The International Indoor Championships (IIC), hosted by Scotty Ernst at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, continues as one of the premier stops on the racing calendar. The top drivers in the world converged upon the desert oasis October 1-6 to battle for bragging rights and the prestigious IIC title.
The program called for four rounds of controlled practice and some open practice time leading up to Thursday’s two rounds of qualifying. Two more rounds were scheduled for Friday with a driver’s single fastest round out of four used to determine a driver’s main event and grid position.
The Team Associated/Reedy factory racing team was on hand to battle with the world’s best and came away with some impressive results – four pole positions and four wins with three additional podium finishes.
A new addition to the IIC this year was the Spec GT class. Using standard TC chassis and tires with handout ESCs and motors, and a fixed gear ratio with realistic GT-style bodies, this class proved to be competitive and entertaining for both racers and spectators. Mike Haynes grabbed the pole position with his TC6.1 in the last qualifying round on his way to the A-Main win.
Haynes was just getting started. The Stock 17.5 TC class followed nearly the same script as the Spec GT class. Mike’s Reedy-powered TC6.1 started on the pole position once again, which he converted into his second class victory of the event.
Reedy LiPo batteries and Sonic motors dominated the Super Stock 13.5 TC class with a 1-2-3 finish. Keven Hébert and Hayato Matsuzaki qualified 1-2 and fought a fierce battle in the A Main. Keven lead early until Hayato took over. Then with less than one minute remaining, Keven regained the lead and crossed the line in first place. Hayato finished in second with Mike Haynes coming from fourth on the grid to claim the third step on the podium.
The Team Associated/Reedy team was unbeatable in the 1/12 Modified class. It was obvious from the start of practice that Keven Hébert and his Reedy-powered 12R5.2 was the combination to beat. In fact, the top three qualifiers in 1/12 Modified were driving the Reedy/12R5.2 combination. Juho Levanen lined up second with Rick Hohwart starting third.
The three teammates sped away from the start and it was apparent that the race would come down to a battle between Hébert and Levanen. But Hébert’s speed was impossible to match and with no mistakes, he comfortably won the main. Levanen finished a couple of seconds behind Hébert, with the third place finisher nearly two laps off the pace.
The final race of the event was the Modified TC class. Hébert and Levanen placed their Reedy-powered TC6.1 WC’s second and third on the grid behind Ronald Volker. Keven was running on Volker’s bumper for the duration of the main event but never had the opportunity to attempt a clean passing maneuver and had to settle for second place. Juho Levanen dropped out of the race but Mike Haynes worked his way up from the back half of the grid to finish third and stand on the podium for the fourth time.
More than a race, the IIC is a spectacle featuring the best drivers, world-class announcer Scotty Ernst, and a first-class facility. It should be a part of every RC racer’s bucket list.