January 22, 2017

Wins for Tebo, Rivkin & Haatanen in opening 2WD encounter

The switch over to 2WD at the Reedy Race of Champions opened with wins for Jared Tebo, Spencer Rivkin and Joona Haatanen but of the main contenders at the end of 4WD it was Ryan Maifield who posted the best result finishing second behind Tebo. The first race of the round saw Maifield and his points rival Dakotah Phend line up in the same race but starting from pole Tebo managed to register his first win of the weekend as the battling Maifield and Phend came through to complete the Top 3. The third driver to share the top spot at the end of 4WD, Ty Tessmann would end with a fourth in a race that Spencer Rivkin would take the win ahead of former Champions Dustin Evans and Ryan Cavalieri.  Having provided one of most entertaining battles of the morning’s 4WD action when he beat Tessmann in the final round, Haatanen continued to impress & become a crowd favourite as took the win over Aussie Kyle McBride.

‘Finally’ was Tebo’s reaction to putting a win on the board.  The Kyosho driver, for whom the Reedy Race is one of the big titles that eludes him, continued the win was down to the fact he ‘just drove good’.  Declaring ‘that race was fun to drive’, he said after stiffening up his RB6 for the extra traction the car ‘felt awesome’.  Leading away the 10 car grid, he said, ‘I sprinted the first couple of laps and then just drove around after that’.  Registering three P2 finishes over the six 4WD encounters he said the lack of a win ‘was all me’.  The former World Champion concluding, ‘I got a lot of good breaks but didn’t capitalise’ but opening 2WD with a win he hopes to make amends over the remaining races.

‘You’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities’ was how Rivkin summed up his win from the front row.  Despite winning by 2.6-seconds over his new Associated team-mate Evans, the World Champion felt he ‘could have drove better’ but added ‘there is still a lot of time for that’.  Happy with how his Reedy powered B6 was for the first race, saying he had made changes to it ‘on the fly’ while running 4WD to get it ready for the change in track conditions. Happy with how it ran he will however make ‘one adjustment’ for Round 2 to try make it ‘a little more balanced’.

14-year-old Haatanen took his second win of the day in his stride.  Last year’s Reedy Race of Champions’ 2WD Open winner, for which the prize is a place in the prestigious Invitational class, the Finn said his Associated was ‘super good and easy to drive’.  Having changed the car from how he ran it in Thursday practice to compensate for higher traction after 4WD, adding wider hexes and a harder spring, he said this made the car difficult to drive in the practice run between the classes switch over and so they went back to his previous set-up.  Surviving a roll when he ran wide after the step down to take the win, maintaining 7th in the standings, he said it was ‘a good start to 2WD’.

Of the current leading contenders, Maifield was happy with his first 2WD effort.  The Yokomo driver said, ‘It went good. I started 8th and myself and Dakotah picked our way through but by then Jared had quite a big lead.  It was a pretty good race with Dakotah and I just managed to hold him off.  8th to 2nd is a good start so I’m pretty stoked’.  ‘It went ok’ was Phend’s reaction, the TLR driver adding, ‘me and Ryan got through the pack and our battle was pretty good.  A Top 3 from the back row is a good start’.   Contact in the sweeper meant it was wasn’t a good start for Tessmann as he waited to give back position.  Following Cavalieri, who started 10th, through the field the Xray driver said as it was his first time to run worn tyres on his XB2 it ‘wasn’t perfect’ but it was something they could ‘fix for the next one’.

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