Many of Region 1 & 2’s top drivers traveled to Vineland, NJ for the 25th annual Eastern States Challenge, held by Family Hobbies Raceway during Labor Day weekend. This JConcepts sponsored event consisted of 2 days of racing; on Saturday for 1/10 electric classes (2wd mod buggy, 4wd mod buggy, 2wd SCT, & 4wd SCT). And on Sunday for the 1/8 scale classes (1/8 nitro buggy, electric buggy, & nitro truggy).
The track started out sandy and slick in practice, with the track recently hit hard by Hurricane Irene, but with a lot of help from the track crew, it quickly turned into high bite and blue grooved mid-way through Saturday, and continued to get faster throughout the weekend.
1:10 scale electric Saturday:
Mike Gay held the TQ position in 2wd mod buggy after some very close qualifying with his Reedy/LRP powered FT B4.1, with a +8mm chassis. In the A-main, Mike never lost the lead and drove a seamless race to win the 10-minute main by 15 seconds. Andy was fast all day in 2wd as well, qualifying 3rd and running as high as 2nd in the main.
In 4wd mod buggy Mike starting 2nd, one second off of TQ. After Mike’s rough start he battled back to the front runners, putting down the fastest laps of the weekend to take over the lead and the win by almost a lap with his B44.1.
Andy Castellini represented JC well in 2wd mod short course with his Reedy powered FT SC10 truck, respectably qualifying 2nd , but forced to retire early while in the lead in the A-main of this very popular class. Similarly in 4wd short course, Andy and Mike had good showings with the new SC10 4×4. Mike put his 4×4 in the TQ position to start the main, and throughout most of the race Andy and Mike ran in the 2nd and 3rd spots. Unfortunately Andy went out of the race with one lap to go, giving Mike the 2nd finishing spot with Andy finishing third.
1:8 scale Sunday:
Electric 1:8 buggy had a host of talented drivers from the mid-atlantic area, but qualifying was totally dominated by Andy’s Reedy e-powered RC8.2, giving him the TQ position. The pole position proved to be a huge advantage at the start of the main as he checked out on the field from the 2nd turn of the race, as the field piled up in his rear view mirror. He went on to put away the 10 minute race by nearly lapping the field.
Nitro buggy had the largest turnout of the weekend, and is the most popular class of off road racing throughout the warm months in this area. Andy Castellini took TQ with his Reedy powered RC8.2, with Mike starting a close 2nd, as they were the only drivers to get into the 15 lap bracket. Blue V2 Double Dees were the tire of choice by many throughout the rocket-round style qualifying in blue groove conditions. For the main, both drivers switched to Green Hybrids for their exceptional combination of long wear and performance for the extended main. After the first lap of the main, it was clear that these tires were dialed in, as Andy and Mike broke away as part of the lead group. After a few minutes of swapping the top 3 positions, Mike took the lead his Reedy powered RC8.2 and never looked back, taking the main by over a half a lap after 20 minutes of under-the-lights night racing, with his laptimes never dropping off, thanks to the Hybrids even wear.