Billy Easton reports from his recent victory at the 6th FORCE Race held in FL… It’s that time again, Round #6 of the 2012/13 FORCE series held in Florida. This event was to be held in Broward County at one of the more popular race tracks in Florida, Mills Pond. I refer to it more like the Lions Den, for the simple reason there is a regular group of fast guys and they have no problems defending there home turf. Practice day on Friday kicked off with a rather slippery track due to some slight showers through the day. The layout of the track though was really good. It had a variety of small, med and large jumps. Aside from the obstacles there were fast, slow and rhythm sections. I would say it had a good balance of different styles but, overall I would say it was mostly med to high speed. This track was not really about muscling the car, but more about keeping calm, hitting the lines and staying under control.
As Saturday came and racing was about to kick off, the track was in amazing shape. The traction was coming up higher and higher by the minute. Although it was expected to get more rain, we were fortunate enough only to have cloud cover. The previous nights they put 8 bags of Calcium Chloride on the track. This equaled when the track was fully dried in the sun, an amazingly hooked up surface. The grip was ok in the First round of Qualifying and then the Second Round the grip was through the roof. The biggest issue people were having was traction roll, it was just so easy to do. The cars were travelling super fast through the corners and the traction was like racing on a prepped Tarmac. It was insane, but made for some serious speed. I was able to Top qualify the first and second round with good runs, although not perfect, they were good to build upon. I have basically been using the same setup as the worlds in Argentina with a few minor changes.
I have lightened the rear sway bar and decreased the rear spring(front pink to Red). Overall my car handled very well, I actually thought most of the Serpent cars worked best in the higher grip, while some of the other teams struggled a bit. Although there are those out there that think the Kyosho is the amazing car, the team drivers with those cars looked to struggle the most in the insane grip. The Xray and Mugen guy’s cars all look decent, with traction rolling being a slight issue. I feel our car utilizes the grip a little differently and allows us to push it harder in those types of conditions, which in turn pay’s our team in faster lap times.
Through qualifying I ran Proline Razor back and Blockade’s, I have to admit, I think I might have had the best tires for this condition. The Proline tires to me excel the most when grip is present and the temperature is warm. My tires definitely kept my car in the line and going super fast. Aside from the tires, my Nova Rossi engine was also running particularly well, I was getting super awesome run time at this track and was easily able to run 10 minute pit stops. This would prove yet another advantage for me in the final when others would have to pit an additional time. Overall, I had an awesome total race package for the final set to be run on Sunday.
As Sunday came around, the day was supposed to rain, but good Mother Nature gave us sun. The track was dry and the dirt was heating up. Although it was a bit colder, the sun made it feel warmer. The traction was again through the roof and the surface was in premium condition for the finals. I was concerned a little with tire wear rather than all out speed, so I chose to go with the Proline Big Blox tire. I knew it would be a litte slower than the Blockade, but, it would easily go 30 minutes on the highly abrasive surface. The main started out without a hitch and away we went. My car felt really good to me, although slightly edgy.
I played it cool and hit all my lines perfect for the first 5 minutes. At that time, I had not made a single mistake, and was already beginning to lap fellow racers who had troubles on the first few laps. Lap after lap, my car pounded out the laps, and continued to pull away from the pack. As the race progressed my car was not quite as good as it was in the earlier minutes. My idle was climbing from being slightly too high, which prevented me from hitting the braking points. Having been in this situation before, I just let off earlier and allowed the car to coast its way through the turns. Overall, my car was pretty good in the final, I can not really complain too much. I felt, I could have done a couple things a little bit different, than I did. I had a slight over steer later in the race, but with a little better tuning, that could have been overcome. In the end a win is a win. This marks my 6th win out of the 8 race series. So, the overall for the 2012/13 series is mine for the taking.
In the end, the event ran without a hitch. They had over 125 entries all in the while, there was also another event being run in Florida. It is always nice to see all the other racers when you go to these events. The FORCE crew did an awesome job keeping things going, and the Mills Pond crew did a fantastic job on the track.
I hope all the racers from that event made it home safely and I look forward to seeing you all again real soon.