A Day at Lake Park with Ruffy Rios



Round three of the very popular JConcepts Supercup series brought us to the very historic Lake Park track located in Tampa Florida. In case you are a newbie or haven’t been involved with RC for decades I’ll give you a brief history of this place. When I got into RC as a 13 year old kid Lake part had already made its mark in the history books hosting the Winter Champs annually with huge turnouts selling out. This was before the days of 10 classes to make 120 drivers convert to 400 entries, the classes were Stock Buggy, Mod Buggy, Stock Truck, Mod Truck, and Mod 4wd and drivers were limited to two classes and capped at 400 entries. With no lack of competition in any class the A Main was a very huge accomplishment and pretty much gave you a place in the history books. I remember being obsessed with the Team Associated RC Racing videos documenting the A Mains of all the big races that year. With the Winter Champs in Lake Park being the most dialed track I can remember from the videos. Everyone in the off road scene would talk about the high grip blue groove tracks in Florida and I was fascinated. Between the handful of skateboard videos I had and the Associated videos my parents VCR was pretty much always occupied. The main highlights to me were Masami Hirosaka’s blistering pace as he dominated 4wd, Huge Team Associated vs. Team Losi battles that everyone in the industry had a close eye on. Also speedcontroler battles between Novak, Tekin , and LRP came into play. The tire game was also getting underway with factory drivers getting sought after prototype tires and trying to get a grip on the fast changing track conditions. Many RC legends stamped their mark into history at this track such as Matt Francis, Cliff Lett, Barry Baker, Teemu Leino, Masami Hirosaka, Mark Pavidas, Rick Hohwart, Jay Halsey to name a few. Lake Park is also the location where many of the most popular Florida drivers got their first dose of exposure, such as a 9 year old JR Mitch who would shake up the A-Mains driving a Associated buggy and a Traxxas Stadium Truck. A young Ruffy Rios would always be in the mix battling for titles at the Winter Champs. Rob Michael, Paul Wynn, Ryan Eckert, and Jason Ruona are a few more industry veterans that spent time out at Lake Park during the infant stages of their careers.

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