We received a report from Gene Hickersen on round 2 of the RC Pro East Series that was held at Sumter, South Carolina last weekend. There was a light turnout of 110 entries due to several other big races the same weekend on the East coast, but the track was challenging as the best from the East battled for the Division Championship. It was perfect weather with 85′ F temps. The track was watered before each round, but got very dusty and bumpy as the weekend went on.
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Expert Arena Truck
In round 1 Shane Ogden took the TQ with his Losi, followed by Alan Burton and Brandon Cutchings. In round 2 it was me, Gene ‘the machine’ Hickerson, who took the TQ after a set-up change to my CEN Matrix TR Arena. In round 3, it was an extremely close battle for TQ between Ogden and myself, with Ogden taking the TQ by .07 of a second. In round 4 the track was super bumpy, but I still set the 2nd fastest time of the day to take TQ by almost 10 seconds. With myself and Ogden having 0 points, it came to fastest time, giving Ogden the overall TQ by 2 seconds.
The 45 minute A-main was a race of endurance. Tire wear was not a major factor as the track was very dusty. OCM’s Alan Burton took the early lead after the 1st lap tangle ups. I dropped down to about 7th and was working my up through the field. I eventually caught and passed Ogden for 2nd and started to reel in Burton. I pitted at the 7:30 mark, while the leader Burton stayed out for another lap. He did not make it back around and ran out of fuel giving me the lead. Trucks soon started dropping out with various problems giving me a huge lead over 2nd place Seth Wrobel. As I went in to cruise control for the remainder of the main event, Pete Worth moved into 3rd 1 lap back and that was how we finished.
1/8 Expert Buggy
In round 1, I took the TQ with a near perfect run. In round 2, the track started to get bumpy, but I again set a fast pace and edged out Ryan Lopez’s Xray to put my CEN Matrix FRE in the TQ spot by 1 second. In round 3, again it was a battle between Xray and CEN as this time Lopez took TQ by 1 second over me. In round 4, I and Lopez battled the whole 5 minutes bumper to bumper with zero contact. We both got caught behind slower traffic which gave Travis Phillips the TQ by 2 seconds over me and 3 seconds over Lopez. With 0 points, that gave me the overall TQ.
The 45 minute A-main event was sure to be a good battle between Lopez and myself. In turn 1 I caught a rut and went wide handing opening the door for Lopez. Lopez tried to dive inside but we tangled, handing the lead to OCM’s Alan Burton. But by the end of lap 1, Lopez was back in front with me on his bumper. We quickly streatched out a big lead over 3rd place. We both pitted at the 8 minute mark, and continued our battle out of pit lane. At the 14 minute mark, we were still bumper to bumper with no contact at all as we started lapping the field. Just before the 2nd round of pit stops, Lopez stopped and was out due to a servo failure. That gave me a huge lead over 2nd place as I slowed the pace down and again went into cruise control for the next 30 minutes to take an easy win. Aaron Craker took 2nd, with Travis Phillips taking 3rd one lap back.