The Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race to the Thunderdome at RC Acres
Saturday, 23 November 2013 23:42

KpopRC Fisheye Photo of the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton KpopRC Fisheye Photo of the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton

The Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race was held inside the Thunderdome at RC Acres in Hamilton, Ontario, on November 23rd, 2013.

25 Drivers from as far as Peterborough, Kingston and Ottawa in addition to surrounding Hamilton and Burford (and all points in between) battled it out over the 650 meter dirt track, through an hour of open practice, 2 rounds of heated practice, 3 qualifiers and the mains.  Some veteran racers were in attendance to lay some fast laps down while some rookies were there to break in their rides on the newly created technical track.

The purpose of the RaceDay was to run a preview race to evaluate the track, equipment and facilities, as a preface of things to come.  Gus and the RC Acres Crew literally raced to make the environment welcoming… less than 12 hours before registration radiant heating was installed over the drivers' stand, and power was run to the Thunderdome.  Even with all of the necessary components of Pit Row, the drivers and their crews were "roughing it" in contrast to the 2nd Stage Plans of the Thunderdome… heated enclosed pits are next, plus re-aligning of the heating; however while it was -11*C outside and snowing, it was comfortable inside for hot racing.

RC Race Director Scully at the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton RC Race Director Scully at the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton

During Open Practice Eric LaJoie of Burlington, ON would set the bar for lap time with a 21.996, which would be eventually bested by Mark Sousa of Guelph, ON, the reigning RC Pro Ontario Season eBuggy Champion, who also won the eBuggy Main during RC Acres' 2013 RC Pro Series Race laid down a 20.970 Lap Time during "heated practice".  That time would stand as the fastest lap for the entire day of racing.

Into the 5-Minute Qualifiers, 14 Laps within the 5 Minutes Allotted would be what it took to roll into the A-Main, while 5 drivers were able to accomplish that, having Mississauga, ON's Justin Silva as the Top-Qualifier with 14 laps in 5:08.12 from his 2nd Qualifying Round, while Derek Sousa of Guelph, ON, the Pro Buggy and Pro Truggy A-Main Champ from RC Acres's RC Pro Series Race earlier in 2013, would be seated 2nd with 14 laps in 5:16.23 from his 3rd Round of Qualifying.

Into the 10-Minute Mains, Eric Devos of Simcoe, ON the top-seed into the D-Main, ran with the pole from green to checkered, finishing 26 Laps in 10:23.724.

In the C-Main, Motocross Racer Darryl Zylstra of Burford, ON, the top-seed into the main, had a rough first lap, crossing the loop 1-10th of a second behind Sergio Vargas, but then take the lead and hold it for 23 more laps to with 24 Laps in 10:00.681

A brief meeting was held to award "Bumps" to the Top-Finisher in the C and B-mains at the request of the Drivers, and Zylstra would move into the B-Main with his white and "john deere greene" eBuggy.

In the B-Main, top-seeded qualifier into the Main, Joe Parisi of Concord, ON, would start slow and break on Lap 3 resulting in a DNF, while another Burford Motocross Racer, Alex Nelles would take the opportunity to move up into the lead on Lap 1, and race wheel to wheel with his neighbour Zylstra, the Bump from the C-Main, 1st and 2nd through laps 3 through 8, and then push past to win the main and the "Bump" with 25 laps in 10:11 while Evan Lovato, another Motocross Racer would give chase and be the biggest mover, behind Nelles for the last 2/3'ds of the race, finishing 11.9 Seconds behind the B-Main Champ.

Seeding from Heated Practice had separated the fastest into the top-qualifying races, while the top-6 from qualifying changed marginally as Mike Rohde of Oakville, ON, would move up into the A-Main seated 4th and Alex Nelles would be the bump up.  The A-Main Featured: Nelles, Eric LaJoie, Mark Sousa, Rohde,  George Stiliadis of Ottawa, ON; Derek Sousa and Top-Qualifier Justin Silva.

The pace was set early on for the top-qualifying drivers to post 26 or 27 laps, and Derek Sousa would jump from 2nd to 1st in the opening lap and hold the lead for 24 laps, while Justin Silva was close behind, going to the front a handful of times, but Derek Sousa would cross the stripe in 1st again, and again.  A bad roll through the rhythm feature on lap 19 would open up the door for Mark Sousa to slide into 2nd and follow elder Derek Sousa for another 4 laps… and then it happened.  As the final throws were coming with about 1 minute 45 seconds left to race, a bad landing after the steep double in the mid-way of the track would have the leader Derek Sousa's eBuggy lose drive power… inertia rolled him around the hairpin turn and up the start of the CamelBack Feature, and gravity rolled it back down the approach. On the same lap, Mark Sousa would go off course and lose about 4 seconds, meanwhile Top-Qualifier Justin Silva would continue posting his 21-22 second laps (averaging approximately 22.69 a lap at this point), and jump into the lead for the first-time in the A-Main when it mattered most, for the final 3-laps to take the checkered.  

Champions of the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton Champions of the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton

Justin Silva is the first-ever champion crowned inside the Thunderdome finishing 27 Laps in 10:14 while Mark Sousa finished as reserve champ 7.3 seconds behind.  George Stiliadis was 3rd on the podium a lap back, while the "Bump" Alex Nelles was 4th.  Eric Lajoie also pulled a "cheque" finishing in the Top-5.

It was just a preview of what's to come… Intense, Indoor RC Racing, in the Thunderdome at RC Acres.  Stay tuned to or connect on the Facebook for more information on further Races in 2013/2014.

It was my first time as official Race Director, and I want to thank all of the Directors and Racers that I spoke with in setting the schedule and the races rolling into the day.  Mike Rohde was a huge asset as 1/8 Scale was new to me following a season of 1/5 Scale, while Jay Christiano from Hardcore and Doug from RC Scoring Pro in Wisconsin definitely saved the day (and me setting quails and mains by hand) by helping troubleshoot and fix the issue of the RC Scoring Pro Program being tweaked for 1/5 Scale and not properly set for 1/8 Scale… a few calls and boom… a Movember Miracle.

Race Command at the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton Race Command at the Inaugural Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race at RC Acres Hamilton

My time at RC Acres since April has been outstanding.  Through the 1/5 Scale Races, the RC Pro Series Weekend of 1/8, 1/10 and 1/5 Scale, and now the first 1/8 Scale Race inside the Thunderdome, I've met some stellar dudes and ladies.  It's pretty awesome when you can call other Race Directors and Racers late at night for advice, and during RaceDay guys swing by at random to make sure you have what you need and that you're having a good time (read: celebratory Coors Lights from Skippy Skips).  Though it's racing and steep competition, everyone…and I mean everyone, has been super cool and calm when asking questions and giving "feedback".

I openly welcome any feedback, "attaboys" and criticisms… I love "Race Commentating" and now have an understanding and appreciation of "Race Directing"… and thrive on the notes from racers, crew and spectators on how I can better the experience for them by improving what I do to enhance the experience.  I want to keep rawking it… drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Full throttle, wide open… 'til the next race.

Enjoy the A-Main as captured by Aaron Lee!
Dim lights

Pics by kPopRC and Amanda Clinton.


Heated Practice - revised Nov 24 for mobile viewing
Qualifiers - revised Nov 24 for mobile viewing
Mains - revised Nov 24 for mobile viewing


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