We received this report from the first round of the Northeast RC Pro Series held at CRC Raceway in Rome, NY. As it has been with almost every out door race in the nitro offroad series this year weather tried to play a part in the event. Saturday it didn’t look like we would get all 4 rounds of qualifying in because of rain rolling in from the west but each time it came close to town it would disappear. So we managed to get all the qualifying in even though the weather reports estimated an 80% chance of rain. Sunday was supposed to be better with only a 20% chance. Sunday was a beautiful day until we started the last main – the Expert Buggy A Main – dark clouds rolled in from the west just south of the track.
To the north was sunshine. As the main started the thunder rumbled. since the clouds were behind the drivers they couldn’t see what was happening but everyone at the track watch intently. several drops began to fall and then it all disappeared farther south! Once the wind settled and it was announced the rain had passed the drivers were able to concentrate on racing. The races finished and the awards were passed out and about 2 hours later I left the track and drove maybe 10 miles into a pouring rain!
Expert buggy qualifying led to a 4 way tie for TQ! After all the tie breakers were used Kelby Roberts came out as the TQ followed by Chad Phillips, Chris Sytsma and Jeff Dayger. In the end Chad took the win one lap ahead of Dayger with Sytsma only 4 seconds behind and then Roberts one lap further back.
Expert Arena Truck saw Kelby take TQ again but lost a servo in the first 1/3rd of the main. Jeff Dayger took the win from the 3rd qualifying position finishing 2 laps ahead of Greg Vogel who won the B main and bumped up. Justin Williams finished 3rd and Stephen Maizer took 4th.
Intermediate Buggy Top Qualifier was Pascal Belanger from Canada. The closing laps of this race was a wild battle for the lead between Myles Hale and Ryan Russitano with Ryan prevailing. chris Johns took 3rd. The top 3 were seperated by 9 seconds. 4th place Steve Jean-Charles finished one lap behind the top 3 with Pascal in 5th one lap back from him.
Intermediate Arena Truck – TQ was Ed Lazore. Rob Falcone qualified 2nd but put it in the lead and almost a lap on 2nd when in the closing laps his right rear developed a problem and had an adjustable camber that was not designed into the truck. He slowed to not damage it any further which let Derrick Fedor and Chris Lare close to within 1/2 a lap. derrick and Chris battled most of the main to determine who would take 2nd. Our TQ Ed Lazore cam in 4th.
Monster Truck – Rob Falcone brought his truck out of retirement for this race and took home the TQ. Rob broke a hub in warmup and called a minute to make repairs but his time ran out so he started almost 2 minutes late. As the main went on it became “Falcone Watch 2008” as he quickly moved up through the field to finally finish 3rd just one lap behind David Najam in 2nd. Our RC Driver Chief Editor Greg Vogel however drove off and left the field by 7 laps to take the win.
Gas Truck – BARELY! This year electric 1/10 has been allowed to run in the gas truck class and the Northeast racers took advantage of it. There were 9 electrics out of the 13 trucks on the track. One of which was Tim Hepler who normally runs in the South East. The TQ was an electric driven by John Firsching but the TQ jinx claimed his truck on lap 6. 2nd qualifier anthony Muscato also bowed out due to breakage on lap 16. This left Mark Calandra who qualified 3rd to take the lead for the majority of the main followed by Tim Hepler in 2nd driving the Novak powered truck 3 laps down. Kevin Fedor brought his electric home in 3rd.