Tuning Haus So Cal RC Scale Series Rd.2 report

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Race Report by Tuning Haus:
Welcome to Round 2 of the So Cal R/C Scale Series presented by Tuning Haus. With a good kickoff to the series beginning with round 1 in November, it was time to see who could stay on top and who could move up the ladder from last round. With some drivers missing this round to other commitments and some new drivers joining the series, all still have the chance to get their four rounds in for a shot at the awards given to the top ten in points at the end of the season.  Now, on to qualifying……

Formula 1 cars rolled out for their three minute qualifying run to set their five best (non-consecutive) laps that will be averaged to set qualifying. Dave Hilton would take the initial TQ spot with his qualifying time of 11.258 in the first group with his Panda rent-a-ride but would soon be displaced. Taking the top spot was round 1 winner Aaron Lane with a blistering 10.283 average and the only driver to get into the 10.1 range in qualifying. Second up was Kevin “Panda” Cole with a very ill handling car but was still able to squeak into the spot with an average of 10.352, just ahead of 3rd qualifying Bill Jeric’s 10.385 average, just edging out round 1 TQ Craig “Cuda” Hammon’s 10.387 with the top 8 cars separated by less than 0.5 second.

GT Sedans appeared next and with round 1 top two driver’s Dave Berger and Tony Tam away for this round, it was all to play for the rest of the group looking to take advantage. Besting the field for top honors would be the Panda himself, Kevin Cole, improving on his F1 qualifying spot taking TQ with a blistering 9.874 average with Tyree Phillips hot on his tail with a 9.985 average and third going to Paul Dabao with an average pace of 10.049. The top 8 in GT Sedan were separated by less than 0.3 seconds.

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It was now time to start the heat races. Every driver runs three heats, 15 minutes each heat with two mandatory pit stops for Formula 1 and 10 minutes each race with one mandatory pit stop for GT’s. Each round is scored with a qual points system so a driver from the lowest group has the chance to make a fast run and put themselves in the top 10 for that round. At the end of the day, all three runs are totaled for final points. No throw outs in our format so you have to be fast and finish if you want to take home a top 10 finish…

Group B in Formula 1 came out swinging and the day’s group looked to be the Tom Kahl and Mark Goldwater show at the front. With Mark taking wins in the first two races with Tom close behind in second, a troubled third run put an end to Mark’s sweep but a win in B3 gave Tom the overall win in this group and a ninth overall besting Mark by two points for the day. Matt Sui and Toby Zhang made their debut to the season and along with Josh Tran made up the battle for the final podium spot in this group. Matt would best Toby in their first race but Toby would take advantage of race 2 and 3 to take third in this group, just one point ahead of Matt who was fourth and Josh 4 points behind Matt to take 5th. The battle to round out the field would find Carlos Ledezma making a rare appearance (meaning no soccer matches for his daughter this weekend) to take sixth overall ahead of Dave Hilton running a borrowed car after unrepairable testing damage during the week. Chuck Howell continuing to improve his F1 skills rounding out the field in eighth.

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Formula 1 Group A rolled out with a mix of Expert and Sportsman class racers ready to mix it up. The top of the heap would see Aaron Lane, a feisty Bill Jeric looking to make up for a disappointing round 1 and Craig “Cuda” Hammon looking to better his round 1 second overall finish fighting for the top spots. Aaron drew first blood taking the A1 win but an undisclosed drive train issue ground his machine to a halt in A2 that would leave him well down the overall order at the end of the day. This would allow the Cuda to take the win in A2 by about 1.5 seconds over Bill. But after two consistent runs, the battle for overall honors heading into A3 would find Bill ahead by just one point over Cuda with Charles just another point behind. Bill would break his duck in the series with a great A3 win and fastest run of the day ahead of Aaron to take overall honors with a score of 298 points with Cuda taking second overall for the day 4 points back and Charles completing the podium in third. Sportsman Mark Brown traveling down from Washington to sunny Southern California would have three great races with Sportsman Alex M with Experts Jason Huang and Kevin “Panda” Cole trying to mix it in with them. These two put on a show for the crowd with two of their three fifteen minute races separated by just one second! Mark Brown took two of the three battles to earn an outstanding fourth overall for the day with Alex just one point behind tied for fifth overall. Jason and the Panda found themselves battling each other for most of the day with the Panda fighting a very inconsistent machine. A determined drive to third overall in A3 would net him a tie for fifth overall with Alex with Jason taking eighth overall. Aaron’s A2 disappointment dropped him to seventh overall and sure to be his throw out race at the end of the season.

GT Sedan Group C started with Charles Lightfoot taking the win in A1. However, mechanical gremlins late in his race would make up his decision to park his sedan and focus on F1 for the balance of the day. The decision ultimately paid off with his second F1 podium from two race events. This would leave our frequent mileage leader Erik Dent from Arizona to battle it out with Dave Hilton (son Peyton missing this round) and our other father/son duo of Jeremy and Jacob Dee. Erik would have a suspension failure late in C1. Unfortunately the repairs were not enough as Erik would make the starting grid for his second race but not complete a lap. Persistence paid off and Eric was finally rewarded with a solid win in his third race to tie for 14th overall for the day with Jeremy Dee. After struggling with his rental ride in Formula 1, Dave Hilton would take his first race win of the series taking the C2 race and combined with two seconds would be top finisher of the group and 12th overall for the day. Father and Son Jeremy and Jacob Dee missed the first round due to a late arrival picking up the youngest racer in the family that we like to call “Micro Dee” but would battle each other for the next two races with Jeremy tying for 14th overall with Erik and Jacob in 16th.  

