Race Into the New Year: 2014 Blast-Off featuring 1/8 eBuggy at RC Acres ThunderDome
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 23:00

Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Tailwhip - Tom Bitz Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Tailwhip - Tom Bitz

The year 2014 was kicked off inside the ThunderDome at RC Acres with the "Race into the New Year" 2014 Blast-Off featuring 1/8 Scale eBuggy.  An exciting race was staged, with a limit of 30-entries due to the number of pits currently available, while 11 Alternates were accepted, taking the Roster to 41 pre-registrations, the biggest race yet at the ThunderDome!

As the doors opened at 7am, Racers were already waiting to scoop an optimal pit area, and the day commenced early.

At the close of registration, 35 Racers were entered!  In the early future, construction will be completed on more heated pit areas, meanwhile, the 35 racers in attendance were set to tear-it-up, regardless.

An exciting addition to the 2014 Blast-Off was Skycraft Hobbies' last minute sponsorship of the event, sponsoring the cash-payout and providing lots of T-Shirts for give-aways throughout the day of racing.

In the field of racers, there were some regulars and some new-to-the ThunderDome racers.  Highlights, of course, Justin Silva (Mississauga, ON) the reigning 3-event champion of eBuggy in the ThunderDome (The Inaugural, Skycraft Invitational, Christmas Classic); Derek Sousa (Everett, ON) a TQ into the A-Main several times in the ThunderDome including TQ Record Holder for eBuggy, yet to take the top of the Podium; Mark Sousa (Toronto, ON) the reigning Provincial eBuggy Champion and winner of the eBuggy Race at the Outdoor Track at RC Acres; Alex Nelles (Brantford, ON) a top-5 Finisher over all-3 previous eBuggy Races in the ThunderDome; plus Mr. Otterville John Blakley (Otterville, ON) a 1/10 SCT convert into 1/8 eBuggy over the past two events; Sergio Vargas (Brampton, ON) - a competitor of all-scales at RC Acres Indoor and Out…, and many, many more.

Into controlled practice, Justin Silva posted the fastest lap in the first heat at 21.784, while Mark Sousa posted the TQ time of 13 Laps, 5:06

In the second practice heat, Mark Sousa posted a 21.516 fastest lap, while Justin Silva posted a 21.698 in that session, and posted a better TQ time of 13 laps in 5:03.

Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - TailWhip Entry Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - TailWhip Entry

Prior to Qualifying, a Tail-Whip Competition was staged for the first time ever, with a purse of $40 and a winner-take-all competition.  Entered were: John "Chewy" Bakker (Toronto, ON), Derek Sousa (Everett, ON), Mark Sousa (Toronto, ON), Tom Bitz (London, ON), Brian Gump Belanger (Markham, ON), Aaron Inwood (Bowmanville, ON), Justin Silva and Alex Nelles.  Each competitor would receive 3 hits on the camelback feature and judged by crowd applause.  Throughout the competition, the racers bounced off of the "Vert", though weren't judged on it.  One competitor was perpendicular to the ground as a warm up off of the vert, but staggered their way across the Camelback.  The fans selected Aaron Inwood as the first ever winner (98.2 dB), while Derek Sousa and Tom Bitz were a close 2nd and 3rd (97.4 and 95.2 dB respectively).

Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - TailWhip Winner - Aaron Inwood Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - TailWhip Winner - Aaron Inwood

Into the first round of qualifying, Mark Sousa would post the fastest lap time of the day of 21.165, and post the TQ time of 14 Laps in 5:12.485 which would be the TQ into the A-Main.  Seeding for the qualifiers came from the controlled practice, and a re-sort took place after the first two rounds of qualifiers… Darryl Zylstra (Burford, ON) moved up into the fastest section after the re-sort.  Through the three rounds of qualifying, 13 Laps in 5:19.391 would be required to qualify for the A-Main, and all of the 7 seeds from practice heats, and the re-sort after two in qualifying remained as the guaranteed 7 to run in the A-Main.  That left lots of intense racing to see which of the remaining 28 would join them in the Final Race.

