Desert Turtle Racing’s RR10 Bomber

20171004_052111The Ultra4 Racing team of Desert Turtle Racing has a few Axial fans in their group. Myself, for one, just happens to be lucky enough to work for Axial. After attending AxialFest 2016 and competing in the Altra Ultra5k with a bone stock RR10 RTR, I was eager to build up my own RR10 in preparation for my next Altra Ultra5k. With a little downtime from working on the full-scale rig I was able to put together a DTR themed RR10 Bomber Chassis. The RR10 Kit has some awesome features and makes for a great starting platform. I opted to add some pretty cool option parts and electronics to give it a little extra kick.

In Ultra4 Racing, one of the must-have items is a 2-speed T-Case, giving this rig a little more realism. I added the Axial 2-Speed Transmission components to give the rig some great low-speed gearing and some “haul the mail” top end – all shiftable with the Tactic TTX300.

I added a few final touches to try and give it a bit more scale looks; ammo cans, painted fuel cell, fuel filler hose and some key interior stickers.

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Added option parts and electronics

Chassis: AX90053
Steering Hubs: AX30762
Steering Knuckle: AX31434
Front Diff Cover: AX31429
Rear Diff Cover: AX30829
Servo Mount: AX31432
Front Link Mounts: AX31433
Rear Link Mounts: AX31433
Spring Retainers: AX31431
Transmission: AX31181
Steering Servo: Hitec D951TW
Shifting Servo: Hitec HS-985MG
ESC: Tekin FX-R
Motor: Tekin T35 HD
BEC: MaxAmps
Battery: Onyx 11.1 5000mAh
Radio: Tactic TTX300

Find more info about Desert Turtle Racing on Facebook.

Bomber Adventure – Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Skeeno Completes an Altra Ultra 5K

Words and photos by: Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau
Guest photography by: The Great Dominic Longoria

IMG_20170930_113508The ScaleUltra.com tour made a stop in Reno, Nevada recently, so I finally got a chance to redeem myself after having to DNF in the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro at Axialfest 2017 due to a broken servo. If you’re not familiar with this race, you can read up on it’s history here: Altra Ultra 5K History

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Since the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is a self supported race, I needed to make sure I had what I needed to finish. First up was making sure I had enough mAh to power my RR10 Bomber for over 3 miles. You can learn more about mAh/mile here: mAh/Mile  I didn’t take any chances and charged up all my batteries, 15,800mAh! I hoped it would be enough.  I also packed my tools and water into my hydration pack.

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The next morning when I arrived, there was already a good sized crowd gathered at the Wild West Motorsports Complex.

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The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro was part of a larger event hosted by CKRC Hobbies that included comp crawlers, rock racing, and scale trails. CKRC’s Jason Copeland was handling the sign ups and even had some tasty doughnuts for anyone that wanted them.  I wanted them, but decided I better refrain since I was about to run/jog/speed-walk/hike for over 3 miles. I did grab one after I finished, and they were delicious.

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It was easy to find the race coordinator with this sweet wrapped Sprinter van. I couldn’t resist a quick photo with my Bomber. Also, that guy is wearing my favorite Altra model, the Lone Peak 2.5.

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Mr. Chris Cru Jones was already set up and taking entries. Check out those sweet decals from S.O.R. Graphics. What’s that stuff behind Chris?

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Those are some sweet finishing prizes, hats, windbreakers, Camelbaks, kits, RTRs, and my favorite…

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…these Axial Adventure sweatshirts.  XL too, just my size.

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You probably recognize these 801 legends, MikeyT and PaulieB!

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Mr. Chris Cru Jones gave us a quick driver’s meeting, so we all knew the rules. The rules are pretty basic, finish as fast as you can.

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Can you find the Skeeno Bomber?

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Mandatory group photo of the Fourteen Fuegos. Don’t be scared to come run an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, you don’t really have to run the entire time.  My goal was to keep a good pace and finish.

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Here’s a POV shot what it’s like to run a Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. It’s amazing how the difficulty level is raised when you are trying to hustle down the trail and drive at the same time.  It’s hard to watch your driving line and running line at the same time.  I can’t tell you how many times I center punched a rock with my front differential because I wasn’t watching my Bomber for a second.

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The first part of this race was a pretty good climb to the top of this hill, 500′ of climbing in .3 mile. According to my Strava data, it was a 25-30% grade.

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Luckily, there were some fun technical sections near the top to take your mind off the climbing.

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Almost to the top here.

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Those flags are the top, thank goodness!

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I was feeling it already and this was only the first lap.  There were three laps in this race.

