Video – 4wd Invitational Rd6

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Phend is Reedy Race Champion

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Dakotah Phend is the champion of the 22nd running of the world famous Reedy Race of Champions.  With three drivers in contention going into the deciding round of heads up racing at OCRC Raceway in California, Phend would pull off the biggest win of his career with a copy book final race. Starting from 5th on the grid and with a DNF from the first round of 4WD to drop, the 18-year-old kept his nose clean at the start and helped by a pile up at the first run through the JConcepts kicker came out of the first lap with a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. Running in Race 2 of the final round, Ryan Maifield and Spencer Rivkin lining up in Race 3, the result sealed the title for Phend with the Michigan driver becoming the 16th name to be added to Mike Reedy Heritage Trophy.  With Maifield taking the win in the final race, Rivkin ending up fourth, the outgoing champion would secure second overall with Rivkin completing the podium.

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‘Crazy, it hasn’t sunk in yet’, was Phend’s initial reaction to beating 29 of the best drivers in the World.  Having never been in contention for the overall win at the Reedy Race before he said, ‘there are so many ups and downs to deal with. In 2WD I broke in the second round and in 4WD I broke in the first meaning every round then counted. It’s the most mentally draining race I’ve ever driven’.  Asked about the final race, he said ‘I got a clean start and then there was a big pile up which I managed to get through clean. After that I just focussed on making no mistakes to put in only the third 18-lap run of the event. Asked about his impressive performance this weekend, he said ‘I have been going to the track a lot more to be better prepared both racing and equipment wise. It paid off today as I’m feeling more comfortable with my cars and my driving’.

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Reflecting on the event, Maifield said ‘Unfortunately I had the opportunity to win taken away from me in the other one (Round 5) and I’m not happy to lose out in that way but I’m happy that I could come back and be right in the mix to defend what I did last year.  I didn’t win but we did win as a team’.  He continued ‘we all showed our cars are very good and what we are capable of as a team. Dakotah did a great job to win and Dustin was brilliant in 2WD and we are going to keep that momentum going for all of the year’.  Ending up with the same number of wins as Phend it was his clash with Spencer Rivkin in the penultimate round that ultimately ended his chance to become only the second driver to successful defend his Reedy Race title.

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Putting up a good battle with Maifield in the final race, having pulled off one of the best passes of the weekend when he temporarily took the lead from Ryan Cavalieri, Rivkin said ‘I’m pretty happy with a podium’.  He added, ‘It’s my second year in invite and I ran with the big boys, my cars were perfect. Well done to Dakotah for winning and to Maifield for getting second’.

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In the Open class, the winners getting a spot in the prestigious invite class next year, young Finnish talent Joona Haatanen converted the TQ in victory over Wisconsin teenager Cole Tollard and Alex Koscluszek. Tollard would TQ 4WD but winning both A-Main encounters Koscluszek took the win over Brad Shearer and Haatanen.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Video – Reedy Heritage Video

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Video – 4wd Invitational Rd5

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Rivkin & Maifield clash, Phend right in contention

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The penultimate round of racing at the 22nd running of the Reedy Race of Champions produced fireworks at OCRC as Spencer Rivkin clashed with Ryan Maifield, the reigning champion coming off the worst.  The opening race of the fifth round of 4WD would see Maifield start 4th and Rivkin 8th with the pair going to the front when Dustin Evans had a rollover on the step down half way through the race. Running on his mentor’s rear wing for 5 laps, Rivkin would attempt an ambitious inside pass through the sweeper which he couldn’t execute.  Making contact with Maifield the incident was exacerbated when a delayed Maifield could connect with team-mate Dustin Evans over the following double sending Maifield tumbling.  With Rivkin coming out in front, Maifield would resume in fifth but with just three laps to recover could only salvage third behind JP Richards.  While Rivkin felt the second incident with Evans was Maifield’s undoing Maifield had a very different view saying ‘he (Rivkin) lost a friend in that deal’.  With Jared Tebo going on to claim his first 4WD win in Race 2 ahead of Kyle McBride, the significant result of the round would come in Race 3 with Dakotah Phend winning from 9th on the grid.  Describing it as a ‘very important’ result the win now puts the TLR driver in contention for the Reedy Race title with him equal on points with Rivkin when dropped scores are taken into account with Maifield one point behind them.

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Giving his view of the race, Rivkin described the race as feeling ‘very long’.  Working his way through traffic, the 2WD World Champion said the race ‘took forever to get going’.  Running with Maifield, he said ‘I came in hot on Maifield and made contact but he came out of it in the lead’.  He continued ‘then he hit Dustin over the double and went flying off the track’.  With little more to add about the incident and looking to the deciding race, in which he lines up 4th, Rivkin said ‘I’ll be smart and patient and see where it puts me’.

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‘I was racing my friend, well I thought he was my friend, and he went & put a bad move like that on me’, was Maifield’s view of the race.  Feeling the clash has cost him the chance to retain his Reedy title, Maifield continued, ‘he has created a bad situation for everyone’.  Having taken Rivkin under his wing with Rivkin himself attributing his World Championship win to him, Maifield final opinion on the incident was, ‘Everyone is high fiving him on the win but that kind of driving is only adding to his bad reputation’.

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Having never been in contention before for the Reedy Race, Phend said ‘I got a clean start and just kept chugging away waiting for mistakes.  Then they all piled up and I don’t know how I did it but I made it through (to the lead)’.  Trying to run clean fast laps he would have one mistake but at the same time so would the pursuing Ryan Cavalieri. Cavalieri would suffer a broken driveshaft in the race while second and would struggle home in 8th. Lining up 5th for his final race, pointing out his two key rivals will go up against each other in the same race, Phend said he would not be going for any passes off the start. Aiming to ‘be patient’, he said the key to moving to the front was to avoid mistakes.

View our event image gallery here.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Video – 4wd Invitational Rd4

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Live Event Updates

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Introduction

The most important electric offroad race of the year, we are attending the 2016 Reedy Offroad Race of Champions at OCRC Raceway in Huntington Beach, California. Won last year for the first time by Ryan Maifield, the invitational class is a who's who of top racers from around the World, all of whom have had to qualify to compete in this unique heads up race format. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Thursday afternoon (21st) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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