The TORC R/C Challenge Comes To Oshkosh SpeedZone
The TORC series thundered into Oshkosh, WI for Rounds 9 and 10 of the premier short-course racing series and another great weekend of high-octane racing. Of course, Traxxas was there to support the R/C racers with The TORC R/C Challenge. With the help of RC Pro, every TORC race includes a full R/C racing program with a pro-built track, electronic scoring, professional announcing, pit space with power--everything you'd expect at a Nats, with the close competition of Slash and Slayer racing. Racers competed for TORC R/C Challenge plaques, but pure luck determined who won the biggest prize: a ride in the TORC pace truck. All R/C racers were automatically entered for a three-lap ride in the race-ready truck. It’s part of every R/C Challenge race on the TORC circuit, don’t miss it!
Friday Practice Race
In a break from the usual TORC R/C Challenge schedule of two full race nights with A-Mains on both Friday and Saturday, Oshkosh race fans were treated to an open practice race on Friday that allowed anyone with a Traxxas Slash or Slayer to enter the race for free and learn what organized competition is all about. Although “just practice,” the racing was still competitive as all the drivers put the hammer down in Slash Spec and Slash Open classes. In Slash Spec, Jim Tolland, Mike Villemure and Cole Tollard took the top three spots, each with 13 lap runs in the five-minute Main. In Slash Open, Randy Villemure and Ben Hebel schooled the field with 13-lap runs, while Mike Lemiesz rolled in one lap down for third. Everyone had a great time as they put in hot laps to prepare for Saturday’s action, and there was no doubt that there would be good battles in all the classes.
Saturday Race Action
With virtually no modifications allowed to the box-stock Slash 2WD racing trucks, Slash Spec is always a close race! Larry Basinski started from the pole by turning 13 laps right on the five-minute mark, but could only defend his position for a single lap before Mike Villemure took over the top spot. Larry chased for two laps before falling all the way to fifth after a bobble, allowing Lucas Baker and Brian Hildebrand to chase Randy from the second and third spots. The race was for second as Randy checked out. Baker and Basinski battled it out, but the victor was Brian Hildebrand, as Brian maneuvered around both drivers to take over second place on lap 10 after falling as far back as fifth in the densely packed field. Larry Basinski found his groove in third place on lap ten as well, and that’s how they finished: Randy Villemure first, Brian Hildebrand second, and Larry Basinski third.
Despite having the freedom to bolt in as much horsepower as available traction (and available driving skill) allow, the Slash Open class is not always faster than Slash Spec—but it’s always intense. Jim Tollard set the pace as Top Qualifier, and only had to battle for three laps before settling into first place and opening a gap on the field. Matt Sunderlage stayed within striking distance in second as he waited for Jim to make a mistake that never came, but Matt had more to worry about behind him as he dueled with Nick Bille from corner to corner. The real threat, however, was Randy Villemure. After starting from the pack of the field in eighth, Randy steadily picked off truck after truck with relentless precision. With twelve laps in, Randy secured third; and by lap eighteen, Randy was in second, having finally gotten around Matt Sunderlage. Jim Tollard would not be caught, and took the win with a thirteen second lead, as Randy and Matt rounded out the top three.
The nitro-burning Slayers never fail to grow the crowd as their screaming engines get the attention of all who hear them, and the racing action is always intense as the 50+mph machines spray roost from all corners with full-time 4WD. Troy Konitzer was The Man in Slayer class, with a dominating TQ run and a no-looking-back start-to-finish win. Troy was the only driver to put in thirty laps, with a decisive victory over second-place finisher Eric Bobber’s 24 lap performance. Glen Matthews and Mike Wille complete the field with 23 and 22 laps respectively. Bobber and Wille had the biggest battles of the race as they fought for second, but luck was not on Wille’s side as he faded in the final laps.
Mark Bruss Scores Traxxas TORC Pace Truck Ride
As if world-class R/C racing, full-size short-course competition, and the spectacle of the TORC series weren’t already enough reason to get yourself to a TORC R/C Challenge race, here’s another reason to make the trip: you might win a ride in the Traxxas TORC Pace Truck! Unlike most pace trucks that are lightly modded vehicles off the showroom floor, the TORC Pace Truck is actually a race-ready Pro 2WD racer that has been outfitted with a passenger seat. With over 600 horsepower and long-travel suspension, it’s built to hang it all out on the racetrack. All registered R/C racers are automatically entered in a drawing for the ride of a lifetime, along with a “Pace Truck Edition” Slash and a full set of Traxxas apparel. Mark Bruss was the big winner in Oshkosh, and his turn in the Pace Truck came with an extra bonus: the driver was none other than Ricky Johnson, the current Pro 2WD points leader and legendary motocross racer. Mark asked Ricky, “Are you going to sandbag, since I’m inside the truck, or are you going to put the hammer down?” Ever the racer, Ricky didn’t hesitate and reassured Mark, saying, “Don't worry. I’m going to let it loose!” Three high-flying laps later, Mark slid out of the roll cage, pulled off his helmet and let us know how it went. “It was awesome, absolutely awesome!” exclaimed Mark. ”I had the time of my life. It was Christmas in July for this guy! The TORC Pace Truck Slash and the Traxxas clothing was nothing less than icing on the cake for a great day of Slash racing with friends. I'll never forget this great experience,” added Mark later. Don’t miss your chance to win. Sign up for the next Traxxas TORC R/C Challenge event today!
Join Us At The Next Race!
The next stop for the Traxxas TORC R/C Challenge is Bark River, MI. Sign up is open now!
Every race on the Traxxas Off-Road Championship (TORC) circuit includes a professionally-run R/C race with Slash Spec, Slash Open, Slayer, and Revo classes. The events are sanctioned and operated by RC Pro, and the feature AMB electronic scoring, and a full-size drivers’ stand.