Axial’s Coverage of the 2011 Nationals

Axial attended the 2011 USRCCA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend. This is the biggest R/C crawling competition of the year. In order to compete at this event you must either win the qualifying series in your area, or sign up for the last chance qualifier (LCQ), and hope you make the cut into the main event. This event is in it’s sixth year, and still building momentum. Here’s a few highlights from this year’s competition.

Thursday was the first day of competition. There were 75+ drivers total signed up for LCQ, and all of them were hoping for a chance to make the main event on Saturday. The competition was about to get very tight.

The driver’s meeting on LCQ morning.

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Shortly after the driver’s meeting, courses were open and the competition was underway.

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Team Axial driver Dean Hsiao in attack mode.

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Team Vanquish and Team Axial driver Brian Parker doing work!

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Looks like Brian drove his XR10 to Vegas from Reno by the looks of those tires.

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There were plenty of XR10 based rigs to watch, with many different set-ups.

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The view from the top of the rocks.

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Me and my sombrero working it.

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A view of the top course, as drivers await their turn.

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Team Axial driver Jake Wright working his custom XR10.

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Axial’s good friend Yoshiaki Kataoka made the trek all the way from Japan with 6 of his closet crawler companions to compete in this year’s event. This is the fourth year Yoshiaki has made the trip to the US for this event.

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Scott Hughes squirreling his way through one of the tougher gates.

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After the main event Saturday, only 5 would make the finals on Sunday out of 101 drivers.

The talented 5 are……..

1st Brian Lorenz -111

2nd Scott Hughes -110

3rd Joel Gatlin -100

4th Nabil Jamali -99

5th Darwin James -97

Jason Hensel conducts the drivers meeting on Sunday morning.

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The event was broadcasted live over the internet so anyone that couldn’t attend this competition could watch from home by logging onto www.rccrawler.com

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Bulu Production’s Brett Carlson gives me the stink eye, as he records the drivers meeting.

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After the driver’s meeting the top 5 took to the finals course in hopes of pulling off the victory for that “2011 National Championship” title. Driver order was picked randomly out of a hat. Once the driver’s name was called, they had 30 seconds to start the course………….no pressure!!

Joel Gatlin was chosen first.

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This off camber gate was tough to negotiate, as soon as you approached it, your rig would start to unload. Most drivers quickly got on the throttle as their rig started to roll. But, the lip after the gate made it tough to get progress with the rear tires because it would instantly flip you off the obstacle as soon as your front tires touched it.

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Next up was Brian Lorenz.

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That same off camber gate bites another competitor.

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Scott Hughes was chosen to go 3rd.

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That nasty off camber gate looking straight on. Scott and I had decided before the top five started that the best way through this gate cleanly, was to back down below it first, then drive up through. Worked like a charm!

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Nabil Jamali’s name was drawn next.

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Darwin James was lucky enough to be the last driver to run.

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And the winners are………..

1st place Brian Lorenz

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2nd place Scott Hughes

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3rd place Nabil Jamali

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That wraps up the 2011 Nationals coverage. Keep an eye out for details on next year’s event. Special thanks to Steven Kautz, Mark Reel and Jeff Johns for helping me take photos.