Maifield & Tebo take buggy titles at 27th Pro-Line Cactus Classic
For the first time in a number of years the blue ribbon buggy titles at the Proline Cactus Classic have gone to two different drivers with defending champion Ryan Maifield successfully retaining his 4WD title while Jared Tebo took the 2WD win, a crown he last held in 2008. In the truck classes, 4WD Short Course was also decided with Dakotah Phend wrapping up the title in the second leg of finals.
Starting from pole in 4WD, Ryan Cavalieri looked like he had done enough to force the event to the third & final leg. Controlling the race out front, while leg 1 winner Maifield and Team Durango’s Joern Neumann battled back and forth over second, on his penultimate lap the World Champion clipped the piping after the triple sending his buggy onto its roof allowing his Associated team-mate & arch rival together with European Champion Neumann to get passed. Cheered on by the crowd, this being Maifield’s home event, the Arizona ace completed two laps at the front to take his second A-Main of the day and with it his third consecutive Cactus Classic 4WD Buggy title. Clearly relieved at securing the win after a difficult start to the weekend, Maifield said the best phrase for his win was ‘never give up’. Describing the race as hectic, he said wind caused him trouble at the triple and then he traction rolled allowing Neumann to pass him to second but having made changes to his JConcepts equipped B44.2 he said it was ‘ridiculous’ which was backed up by his fastest lap of 20.145 which was over 3/10ths of a second faster than the second fastest which was put in by Neumann. Admitting he didn’t think he could get the win sewn up early he said ‘for sure I got lucky but having not given up earlier in the race meant I was there to capitalise’.
Tebo was delighted with his 2WD win which ends a decade of domination by Associated’s B4 at America’s longest running world famous international event. Benefiting from being able to run his Orion powered RB6 in mid motor configuration, the sugaring of the SRS Raceway creating super high traction, the Kyosho team leader said he just tried to repeat his Leg 1 performance avoiding mistakes. Having a little moment early on which allowed Top Qualifier Naoto Matsukura to pull out a lead he said he was forced to push a little harder this time round. Leaving his AKA shod buggy exactly the same as the previous final he said due to the extra midday temperature his shock oil was a little soft but the buggy still felt really good and pulling off some the best laps of the weekend he was able to catch the young Japanese star, getting right with him when the Yokomo driver clipped the pipe coming onto the main straight. A mistake three laps later was Tebo’s opportunity to move to the front where he would stay for the next four laps to take the win by 4/10ths from outgoing champion Maifield. While the overall winners of buggy have been decided the battle for the remaining podium places is sure to be hard fought with Top Qualifier’s Matsukura and Cavalieri determined somewhat to redeem themselves for the costly mistakes in the opening two legs.
In 4WD Short Course, Phend was made to work hard for the win in Leg 2 by Top Qualifier Billy Fischer. Having won Leg 1 when Fischer threw away a comfortable lead, the 16-year-old again got passed the veteran when he ran wide off the triple but this time he was able to fight back. Pressuring his junior team-mate it was Fischer who would ultimately crack making a mistake on the penultimate lap allowing the Team Losi Racing young gun to take the win and with it a Cactus Classic title for his Team Losi Racing team and the events title sponsor Proline, both Phend & Fischer running Proline tyres on their truck.
In the two other truck classes, having retired from the opening final, Neumann took his Durango to a comfortable win in Mod Truck ahead of a good battle between Leg 1 winner Maifield, Top Qualifier Cavalieri and Tebo which after a number altercations saw defending champion Cavalieri finish second followed by Tebo & Maifield who at one stage had led the encounter. In 2WD Short Course Maifild looked like he was on target to defend his first title of the weekend, leading for the majority of the race, but an error on the last lap allowed Cavalieri through to take the win and force the title to the 3rd leg.
2WD Mod Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(2) Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 15/5:09.248
2.(3) Ryan Maifield – Associated/Reedy – 15/5:09.668
3.(1) Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo/Yokomo – 15/5:11.139
4.(6) Dustin Evans – TLR/Orion – 15/5:13.587
5.(4) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 15/5:14.319
6.(5) Lee Martin – Tamiya/Speed Passion – 14/5:03.803
7.(8) Travis Amezcua – Durango/Viper – 14/5:05.479
8.(10)Steven Hartson – Associated/LRP – 14/5:06.717
9.(9) Cody Turner – Kyosho/Orion – 14/5:15.325
10.(7)Joern Neumann – Durango/Speed Passion – 12/4:21.250
4WD Mod Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(3) Ryan Maifield – Associated/Reedy – 16/5:18.872
2.(2) Joern Neumann – Durango/Speed Passion – 16/5:20.576
3.(1) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 15/5:01.517
4.(4) Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 15/5:02.222
5.(6) Carson Wernimont – Durango/Reedy – 15/5:05.912
6.(7) Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 15/5:07.675
7.(5) Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo/Yokomo – 15/5:09.174
8.(8) Dustin Evans – TLR/Orion – 15/5:10.708
9.(9) Travis Amezcua – Durango/Viper – 15/5:14.220
10.(10)Lee Martin – Tamiya/Speed Passion – 15/5:16.428
Mod Truck A-Main Leg 2 (Top 3)
1.(4) Joern Neumann – Durango/Speed Passion – 15/5:15.820
2.(1) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 15/5:19.613
3.(5) Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 15/5:21.602
2WD Short Course A-Main Leg 2 (Top 3)
1.(2) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 14/5:03.931
2.(1) Ryan Maifield – Associated/Reedy – 14/5:04.194
3.(3) Ryan Lutz – Durango/Tekin – 14/5:10.574
4WD Short Course A-Main Leg 2 (Top 3)
1.(2) Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 15/5:12.544
2.(1) Billy Fischer – TLR/Novak – 15/5:15.747
3.(4) Hupo Honigl – Durango/DualSky – 15/5:18.993
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