April 30, 2017

Tessmann does double at Philippines Masters

Ty Tessmann has completed the double at the Philippine Masters, the Xray driver winning the much anticipated buggy showdown with arch rival David Ronnefalk to add to his earlier Truggy victory in Manila. With both Tessmann and Ronnefalk’s participation in the 7th running of the Philippine Airlines sponsored race attracting much international interest, it was the latter who drew the first blood as the HB Racing driver claimed the TQ after 5 rounds of qualifying.  In the final however, after some early battles and mistakes by both drivers it was Tessmann who had the upper hand as the Canadian took control of the race helped by a fuel strategy that meant two less visits to the pits over the 1-hour main.  With 2nd place qualifier Kyle McBride suffering two flame outs at the start of the race, putting an end to him being in the mix, Atsushi Hara would make it an all World Champions podium at CV Offroad Track as he finished ahead of outgoing Philippine Masters Champion Adam Drake.

‘The Philippines has been fun and winning doesn’t hurt’, was how Tessmann summed up his buggy win after getting through the queue of local fans wanting a photo with him.  He continued, ‘My car felt really good in the warm-up and felt like I could drive it all day except for my wrist hurts’.  With a buggy set-up that made it, ‘easy to get around the track’ he added, ‘the steering faded near the end but everything held up awesome’.  Asked about some of his early mistakes over the opening laps he replied, ‘the track bites a little when you push too hard but after a few laps I figured it out so as not to make them again.  After that I just focused on not crashing’.

Commenting on his race, Ronnefalk said, ‘I had it in mind that (Tessmann) could run longer than me so I knew my only chance was to run a perfect race with no mistakes to run with Ty.  I made a decent start with him behind me and I knew the track is super tricky especially the last triple which is where I lost the race.  I didn’t just crash there I went of the track’.  Landing in under the fencing, the Swede lost around 5-seconds dropping to third. Putting in a charge, resulting in him posting the fastest lap of the event, he said, ‘I heard I was catching by 1 or 2/10ths but it is so hard to push on this track and I could only do it for a few laps and then I would lose it again’.  Asked about his extra fuel stops, the career long Orion engines backed driver said, ‘usually run time is really good for me but this track is a bit thirsty so I didn’t have the run time’.  Running the final on JConcept’s Detox o2 tyres, he said everything felt good but he just failed to get the perfect run concluding, ‘I’m still happy anyway’.

‘I’m happy with third after a long time, I don’t race a high such level anymore’, was a very pleased looking Hara’s view of the race.  Racing HB Racing cars in his debut at the Philippine Masters, the Japanese legend continued, ‘when you are not racing so much at high level you lose your edge.  My lap times were not much different but its the consistency of those laps that makes the difference’. Struggling with understeer throughout the race, he said ‘this caused me to crash because I ran wide and hit the pipping’. Switching to Pro-Line Blockades for the final he said, ‘I should have change set-up to suit them’.  Following his fuel dramas in Truggy, twice running out of fuel, he said this left him nervous throughout the buggy final and led him to make quick extra stop with 2-minutes to go.

Last year’s double winner, Drake put his missing out on a podium double down to a ‘couple of hick-ups in the pits.  without this it could have been a good battle with Hara’.  The Mugen driver, who was making his third Masters appearance, said, ‘I though they called me (for fuel) but it wasn’t them and then when I came in someone picked me pick up because my guys weren’t ready’. Happy with the car for the final describing it as ‘the most competitive its been all weekend.  It was not as fast in the middle of the turns as David or Ty but it was good, my biggest problem was a couple of mistakes and the mishap in the pits’.

Having put in a strong finish to qualifying in both Truggy, taking the overall TQ, and Buggy, snatching P2 from Tessmann with a TQ in the final round, McBride’s finals didn’t fair as well. Summing up Buggy, having had a DNF in Truggy, the Team Associated driver who finished up 6th said, ‘Pretty much the story is I flamed out twice at the start.  The engine was maybe too rich but my dad tuned it up and it was OK after that’.  It was not to be a good buggy final for compatriot Aaron Stringer either.  Having made the podium in Truggy but starting to feel sick during that 1-hour encounter he would start the Buggy main but had to call it a day 7-minutes in due to suspected food poisoning.

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