New in the Pits – Yokomo YZ4


Debuted at the opening round of the EOS in Germany 2 weeks ago where it won in the hands of Lee Martin, the new YZ4 from Yokomo has been designed by Shin Adachi and is a big departure from the previous model. Featuring a dual belt design, replacing the previous shaft drive version, both belts drive a 2wd style 3 gear transmission at either end of the car. This allows the use of small gear driven differentials, the size of the diffs being the basis of the new car, but with small belt pulleys prone to slip this gearbox idea was developed. The result is a car that is easier to drive in the way the power is delivered .


The new configuration sees the motor centrally mounted under the top deck and allows for multiple battery mounting positions for adjusting the weight distribution in the car and can even accept saddle packs in both orientations. Developed on Astro and carpet, but set to work very well also on dirt, it sports an aluminium chassis with a 15 degree kick up with very little overhang so that it can clear jumps without catching at the front. The top deck has touring car inspired flex adjustment and apart from the uprights, c-hubs and shocks is a completely new car. Expect it to be released in November.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - add a comment

Dreams do come true – Rivkin is World Champion


His team-manager Brent Theilke has been using the hashtag #dreamsdocometrue to highlight the progress of his young driver’s first World Championship and the use of wording couldn’t have turned out to be more true with Spencer Rikvin your new 1:10 2WD World Champion. The 16-year-old claimed the sport’s greatest accolade by backing up his A2 win with an even more impressive drive to victory in A3.  Going up for the title against two of the sport’s biggest names, Jared Tebo and Ryan Cavalieri, what was special about the performance in Japan was how the new star of offroad dealt with the pressure of the occasion like water off a duck’s back.  Behind Rivkin, outgoing champion Tebo would claim second overall with Cavalieri completing the podium at the Yatabe Arena.


‘I’m really speechless’ said a tearful Rivkin.  ‘I stayed patient behind Jared justing following him around.  He had a crash and I never looked back’. Asked what was going through his mind as he completed his final few laps, he said ‘I didn’t feel any pressure, I was just having fun.  It might mean more because it has Worlds in the title but to me it was just like driving any other race’.  Thanking his dad Ronnie, Thielke, and Associated designer Kody Numedahl for their support at the event, he said there were two people without whom he wouldn’t have ever got the opportunity to have reached the level where attending a World Championship would be possible those being Humpty Helms and Ryan Maifeld.  ‘Without Humpty I wouldn’t be racing and without Maifield I wouldn’t have got to take it to the next level’.  Receiving congratulations on his win from Maifield, the offroad ace having mentored the youngster, Rikvin was very emotional saying ‘I couldn’t have done it without you Ryan’.


Finishing A3 third but getting second overall on tie break thanks to his A1 win, Tebo said, ‘It was going good, I just made two very costly mistakes. I did my best’. This statement backed up by him being the only driver to run a 16-second lap over the three mains. Keeping his Kyosho at the front for 9 laps in A3 before Rivkin took the lead, the Top Qualifier said ‘I’m disappointed not to win but I got the TQ and 2nd and I can be proud of that, I left it all out on the track’. He added ‘At the Warm-up I only qualified 20th so we made a lot of progress and I’m excited about getting 4WD started – the 4WD Worlds starting on Thursday.


Saying he was ‘surprised it ended up an all American podium considering our performances at the EOS were pretty shit’, the Euro Offroad Series running carpet tracks similar to that used for this Worlds, it was clear from Cavalieri he was here for more than a podium finish.  A former 2WD champion and 3-time 4WD World Champion, and proud of the fact he won his first title at a younger age than team-mate Rivkin, he said in A3 ‘I made another great start but couldn’t get into the groove’.  Eventually finding his rhythm, the Team Associated driver said by then he ‘couldn’t close the gap’.  Asked for his thoughts going into 4WD he replied ‘we’ll regroup and start over’ adding we done a lot of work with the car ‘so lets see what we get’.


Outside of the podium Neil Cragg would get fourth in A3 to finish in that position overall ahead of fellow European Joern Neumann.  The only TLR in the final, Ryan Maifield would, after a strong showing in A1, DNF A3 leaving the 2013 podium finisher to complete the overall Top 6 winning out on a tie break with Xray’s Martin Bayer.  The other of the Chico podium finisher, where he finished runner-up, Lee Martin wouldn’t even register a lap in A3 breaking on the opening lap leaving the European Champion to finish 10th overall behind Kody Numedahl and Michal Orlowski.



View the complete final overall standings here (PDF).

