A: THECar BLACK Edition is a very good car.
B: JQ is a very good driver.
Pick one, because one has to be true.
A: THECar BLACK Edition is a very good car.
B: JQ is a very good driver.
Pick one, because one has to be true.
How sad does your life have to be, in order for you to truly be happy at someone else’s misfortune? There are people I don’t like, and sure, I’ll snicker at their failures, and I’ll secretly hope they aren’t successful, but do I really care? No I don’t. It doesn’t make me happy to see someone struggle, or fail, I won’t post about it or write something shitty to them. You know what I do to people I don’t like? I ignore them, because I don’t want to waste my time.
I honestly don’t get it. Look at the comments section on youtube, look at comments on fb, what is wrong with people? I really don’t understand where all this energy and motivation to actually post hate comes from. Some of you may think, but JQ, you hate on your blog all the time. No I don’t, I write humorous blog posts about all kinds of stuff, and a lot of different people, but I don’t celebrate people’s short comings or failures to put them down, because that isn’t funny. I take a grain of truth, and make it funny by blowing it up, I write about a real issue, I take a person or situation and attempt to reel them back to reality. I have never written something to the effect of: “It was awesome to see this person fail because he is a fucking idiot. It made my day. I hope his mum gets cancer too.”. That’s not funny.
My point is:
If your happiness is dependent on others, or dependent on other people’s misfortune, then you my friend have a problem!
At times the struggle is real. It helps to keep your eye on the prize, and to remember to enjoy the journey, and also reflect on the road already traveled.
It was Saturday evening. I was the first race up on Sunday, Truck B main. I looked down at my truck, I hadn’t cleaned it, or taken the body off for the entire race. I decided to change the clutch and clutchbell bearings. Degani was complaining that he wanted to leave, and Ryan Maifield had stopped by for a few laughs, sipping a beer. This was to be the only loving care this truck received this week.
The next morning, I got inspired during the A main practices, and glued up a new set of tyres. I was ready.
Early in the main, Greg Degani yelled up to me, ”Operation Richard Saxton!”. Somehow I had managed to make it to the sharp end of the field, and Adam Drake, the truck specialist was behind me. I knew what to do. Soon after this, Adam got side by side with me, and I initiated ORS. I tagged Adam’s rear tyre and he flips over, as I drive away into the distance, and promptly Adam proceeded to blow out for the next 10 minutes.
See, back in the day Richard Saxton was the best in nitro offroad, he would win everything, all the time, and this is why he got the nickname ”The King”. What he would do is, if for whatever reason there was someone actually challenging him in a race, he would run the guy over, and just drive away early in the race. This made the challenger super mad, and when you are mad, you are going to blow out and crash more. Genius.
Drake has now sort of taken over the ORS system back in the California club racing scene, something that I have been a victim of numerous times, so it was epic to be able to get him back here.
Anyway, luckily for me, Drake who was running longer stints and one less pitstop than me, flamed out in the pits and lost some time, so I had a decent lead over him towards the end of the main. I didn’t want him to catch me for the last bump up, so I was punched. Last lap I catch up to Billy Fisher who was in 2nd, and he is playing it safe, he is standing next to me and tells me nothing stupid now on the last lap, and I tell him yes but you have to go go go! I almost lose control, but I keep it together, as Drake has a meltdown in the last few corners.
Getting beat by JQ is worse than getting beat by a girl. Mike Truhe said he would quit if I beat him. That’s how bad it is for these guys!
Special thanks to Team Associated, apparently Cavalieri had told everyone to get stuffed at DNC, so AE stuffed him for a month. Anyway, they needed someone to take his spot in the main, so I feel like I did my job there. Put that truck in the main for them to get the quota up to par, too bad the tank they provided was too big!
Three increasingly fast laps as I close in on the limits of the car, and hit my lines better. And yes, I did make 10 laps now, 3 times, in different conditions, as well as a 32.1. At least I am capable, now I just need to be able to do it with less practice, and at the race.
1. How it feels to suck:
To do your best and still get beat badly, to fall short of your goals, and to fail in general, is a terrible feeling. There are only 2 possible outcomes, there is no middle ground. Everyone hates the demoralising feeling of failure. The more you have invested, and sacrificed, the worse the feeling is. Option one is to quit. Most people do that. Others get motivated to work harder and succeed. I guess there could be a 3rd category, reserved for idiots, who change nothing, and just go through life failing repeatedly and hating life.
For me I think setting goals and constantly failing to achieve them is really motivating, it pisses me off so badly. I feel so terrible already that whatever spiteful stuff haters write, really doesn’t get to me, because they can’t make it any worse. Friendly banter and shit talk helps to lighten the mood a bit.
