The Washtenaw R/C Raceway Winter Series Round #5 was held Saturday, January 3rd, 2015. This round debuted the mid season track change which added a challenge for the drivers. The first sweeping turn was eliminated and replaced with a hairpin. The big triple was changed to a double leading into a 180 degree berm, and the table step-down feeds into a straight targeted at the start-finish line. Race entries totaled 146 in 15 classes with many new drivers attending. The track was in great condition despite the cold and rainy day.
Race Report by Tom Erickson
Photos by Dave Ferris
This program is located just south of Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Washtenaw County Fairgrounds. The heated facility is a 100x52ft track with large driver’s stand and pit area. Our nine race series allows two drops leading to the series title. In additional to the track and pit space there is a full-service Trackside hobby shop provided by Nankin Hobbies.
2wd Mod Buggy Class:
Heading into the 5th round Kenny Ferris has TQ’d and won every event that he participated in missing only one round so far. In qualifying it was Kenny’s brother Patrick that was leading the charge with his Team Associated B5. Many drivers are running the mid motor cars but Patrick has proven that the rear motor buggies may have some advantages. Patrick’s early TQ would hold until the final round of qualifying as Kenny found his way to a 15 lap pace. The third round was also good for B Fred who also was able to break into the 15 lap region. The starting grid formed up with Kenny in first, B Fred in 2nd and Patrick holding third. The new hairpin turn right after the starting grid caused a few cars to get tangled. As the pack came around the stripe on the first lap it was Conner in the lead with Ben Belote in second and Tom Erickson in third. The group of 10 drivers started to settle down by lap #5 with Conner holding the lead and Kenny, Fred, and Forrest Remington back to the front. Kenny was able to get by Conner to take over the lead at the mid point of the 7 minute main event. That put Conner into the sights of Fred with Forrest close behind setting up a three way battle for second. After some contact Fred emerged in second and Forrest in third which is how they finished.
Current 2wd Buggy Season Points (1 drop):
1st Kenny Ferris 404
2nd Conner Stanley 392
3rd Forrest Remington 388
4wd Mod Buggy Class
Round#5 saw a full heat of 4wd Buggies pushing the limits on the new track layout. The previous track saw only a few drivers breaking the 16 lap barrier in qualifying. It took Nick Vasquez only two qualifiers to set the TQ pace and the only one to break16 laps. Patrick Ferris had set the early TQ in round#1 which was only good enough to hold 3rd place on the grid in the main. Second place on the grid went to Conner Stanley in the 3rd round of qualifying. At the start Nick lead the field without errors while Patrick got ahead of Conner. The rest of the field was lead by Tom Erickson in the opening laps until series points leader Forrest Remington regain his composure after the initial lap tangles. At the mid-point Nick and Patrick were trading spots in the lead, Conner dropped back to fifth behind Forrest and Tom. Late in the main event Nick had to retire leaving Patrick with a gap ahead of Forrest. Conner had passed Tom to hold 3rd place with Tom on his bumper. The closing laps started to get exciting as Forrest was closing the gap every lap and Tom was closing the gap to Conner. There was not enough time left to see any position changes. Patrick would take the win with Forrest in 2nd and Conner in 3rd.
Current 4wd Buggy Season Points (1 drop):
1st Forrest Remington 398
2nd Tom Erickson 392
3rd Patrick Ferris 391
Open 2wd Short Course Class
With such a good turn out the Open 2wd Short Course class was full of drivers wanting to reach the podium. The Season points leader, Randy Drapinski, did his best to challenge Conner Stanley during qualifying to get the extra point for TQ but Conner’s TLR 22T mid-motor truck was on fire. Conner TQ’d each round with Randy holding second. In only his second time racing at WRCR this season Mark Riegle made a run at Randy in the 3rd round but it was not enough to take over the position on the grid leaving him behind Randy for the start of the Main event. This was a picture perfect main event for Conner leading the way from start-to-finish for the win. Randy also ran a good race and finished with a solid 2nd place. The next spot of the podium was contested mid-race by Evan Peoples but Mark was able to hold him off in the closing laps as Gio Enea came into the picture. At the finishing tone Conner took the win with Randy in second and Mark in third.
