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.
Chassis – Xray XB8 ’17 Engine – OS Speed XZB Spec II Tyres – Pro-Line Electro Shot X2 Fuel – Nitro Lux Fuel 25% Radio/Servos – Futaba 4PXR / Ko Propo RSX Body – Bitty Design Force Remarks – Now in her 7th year of racing, young Shania Yulo is an up and coming 17-year-old female racer who is making a name for herself as of late. At the 2014 Philippine Masters, she bumped from the C, B, and to the A and even went on to win the hour main event to claim her first PM Championship in Truggy. Without a home track, the Valencia City, Philippines native has to fly 2 hours to race.
Ty Tessmann has taken a convincing Truggy win at the Philippine Masters, the Xray driver winning the 1-hour Main in Manila from outgoing champion Adam Drake. Starting from second on the grid, the Canadian was gifted the lead at the start as Top Qualifier Kyle McBride had a fumbled set down on the grid. Once in front, Tessmann took control of the race and while McBride would recover and close to within 4-seconds of him it was all in vein. Chasing down the leader with six & a half minutes to go, the Australian would make a mistake in a 180 corner and facing into the oncoming traffic would get collected popping a right steering block. Continuing the lap & limping back to the pits, despite the best efforts of his pit crew they couldn’t force it back into position and his race was done. This promoted Drake to second with Aaron Stringer also moving up to complete the podium ahead of top local driver Jordan Go. Along with McBride, another of the international visitors to retire would be Atsushi Hara. Popping a steering rod early on but able to rejoin after being returned to the pits, the former World Champion would then run out of fuel twice before retiring at the 43-minute mark when he broke a front centre drive shaft.
Summing up his win, Tessmann said, ‘The start was a little strange. They gave the motion to go down but Kyle’s dad didn’t put his car down, then Scotty said go so I went’. Once out front, the first time visitor to the country said, ‘I just tried to not make any mistakes and build up a comfortable gap. After that I was able to drive a controlled race because on this track you can’t make up time but you can lose it’. On McBride closing him down for a time, he continued, ‘My truck was easy to drive so it was no problem and I could pick up my pace’. Asked about his off track excursion as he exited the pits following a fuel stop, he replied, ‘its super slippery there’. Also surviving a coming together with a back marker, the incident that would put out his main rival brought on a mistake with him saying, ‘When Kyle broke his truck I ended up having a rollover. I was trying to listen to what was going on and got distracted’.
‘Long, hot & humid.’ With the heat and the hour it was a race of survival’, was how Drake summed up the race. The driver responsible for kicking off the international interest in the Philippine Masters, the Mugen driver continued, ‘The beginning was good but then I had a little mistake trying to get on the inside of Kyle which caused me to lose touch with the Top 3 group. It was uneventful and boring after that’. Describing his second as a ‘solid finish’, he added however, ‘I would have liked to be closer and fighting for the win’. Without his regular pitman for the trip, the American complimented his local crew saying, ‘they did really good. The called the stops a little early and I was concerned they wouldn’t call me for a splash but they did’.
‘Not really’ was Stringer’s response when asked if he was happy to finish on the podium. Setting an almost identical fastest lap time to that of Tessmann, who had the fastest lap over the hour, the Mugen driver was frustrated to have ‘issues with backmarkers a few times’. Describing it as a ‘tough race’, the Australian National Champion would suffer a flame out which was caused when “I think I landed on a rock’. Describing his Truck as good over the race he concluded, ‘2nd would have been better but 3rd is alright, that’s racing’.
Reacting to a frustrating start and end to his race, McBride said, ‘The start was a bit hurting. My dad didn’t hear the start’. The factory Team Associated driver continued, ‘after that I was just trying to chase Ty but got hooked up the tyre and the guy hit me. It was an accident. It was my fault for crashing’. Describing his RC8T3 as ‘easy to drive’ he said ‘it was not the fastest but I was just trying to stick with Ty. I got the gap down to 4-seconds, then crashed and it was all over’.