With 35 racers and a format for "lots of competitive racing", 6 mains were set with 2 "Bump-Up" opportunities in all of the lower-mains, and 1 bump up from the B-Main to the A-Main.  

Into the first set of Mains, David McLean (Schomberg, ON) had the pole position, and held it all almost all the way through the 10-minute race, until with about 40 seconds left, he wrecked in the rhythm section, right before the start/finish line.  His lead was so commanding, at least a 1 lap lead, that only one racer was able to squeeze by him, Ken Jaggard (Hamilton, ON), and McLean and Jaggard would both advance to the next main.  

In the next main, John Blakley had the pole position, and wanted to earn the bump into the next main to race against one of his forum cohorts… but the field was intense.  Douglas Shewfelt (Stoney Creek, ON) would slide by Blakley in the first lap and hold the lead right until the finish.  Blakley spent the first half of the race playing catch-up, from dropping into 5th and working his way into 3rd at the halfway point, and into 2nd for the last 3 minutes, though both Ian McFly McDaniel (Brantford), and David McLean gave him a run in the final handful of laps.  Shewfelt and Blakely advanced.

Into the 3rd Main (D-Main) Aaron Inwood would grab the lead early for the first couple of laps, then Sean Cuthbertson (Oshawa, ON) grabbed it and led for 11 laps, until Tom Bitz jumped in front and lead for 8 laps, until the "bump" Douglas Shewfelt was able to jump to the front and lead the final three laps, though it was intense wheel-to-wheel racing between Bitz and Shewfelt for the final 6 laps.  Shewfelt and Bitz advanced. 

Into the C-Main, Evan Lovato (Welland, ON) had earned the pole position, and and held it for 15 laps, until one of the bumps, Tom Bitz was able to slide by him with about 4 minutes left on the clock, and held the lead for the balance of the race, though Evan Lovato stayed within seconds for the balance of the race, finishing just 1.2 seconds behind.  Bitz and Lovato advanced to the B-Main, while Douglas Shewfelt earned a Skycraft Hobbies T-Shirt Bundle for racing 3-consecutive races in the mains (E, D and C Mains).

The B-Main would feature 7 Racers, with 1 advancing to the A-Main.  Steve Bulmann (Brampton, ON) qualified on the pole and led the first 2 laps, and switched the lead back and forth for a few laps with Ron Lupel (Orono, ON), until taking on too much damage and being side-lined on the 10th lap.  Lupel carried the lead for another 15 laps to win the B-Main and the Bump by an entire lap over 2nd.  Tom Bitz also received a Skycraft Hobbies T-Shirt Bundle for running 3-Consecutive Mains (D, C and B-Main).

Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Darry Zylstra Crashes Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Darry Zylstra Crashes

The A-Main Field was set with: Mark Sousa at the Pole, Justin Silva in 2nd, Derek Sousa in 3rd, Eric Lajoie (Burlington, ON) in 4th, Darryl Zylstra in 5th, Brian Gump Belanger in 6th, Alex Nelles in 7th and Ron Lupel in 8th.  On the tone, they took off… with Mark Sousa holding the lead through the first lap, and then being side-lined in the 2nd… Justin Silva then jumped to the Front in lap 2, while Derek Sousa sat right behind him.  The two traded places a handful of times, and even crossed the start-finish line side-by side on the 19th lap…. but in the final lap, Justin Silva was again able to pull first across the checkered … winning by .773 over Derek Sousa with a TQ Time of 27/10:16.321 (1.7 seconds off of his record from November), meanwhile the Bump Ron Lupel earned cash payoff for a top-5 finish in the A-Main.  This win marks the 4th consecutive win for Justin Silva in eBuggy in the ThunderDome at RC Acres!!!


Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Top-5 Podium Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy - Top-5 Podium

1. Justin Silva - 27/10:16.321
2. Derek Sousa - 27/10:17.094
3. Alex Nelles - 25/10:10.042
4. Eric Lajoie - 25/10:14.445
5. Ron Lupel - 25/10:19.313


Practice - Click Here
Qualifiers - Click Here
Mains - Click Here


Race in the New Year - 2014 Blastoff - eBuggy







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