March 7, 2020
This past weekend was the Super Drift Championship Round 2 for the SoCal Region here at Super-G R/C Drift Arena. We had a great turnout with 37 competitors, many new faces, and a lot of serious skills.
The judges for the event were Shaine Collins (Team D-Style), Manny Campalans (RawFew), and myself, Steve Fujita. Joe Tam was emcee for the night, as well as running our audio/visual and live stream. He really is a one-man entertainment center.
In Round 1 we ended up running really late and qualifying took forever. So for Round 2, we offered to do early qualifying in hopes of speeding up the actual competition. When we announced it, there were no responses, so we just went on as planned. I later found out there were a couple people interested, but hardly enough to warrant breaking up practice for.
The reverse layout proved to be challenging for many, but we always try to switch it up for every comp. This round we went with more inside clips than outer. This seemed to push everyone to dig deep for those skills they normally don’t use heavily.
This round us judges decided we would not discuss the qualifying runs after each run, but rather write down our scores and add them at the end. This helped to move the qualifying right along and was a better overall way to run it. I was pleased to find when checking the scores, all three judges were within a couple points of each other. Further reinforcing the fact our point system is working and is consistent.
Futaba Top Qualifier!
Futaba has generously donated to sponsor the Super Drift Championship here at Super-G and this round the winner of the Futaba Top Qualifier went to Manny Campalans from (Team Futaba USA / RawFew). He had his choice of the new CT700 Servo or the GYD450. He chose the GYD450 Gyro! Congratulations Manny on a awesome qualifying run!
I know I say it every time, but when the driving is at this level, it really deserves to be mentioned again. The driving skills demonstrated here in Round 2 were really top notch. Most of the battles were won or lost based on some of the smallest margins we have seen. What this means for the future is, competitors really need to step up their game and pay attention to the finer details now.
In the finals, it was Mikko Yang vs. Albert Martinez for 3rd and 4th position, and Aydin Angulo vs. Victor Romo for 1st and 2nd.
First up was Mikko vs. Albert. Mikko had a great lead run and Albert had a great chase. They switched positions and this time Albert was leading, Mikko chasing. On the first clip Albert had gone wide and hooked his wing on the fence and an extension cord that was behind that. This gave Mikko an easy win, and the 3rd spot on the podium. Then it was time for the big dogs, Aydin vs. Victor for 1st and 2nd. On the first run, both Aydin and Victor made contact and forced a OMT (One More Time). On the second run, it came down to the first clip and who did it better. This time around it was Aydin who put it down for the win and the top spot on the podium! Victor took home a very respectable 2nd place!
Congratulations to First Place – Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin), Second Place – Victor Romo (Sell Out Boys), and Third Place – Mikko Yang (Team Reve D-Style)
February 26, 2020.
A quick turnaround trip to Vegas is always a good time, and this weekend was no exception. Good people, good food, good slides, good vibes, and an exciting comp all came together to make for an awesome event!
This past weekend Slidelines R/C in Las Vegas, NV kicked off their Super Drift Championship Regional Series. In addition, they paired it up with their One Year Anniversary Event. Of course Super-G wanted to be there to celebrate with our brothers in the next state over. We weren’t sure how we could make it all happen since there is a lot going on here at home, but it looked like a turnaround trip could do it.
Joe and I booked a flight for Saturday morning and we were off to Vegas for some slides! We met up at Slidelines with our SoCal Fam: RawFew: Nick Lepisto and Jason Fordyce, Team Zenshin: Mike Underwood and Daniel Yribe, Team DStyle: Mikko Yang and Shaine Collins, Swift Suns: Max Wilkinson, Tech1Drift: Alfredo Chan III, And Ted. Quite honestly, it felt as if were were back at Super-G. SoCal had a strong showing for this one!
When we arrived there were a few pits set up out front under some EZ Ups, so we all decided to pit there. Within minutes, it starts pouring rain! I could only feel the pain Bret, Dillon, and Eddel were feeling as I’ve been through that exact same ordeal. Big event and rain! Luckily it passed quickly and nobody really skipped a beat.
