At the end of practice for the ROAR Nationals in Southern California it is Team Associated who controlled today’s pace as their drivers where the only ones to record 15 lap runs with Ryan Maifield topping the time sheets from Ryan Cavalieri. Winner of the Warm-up event at Thunder Alley back in April, Maifield ran a stiffer set-up on his LRP powered RC8B in the final controlled practice changing to harder springs and swaybars. Finding the buggy easier to drive following the changes, the Arizona racer says he will run it as is in the morning and that he is feeling positive about the first qualifier. Drivers will run a total of four qualifiers with two round tomorrow and Saturday.
Running Proline’s new Blockade tyre in the final practice Cavalieri setting a new fastest lap for the event with a time of 29.108. The former electric off road World Champion, said the new tyre, which has been designed with finals in mind, gave good forward grip and a really smooth side bite. Cavalieri was happy with his driving saying he was ‘hugging some good lines’ and he feels ‘pretty pumped up’ for qualifying.
Unable to improve on his morning time Hot Bodies’ Ty Tessmann ended the day third fastest. Running in the last group, the Canadian said track conditions for his second run were slower but he said his OS powered D8 felt good and the plans is to run it that way for the first qualifier.
Defending Champion Jared Tebo ended the day fourth fastest having found some time in the final practice. The Kyosho ace said changes made had improved the feeling of the car and with a few more very small adjustments it should be good for qualifying. Team-mate and current World Champion Cody King also improved his time in the final practice to just make it into the top 10, behind former World Champion Mark Pavidis, with the 10th quickest time over 7-minutes.
Doing an impressive job to set the fifth fastest time young Dakota Phend was top Losi just ahead of his senior team-mate Adam Drake. Switching from green to red compound Losi Kingpin tyres the 14-year-old from Michigan said they suited the track conditions but the steering on his Nitrotec powered 8ight was a little aggressive and they will need to make changes for qualifying. Unable to improve his morning time due to the track being wet and in general slower as the sun had gone off it, Drake said tomorrow is going to be about choosing the right tyre for the conditions of the track at the time of your runs.
Jesse Robbers, runner-up to Tebo at last years Nationals, took his new Hot Bodies CR8 to the seventh with his afternoon time, while Travis Amezcua was the quickest Mugen in eight.
Truggy practice for the 2011 US Nationals has been competed at Thunder Alley with the Hot Bodies of team drivers Ty Tessmann and Jessie Robbers at the top of the time sheets. The duo broke into the 15 laps in the third & final practice with Tessmann, the winner of the Warm-up event, posting a time that was just 13/100th faster than his team-mate.
Behind them and the only other truggies to break 15 laps were the Associated of Ryan Maifield and the Kyosho of Cody King. Not 100% happy with his RC8T, former Champion Maifield plans to make a number of changes ahead of qualifying in the hope of being in a stronger position to challenge the two Hot Bodies driver.
Running 14 laps Team Durango driver Ryan Lutz, who is running a Mugen this weekend ahead of the arrival of Durango’s Truggy, was 5th fastest ahead of the similar Alpha powered MBX6-T of Taylor Peterson. Responsible for designing Serpent’s 811 Cobra-T, Billy Easton took it to the seventh fastest time ahead of defending champion Jared Tebo whose Kyosho completes the Top 8.
Team Losi Racing’s Adam Drake, who was fastest in this morning’s controlled practice, was unable to post a quick time after two incidents, one of which was his own making, cost him a lot of time. Despite the two bad laps, Drake said his truggy was really good and he is confident about tomorrow’s qualifying.
Team Associated have set the pace in the second Buggy practice for the US Nationals with their star Ryan duo, Maifield and Cavalieri, being the only drivers to record 15 laps around the Thunder Alley track. Having switched to LRP engines after struggling in the opening practice yesterday, Maifield was much happier with his RC8B, a fact that was backed up by him also setting the fastest lap of the run. Planning to make some clutch adjustments for the final practice run later today he will also change the front sway bar to try and make the buggy a little more comfortable to drive.
Running his Orion powered example, Cavalieri will leave his RC8B set-up untouched saying it felt really consistent to drive. Running Proline Holeshots in CP2 he said he will try out their new Blockade tyre in the final practice, but his main focus is on his driving rather than making lots of changes to the buggy.
Canadian Ty Tessmann set the third fastest time despite having problems with traffic. The 18-year-old said changes to the front springs and sway bar had improved his OS powered D8 and they plan to make further changes in that direction. Like Cavalieri, Tessmann plans to use the last practice to try Proline’s new Blockade tyre as preparation for Sunday’s finals.
The quickest Losi, Adam Drake set the fourth fastest time. Running soft AKA Grid Iron tyres on his Novarossi powered 8ight, the 2009 Champion said they were too soft for the conditions making his buggy a little twitchy but overall the balance of the car felt good. Planning to run a thicker shock oil for the final practice he will make his tyre choice nearer to the time of run.
Running the fifth fastest time, reigning champion Jared Tebo was much happier with his engine performance in CP2 having changed to a new Orion pipe. Helping to deliver better power he said it felt really good but the front end of his MP9 was now a little aggressive. Having opted to run without wheel inserts he plans to run them for his next outing saying this should cure the problem.
