Team Durango’s Chinese superstar racer Lin reports on the ‘Team C Cup’ held over the weekend of 4th & 5th June 2011, in Beijing China. Where he placed his DNX408 an impressive 2nd behind former World Champion 8th buggy racer, Kanai.
The Chinese 2011 race season had officially commenced after the Chinese New Year. It was a brand new experience for me, not only did I join Team Durango, I am also honoured to have new sponsors for both my engines and my tires. For the first race that I had with my DNX-408 I already knew I had a very strong combination on hand and the battle is for me to lose!
Although I made it to the A-main in my first ever race with my DNX in February, I was having some tough luck with my electronics which saw me out of the contention towards the end of the race. I had to wait for another 4 months for another race to prove my points!
The venue this time was the TZ race course in Beijing, the capital of China. A venue that are less then one year old, but already earned it’s reputation of being one of the best off-road racing facilities in China. With a single lap around the 40 sec mark, it’s not only big in size but comes with an assortment of jumps and bumps, which I always enjoy. The race was organize by “Team C”, with a maximum turnout close to 140 drivers who were coming over from Hong Kong, Macau, Japan etc.
Since the last race I attend was hosted on my “home” track, it made me even more eager to prove my skills on a “foreign” track (it took 2 hours fly from Guangzhou to Beijing). Besides all the local veterans, I once again faced former World Champion Mr. Yuji Kanai, who had flown all the way from Japan to race here. It was a great chance for me to learn from a WC caliber racer and I am very thankful for that.
I flew to Beijing nearly one week prior to the race, and started to practice with my DNX. With all other Team Drivers testing data, I was a lot better prepared this time and immediately, I found my groove and was lapping the track exactly the way I like it. My DNX408 got more and more comfortable every time I run around the track and the things that some of our team drivers have been trying also improves the car a great deal. I remember I was smiling all the way for the few days that I spend on the track, and I had the best sleep ever before the qualifying started on Saturday.
As expected, things sometimes do not go your way and qualifying did not go as well as hoped. The TZ track was very dusty with low levels of grip; it was mostly flat butl with big jumps. There are two area on the track that caught a lot of racers out - first a table top that’s nearly 45 degrees slope at the end of the straight which caused a lot of cars flying out of the track; the other will be the signature 6 jumps which you will have to have a very good control on rhythm in order to make it into a 2+2+2.
We all had 3 qualifiers to run with 10 minutes each. On my first qualification run I made the mistake by setting my ride high too high; front diff oil also was too thick. The shocks oil also felt to be a bit too light for the hot weather. I end up 10th in the round – a disapointing run.
For my second qualifier I had rectified most of my set up problems, and my speed was a lot faster compared to the first round. However, this is the same case with other drivers too and I was still stuck in the low end of the spectrum on making the mains in 9th position.
On my third qualifier, I knew I had the speed and the car was handling great, so it’s now up to me to concentrate and find the best line around. I manage to put on a great result and finally stand 2nd place after qualifying – 17 seconds adrift of Mr. Yuji Kanai, but more then 7 seconds faster then the 3rd place qualifier, so I was relatively confident for my final pace.
Normally running 45 minutes A-main, the organizer decided to run a huge one hour long main for this race. I was actually more than happy to run a longer main, however, not when I only had a 1400mAh receiver pack… So the race itself was not simply against other racers, but I will also have to battle with amp-draw, I guess a very rare occasion while you are racing nitro 1/8th scale! Trying to stay smooth on my steering and throttle input, it was a race that was thrilling for a very different reason. Mr. Kanai was out in front and for a few laps, I am trying my best to chase him. But with more time down the wire, I realize I have a very safe buffer in front of the third place racer Li, but rather big gaps with Mr. Kanai, I then switch to my “power reserve” mode, keeping my finger crossed and hope that I can make the one hour main. Without too much drama, I maintain my place and finally finish Second to Mr. Kanai.
All in all, a great race to remember. My DNX-408 remained strong and durable all weekend, and the handling of the car is simply amazing. This race also boosts my confident level at the time right before the big one: FEMCA championship at the beginning of February.
Next up it will be a EP race in Guangzhou on the 26th, which I will have the chance to run my DEX-410 in anger on a 1/8 scale track the first time, then I will fly out to Malaysia on the 1st of July, prepare myself for the FEMCA championship. Till then!