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’.
Chassis – Team Associated RC8T3 Engine – Novarossi Mito 7 Tyres – Pro-Line Blockade X2 compound Fuel – VP Racing Fuel 30% Radio/Servos – Sanwa M12s / Reedy RT2207A Body – Pro-Line Enforcer Remarks – The 2-time attendee to the Philippine Masters, Team Associated’s Kyle McBride makes his debut in the truggy class this year and sits on top after 5 rounds of qualifying. The 7 time Australian National Champion said he’s running a basic RC8T3, apart from a few minor changes he’s made from his home track setup at Pine Hills in Australia.
Chassis – Mugen MBX-7TR Engine – Novarossi Drake Special Edition Tyres – AKA Impact Fuel – Flashpoint Fuel 30% Radio/Servos – Sanwa M12s / Sanwa SRG-BZX Body – Mugen kit Remarks – Being one of the long time regulars at Circulo Verde Offroad Track, Mugen’s Edward Sio is always a fan favorite and this year has stepped up his efforts in organizing the Philippine Masters 2017. With 2017 being his 8th year in attendance, Sio wanted to make this year’s PM a success and his extremely happy with the way things have gone with many professional drivers making the trip over to highlight the event making it the biggest race in the history of the Philippines.
David Ronnefalk has claimed the overall TQ at the Philippine Masters, the HB Racing driver taking three of the five buggy qualifiers at the Manila based event. With drivers counting their best two rounds, Ronnefalk would be forced to wait until the final round to find out if he had pole for the 1-hour Main as arch rival Ty Tessmann had opened Day 2 of the event with a TQ run. Former winner Kyle McBride however would get the better of both World Champions in Q5, not only ensuring Ronnefalk pole position but also demoting Tessmann to third on the grid thanks to his time being quicker than Tessmann set in Q3.
Following discussions with Adrien Bertin, his former World Champion mentor not at the race but following progress from Europe, Ronnefalk would change his car for final qualifier with the finals in mind. He said, ‘I made some changes to make the car easier in the high speed sweeper. I changed the Ackerman and rear spring and I could drive flat out in the sweeper but it was lazy in the 180 corners so I will go with something in between for the final’. Also using the round to test JConcepts’ Rehab tyres he said, ‘I though they would be quicker but they were slower so I will go back to Detox for the final’. With runtime and tyre wear not an issue at the CV Offroad Track, he said the approach for the final is to ‘go out there and drive it’.
Having been a TQ contender every run until mistakes, and having snatched the overall Truggy TQ from Tessmann with his TQ time in the final qualifier, McBride was very happy to finally TQ a round of Buggy saying ‘I had no crashes this time’. Setting the fastest lap of the round, the Team Associated driver said he improved his car for the round by running a shorter front chassis brace which helped improve corner speed. Also running the same set of Pro-Line Blockade tyres, the former Worlds finalist said they are getting better with every run he puts on them. Planning to ‘try a different tyre in the warm-up to confirm what (he) like(s)’ he added ‘the X2 Blockades are wearing nicely’. In terms of any further set-up changes to his RC8B3.1, he said ‘the car is good right now so we’ll see if the track changes and then decide’.
Running on the tyre he plans to run in the Main, X2 Fugitives, Tessmann said after Q5, ‘the car felt good. It wasn’t as good as it was earlier but it was ok’. Suffering one ‘screw-up’ at the single double, the 24-year-old continued, ‘in terms of the car set-up, I am happy with it and I just hope there is no rain’. Race director Scotty Ernst has brought the start of the finals day forward an hour due to a slight risk of rain tomorrow evening.
Lining up 4th on the grid will be Atsushi Hara. The former World Champion said, ‘I am really happy with the car but again I had a stupid mistake in the last one but I am driving better every run’. Happy to run his HB Racing D817 as is for the final, he said the biggest thing was going to be to choose the right tyre. Picking between Pro-Line’s Fugitive and Blockade tyre, he said the Fugitive is more consistent while the Blockade is faster and right now he is leaning towards the latter. In terms of a race strategy, Hara said, ‘I don’t do anything crazy with my pit stops, it’s better to drive safe’ adding, ‘to get more time you need to run the engine lean which gives more power and this is a small track so it will only make the car harder to drive’.
Competing the Top 5 in qualifying, Aaron Stringer said ‘starting 5th is going to be interesting’. He continued, ‘my car was good in the last one, the times were pretty close and I was on my finals tyres which worked well’. Running AKA’s medium long wear Impact tyres, the Mugen driver added, ‘the tyres came on towards the end which is what you want’. In terms of run time, the Australian feels it is ‘a bit low at 7:30’ but he will run the final at that rather than take any risks. Behind Stringer fellow Mugen driver and defending Philippine Masters Champion Adam Drake with line up sixth for the start.