The “2015 CKRC/U4RC NorCal-SoCal Shootout” is now a chapter in the r/c history books. That’s right, history was made on 6/20/15 at Berchard R/C Raceway inside the Glen Helen Motorsports Park, with the first ever “regional level” R/C rock race event. There were championship titles on the line for each of the 6 different current U4RC classes. All of which were “highly” contested with 60+ entries for the event. U4RC has really stepped it up to bring the best experience to ALL of its enthusiasts by providing a “live feed” broadcasted worldwide of the entire event. Who would have ever thought that such a raw form of R/C racing born from the merging of the R/C endurance event KOTC and “parking lot” short course racing behind the old RCP Crawlers, would turn out this successful? . The drivers’ giveaway and raffle topped $3500 worth of hard core r/c swag! The items ranged from Axial Racing RTRs and kits, to Vanquish RC high end hop-ups to Holmes Hobbies’ quality electronic products and the list goes on and on!
There were racers in attendance from all over the Western U.S. including; SoCal, NorCal, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oregon. The pits were filled with a “who is who” of insiders from the R/C crawling world, including racers and visitors from Axial Racing, CKRC Hobbies, Voodoo Tires, TCS Crawlers, Pit Bull Tires, Tekin, Vanquish RC, B.A.D. Graphix and many more. The Shootout’s racing action was absolutely the best we have seen to date in U4RC. Every class was a “battle” until the buzzer rang at the end of each Main.
1.9 Trail class was a feverish fight all day long. Those little 1.9” clad rigs really take a beating while entertaining the crowd of onlookers. This class is based off of the SCX10 platform for the most part. Top honors in 1.9 Trail went to; 1st Johnny Stephens, 2nd place went to Anthonee Ramirez and John Ingold took home a 3rd place trophy for his efforts. This class, and others will be split by a Pro/Limited classification for the upcoming series due to the broad spectrum of ability levels of both driver and rig within the class.
Adam Baker won top honors in 1.9 Comp class. While 2nd place went to Austin Daynes and Scott Coomes of team Whistler Racing took home a 3rd place finish.
1.9 Trophy is the mini version of our grass roots class “2.2 Trophy”. These are highly realistic, all metal chassis’, 7lb minimum, racecars. The “Mini-Beast” chassis operated by RC Fabworks owner Mike Duncan took top honors, followed closely by Team Vanquish driver Dan Wilson, also running a “Mini-Beast” chassis. The third driver on this podium was Team Tekin and VP driver Michael Pham in a custom “one-off” chassis. For those of you that like scale realism, this is one of the two U4 classes that require a highly realistic looking race rig. They look and sound awesome battling it out, on course.
2.2 Comp Limited was definitely a tough class to achieve a podium finish in. All of the podium finishers were racing with modified Axial Wraiths. The rigs’ suspensions are fairly limited in this class to keep racing as fair as possible. 1st place trophy went to Michael Pham, while 2nd place went to Team Whistler co-founder Chris Bailey. The final podium spot for the 2.2 Comp Limited class went to Brian Hood from NorCal-U4RC. This class will also be split for the upcoming series. A special thank you has to go out to Brian Hood for throwing down some of the most passionate, accurate and entertaining announcing we have seen in a long while!
2.2 Comp Open class saw the largest number of entries and it’s no wonder with Axials’ release of the Yeti in 2014. Absolutely the wildest action of the day went on in this class. Yetis were putting down the fastest lap times all day long. The IFS/solid axle configuration works very well on rugged U4RC tracks. Coming out on top of the 2.2 Open class were Mike Duncan (RC Fabworks), followed in 2nd place by Axial/Voodoo team driver and R/C crawling icon Jake Wright. Grabbing a respectable 3rd place finish was Whistler Racing’s Mikey Foerster. These drivers should be very proud of their finishing results because 2.2 Open racing was heavily contested. Team Vanquish driver Michael Pham threw down the fastest overall lap of the event and took home a crisp $100 bill to prove it!
2.2 Trophy class is where the U4RC craze all started from. These race rigs are full custom, all metal chassis’ with the most stringent rules to help keep the class as realistic as possible to their 1:1 counterparts. The rigs in this class are also constantly progressing to keep up with advancements in full size rock racing. Like the smaller 1.9 Trophy rigs, the sound (metal chassis banging off rocks and together) and the visual enjoyment (very realistic) encountered while watching trophy cars race is unmatched by any other form of R/C racing! Team Pro-Line driver Rich Boltz took home the championship with his FletchBuilt chassis. He was followed closely by Team Vanquish/Voodoo driver Dan Wilson in his RC Fabworks Beast rig. The 3rd spot on the podium went to RCP driver Chris Pickering. Chris was also running a FletchBuilt chassis.
In conclusion, U4RC would like to thank Axial Racing for their continued support of not only R/C rock racing, but for supporting the many different forms of R/C events around the globe. Axial really does seem to care about getting a fun, reliable, realistic product into the hands of R/C enthusiasts worldwide. A final thanks goes out to all of the U4RC supporters everywhere. It’s your involvement that got U4 to where it is today and without its’ supporters U4RC would probably be fading out instead of still growing!
words: Jerry Tobin–U4RC
photos: James Goad