2008 HPI/HB Challenge - Round 1 – HobbyTown USA Corona, California. February 17th, 2008
Words: Joe Macasero
Photos: Scott Roberts / Collin Cocores / Rodney Wills
The 2008 HPI/HB Challenge came back in full-force Sunday, February 17th, 2008! After a 3-year absence, the HPI/HB crew worked hard to bring back the popular racer and spectator friendly challenge series! The crew teamed up with Charlie Barnes and Angie of OC Circuit along with Jamie and Marie and crew from Hobbytown USA in Corona, California to get the wheels turning on the fun and intense day for the racers. A plethora of spectators were on hand to watch the spectacle and ask questions in the pits and at the HPI/HB tent! Many of them walked away with the '08 HPI/HB catalogs... we wonder where that will lead them?!
With classes for Electric and Nitro Sedan, Electric and Nitro Gearbox, Micro’s and Electric and Nitro Monster Trucks it was going to be a full day of exciting racing! Our racing day started off with a brief driver's meeting, followed by the drivers lining their cars up for a group picture and Concourse. The judges took their time picking the finalists. Among the finalists were Nestor Rinonos who is no stranger to the HPI Challenge Concourse competition, with Concourse wins stemming from the Motor Trend Tustin Thunder HPI Challenge in 1999, he once again took the win with his Hibiscus/Hawaiian themed Honda NSX.
Getting the Main events started was the A-Main of RTR Electric Stock. In this class, Dennis Vice held onto the TQ and never looked back in the Main. Vice just about put two laps on the field with Turbo Joe coming in second, with Dennis Hall following. Rounding out the fourth spot was Mike "Mini Cooper" Soriano who dusted off his HPI RS4 Mini Pro to come out and join the fun.
Up next came the intense A-Main of Nitro Pro. This main was basically a heat of veteran HPI Challenge racers! Again we saw the TQ holder, Jason Huang, run away with the win. Mario Caba finished second despite having his left rear portion of the body tucked for almost half of the whole heat! Nestor Rinonos rounded out the top 3, a lap behind Caba's pace. Two more HPI Challenge vets ran 36 laps with Derek Butterfield pulling it off early for 4th place after his inserts came undone. Rapid Roy finished 5th, after a Nascar-esque "two tires only" change after his inserts in the rear tires came loose as well! Eddie Fulinara pulled it off early as well and rounded out the field.
In the Electric Sport B-Main, it was a showdown between two long-time HPI Challenge racers Nestor Rinonos and Eddie Fulinara. Rinonos encountered problems giving Fulinara the win with 22 laps, which would've put him towards the bottom of the Electric Sport A-Main.
One of the most exciting heats to watch was the Electric Sport A-Main. From the tone it was a 3-way battle between Chris Chavez, the Asphalt Avenger, and Mike Rydwell. Chavez and Avenger battled their way from the pack putting a lap on Rydwell and Karl Lapastora. Taking the win was Asphalt Avenger.
Next up was the A-Main of the Monster Truck/Buggy class. This class featured the youngest racer of the day, Ethan Goude, who scored second place in the main. TQ Shawn Mays walked away with the win with his Hot Bodies Lightning 2 Pro buggy. Rounding out third spot was Mac Macasero with his HPI Hellfire truck.
The Nitro Sport A-Main was next. Two Super Nitros were seen piloted around the track by Derek Butterfield and TQ Rapid Roy Imahara. Butterfield went ahead and battled it out with Ron Ayers with Butterfield coming out on top. Rapid Roy took 3rd with Mario Gomez rounding out the field in 4th.
Next up to take the track, although literally nowhere big enough to take up track space like touring cars, was the Micro Pro class. TQ Mike Rydwell took the win with Nestor taking second pulling it off early and Rapid Roy not making the call.
The RTR Box Stock E10 class was up with only two drivers, making it a driver's shootout with identically prepared cars. TQ Kris Cabrera took the win with a lap on Marion Duncan.
The most popular class of the day was the Hot Bodies Cyclone-S Spec class. The only aspect of the class that was open, were batteries with each car spec'd on Saturn 27-Turn motors and Hot Bodies Gumballs tires. The battle in the B-Main was between OC Circuit racers Don Derting and Bad Santa. Taking the win was Don followed by Bad Santa. Thomas Hwee took third followed by Mr. P taking fourth.
TQ for the A-Main was Alex Navarette. Mark Barden and Navarette battled it out in the main with Navarette taking the win. Barden finished second with both racers putting a lap on 3rd place finisher Dennis Vice. With each car pretty much identical with the exception of the batteries, this class is definitely a driver's class and will only grow from here!
There it is, Round number one of the 2008 HPI/HB Challenge is in the books! A big thanks goes out to the racers that came out to support the re-birth of the Challenge series as a lot of old faces along with new ones that came out to support the HPI/HB Challenge Series along with the SoCal Racing Series to make for an ever growing hobby. Thanks to Charlie Barnes and Angie with the expert race announcing and organization skills that made for a GREAT event!
Look for more excitement with both local and national level events!
Next So Cal Race: www. socal.rcracing.com
Every 2nd Sunday of the Month @ LA MIRADA RACEWAY - on its 10th Year!!!
Every 4th Sunday of the Month @ HOBBY TOWN CORONA - on its 4th Year!!!
Next 2008 HPI/HB Challenge Series Event: www.hpiracing.com/news/2007112001/ Feb 17- HPI/HB On-Road Challenge at Hobby Town, Corona, CA
Mar 22 - HPI/HB Off-Road Challenge at Hemet RC Track, Hemet, CA
April 19/20 - HPI/HB Drift Challenge at RCX Expo, Pomona, CA
July 26 - HPI/HB On-Road Challenge at The Hobby Shop, Dayton, OH
Aug 16/17 - HPI/HB On-Road Challenge at 301 Raceway, Brandywine, MD
Sept 27/28 - HPI/HB On-Road/Off-Road Challenge at Debbie's RC World, Chesapeake, VA
Dec HPI/HB Drift Challenge at HPI USA HQ, Foothill Ranch, CA
Thank you to everyone for making the HPI/HB Challenge at Hobby Town Corona a great success!
A special thanks to the Hobby Town Corona crew and OC Circuit for hosting the show!
For complete results CLICK HERE!