Clay wins race at Windy City RC!
Clayton won the Family Night RC Race at Windy City RC Raceway against 14 other competitors and I could not be more proud of him! We discovered this local, indoor track located in Arlington Heights about a month ago, and have been participating in the Family Night race which is held on Wednesdays. The facility has two indoor tracks - one that is carpeted for on-road cars and one that is covered in astro turf with jumps for 2wd Short Course Trucks and Buggies.
Clayton has been competing in the 2wd SCT category with his Traxxas Slash. He has always been able to finish strong against the other children competitors, but his greatest challenge was the adults. Most of them are sporting pro-level RC trucks which are lighter in weight and have more precise throttle control and steering. There was about a 3 second difference between Clay and the front runners. Clay showed a lot of promise, but no matter how much tuning we did to his hobby-grade truck, he just didn't have a shot at the win - it would be like trying to win a bike race where everyone has fancy on-road carbon bikes and you have a Huffy MTB - it's just not going to happen! So, we made the decision to upgrade Clay to a pro-level RC truck.
The truck we chose was the Team Losi Racing 22 SCT 3.0. This truck has a world-champion design that has been steadily improved and refined over the last 5 or so years. Clayton pitched in the money for the actual kit (it needs to be assembled), and we helped out with the additional electronics (motor, esc, servo, etc.) that are necessary to complete the kit. It ended up being twice as expensive as his old truck (gulp!) but the new truck is superior in every way - lighter, more tunable, tougher, better response, and because of all that - FASTER!
Here is the Losi 22 Short Course Truck 3.0 Kit on the table, ready for assembly. The kit contains many pro-level parts, like the chassis, which has CNC machined pockets milled out to add lightness without compromising strength. Besides assembling the kit, it is also necessary to tune the parts - adjusting the toe angles of the suspension, adding oil and adjusting the coil overs on the shocks, and choosing the appropriate gearing for the track.
The chassis is CNC machined aluminum for lightness, it has a Savox Servo with titanium gears, a Tekin Redline 17.5 turn motor and a Hobby Wing ESC. Much thanks to Griffin and Chip at Hobbytown St. Charles for helping us spec out this fancy rig and also giving us a great deal on the price!
It took us a weekend to put the truck together. Clay did the majority of the assembly, and I helped with some of the more difficult bits and the fine tuning.
We started on the kit on Saturday afternoon. After 4 hours wrenching, we were only about 1/3 of the way through assembling the kit. We took our time and Clayton worked on his wrenching skills.
We went to the track on Tuesday for a shakedown run to see how it worked. After sorting out the steering, adjusting the toe and camber angles, and making some transmitter adjustments, the truck was clearly faster than his old truck. Unfortunately, the owners of the track changed the configuration, so we were no longer able to compare our lap times from the previous races.
On Wednesday, we arrived at the track confident and ready to race. Or at least Clay was. There are a lot of Dads there racing with their children on Wednesdays. I would be racing Clay's old Slash truck. Driving the two back to back, it is clear to see the difference a pro-grade RC makes.
After two rounds of qualifying, Clay was gridded second in the final A-Main race. I managed to qualify as well, back in 6th position. After swapping places with the second place vehicle a couple times, Clay's competitor crashed. That opened the door for Clay's clean driving and eventual win. Clay had the fastest lap average by over a second, so he was consistently the fastest driver out there.
I did not fare as well, crashing a few times. I even managed to get my wheel wedged between a ramp and the wall, which cost me dearly. With 7 trucks on the track in the final race there was quite a lot of traffic! In all, it was an amazingly fun evening, and strong start for Clay and his new rig! Many thanks to Chris Bush of Windy City RC for keeping score and organizing a great weekly event.
The final race, the A-Main, was hotly contested among 7 adult and child competitors. There were many lead changes, but Clayton kept his cool, focused on his driving line, and took the win. Way to go!