Winter in Florida - JConcepts Clash
Bringing the magic back to Lake Park in Tampa, Florida, the JConcepts Clash was an event to remember. As promised, "The Powers Exploded" and a unique event featuring electric and nitro vehicles competing the same day was launched. With sportsman and expert classes available, this event catered to drivers of all skill levels.
Looking around the track Friday morning it just had a big race feel to it. Familiar banners bordered the race area and the perfectly groomed track surface gave notice that the Hurricane track crew was out in full force the night before. The track Layout looked promising, combining finesse and brute power.
All drivers were on full alert once race announcer Jimmy Babcock and race director Kenny Holmes held the driver's meeting. When announced that the event was live around the world on www.liverc.com, the "race faces" were on!
Early race predictions had Maifield out in front by a mile. However, Lee Martin and Richard Lowe from the UK, California driver Frank Root, and local drivers JR Mitch and Jason Ruona showed that it wasn't going to be that easy for the speedy driver from Chandler, Arizona.
After two rounds of qualifying, Lee Martin had placed his RC10B4 out front in the 2WD modified class and also in 1:8 buggy with his RC8.
He was followed closely by Ryan Maifield in both classes and JR Mitch in 1/8th buggy. Day 1 also saw Ryan Maifield place his B44 out front with Jason Ruona and Lee Martin following in 2nd and 3rd. JR Mitch, Richard Lowe and Frank Root showed the fast way around the track in the Modified truck class with Mitch showing a slight edge in the overnight standings.
Lee Martin picked up right where he left off in the 1/10th buggy and 1/8th buggy classes by picking up the quick times in round 3-5 and assuring himself the overall TQ. Ryan Maifield, Jason Ruona, and Lee Martin held an epic qualifying battle in round 4 in the 4wd class. Separated by only .8 of a second for most of the qualifier the three battled with Ryan Maifield winning a close race and also the overall TQ in the 4wd class.
JR Mitch continued his stellar drive in truck modified by taking the overall TQ with Richard Lowe in the second position and Frank Root in third. Jason Smith continued his great qualifying results in the Expert 1/8th Truck by putting down another quick run and securing the TQ.
Sunday - Mains
2WD Modified A Mains
After a small drivers introduction the drivers lined up and they were off. Lee Martin took the early lead followed closely by Ryan Maifield. Approaching the top of the hill, Lee's car lost a little traction and Maifield slightly nudged him sideways. Maifield took the lead with Martin now in second and Frank Root in 3rd. Frank tried an early overtaking move on Lee that collected both drivers and gave Maifield an even bigger lead. Out front Maifield continued to push as Lee Martin was turning some of the fastest laps of the event to catch. At the end Maifield took a 4 second win over top qualifier Lee Martin with Richard Lowe from the U.K. finishing in the 3rd position.
2WD Modified A Main - 1st, 2nd and 3rd:
4WD Modified A Main
TQ Ryan Maifield took the hole shot and quickly negotiated the downhill S-turn with precision creating some first lap breathing room. Lee Martin who got involved in a first lap crash regrouped to trail Maifield by only a small margin. Lee turned it on for the next several laps pulling right up on the back of Maifield's B44. Maifield responded as only few can with his fastest single laps of the weekend creating space once again. Lee made a small mistake coming down the table top in front of the driver's stand which gave Maifield all the space he needed to cruise onto his second win of the day. Toward the end of the race Lee’s battery became very soft and Tony Truman and Richard Lowe squeaked by to overtake for second and third place respectively.
4WD Modified A Main – 1st, 2nd and 3rd:
Truck Modified A-main
JR Mitch held control early, only briefly being challenged by Richard Lowe and Frank Root in the first few corners. As the 10 minute main developed Richard Lowe mounted a charge coming back from an earlier crash, Richard was on a mission. Lap after lap Richard was decreasing the gap between him and JR. JR was smooth and steady and Richard pushed harder. Coming down to the final few laps Richard pulled up to within a few seconds of JR but it was not enough as JR's great drive was complete and took home the first place with Richard Lowe in 2nd and Leon McIntosh rounding out the top three.
Truck Modified A Main - 1st, 2nd and 3rd:
Expert 1:8 buggy A-main
Lee Martin took a quick lead out front with Ryan Maifield in 2nd. Lee and Ryan were very close for many laps until Maifield made a small mistake giving Lee some breathing room. Maifield put on a charge closing in on Lee and just then Lee encountered a flameout sending him into the pits early. Ryan Maifield picked up the lead and continued to push his RC8 to the limit while increasing the lead. JR Mitch picked up the second position and was just cruising as he pulled away from the rest of the field. After a rough start Jason Smith pulled through the pack and picked up the 3rd position.
Expert 1:8 Buggy A Main - 1st, 2nd and 3rd: