1999 NORRCA Division 3 Sedan Champs
We finally got our pictures back from the printers, and now we can do a full report on the first NORRCA sedan race of the year, held at Western R/C Raceway. This year's race, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, consisted mostly of local racers, with several racers making the long trip from Orange County, California. Attendance at this race was significantly higher than last year's race, and we hope to see more racers there next year!
The different classes consisted of Expert Modifed, Expert Stock, Sportsman Stock, Expert Nitro and Sportsman Nitro. After just a few battery packs of testing, a solid set-up was found to work the best for most of the racers present (see the Pro 2 Setups Page for the basic settings for both the stock and modified racers).
Through three qualifying heats, a definite order was found, and at the end of qualifying, the Top Qualifier in Expert Stock and Expert Modified was Tony Phalen. Thad Garner, an HPI Racing Customer Service Technician, qualified second in Expert Modified. Both Tony and Thad used Team Orion Super Touring Modified 11-Double motors throughout the heats and Main.
The largest class at this year's Division 3 Sedan Champs was the Sportsman Stock class, and throughout the three qualifying heats, Michael Parker of Orange County was the most consistent racer, winning one of the heats and placing very well in the other two. Michael gained the Top Qualifier position easily and looked to be "the man to beat!"
In the Sportsman Stock Main, everything looked like it was going well for Michael, until an especially strong gust of wind pushed him into one of the large PVC pipes that marked the boundaries of the track. The winds exceeded 20 mph in gusts, throwing many of the racers off their intended races lines, especially the guys from California, who are used to more 'protected' racing areas! Getting stuck in the pipe forced Michael to wait for a corner marshall, and let three racers slip by. Since this happened late in the race, he didn't have much of a chance to catch up, and settle for fourth. However, he still gets his Top Qualifier pin from NORRCA!
The Main for Expert Stock went by quickly, with Tony Phalen taking the early lead and not looking back. There wasn't too much battling for position, since the track was quite large and the lanes were wide. Frank McKinney earned a fourth finishing position (fighting traction problems, really ;-) and Tony took the easy win, earning himself a great-looking plaque in the process. Tony borrowed Thad's new Team Orion Edge Stock Motor, while most of the other racers used the NORRCA-legal 36-degree stock motors (the Edge motor is only a 24-degree stock motor!).
Expert Modified was another win for Tony Phalen, proving pole position really does help! An early battle forced Thad Garner to fourth spot, but he fought back to finish second, getting HPI the top two spots! Both Tony and Thad (we call them "TnT") got cool blue-anodized plaques for their efforts. Great job, guys!
If you want to see the setups that were used to win the 1999 NORRCA Division 3 Sedan Champs, see the Pro 2 Setups Page for the basic setup.You can catch up with "the crew" at most of the other NORRCA races this year, and at some parking lot tracks like Ultimate Hobbies in Orange, Hobby Masters in Rowland Heights, and some of the Hobby Shack races around Southern California.
Update! With information from Las Vegas HPI racer Jim Melson, we found out that a racer named Doug Kramer won the Sportsman Nitro class with an RTR Nitro RS4! Unfortunately, we weren't able to get pictures, but we're trying to get hold of Doug and get his setup and some pictures. Chase Bailey and a gentleman known only as Ferrel placed second and third, also with HPI Nitro cars! Chase used a Nitro RS4 Racer kit to get second. Rounding out the field was Corey Pilot, Ryan Pruit, Jim Melson and John Bailey, all running variations on the Nitro RS4 cars.
We would like to thank Steve and Ozzie of NORRCA, who ran a great set of races, and the staff and owners of Western R/C Raceway in Las Vegas, for providing an excellent facility and a quick race program.