By Aaron Waldron
Wednesday morning marked the start of the 1/8-scale portion of the 18th annual The Dirt NItro Challenge, with drivers hitting the Fear Farm R/C Raceway for two practice runs to learn the track. It also served as a debut party for new products and drivers making their first appearances with new sponsors. I did a lap around the pits to get some information on stories we'll hear more about throughout the event.
LiveRC Facebook account -- various pictures and results
LiveRC Twitter account -- breaking news and live race updates throughout the weekend
LiveRC Instagram -- JConcepts Pit Report account -- pictures from the pits
2010 IFMAR world champion Cody King is officially a member of the HB Racing team and will be using Team Orion CRF engines for the 2017 season, with an official press release expected this week. I talked to Cody and Paul following his first practice session for the Pro Truck, who both acknowledged that it's a big change for them after 14 years with Kyosho, but that they're excited for the opportunity and thrilled with the support they've received so far. Cody has run his HB Racing D817 buggy back home in Southern California to prepare for the race and said the team has some new parts for the week.
Just like the buggy version used for the first time at last year's IFMAR Worlds, the new Pro-Line Electroshot for 1/8-scale trucks is getting tested in a high-pressure environment. The Electron/Holeshot hybrid tread pattern was expanded for the larger tire carcass, with three small pins inside the center bar pattern.
Ryan Maifield's first major race with the Mugen Seiki Racing team also includes a new JConcepts Finnisher shell for his MBX7TR truck. Like the body released for the 8IGHT-T 4.0 last year, it features a slightly cab-forward layout with steeply raked windshield for an aggressive shape. A large front hood bulge is necessary to clear the shock tower while sitting low on the chassis, and center fins on the roof and behind the engine head. Maifield also has the optional fins attached to the rear of the body as well.
Stay tuned to our All Access Pass coverage this weekend for more information about these new developments and other fresh news from the pits.