Ryan Cavalieri leads the way going into the final day of the Reedy Race of Champions tomorrow but only by a single point from team-mate Dustin Evans. The final round of action on the second day of racing at OCRC Raceway saw Joe Bornhorst hold on for the win ahead of Spencer Rivkin, the joint leader after 4WD, dropping to third in the standings as a result. Next up, Cavalieri took advantage of an easy heat draw coming through from 5th on the grid to rack up his 5th win of the event ahead of Cole Tollard. It was the concluding race though that was the most stacked with Evans, Ryan Maifield, Ty Tessmann and Jared Tebo in the field. A good start saw Jake Mayo lead for 5 laps before Evans came through and pulled out a lead. Behind, after a bad start, Maifield stormed his way back through the pack finally getting second with a great pass on Mayo when he jumped down his inside on the triple in front of the drivers stand. With the pass coming late in the race, the World Champion hadn’t time to do anything about Evan’s lead.
With just four more races between him and a potential 5th Reedy Race title, Cavalieri said, ‘I had a good jump on Cole (Tollard) and got up to second pretty much straight away and then Joona (Hataanen) had a mistake at the triple and I was in the lead. I got my head down to put a solid run but ended up backing it down to save my tyres’. Asked about tyre wear, the Associated driver said, ‘the track feels pretty good but its pretty abrasive. I think tyres will be a factor tomorrow’.
‘That was a stacked race’, was Evans description of the second 2WD encounter. The former Champion continued, ‘Gillespie and Mayo were fast and Tebo was going well that time too. I drove too timid at the start and Mayo pulled away but I knew Maifield was coming and told myself don’t let him catch you so I started pushing.’ Looking to the remaining four races, he said, ‘I’m excited to go into the final day with the opportunity to race it out for the the win’.
With second behind Evans moving Maifield up to fourth in the points ahead of Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin, the British driver having a tough start to 2WD having held the joint lead after 4WD, he said, ‘It was ok. It was another stacked race. I though I had the inside line on Brent (Thielke) but he went as well and I got collected and was 9th on the first lap. I don’t know how but then I found myself in 3rd position. Then I passed Mayo but by that time Dustin was too far ahead to catch’. Going into the final day, the 2015 Champion said, ‘the track was a lot different in the last one, it’s weird, it feels both slimmy and grippy so for tomorrow I with try a different set of tyres’. He concluded, ‘I also have some better starts’, him starting out the day with pole position start and ending the event with a front row start.
There were wins for Ryan Maifield, Ryan Cavalieri and Ty Tessmann in the opening round of 2WD at the Reedy Race of Champions, Cavalieri’s win moving him back into the lead of standings. Having tied on points with the reigning champion at the end of 4WD, Dustin Evans and Spencer Rivkin turned back row starts in second places while Lee Martin could only manage 4th from 5th on the grid. The opening heat saw pole sitter Maifield jumped off the line by Jared Tebo. Having had a lack lustre 4WD part of the event, it looked like the Kyosho driver might redeem himself with a good result but at the triple in front of the drivers stand his car broke handing Maifield a lead he would build to over 7-second by the end, Rivkin finishing second. Next up Cavalieri took just two laps to get from 5th on the grid to the front with Cole Tollard and JP Richards providing the entertainment as they battled for second, Tollard taking it. Starting on his own on the front row and on the preferred outside line, Tessmann took full advantage having a lonely race as Evans worked his way through the field. Recovering from an earlier crash, he would take second when Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski had a mistake in front of the drivers stand.
Summing up the first of the six rounds of 2WD, Maifield said, ‘that was my first front row start. Tebo got a better start off the tone so I was just planning to be patient behind him but he ended up breaking at the second triple’. The Yokomo driver went on, ‘I was doing the (Monster) triple but had a few issues so I went back to doubling it and my overall time was still fast’. On his car, the World Champion said, ‘overall the car is really good. It is easy to drive and has good corner speed’.
Having declared 2WD was his preferred class at the end of 4WD, Cavalieri declared his win ‘a good start’. The Associated driver continued, ‘the car felt pretty good and I just kept it out front’. Planning a small set-up change for the day’s closing encounter, the multiple World Champion said, ‘I’m going to make a slight adjustment and hopefully that will make the car even better’.
Notching up his second win of the event, Tessmann said, ‘My car had pretty good grip but I thought it would be a little higher. Starting at the front I just cruised around’. The Xray driver said while he is ‘happy how the car is working’ he had some concerns over his tyres. He said, ‘my tyres are getting like slicks down the middle which I am worried about but I’m told they get better as slicks’. Having had an easy start to 2WD, for the second round he faces a bigger challenge saying, ‘I started at the back for the next one so we’ll see what happens’. Finishing second behind Tessmann, Evans said, ‘Starting from last I’m really happy with second especially with Ty starting at the front. This is an important result’.
It is all tied at the top of the standings at the Reedy Race of Champions as the action gets ready to switch to 2WD at OCRC Raceway in California. Wins for Dustin Evans, Lee Martin and Spencer Rivkin in the sixth & final round of 4WD bring the trio equal on points with early leader Ryan Cavalieri, the reigning champion concluding 4WD with 3rd in the most stacked heat of the round. In the opening encounter Martin took advantage of a front row start getting the holeshot and going on to win comfortably from Rob Gillespie and back row starter Dakotah Phend. The second heat was a similar story with Evans benefiting from the P2 starting spot to get the jump on JP Richards eventually finishing 6-seconds ahead of the Yokomo driver. All attention was on the stacked 3rd heat, Rivkin & Cavalieri on the front row, Tessmann 6th and Maifield 8th. In the end it was Rivkin who took it, capitalising on a mistake by Cavalieri with Tessmann getting up to 3rd while a fast Maifield couldn’t get a break. Catching up to the leaders, his challenge came to an end when he collected an out of shape Tanner Denney leaving him to finish 4th.
Reacting to his third win, Martin said, ‘I looked at the heat sheet and it looked like it was one I could win’. Starting second, the Yokomo driver added, ‘2nd spot is better because its on the racing line and there is good drive so was aim was to get the lead on the first lap and control it from there and it worked out’. Looking to 2WD, the World Championship podium finisher said, ‘My 2WD was good in practice but that was a couple of days ago but hopefully its all still good when we go out for our practice run but I’m looking forward to the 2WD racing’.
‘Pretty straight forward’ was how Evans summed up his race. The Associated driver added, ‘JP gave me a lot of respect and I really appreciate that. Once I got a bit of gap I was just trying to cruise it home’. A former Reedy Race Champion, the Colorado based driver said, ‘I’m in contention going into 2WD and my car was really good so I’m looking forward to racing it out’.
Rivkin called his latest win ‘a solid race’. The 2015 World Champion continued, ‘I let the race fall into place and was not too aggressive at the beginning. Pole is not a great starting spot so I followed Ryan and when he had a bobble coming onto the straight I got the drag on him and took the lead. After that I just made sure to hit my marks’. On the switch to 2WD, the 2016 RROC podium finisher said, ‘I’m pretty excited for 2WD’.
‘I should of been able to better my points or at least get a 2 but a mistake cost me at the end’, was Cavalieri’s reaction after the race. Chasing a fifth Reedy Race title, the Associated driver concluded, ‘2WD is always my preferred class and my car was good in practice so I’m looking forward to good heads up racing’.