Ryan Maifield and Jared Tebo claimed the wins in the opening A-Main of the Proline Cactus Classic’s blue ribbon classes with defending Champion Maifield taking a close win over Joern Neumann in 4WD Buggy while Tebo took a more convincing win ahead of Dustin Evans in 2WD Buggy.
Starting the 2WD encounter from second on the grid, Tebo found his way to the front on lap 4 when Top Qualifier Naoto Matsukura landed wide off the triple. Allowing Tebo’s Kyosho the inside line, the Team Yokomo ace tried to cut back on the former champion but they tangled, resulting in the Japanese driver ending up on his roof. Once out front Tebo drove a near perfect race except for one moment at the same spot as where he took the lead but with Matsukura who was hard on his tail also messing up the landing the Yokomo driver was unable to capitalize. Reverting back to the same set-up on his AKA shod RB6 as he used when he TQ’d the opening round of qualifying, Tebo said his buggy felt ‘really good’ and just tried to drive without mistakes. Facing a number of challenge from drivers who took turns at running at the second spot he said it was hard to stay calm as the drivers behind him were, in-between crashes, faster than him. In the end as every challenger made mistakes he was able to cruise the final few laps.
Finishing second Evans summed up the race by saying, ‘I told you my car was awesome’ referring to the set-up, which included positioning his Orion speedo to the front of his TLR22, which he came up with for the final qualifier which he was on target to TQ before a late mistake. The 2011 US National Champion said he just stayed patient throughout the race and didn’t crash. Coming from 6th on the grid he said its going to be hard to challenge for a win but he will take the same approach for leg 2 for which he will run a thicker shock oil due to the higher temperatures of the mid day race.
Commenting on his contrasting races Maifield summed up his 4WD win by saying ‘I didn’t crash and they did’. Describing his JConcepts equipped B44.2 as ‘fine’ he said for the left side of the track he needs to make some changes for Leg 2 as the buggy feels like a ‘squid’ over the double leading onto the main straight. Starting third the Arizona ace, who has huge support here at his home event, got passed the no.2 Durango of Neumann when the German made a mistake on lap 9 and then moved to the front when team-mate Ryan Cavalieri got out of shape on 5 laps later. Commenting on the 2WD final Maifield said the race was ‘just gnarly’. Involved in a last lap, last corner incident with Cavalieri, which cost the World Champion 3 spots, he said he was just going for the finish and he never meant to hit his team-mate. After the contact he waited to give back position but Cavalieri on its roof and Matsukura and Tamiya’s Lee Martin coming he darted across the finish line to claim 3rd.
The last driver to hold the Cactus buggy titles before Maifield, Cavailieri said he had good cars for both mains but in 4WD he just drove too hard and the result was he tracton rolled. Having started 2WD from sixth on the grid the US National Champion said his race was ‘going fine until the last corner’.
Having really impressed this weekend, Top Qualifier Matsukura said he just had a ‘little bad luck’ referring to his contact with Tebo. Contesting the 27th Proline Cactus Classic as part of his preparations for this year’s World Chamionships which will take place in the US, the 19-year-old said while fourth was not the result he was looking for, the race was very productive as he got to race hard with all the main contenders for the 2013 World title.
In the first leg of Truck A-Mains, Maifield lead an Associated 1-2 in both Mod Truck and 2WD Short Course while in 4WD Short Course Dakotah Phend took the win. Starting Mod Truck from second on the grid Maifield took the first A-Main win of the day when defending champion & Top Qualifier Cavalieri threw away a comfortable lead when he rolled his SC10.2 while holding a commanding lead. Starting from 5th Tebo worked his way through to third by the finish. In 2WD Short Course Maifield, the defending class champion and Top Qualifier, controlled the race to take the win from Cavalieri who came under pressure from Lutz, who having run second, eventually crossed the line 3rd.
In 4WD Short Course, Top qualifier Billy Fischer looked to have the race under control but with 2 minutes to go he rolled his TLR coming on to the straight which allowed team-mate Phend through to take the win leaving Fischer to see off the challenge of Durango’s Hupo Honigl who completed the Top 3, all drivers running Proline tyres. Defending Champion Neumann had a fraught race eventually finishing down in 9th.
2WD Mod Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(2) Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 15/5:12.009
2.(6) Dustin Evans – TLR/Orion – 15/5:14.292
3.(3) Ryan Maifield – Associated/Reedy – 15/5:18.790
4.(1) Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo/Yokomo – 15/5:19.580
5.(5) Lee Martin – Tamiya/Speed Passion – 15/5:19.996
6.(4) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 15/5:20.966
7.(10)Steven Hartson – Associated/LRP – 14/5:00.866
8.(7) Joern Neumann – Durango/Speed Passion – 14/5:04.000
9.(9) Cody Turner – Kyosho/Orion – 14/5:07.572
10.(8)Travis Amezcua – Durango/Viper – 14/5:08.294