We got to the track for a bit tonight. I had the stock tires on CircuitONE, because the Prolines I bought a couple weeks ago are almost done already...but that's a story for another thread.
Anyways, when we got there and started, we were the only three people there. There was one other guy, but he wasn't running. When we started, all three of us were having traction issues. Not a lot of luck hooking up. When some other guys started showing up, who I want to say were regulars because they all knew each other, they were all complaining about the traction. It turns out that they had redesigned the track the night before, and it was still a bit dry in spots. In some spots, it was really hard packed and fast, but in other parts it was relatively crumbly.
I had thought about buying some new tires, but after talking to a couple of guys there I decided not to. They all told me that even with new tires, with the track conditions I probably would still have traction issues...so I figured I'd save the money.
Let's just put it this way...the track condition that was so poor that they were probably going to cancel the club races that were supposed to take place later in the evening.
On the plus side...everyone there said that the track normally isn't like that. So the next time we go we probably won't have the issues. As we were leaving, they were watering the clay down one more time in what I took to be a last ditch effort to salvage the club races.
But anyways...now that I've typed all of that...on to the driving.
The stock Slash behaved pretty much exactly like my friend Jeff said it would...it was consistently slower which made it seem to be the easiest to drive. The stock Slash was slow but steady, and he spent the least amount of time on his roof. In fact, he was so steady that he actually gave quite a few of the other trucks that were out there a run for their money. They'd pass him on the one large straight, but he'd be caught back up by the next straight.
Jeff was also pretty spot on with the VXL. It was faster on the straight, but not by much, but on every other aspect of the track it didn't end up holding up to CircuitONE. In fact, the VXL spent the highest amount of time on it's roof. I attributed that to the fact that his suspension is stock, and I don't think he's really even tried to adjust any of it. So he would pull on me a bit on the straight, but throughout the rest of the track CircuitONE literally mopped the floor with the VXL.
Now, on to CircuitONE. First, let me say that the traction was a bit of a problem, but once I got used to where it was the most problem, I was able to adjust accordingly while driving. I spent very little time spinning out once I got a feel for the track. I also spent less time on my roof than the VXL did, which allowed me to consistently beat him around the track.
I was happy with the way the truck drove. It was faster overall than the VXL around the track, and to be honest it kept up pretty well with several of the Team Losi Racing 22 buggies. In fact, I had a pretty good back and forth with one of the TLR 22s for about three laps before he somehow managed to flip over going over the double-single.
I thought that the Circuit handled the jumps pretty well, also. There were two major sets of jumps, and one table. The first jump was a double that the Circuit cleared almost every time without any problems. The second set was the aforementioned double-single...which I could hit as a double most of the time then hit the single, but sometimes I had to take it as three singles. The table gave me some fits, but mostly because where it was located at I had a hard time seeing what was going on. I don't know if there was a light out in that corner of the building or what, but it seemed to be darker over there.
The only part of the course that I had real issues with was down a straight they had built a bunch of bumps, not small jumps, but literally just bumps. They were tough for the truck, or me, or both. I just simply couldn't get the hang of them.
Again, I'm really happy with the way the truck handled the course. I had a great time and didn't think that the truck really lacked anything...other than traction, but that's already been discussed.
Now, let's talk about the damages sustained.
First off, the VXL suffered zero issues, despite at one point in time actually flying completely OFF the track and onto the cement that was effectively in the pit area.
The stock Slash suffered the most...it lost a wheel lug which we couldn't find, so he had to buy some new wheel lugs. He also had a steering link come apart, but I think he was able to just put that back together. I don't think he needed any more parts for that. At the very end, a screw worked out of the steering link that we couldn't find, so he's going to have to get a new one of those.
Finally, the Circuit suffered no real damage. Once the steering link popped off, but thanks to the cups, I just popped it back on. The body got a small crack in the back of it, but from what everyone says that's to be expected on this truck. Last, the TBR bumper on the back is mounted VERY close to the fan and heat sink, and after one jump the bumper hit the fan hard enough to knock the heat sink loose. I could have put it back on, but I wanted to clean it up first and I didn't have the right stuff to do that, so I just took it off. Again, no real issue...just something that could have been easily fixed.
Overall, I was really happy with the time spent at the track and will definitely be going back. The only unfortunate part was that I didn't get any pictures or video. They had a couple of signs that said you needed to get permission to take pictures...and although I'm sure that they would have let us, I didn't ask.