Known more for his accomplishments in
1/5-scale racing, Matt Olson is also an
accomplished driver in 1/10-scale electric
o;-road. He is the team manager and
also does customer support for MIP. Matt
travels to events across the country, where
he engages with customers and stays
in touch with trends, products, and the
newest technology. Because of his direct
involvement with the 1/10-scale 13. 5 Spec
4WD Buggy class, his calendar has recently
included a lot more electric racing, and we
got a chance to pick his brain about it.
RC Car Action: What’s your favorite class?
Matt Olson: It would probably be 1/10-scale 4WD Short Course, but since
that class has been falling o;, I’d have to say the 13. 5 4WD Buggy class.
Why do you think the 13. 5 4 WD Buggy class is going to take o;?
I think it’s the next class for the stock-racing guys. I think that stadium
and short-course trucks are so far away in setup and handling, and they
are looking for something with buggy handling. ;e 13. 5 power is the
perfect speed and matches up well to a 17. 5 2WD buggy—and that’s the
largest class at any event these days.
What di;erent things do you do for a 13. 5 4 WD buggy that you
wouldn’t do to a modified 4 WD buggy?
One thing would be the drivetrain. You are going to go with an all-aluminum drivetrain as well as running plastic di; internals. ;ese parts
really lighten things up, and that gives you much more snap on the
bottom. ;is is important since we are limited in power; in Modified, you
could just add more motor. In a Spec class, rotational mass is critical and
[less is a] huge help. Lightweight bodies are also a big advantage. I threw
INSANE JUMPS AND
BIG AIR AT THE 2017
PSYCHO NITRO BLAST
A favorite among racers, the Psycho Nitro
Blast has a bit of everything for everyone.
Featuring around-the-clock action and held
on a temporary track in a horse arena, the
event brings together some of the fastest
racers in North America and abroad. Started
in 2008, this event has grown to be one of
the biggest on the racing calendar. A highlight
of the race, which took place on April 7–9,
was the demanding track. Featuring a huge,
60-foot triple jump, the racers faced a host
of big challenges with lots of air-time control.
In the end, it was Tekno’s Ryan Lutz and Joe
Bornhorst who took the premier classes and
TQ’d ahead of some other big-name pros in
the field. With more than 900 entries, this
event was a huge hit.
the new JConcepts lightweight one on, and I could feel the di;erence.
I know Pro-Line is coming out with some as well. Remember, the body
is up high and will a;ect the roll of the buggy. You want to lower your
center of gravity.
It seems that the power makes it easy for racers to transition to this
class. Do you think this is going to grow and become the second biggest
class in electric o;-road racing?
Yeah, most definitely. You can see the trend with clubs across the country.
Short Course is losing its following, Stadium Truck is there but has never
really taken o; like it was years ago, and Stock Buggy is, by far, the
biggest class. So 13. 5 4WD is the next step for all these guys.
Not afraid to have the
loudest shirt, Matt Olson
always wears a big smile.
;e massive layout at this year’s event had lots
of challenges and technical features.
Sponsors: MIP, Team
Associated, Schelle Racing
JConcepts, Tekin, Hitec,
Sanwa, RC Speed Secrets,
Imagine It Graphics, SMC
Home track: OCRC Race-
way, Huntington Beach,