Having said that, looking at the big picture, THECar and my driving have improved a lot in the past year. I am now able to match the best on lap time when things are right, and am able to stay within a few seconds over a qualifier, and occasionally beat them, which was not possible a year ago. Even at this race, although I did not achieve it, due to another car cartwheeling across the track taking me out in the process, I was still on a 10lap run on the 5th lap of the 2nd qualifier, and my best lap was a 32.6 vs 32.3 from David. Had I achieved that 10 laps, I would have been 3 seconds or so behind David’s TQ time. 3 seconds over 5 minutes is in the ballpark. That was not possible a year ago. So there is that.
2. How I suck, and what I need to do in order to suck less:
The difference between very good and great is a slight difference in corner speed and controlled aggression. It’s not a massive difference, it is tiny, but over one lap, it builds up. It is most evident in sections of track where there is a combination of corners that require being stringed together. What great drivers do so well, is pinpoint the limits of the car, and then maneuver and dance around the track without exceeding them, but also staying as close as possible to them. This means going as fast as the conditions allow, without loading the tyres too much where they will lose grip, or pushing the car too much to where it will not stay within the pitch, roll, weight transfer, camber change range that provides the best performance.
This means going as fast as the conditions allow, without loading the tyres too much where they will lose grip, or pushing the car too much to where it will not stay within the pitch, roll, weight transfer, camber change range that provides the best performance.
Basically I can’t do the above as well as the best, unless I get my car really good, and I practice a lot in the exact conditions that a race will be in. I can’t adapt as well. I can match the best at times, and those are the times when everything is perfect. So the way I will become better, is to improve my setup, and make it less “knife-edge”, where you lose speed if you make a slight error. I can already go for as long as needed, being extremely consistent, I can hit the same line for a whole main, I can avoid mistakes. That’s not the problem, I need to be a bit faster all the time, and that will come from a better setup, and learning to identify where I am pushing the car past it’s best performance, and scrubbing speed, and focus my practice on avoiding that.
At this race, I already know what I should have done differently. The track had a lot more grip than I expected, so my setup was too soft. I needed thicker swaybars, and thicker diffs. Now I would go into a corner too hard and the car would roll too much and scrub speed, or I got on the gas a bit too hard and the car would squat and diff out, and I would lose drive. Nothing major, we are talking small errors like that. David could have taken my car and done the same as he did, I’m sure, but I can’t do that. I need to get those things spot on, and then I can be more competitive.
3. Why I think David Ronnefalk will be the most successful 1:8th Offroad driver over the next 5 years.
There are a number of reasons for this, I had an idea for a future blog post about this, that’s why I have been thinking about this subject. I will list the reasons:
I would draw a comparison to Ken Roczen, young fast, very confident, very strong program, very solid style, with the difference that no injury will sideline David, so I predict he will be the most successful 1:8th Offroad racer over the next 5 years.
The above track is Dialed In Raceway in Victorville. Even though it’s pretty much in Northern California, it is the best track for SoCal residents. Revelation Raceway is in a better location, but the dirt is worse than hemorrhoids (I’m guessing here obviously). Thunder Alley is up there too, but unfortunately it’s never open. It’s like a fucking diorama, look don’t touch.
Anyway, as you can see above, the track has a new lay out. Now, it is really very good, but our World Champ David RONNEfalk had a slight issue. There is a blind spot 2nd lane from the back left corner. See it? Well, Brent ASS-Ton who runs the track, is a really great guy (or so I thought), and he immediately got all emotional because the World Champ wasn’t 100% happy. So this is what he did.
First he tricked me to go to the track to practice. Then he got this ridiculous tractor and dumped a pile of dirt in the blind spot, and handed me a shovel. Basically Brent can’t drive a tractor to save his life. I guess he got the pile in the right general area, but there was definitely ample room to improve his skills.
He then forced me to shovel this goddamn pile of dirt for at least an hour, into what resembled a sort of corner spine, hip-roller, JQ CORNER, while he sipped on his Starbucks and verbally abused me.
Brent did however then pack the new section while I rested.
So there you go, Dialed In Raceway is now officially Dialed.
So you want to know how I really feel? Ever since I started racing RC Cars my goal was always to win. I started late, I was 16 already, so I had some catching up to do. I practiced as much as I could. When I first went to America I entered the Pro class, because I wanted to see how far off I was from the best. Anything less than the best didn’t interest me.
