jon was really trying to throw me off.    Turning the first few turns and into the single, double, single, single section it felt like a different vehicle.   1 tire change and it was a completely new animal I felt completely at ease with the buggy now and began to attack sections differently and with more confidence.  I immediately yelled down to Jon that I liked these better and felt more comfortable and I wanted to start to try and really push it on the track.   His response; are you sure?

It was 7:30 again and time for a pit stop and tire change.  Collecting my thoughts I tried to decide between the first 2 and without hesitation if I had to start a qualifier I was going out with whatever was on the buggy during the 2nd test.    I felt just as fast and more comfortable and it was my confidence through the difficult sections that made the decisions.  I wrote some personal notes about the run.

Test #3

Jon was ready and I was off, driving down the ramp and into the first few corners things felt similar to test 2.   The only issue was that these tires looked used from the drivers stand as well and I didn’t expect that.   Completely confused on what I was running I just focused on how the vehicle was working and trying to turn some “hot laps”.   I got into what I thought was a good rhythm and got increasingly more aggressive through the “surf’s up or whoops” section.   I thought I put down some good comfortable and quick laps as I eased back into the pits for the final stop and switch.   Thinking things over I still preferred test 2 over 3 but I would race with either.  Test 1 was still in last place.

Test #4

The RC8b was ready once again and Jon dropped it out for the final run.   It was about 3:30pm Florida time and it was pretty warm outside and it was almost time to leave.   Test 4 turned out to be the quickest run of the day and overall my fastest lap-times came during test 4.   Writing some personal notes my favorite test came in 2, 4, 3 and 1.    The notes that stuck out during test 2 and 4 were my end of straight away turn-in confidence, dust performance and “surfs-up” section stability.

Test line-up as determined by Jon –

  • Test 1 – JConcepts Crowbars (new) with JC prototype inserts.
  • Test 2 – JConcepts Crowbars (new) pre-mounted with standard medium / firm JC yellow inserts
  • Test 3 – JConcepts Crowbars (used from Wiregrass nationals) JC prototype inserts.
  • Test 4 – Test 2 repeated

We actually performed some double duty with Test 2 as we are planning a release of pre-mounted tires and have been beta testing our gluing procedure and process.  Thumbs up to these babies they are stuck to the wheels after some serious abuse. J

The Lake Park layout right now is really challenging and if you have a moment it is worth testing your skills.

Thanks to subscribing to JConcepts, if you have any comments or questions please email You can also follow us on or twitter.  Stay tuned for more testing and product updates and releases only from JConcepts.

Thank you,

Jason Ruona

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