This article was originally published in the RC Driver’s March 2016 issue.
By Randy Perillo
For many RC Racers, the Horizon Hobby Off-Road Championships (formerly known as the Spektrum race) is a bucket list race and the 2015 event did not fail to deliver. Hosted at the world famous Trackside Hobbies and Raceway in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this is one of the best races in the country. With all of the history and heritage this race brings, it also attracts many of the biggest names in RC, the newly crowned 2WD World Champion, Spencer Rivkin (AE/Reedy/JC) and multi- time World and National Champion, Ryan Cavalieri (AE/Orion/AKA) were both in attendance along with Dakota Phend (TLR/Orion/Pro-Line), Dustin Evans (TLR/Orion/JC), Chad Due (AE/ Reedy/JC), Brent Thielke (AE/Reedy/ JC/Pro Line), Billy Easton (Serpent/A-main/Pro-Line), JP Richards (TLR/Orion/Viper/AKA) and Alex Kosciuszek (AE/Reedy/JC) to mention a few, 2015 was set to be epic. From California to Connecticut and Canada to Texas, RC racers from across the country descend on Milwaukee to attend a race with incredible ‘atmosphere’. Track Owner Jamie Tennies has made all the right improvements to the facility and is continuously adding the latest and greatest features to make Trackside a top notch racing facility in the Midwest. With LiveRC corporate HQ just up the road and RC Scoring Pro in-house, all 345 entries knew his/ her qualifying/finishing position immediately and lap time printouts were available on demand. This is a racer’s dream, the only improvement would be a Chipotle, Culver’s or Starbucks within a stone’s throw… check that, they are all there!
With everybody’s favorite announcer, Scotty Ernst, on the microphone the excitement level was at a premium and the triple-A format made for a great show. Cavalieri took the top spots in both 1/10 2WD and 4WD and the battles were fierce with nose-to-tail action in all of the mains. Cavalieri continued his domi- nance in Modified Short Course with heavy pressure from locals Chad Due and Tyler Whitt (AE/Reedy/JC). Rivkin was joined on the podium in Stadium Truck by Dustin Evans and Cole Tollard (AE/Reedy/JC). Highlighting the weekend for the local crowd may have been the standout perfor- mance from Sarah Ernst (AE/Reedy/JC) winning the 2WD Stock buggy overall title. In a house full of Team Associated B5m’s, TLR sent three of their ace drivers (Evans, Phend and Richards) to debut the 3.0 2WD buggy and the Losi fans would not be dis- appointed. The trio found speed early and threatened all weekend, reinvigorating 1/10-scale TLR fans from around the world. Other notable drivers from around the Midwest were Corey Liebherr (AE/Reedy/ JC) and Cole Tollard making both the pre- mium A-mains and battling for the top spots. The young Austin Wick (AE/Reedy) and Spencer Heckert (TLR/JC) made their sponsors proud to showcase the young up- and-coming Midwest talent. AE/Reedy/JC drivers Brad Shearer and Cory Crosley made the big show in 2WD and 4WD respectively.