The comp was some serious fun! I had a horrible qualifier and actually crashed on both my runs. I figured I was done for the day, but I later found out they were using qualifying for the purposes of bracketing, not so much for qualifying or not. I battled my way up from Last (Probably) and ended up in a battle for 3rd against my fellow Super-G Judge, Shaine Collins. I knew Shaine was going to put it down, but I also knew we would be able to have clean battles. We both frown upon tactical driving, so it was all about just putting down the very best we could. The first round ended in a OMT! That just made it that much better. I ended up coming out on top for the next round, but I’m sure it could have gone either way really easily.
I got to battle Mike Bolanos, Nick Lepisto (Team Futaba Teammate), Mark Tecson, Alfredo Chan III, and finally Shaine Collins. It was a great time!!!
Congratulations to the winners, Alfredo Chan III on taking the win! Mike Dedmon taking Second Place. It was an honor to share the podium with you guys!
The event was a huge success and everyone had a great time. A huge thanks to Bret, Dillion, Edel, and Mike for putting on such an awesome event! It was just too much fun! We can’t wait for the next one!!!
The Super Drift Championship Round 1 for SoCal is in the books and it was nothing short of an amazing event! There were a lot of new faces jumping in for their first comp, so the road to the finals in October is already being paved.
The SoCal Region is hosting a 9 part point series to determine their Regional Champion. The Regional Champion will automatically be entered into the Finals in October and will also be given lodging for the finals weekend.
There are 3 ways to make it to the Finals in October:
Champion of the Regional Series (Lodging Provided for Finals Weekend)
Place 2nd or 3rd for the overall series
Compete in 75% or more of the series (regardless of standings)
Points are awarded as follows:
15 points – First Place
12 points – Second Place
10 points – Third Place
9 Points – Forth Place
8 Points – Fifth Place and lower (Participation Points)
2 Points – Top Qualifier (TQ of the event)
We will also be dropping everyone’s 2 lowest scores which basically means you can miss 2 events in the season and not be penalized.
There will also be 2 DOUBLE POINT rounds. This will keep it interesting.
What this translates into is, no matter how you finish, the worst you can do is equal to 5th place. This means even toward the end of the series, you will still have a good shot at a podium spot.
This was the kick off event for the season. After witnessing the level of driving, it’s clear SoCal is going to be bringing the heat to the Finals.
Doors opened at 4p Saturday and right away competitors got to breaking in tires and learning the line for the competition. Nick Lepisto (RawFew), Shaine Collins (Team D-Style), and Mikko Yang (Team Reve D) laid out the line for this months round.
The Return of the Champ
After a commanding win in the 2019 series, Kevin Motter (RawFew) The SoCal Drift King had disappeared from the R/C Drift Scene. It left everyone wondering if he would return for the 2020 season. Just as we were about to open, Kevin shows up to talk about his 4 month break. We were all glad to see he was alive! Ha! We were equally glad to hear he planned to compete, but a little concerned since he had not touched his car in 4 months. Tunes have changed, newer chassis have been released; could he still be competitive?
By the time we were ready to start qualifying, we had 34 competitors signed up. Many were new faces and quite a few were first timers. This is a good sign for the R/C Drift Community since we are seeing growth.
This season we have implemented a new style of qualifying. I felt it worked very well but it did slow us down a bit since we needed to get into the groove of things. Once we became familiar with the scoring, it started to go a lot quicker.
The Futaba Top Qualifier of the event was Kevin Motter with a score of 94. There was a 3 way tie for TQ between Kevin Motter, Alan Benites, and Jason Fordyce. It came down to the score of their secondary runs. Kevin (87/94), Alan (81/94), and Jason (0/94). Congratulations to Kevin for putting down some great qualifying runs and landing TQ.
As always, we had the lower scoring qualifiers battle it out for the last bracket position. Kris Steele was able to fight his way up into the Top 32! Ultimately finishing in a 4 way tie for 5th place.
We also had the honor of having one of our good friend Justin Pawlak’s son, Jaxsen Pawlack enter his first R/C Drift Comp here at Super-G! He’s just 7 years old and he put down a qualifying score of 32, landing him in 27th position!
The season opener has given us much promise as to what is yet to come. The skill level here in SoCal is running high, even the competitors who have just a few months under their belts are really putting down some serious runs.
