MAXX CHALLENGE AND THE DIRT
Meet Joe Dirt
Race announcer, director, track builder and RC promoter Joey Christensen is one very busy man. Joey built the dirt vert-track for the May RCX show in Anaheim, CA. This summer, he plans to organize an RC camp for kids at Point X camp outside Temecula, CA, with pro moto-crossers and other extreme-sports celebrities. His usual schedule has him running "The Dirt" in Hemet, CA, so check out the track's website-thedirtracing.com-for a complete race schedule and dates of other big events.
The Pro-Line track featured a long back straight at the farthest point from the drivers' stand. The infield contained a gigantic triple, a gnarly rutted chicane, a large waterfall step-down, a few nasty moguls and three sets of doubles. The crew watered the track all weekend so that traction was up and conditions were the same for everyone. The layout was fun yet challenging; I know because I put in several laps myself.
QURLIFUING RND MAINS
* 1/8 BUGGY. There was only one 1/8-scale buggy class, so if you raced, there was a good chance that you'd stand next to a pro on the drivers' stand-pretty cool, especially if you have the skills to race against them. Mugen's Kris Moore was barely able to edge out current Ve-scale world champ Greg Degani for the top qualifying honors. Little more than a second separated the two. Michael Sharwin qualified third, which was pretty impressive considering how many pro's were gunning for the prestigious A-main event. In the 15-minute Main, Mark Pavidis, who qualified sixth, got off to a good start and then worked his way through the pack. Degani and Moore chased him for the better part of the event, but Pavidis took home the victory with Degani in second and Moore just seconds behind.
1/10 TRUCK. Team Trinity/Team Losi teammates Ryan Cavalieri and Adam Drake battle quite often in 1/10 nitro truck. In qualifying, Cavalieri edged out "The Drake" by 3 seconds to TQ the class. Team Associated driver Jared Tebo rounded out the top three on the starting line for the 15-minute Main. Drake got a good start and was out front and in cruise control for almost the entire race. Cavalieri was out of it just a minute after the start, and Jared Tebo gladly moved into second, but was chased by his determined Team Associated teammate Mark Pavidis. Then, in the Main, Pavidis picked off the other drivers like a sharpshooter targeting clay pigeons. His only trouble came late in the race when he had problems getting past lapped traffic. No one would budge! Nevertheless, The Drake finished comfortably in first with Tebo in second and Pavidis holding down third.
* OUTLAW T-MAXX. Outlaw truckers were all drivers with buggy-type trucks. If they had 1/8-scale diffs or had an 1/8-scale converted buggy, they ran with the "Outlaw" boys. Billy Fisher was the top dawg in this insanely high-powered class. Kris Moore sat in second with his JT converted Mugen MBX-4RR monster truck, and Scott "Squirrel" Hughes started the Main in third. In the A-main, Scott left the track at the 4 1/2-minute mark, and that left the battle to Moore and Fisher. Late in the race, Moore pulled away and was the only one to run 27 laps; this was on a pace with more than half of the 1/8-scale buggy A-main drivers. That's ridiculously fast! Fisher finished a respectable econd, and Greg Waller arrived in third.
* MODIFIED T-MAXX. As expected, any Maxx with a big-block engine or modded suspension ran in this class, but trucks with a TRX 2.5 engine also ran with the mod-Maxx guys. Since Traxxas' high-powered .15 can run with the big-blocks, it was only fair that they should race against them (instead of decimating the guys with "old-school" engines in the stock class).
TQ honors went to Jason Wipf. Second qualifier Jim Smalley and third qualifier Ramiro Saenz were just over 1/10 second apart during qualifying. The rest of the field was also tightly stacked, and that led to a very competitive Main. You would expect the top three qualifiers to have a good showing in the Main, but seventh- and eighth-place qualifiers Rich Panganiban and Bobby Moore stole the show. Panganiban worked his way up to first and stayed there, and Moore hung on to second. Top qualifier Wipf finished a respectable third.
* STOCK T-MAXX. In this class, only original Maxx trucks with the stock TRX Pro .15 engine were allowed, so it all came down to driving skills. Matt Rudametkin was by far the fastest driver all weekend. In qualifying, his closest competitor was Gary Bergeron, who was 22 seconds off his pace. Kevin Bailey rounded out the top three during qualifying. In the Main, it was all Rudametkin, who lapped the field twice. Second went to Anthony Shaughnessy, and Gary Bergeron finished third.
Adam Drake ran the OFNA Jammin' X-1 CR prototype. "The Drake" had troubles in qualifying because of engine problems, but he was able to bump up four consecutive Mains.
Dace Manufacturing T-Maxx chassis kit
Dace Mfg.'s 3.5mm chassis allows you to install the fuel tank in your choice of two locations. The chassis' polished look is probably the nicest I have ever seen, and Dace claims that this platform is indestructible, and judging by its looks, I believe 'em.
Dace Mfg. (209) 543-0299; dacemfg.com.
Ratzas Kyosho Inferno owners will be happy to hear that Ratzas now offers a wide variety of hop-ups for the popular 1/8-scale buggy. Just released at the race were a new carbon-fiber servo tray, super-thick machined-aluminum front and rear shock towers and a rear, aluminum, hinge-pin brace. For additional adjustment, the rear shock tower has eight shock-mounting holes-two more than the stock tower. Ratzas plans to add more Kyosho hop-ups to its growing line of racing products, so check them out.
Ratzas (407) 774-8500; ratzas.net.
CEN makes the Monster Main
One of the biggest surprises at the Nitro Maxx Challenge was Mike Walker from CEN racing a Fun Factor MT against Modified T-Maxx trucks that had all kinds of hop-ups and horse-power. Walker wasn't just holding his own with the truck; he was putting the spank down with it. He finished fifth in the A-main, and that meant he beat more than 40 other guys with highly modified trucks. Way to go, Mike!
Cesar Duron and his son, Cesar Jr., traveled all the way from Mexicali, Mexico, to the race. It was their first big race, and they were definitely excited to be part of the fun. Here, they show off the hopped-up T-Maxx they ran in Modified. That's a Sirio .18 bolted to the chassis.
Jay Ando won the Nitro Maxx Challenge-his third consecutive concours trophy-with this stellar-looking T-Maxx, which has an attached and fully functional parachute.
Copyright Air Age Publishing Sep 2003
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