The 2019 Dirt Nitro challenge this year was set to receive a new home in Perris, California. The Perris County Fairgrounds, was excited to hold the event, and was even more excited to have it as a staple in their yearly events moving into the future. With Joey and his Dirt Crew they basically had to build the drivers stand, bring in the dirt, pipes, stakes, as well as all the shipping containers to provide the event. That’s a pretty tall order, but, they were up for the challenge. The event itself was attended by some of the biggest names racing RC cars as well as just about every single manufacturer was in attendance to take on the track and reign victorious.
Zero Day: As we arrived at the event on Tuesday the track was still being built in the alternate location. The original area they were going to use for the track was completely flooded and un workable for a track. The alternate area was a bit smaller, but worked out as it was still large enough to put in a nice layout. Tuesday was basically a setup day for the teams, tents and pit areas. Our southern California team driver James Rodriguez was able to secure us a pit area, and setup some nice tents for us to pit under. He hung our banners, and even a nice large sized American Flag, have to respect that. Big thanks to James for making that effort.
Day 1: We arrived at the track early Wednesday morning, to prepare for the full day of practice. They were finishing up the pipes on the track as well as taking last minute entries for the event. If I remember correctly, they had 688 entries. The breakdown was something like: 209 nitro and electric truggies, 151 Electric buggies and 328 nitro buggies. Clearly nitro buggy was the premiere class at this event, big numbers there. Today you would see the track a total of 2 times with each entry/car you signed up in. The heats were shorter, but they would be used to seed you in the qualification. This year I signed up in over 40 e-buggy, e buggy pro and nitro buggy pro.
40 + E buggy:
Run 1: It was my first time on the track, I would start with the same setup I used at my last Force Race in Florida. I figured it would be a good starting point to at least learn the track and then decide what was needed. The track had a couple big triple jumps, but thankfully was no issue for the amazing power e-buggies have. The layout was fairly easy and the car overall felt pretty good. I ended up running Proline M3 hole shots, which I thought actually gripped the track quite well. The car I felt was pretty good as an opening setup and opted to make no changes.
Run 2: I would opt for standing up the rear shocks to look for some more stability in the big jump areas and run lighter oil to try and tame the bumps. I am not sure this change was really any better, as my lap times remained the same. However, the track was starting to deteriorate.