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Sunday, September 28, 2014 - add a comment

Tessmann gets his World title

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Ty Tessmann is the new 1:8 Offroad World Champion. Having stamped his authority on the Sicilian event in early qualifying, the HB driver would take victory in the Main in rather convincing fashion. Starting from second on the grid the Canadian would take control of the race following problems for pole position starter Ryan Maifield to win by a comfortable margin of Team Associated’s Ryan Cavallieri and Mugen’s Carson Wernimont. Leading the race a steering servo failure would rob Maifield a true shot at obtaining the one title that has eluded the American offroad star. The only other driver to look like a potential treat to Tessmann, having denied the 21-year-old the win 2-years-ago in Argentina, outgoing champion Robert Batlle would also hit trouble when his Mugen ran out of fuel just metres before a scheduled pitstop.

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Tessmann said while it ‘feels really good’ the true meaning of this win ‘hasn’t sunk in yet’. Running through his race, he said ‘the start didn’t go as good as (he) would of liked’ but telling himself ‘don’t panic’ he didn’t let it get him frustrated. ‘Surprised by how quick (he) caught back up’, he said after making some small set-up adjustments to his Pro-Line shod OS powered D812 it was better than in the Semi. With his rivals challenges faltering he still stuck to their game plan adding that ‘it felt like a very long time to keep the car going’. Securing HB’s second 1:8 Offroad World crown with company boss Tatsuro Watanabe on hand to witness his star driver get a title everyone felt after qualifying was his to lose, Tessmann acknowledged all the work of his sponsors, the car’s designer Torrance Deguzman and his parents over the past two years to come back and go one better than in 2012.

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Running a prototype of Associated’s future RC8 platform, Ryan Cavalieri was very pleased with his best ever 1:8 Nitro result. A multiple 1:10 Electric World Champion he said he was not just happy to be on the podium but happy to finally finish the main. Getting off to a ‘clean start’ from 5th on the grid, the American said he struggled with the glare from the setting sun on the left side of the track leading him have an off at the double before the straight. Once the sun was low enough to cut out the glare he said he adapted his driving to how the car was running in the conditions adding he was very comfortable with his pace. Getting constant updates from his pit crew he said he was able to run a controlled finish to the race adding that ‘pretty quick’ work by his crew helped him to gain an advantage on those behind him.

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Wernimont was delighted with finishing on the podium in what was his first Worlds Main. The 17-year-old said having almost given up in his Semi after suffering throttle issues when the return band failed he said his AKA shod MBX7R was ‘really good’ following input from Lee Martin. Having suffered cruel look in his Semi after suffering an engine cut while chasing down Tessmann for the win, Martin offered Wernimont ‘set-up advice’ for which the American was very grateful. After a good start which left him running in the Top 5, an early mistake dropped him back to last. Taking the approach he could only go up from there he said he got the head down focusing on staying mentally tough, an approach that would pay dividends. Providing the battle of the race as he fought with Kyle McBride he said they both did their best to give away third but in the end he was able to hold of the Australian.

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McBride said the first half of the race went well but then his Kyosho started to get ‘gnarly’. Running a solid second to Tessmann, he ended up making a couple of mistakes that would cost him positions leaving to have to battle with Wernimont for the final podium position. Equalling his fourth place finish he claimed on his Worlds debut in Pattaya in 2010 he said he was still happy with the final result.

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Getting into the Main as the last chance qualifier due to his Semi Final time, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer was ‘super happy’ to finish 5th. Like Cavalieri he had big issues with the low sun, saying the race was more a battle with himself and seeing the track than anything else. With second to seventh all finishing on the same lap, the Czech ace said he was delighted to be so close to his rivals.

