The Psycho Nitro Blast brings new meaning to the nitro racing community and its name describes just that. The track is built inside of a huge Horse arena. They typically lay out the track and let the drivers loose for over 32 hours of practice. That’s right 32 hours or more of practice. Do they maintenance the track some will ask… The answer is no…. well kind of.. They only fix the connection point between the wooden ramps and dirt to make sure the jumps are not damaged. The remainder of the track is left un-repaired. What does this really mean…. It means the track gets super rough…
Since it was my first PNB, I was actually quite impressed with the event organization and the amount of people that took part. The race had that big race feel and all sorts of tents and companies promoting their products. Another really nice thing about the race is the Diner that is part of the Arena. You can pretty much get breakfast, lunch and dinner anytime you want. They also had tents set up to get Monster Energy drinks along with hot chocolate, coffee and more.
The track started off really moist and many cars were coming off muddy on the first day. The track did begin to dry out and the racing line began to take more shape. The layout itself was full of all different types of jumps, bumps, turns, woops, off camber sections. It was a bit difficult to manage, mostly when there was a pot hole in the middle of the line. The track though did harden up and become a little more consistent in the later stages of the race.
I have to admit; things in the beginning were not going all that well for me. I wouldn’t be considered one of the best rough track drivers out there, but I was determined to get the best possible set up for my cars. After qualifying began, the first round was a eye opening experience for me. I not only didn’t make the top ten, but was lucky to be in the top 20… My cars were not really handling that well and I was good for multiple crashes per lap. I was seriously contemplating retiring from the event and becoming someone else’s pit man.
After calming my thoughts I began to put a plan together to get my cars back on track and find some lines on the course I could actually use to get around.
Suspension, suspension, suspension that is the key..This is not really a track where you have a better car chassis design or your engine is here and your battery is there. This track is all about cutting the fat and finding the best shock geometry, oil, spring combination. It really is that simple. With the cars trying to maneuver bumps, jumps turns, holes and so on, timing is key. You have to have the right pack, right spring, and right shock progression to stay on your wheels.
On the S811 buggy, I can only comment on what works for it for those of you who might be reading but don’t actually own one. Our car is very unique in its balance, and seems to be more likely to work well with thicker dampening and softer springs. I pretty much tried variations of front and rear ends to get where I ended, and I have no idea how it might work on another track. The combinations were really the key to success, the right this and the right that.
In the buggy class, it was about trying to control the speed of the car, find the right line and have a setup that had a mild under steer. In the end, it made for a very easy to drive, find the line situation that allowed you to get your car in the line needed.
The truggy class started bad, peaked and then, fell short on me. The setup in the beginning was terrible, then amazing, and then in the end, I missed the opportunity to make it right. The previous days during qualifying were really cold, and my shock oil was premium for that condition. In the final, it was a good 10 degrees hotter, ran in the mid afternoon and quite simply my shock oil was too light. It made for an unstable truck, and unfortunately so. I really had high hopes to win that category. I wasn’t much of a gambler in that class, and well I should have taken a small educated risk..
In the end, the cars worked really well and could have won both classes. Although you cannot win every race you enter you can try your best to do so. I had a great time at the event and want to thank the PNB crew as well as Live RC for their efforts to produce such a great event.