Just before I started my company I was getting fast, I qualified 2nd at the Euros, I had the best lap in a Euros A main, I checked out in a Worlds semi final by 7 seconds (yes worlds) before flaming out. I was a paid driver traveling the world, and I was about to have a breakthrough race. That’s when I had the brilliant idea of making my own car.
6 years into my super idea, and things just were not going to plan. An insane amount of dedication and work, and no financial success, quite the opposite, and no good results at the races either. I spent the next 2-3 years or so rather depressed and mad. Life wasn’t fun at all because I gave up my dream of winning for this brilliant idea I had of making my own car.
And then things began falling in place. I realised that the best thing about what I am doing, is the journey, I need to enjoy it. Regardless of if I achieve my goals or not, the journey is what matters. At the same time I figured out my car and I began enjoying driving and racing. You remember the “Japanese Magic”? Well the BLACK Edition has “Finnish Magic”, I look forward to going to the track, because the car isn’t limiting me, I run out of talent first. I could start working on my driving. I kissed my girlfriend good bye, and began re-virginising myself. It took me 9 years, but for the 10th year anniversary of my fabulous idea, I’m back where I was, only not as fast as before, in relation to the others.
But now I am happy again, because I have an awesome car, and my company is at a point where I can focus more on my driving and my racing, and one day I will kick everyone’s ass. At some race, some day. That’s why I am writing this at 1:30am, and I am going to get up at 8am tomorrow, drive 1h20min to the track and practice.
What I want is unreasonable, and for me to achieve it, I need to be unreasonable too.
If you have been following this daily blog for any length of time, you will have noticed that I am a student of racing, driving, and car setup. In my quest to improve, and achieve something cool one day as a driver, I do not limit myself to that. Preparation is key, and while I am really meticulous when it comes to preventive maintenance, and finishing races, I have not been very good at getting the most out of my equipment. I very, very rarely have a mechanical issues put me out of a race. During the last 10 years, you can probably count on one had the mechanical failures I have had, and since I left Novarossi, you can count the flame outs on one hand too. Actually I can’t think of a single one due to anything else than a marshal stopping my car once, and running out of fuel. I practically always finish. (MASSIVE KNOCK ON WOOD, #NOJINX)
However, when it comes to getting the most of my equipment, I haven’t been very good. Change diff oils? Fuck that, I’m tired, I’ll have a beer instead. You see I am a very calculating person when it comes to my energy expenditure. I’m not willing to push myself into “suffering” if I don’t think it’s worth it. The last few years I have “known” and believed in my heart that I’m not good enough to win with the car I have, so I haven’t bothered to go the extra mile. A year ago I knew that my car was about to be one of the very best, so I began working on my driving. I began going the extra mile. Instead of working on the website (or having a beer), I worked on my driving.
In that same spirit, another change is going the extra mile when it comes to equipment. Studying the very best drivers in our sport, one thing is clear, their equipment is prepared to a clinically determinable OCD level. Unlike your regular OCD Sunday clubracer, for the top drivers in the game, it actually makes a difference. Making the most out of your equipment is essential.
I have found, that rebuilding diffs, going over everything on the car, in addition to working as a sort of placebo “my car is so dialed” way, it actually can gain time on the track. It seems that it tends to average out as about 0.3 seconds a lap on a 35 second lap, and an improvement in consistency. So let’s say in a 5 min qualifying run, that’s about 5 seconds, give or take. That my friends, is a big difference, and all thanks to going the extra mile.
So in 2017, and the next few years, I am going to go the extra mile. Most likely I will still be slightly more gypsy like than Cavalieri above, but you can be sure that what matters, the equipment, will be spot on.
Looks like it is going to rain for the next few days, so today was full on DNC prep mode. Ryan Cavalieri was clearly impressed by my determination and changed his plans and decided to tag along to Dialed In to get Dialed in some more. It’s a funny thing with 1:8th buggies these days, they require some break in, they work much better once all driveshafts, pins, outdrives and diff gears are broken in. A gallon or so is pretty good, at least.
I rebuilt my car, and put all the nice shiny production parts on, broke in a new REDS Worlds Edition, and am now ready for DNC. If the weather is good, I’ll probably still go to the track on Monday for a few hours to run my eCar for a few packs. First I just need to build it :-D. Next few days will be full on wrench mode and DNC prep. Can’t wait for the new season to begin, it should be the best one yet!
I can’t believe I am writing this, but I’m actually really excited to be running Truggy. Yep, I really am looking forward to racing that POS class. Yesterday when team AE were at the track, I stole Saxton’s truggy when he wasn’t looking. It seems fresh and ready to go. It’s going to be interesting. The last time I ran a Truggy was about 3 years ago or so. Let’s see how long the excitement lasts.