My location: United States
Sep 16, 2008

DJ Apolaro reports on the opening round of the Florida State Series which kicked off at the Homestead track over the weekend and saw Serpent claim the silverware in both 1:10 Sedan and 1:8.

Well this past weekend was the first round of the Florida State Series. Paolo and myself were on hand to help with the local support of the Serpent racers. I decided to break in motors and get ready for the Sedan Nationals to be held next month. On Saturday there was practice and three qualifiers and one more qualifier and the Mains on Sunday.

Saturday started and my car was really good. I was using the same set up that I use at all the tracks lately and it was very stable. The track was average and had little tire wear. It allowed me to run softer tires and keep the car consistent. In the first qualifying round I was on a 23 lap run and made a big mistake costing me 8 seconds. In the second round it was hotter and the track was slower, however I was still able to get in a 23 lap run and maintain my TQ. This put me far in front of the field. I had to miss the third round, as I had plans with the wife. Later I found out that the 3rd round was about 5 seconds faster on average for everyone. At the end of the day I was the only one with 23 laps and maintained my TQ and Serpent was 1,2 so far with Luke W. being second on the grid. This 23 lap run was a new track record for the Homestead track.

Sunday came and it had rained over night. The starting order did not change up front and it would be myself and Luke starting on the front row. Paolo was also looking good and was starting 2nd on the grid in 1:8 scale. Trouble in the faster round cost him the possible TQ. When the Main started I was able to get a clean start and pull away. I knew I needed to make a gap as I was still breaking in the motor and was running on the rich side. I would be pitting every 4 minutes to play it safe. I had a very clean run and was able to win by 4 or 5 laps. Paolo and I shared pitting. He pitted me and I pitted for him. His race was very close and fun to watch for the spectators. At the beginning he was smart and waited for the best moment to past. Once he got by we felt he would be fast enough for an extra pit, so we played it safe and pitted 4:20. With Paolo driving smooth and fast we got a lap up on 2nd. He and 2nd place were on the track at the same spot and at some point putting on a great show for the crowd. Well, with about 10 minutes to go we though Paolo\'s car was running out of tires. It appeared the chassis was dragging and the lap time dropped almost a full second. This allowed the 2nd place car to make up some ground and in the last minute of the race they were both going at it. Paolo did some great driving and the other car was trying to make a move. At one point the other car got by and Paolo was able to take it back in the next turn. Then in a risky move the other car bobbled and Paolo was able to bring it home. Giving Serpent the win in both classes for the 1st round of the Florida State Series.

I would like the thank the entire Homestead crew for the great work and smooth race. Everything ran good and the racers seemed to have a great time. Thanks to my sponsors for the awesome products. Serpent, Serpent USA, Maxy\'s Fuel, Novarossi World and Twister Tires USA.

Till Next race !!!!!

DJ Apolaro