Maifield & Evans preparing to ‘Clash’ in Mississippi
The main honours at the sixth running of the annual JConcepts Clash is set to be a ‘clash’ between Associated’s Ryan Maifield and Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans with the duo running head to head in 1:8 Nitro Buggy, 2WD Electric Buggy and 2WD Short Course at the unique and famous US off road event which caters for both 1:8 nitro and 1:10 electric classes. With all five previous Clash events having been held in Florida and outdoors, for 2012 the event has undergone two key changes. The first of these was moving it away from the East Coast where JConcepts is based over to the state of Mississippi with the second and more significant change being to run indoors at the Flowood Indoor RC Park where they have created an impressive large track for the unique event. Commenting on the track following a number of practice runs this morning with his nitro powered RC8.2, defending champion Maifield said only that it is not ‘freezing cold’ it is very similar to the World famous Neo Race in the United Kingdom.
Traditionally held in the month of December, event organiser Jason Ruona was forced to bring this year’s date forward due to the 1:8 Offroad World Championships which takes places in Argentina the first week of December. Having selected the new Clash date prior to the announcement of the Worlds Warm-up race the JConcepts founder said while this has reduced the international entry they have attracted a record number of pre-registrations for this year’s race. Describing the Clash as a ‘relaxed & fun event’ Ruona said having to contend with rain every year with the exception of the inaugural event they made it their aim to take that one ‘damping’ element out of the equation and after the first first rounds of practice runs today he is very pleased with the move, the tracks ventilation system handling the nitro fumes exceptionally well. Ruona, who TQ’d 2WD Buggy last year, will again race himself competing in both 2WD & 4WD Buggy.
In terms of team line-ups Associated are the best represented with Maifield who is joined by young charger Tanner Denney and team boss Brent Thielke. With last year’s 4WD Buggy Champion Joern Neumann unable to attend this year, Denney will be one of the favorites for the title having finished runner up to the German last year. One of the busier drivers this weekend competing in four classes, the 17-year-old will also be a top contender for 2WD Truck honours which last year went to offroad legend Brian Kinwald. Running big bore shocks on his T4.1 Denney was very happy with its performance in this morning’s practice runs.
2011 2WD Buggy National Champion and Reedy Race Winner Evans, who will not travel to Argentina for the Worlds Warm-up, is making his first appearance at the Clash. Having had some reservations about running both 1:8 Nitro and 1:10 Electric on the same day said the change between the two is proving no problem and he is really looking forward to a good event, with things getting underway in earnest tomorrow morning with the first round of four rounds of qualifying for each of the 14 classes that make up the program. Joining Evans on the event is the team’s 2012 signing JR Mitch who having been runner up in three classes last year will be looking to go one better this time round.
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