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"Lights Out" ALIBERTI TQs & WINS

On July 22 Mike Aliberti TQed and won the warm-up race for next weekend's Short Course National Championship race at R/C Madness in Enfield, Connecticut. We have a special place in our heart for R/C Madness' original track because that is where Greg Hodapp won our first ROAR Championship with the original X - 5 back in 1985. A few years ago R/C Madness moved to a new location. X-Teamers Mike Aliberti and Chris Cristo qualified first and second for the warm-up race and Aliberti turned the lights out (again!) by running away with the win.

Here's the story in Mike's own words: Sunday the 22nd Chris Cristo and I showed up to a gigantic 1/8th scale outdoor SC layout that would challenge everything from your throttle finger to your reflexes. The layout from a glance looked very nitro 8th scale but once you put your car on the track it ran very well for 2wd. It wasn't super technical but had a lot of high speed sections that could have the truck walk away from you if you were not careful.

Chris and I went out for our first battery pack in practice to learn the layout together, keeping each other honest and watching each others' trucks and having some setup/track discussions in the process. I think we both agreed that the tire we went out with first, Pro-Line Snipers were not really what we were looking for.
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We walked back to the pit area, threw the trucks on charge and discussed setup/changes and tire selection. Chris went out with his 4wd and I watchedfrom the side line, wow that car is good I said to myself...

Chris came down off the stand, I told him his 4WD looked great and we continued thinking about the proper tire for the job at hand. We decided on Pro-Line Blockade in M4 and that was that, our trucks were like slot cars out there only showing that they were 2wd by wheelies down the straight.. We pulled off the track after some discussion again on the driver stand and our pit area was full of potential X Factory owners as well as some local fast guys that wanted to know just what we were driving....

This was the New England debut of the SCX-60CF outdoors and it was foreign to almost all in attendance. Chris and I did not want to disappoint on the first impression and I wanted to make sure that my teammate, who typically doesn't run in these conditions, was right up at the front of the pack. As usual, Chris didn't disappoint.

Qualifying started and we were in the same race. The traction was kind of all over the place and the water didn't exactly play into what we were looking for with our tire selection; trying to make the best of it we just put our heads down and drove. I believe Chris had a some loose track + wind issues that crossed him up. I was fortunate to only have 1 little issue and won the round by over 10 seconds, typical lap times were 43-44 seconds with my fast lap being 41.2, My truck was lethal and it was lights out for everybody without an SCX - 60CF.

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Round 2 comes around, Chris is first as I was in the following heat and I really got a chance to watch his truck go in a race setting. It looked really great, and he was only four seconds off my TQ time. I was up next. Truck started strong, more traction then round 1 and on a really fast 8 lap run which I was blowing my TQ time away until I flipped over backwards down the straightaway! (need to put a wheelie bar on my truck lol). One more mistake had me 1 second slower than my TQ time but still won the round.

Round 3 is here; all the top guys are re-shuffled in the same heat and we were going for it. I wanted that 8th lap as I'm sure everyone did. I start off strong leading for the first two minutes or so until mother nature got me on the big double, leaving me on my lid and the marshal didn't see me for what seemed like ages. Chris went by and I was hot on his heels! The track started to feel really greasy but the SCX-60CF put that to rest as it clearly was class leading all day. John Cravotta, a privateer running the CF, took down the win but still 5 seconds slower than Chris' best time and 9 seconds slower than my first heat run.

The main was here and we all go on the grid. A 6 minute race on a track with 45 second laps means every lap counts and keeps you honest! The horn sounds and we are off! I had Chris behind me and I believe a couple of mistakes were made and some "Short Course racing" was going on back there. When my truck left for the big double I spotted 2nd place almost a half a track behind me and third was right on him. The announcer was infatuated with the truck as if he owned the company.... so i drove it hard for the win. The best comment was a guy standing talking to his buddy under the drivers stand and saying " A 2wd is just not supposed to be that da__ fast around the track. It's doing things that it shouldn't!"

As I typed this report I got a Text message from team-mate Mark Smyka and I guess someone called him to tell him that Chris and I were SUPER DIALED yesterday!

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