October 15, 2010

Pillars reports from Pattaya

Pillars reports from Pattaya

On October 4th Kyosho, Associated and Losi USA drivers/mechanics traveled from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) to Bangkok, Thailand. From Kyosho was myself, Jared Tebo, Mark Pavidis, Cody King, and Paul King. From Associated was Team Manager Brent Thielke, Ryan Cavalieri, Louis Cavalieri, Ryan Maifield, John Faulkner from J-Concepts and Kurt Wenger. From Losi was Adam Drake, Mike Truhe, Billy Fischer, Matt Castellano and Dyno. Our flight left at around 2:00am from LAX and we would land in Hong Kong for our layover about 14 1/2 hours later. This was the longest flight I have ever been on. Since we left early in the morning, most of us slept allot of the flight and made it go by faster. We would have a layover in Hong Kong for about 2 hours, then fly the rest of the way to Bangkok that was 2 1/2 hours away. After arriving in Bangkok, all 3 teams went their separate ways to the track. Each of the 3 teams stayed at different hotels. The taxi ride to the hotel was about 1 1/2 hours located in Pattaya. This is known as a very popular tourist destination and it didn’t disappoint. There was many street side vendors, shopping malls, and many activities to do.

We arrived at our hotel and went right away to get some lunch. Luckily, since we were new to the area we spotted a McDonalds that was walking distance from where we were. McDonald’s never tasted soo good. We then took a taxi to the track to check everything out and make sure all our supplies was there waiting for us. Everything made it with no issues, so that was good!

Pillars reports from Pattaya

Wednesday would be the first day most of the drivers would get on the track. The track was very well prepared and looked very technical. Most of the jump sections were covered with carpet to help keep the track together with soo many people practicing. I have never seen this technique used before, but it was perfect. It took most drivers a few tanks to get the rythem of the track and get the timing down.

The weather during the week called for 60% rain all week we were there. We got very lucky and it only sprinkled a few times while we were there. The humidity was in the 80’s as well as the outdoor temperatures. Fan’s in the pits were needed to help stay cool.

Pillars reports from Pattaya

From Wednesday to Sunday we would leave the hotel at 9:00am and arrive at the track by 9:20am. We would put in a full days work of practice and normally be done when the sun was going down around 7:00pm. This made for very long days, but we were able to get allot of practice in. When we would get back to the hotel, we would all go out to dinner as a team downtown which was right outside our hotel.

A common question I got from people before leaving for the race was, “Why are you going to test now, and then go back in 3 weeks?” I explained that for the World Championships you only get 3 or 4 runs on the track. This isn’t enough time to get cars, engines, and tires all figured out. Another key factor was getting having the drivers get used to the big track. Some sections are really far away and the distances were very hard for people to judge.

Pillars reports from Pattaya

Kyosho has their new MP9 TKI2 Kit that they just released here in the states. This is what all the Kyosho Drivers were running. From the first tank, Jared Tebo’s car was very good. He has been doing allot of testing at home and it has showed. Throughout the entire week, he only had to make small changes to his initial set-up. Also there for Kyosho was MP9 Designer and World Champion Yuichi Kanai, Kyosho Japan designer and factory driver Shin Adachi, and factory driver Jerome Aigoin.

Adrien Bertin and Oscar Jansen were in attendance to help out the Team Orion drivers. With the humidity and hot conditions, it made engine tuning difficult. Bertin had a great handle on the situation and had all his drivers received great support throughout the week. No other engine manufacturer had anyone there the entire test session besides Team Orion.

Mark Pavidis as well as racing was onhand to provide support for AKA Tires. AKA released their new Impact Tire just before we left for Thailand and it worked very well. AKA also had some other things they were testing, but I cant talk about quite yet ; )

Along with Kyosho, Associated, and Losi, allot of other manufacturers were there testing as well including: Mugen, Serpent, X-Ray, OFNA, and Hot Bodies.

Pillars reports from Pattaya

With practice wrapping up Sunday night, we all headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. About 15 minutes before we were getting ready to head out for dinner, Cavalieri and Maifield arrived at our hotel on Scooters. About 15 minutes after that, we were all hitting downtown Pattaya on Scooters. The entire crew was: Cavalieri, Maifield, Myself, Tebo, Pavidis, Cody and Paul King, Kortz, and Degani. It was allot of fun for most of the night until the rain finally hit. Of course we had to be on Scooters. This didn’t stop us and we continued to ride for a few more hours.

We then left the hotel that next morning at 6:00am to take a taxi to Bangkok to catch our flight. We met up with Associated and Losi at the boarding gate and some 16 hours later we were back at LAX on October 11th.

Now everyone has about 3 weeks to get everything they learned ready for the actual 2010 1/8 World Championships!

Thanks to Joe Pillars for the report.


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