This past weekend I attended the 26th annual Pro-Line Cactus Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona. With big names like Maifield, Cavalieri, Evans, and Phend the 26th running of this prestigious event at SRS Raceway was set to be a good one! Over 400 total entries where confirmed for the event including many from over the pond.
After leaving Monday around 3:00 P.M. we made the sixteen hour, 980 mile journey down I-5 and I-10 arriving in Scottsdale, Arizona just in time to watch the sun rise. With puddles still on the track from rain the past few days, we decided to wrench on our cars and mount several sets of JConcepts Bar Codes. After the cars where prepped and tires where ready to roll for Wednesday, I made a run with each car Tuesday afternoon to get a little feel for the jumps and corners. With racers from across the country all ready arriving by Tuesday afternoon it was a great reminder of how “Big” this event was going to be.
Wednesday morning we arrived at the track at 8:00 A.M. to find what was all ready a packed drivers stand. With a club race in store for Wednesday night it was a busy day for most trying to get there cars dialed in for the race. I however, was more focused on trying different lines, and different approaches to what was one of the most difficult “Quad” or “Quint” jumps I’ve ever seen on a 1/10th scale electric track. Clearly this was the section of the track that would separate those who get paid to drive toy cars and those that pay to drive toy cars! After deciding to have some fun and club race I qualified second to TLR driver Charles Hicks. Hicks would lead the main for the first three minutes until I began to apply pressure to his rear bumper and he began to make little mistakes. After working my way by at the three and a half minute mark I stretched out to a huge six second lead until a broken sensor wire would put me on the side lines with 30 seconds to go.
Thursday was a true reminder of how intense and meaningful this event really was as drivers began to push there cars and themselves to the limits! Even though it was only seeding qualifying for Friday, the intensity on the drivers stand could be felt a mile away. After taking my fastest three consecutive laps in each class I was seeded 4th overall in 13.5 Buggy, 18th in 4WD Modified, and 26th in 2WD Modified. I was extremely happy with the results knowing there was room for improvement in all classes.
The next two days where filled with four rounds of IFMAR style qualifying. After having some bad luck with electronics and a broken shock shaft in 4WD I would find myself qualifying 24th overall for the event. 13.5 2WD Buggy I missed TQ the first two rounds by less then a second each round and found myself qualified 3rd overall for the A Main. In 2WD Modified Buggy I didn’t put together the best runs and would find myself 36th overall.
Sunday morning was yet another beautiful day in Scottsdale, Arizona and was the day we had all been waiting for! With the bleachers completely filled at 8:00A.M. the first main was set to roll. My first main was 2WD Modified Buggy D-Main and I didn’t hit the track until about noon. I was running second in the main when I made a mistake and had to get cornered only to find the corner marshal had pulled out my sensor wire and I would have to settle for a 39th overall finish for the event. 4WD Modified buggy C main was my next main and I was starting fourth surrounded by factory drivers. With a awesome start I was able to jump out front and lead a few laps, but would end up finishing 4th in the main which placed me 24th overall for the event. 13.5 2WD Buggy was an exciting main event with the top three all within a few seconds of each other the entire race. A unfortunate mishap with lap traffic at the two minute mark ripped my body off and would ruin my shot at the win but I was still able to manage a 3rd place podium finish!Posted by Bryan Eady