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Maifield took his misfortunate extremely well, saying that he was very happy with how his first big race had gone with his new Team Losi Racing squad. Setting the fastest lap of the race of which he held a good lead, he said he could ‘hold (his) head high’ having shown they had what it took to challenge for the victory.  Crashing into the track barrier after the double prior to his retirement, he said maybe it was his fault his servo, a new one being fitted for the final, failed but ‘that is the World Championships’ and he would just have to ‘go for at the next one’.

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Running out of fuel on his in-lap just before the timing loop, costing him a full lap, Batlle said he was happy that as the defending champions they were in the mix throughout the event. The only other driver along with Maifield to run a 36-second lap in the final, he said they had enough speed to repeat the Argentina result. Hitting an out of shape Tessmann late in the race, the new champion saying afterwards Batlle had nowhere to go, he would receive an unwarranted Stop & Go penalty adding it must be a personal thing as he got the same thing at this year’s European Championships.

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Having run strongly in the Top 3 at the start of the race, Ryan Lutz would have a ‘very frustrating’ rear diff failure. The Team Durango driver said everything felt excellent and for the early part of the race he was very comfortable with his pace before the diff started to go. He would finally retire after 25-laps.

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2010 World Champion Cody King was equally frustrated as he got pushed into the pit wall off the start line resulting in a broken arm on his Kyosho. Although he would rejoin the race after 17-minutes of repairs, he said it was unfortunate he did not get to carry the momentum he built up from starting out in the morning’s 1/4 Final after a tough qualifying. Breaking another arm in the pitlane putting him out with 6 minutes to go, he said with the 2016 World Championships in the US, he would focus on looking forward to that.

Ty Tessmann is World Champion

View the complete results online here.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 1 comment so far

Maifield on pole in Sicily

Ryan Maifield

Ryan Maifield is on pole position for the 1-hour title deciding final of the 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Sicily. Running in the second of the 30-min Semi Finals, the Team Losi Racing driver ran a faster race time by 11-seconds over that of Top Qualifier & Semi A winner Ty Tessmann to securing the top spot on the 12 car grid ahead of Tessmann and defending champion Robert Batlle. While Maifield took an easy win over Ryan Lutz and Jared Tebo it was the first Semi that provided all the drama with engine wows robbing both Lee Martin and David Ronnefalk the chance to compete in the showdown to become the 15th World Champion.

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While Tessmann would lead from start to finish, the HB driver was shadowed for the first half of the race by Martin’s Mugen, admitting afterwards that the British driver was pushing him hard. Tipped by many as having the potential to challenge Tessmann for the title, unfortunately on lap 22 of 47 Martin’s MBX7R would come to a halt on the track with a glowplug failure. While he would get running again the failure had damaged his engine and it cut again forcing him into retirement. Summing up his race as ‘pretty good’, Tessman said he had a couple of mistakes and even after Martin’s retirement he had to push as he chased a fast race time. While his D812 ‘got soft towards the end’ of the race something to be expected in such conditions, he is pleased with the car he has for the final. Like Martin, engine trouble would also be behind the heartbreaking retirement of Ronnefalk. Setting the the fastest lap of the race as he worked his way up from 8th on the grid to 2nd behind Tessmann, the European Champion would suffer a flame out with just 3-laps to go. Losing a minute before he got running again the clock was against the 17-year-old and he crossed the finish 8th. Ronnefalk’s misfortunate handed 2nd to Batlle. Starting from 6th on the grid the Spaniard said the race went better than expected with everything working good. Aiming to start in the Top 5, he said 3rd was good position and he is confident going into the final. Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri would book his passage to the Main with third as would Dakotah Phend and Kyle McBride, the latter overcoming a flame-out during his first fuel stop.

