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February 23, 2012

EP Factory Union Series, China – Round One

Filed under: News — Stuart @ 5:19 pm
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With electric off-road gaining momentum in China, different manufacturers/dealers had joined force to organize the first ever EP Factory Union Series, which follow the exact method with the GP series under the same name. The race will be a series of 4 races, and the first race was held on the now famous KRC track in Southern part of China.

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This race, with Team Durango being a prime sponsor, attracted a total of 33 1/8 EP buggy racers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The SC class also proves to be a popular class with a total of 28 cars. 1/8 EP Truggy was also there, with 8 racers making up the main. Le Hua lin reports on his race:

This is the third time running for my DEX408, and I have previous experience with how the 408 will handle in KRC, I am pretty confident with some small tweaks; I will be able to tune the car to my liking. However, it will be my first time here with my DESC410R, and I haven’t touched it since my last race in Shanghai. Also, I am not 100% sure how well the DESC will handle a big track design for 1/8 buggy.

With 3 qualifies and 3 finals format, time was really tight if you are running two classes. And this is how my race went:

1/10 SC 4WD
Since KRC was a medium size buggy track, compare with my last journey to Shanghai, which itself is a relatively small indoor track; I knew my setting will be off from the first place. However I was amazed it actually wasn’t that far off at all. My steering was a bit too much for KRC and my shocks were a little too soft. I rectified the problem immediately with harder diffs, slightly harder oil for the shocks and I am all set. The DESC410R was easy to drive and I am able to clear all the jumps just like the way my DEX408 will do, and my lap times were actually faster than some of the 1/8 Buggy! I was so stoked with the performance of the DESC410R and from the first qualify on, I was leading the race and I feel it was so unfair to my competitor! The car simply crushed the opposition and I was able to take all 3 qualifiers and all 3 finals with at least a one lap gap to second place finisher. Job done: TQ+Win+Fastest lap!

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1/8 EP Buggy
I wasn’t too happy about my setup since my last race here, so I spent most of my time on fine tuning the car. By the end, it’s very much what I want from it, and the handling on this track was perfect. With a relatively trouble free run, I was able to clinch the TQ spot, something I always wanted since I wasn’t be able to do so last time round.
The first final wasn’t a good one for me, I got T-boned and was dropping down the order right from the begining, and due to the nature of the EP race, it’s really hard to make up times during the 8 minutes long main, let alone the standard in the A-main were very close. I was able to cross the line on 3rd place and I knew this may very well be my throw out round.

The second main started a lot cleaner and I was able to pull out a gap of nearly 14 seconds when the race reached 5 minutes. However, my GP bug just got me and I have relax a little too soon, before I know, Ping were only a few seconds away and catching me fast! He finally got me on the last corner, biting me to the wire with 0.16 seconds! I kicked myself for letting this one slip!

Before the third main start, my fellow racer Tommy (the first main winner) and Ping (the second main winner) were all in front of me point wise and I knew I will have to win this one to be in with a chance to win at all. With all my determination, the third race proved to be the most exciting one! Ping, Tommy and I changing position lap after lap in an intense battle’ Whoever could hold their nerves for the entire 8 minutes would be the eventual winner. My concentration level was so high I was able to pull some breathing ground towards the very end of the race and took the last final with a 4 second gap. But all this proved to be a little too late. I was tied on points with Ping, and with the fastest result counting, I had to settle at the 2nd place for this time around. With a TQ + A2, I am still one step away for getting my result straight on the EP class, more practice is the ticket!

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My next race will be the 2012 Asia RC Buggy Cup held in Taiwan on 10-11th, March 2012. Being one of the power house for Buggy Class, I am sure the race in Taiwan will be a very tough one, wish me luck!

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