DJ Apolaro has a report from this past weekend’s 4th round of the Florida State Series. Normally I run sedan or both 1/8 scale and sedan. I am leading the points for sedan, however I made a choice to concentrate more on 1/8 scale for the next few months, as the competition is higher in the 1/8 scale class. I got to the track with my friends on Friday morning and we set up out pits. I was the only one of us running 1/8 scale and I was going to help them battle for the sedan class. I was looking to learn more about the 1/8 scale, as I am never really satisfied, like I am with the sedan. I started with a basic setup and the car was OK, but needed a lot of work. First I ran in a motor while the track was still green. By the end of Friday my car was pretty good and I was excited about the race weekend. The faster racers at this event where Paolo, Scotty, Ronnie, myself and a few others.
First up were always Paolo and Scotty. Scotty set the early pace and I would always be on a new TQ pace and have something stop me. I had a hard time and could not make fuel. Paolo was in the same boat and we were both pitting or running out before the five minutes. I tried to make run time the first 2 qualifiers and ran out 2 laps short. For the 3rd round I just pitted to make sure and get in a run. This put me third, even though my pace was good enough for TQ. For the 4th and final round, which was Sunday morning, I made one last attempt to make the run time. I was again on a TQ pace, but ran out on the last lap and ended up qualifying second.
During all this my 966 was working pretty good. Sometimes I would try things and it was great and others the car was just going backwards. For the final I decided the make a few changes and the Serpent 966 was great. In the warm up I could feel my car was at its best it has been all weekend. I also made changes to my motor and clutch package. All this really helped me for the final. My 966 was easy to drive (reminded me of my sedan) and my pit man was doing a great job. Rino was pitting for me all weekend and did not make a mistake. At the start of the race I was all over the 1st place car and was just waiting to make a pass. After a few laps I saw my chance and took over the lead. I started to pull away and make distance between me and the rest of the field. At about 9 minutes I had lapped the field at least once, with the exception of 2nd and 3rd. I was on their heels when it was time for my third pit and I had the throttle linkage come off and could not leave the pits. My pit man got the car out of pit lane and was able to fix it. I went from being up by almost a lap to being 7 seconds behind the leader. I pushed my 966 for the next few minutes and was able to chase down Paolo and Scotty and regain the lead. From this point on, I was able to distance myself again and had no more issues. In the end I took the Win and was very happy with the hard work that had paid off. Working with a new pit man that had never done it for 1/8 scale and being able to focus on just one class was a really enjoyable weekend.
Special thanks to Kevin and his crew for the awesome track. Kissimmee Raceway was great. The traction was good and the new layout is the bomb. I would also like to thank Rino Lino for the great pit service and for not freaking out when the throttle linkage came off. He got me back out with time to get back in the game. Also to all my sponsors: Serpent, Serpent America, Xceedrc, Novarossi World, Twister Tires USA, ATS, Airtronics, Faskolor and Paintin Pete.