Current Open 2wd SCT Season Points (1 drop):
1st Randy Drapinski 399
2nd Zachery Kohler 385
3rd Conner Stanley 302
2wd Mod Truck Class
The Mod Truck has been light this season but that doesn’t mean that the competition is light. Conner Stanley has dominated this class with his TLR 22T. The domination continued in the 5th round for the WRCR winter series with Conner taking TQ honors for the 3rd time. Another fast driver in this class is CJ Boka who sits second in the overall point series so far racing with a Stock motor. His consistency and smooth driving has shown that you can do well even in the modified class as long as you reduce your mistakes. CJ ran hard in qualifying but was not able to beat Conner’s TQ pace holding 2nd on the starting grid. Mark Thompson holds 3rd in the points series with his Losi XXXT. Another regular in the Mod Truck class, Mark loves to jump his truck over the big Table Step-down. This round he qualified 3rd behind CJ. The only other person to win a Mod Truck Main event this season is Dave Ferris. Dave qualified 4th very close behind Mark. With the Grid set Conner and CJ lead the field and started to gap each other from the start. Conner would win wire-to-wire and CJ would hold 2nd place the entire race. Mark held onto 3rd place with no challengers during the 7 minute main event.
Current Mod 2wd Truck Season Points (1 drop):
1st Conner Stanley 403
2nd CJ Boka 397
3rd Mark Thompson 393
4×4 Short Course Class
Another great series event for the 4×4 Short Course class with 12 entries going for the 3 podium spots. Matt lemorie continued his dominance and held TQ for each round. Randy Drapinski put down his best qualifying effort in the first round which was good enough to hold 2nd on the starting grid. That left 3rd place on the grid up for grabs with Mark Riegle grabbing the spot ahead of Gio Enea and Andy Dresselhouse. The start was clean for Matt as he lead around the initial hairpin and took off with Randy in tow. The rest of the pack weren’t so lucky with door-to-door action sending Mark and Gio back a few spots. This let Greg Shelton and Andy by and charge toward the leaders. Randy had four laps in a row that we full of tangles with tubes and other vehicles allowing Andy, Greg, and Mark to pass him. Mark then passed Greg on the Table Step-down with a good landing and moved up to third behind Andy. Soon Mark caught up to Andy and passed him about mid-race. Randy made a valiant effort to try to work his way back to a podium finish but was only able to pass Greg for 4th place. In the end it was Matt in 1st place, Mark in 2nd place and Andy in 3rd place.
Current 4×4 Short Course Season Points (1 drop):
1st Matt Lemorie 401
2nd Randy Drapinski 391
3rd Greg Shelton 384
13.5 Spec Short Course Truck class – Sponsored by Nankin and Duratrax
The track change did not seem to effect the Spec SCT class with qualifying times about the same as previous events. Each driver running the same Duratrax 13.5t fixed timing motor and RC King 40c 5000mAH battery means it is up to the drivers to keep pace. Qualifying was again a battle between the previous winners; Ben Belote, Tom Erickson and Conner Stanley. Ben set the pace in the first qualifier with Tom and Matt Lemorie close behind. Conner took the win and new TQ in the second round with Tom close behind. The overall TQ was set in the third round by Conner over Tom and Ben. At the start Conner, Tom and Ben got off in starting order as they lead into the new Double burm jump. Conner over jumped the double sending him high in the burm while Tom cut under him to make a pass. Ben also was able to take advantage of the gap and passed Conner as well. Around the bend and over the Table Step-down Ben caught the wall and Matt was able to slip by him to cross the line in second on the first lap. Ben came back and took the position back as Tom started to gap the field. Back in 4th place, Conner was challenged by both Mark Thompson and Phil West as they traded both paint and positions for the opening laps. Conner broke free of them and set his sights on Matt. Soon second place was a three way battle with position changes occurring almost every lap. Matt was able to get out in front of Ben and Conner as Tom was coming up behind them to put them a lap down. Ben rolled his TLR 22SCT allowing Conner free track to chase Matt down and pass him on the last lap. As they both charged toward the finish line Matt was able to hug the tube and sneak by Conner for 2nd place by only 0.173 seconds. An exciting finish with Tom in for the win, Matt in 2nd place and Conner in third place.