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Ok, just kidding.  That wasn’t the top.  It was a false peak, and there was one last climb to the summit. That’s my trail-buddy, Tony Mazza down there.

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He was getting close to these flagstone kickers.  It’s probably not the wise choice, but jumping was the fun choice.

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I even waited to catch a photo of Mr. Mazza’s Bomber taking the jump.

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We trail-raced at the summit for a while, so I could catch a few photos.

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Ol’ Mista Werty was commissioned to be course marshal at the midway point.  I’m not sure why he has that umbrella, I don’t see any rain clouds in the sky.

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After the summit, we turned and headed back towards the start.

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Mr. Mazza left me in his dust when I stopped to refuel my Bomber.  Maybe I need to rethink my battery capacity.  5000mAh packs sound like a better choice than the 2200mAh packs I usually run.

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You can see the start at the top, left of this picture. That’s about half a mile from here according to my Strava.

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There was some fun technical sections back here.  Here Mighty Mike T.  pops an ollie down this section.

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Mikey T. was pretty pleased with his performance, so much so that he even paused for a photo for me.

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When arriving at this section the second time, I quickly ran over to the Dominic Longoria of CKRC requested he catch some photos of me while he was live streaming.

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Dom took some great shots for trying to execute two film duties at once all while commentating. You are a great multitasker, Mr. Longoria.

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I remember that rock trying to trip me, but my Altra Lone Peak 3.0′s kept me sure footed.

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After an exciting event, I was excited to finish in the Top 10. When looking at my lap times, it was clear my decision to run lower capacity 2200mAh batteries as well as stop to take photos affected my time.  These choices slowed me down, and without them, I think I would have cut almost 10 minutes off my lap times and finished several places higher.  Perhaps I’ll rethink my strategy at the next Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.

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So who wound up on top? Mike Thompson wearing the number 20 took home the win in a time of 1:08:21 with his personal fast lap being 22:03.7.  The “Altra Hot Lap” winner was Brandon Copeland (17) who set a blistering pace of 18.44 and finished second overall in 1:09:41.1. Taking the final podium spot was Paul Blackner (19) finishing in 1:14:11.9 and clicked off a personal fast lap of 23:03. Congrats on your finishes and walking home with some impressive Axial and Altra prizes. Congratulations are also in order for everyone who participated in the event as well as the staff behind the show. Now, will we see you at the next Altra Ultra 5K?

Find out more about Altra Ultra 5K Events:
ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY
Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro

Desert Turtle Racing Finishes 4th at the Fallon 250

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As a new team, we have only been able to participate in a few races and the 2017 Fallon 250 marks just our 4th race. In what little time we had to work on and prep the Turtle we were able to slam in a new motor from Jonny Lightning and a new transmission from Toy Shop Transmission thanks to the help of Marina Landscape Inc. The schedule got very tight at the end of the motor swap and we were only able to get the rig out for a quick test on Sunday in the desert before we had to leave for Fallon on Thursday. The motor and transmission were running great but we found we had a bit of an electrical gremlin which would cause the Ignition to cut out as the engine would heat up. On Monday and Tuesday, along with loading up everything we would need for the race, we also did what we could by replacing fuses and relays; and check our power and ground anchors. We were out of time to prep the rig and could only hope we fixed the issue until we were able to test the rig again up in Fallon.

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We arrived on-site Thursday and were able to get a pit space marked off on the upper level next to some other great friends and teams. We quickly discovered that most of the teams were all traveling with a light crew so everyone agreed to help each other out when the cars rolled in for pits during the race. We took the rig out for our initial test and the electrical problem seemed to be fixed.

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We brought the rig back to the pits and used the rest of Thursday to prep for pre-running and qualifying on Friday. The morning of Friday came and we suited up in the rig to head out and get a couple laps in around the 41-mile lap. We used this time to mark hazards on the GPS and explore alternate lines for passing options. After a successful two laps of the course we had our notes made and hazards marked, it was time to look over the rig and prepare for the drivers meeting and qualifying run.

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As we looked over the rig we noticed there was a crack in the tube frame just after the front track-bar mount. This crack was not little it was all the way around the tube and would cause a massive failure if we did not get it fixed. We scrambled around a bit to figure out the best plan to get it fixed. We reached out to Savvy Off Road for assistance and they were very kind to lend us the use of their tools and trailer to get our rig patched up and ready for qualifying. As it was our turn to go for the run we knew we just needed a clean run, the ruts were deep and the turns were blown out. Our focus was to get through the course as best we could and accept whatever time we got. We were able to pull off a better than expected run at 1:29:40, which landed us in 27th for the starting order/ 7th in class. We were happy with our position but knew we were going to have to do some work to move up during the race.

