World’s best ready to battle at 19th Reedy Race
The Reedy Race of Champions is one of the most famous races in the world and was the brainchild of one of the sports greatest pioneers Mike Reedy. Looking to celebrate his birthday by hosting a race, in 1987 the motor guru created an all new concept for an event in which 32 of the best offroad drivers in the World where invited to race both 2WD and 4WD buggies in a series of head to head races with the driver achieving the best points tally over the 8 races being declared Champion. First run in 1987, when Chris Allec took the title, the 2013 Reedy Race of Champions is the 19th running of the event which after an 8-year break due to a decline in the 4WD class was resurrected in 2009 when Ryan Cavalieri won the title at the Yatabe Arena in Japan, which is so far the only time the event has been hosted outside of the USA.
Hosted for a third consecutive year at the impressive West Coast RC Raceway facility in La Mirada, California, this year’s event will see 29 drivers made up of 18 Americans, 8 Europeans, 2 Japanese and one Canadian, battle it out for the title with the US determined to see the title back in the hands of an American after Joern Neumann last year became the first European to ever win the prestigious trophy that is engraved with names of the sport’s greats like Cliff Lett, Masami Hirosaka and Brian Kinwald. A former two time winner Kinwald is one of this year’s invited competitors as is Rick Hohwart who won the event 21 years ago. A nice touch by the organisers to ensure the founder of the race, who passed away in 2011, is not forgotten is that the first pit table in the main pitting area has been laid out as Mike would have done so back in the day with much of his original equipment including a number of the all conquering Reedy brushed motors he was most famous for.
With the line up for each of the 12 races different, each driver in the invitational class has been designated a permanent number for the four day event with No.1 being carried by defending Neumann, No.2 by 2011 Champion Evans and No.3 by 2010 champion Cavalieri. In addition to the main event there is also an open class, which runs the more traditional race format of heats followed by finals, with the prize for winning that an invitation to race with the big guns for next year’s Reedy Race of Champions title. Chad Due is the 2012 2WD Open Champion and carries the No.15 on his Associated in the Invitation class and is joined by 4WD Open Champion Josh Numan who is No.16 on the entry list. Unfortunately former World Champion Hayato Matsukura who was due to carry the No.5 is unable to attend this year’s event. The event features a controlled tyre with the front tyre being JConcepts ‘Gold Barcode’ fitted with their ‘Profile’ closed cell insert while the rear tyre is Proline’s ‘MC Surburbs’ together with their closed cell insert.
Commenting on the event, current World Champion Cavalieri said the Reedy Race can be stressful as the outcome is not always down to your own driving but its a lot of fun. Racing the same format so much, the Associated driver said the heads up racing makes a nice change and at the end always gives everyone plenty to talk about. Living just 25-minutes from West Coast R/C Raceway, this is Cavaieri’s home track but due to the unique format of the race he said this gives him no advantage.
One of the few drivers to have raced both eras of the Reedy Race, Brian Kinwald said the event is one of the hardest races in the world to win as even if your the fastest driver on the day it doesn’t mean your going to come away with the overall win. While many of the younger drivers will not remember the significances of Mike Reedy’s input into r/c racing Kinwald said the history behind the race makes it also one of the most prestigious events to be able to compete in.
A race that launched TLR’s Dustin Evans international career when he won in 2011, the American said he grew up following the race and then to win it on its return to the USA was a very special moment for him. The former US National Champion said the event creates a lot of great racing but is hard mentally as you can’t get too excited when you win a race as your going to need to try do it a couple more times. Evans team-mate Dakotah Phend, who at 15-years-old is the youngest driver in the event, may not be fully aware of the history of the race but is a big fan of all the heads up racing. For the World Championship finalist winning the races shows that you are a really good racer.
Kyosho’s Jared Tebo said the race ‘rates up there’ as one of the best there is and it is one he wants to add to his CV. The former World Champion said last year he tried to race strategically by working out what he needs to do in each race but it didn’t work out. This year he plans to race everyone and just get passed any car that is in front of him. Commenting on the track layout, which is getting a positive response from the driver, Tebo said its better than last year with the wider line making for most passing opportunities but he added its still going to be tough racing.
Today’s schedule is made up of 6 rounds of practice, alternating between 2WD & 4WD, with the serious business getting underway tomorrow with the first four of the 8 races that will determine the 2013 Reedy Race of Champions winner. The first 2 rounds of practice was all about breaking in tyres on the freshly prepped track after which the 29 drivers drew a starting number that correspondents to the grids of the races with the race listing being held over till the morning to build up things up but race officials have said the draw has created what are certain to be a number of world class showdowns between.
2013 Reedy Race of Champions Entry list
1. Joern Neumann – Team Durango – Germany
2. Dustin Evans – Team Losi Racing – USA
3. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated – USA
4. Brian Kinwald – Associated – USA
5. Rick Hohwart – Associated – USA
7. Jared Tebo – Kyosho – USA
8. Neil Cragg – Associated – United Kingdom
9. Lee Martin – Tamiya – United Kingdom
10.Ryan Maifield – Associated – USA
11.Hupo Honigl – Team Durango – Austria
12.Dakotah Phend – Team Losi Racing – USA
13.Peter Pinisch – Associated – Austria
14.Kohta Akimoto – Kyosho – Japan
15.Chad Due – Associated – USA
16.Josh Numan – Associated – USA
17.Atsushi Hara – HB/HPI Racing – Japan
18.Kody Numedahl – Associated – USA
19.Steven Hartson – Associated – USA
21.Paul Bradby – Associated – United Kingdom
22.Ty Tessmann – HB/HPI Racing – Canada
23.Stefan Pfeihofer – Associated – Germany
24.Matt Castellano – Team Losi Racing – USA
25.Cody Tuner – Kyosho – USA
26.Brent Thielke – Associated – USA
27.Rene Trauner – Yokomo – Austria
28.Tanner Denney – Associated – USA
29.Travis Amezcua – Team Durango – USA
30.Mike Truhe – Team Losi Racing – USA
31.Ryan Lutz – Team Durango – USA
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