Billy Easton reports on the CRCRC 2011, USA. Racing Serpent Cobra Buggy and Serpent Cobra Truggy…
“Today is qualifying day and so many drivers are anxious to run their cars. After a couple days of practice with Cobra buggy we have a mixed team of setups. They all vary slightly, many like the inside hole on the front arm, I personally like outside, as well as outer hole on the rear arm and or the C worlds hole. The front seems to be personal preference, but the rear people say they can not tell a huge difference from the B hole on the arm to the worlds C hole. It really seems like most guys like the standard camber links and many other things are really quite in stock form. We have opted for a smaller front anti roll bar to 2.0mm. We also tried more caster and that seemed to help on this small little tight track. In the end, the setup is varied slightly from the normal, mostly because the traction at this track is very weird. It is a dark black top soil, but its very waxy in appearance. As it is drying out, its becoming more and more shiny, almost mirror like. The tires seem to be the same, most are using super soft AKA tires, M4 prolines, pink hot bodies, and green j concepts. Our team uses a variety of the tires, so its hard to say who has exactly what. I myself used proline holeshots.
As the qualifiers have been run, the Cobra-buggy seems on pace as well as the Cobra-truggy has performed outstanding. The unfortunate part of qualifying is that the track was its best earlier on , so the first round had the fasted potential in speed. As the day progressed the track became slower and slower, so you had to put in your good run in the early round. Going 15 laps was the hot pace, and luckily for me, I was able to put in a few good 15 lap runs in both truggy and buggy. The truggy was at a slight disadvantage due to the tires I had to run. I had to use a m3 holeshot that I felt could have been just a little too hard. I discussed matters with proline and hopefully soon they will have some m4 truggy tires available as well. I think that would have been the trick on the truggy to propel it to the level beyond.
In the end, I qualified 3rd in buggy and 4th in truggy. I would say this year has started off far beyond that of last year and all of the hard work, time and effort put into these projects is really starting to pay off for the Serpent cars and drivers.
Sunday Main events:
After a super long night rebuilding two cars, I thought one took long enough, but now we have a truggy as well. It really help you appreciate the amount of time and energy it takes to prepare cars for 45 min or hour long finals.
The track was continuing to dry out and getting more and more of that shiny polished look. The grip level was coming down, so the lap times were starting to slow as well. Tire choice was going to be key. I felt like after watching many mains, that the J concepts and hot bodies tires were not quite as good as they were in qualifying, and that the AKA and Proline rubber tires were starting to come around. Event though, the race was eventually won on what i thought were the lesser tires, perhaps, the drivers were just really that good on main day.
As the truggy main started, I was running in 4th and then Cody made a mistake which allowed me to take over the third place position. The leaders battled back and forth which would allow me to get very close, but i never really capitalized on my speed. I would say at that time we were all running almost identical lap times and catching anyone was really hard to do. It was going to be a matter of how many mistakes you made on the small tight course. On main day the truck was really good, I could have driven better and minimized the mistakes I had made that put such a great distance between me and the front running two. On a track that takes 20 seconds to get around, 4 big mistakes/bad laps, and you could find yourself being lapped quite easily. In the end, I finished a strong 3rd with the truggy, and not a bad finish at all for the first race of the season. The truggy has very little development time under its belt, but it really seems like a true performer, and in no time, I honestly think it can be the best truggy on the market..
As the buggy main started, I ran in 3rd and 4th for the first 5 mins or so, then a big mistake by myself sent me back in the pack. I was then battling back in 5th,6th,and 7th and working my way back towards the front. A bad pit strategy on my part brought me in at the 7:30 mark and that would cost me a pit stop in the end of the race. After that stop i went to 9 minute stops, but the damage had been done. In any event, I continued to claw my way back to the front, and would place myself in 3rd for a very long time.
Near the end of the event, I went into the wall quite hard in the back corner of the track fracturing my wing mount. This went on for a while, but eventually another hard hit would cause me to loose my wing. I have never run the buggy without the rear wing before, but can tell you that at high speed in the sweeper it is a necessary part of the car. For sure you could tell that you had a loss of side traction.The jumping also was slightly effected and the car was more likely to nose dive. The good news is, I was able to finish the event, in 3rd just ahead of the hard charging Cody King. The last 4 minutes was a bit of a cliff hangar for me, but, during the final, just before my gnarly hit with the wall, I had posted the fastest string of 20 laps. Although I did not have the fastest single lap of the race, I did have the most 20′ second lap times of any other driver. I am really proud of the Serpent Cobra buggy’s progression and how much better it has become at each and every race. It seems that if we continue to progress at this rate, we could have one of the best products on the market.
Thanks to all the Serpent product owners at the track and also the team drivers that came out to race. It was a pleasure hanging with all of you and I am sure in the future we will be victorious.”
Till next time.