IMG_2531Race day arrived and we were up early and eager to get in the rig and put the hammer down. We handled a couple last minute prep items and covered some pit strategies with the crew.

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Rolling up to the green flag, for us, seems to still bring a bit of the jitters but we take this time to briefly discuss what it took, as a team, to get us here on the line and are thankful for everyone’s effort. BUT as soon as the green flag drops, it’s game on and we are pedal to the metal.The visibility on the course was the worst we have seen; the dust was so thick you could not see past the front bumper on the rig and there was no wind to blow the dust away.

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We charged hard on the course maintaining what we felt was race pace, things were going good for several miles and then, WHAM, we clipped a boulder that had obviously fallen into the course; it wasn’t there during our pre-run. It popped the driver front tire and now we were left figuring out what was the best plan to get it changed.

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Do we continue to drive it or do we take the time to change it? We drove for another few miles and decided that we should take it out before it takes us out. We pulled over around RM 8, changed the flat and got back into the race. Something like 8 vehicles passed us due to the tire change and we knew we would have to make up some ground and run some clean laps. As we completed lap 1 we called into pits for a tire swap and a splash of gas while we were there. We peeled out for lap 2 knowing that we really needed a fast lap and so we picked up the pace.

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About this time, we started to notice that we were NOT having any electrical issues with the ignition and the new motor was just screaming along non-stop. The issue we did notice was that the navigation system was starting to power cycle intermittently as was hindering us from 100% navigation. The navigation system is extremely important when the visibility is extremely bad and having it go out was like driving with your eyes closed and navigating by berms in the road… NOT COOL.

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However, we dealt with it and continued to battle and push the rig harder each lap. Through lap2 we had a clean run but suffered another flat due to the rugged terrain and sharp rocks but this one was on the rear and was changed out by the crew in the pits where they also gave us a fair amount of fuel.

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We were able to gain some ground by passing a few other cars on course and taking note as we saw a few broken and off the course. Finishing Lap 3, we opted to stop in the pits for a quick look over the car to make sure there were no obvious issues and the crew was able to spot another tire losing air so the crew changed it out and we were off and running. As we approached the end of lap 4 we called into pits that we were going to come in and take on a full tank of gas and plan on running the last two laps without another stop. The crew filled the rig, looked it over and sent us back out as quick as could be. Throughout the race day we could feel that we were getting faster in several places throughout the course and were able to make more passes. On the sixth lap, we had quite a bit of clean air and were able to make a few more passes before the finish line. Crossing the finish line and taking the CHECKER flag felt great. It’s been a while since we raced and we were stoked to be back in the seats and battling it out with the other racers. We finished the Ultra4 Fallon 250 in 5:49:04 which placed us 4th in class and 16th overall. Without the hard work of our crew, Rob Bukacek, Trevis Sloan and Mike Bishop, and the joint effort of other teams, we would not have been able to pull off 4th place or finish for that matter.

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Special thanks go to Savvy Off Road, Dan Wyrick and friends, the crew of Gigabit Off Road, the crew of Jimmy Jack and a couple other lending hands from Proving Grounds Racing. At the end of the day we are a dirt family. We all want to be a winner but the efforts of the crews is what makes it a family.

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Thanks to our sponsors that have made the racing opportunity possible. Rock Krawler Suspension | Pro Comp Tires | Marina Landscape | Axial Racing | Poison Spyder Customs | Raceline Wheels | DJ Safety | Fuel Safe | Rugged Radios | J. E. Reel | Rugged Routes | Lasernut | Currie Enterprises | Magnaflow | CTM Racing | sPOD | Artec Industries | PRP Seats | Luxwurx | Sharq Skinz | DGP Motion Media 

Additional thanks to these supporters. So Cal Land Maintenance | Enet | Beachview Insurance | Pacific Advisors | SoCal Services | Armeda | Villa Root Barrier | Sucuri | Imperial Sprinkler Supply | Rain Bird 

Mid Season Recap – Altra Scale Ultra Series pb. Axial

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Photos by: Chris Jones, Rodney Wills, Anthony Rivas and Justin Lunceford
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After a successful Altra Ultra 5k Enduro at the 2016 Axialfest, the Scale Ultra Race Series was born and took the budding new race format on the road. The two founding partners were back with Altra Footwear as the title sponsor of the series and Axial as the presenting series sponsor. Camelbak Hydration and SOR Racing also joined the sponsor list providing awesome podium and raffle prizes to make the series that much sweeter.