Current Spec SCT Season Points (1 drop):
1st Tom Erickson 400
2nd Ben Belote 397
3rd Conner Stanley 394
Stock 17.5 Buggy Class
A full field of entries showed up to challenge Nat Potter’s winning streak. So far Nat has won every round in this class missing only one point when Patrick DeGuise took away his extra TQ point last round. In qualifying Sean Carney showed that he was ready to take his first win setting a solid TQ pace in the first round and held through the rest of qualifying. Nat qualified second and new comer but no stranger Bryan Boucher was in third. At the start, Sean was able to lead the field around without issues as Nat tangled with tubes and other buggies. Fifth place qualifier Steven Suriano was able to get through even Bryan to take over second. This was short lived as Bryan put his Team Associated B5M on pace to catch the leader passing Steven as Nat ended his main even with a broken car. Quickly Bryan was up with Sean and they traded positions each lap until a roll over gave Bryan a chance to hold the lead. Behind the leaders Joe Ferris was able to get in front of Steven to take over 3rd spot by the mid point for the main event. Steven pressed on and was able to get ahead of Joe and that was how they finished. Bryan Boucher in 1st place, Sean Carney in 2nd place, and Steven Suriano in 3rd place. Nat’s winning streak was at an end.
Current 2wd Stock Buggy Season Points (1 drop):
1st Nat Potter 402
2nd Sean Carney 397
3rd Joe Ferris 388
Stock 17.5 Truck Class
The story in Stock Truck is very similar to Stock Buggy but with different names. Uncle Bob is dominating the Stock Truck class winning every event so far loosing only one TQ point to Dan Dresselhouse back in round#2. In this story Uncle Bob set a commanding qualifying run in the first round to take TQ honors yet again. CJ Boka was able to edge out Dan for the second spot on the grid. At the start Bob got away clean and Dan was able to get by CJ for second and Andy Dresselhouse in fourth. Bob was increasing his gap every lap until some uncharacteristic mistakes cut into his lead enough for Dan pass him. CJ was staring down the back of Bob’s truck hoping to get a glimpse at second but was unable to match Bob’s pace. It took Bob a number of laps to reduce Dan’s lead but not enough to catch him. It was looking like Dan was going to end Bob’s streak until Dan rolled his truck allowing Bob to slip by with only 3 laps to go. That was it, Bob won his 5th consecutive race with Dan in 2nd and CJ in third.
Current Stock Truck Season Points(1 drop):
1st Uncle Bob 404
2nd Dan Dresselhouse 397
3rd Andy Dresselhouse 389
Stock 17.5 Short Course Truck Class
Another strong turn out for the Stock Short Course class this round with Nick Vasquez and Bryan Boucher joining for this event. Yet another class with one winner with Uncle Bob running a perfect season. Bryan came out in the first round with a convincing run setting the early TQ ahead of Uncle Bob and Sean Carney. In the second round Nick had his RTR SC10 fine tuned enough to improve on Bryan’s time and take the overall TQ with Bryan in 2nd and Dan Dresselhouse in Third. At the start Nick got off clean and rounded the first hairpin tight and clean followed close by Dan Dresselhouse as Bryan left the inside line open. Dan held pace with Nick as they crossed the line on the first lap with Bryan close behind. A few slight mistakes from Nick and Dan passed for the lead and stuffed his truck into the tubes allowing Nick to get by and Bryan to catch up. Andy Dresselhouse was also running a smooth main and caught Bryan to pass for 3rd place briefly but Bryan was able to regain position. Toward the end of the main event Bryan was able to catch and pass Dan to take over 2nd place setting up the podium for this round. Nick Vasquez with the win, Bryan in 2nd, and Dan in 3rd. With this win Uncle Bob’s winning streak is over but he still retains a commanding lead in the points series.
Current Season Points:
1st Uncle Bob 404
2nd Dan Dresselhouse 393
3rd Sean “007” Carney 387
Tom Massel 387
Approaching the midpoint of the season and the series points are very close. It is anyone’s game at this point and Ben Belote showed that he wants to be on the top of the podium at the end by setting the early TQ. Matt Lemorie answered back in the second round showing that he wants that TQ point besting Ben’s previous run. Both Ben and Matt would have to settle qualifying without the extra point as CJ Boka beat their previous times to take the Top Qualifier position. In Stampede class the TQ is good for the series points only since they start with a Land Rush style on top of the Table Step-down. At the start Matt jumped to the initial lead but coupled with someones tires sending him back to last. CJ was able to get off cleanly and lead Sean Carney and Ben Belote around the first laps. Ben was able to get ahead of Sean and start to pressure CJ for the lead as Matt regained third place. Matt and Ben battled for the second spot allowing CJ to gap them a little. Matt held second for only a few laps as Ben was able to keep his stampede on all fours. CJ crossed the line with the win with Ben in second and Matt in third only 2.4 secs behind. With this finish the points standings have tighten up even more.
