This was my very first time racing at the electric Nationals and so I was very excited. The weather was extremely hot! Haratune arrived in Orlando the same time so we could meet at the airport.
Practice went extremely well as we (Haratune and I) were quite pleased to see that some of our new upgrades worked great on this track in this condition. Compared to ETS in Slovakia, I felt really good about my car. Our lap times were actually quite fast compared with the top drivers, so I was happy.
Qualifying was all about tire strategy and after 3 rounds, our gamble seemed to work as I was TQ after 3 rounds. But in the fourth, I lost overall TQ to Rick from AE (Also my Reedy sponsor) as he used up his fresh tires to secure TQ. Rick drove well and going into the finals, it was anyone’s win (Paul, Rick, Andrew, Keven and Me). This was actually one of the most exciting finals to come and I started from P2.
The finals was a disaster for me, I had some bad luck and perhaps an unfair ruling by ROAR. I think my Dad was more upset than I was when ROAR handed me a stop and go penalty without real merit but you know… its racing, these things happen and I was more concerned with the next round.
Anyway… I’ll cut this report short, I had podium chances and overall given my driving and car setup, I really felt this might be the year I win a National title but it was not to be… My final chance (round) I was hit from behind at start and body-tucked and fell to last place. I climbed back to third and was catching Rick who was on old tires but into the straights hit Josh who stalled right in the middle of the track… oh well, that was it! But I had fun and again, this was a really really exciting race, any of the five of us could have won. I look forward to next year’s nationals!
Haratune did a great job as my mechanic, thank you so much. And special thanks to Andy Chen of Savox, who visited from Taiwan. And of course, thanks to my Dad, especially for getting the RV.
I also had a chance to visit with my Uncle Greg and his family, my cousins and on the way back to Shanghai, we stopped in LA to visit my sister as well as made a trip to HPI HQ, even had dinner with my big team boss Watanabe San. This was a really fun trip for me.