Race Report by Tommy Hinz (XRAY) :

This past week I was able to attend the 2019 Reedy Race of Champions held at world famous OCRC Raceway. The track crew and shop once again outdid themselves on this historic event remembering the legend Mike Reedy. Wednesday was my travel/ open practice day. I left early morning and arrived at the track around noon time. I was able to line my bags up at the door and was first in line! I walked inside and was able to help with a few finishing touches for the event, and check out the track surface and layout. At 3pm the doors opened and we all scrambled in to set up our pits and anxiously get onto the green track. I went out for practice first with my XB219D and it felt pretty solid. As practice went on I threw my XB419 out for a test drive and she was ripping some fast laptimes from the start. We had open practice for 5 hours, 3pm-8pm. I ran my 4wd for 2 practice runs and felt it was on pace with setup to be fast. As the track progressed the front step on step off gained some character, and I needed to make a few changes to my 2wd to manage the jump better. After 4 practice runs with my 2wd I felt comfortable and was able to clean my cars and prep them for the seeding runs on Thursday. At 8pm at the conclusion of practice the open class got their handout tires and was able to mount them at the hotel that night. I also bought an extra set so I was prepared for later in the event.

Thursday morning we showed up bright and early to get the new tires sauced up at the sauce station with the spec sauce. We had one controlled 5 minute practice run with each car by heat, followed by 2, 5 minute seeding runs by heat. I knew my tires needed time to break in more, but my XB2 and XB4 felt really good I knew once qualifying came around and it wasn’t just 3 consecutive laps I would be fine and in contention for the top 5. I ended Thursday seeding into both of the “B” heats.

Friday morning was yet again an early morning at the track. I showed up and made a few setup changes that Ty and Gord suggested on my 2wd, and got some morning 2 minute practice runs to scuff the tires in a little more. Once I got my tires ran 3 more times that morning I felt like I had good grip and was ready to get racing.

Friday qualifying started off a little slow for me in 4wd, I made a mistake on lap one and had to get marshalled. I put together a clean run after that to get a 6 for the round. In round one of 2wd I drove a clean race and took the TQ. In round 2 of 4wd I yet again had a small mistake, however I was able to TQ that round still. Round 2 of 2wd I had another clean run which was good for an overall TQ. Round 3 of 4wd was solid. I was on pace to go the extra lap and secure a TQ run until I got caught up with some traffic. Ended with 2 mistakes in traffic and had to settle with a 3 for the round. Round 3 of 2wd I had my most consistent run and fastest run as well. TQ by about 4.5 seconds I believe. It felt great knowing I had secured the overall TQ for the 2wd open class.

Saturday I knew I had some work to do in 4wd if I wanted the overall TQ spot over Xray Teammate Jake Mayo. I went out and drove as hard as I could to set a time that would be hard to beat. I wrecked 2 times but still managed to make a late race charge to get the extra lap, and that run was TQ for the round. I edged out Jake for the tie-breaker since I made the extra lap. In 2wd nothing special was done. I ran a fresh set of tires and tried a rear spring change in prep for the main events on Sunday. Jake mayo ended with the round TQ! I was very happy Saturday night at dinner with some of the team when I realized Jake and myself had secured the TQ for all 8 rounds for Xray!

Sunday was the mains !

2wd A1 I drove a clean mistake free race and was able to lead tone to tone.

2wd A2 I changed my shock oils and went up a little bit since the grip was getting higher. I made a bad call on the oil and should’ve left it alone. I still managed to gap second place by about a second and a half, until a charge by Ron Devoll made it a battle for the lead. I clipped a pipe and Ron went by as I had another mistake on the same lap. Ron drove great under pressure and managed to lead the rest of the race. With about 2 minutes to go Jake Mayo and Mason Fuller made a huge charge up to me as a 3 way battle for second. In the end I drove calm and collected and was able to finish A2 in second, giving me the overall win!

2WD Buggy Open Results:

  1. Tommy Hinz – XRAY XB2
  2. Ron DeVoll – AE
  3. Mason Fuller – TLR

4wd A1 was started well, but I lost the lead with about 3 minutes to go. However I was able to catch back up to Ron Devoll and battle for the lead, but then I had some tough luck and finished 3rd! 4wd A2, Jake Thayer was kind enough to lend me a battery to use for the last main. It was a tad heavier than my previous batteries, and I should’ve adjusted my setup to make more support for the extra weight. I ended up not being very fast or comfortable in A2 and had a mistake that would put me 3rd in the main, and 2nd overall on the podium.

4WD Buggy Open Results:

  1. Ron DeVoll – AE
  2. Tommy Hinz – XRAY XB4
  3. Austin Horne – AE