The Final 4 came down to Josh Espinoza (Team Zenshin) vs. Alfredo Chan III (Tech 1 Drift) for 3rd and 4th position, and Kevin Motter (RawFew) vs. Mikko Yang (Team Reve D) for 1st and 2nd. First up was Josh vs. Alfredo. On Josh’s lead run, he had an unfortunate over-rotation on the second clip, securing the win and 3rd spot for Alfredo!
Then it was time for the battle for 1st and 2nd. Kevin vs. Mikko! Kevin was leading, Mikko on the chase. These two are no strangers to this situation, so the pressure was on. Out of the gate, it’s business as usual. Kevin putting down a clean run with a lot of angle and as deep as he usually is. Mikko bringing that tight proximity. Then it happened, Kevin knocks over the ScaleReflex Cone at the Inside Clip on the chicane. Kevin scores a Zero for his lead. Mikko’s chase was on point. They switch it up and Mikko is leading, Kevin chasing. Out of the gate Mikko is running a clean line, Kevin is applying that pressure! Mikko is putting down a great lead, Kevin’s chase is the very definition of pressure at it’s highest. Coming into the last turn, it happens. Mikko clips the last cone sending it flying, and effectively scoring him a Zero for his lead as well. An unbelievable turn of events, and cause for a OMT (One More Time).
OMT Time! Kevin takes the lead position again, Mikko on the chase. Kevin proceeds to really turn up the heat and lays down a close to flawless run, if not flawless. Extremely deep, filling each clip as completely as possible and with a much angle as possible. Mikko was right on his tail, giving that pressure that makes even the most seasoned drivers feel it. This time around Kevin was cone free. Then it was Mikko’s turn to lead and Kevin chasing. Mikko puts down a clean lead and Kevin puts down some serious proximity following Mikko’s line to a T. Again, clean run! After reviewing, the winner was clear. Kevin pulled off great proximity on his chase without sacrificing line, where Mikko had to go shallow on the first clip to maintain proximity. Then on the leads, Kevin rode the outer line at the limit for the entire course, including the last roundabout, where Mikko had shallowed up in the initiation. Both competitors pulled off some amazing runs, but in the end, Kevin’s runs had that edge and enough to land that Top Podium Position!
Jeff Yang from 7demo7 got some great footage of the battle for 1st and 2nd place here:
7demo7 YouTube Channel
Congratulations to Kevin Motter (RawFew), the winner of the Super Drift Championship Round 1 SoCal Regional and TQ! Also to Mikko Yang (Team Reve D) for 2nd, and Alfredo Chan III (Tech 1 Drift) for 3rd.
Special thanks to the judges for the event. Shaine Collins, Manny Campalans!
ROUND 2 – MARCH 4, 2020
SEE YOU ALL THERE!!!
This weekend was hectic to say the least, but it was necessary since our Super-G NorCal Family is getting ready to kick off their Super Drift Championship Regionals. They spent the weekend here to learn how to use the Super-G Reply System and also to judge along side of one of the official judges (Myself) for an actual comp. Well a fun comp.
Ryno, Brotha AJ, and myself were the judges for the night. We started out with Qualifying. I was pleased to see everyone caught on quickly. By the end of the qualifying round, we were all on the same page. We were within a point or two most of the time. Alfredo Chan III threw down a wicked run and scored a 97/100! Nick Lepisto was second with a solid 96/100, and Mark Santa Cruz was third with another 96/100. Nick had a better secondary score which allowed him to secure second qualifier.
Then it was time for the Tsuiso Battles! Right out of the gate I need to thank everyone who participated. It was invaluable for training purposes. It was a little slow at first, but toward the end everyone fell in line and NorCal was more than able to run the comp without our assistance.
Even though it was a very informal Fun Comp, there was still some good battles! In the end, Mark Santa Cruz (Team Futaba/RawFew) laid the smack down and took the Top Podium Position! Alan Benites (Team Zenshin) took a hard fought Second Place. Aydin Angulo (Team Zenshin) locked down Third!
Congratulations to the winners! This was a good warm up for the upcoming Super Drift Championship Series! The driving was on point. If this is any indication of what is in store for this season, it’s going to be insane!
