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Race report by Reno Savoya

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The 2012 Psycho Nitro Blast returned for its fifth year anniversary! Dave Leikam and his crew did an awesome job to get more people to travel to Georgia to attend this race in either buggy, truggy, electric buggy or short course! There were more than 600 entries this year, it’s really impressive! As I attended this race in 2011, I was really motivated to attend this race as the concept is way different that what we are used to in Europe!

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Everything started great for me during practices as I worked on the car to make it better in the bumps. Actually, since I drive the XB9, I haven’t practiced much in rough conditions so it was a real opportunity to learn more about the cars and get more experience. As I worked could really feel the difference in the flexibility of the chassis, going from full screws to fully flexible. The car was way easier to drive, and also had more traction on the sandy clay of Unadilla. I was also pleased to drive the XT8 and the 808e! I definitively wanted to get my revenge in those classes from the Dirt and get the best results that I could!

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Along with my friend and mechanic Jerome Treignier, we decided to rent an RV so we could stay directly on site. Actually, with the 36 hours straight of open practice, there was a lot of track time and not much time to sleep. Everything went great for us during the weekend, as we could meet Team XRAY from the east coast. We had a real great time… thank you, guys!

Qualifications in all classes went pretty smoothly, as we ran all our qualifiers without any problems, even with the 7-minute runs in those extreme Psycho conditions with high 5m jumps, rhythm sections, whoops…etc. There was no doubt about the quality of XRAY products and the incredible reliability of our products!

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Truggy Qual:
In truggy, we managed to get a really good set-up with 6-hole pistons, giving us a comfortable ride to handle the bumps without having problems on the jumps. I managed to qualify 2nd, battling for TQ with Billy Easton with both of us getting under the 49s lap times! Jerome did a great job getting his XT8 into the top 15 and directly into the A-main.

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Buggy Qual:
In buggy, driving was more difficult as sometimes the cars were reacting differently every lap due to the track. Rough track and no sleep… pretty aggressive for drivers, mechanics, and cars!!! We managed to get only about 4 hours of sleep each night: kinda rough!

Unfortunately for the RC America team (XRAY USA), no drivers were able to get into the A-main. Jerome got the best result out of the field, placing his XB9 into the B-main. And let us not forget Christian Rodriguez, who flew all the way from Porto Rico to attend this event. I managed to get TQ honors during qualifications, getting the most of the great set-up I found during practice. I had a clear track most of the time and could get great lap times to secure my TQ time.

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Electric buggy Qual:
As my 2nd race in electric buggy, I was still learning everything but I still managed to get directly into the A-main with number 7 on the grid. The race was divided into two A mains counting. I finished 3rd in leg 1 and 4th in leg 2, so on points I got 3rd (nice for an electric newbie) right behind Drake and Kortz, probably the best 1/8 electric buggy drivers in USA.

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Mains:
Here comes the time of the A-main! Liverc.com put a great show together with driver introductions, lights, and live broadcasting! It was really tight for the podium finish in both buggy and truggy classes.

With 4 drivers out of the top 12 of the last Worlds in Pattaya, the level was incredibly high, and the battles were epic. The mains were both 45 minutes. I opted for a 9-minute pit strategy in both classes as it was safer this way and I didn’d want to risk running too lean with my engines. I could go for 12 minutes in each class, but you never know how hard the battle will be!

Finally, I ended up 2nd in both classes! I fought until the last meters with Adam Drake in both classes, for the win in truggy and for the 2nd spot in buggy!

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Buggy final results:
1. Billy Easton
2. Renaud Savoya XRAY XB9
3. Adam Drake

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Truggy final results:
1. Adam Drake
2. Renaud Savoya XRAY XB9
3. Billy Easton



Unfortunately for Jerome, some bobbles in the B main got him 5th, just behind the bump-up spot! In truggy, he could have placed 5th overall but a broken steering servo horn forced him to retire early. Lesson learned, he will use top quality HUDY aluminum servo horns now! :)

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Here are my set-up sheets of the race, and a small interview the PNB crew posted on YouTube to present the layout!

XB9 Set-up sheet.
XB808E Set-up sheet.
XT8 Set-up sheet.

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See you on the tracks!
Reno

A big “thanks” goes to Alex Pilson, Dave Leikam and Liverc.com for the pictures.