2017 International Offroad Carpet Championship
Race Report: Adam Lapid
The inaugural 2017 International Offroad Carpet Championship was another great Scotty Ernst production. This was the first Scotty Ernst Production that I have attended, and definitely not the last.
The 2017 IOCC had lower attendance than anticipated but provided hours of track time for racers competing in more than one class. The lower attendance meant extensive track time for all drivers with free practice available at the end of most days.
21.5T Amateur Buggy
2WD Buggy is the class which I have the least experience with and most room for improvement. I focused most of my attention on setting my Serpent SRX2 MH Team Edition, to be very forgiving and smooth with the 21.5T handout motor. I found the best gearing to be 32/70 pinion/spur, this is a FDR of 5.32. This gearing had sufficient torque and rpm to clear the first double when following a wide driving line out of the first chicane. The ability to clear the double with the 21.5T was worth .4 to .5 seconds per lap and helped me secure the overall TQ. Most drivers in this class were able to remain full throttle through the long sweeper. I found that I was full throttle for 90% of the lap and only needing to lift in several turns. I set my ESC to full drag brake because only a few corners required slowing down to prevent traction-rolling.
17.5T Stock Buggy
I ran the same buggy in the 17.5T and 21.5T 2WD buggy classes and this really affected my performance in the 17.5T buggy because I focused more on the 21.5T. The driving lines for the 21.5T and 17.5T were different and I gave up .2 to .3 seconds taking a wider line to clear the first double which could be cleared easily running a tighter line with the increased power of the 17.5T. I also found I was losing a little time on the straight away with gearing that was a little too tall. I ended up settling on a FDR of 5.87 geared at 29/70 pinion/spur with the Serpent Slipper Eliminator. I was able to drop my lap time within .5 seconds of the front runners by taking a tighter line through the sweeper and the correct gearing. My goal was to make the A-Main. I qualified second in the B-Main and with a perfect run and a mistake from the leader I finished 1st in the B-Main and got the bump to the A-Main where I started 9th. If I would have focused more on this class and setting up my car for the higher power of the 17.5T I believe I could have finished in the middle of the field.
13.5T 4WD Buggy
This was a last minute class change because I intended to run 17.5T SCT. I ordered, bought, built, and raced the Serpent SDX4 for the first time the Sunday before the start of the IOCC. I found the SDX4 to be very easy and smooth to drive. I changed shock oils once, to 37.5wt 30wt front and rear. With the high traction, stiffer springs would have been beneficial because I felt that the blue front and blue astro rear springs were too soft. I did not have any other stiffer springs to try and to compensate for the lack of springs I adjusted the front and rear roll centers lower to add some responsiveness to the car. The final challenge I had in getting my SDX4 in to a position I could be aggressive was with motor gearing. I was running an older 13.5T but without having a 78T or 80T spur gear to change gearing I was stuck with a 25/76 and FDR of 7.51. This was too short and I overheated my motor in the A-2 Main. A 7.3 FDR and newer motor would have let me battle with the middle of pack.
Overall I had a great time learning the Serpent platforms. My goals for the IOCC were to podium in the 21.5T class and make the A-Mains in 17.5T and 13.5T 4WD. I accomplished all the goals I set and look forward to racing more with my Serpent cars. I am very impressed with adjustability of both the SRX2 and SDX4 and look forward to learning to tuning and driving them on different racing surfaces.