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Next up was GT Sedan Group B and Calvin Simmons, the old man himself, would silence his critics with three excellent runs today mixing it up with fellow Expert Brian “B-Ruff” Rutherford and a couple of Sportsman finding great pace today in Ivan Dickson and Toby Zhang. Ivan would pressure Calvin in B1 to take second just 4 seconds behind after 10 minutes. A spirited win by Calvin in B2 against Toby would be followed by a second in B3 to B-Ruff who had good pace today but a drive train failure early in his second run left him thinking “only if”. Besting the B group and finishing third overall to secure the final podium of the day would be Calvin. Mixing it up with this group would be Todd Sincock looking to improve on his round 1 results and Carlos Ledezma making his debut to the season in both Formula 1 and GT Sedan. Ivan Dickson put in a great run in his first race of the series to net second in group and sixth overall for the day giving him a top 8 overall Sportsman finish. Third in group and another Sportsman making the top 8 was Toby Zhang who would tie for eighth just three points behind Ivan. Next would be B-Ruff finishing a challenging day with a solid win in B3 to come home tenth overall. Rounding out the group would be Todd Sincock in eleventh overall making a big improvement on his round 1 finish and moving into first overall for Sportsman after two rounds followed by Carlos in thirteenth overall.

The final race group of the day saw the GT Sedan A drivers take to the track with Washington’s pride, Mark Brown flying the flag for Sportsman racers in a sea of Experts. Kevin Cole would set the pace in A1 and A2 with solid drives that would set the Panda up for a possible sweep going into race three. One of the most entertaining races of the day saw a battle between Jason Laurel putting on the drive of his life in A1 against Tyree Phillips. Jason, with a whopping two years under his belt would not wither from the pressure of 20+ year veteran Tyree to take a solid second by just 0.8 seconds. Tyree would turn the tables in A2 to finish second heading into the final round second overall with Paul Dabao and Jason close behind. Struggling to find his round 1 pace, JD Ramsey fought back in A2 to set up a five driver battle for the final podium spot with lone Sportsman  Mark Brown running faster also in A2 trying to match the Expert drivers pace. A3 would see the Panda get his strongest pressure as a good start saw Tyree and Kevin gap the field early and stretch out a lead. Using late pit stops, Kevin had led every lap to that point and was determined to get the sweep but Tyree was just as determined to rain on his parade. With all pit stops completed by the seven minute mark, it was heads up racing for the final 18 laps with only about 5 car lengths separating the two. Tyree closed in and took advantage when the Panda went wide to make a great inside pass to take the lead but before the lap was over, Kevin kept the pressure on and when Tyree went in to deep on a corner, the Panda pounced and took back the lead to hold on for the last five laps to take the win in A3 and sweep for the day. Tyree came home an excellent second overall, both drivers improving on their round 1 finishes. Paul Dabao would take third for the group but the final tie breaker went to Calvin Simmons from the B group with a faster overall run, leaving Paul fourth overall for the day. Fifth overall and just one point behind Calvin and Paul was Jason Laurel who could be heard to say this was his best finish ever racing. With the nickname “long hair, don’t care” Jason showed he does care and we will have to see if his enthusiasm will carry him to another top five finish in round 3 in January. Coming home tied for eighth overall was round 1 podium finisher JD Ramsey whose A3 mechanical failure just 30 seconds into the race ruined his chances for another shot at the podium. Mark Brown would round out the field taking seventh overall for the day and second overall for Sportsman just missing out on the top spot by one point.

FAST FACTS:

Formula 1: Kevin Cole set fastest race lap at 10.154 in round 2 with Aaron Lane and Bill Jeric setting 10.2 fast laps in round 3. Best run of the day went to Bill Jeric with an 84 lap 15:01.314 performance in round 3 with Aaron Lane the only other driver hitting the 84 lap mark in rounds 1 and 3.

GT Sedan: Kevin “Panda” Cole set fastest race lap at 9.845 in round 1 with Calvin Simmons and Paul Dabao also posting 9.8 fast laps. Best run of the day also went to the Panda with a run of 59 laps in 10:04.519 in round 3 and going 59 laps in all three runs. Tyree Phillips was the only other driver to go 59 laps today in his round 3 race.

Podiums and notable mentions:

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The top three today in Formula 1 would be Bill Jeric in his first race running his new VBC Lightning FX with Craig “Cuda” Hammon second overall followed by Charles Lightfoot in third, both running X-Ray. Mark Brown, Alex M. and Tom Kahl, alias Tom Slick, were the top Sportsman drivers finishing in 4th, 6th and 9th overall. With our scoring system, if a Sportsman driver finishes with three of his top four finishes in the top eight for that day, they are automatically bumped up to Expert class, so it remains possible that some of our Sportsman drivers may finish the season in Expert.

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The top three in GT Sedan were Panda taking the “Grand Chelem” in his Tamiya 419 with TQ, fastest lap, fastest race and wins in all three races for a maximum 301 points followed by Tyree Phillips in second piloting a VBC D07 Wildfire and Calvin Simmons rounding out the podium with his X-Ray T4. Top Sportsman for Round 2 were Ivan Dickson, Mark Brown and Toby Zhang finishing sixth, seventh and eighth overall. Two more top eight finishes for any of these three racers will get them bumped up to the Expert standings.

To see the current point standings as well as race results, pictures, videos and race report from each race of the series, please visit our link at TQ RC Racing’s website http://www.tqrcracing.com/scss/

It was a great day for Team Tuning Haus with Bill Jeric taking the win in Formula 1 and side kick Kevin “Panda” Cole taking the sweep in GT Sedan.  We thank you for attending round 2 of the So Cal R/C Scale Series Presented by Tuning Haus and look forward to seeing all of you next year for round 3 on Saturday 16-January-2016. From Bill and Kevin, A very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year’s wish to all our friends and racing family!