The 4th Annual Outback Shootout was once again a great hit. With 23 heats of racing for the weekend it would be a nicely paced schedule put on by the Outback Raceway crew led by Ruben Benitez. The track was in top shape and the layout was fun with some technical sections forcing you to slow down to avoid costly mistakes.
I entered into the 4wd SC and 2wd SC mod classes as well as 2wd mod buggy. Qualifying was going pretty decent for me as I was on top 3 runs in each qualifying round for the most part. My TLR 22SCT was on rails which was great as it was my first race with the truck. I was using the latest Tekin Gen 2 Rs and Gen 2 Redline in 9.5 fueled by Protek 100c packs. I had more than enough power and able to carry the front end all the way down the straight away. Traction was excellent with my Panther Slicks in clay compound mounted to DE Racing wheels.
My new 4wd Mip/Tlr 4wd SC was also fast only requiring a few minor tweaks to get fast laps with the other top guys in the class such as teammate Austin Blair. Both Blair and myself were using the Tekin Rx8 and Pro 4 4600 motor with 100c Protek packs. I was using Panther Slicks in clay in this class as well, again mounted to DE Racing wheels.
I was struggling with my 2wd buggy setup most of the weekend so I focused on the other two classes. In the end this would be the right choice as I would qualify 3rd in Pro 2 SC and 5th in 4wd Sc with 3rd though 5th being decided by qual points tie breaker of total laps and times! It was that close!
The mains would kick off and 4wd SC was up first. From the tone the battle royal was on and the top 5 would battle it out. After a few laps the top 5 would begin to separate a bit. Tq Patrick Zhao would bobble early on allowing Josh O’Connell and Amain Hobbies Austin Blair to pass by followed by Tekin team manager Randy Pike in tow with them. The 3 would gain some separation with Pike following the two leaders with enough distance to pounce should they take each other out. O’Connell and Blair would run bumper to bumper with each other taking turns passing each other when the other would make the smallest of bobbles. Pike would retire from the race with a mechanical ruining his chances to win. The race would be a wire to wire nail biter as O’Connell and Blair would dice in and out of traffic with the race winding down for time. In the end O’Connell would take the win followed by Austin Blair and Patrick Zhao. All 3 drivers were powered by a Tekin Rx8 and Pro 4600 motor!
Pro 2 SC was up next and I was really wanting to battle for the win. Tq Zhao had some clean runs to take Tq but I knew I could pressure him for the win as I felt I had the faster truck. From the tone Patrick would get out clean. Local Outback Raceway drive Mike Maxwell would be pressured heavily from the tone by me . I was so close it looked like the two trucks were conjoined for nearly 3 laps. Mike would suffer an odd tire mechanical allowing me to finally get by and make a push to chase down Zhao who now had a small 6 second lead. I would lay down fast laps and work down Patrick’s lead when lapped traffic would be a factor at around the 4 minute mark. Iwas able to work down the lead to about 2 seconds when Bmiller team driver Lou Figueria would get the racers luck getting through traffic. We would battle it out for nearly 2 minutes allowing Patrick to breath a bit. I would suffer from an intermittent issue with just 1 minute to go allowing Figueria to chase Zhao on his own. Zhao would bobble and lose the lead to Figueria in the end. The final tone would sound with Figueria taking 1st, Zhao 2nd, myself 3rd. Once again a complete Tekin podium with all 3 drivers choosing the Tekin RS Pro and Redline Motor and all powered by Protek Batteries!
I’d like to thank the Outback Raceway crew, the title sponsors for the event: Team Tekin, Panther Tires, DE Racing , and Amain Hobbies. Thanks to my sponsors: Tekin, Panther Tires, Protek, MIP, Avid RC, TNT Graphix, Dialed RC, DE Racing, Ko Propo and Amain Hobbies