Loves Park, IL – The weekend of short-course racing at Red Bud MX had John Frana run some of the quickest laps in the PRO Buggy class as the #907 RCV Performance/”the Official” Brand Name Prescription Card/Sway-A-Way/Frana Vehicles Honda-powered AWD single seater had back to back podium finishes on the most technical layout in the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL.
The one-mile long layout ran through the same valley that the national motocross track is built on and it had many of the same characteristics that two-wheeled racers have grown to enjoy. The track had multiple elevation changes, big air jumps, a variety of turns, and of course the infamous loamy soil that can really create problems if a driver wanders off the racing groove.
The Friday morning practice for the RCV Performance PRO Buggy didn’t go as planned. The temperature of the transmission was over three hundred degrees, the engine was constantly hesitating and the brakes weren’t working properly either. Frana along with his father John and crew chief Ryan Brumund quickly went to work replacing the transmission, rejetting the carburetor, and replacing the brake pads.
The team missed the second practice session, but had the AWD PRO Buggy ready for the evening qualifying session. As luck would have it, Frana was stuck behind a couple of slower racers, but still qualified second fastest. With the starting grid inversion, this meant starting in the third row alongside fast qualifier Luke Johnson.
The Saturday race saw the top three qualifiers quickly move to the front of the field. Frana was running in the third position by the end of the first lap. Late in the sixteen lap race the #907 single seater made a run at second place, but lapped traffic prevented the move up the running order. The day ended with a solid third place finish and the Oakley Bomb award for the fastest lap of the race.
The second race of the weekend saw Frana run another strong race on Sunday. The fight for the top spot was between Johnson and the RCV Performance AWD buggy. After running second for much of the race, Frana moved into the lead with two laps to go when the leader pulled off the track with transmission issues. It looked like the Illinois resident would take his second victory of the year, when the race car began to run out of fuel. The lack of fuel was brought on by a lengthy yellow flag and a red flag incident when a rollover saw two race cars on top of each other. It took the track crew some time to get the race cars safely off the track; fortunately neither driver was injured in the incident. Somehow John brought the sputtering racer across the finish line, but had to settle for another third place.
“We had a great car this weekend,” noted John Frana. “We burned a little more fuel today than we expected and it probably cost us the win. The important thing is that our friend and competitor Scott Schwalbe was able to walk away from the situation. A special thanks goes out to TORC and its safety crew. Also it was impressive to see Brian take the win on Sunday; he has been fast this year. This track is really fun, I definitely prefer these natural terrain courses, but this one really wears you out. I really have to thank my dad and Ryan Brumund for all their hard work on Friday. It looked like we would have a very long weekend after that first practice, but we got the race car sorted out and landed on the podium twice.”
Currently John Frana is second in the TORC PRO Buggy Championship standings. The final weekend of racing in the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL PRO Buggy division is August 31 – September 1 at the Crandon Off-Road World Championship in Crandon, Wisconsin.