CRC, TLR, Spektrum defend the title
at the HRC 6 hour Enduro for 1/8th Buggies!
Rome, NY based team driving a Spektrum/TLR 8ight 3.0 defends again
TLR finishes 1st and 3rd
CRC/TLR/Horizon Hobby drivers (standing) Mark Calandra, Tom Firsching, Tommy Giovinazzo and (sitting) John Bauer win the 2013 HRC 6 hour enduro picking up a cool $1000 Canadian Dollars!
The HRC 6-hour Enduro – What is it?
It is a enduro race for nitro and electric 1/8th buggies on what is possibly the finest track on the east cost, HRC (www.hcrc raceway.com) in Ontario, Canada. Just 1 hour drive from Buffalo, NY, the HRC Enduro brings in the top names and teams in buggy racing on the east coast, both Canadian and American; Dave Henry, Jerome Treignier, Derek and Mark Sousa, Daniel Yachnin, Tommy Giovinazzo, Chris Capelo, Peter Head, Abye Birku, Gareth Houben, George Stiliodis, Rick Redmin, Paul Ciccarello and of course the Rome, NY based TLR/CRC team of Frank and Mark Calandra, Brian Wynn, Tom Firsching and John Bauer. The 6-hour enduro is an incredible test of mechanic, driver and machine. The HRC Enduro is held in October when the weather typically turns cold and wet making the Enduro an even greater test. The event sold out with the max of 14 teams entered with factory efforts from Mugen, TLR, Serpent, Novarossi, Kyosho, Team C and Tamiya Canada.
If we quickly rewind to 2011, the CRC/TLR team of John Bauer, Brian Wynn, Frank and Mark Calandra took the win in the 6 hour final in October 2011. The TLR 8ight 2.0 prepared by Frank Calandra with Spektrum servos and radio gear was untouchable. In the 6 hour race, there was a steady mist/rain making the track very heavy and sticky. These conditions are very tough on drive lines and clutches as the traction is very high and the weight of the car is increased with the collecting mud. The team drove smooth and smart. The TLR/Spektrum/Dynamite 8ight B 2.0 did not suffer a single failure! The car ran perfect for 6 hours and the CRC/TLR/Spektrum entry went on to win the $1000 purse easily. A year later in 2012, bad weather forced the cancellation of the 2012 HRC Enduro making the CRC/TLR/Spektrum team defending Champs for this 2013 event.
2011 HRC Enduro Champions
Mark Calandra, John Bauer, Brian Wynn and Frank Calandra
Fast forward to 2013… a schedule conflict with the International Indoor Championships (IIC in Las Vegas) forced Frank Calandra and Brian Wynn to step down this year as they were committed to race at the large on-road race Vegas. Two members of the defending 2011 champs remained the same; Mark Calandra and John Bauer. To replace Frank and Brian, the team added the Firsching brothers; Tom and John Firsching, both TLR drivers in Rome, NY at CRC’s offroad track. Mark Calandra prepared a TLR 8ight 3.0 for the 6 hour battle. Again, Mark used all Spektrum radio gear and servos.
As the team loaded the truck for the 5 hour trip to HRC Raceway in Canada, John Firsching could NOT find his Passport. John stayed up late Friday night searching.. but no luck. The team left Saturday with only 3 drivers hoping to find the mandatory 4th driver needed per the event rules. Enter Canadian TLR driver Tommy Giovinazzo. Tommy was without a team and looking to race. A perfect match, Tommy drives the TLR 3.0 weekly and the American TLR team had the car all ready to rock and roll.
Race day dawned with puddles and mud from overnight rains. A dreary fog covered the area and race track. The HRC crew, despite a dismal forecast, worked hard, pushing puddles and throwing sawdust to help dry the track.
|The CRC/TLR team starts the 6-hour Enduro dealing with mud.|
Sunday morning mud. The track was very damp and heavy, a
tough test for man and machine.
At the start, the HRC Mugen entry, with young stars Derek and Mark Sousa at the wheel had an early lead. After the race settled a bit, a battle ensured between the 2 TLR entries and the Serpent team. The CRC/TLR team took the lead from Serpent at about the 2 hour mark and slowly but surely, inched away. The Canadian TLR entry battled in the 3rd position getting close to the second placed Serpent team but never able to wrestle second away. Again, much like 2011, the TLR 3.0 suffered ZERO failures on the way to defending the title. It is a testament to the car, the electronics and the team. A fantastic result! With the back to back wins, the other teams will be working hard in 2014. The double defending champs from NY have one thing to say…. “BRING IT, we will be back to try to take some more Canadian cash back to the USA!
Thanks to our sponsors for there continued support; TLR, Spektrum, Horizon Hobbies, Dynamite and CRC. It’s an honor and a pleasure representing such fine brands and we couldn’t do it without you!
Thanks to Brian “Gump” Belanger and Andrew Packer for the photos.