JBRL Rd #2
April 15th 2017 SDRC Raceway in San Diego California played host to the second round of the JBRL series where over 220 entries races to see who would come out on top for maximum points and try their hand at leaving with the points lead or better their first round results.
Having built my 503 a couple of weeks prior to this event I went in knowing with confidence how good it was and had already set my sights on winning or at the very least grabbing a podium spot. My 211XM was completed that same week and I had made a trek to SDRC Wednesday to get some runs in. Though it was very good from the changes I made during the build (article on my 211 to come soon) I still felt that it needed more to podium but it wasn't far off.
For those who have never been to SDRC the moist clay surface can be a little deceiveing. Once freshly watered it will get slick then in about 5 minutes it will have so much grip you will scratch your head with "What happened to my set up" then as the surface gets back to being moist it becomes "loose fast" and remains that way until the surface dusts up from very fine dry clay dust. For the JBRL the track was left to dry and then blowers were placed around the track so turn marshals could blow off their corners 30 seconds before the next heat race started. What started as looser than fast in round 1 ended up having so much grip on the groove by the mains that lowering your ride height, rethinking shocks and springs and more importantly tire selection would become paramount.
Round one I was in the second of 3 full heats in Mod 4w buggy and ran my base set up with AKA Crosslink rear and Typo fronts in clay compound that were sanded down to break them in using Track Star's TS Black tire sauce. The 503 didn't disappoint and I finished taking TQ. The 3rd heat produced two faster runs thus dropping me to third. In Mod 2w buggy my 211 was working great I had the same tire set up as my 503 and thus had two too many mistakes and that cost me dropping my result to 10th for the round. Round two I was able to put in another good run and better my time yet so did the majority of the others. I came out of qualifying sitting 4th in 4w Mod and in the B in 2w Mod. First up was my 2w main. The track was very grooved and very high bite. I decided to try running very worn AKA Typo's in clay compound with Track Star's Gold tire sauce (less agressive sauce) my 211 was working great! I was leading and made a small bobble which put me in second (no problem I will still transfer to the A) and then back marker traffic became an issue and lets just say I didn't fair so well after that...... :/ BUT... I did learn alot to tune my 503 to near perfection from the 2w race.
A main 4w was up. I had lowered my 503 to 18mm ride height and added a front sway bar (yellow) and bumped the rear sway bar up to the hardest (blue). I left my shock package alone being that the handling and jumping/landing was great already. Instead of worn tires I opted for out of the package (no scuff) AKA Typos all around and changed the camber from 0 to 1.5 in the front and from 1.5 to 3 degrees in the rear. During warm up the 503 felt like a Slot Car on Velcro! Lining up forth on the grid the tone sounded and away we went. The first corner saw 3rd traction roll so I went by.... corner 3 saw the leader traction roll 2nd and I went by and immediately after in turn 4 the new leader traction rolled and I checked up over the triple to avoid and went wide. The now second place driver (5th from the grid) went by for the lead and I followed right behind. Three corners later he traction rolled and I got into him and got tangled. The marshal quickly got to us and we got set out in roughly 3-4 respectively. We made a freight train charge and moved up to 2nd and 3rd. The "Gift-ee" to our tangle ran off to win (Ryan Pavidis) Nick and I ended up 2nd and 3rd. All in all I was more than happy after all of the craziness of that main to have ended up on the podium and more so that my 503 was phenomenal!!