Skycraft Hobbies Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race
Sunday, 08 December 2013 03:18

Skycraft Hobbies Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race inside the Thunderdome at RC Acres in Hamilton, OntarioThe Skycraft Hobbies Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race inside the Thunderdome at RC Acres in Hamilton, Ontario was a day filled of intense racing once again.  19 Racers converged into the newly heated pits and began laying laps down in hopes of being the event's first champion.

Prior to the day, the prevalent racers to watch were: 
Justin Silva (Mississauga, ON) - the inaugural eBuggy Winner inside the Thunderdome 2 weeks prior, vying for back-to-back titles
Derek Sousa (Everett, ON) - the Racer that led 24 of 27 laps in that inaugural race and ended with a DNF, racing to reclaim what was almost his
Mark Sousa (Toronto, ON) - the Racer that posted the fastest lap two weeks prior, and was the eBuggy Main Champion at the RC Pro Series Race at RC Acres in August, racing to win his 2nd title at RC Acres in 3 events

… and a field of 16 more, most with some laps previous to the day inside the Thunderdome.

Out of the heated practice, Mark Sousa posted the fastest lap of 21.075, to be chased over the day of racing.

Through the 3 Qualifying Rounds, Derek and Mark Sousa would be the Top Qualifiers, with Derek earning the  pole in the A-Main with a TQ Time of 14 laps in 5:06.980 (a new track eBuggy record); with Mark a mere .988 second back, and Justin Silva within 7 seconds.  The Skycraft Hobbies Invitational 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race featured 3 mains with 1 bump per main, and joining the top-3 would also be Steve DiPlacido (Newmarket, ON), Mike Sloat (Branchton, ON) and Chris Capelo (Ancaster, ON).  Any of the remaining 13 would have one more opportunity to race their way into the A-Main for a chance at Cash-Payout, and the insanity ensued.

In the C-Main, Steve Taylor (Grimsby, ON) started with the pole position and hold it for the opening 2 laps, but on the third lap would veer off course and drop to third, and grind his way up finish 2nd.  Rui "The Import" Almeida (Hamilton, ON) qualified 2nd in the C-main, and would slide into the lead on lap three and hold first for the balance of the race, lapping at least every racer once to earn the Bump Up into the B-Main.

The Top-Qualifer in the B-Main was Darryl Zylstra (Burford, ON) a Motocross Racer who two weeks previous had been successful in bumping up; while right behind him in the starting grid was Alex Nelles (Brantford, ON), another motocross racer with success bumping up at RC Acres within a fortnight… and earned an envelope of cash for 4th.  These two would swap the lead 3 times in the first 7 laps, and Nelles eventually put some track between the two at the midway point.  Meanwhile, the biggest mover and another motocross racer, Evan Lavato (Welland, ON) qualifying 6th in the grid and slowly and surely continued to post smooth lap times, and move up to finish 2nd, just 20.3 seconds off of the B-Main Champion, Nelles.  Deja vu all over again, Alex Nelles would earn a bump into the A-Main.

The Field was then set for the A-Main.  As soon as the race went green, the newly heated pits cleared as everyone in the Thunderdome  ran to get a good vantage point of the next 10 minutes of slugfest driving.

Top Qualifier Derek Sousa remained in front for the first 3-laps, posting a 22 and 21 second lap, and then would flip onto his lid in the Rhythm Section.  Hot on his tail was Mark Sousa and Justin Silva who would zoom past and have an 8-second lead over him, until history repeated itself… over "the vert" Derek went with full power and to a screeching halt on the other side he would go… with obvious shock and chassis damage to the front of his eBuggy… he would pull off again immediately by the Driver-stand.  Meanwhile, wheel-to-wheel racing was happening all over the track as Justin Silva and Mark Sousa battled it out for 1st, and Alex Nelles and Mike Sloat charged for third.  Through laps 5 and 24 (the end of the race for Nelles and Sloat), they would change leads 6 times.

However, following the leaders Sousa and Silva around the track, lead changes were not as easy to count.  Into the S-Section at the South-end of the Thunderdome, Mark Sousa would cut-to the inside of Silva at turn-6, while Silva would go wide and cut to the inside of Sousa at turn 7 and slingshot ahead through turn 8 into the Rhythm Section… and Sousa would gain ground and pass on the inside of the final turn 9 and cross the loop… a change in position between the Table-top and the Vert (Turn 3) and another change before the camelback at Turn 4.  At most, a 5-second gap on one lap… but side by-side… Justin posting a 21.045 at about the 3/4 mark on lap 19 (ultimately becoming the fastest lap of day) , and Sousa's next lap was a 21.779.  They swapped full lap lead changes 7 Times… 

But in the final throws of the last minute 20, Justin Silva would continue dominating the last section of the track and immediately before the loop, Mark couldn't get by.  Swapping leads deep in the track, and Silva first across the loop.  1.2 Seconds, .9 seconds…. .03 seconds apart.  

And in the final lap out of the rhythm section, their cars seemed a foot apart, over the bump and to the stripe…. Justin Silva would cross first, again, to be the back-to-back 1/8 Scale eBuggy Race Champion.  Mark Sousa would end up being reserve champion, by a mere 3/4 of a second.  Third went to the repeat "Bump" - Alex Nelles (one spot ahead of his previous podium appearance two weeks earlier).

Skycraft Hobbies provided Bonus Prizes to the LQ and Farthest Driver… Lukas Prikryl (Aurora, ON) proudly accepted a set of tires for his brand new eBuggy after his first day of racing it (a Skycraft Hobbies Purchase on Black Friday!), and Benjamin Clement (Kingston, ON) received a set as well, reward for being on the Highway of Heroes at 4am to go racing.

Another Great Finish to another Great Day of Racing.  The Heated Pits were amazing… T-Shirt Weather when it's -11 or -20 with the windchill, and more changes are coming for Driver Stand Heating…. and more racings coming very soon!

See 'ya when I see 'ya,
Joe Scully, Race Director


December 7th - Skycraft Hobbies - 1-8 eBuggy - PRACTICE 
December 7th - Skycraft Hobbies - 1-8 eBuggy - QUALIFIERS
December 7th - Skycraft Hobbies - 1-8 eBuggy - MAINS


UPDATE (Dec 8):
Slight correction: 21.011 was the fastest lap of the day and track eBuggy Record ... Derek Sousa - Qual 3, Race 3, Lap 10.

UPDATE (Dec 10)
Check out the KpopRC Youtube Video of the entire A-Main:

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