This past weekend Steel City Speedway hosted its first 5th Scale World Challenge. Steel City is located at the world famous California Speedway home of Nascar and Indy Car events. Located on the main road in its right at the gateway to the Infield, GoCart Track and Drag Strip bringing the sights and sound of racing to this incredible facility. The track itself is 250×125 and up to 16ft wide lanes making it the perfect size to stretch out the power of the 5th scale cars. Many drivers flew in from all over the world representing the Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, and the United States. Attendance was low from the US as other 5th scale events conflicted but many still traveled from Northern California and Texas.
Wednesday, Thursday was open practice and many of the drivers arrived to get pits setup and work on their cars and get use to the layout. Many from other countries mentioned that they were not used to a full paved track with steel rails. Many of the tracks that they visit have infields of grass and run off areas. Several drivers would test the strength of the barriers over the weekend. Friday would bring the first real practice sessions leading up to the one and only round of qualifying for the day. Many of the Euro drivers looked to be the ones to beat as Markus Feldman would set the early pace in qualifying for the 5th STC Class. In the 5th Scale GT Class it would be local Jason Markley to set the early TQ. Steel City also included GT8 for the event which many of the local run in SoCal. Mark Barden running a Mugen would set early TQ.
Saturday was opening ceremonies and presentation of colors. SCS played a piece of each country’s national anthem followed by the USA national anthem. Grip levels on the track came up tremendously as the racing rubber compounds were being laid down. SCS normally will have 1/8th scale racing in combo with 5th Scale and both forms of racing have very different tire types. 1/8th foam and 1/5th rubber with the only rubber compounds being used, lap times dropped each and every round of qualifying as the grip for the 5th scale cars increased. Markus Feldman would set fastest time of the day doing a 31/10:06.439 with a single fastest lap of 19.210 which rivals many 1/8th scale times on the layout. Finals day opened up with morning practice followed by one more round of qualifying for a total of six rounds at the end it was Markus Feldman coming in as overall TQ for 5th Scale STC. 5th Scale GT would be Jason Markley and 8th GT would be Mark Barden.
5th Scale STC A-Main would see a great battle between TQ Markus Feldmann and Andrea Catalanni. Catalanni who qualified 2nd had trouble during the qualifying rounds with electrical issues having a runaway and stuffing his car under one the tracks steel boarders. Catalanni seemed to have the pace to keep Feldmann honest during the 10-car A-Main. Unfortunately Catalanni would make a few mistakes dropping him back and eventually out of the race on lap 65. Victor Garcia held down 3rd for most of the race until Markus Feldmann ran out of fuel on lap 73. Garcia would inherent the lead with Kyle Goodwine in tow until Garcia pushing to hard ran out of fuel with less than 2 min left on lap 86 handing the lead over to Kyle Goodwine. Only four cars would finish the 30-minute race as many wouldn’t make the run time. In the end it was Kyle Goodwine with the win followed by Tony Vega and Victor Garcia.
5th Scale GT would see top seed Jason Markley, lead from start Cesar Peguero would make a change for the lead on lap six but Jason would soon be back on top and never look back. James Stuard would keep a steady pace starting from 6th on the grid to move into 2nd place while 3rd qualifier Scott Kerley would keep his podium position as only four cars finished out of twelve after the 30-minutes of racing.
The GT8 A-main would see Mark Barden get off to and early lead then on lap three make a mistake dropping him to 2nd behind Jeff Bagamaspad but Mark would resume the lead on lap 6 and never look back. Dan Almario starting from the 6th position would be the only other running car at the end of 30 minutes taking 2nd and Matthew Myers would round out the podium in 3rd.