 

The following is the 2017 Mid-Season recap:

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Stop #1 Altra 5k Enduro at the King of the Hammers, Johnson Valley

With Axial as the host and the famous Johnson Valley as the landscape, event #1 headed to SoCal to share the course and the weekend with the race that inspired the creation of the Ultra 5k, King of the Hammers! Axial goes all out the week of KOH and after days of watching full and scale sized rock racing, the Scale Ultra drivers took to the scene to race the historic course.
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The KOH course was a perfect blend of speed and tech with wide open straights (on the same berms that the full size racers had ripped just hours before), sandy sections and a techy rock section that required constant attention. In true KOH style, the different sections stood alone and you could go as fast as your legs and your lungs could handle in the open sections with the rocky section slowing the flow and creating some exciting passes and tense “rubbing” and “racing”. Runners/Drivers came from all over California, Nevada and Utah to compete in stop #1 of the new ScaleUltra series and the action did not disappoint.
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Some familiar faces were in attendance with Axialfest Altra Hot Lap winner Jake Wright putting in some fast laps right from the start and was in the podium mix until a last lap mechanical stopped his efforts. An impressive showing, especially with the then unknown broken collarbone and shoulder injury he suffered after cartwheeling as co-driver in the full size race the day before. Axialfest 3rd place finisher, Casey Currie, came out to scope the scene but after an exhausting week of racing both UTV and Unlimited class, he opted to cheer on the action vs grabbing a remote. Altra Running’s Chris Jones was in attendance as well and set a blistering first lap time taking the Altra Hot Lap and the overall win.
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Top 3:
Chris Jones – Bomber
Ricky Morales – Bomber
Matt Wolfe – SCX10

The Axial Bomber was the rig of choice again this stop taking the majority of the fastest lap times but some built SCX10II rigs stole a spot on the podium and were in the mix throughout the event. Axial has been a major sponsor of the King of the Hammers over the years and we foresee the Ultra 5k continuing to be a part of Axial’s KOH efforts into the future.
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Stop #2 Altra Red Rock Ultra – St. George Ut
Sand Hollow State Park just outside of St. George Utah is one of the better rock crawling locations you may have never heard of. On any given weekend you may see a trail run lead by the Dixie 4X4 crew or even stumble upon a full on W.E. Rock comp taking advantage of the famous Utah red slick rock.
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This backdrop was the site for round 2 of the Scale Ultra series and ran on the edge of the Lake Powell-esque reservoir. A perfect blend of all out speed fire roads, technical slick rock sections and power sapping red sand tried drivers fitness and ability as they maneuvered around this high speed course for multiple laps.
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Race Host and Scale Ultra Series founder Chris Jones, left the course wide for “personal interpretation” with multiple riders opting for the less safe but much more thrilling “just send it” line options. This resulted in several rigs spending almost as much time in the air as on the ground.
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The field of talent for the Red Rock 5k was 2nd only to the Altra Ultra Enduro at AXIALFEST2016 with several of the normal characters making the trip out. The 801RC boys in the Salt Lake area do these longer Ultra style events quite often and quickly showed they came to play putting two on the podium and filling the top 10. The 2nd place finisher from AXIALFEST2016, Mike Thompson, debuted his new Altra-Spec Bomber, just finished up hours before race start. He had a strong finish in the top 10, further proving the difficulty of both the course and the speed of the competitors.
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The Axial Bomber showed once again it was made for this style of racing taking the entire podium and the majority of the top 10 spots. The creativity and different builds were fun to see as these pure race machines ripped around the slick rock paradise.
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When the dust settled and heart rates hit their max it was Jake Wright who ended the day with the win. After a string of mechanical’s kept him off the podium in events past, Jake could not be stopped on this day with the Altra Running / ScaleUltra.com Offroad Team driver finishing with the fastest lap and the overall victory.
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Top 3:
Jake Wright – Bomber
Cole Hokanson – Bomber
Thomas “Chewy” Blackburn – Bomber

On to AXIALFEST2017!
With the Scale Ultra Series event 1 and 2 now complete, we head to the most prestigious stop on the series, AXIALFEST! Since the debut of last year there are more questions than answers about who will contend for the title and the un-official World Championship of Scale Ultra 5k. With more drivers entering, (rumors from the Axial camp say 140+), special “Altra-Spec” builds popping up everywhere and more and more scale drivers increasing their exercise routines to prep, its going to be an exciting race to see! Will the rock racers reign supreme? Will fitness beat out pure clean driving? Add in the fact that Casey Currie has been physically training as he is returning to compete in the Ultra 5K Enduro to better his podium finish from last year! He said it best, “this is as close as it gets to the physical demands of full size motorsports!”  What secrets does Cisco Grove hold this year? Only time will tell…

While the R/C might be scale, the physical is full size!