March 17, 2018

On Saturday March 17, 2018 Super-G R/C Drift Arena hosted our first official Triple Team Tandem Comp. There was also an Individual Tsuiso Battle Comp.

This event has been a long time in the making, probably longer than most of us realize.  We have just past the 1 year mark when our NorCal Fam, Limited Traction had visited, and we started making plans for the Three Man Tandem Battles. We had set some standards, but with everyone being so busy, it just fizzled out. Later in the year, our good friend Takayuki Sone visited us again and we began talking about the Team Tandems, and the excitement started to brew again. We started talking about it again with Dennis and Rynne (Limited Traction) and decided it was going to happen this time.

As the date for the event started closing in, we all decided to keep it simple for the first event, and see where we end up. We were unsure of the interest and what the participation would be, but we had a good feeling since in Japan it seems to be HUGE. For this event it was decided everything was going to be based on the team’s performance. Future Team Tandem Competitions will also include appearance and some other details to make it even more interesting.

The Event:
Something happened this weekend that I think everyone here on the West Coast has been wanting and have been working toward, the gathering of all the West Coast elements. Everyone coming together to do the thing we all love, R/C Drift! Super-G, Rare Arts USA, GGT, Vertex, and Sky Hunters were the shops represented. The RawFew, Limited Traction, Drftndm, Team Bushido, Team Wallride, Tengu Drift, Team D-Style, Swift Suns, and Tech 1 Drift were here in force representing their teams. I think I can speak for everyone who attended when I say everyone came together to have fun. No attitudes, no beef, just good times and great vibes. West Coast Fam in full effect. It seems everyone is just waiting for the next one.

Now on to the actual event. Super-G opened their doors at 1pm and there were already people ready to get on the track and get their practice on. It was clear the competition was going to be awesome. So many teams linking lap after lap, door to door. It was obvious there had been some practicing going on. The weather had us all worried since it was pouring rain the night before, but mother nature decided to smile on us and brought perfect weather! It got a little cold in the evening, but we fired up our heaters and it seemed to really take the edge off. Braddah Dan Fatlace/Bushido was manning the BBQ all weekend! The amount and quality of meat coming off that Q was mind blowing! No secrets Dan, I need the recipe for that rub!!!

The Triple Team Tandem Comp:
For the first time Triple Team Tandem Competition Super-G made up 3 – First Place Trophies so each team member could take one home. In addition, 50% of all entry fees went into the winner’s pot. By the time we got started, there was $360 going to the winning team! Everyone seemed pretty excited about this.

To level the playing field, we decided to change the track layout specifically for this comp weekend. Redoing a full track layout isn’t an easy or quick task, but we wanted to make sure everyone was coming in fresh, even the locals. It was finally done at 2am Thursday night. We were relieved to see it flowed well enough for the Triple.

Cranking on the new layout a few days before the event.

The New Layout the Night Before The Event. (Whew!)

Since many of the existing teams were split to create groups of 3, we ended up with some interesting teams – The Raw Three (Joe, Mark, Nick), BlueBalls (Dennis, Al, Chris), RedNuts (Rynne, Albert, Lemi), Project-3 (Ethan, Josh, Steve), 3 Guys From NorCal (Ronnie, Erick, Dan),  Wallride (Hao, Allen, Omar), Swift 3 (Chad, Jeff, Ryan), Drftndm (Kris, Danny, Tim), Vertex (Josh, Anthony, Jorge), Team D-Style (Mikko, Shaine, Jay), Dirty Deeees (Stiles, Manny, Carlos), and Tech 1 (Alfredo, Keith, Dwight).

The format was single eliminations with the first brackets randomly chosen by each team drawing a number from a jar. Each team got 2 laps, one warm-up lap to get their tires warmed up and get in sync with each other, then continued with their second lap which was the official lap to be judged. We decided to try something new and capture each official run on video. This was not meant to be used for judging each and every run, but more so to be used as a tool for the judges if they felt there was a need to review something specific. This worked out amazingly! I believe it helped to eliminate any confusion between what happened in the warm-up laps and the official laps, and also to clarify what may have been seen by some of the judges, but missed by others. For the Team Tandem Battles, I hope to see this used more often. It seemed to cut down or eliminate the OMTs by allowing the runs to be seen again, rather than to only go off of memory.

Anyone who has judged a comp knows how difficult it can be. There are always calls that may be questionable, and sometimes memories can be skewed and perceptions may differ based on where people may be viewing from. To hopefully put everyone’s minds at ease, we opted to choose judges from different teams to help in that area. We would like to extend a huge thanks to: Josh Vertex, Dennis Limited Traction, and Mikko Team D-Style for being the official judges. Of course there were others helping out when the official judges were competing. Thanks to everyone who stood in for the judges as well. The judges did an awesome job! Thanks guys! Props to Dennis from Limited Traction for announcing during the Battles, as well as the driver’s meeting.

The Triple Team Tandem Battles were awesome! We really didn’t know what to expect since this was the first time we were doing an official competition.

For those of you who want to check out the action, check it out here:

In the end, Team WallRide took 3rd, Tech 1 Drift took 2nd, and The RawThree  brought home the win!!! Congrats to Mark Santa Cruz, Nick Lepisto, and Joe Tam with your well deserved win!

THE WINNERS – The Raw Three: Mark Santa Cruz, Nick Lepisto, Joe Tam

Between the Triple Team Tandem Battles and the Individual Tsuiso Battles we had a Raffle with some great prizes from Vertex/Yokomo USA, OCD Products, Tetsujin, Mikuni, Asia Tees, and of course Super-G R/C Drift Arena! Remember to always support those who support you and your hobby.


The Individual Tsuiso Battles:
Due to the limited time and the amount of drivers, we needed to streamline the process. We took all the entries and randomly generated brackets for single eliminations. There was some serious skill on the track! It was amazing to watch. Your winners were: Mikko Yang with 3rd, Rynne Degala taking 2nd, and Brian Lemi dominating The Arena and taking home 1st place! The dude is a beast!

In conclusion, the battles were intense and skills were being put to the test, but the real highlight of the weekend was the feeling of togetherness. Props to Keith and Bob from GGT, Josh from Vertex, and Randy from Rare Arts USA, for taking the time from your responsibilities at your own facilities to come out to Super-G to support the event. Your support and presence speaks volumes. An Extra Special Thanks to Dennis and Rynne of Limited Traction for the months of planning and support! This would not have happened without your involvement. To everyone else who came out to session and compete with the rest of the West Coast Fam, a huge thanks and great job in making sure the vibe was right! Looking forward to the next one!

Let’s Keep This Going West Coast R/C Drift Fam.