Even though short course is the current mainstay of RC, it is still a relatively new segment. RC Madness in Enfield, CT was an early mover in recognizing that short course was going to be big. This is evidenced by the fact they kicked off the Short Course Nationals four years ago. The 4th annual SC Nats had the same qualities as the previous years–lots of short course truck racers, some visiting pro and factory representatives, a truly national-worthy track layout and rain. Rain and the Short Course Nationals seem to be a tradition, but more on that later.
RC madness owner Chris Marcy and his team designed two short course specific tracks for the event. And, technically, there were three different layouts. The standard large track was used for all of the nitro and modified classes such as 2WD Open Mod and 4WD Open. The majority of the field was able to put down between six to nine laps in five minutes. I can personally report that the large track layout was simply fun to race on. The track was also used for 1/5-scale action, so the lanes were plenty wide. Timing the jumps was easy and even though a few of the jumps looked big, the track was definitely short course friendly. A small section of the track was bypassed for the 1/5-scale trucks.
The Traxxas Slash spec class and the stock classes all ran on a small “1/10-scale” track on the other side of the drivers’ stand. Instead of a large track with a lot of unused space and taking up a lot of real estate, the 1/10-scale track was the typical electric-only track and was a mix up squared-up 180- and 90-degree turns.
Losi, Team Losi Racing (TLR) and Horizon Hobby were the 2012 title sponsors. Addition sponsors included: AKA, Anza, Castle Creations, Duratrax, Dynamite, FullForce RC, Futaba, G4 Graphics, Hitec, JConcepts, MIP, Novak, Opa Opa Steakhouse and Brewery, OuterWears, Parma, Pro-Line, RC Driver, RC Truck Stop, Spektrum, Team Associated, Team New Wave, Team Tekin, TheToyz.com and TrakPower
The race officially kicked off on Saturday with three rounds of qualifying scheduled. In the end, even though the day proceeded fairly quickly, an entire third round could not be completed. During qualifying, the most exciting racing appeared to be in the 2WD Open class and its 4WD open counterpart. Ryan Dunford, Losi Product manager, seemed to have the best overall handle on the competition. Fellow Losi employee and product manager Keith Whisler was also putting down fast laps. Also in attendance from the Horizon camp–they were the title sponsors–was Gary Katzer who showed he could wheel with the fast guys too. Other notable out of towners included engineer and pro-level driver Paul Sinclair of X Factory, the always-fast Gerardo Gonzalez of Pro-Line and others. Local young gun Kyle Rhodes put some serious heat on the factory-reps and took the “win” over Dunford in round three of 4WD Open. After watching round three, everyone was eagerly anticipating the A-main in the 4-wheel class.
- Total entries for 2012 was said to be 330
- The biggest class was 4WD Open which had an L-main
- This was the 4th Annual Short Course Nationals
- The Short Course Nats used a bump-up system with the top two moving to the next main
- Mains were set to 12 trucks maximum
Sunday morning started with the conclusion of qualifying, ran through the lower mains and then turned into the weather watch as we got closer to the A-mains. After a few showers, hopes were high that we’d get through the day, but the curse of the Bambino (over in 2004, thank you very much) has nothing on the rain curse of the Short Course Nats. Once again the clouds rolled in and the rain took over. Three A-mains were completed–short course truck stock, short course buggy stock and Traxxas Slash Spec. Heavy rains flooded the tracks and pits, and the call was eventually made to use qualifying order to determine the finish of the classes that didn’t have a chance at actual A-main showdowns.
ABOUT RC MADNESS
RC Madness in Enfield, CT is a truly iconic name in the northeast RC scene and is one of the largest RC facilities on the east coast. The facility has two outdoor off-road tracks, a sand drag strip, outdoor crawling courses, indoor crawling courses and a large carpet track for off-road, road course and oval racing. Chris Marcy, the owner, is well known for being extremely customer focused and keeps the store well stocked. With national caliber drivers on staff, RC Madness can cater to any enthusiast’s needs.
After rain (and wind and thunder and lightning) shut the event down, the skies eventually turned blue (insert New England weather joke of your choice here) and the 1/5-scale guys concurred to fire up their big rigs and decide their main out on the considerably well watered track. Watching these guys before was fun and watching them run in the mud was even better.
2WD Open — Sponsored by AKA
4WD Open — Team Tekin
Stock Short Course Buggy — Hitec
Traxxas Slash Spec — TrakPower
1/5-scale Short Course — TheToyz.com
Nitro Open SC — Duratrax
SCT Big Block — Castle Creations
Short Course Stock — Futaba
2WD Open — Ryan Dunford*
4WD Open — Ryan Dunford*
Stock Short Course Buggy — Keith Whisler
Traxxas Slash Spec — Jay Franz
1/5-scale Short Course — Josh Howell
Nitro Open SC — Zack Barry*
SCT Big Block — John Cravotta*
Short Course Open — Chicken Little
* Decided by qualifying order