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USA: Easton wins 1st Pro-Series race in FL with Cobra (05/05/2010)


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RC Pro State Series RD#1

Its that time of year again, the RC Pro state series has begun. The first leg of this series kicked off at Lake Park, in Lutz, Florida, a renowned track known in the 90s mostly for its Winter Championships. The track crewed had changed the layout the week prior and our event was sure to kick off without a hitch. The weather was super warm, only a cool 95 Deg. Fahrenheit. Ha-ha, that is not cool, that is smoking hot and the track was dry and dusty.

We showed up to the track on Friday late afternoon, to break in some engines and take the track for a few test runs. Josh through out his buggy and away he went, we took turns driving it and overall it was actually really good for the condition. He and I thought the car was handling well and the likely hood we would have a good race was high.

Saturday morning came very early, only 7 AM for you late bloomers, but racing was set to start around 9 or 10 and we would have 2 qualifiers and a 35 minute final. The track was dry from the previous day, so it was starting to grove up very fast.  The first round of qualifying went really well. I tqed the round and Josh ended up 4th I believe. He was very happy with his car and was smiling ear to ear; he was among the front runners for fast laps.

The second round kicked off, actually, a lot of guys were running really well, and the track kept the racing very close. Ryan Eckert in the first heat of pro buggies ran a perfect race and netted 10 laps 5.03.?? . So it was my turn to take a shot at the TQ for the round. I crossed the starting loop and away I went, well, kind of, I made it down the straight then made left then made a small mistake and off the track I went.  Needless to say, my shot at a TQ would be very difficult now. I battled back to within 1.5 seconds or so of his time, running some very fast 29s lap times. These were hard to come by that day, but my car was working really well. Unfortunately time had expired and I was unable to lower my qualifying time that round. My hat goes off to Ryan for his really awesome run in the 2nd round of qualifying.
So now the grid was set, Ryan Eckert was TQ, I was 2nd, Ryan Johnson was 3rd and Josh rounded out the top 4.  

The start was a mess, nobody seemed to know what to do, or maybe there was just way to much confusion. Typically on a start of the race, you have a flag man, all the pit guys watch the flag man, when he brings the flag out of the sky, and places it on the ground, that means, to drop the cars and hands off. Then, at our state races you wait for the tone or beep to take off. Well in this case, when the flag man lifted the flag you were suppose to go. So, my pit guy was looking at me and not the flag, so needless to say, when it was time to go, my car was still in my pit mans hands. By the time I took off, I was well back in the pack. However, the race is 35 minutes; so, there is plenty of time to make a charge to the front.

I picked off one car at a time, and by the 5 minute mark I was at the front battling for the lead. Luckily for me, Eckert was under a lot of pressure from Johnson, so when I got there, peoples nerves had already been tested. I came up on Johnson who inherited the lead from an Eckert mistake and then the race began. Johnson made a mistake and by I went, I put it on cruise and keep a good 35 min pace. The other drivers were making mistakes, and having issues with flame outs, so it took the pressure off. After the 35 minute final, my RB engine ran really well. I had no issues with power and also no flame out issues to speak of. The car handled the rough dusty condition in the main and I was very pleased overall with its performance. I ran Proline Calibers in the final and the wear was really good, after 35 minutes I still had tread left.
I want to say thanks for the Hurricane track crew and the RC Pro staff that put on the race. Chalk up another victory for the S811 Cobra buggy.


Billy Easton
Team Serpent