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A much less dramatic Semi B Final almost looked like a formality for Maifield once proceedings got underway. During the warm-up 2012 Top Qualifier Elliott Boots broke a front shock on his Kyosho resulting in him calling for a 10-minute delay that put him from 3rd to the back of the grid. Running 4th, with three laps to go his leg gave way and he fell on the driver stand causing him to crash on the main straight and eventually drop to 9th leaving him, like in Argentina, failing to progress to the Main. Behind Maifield, Ryan Lutz would have a reasonable lonely race to second with his Durango the only other car to finish in the lead lap. Jared Tebo would complete the Top 3 with a 3-seconds advantage over Carson Wernimont. Just as he did in Argentina, 2010 World Champion Cody King got on top of a disappointing qualifying to claim a spot in the Main with 5th having started the day off in the 1/4 Finals. The faster of the two heats, the top 5 from each Semi in the final to be joined by the next two fastest drivers, that would go to sixth & seventh place finishers Alex Zanchettin, the Italian getting a massive cheer from the local crowd, and Q4 top qualifier Martin Bayer. Commenting on his Semi, Maifield said his JConcepts equipped Novarossi powered 8ight was fast without him having to push it adding that such a package ‘makes (his) job easier.’ Pleased with his performance he said the only issue in the race was his left leg started to go asleep towards the end of the race something he hopes wont reoccur in the Main.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 - add a comment

1/4 Finals Update

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Just 24 drivers remain in contention for the 15th 1:8 Offroad World title with the 1/4 Finals eliminating some big names, the most notable being Atsushi Hara. Having been a podium finisher since winning the title in 2008, the S-Workz driver’s event is done. Competing in the first of the 1/4 finals having bumped up after winning his 1/8 final, the Japanese legend could only manage 8th.

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Up front after some rough early laps TLR’s Dakotah Phend recovered from running as low as 10th to take control of the race to take the win ahead of Team Associated’s Yannick Aigoin. Working his way up from the 1/8 Final, Radiosistemi driver Riccardo Rabitti continued his form to finish third from 10th on the grid to book his place in the Semi along with Serpent’s 2008 World Championship podium finisher Mike Truhe. There was a frantic battle behind Truhe involving Xray’s 2012 Finalist Josh Wheeler, Agama’s Darren Bloomfield and Durango’s Joern Neumann, the latter two getting together a number of times ultimately costing them a shot of bumping up. Other casualties of the race included Jeremy Kotz who while holding a bump position crashed at the double before the straight with the barrier knocking the front left shock off his Agama. Although he continued he would finish 9th behind Hara. The race would also bring an end to former runner-up Renaud Savoya’s campaign.

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In the 1/4 B 2010 World Champion Cody King took the win. Starting from pole position, the Kyosho driver faced a number of challenges with European Championship runner-up Martin Wollanka taking an early lead. The race also saw TLR’s Ricardo Monteiro head the field along with Davide Ongaro. Unfortunately for the 13-year-old talent, his move to the front getting a huge cheer from onlookers, engine issues would end his race, his Mugen coming to a stop on two occasions. Wollanka’s race was scuppered by engine cuts dropping him to 10th. In the end King would take a comfortable win over Monteiro, French Champion Jerome Aigoin and Xray’s Miguel Matias who had to see off a strong challenge from LRP team driver Marcel Guske who bumped up from yesterday’s 1/16 Final.

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View the complete results online here.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 - add a comment

1/8 Finals Update

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The deciding day of the extended 10-day 1:8 Offroad World Championship is here and getting the big day’s proceedings underway was the 1/8th Finals.  The first of the 3-minute encounters would be a closely run affair with Top 5 running closely packed for much of the race.  In the end it was S-Workz’ Atsushi Hara, a driver with a unpredicted record of being on the podium at the previous three runnings of these championships, that would take the win from the Radiosistemi of Italian driver Riccardo Rabitti, former HB team mate Teemu Leino and 2012 Finalist Josh Wheeler.  Wheeler would come under pressure in the latter part of the race for the final bump up spot with JQ Racing boss Joseph Quagraine swapping positions with the RC America team driver,  the Xray driver eventually able to cruise to 4th after some bad laps from Quagraine who would drop to 6th behind 1/16 A Final winner Bruno Coelho.

