Ryan Maifield came to the 1:10 Offroad World Championships in Xiamen, China, empty handed in terms of the sport’s biggest prize. Declaring early on he was not a fan of the track, 7 days on the Yokomo driver leaves as a double World Champion becoming only the fourth driver in the 17 runnings of the championship to do so. Having claimed his first ever World title when he wrapped up the 2WD title in A2, the deciding of the 4WD title would go down to the wire with A3 throwing up one of the craziest World finals ever with Maifield himself admitting he didn’t really remember what happened. In the end, it was hard to follow the chaos of which car was flying off where, it was his protege Spencer Rivkin who would win the decider from 5th on the grid as Maifield got by Tessmann on the final lap. The third of the title contenders going into A3, David Ronnefalk would lead from after the first lap, staying there for 2-laps until a mistake. With further mistakes ending his chances of a first EP World title, he opted to pull up for the final two laps and watch the thrilling finish, his win in A2 & 3rd in the opener enough to secure second overall. With his surprise A3 win, Rikvin snatched the final step of the podium on tie break leaving Top Qualifier Tessmann with fourth, with Xray team-mate & outgoing champion Bruno Coelho ending up 9th despite lining up 3rd for his title defence.
‘I don’t really remember what happened. It started off rough and I fell back to sixth and then all of a sudden I was in second. It was insane out there’, was Maifield’s summary of a race that even stretched race announcer Scotty Ernst’s voice box to its limits. He continued, ‘when me, David and Ty where 1,2,3 but then Spencer got first. Ty made a great move on me and went after Spencer. I let it happen because I knew even if he got Spencer the time wouldn’t be good enough. In the end I got the second back when Ty made a mistake on the last lap’. Having poured out his emotion when he finally took the title so many felt he was long over due when he took the 2WD title on Tuesday, asked how it felt to do the double Maifield replied with a more expected summary saying, ‘When we got here and it started I was like oh this is over but then it turned to oh I’ve got a shot at this’.
Going one better than he achieved in Japan 2-years ago, Ronnefalk said, ‘right now it feels weird, being so close and almost touching the trophy.’ The reigning 1:8 Offroad World Champion continued ‘it was a messy start and there where cars flying everywhere. When Tessmann rolled I got to the front I stayed there for 2 or 3 laps. I don’t know if I took a bad line or the wind pushed me but I landed in middle of the corner and dropped to fourth’. With a mistake on the straight ending his hopes of bettering his points he ‘pulled into watch’ with about 30-seconds to go. ‘It was a great race and I wanted to see and I knew I had enough points to make the podium’. Summing up his podium finish, he said, ‘I have no words really. It fees weird. I’m sure it will seem ok in a couple of days that we finished 2nd at the worlds with a new car. We lacked experience of these races over the last 2-years and also maybe I was a little impatient. This is my third podium in 3-years so I suppose I can’t complain at the end’.
’To come off the drivers stand 3rd (overall) and not knowing was spectacular’, was Rivkin’s reaction to making the podium having not even made the A-Main for his 2WD World title defence earlier in the week. Posting a surprise TQ run in the opening 4WD qualifier, ending up 5th on the grid with less competitive runs over the remaining 3 rounds, the Team Associated driver said, ‘I was right there all the qualifiers but couldn’t put everything together. I just wasn’t focused enough’. On his A3 win, he said, ‘I had the lead and then blew it but a lot of drivers were making mistakes so I kept the head down was able to get it back and it got me a podium’.
Clearly disappointed to miss out on the podium, Tessmann said, ‘I don’t really know what happened, its all a blur now’. He continued, ‘on the straightaway I hit a bump, the same one Bruno hit before but I wasn’t so lucky. I landed on my wheels but everyone caught up and then there was chaos for two laps’. Making contact with Maifield during the race but immediately giving back position, allowing Rivkin to take up the lead, he said, ‘alone the track is challenge enough but when four cars are racing together no one is absolutely in control. My car and tyre were good that time and I drove the best I could but it wasn’t enough I guess’. A driver who regularly finds himself locked in battle with Maifield, the Canadian offered his congratulations to his rival saying’, ‘he drove well and earn it and to go & do the double is amazing’.
