Bit of controversy at the 1/10 Offroad Pre-Worlds in Chico, CA as the best drivers in the World struggled to make it round with a lack of traction – more evident in 2WD than 4WD the decision was made to apply sugar to the track to help bring up traction, Team Associated’s Brent Thielke showed his feelings on this on Facebook in a statement:

Let me be clear, I am against adding a substance like sugar to a track surface not because Associated doesn’t have a mid-motor vehicle, but because of the precedent it sets. As an industry, people look to the major races as guidelines and using a substance that rusts cars and increases tire wear causes a ripple effect throughout events. There are many short term benefits that sugar provides, however the long term effects when you consider club racing, potential weather conditions and the inconsistency that arises when not maintained on a daily level, I feel it’s the wrong direction for any track/event. Off-road is on dirt. Add the magic ingredient (water) and go race.

I was in a minority of manufactures that voted to continue watering the track today and then soaking it tonight. The track hadn’t seen water in over a week and in my experience adding water would allow the track to naturally wear in and for a racing groove to develop; however much grip it had.  The decision has now been made to sugar the whole track and not just the straight. If the one application of sugar makes the track consistent and “raceable” then I guess it worked. I just don’t want to have to see them add hundreds of pounds of sugar to make the surface consistent when I feel a good night of water would of done the same.”

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Tamiya driver Lee Martin had this to say:

Long day at the track… 14 hours! The surface at the start was crazy loose! But now after the sugar it’s coming around. I don’t know what will happen for the worlds, all I know is that how loose the track was this morning was impossible to drive and so far it’s been a good call to get some traction into it. Tyre wear is a little high, but I’m willing to take that in exchange for traction. The facilities here are super Dialed and I’m sure they will so all what is in their power to make a good race. Another practice day tomorrow so lets see how things go!!”

Video: Steven Hartson in practice, via Paul Wynn / Facebook