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In the 1/8 B Final, there was cruel luck for European Championship finalist Carsten Keller.  Holding a solid lead the Kyosho driver would come to a halt on the track with the car still running but the throttle servo not responding.  With the car returned to the pits a reset of the cars power cured the problem but the German’s race was done.  In the end 13-year-old up & coming Italian talent David Ongaro took the win with his Mugen from 1/16 Final graduates Carlos Duraes, Marcel Guske and Jorge Soler Diaz.  Unfortunately for Tyler Vik it was a very short race with him having to head for the pits with a rear corner hanging from his Xray.  He would rejoin the race but 9-laps down he would finish last.

View the complete results online here.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 - add a comment

The Worlds according to Ruona – Friday Finals

The Worlds according to Ruona – Friday Finals

I read an article once where Billy Easton was asked about racing and getting to the top. He claimed it was a lot like the song by AC/DC. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll. It’s so true, it’s a very long path and some never get there.

You start off wanting to have some fun, you hear of R/C maybe through a neighbor or a friend. You get involved by visiting a hobby shop and getting pointed in the right direction. If you are lucky you have some support of your parents. They see a benefit in having a harmless hobby. “It’s for the kids right”

You pick a vehicle that appeals to you and your budget and probably more specfically, your parents budget. You take it home and have your dad or parents help build the vehicle. You have some issues along the way but your dad “has the ultimate set of tools” he can fix it. You fix it with Tie-wraps, duct tape, super glue, wood, scotch tape, aluminum, welding rods, Vaseline and WD40 (water displacement 40th revision).

Your experience requires some dedication. You bring vehicles back to the hobby shop if they don’t work and look for a quick fix. You beg the parents for a better vehicle and start all over again. This time you are a little better at it and recognize the errors you are making before they happen. You start fixing the cars with the proper parts. You convince your friends to get something “so you can race”. You start doing all the work yourself because your parents are busy and paying the bills. You can’t get enough.

You build a track in your backyard based on a vision in your head of what a bad azz track should look like. Figure 8 track it is!! You build some jumps and use some trees as the corners. You charge a few batteries and run the track, in between your favorite monster truck videos.

You quickly gain the reputation of the guy that has a track in your backyard. Your cousin and your neighbor are your toughest competition but somehow you always have enough races where you end up winning. Once you master the track it’s time for photos and video of the action to show your parents and others what you are doing. Interviews, changeable bodies, you have thought of everything to make these videos legit. ESPN 2 ready!!

The hobby shop mentions a race track nearby the store….what!!?? There is actual racing and a track somewhere? Yes, it’s real and you should check it out. Your parents drive you to the track and before you can get out of the car, you are in love. This is the real deal! After pulling some strings you get a real race car. You have the best of what the hobby store recommends for the local track. Your first practice day is a blast and you are looking for your cousin and neighbor to attend but they don’t. It’s just you, your parents and your race car. Sliding around, drifting and jumping on the “real” track is fun.

Next weekend you signup for the race and don’t know anything. Transponder? Lap-times? A-main? B-main? Your parents are just as lost. You are up, kid! Just go when the horn goes off. You got this! Sliding around, drifting and jumping on the “real” track is fun. Race over.
Hey kid, have you raced before? No, it’s my first time….BS, you must have raced before, you are fast out there. How do you know I’m fast? I looked at your lap-times and they are quicker than other veteran racers here. Oh, so you mean I can drive good? Yes, I can’t believe it.

You meet your first friend, then your next friend. Everyone has a ton in common. You are there every week moving up the ranks. Someone says are you running the “big one” in February? What is the “big one”? It’s only the biggest race in the U.S.A. and it’s just 2 short hours away. Yeah, I’m in.