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 2 comments

Video – 2wd A-main Leg 3

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Rivkin’s talent shines through to win A2


World Championship debutant Spencer Rivkin’s raw talent shown through in A2 of the 1:10 Offroad Worlds at the Yatabe Arena with the Associated driver take a very popular win.  Starting from third on the grid the 16-year-old had taken the lead by lap 2, putting a great pass on Top Qualifier Jared Tebo, and lead through to the finish ahead of Associated team-mates Ryan Cavalieri and Neil Cragg.  Winning by over 2-seconds, Rivkin’s win puts him in a 3-way all American shoot out for the 16th IFMAR 2WD World title with Cavalieri and A1 winner Tebo who would finish the second encounter 4th.

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Clearly in disbelief of what he just achieved, Rivkin said ‘I don’t know where to start’.  Gathering his thoughts he continued ‘I got inside Neil and it was game on from there with Tebo.  He then had a bobble and I took advantage of that and never looked back.  I got my head down and just drove my own race’.  Delighted to make the A-Main when asked what it felt like to be in contention for the World title, he said ‘I’m speechless, I’m just going to go out there and see what happen’.


Cavalieri said ‘I made the same good start as A1 and fell into second’.  Closing in on Rivkin for a time, the Californian said a small mistake at the table top was enough for him to fall back and have to settle for second.   He said it was a result the was happy to take as it means the 2011 Champion goes in the last final in with a fighting chance of adding to his tally of World titles.


With a series of mistakes dropping Tebo to fourth, one driver to take advantage of these was a recovering Cragg.  An error on the opening lap at the table top after a check behind Tebo, the British driver who tangled with Rivkin in the same spot in A1 said this time ‘I let Spencer through’.  A rollover at the following corner would see the 2005 Champion drop to 7th.  ‘Happy to get back to third’ he said, ‘it is disappointing I’ve no chance at the win but I can still get a podium’.


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Video – A-main Leg 2

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Tebo wins A1


Jared Tebo has won the opening A-Main at the 1:10 2WD Offroad World Championships in Japan.  The Top Qualifier would end up taking a comfortable win surviving a mistake and a challenge from star of the event Spencer Rivkin.  The young Associated driver found himself twice locking wheels with his team-mates first with Neil Cragg early on, ending the former Champions challenge, and later with Ryan Cavalieri.  Despite the contact Cavalieri would see off the challenge of Ryan Maifield to complete the Top 3 behind Tebo and Rivkin.  Starting from 2nd Cragg would finish 6th.


Getting it wrong at the rhythm section in front of the drivers stand, just as he looked to have broken away from the pursuing Associated’s, Tebo said ‘I was a little nervous and that front section nearly cost me but I pulled it back’.  The defending champion said he needs to be more on the throttle for the final jump of the section and it shouldn’t be an issue again in A2.  Asked if he was surprised by the pace of Rivkin, who caught him and made a serious attempt to get passed before having a roll over coming onto the main straight,  the American shook his head and said ‘No, Spencer has been fast all week’.  Asked about A2 he replied ‘my car felt great and I’ve just got to drive it’.


With much more of a game face on than in qualifying, Spencer described his first ever Worlds final as having went ‘pretty good’.  The 16-year-old who has been Mr. Consistency here at the Yatabe Arena said, ‘I made a bobble that i shouldn’t have’ referring to his error when setting up Tebo for a pass adding ‘I was pushing a little too hard’.  Avoiding the point of his contact with Cavalieri, both pitting side by side, he said ‘I know I can race with them so for the next one I am going to just follow Neil and see what happens’.  Asked about his second lap clash with Rivkin, Cragg said ‘I ran wide and tried to close but (Rivkin) was already there. No fowl’.  Trying to recover position the British driver said he tried too hard leading to further mistakes.

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Cavalieri summed up A1 by saying it was ‘really close’ adding after ‘a clean start’ he was able to work his way up to the lead battle until ‘we gave Jared a breather when myself and Spencer got together’.  Not initially pointing the figure when asked about his subsequent battle with Maifield he said ‘(Ryan) snuck up behind me when I got taken out’.  With Maifield getting by him he said he got back by his former team-mate with a lucky pass at the end of the main straight adding his car was placed just perfectly to and he ‘threw it in and got a clean pass’.


Coming from seventh on the grid Maifield said ‘that wasn’t bad, obviously I wanted more but to get in the battle for second was good’.  Having ‘made a pretty big gain since qualifying’, the TLR driver said the TLR22 Development Car is pretty competitive now and considering they came here having never driven it he is satisfied with with 4th from 7th on the grid.  Looking to A2, the Arizona driver said his aim is for an overall Top 5 finisher or higher but said the nature of the track means you can’t pass and he’s got to be patient and wait for others to make mistakes.


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Red RC are travelling to Tsukuba in Japan, just north of Tokyo, to the world famous Yatabe Arena for the 2015 IFMAR EP Offroad World Championships. The best racers from around the World will be battling it for the win on this all Astro turf indoor circuit. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Sunday morning (4th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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