Tekno RC Scores Big at the 2015 US Open Fuel Championships!
The inaugural AKA US Open Fuel Championships race was held at the Fear Farm Raceway on November 20-22. Tekno RC team drivers Ryan Lutz, Joe Bornhorst and Billy Fischer were in attendance and ready to do their best to get the $3000 home (the driver who would win all three classes would win the prize).
Here is a report from Ryan Lutz:
A great event was just held at the Fear Farm in Phoenix called the U.S. open. A number of pros made the journey and it was raced like the ‘old days’ where there was just one class per vehicle. I think this is great because after seeding you are grouped with like speed vehicles and the mains are all around 20 minutes, as there are less even longer ones needed. Also you can see where you stack up against everyone.
For a third event in a row the track was built by Levi Jackson of Sik Track Designs. It was one of the most fun tracks ever with a super flowing layout which was also very fast. The Tekno team again showed up in full force, and their was 3 classes on tap for the majority of us.
Qualifying started a bit slow for me out of the gate. I struggled just missing my lines especially in Ebuggy in Q1. In Truggy my setup wasn’t quite right and in Nitro buggy I just drove poorly as I wasn’t comfortable. Come Q2 and I came back with a TQ in Truggy after some promising setup changes. Nitro buggy I’d be running top 2 but ran out of gas just before the line as I was pretty punched. Still took 7th for the round. Final round of qualifiers saw a dominating Truggy run full Tokyo Drift style to take the overal TQ. In Ebuggy again just hanging in there working on setup. Would end up qualified 3rd. Nitro buggy I again was running good, but a repeat of Q2 happened. End up qualified 8th and into the even semi final.
Ebuggy Final– Ebuggy main was up first and we tried a few setup things for the final. All in all the buggy was better but I know we can still have made it better. I did still manage to bring home a podium in 3rd. At the very beginning for two laps I felt racy and was able to stick my nose in a couple times on 2nd. But being he was my teammate I took it easy and ended up making a mistake and falling to 4th. On the last two laps I mounted my little comeback to take the last spot on the podium. One thing I wish was here was at least a double a-main for Ebuggy.
The beautifully prepared Fear Farm Raceway
Truggy Final– Next up was Truggy, which I had good feeling about. At the tone I kept out front in front of Maifield as the top four made a breakaway from the pack. He would challenge me early on but he started to fall back as I found my groove and began to pull away. Soon I had a 5 second lead and it continued to grow. My closest competitors mid race both had issues thus allowing me an even greater margin to 2nd. In the end of the 45 min A-main I was able to win by about 1.5 laps over my Teammate Bornhorst for a Tekno 1-2 finish! The NT48.3 is just phenomenal.
Buggy Semi– Just before the truggy final was the buggy semi-final. In the buggy class we were running the Ifmar ladder format so you had to race your way into the A-main. I started 4th in the grid for the semi but at the tone I felt fast. I quickly got to 3rd on the first jump. Then my teammates both let me by as they could see I was on a mission and we all just had to finish top 6 to make the show. So with a few mistakes thrown in I finally got into the lead and pulled away for a lap and a half victory in the 30 minute semi. I would be bested by only Maifield in the second semi so I would now start 2nd on the grid for the A- final.
Buggy Final– Last race of the day was the hour long A-final event. If your counting you’ll see we ran a 30min, 45min, and now hour long race in reasonably quick succession. Needless to say there was a lot of standing and focus involved. Well at the tone we were off and there was a 5 car break away in the leading laps and an even tighter 3 car Ryan-Ryan-Ryan break away. I was in the middle until Maifield made a mistake dropping him back to 4th or so. I would take the lead with a hard charging Cav behind me. As we were all on different pit schedules that is when things started to mix up. I still held the lead going into the first stop but coming in first I fell to 3rd after the stop. But they pit in the ensuing laps as I retook the lead. Sometime around then Cav would either make a mistake or have issue leaving Maifield and I battling for the next 14 minutes. I would pit for stop 2, and did a pit lap of under 40 seconds which was blistering. I was now right behind Maifield as he came in for stop 2 and now I had the lead again. It went like this for a while longer and I was hard on the throttle driving it 100%.
Well it may have cost me as coming into pit lane for stop 3 I ran out of gas just barely crossing the loop. It took a good 30 seconds to fire me back up as the engine was dry and needed primed. But we got it fired up and I came out in the battle for 3rd with Cav. I quickly made a move and set my sights on 2nd some 12 seconds or so ahead. It took about 10 minutes but I found myself in a battle with Savoya for the second spot as we sat about 25 seconds behind Maifield for first. We had some tight battles but I finally broke free and set my sights looking forward to try to mount a charge. Over the last 20 minutes though try as I might, I just couldn’t make much of a dent in the lead. Just as when we were battling we were running he same pace still and he just wasn’t making any mistakes. I would end up coming home in 2nd around 20 seconds back after the hour long feature.