Arrive to the “big one” to find huge tents and people everywhere. Woah, there is Cliff Lett… He’s in the magazine. This is the coolest thing ever. There is a line for practice? Start here and wait your turn for a 4 minute run. You are almost shaking, so nervous to be around so many people. Do you belong? Qualifying starts and it’s just you and the track. You find a way to make it happen and pull off decent finishes. You don’t know what you are doing. Woah, it’s Jay Halsey….he’s the coolest.

Pretty soon it’s state champs, regionals, nationals and unique paint schemes. You can’t get enough, grass is growing on the old backyard track. Your schedule revolves around practice, racing and the track. You win your first race! Things are moving at a fast pace. You see improvement in yourself, it’s exciting and rewarding.

One day you arrive to the track and there is a buzz in the air. Someone tells you there is a sponsored driver racing at your local track. Oh no! What is sponsored? Basically he gets everything for free and thinks he’s the best. Not on my home track he’s not….you get your azz kicked anyway. Man, I need to be sponsored.!.! That’s how he’s so fast.

You find out where they are from and want to race them all the time. If I beat them, I have to be the best. All I need is more track time and a sponsor. You fall for any sponsor you can get and it’s temporary happiness. I still can’t beat these guys…man, they are really good. I need to talk to them. How are they good? What is their setup? Do I need a different sponsor? Follow them around like a puppy dog.

Wow, I’m getting better. I’m getting closer. This is a lot harder than I thought, though. When I was in novice I was told I was good? The “big one” is back in town again. Damn, I made the B-main and raced with Gil Losi JR and Rick Hohwart. I don’t even know what I’m doing. Your parents call for more sponsorships and get them. B-main was good at the “big one” I guess. You win your first state championship. Someone pours water on your head. Cue the Karate Kid music, “you’re the best…around”

You are on fire locally, people ask you for advice. Your wall is full of trophies. You get more vehicles, you have more success. More sponsors on-board. You get a few haters a long the way. He’s got everything, he’s not that good, he’s lucky. More winning. Respected people take you under their wing. You qualify for the Worlds. You are on the Worlds team! A trip to the Worlds! Your old backyard track is completely grass. Submerged in the new life, trying to make a name for yourself. You’ve made it to the Worlds. You get on the drivers stand and the nerves kick in. You are back to square one, you are back at your first “big one” all over again. It’s intense, cut throat, secretive, and political. You resort back to your parents and friends for comfort. Everyone looks at you like a threat. “This is my house”

You succeed while being incredibly nervous while feeling out of place. You are making a name for yourself. You fly home and race right away with new confidence and comfort. You are a local big shot and have the look of a hired gun. You travel anywhere to take people down on their home track. Your first question when you arrive to a new track. “What’s the track record”

2 years goes by and you attend another World Championship. Only this time you aren’t afraid or intimated. You are the one setting the pace, the setup and trends. You compete, you do well, but not the champion. The guy wins standing next to you on the drivers stand. You can’t stand it but congratulate anyways. You want to skip the banquet, you want to throw away your trophy, you don’t care about free food. You are a poor sport! Your old backyard track has 7 years of grass on it with a little bit of clay peaking out. The old tree turn is still there but now it’s more a tree and less a turn. Man, it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll.

Tomorrow, at the 2014 IFMAR World Championships. 24 drivers who’ve all had similar experiences to mine will sit in the Semi-Final. 2 absolute winners sit at the top of their respective Semis. They have impressed the field, done things nobody else can do. Who wins? Who loses? Do they even make the show? Is the winner at least standing next to you? Who carries the trophy home? Who wants to throw theirs away? Who has the most grass growing on their old backyard track?

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Friday, September 26, 2014 - 2 comments

Live Event Updates

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Introduction

Red RC are on the island of Sicily, off the coast of Southern Italy, at the Pista Naxos World track for the 2014 IFMAR 1/8th scale gas offroad World Championships. The bi-annual event attracts the best racers from around the World to battle it out for the title which was won 2 years ago by Spaniard Robert Batlle. Red RC's coverage of the event begins in full on Saturday morning (20th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week long event.

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