Super Drift Championship SoCal Regionals start February 1, 2020! SEE YOU ALL THERE!!!
It’s been a long overdue visit for Kong RC! We finally made it! The infamous Yokomo Drift Shop (KONG RC) is ran by JJ Kong.
They have a wide variety of all the Yokomo goodies! Chassis, bodies, rims, and parts!
The surface here is very nice! It’s very slick and challenges drivers of all levels! Their spec tires are DRC, but you won’t be able to dart out of these corners!
JJ told us he’s been a long time Yokomo guru and he was the creator of the YD2. The RR setup was also his original idea. He’s been to Yokomo’s home facility in Japan (Yatabe Arena) countless times and has some trophies to show for it.
We had the Cyber SG1 on deck to take some demo laps! Although our visit was shorter than we liked, we still was able to run with some locals. They have some pretty good skills on that slippery surface! We also saw some familiar faces that have been to Super G!
February 18, 2020 was Another Level Racing’s 1st Annual Drift Comp in Merced, Ca. The owner Jay has recently opened doors at his new facility and we were impressed. He has an onsite hobby shop, plenty of pit space, and a huge P-Tile track. In my opinion, probably at the limit of how big you would want to go. Any bigger and you would need an elevated drivers stand to see what you are doing.
The mood at Super-G in the weeks leading up to the comp was a bit complicated since things are extremely hectic with The Super Drift Championship qualifying rounds getting ready to kick off, but we all wanted to go and support Jay. At the last minute rooms got booked and rides were arranged. We knew our NorCal Super-G Fam (Limited Traction and Team Bushido) were already going, so that was an even stronger draw. So we rounded up the guys RawFew – Jason, Mark, Manny, Joe, and myself, and Team Zenshin – Mike, Sam, Aydin, Alan, and Daniel, and headed out Friday night.
We all met up on the way up and proceeded to our hotels. In the morning Joe, Mark, Manny, and myself met up at Marie’s Mexican Kitchen in downtown Merced.. It wasn’t bad. In fact it was better than I expected. It looks like their claim to fame is their enchiladas, but none of us tried them.
We were all coming into the comp a bit tired since we had just received a nice package from the Super-G Team Sponsor, Futaba USA! I didn’t get to sleep til after 5am since I had to get my new 7PXR ready for battle! I have to say I didn’t think it could get better than the 7PX, but the R proved me wrong. It has a slightly better feel all around. Lighter weight, newly designed drop down, offset trigger, and for some reason a smoother overall feel. I was blown away!
Another Level Racing
We finally got to Another Level Racing and everything was already in full swing. It was a full house! We walked in and it was like we were at home. All familiar faces, live DJ, and everyone just having a good time doing what we all do.
We immediately signed up for the comp and grabbed a pit space. It was a different feel for Joe and I, since we are usually the ones stressing over the event. We got to sit back and enjoy the hobby that we both love. Honestly we missed being in the mix. It’s been a good while.
Food and More Food
Jay had arranged for some food. There was some burgers and empanadas. It was really good food! About an hour later they announced lunch. I thought we had just had lunch, but it turns out it was a snack! Ha ha! Talk about taking care of his customers! I should have grabbed some pics of the food, but I got caught up in the moment and was just enjoying the event.
Unfortunately Joe and myself needed to cut out as soon as the comp was over, since he was flying out at 5am the following morning. We needed to get back to LA and get things ready for the week before he took off. We didn’t get to stick around for the raffle or the announcement for Best of Show, but I’ll add that later.
Congratulations to the winners, First Place – Dennis Caroza (Team Futaba USA / Team Super-G), Second Place – Aydin Angulo (Team Super-G), and Third Place – (I didn’t catch his name)
We had a great time at Another Level Racing! It was all about chillin with the homies from ALR and our NorCal Fam – Limited Traction and Team Bushido!!! Huge thanks to Jay for a great event! Thank you for the hospitality and all the hard work you put into this!
We had heard Another Level Racing was open for late sessions. We got here at 1:00am, but looks like we missed everyone. We figured everyone would be resting up for the next day’s event, but we gave it shot since it was a couple minutes from the hotel. GOOD TIMES!