My location: United States
Mar 30, 2010

This weekend I attended round one of the South West Series Championship. This series has become a strong series here in the United States which includes races that stretch all over Texas including Dallas, San Antonio and here in Houston. The Southwest series is home to Texas Biggy which every year is very popular. Round one started here in Houston, at Mike’s Hobby in Porter, which is also hosting the IFMAR World Championship in July.

The weather was perfect with 75 degrees of sunshine which made racing that much better because there was zero chance of rain. On the other hand, it has been pollen season for the last two weeks so keeping pollen off the track was a challenging task of Mike’s employees. They did a great job of keeping the track clean and well organized.

Racing started at one o’clock so there were only a few hours of practice time before the first round began. The track was a little loose for me during the first round so I knew there would have to be some changes to the car to stay on pace. With the track still green and using a strong Novarossi motor for this type of traction I didn’t feel comfortable pushing the car.

Round two was a little better with grip coming up but after seeing a car “run away” from another driver I strapped on a failsafe spring which limited the throw of my throttle servo. Rookie mistake, I know, but I failed to increase my endpoint to compensate so the carb was only opening ¾ from full throttle. This made the car very slow regardless of the needle settings.

After the first two rounds and a few setup changes later I knew I would have to step it up and make up the slack in the third round. With a very easy to drive Serpent 733 and a perfectly tuned 353 I was able to work my way up to 2nd overall for the final.
Starting in the A-main in second position there was a rough start with everyone trying to settle into position. The first fifteen minutes was very close from lap to lap with the top half of the group. But from thereafter, the consistency of the car really paid off. I gained the lead and was able to hold position for most of the race finishing several laps ahead of second place.

Thanks to Serpent America and Jeremy Cupps for an excellent victory….GO SERPENT!

Frank Rocha