RC racers unite and support
Words: Greg Metzger
Photos: Jesse Degraff & Pete Goulding
What to do on a fine day in March when you own a 1/5-scale or RC rock racer vehicle and live in sunny Southern California? For the past four years you’d better be sharpening your skills and prepping your race cars as it’s time to go racing! On March 19, 2016 the Ashley Cup 4 RC charity race for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital was held at Irvine Lake RC Park in beautiful Southern California. To fully understand the Ashley Cup, you need to be a parent. Only a parent who has loved and lost a child can understand what drives Sean Garcia to continue to promote and assemble such a fine charity event benefitting his lost daughter’s favorite charity. No matter how you spin it, this is an event created in the pain of loss to bring the joy of racing to drivers, and the proceeds from that race benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. This year’s event raised a bundle, $8,210 to be exact, bringing the total raised through these events to over $31,000!
This year’s list of sponsor’s was again a great cross section of the private sector and the RC industry. Starting with the host, Irvine RC Park, Team Cow RC, Team Tuck Nasty Racing, Castle Creations, RC Driver, Performance Auto Care, O’Neill Brothers Racing, Team Phatdad, Hitec, DE Racing, Axial Racing, Turtle Racing, MIP, Pro-Line, Baja Addicts, Vertigo, DDM Racing, Easy Sticker Co., RC Sparks, RC Insider, Axis RC, Undertaker Paints, HPI Baja Forum, Aloha Printing, Heebee Geebee, Hailo Flooring, U4RC, Ottsix racing, and Team Chase.
The sponsors made this year’s opportunity drawing prizes off the hook, with custom car kits built with all the available hop-ups given away, along with complete RTR race vehicles, parts, bodies, shwag, paint jobs, tires, etc., etc.! Hailo flooring built a fully optioned out Losi 5T and gave it away new. Cow RC brought a race ready Losi 5T, raced it for the day, and then donated the proceeds from its sale in the silent auction. Funny thing, the Cow RC truck was the fully upgraded truck that Hailo Flooring built and gave away at Ashley Cup 3 the year previous, making it the first RC vehicle to double down as a donation in Ashley Cup history.
It should be noted with bowed heads and heavy hearts that this was Irvine Lake RC Park’s last event, and they went out in grand style. Craig Narta and his crew of track magicians kept the track groomed, the pipe in place, and the surface watered for all 12 hours of racing. Thank you gents, you will be missed! Consider the full scope of the event. Two separate tracks running simultaneously, side by side. The first track hosted a Rock Racing event sponsored by U4RC and run by Jerry Ellifritz. The second track was bristling with a full schedule of eight 1/5-scale classes and only one day to get it all done! Dave Brown kept the heat on from the driver’s stand, hustling the racers through the busy day and keeping a tight rein on the time and the drivers. There were two qualifiers for each class, with mains following. The day went fast and the racing was furious. Competition was stiff from the start and I was impressed with the good hearted and mutual support the racers exhibited at the event. There is no race like the Ashley Cup, it proves that you can have a great race, with all the driver diversity, compete at the highest level, and make a difference for those with greater challenges by contributing financially to a worthy charity.
Once again the Ashley Cup raged. It awoke in the misty morning hours, never faltering as the sun burned off the morning haze, and roosted through the day until the final main was silenced in the darkening light of dusk. All was well in the RC universe as the sun dropped below the western mountains. The dust from the rock racers settling back to the earth as the echoes of piped 2-strokes faded into the surrounding hills of the lake. If you missed it, don’t fret, Ashley Cup 5 will be here soon enough and you will have the opportunity to first support a great charity, and second, to compete in a great RC event.