David Ronnefalk has taken a tricky A2 win at the 1:10 Offroad Worlds in Xiamen, the wind continued to pick up and making for difficult racing conditions. Having missed out on the TQ on a tie break with Ty Tessmann, Ronnefalk would capitalise on his former team-mate jumping wide out of the double section on the first lap, getting down the inside of the Canadian to take a lead he wouldn’t give up despite parking his HB Racing buggy in the piping in the chicane. With racers battling the wind rather than one another, Maifield would finish second after getting by Tessmann as the wind again put his Xray off target although the pairing would make a head to head dash to the line on the final lap with Maifield just hanging on by 0.058.
Commenting on the second final, Ronnefalk said, ‘I had a good start and got by Ty on the back jump. He went wide so I went for the inside and got by. Then I wanted just to stay patient’. He continued, ‘I caught the pipe in the chicane but my lead was good enough to stay in front. I had got caught by the wind. It was pretty hard with the wind so it was a matter of taking smart decisions and staying patient’. Changing ‘a bunch off stuff’ on his car after A1, he said this gave him ‘a more consistent’ car and he ‘will leave it like this and see what happened in A3’, including, ‘It will be interesting for sure’.
Maifield said, ‘I got a better start but I almost got in the back of Bruno again. I don’t know what he was doing but luckily I backed off big time’. When I got in my rhythm I drove fast and consistent but the wind got me in the back section. You have be so concentrated on what you are doing out there because of the wind. Me and Ty went for it on the last lap as was expected’. Looking to A3, the 2WD World Champion who has the points lead after A2, he said, ‘If we get to race A3 just trying to finish is going to a challenge’, the wind picking up even more.
‘I jumped the jump section but got caught by the wind and landed wide which let David get by’, was Tessmann’s summary of A2. The Xray driver said, ‘then I got nervous for a few laps. My car was harder to drive I think because the tyres were different’. He continued, ‘the wind is causing havoc. It is hard, you have to drive one lap at a time. It doesn’t feel like a race track, it’s like an obstacle course’.
Ryan Maifield moved into strong contention to do the double in China, with the newly crowned 2WD World Champion winning the opening 4WD A-Main ahead of Top Qualifier Ty Tessmann. After rain cancelled the final qualifier this morning, dry but windy conditions awaited racers for the finals and initially it looked like Tessmann was on for an easy win. A mistake from David Ronnefalk gave Tessmann the break and both Bruno Coelho & Maifield were delayed after they came together in the jump section. With all the drivers struggling with the gusty winds, Tessmann would get caught out on his 4th lap allowing the now second Maifield with Coelho in toe to close. A second mistake on lap 10 this time at the end of the doubles section when he jumped long would be the opportunity Maifield needed to go to the front and once there was helped by further problems for Tessmann at the same section and could cruise to the A1. With reigning champion Coelho retiring from the race with a radio issue, it was Ronnefalk who came home a distant third.
‘It started a little crazy, I don’t know how or what happened with Bruno. I didn’t go immediately and when I landed the first double I ass rammed him. I don’t think it was my fault’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I only lost a couple of places. A couple of guys made mistakes and I got back to second so I just tried to maintain position to Ty, then when Bruno crashed it gave me breathing room and I pushed. I closed when he had his first mistake and then got him when he had another one’. Asked about the wind during the race, Maifield replied, ‘I don’t want to say it is impossible to jump because we’re jumping the jumps but the wind was the No.1 concern out there. The wind doesn’t care who it is blowing around so it could wreck your race and help others’. One his YZ-4, he said, ‘we made some changes before the race to get it better for the wind which help a bit’.
Tessmann said, ‘it started off good and the car was good so I was just trying to drive around without crashing but the wind in the jumps section is crazy. The car is like a dead sail and it’s hard to judge where the wind is going to take it. It got me twice there.’ The Xray driver continued, ‘my car felt racey and like I could race if I had too. I just need a cleaner run next time.’. With the track having proven difficult throughout both 2WD and 4WD he concluded on the wind, ‘If its not one difficult thing its another’.
‘It was OK, nothing special’ was Ronnefalk’s reaction to finishing 3rd. The HB Racing continued, ‘I had a couple of mistakes in the mid point of the race and that left me in no mans land for the last 2-minutes. It so hard out there with the gusts of wind. The wind just took my car in the air and thats how I crashed. Still I got back to third place but I wish I had been closer to capitalise of Tessmann’s mistakes towards the end’. He concluded, ‘I hope I have a better 2nd Main. My car is good out there’.