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Monday, January 26, 2015 - add a comment

Maifield wins 21st Reedy Race of Champions

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Ryan Maifield has finally won the much coveted Reedy Race of Champions, the TLR driver winning the 21st running of the very event that gave him his first break in a sport in which he would become one of the world’s greatest offroad drivers.  Like last year’s running of the event at OCRC Raceway in Huntington Beach,  Maifield went into the final round of racing as the points leader only this time it was Jared Tebo, not defending back to back champion Ryan Cavalieri, who was his only challenger.  With a 2-point deficit, the pressure lay on Tebo going into the deciding round with the Kyosho driver’s race up first.  Needing a Top 2 finish to have a chance at his first Reedy title it wasn’t to be with both Cavalieri and Carson Wernimont seeing off his efforts leaving the World Champion to finish third. Maifield, irrespective of the outcome of his final race, was going to become the 15th different name to be engraved on the Reedy Race trophy but in true Maifield style he wanted to end with a win. Despite a tough start the ever spectacular driver recovered to do just that with his overall win coming 3-points ahead of Tebo with Cavalieri completing the podium a further point off.

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With the significance of winning the Reedy Race clear from Maifield’s reaction on the drivers stand as he took his 6th win of the weekend, he said ‘finally its a done deal’.  He said having met Mike Reedy for the first time at this race when he was competing in the Open class the win was particularly special as it was where his big break came.  A man who played a key role in him becoming a professional racer and running for Team Associated & Reedy for so many years, he said ‘I wish I could have won for them but that just didn’t happen’.  Joking ‘I owe Ryan (Cavalieri) and Carson (Wernimont) a beer for that one’, referring to them finishing ahead of Tebo, he said ‘I knew I had it wrapped up and I didn’t need to do but I wanted that last win’.

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The fifth Reedy Race he has contested, Tebo said ‘maybe 6th time lucky but I am still happy with second’.  Taking the same number of wins over the 12 races as Maifield, he said for the last main he should have ran a tighter front diff in his ZX6 as the track had lots of grip leaving him with a lot of steering.  He added, ‘In the end it didn’t matter, Maifield drove better and deserved to win’ with his respect for his rival highlighted by him taking a selfie with Maifield after his defeat.

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Claiming his fourth consecutive podium finish in the event, Cavalieri said having struggled in 2WD putting him at a deficit going into 4WD he was happy he did all he could on his part to recover and finish on the podium.  The race’s most crowned champion, the Team Associated driver, said four podiums in a row was something he was proud ‘to hang my hat on’.

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Behind the sports three heavyweights, 1:8 World Champion & 2014 podium finish Ty Tessmann would finish fourth overall after the HB driver enjoyed a strong final day taking the same number of 4WD wins as both Maifield & Tebo.  Winning two 4WD encounters to go with his single 2WD win, 2012 Champion Joern Neumann would finish 5th with Dakotah Phend completing the Top 6.

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In the Open classes, the winners each securing an invite into next year’s main event, Team Associated’s new Australian factory driver Kyle McBride took the overall win having won both legs of the A-Main from Rob Gillespie Jr.  In 2WD, while McBride would win the opening Main from Kevin Motter it was the TLR driver who would take the overall victory after winning A2 from Nolan Anderson with McBride 3rd.

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Video – 4wd Open A-main Leg 1 & 2

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Video – 2wd Open A-main Leg 1 & 2

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Video – 4wd Invitational Rd5

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Advantage Maifield going into Reedy Race decider

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Just as he did last year, only to lose out on the coveted title to arch rival Ryan Cavalieri, Ryan Maifield heads into the final round of racing at the Reedy Race of Champions holding the advantage, albeit just by a single point.  The penultimate round witnessed the first race where title contenders Maifield and Tebo went up against one another in 4WD with the former coming out on top.  While the win would go to HB’s Drew Moller, Maifield, having started two rows ahead of Tebo, would come out with a second with Tebo third 4.3-seconds back.  With defending Champion Cavalieri finishing his encounter of the round 2nd behind Travis Amezcua, it means the 21st running of the event will crown an all new champion with that to be decided between Maifield and Tebo.

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The race between the potential champions saw Moller, who started on the front row behind pole sitter Atsushi Hara, take an early lead he would finally see through to the finish.  While the D413 headed the field all the attention was on the progress of Maifield’s TLR, which started 4th, and Tebo’s Kyosho which was coming through from 8th on the grid. Chasing David Ronnefalk for 3rd over the opening laps, that battle became 2nd when Hara had a moment and then on lap-5 he found a way passed the Swede.   Such was the gap to, and the pace of, Moller he couldn’t make any further progress and with Tebo having worked his way to third with three laps to go he would turn his attention to maintaining the beneficial position rather than take any unnecessary risks chasing a win.  The result means that for Tebo to have any chance of the title he needs to finish his 12th & final race, in which he will goes up against Cavalieri, in the Top 2 as anything lower irrespective of Maifield’s last race result would not be good enough.

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In the other two races, 10-year-old Daniel Kobbevik came close to pulling off the race of his young promising career. After a mistake from early leader Billy Easton, the Associated driver was leading the race and went into the final lap with World Champion Steven Hartson, 1:8 World Champion Ty Tessmann and former Reedy Open Class Champion Carson Wernimont behind him. The Norwegian who had the full support of an enthusiastic crowd behind him unfortunately caught the piping coming up to the triple scrambling the race order. It was Tessmann who came out best to win from 13-year-old Polish Team Schumacher driver Michal Orlowski and Associated’s Spencer Rivkin with Kobbevik recovering for fifth ahead of Hartson. The final race of Round 11 went to Amezcua after he went to the front on lap 4 with Cavalieri second, ahead of former champions Dustin Evans and Joern Neumann.

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Introduction

Red RC are back at OCRC Raceway near Huntington Beach, California for the 2015 Reedy International Offroad Race of Champions, one the most prestigious offroad events of the year. With the invitational class using a unique heads up style of racing spread over 3 days, some of the best racers from around the World will be in attendance to battle it out for the coveted Invite class title. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Thursday afternoon (22nd) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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