David Joor Wins RC Pro National Electric TitleNovember 8, 2012
Event Name: R/C Pro National Finals
Event Location: Mike's Hobbyshop, Houston, TX
Event Date(s): November 3, 2012 to November 4, 2012
This year the RC Pro National Finals started on Halloween in Houston at Mike's Hobbyshop. The series consists of four events in the southern division, and with RCP being born and raised in the south it is by far the largest division to compete in. Electric was the largest in the group, with a turnout of usually 40+ at each divisional race. I won the finals in 2009 (but not the National because I started too late in the year for max points), the 2010 National, and 2011 National, so I really wanted to make it three in a row. However, I knew this year would be tough with so many people getting into electric and getting faster. It also turns out that the Mike's Hobbyshop track has always been my nemesis and this year would be different, but maybe not ...
Going into the Finals I had prepared by testing several times during the year on a good base setup. The one day of practice went well and Lutz and I were swapping fast laps back and forth throughout the day. For the final practice run he went before me and ran a 29.1 and I ran a 29.0 right after. Ryan is always 0.75 - 1 a second per lap faster than me so this was a good feeling going into qualifying (in A2 I did a 28.2; but Lutz did a 27.8 in A3, still better than one second!) Electric was the largest class and there was no resorting until round four, which was going to make it tough.
This event, my car was ready and I was confident; but slower cars would be the demise of my progress. In Electric I had two wrecks that weren't in some way caused by passing another car. Lutz found his pace and was able to do consistently faster laps than me, but had electrical problems in almost every qualifier. I ended up barely squeezing in overall TQ over Jake Dellinger (a fellow Team Associated driver) by TQ'ing two rounds, both with 15-lap runs. This was good because I needed the two points for TQ -- Jake had gone into the finals with only three points fewer than me.
When the mains came around, Brian had a bobble early on, shortly followed by Jake, which gave me a good five seconds of breathing room. However, Lutz had an amazing start by getting into fourth in the first couple of laps and was on a mission to hunt down the leader given his bad luck in qualifying. At eight minutes in, Lutz had caught and passed me and I made a diligent charge to reel him back in, which I did; but going over the triple I tapped his car in the air, which caused my car to spin out on the landing. With only two laps left and lap traffic, we finished 1.5 seconds apart.
In A2 I had a very solid start and had a nice five-second gap once again on Dellinger by five minutes in, but twice I had to single single over the important off-camber double due to three lapped cars battling for position, which cost me four seconds. Jake was only three feet behind me while I had a lapped car just one foot in front of me, and for a full lap the lap car wasn't battling anyone for position, the race announcer kept asking him to move over for us three times, and everyone in pit lane and around the track informing him to pull over but he never did until 33 seconds later -- after he got out of control and I had no where to go but into his car. This allowed Jake and Lutz to get by; unfortunately, I couldn't find my way back after finishing third.
For A3 I calculated that I needed to lead seven laps so that no one would take most laps led from me. This would give me two more additional points to win the National title in case I didn't beat Dellinger in this main. So I did just that: led the first seven laps and on lap eight my speedo wire finally frayed apart from the pounding it took on the hard triple landing and I had to DNF. However, I finished with one point more than Dellinger to take the National title once again!
Thanks to David Joor for this report.