Current Stampede Class Season Points (1 drop):
1st Matt Lemorie 400
2nd CJ Boka 399
3rd Ben Belote 396
Powder Puff Class
The Powder Puff class has been all about Joe Ferris who’s driving skills have improved greatly this season. Up to this event she has TQ’d and won every round. In qualifying it was no different with Joe setting TQ each round. Sam Lori joined the group and challenged Joe but not enough to take over TQ. Behind Sam on the grid was Rachel Maatta who continues to show improvements running as many classes with her SC10.2 as she can. At the start Joe showed her skills as she lead the field through the first lap. Sam and Rachel got together allowing McKenzie Massel to get by on the first laps in her new SC10. Joe, driving one of the rental Slashes, hit a tube and Mckenzie was about to pass when Rachel came up on the pair and passed them both. Joe gave pursuit as Sam passed Mckenzie. As she did in qualifying, Sam held good lines and was running well as she passed Joe into 2nd place. Joe was working hard to control the Rental Slash as McKenzie came up and passed her. Rachel had a commanding lead outpacing everyone. Sam got tangled up on a tube allowing McKenzie to pass for 2nd. The McKenzie had trouble resetting the positions. That is how it was for the remaining laps with Rachel getting her first win and taking away the Powder Puff trophy from Joe ending her winning streak. Sam finished 2nd and McKenzie finished third,
Current Powder Puff Season Points (1 drop):
1st Joe Ferris 404
2nd McKenzie Massel 395
3rd Kymm Thompson 388
The Novice class is going strong with 18 entries split into two qualifying heats. In Heat #1 it was Evan Peoples that was leading the way and dominating the rest of the field. In Heat #2 it was Evan Rushbrook that was dominating. Both Evans won each of their rounds of qualifying but it was Evan Peoples who came out ahead showing that he has the skills to move up from Novice already. Evan Rushbrook would grab second on the grid of the A-main with Grant Riegle in third. Evan Peoples continued his domination leading the pack and not looking back winning Wire-to-wire. Evan Rushbrook tangled with other drivers on his first lap sending him back to fifth. Grant was able to hold on to second spot until Evan Rushbrook came charging back. Micheal Nabozny held the early third position but was not able to hold back Evan either. Sean Fidler started sixth, was caught in the early lap tangles, and charged through the pack quickly gaining back up to fourth place until he caught up to Even Rushbrook and Grant. First Sean passed Grant and on the next lap he passed Evan. On the last laps the first two spots on podium were set with Evan Peoples and Sean Fidler. Grant was able to get by Evan Rushbrook with two laps to go and hold it for the last spot on the podium. The B-main was won by Mark Rushbrook closely followed by Milo Spieth.
Current Novice Class Season Points (1 drop):
1st Hunter Suriano 295
2nd Jason Jeppesen 292
3rd Evan Rushbrook 288
The organizers at the Washtenaw R/C Raceway would like to thank everyone for attending. All points are calculated with 1 drop. We will calculate the points with both drops after the 6th round. We also would like to thank our sponsors:
Team Associated – www.teamassociated.com
Nankin Hobbies – www.nankinhobby.com
Boca Bearings – www.bocabearings.com
B-Fast – www.bfastrc.com
RPM Products – www.rpmrcproducts.com
BlueFoxSigns – www.bluefoxgifts.com
Tekin – www.teamteakin.com
Novak R/C – www.teamnovak.com
Panther Tires – www.panthertires.com
Duratrax – www.duratrax.com
Tower Hobbies – www.towerhobbies.com
Robinson Racing – www.robinsonracing.com
Pro-Line – www.prolineracing.com
J-Concepts – www.jconcepts.net
Parma — www.parmapse.com
Hitec/Airtronics – www.hitecrcd.com and www.airtronics.net
Max Amps – www.maxamps.com
Castle Creations – www.castlecreations.com
RC Driver – www.rcdriver.com
And a special thanks to:
LiveRC – www.liverc.com
Washtenaw Farm Council – www.washtenawfarmcouncil.org