November 18, 2017

Tessmann Top Qualifier in China as rain stops final qualifier

Ty Tessmann is Top Qualifier at the 1:10 Offroad World Championships in China. The Xray driver secured his first electric offroad World Championship pole position after rain forced the cancellation of the final round of qualifying just after he had laid down the TQ pace as the top heat get of Q5 got underway. With cars from the fastest heat struggling to make the jumps and looking more like drift cars as the moisture set in, the call was made to stop racing and while officials deliberated the rain set in.  With drivers from the top heat still on track it was all hands on deck to cover track with the tarps, drivers keen to ensure that there is some chance of deciding the World title with racing rather than on qualifying order.  Behind Tessmann, David Ronnefalk qualifies second having tied on points with Tessmann but had the slower TQ time following his last tangle with Ryan Cavalieri in Q4 yesterday.  Struggling with the windy conditions in Q5, reigning champion Bruno Coelho will hopefully start his title defence from 3rd on the grid just ahead of newly crowned 2WD Champion Ryan Maifield with Spencer Rivkin completing the Top 5.  Also making the cut based on the best 2 of 4 rounds, rather than the planned 3 of 5, Joern Nuemann starts sixth ahead of Dakotah Phend, Naoto Matsukura, Ryan Cavalieri and Dustin Evans.

Having delivered a result that would have also given him the TQ had qualifying gone full distance, topping the fastest heat ahead of Matsukura and Neumann, Tessmann summed up Q5 by saying, ‘It was a little bit edgy so I was just trying to get around without crashing.  When it started to sprinkle my car was easier to drive.  I didn’t care too much about the TQ I was just trying to improve my points and when I saw Ryan (Maifield) crash I then just cruised around’.  Asked his thoughts on the developing situation regarding the running of the finals, the former 1:8 Offroad World Champion said, ‘If it stops maybe we can get going but with the lower grip there is going to be a few surprises as to who is quick’.  He continued, ‘we have a good car for low grip and we will get some diffs with lighter oil ready but even if we run its going to be on slime’.  One of the drivers involved in pulling out the tarps to cover the track he added, ‘I was hard to even stay upright, it was very slippery. It wasn’t quite like ice but it was close. Let wait and see’.

‘It will be interesting if it happens, it is not so bright right now but the forecast is better for the afternoon’, was Ronnefalk’s reaction after the stoppage.  The HB Racing driver continued, ‘I was a terrible decision to wait to cover the track because it is now wet even under the tarp so everyone is going to have to change the set-up of their car. You could see how much it changes even in the second heat so this will sure mix things up’. The reigning 1:8 World Champion concluded, ‘we have a plan for what to do with the car but we have to wait and see what the weather brings’.

Starting his title defence from 3rd on the grid, Coelho said, ‘the track will be completely different for the finals, it will be hard for everyone to know how to set-up their cars for this’.  Also the reigning European Champion, a title he won on dirt as opposed to his Worlds win on astro turf in Japan, the Xray driver continued, ‘I struggled a lot with the wind in the last qualifier, I’m not (a full time) offroad racer and am not used to this. I think the final will be hard now’.

‘I think we kind of knew this was going to happen’, was Maifield’s view on the situation.  The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I don’t think it is going to matter if you start 4th or 10th because when we pull off the tarps off its going to be a sticky mess even if we get to run.  Another driver who was involved in pulling out the track covers he said, ‘At least they made the decision to let us cover the track’.  Feeling his car ‘seems to have more traction than others when it got loose’, the American concluding, ‘it going to be hard to even jump some of the jumps so it is going to be the smartest not the fastest driver who is going to win’.  In terms of starting the finals, a provisional start time of 12:05 (Beijing time) has been called for a round of free practice.

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