Completing the Top 6 was Team Losi Racing’s young star Dakotah Phend. The 14-year-old said he is still getting used to the track but his Losi Grid Iron fitted 8ight is working well and his focus is on trying to drive smoother and with less mistakes.
Mark Pavidis took his Kyosho to seventh ahead of the pace setter from the opening practice Travis Amezcua. Mugen’s main team driver, Amezcua said there was a lot more track bite now and he will switch to a stiffer spring for the final practice. Xray’s Josh Wheeler and Serpent’s Billy Easton completed the Top 10.
Team Losi Racing’s Adam Drake has set the pace in the second round of controlled Truggy practice for the 2011 US Nationals this morning, topping the 7-minute run from former champion Ryan Maifield and A-Main Hobbies team driver Chad Bradley. Despite running on a freshly watered track which caused a little understeer on his AKA Gridiron shod 8ight-T, Drake said his truck was really good to drive and should get better as the track gets more packed.
After a troubled day yesterday Maifield was much happier after his team made the call to switch him from Reedy to LRP engines, AE being the distributor for LRP in the US. While the other members of the Associated team are happy with the performance of their Reedy engines, Maifield struggled for bottom end powered with his units and so the team made the decision to switch him to LRP for the remainder of the event. Running JConcepts Hybrid Green tyres on his RC8T, the 2009 Champion said other than changing to a softer front spring for CP3 he will leave the everything else as is.
Running a Losi in Truggy, Bradley said he put Drake’s set-up on his OS powered truck when they sent it to him and he has not had to touch it since. Running Proline M3 Holeshots he feels the biggest issue is the watering of the track which if done just before your run will cost half a second a lap for 3/4 of the run and its important that for qualifying that they either water the track between every run or not a all to make it fair for everyone.
Setting the fourth fastest time, Serpent’s Billy Easton said he needs to find more steering and felt that the rear of his 811 Cobra-T was too stiff. Running the same set-up as team-mates Jared Tebo and Cody King, Mark Pavidis outpaced them both in overall time to be the top Kyosho driver with the fifth fastest time. In terms of fastest lap times however it is King who is setting the bench mark with a 29.583 while team-mate and defending champion Tebo is also quick with a 29.748.
The pace setter in yesterday’s opening practice Ty Tessmann could only manage 6th fastest. The Hot Bodies driver, who won the Warm-up race for the event, ran early this morning and said this meant the track was very loose but once the line cleared his Proline Holeshot equipped D8T was pretty good, however for the second of today’s runs he plans to run a lighter oil in the centre diff.
A relaxed opening day to the 2011 US 1:8 Offroad Nationals at Thunder Alley saw Mugen’s Travis Amezcua and Hot Bodies Ty Tessmann top the single round of controlled practice for Buggy and Truggy respectively. Amezcua was fastest from Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri, Tessmann, Kyosho’s Mark Pavidis and the Losi of former US Champion Mike Truhe while in Truggy Tessmann set the pace over Adam Drake, Ryan Cavalieri and Chad Bradley.
Running Ninja’s new JXB02 engine in his MBX-6, Amezcua said today’s run was all about learning the track, a layout which he feels is going to reward consistency. Very happy with the smooth power delivery of his new engine he doesn’t plan on changing anything for the first of the two practice runs that make up tomorrow’s schedule, after which stage track conditions should start to settle and he can work on fine tuning his set-up for qualifying.
Second fastest in Buggy and third in Truggy Cavalieri said he was ‘pretty happy’ with the opening day describing the track as really fun to drive. Unfortunately for his Associated team-mate Ryan Maifield engine trouble in his buggy meant he spent a lot of time in the pitlane during his run forcing the Warm-up race winner to fit a new engine for tomorrow’s practice.
Fastest in Truggy, which had to contend with the fresh track as they got the event underway today, Canadian Tessmann took his D8 around in the third fastest time. Having come directly to California from racing electric Touring Cars at the Reedy Race in San Fransisco last weekend, the talented teenager said his truggy was really good but he expects the track is going to change tomorrow and based on this he plans some changes to his D8 buggy.
Despite having little or no time to prepare for the Nationals due to a heavy work load at AKA, former World Champion Pavidis was really pleased with his run. Fourth fastest, the Kyosho driver said the layout created by track owner Rob Jackson, father of top racer Levi Jackson, is really good as it caters for everyone and not just the Pro drivers. Kyosho team-mate Jared Tebo, the defending champion of both classes, did not feature high up on the time sheet but the Worlds Top Qualifier said everything ran very smooth and is looking forward to the track getting grooved up tomorrow. World Champion Cody King, who had a problem with the transponder in his buggy, said the opening run was just about getting in laps and learning the track and he was happy with how that had gone.
Describing his practices as ‘solid first runs’ Mike Truhe was fifth fastest in buggy ahead of his TLR team-mates Matt Castellano and Adam Drake while Associated’s JR Mitch, Xray’s Josh Wheeler and JQ’s Marty Korn completed the Top 10.
With these ROAR Nationals such an important race for manufacturers, a lot of companies have brought with them some new products to showcase. Local company Pro-Line, based only 10 minutes from the Thunder Alley facility, have two new tires on offer. So new they don’t yet have the name on the tire sidewall. There is the new Blockade buggy tire and the Revolver 2.0 for truggy. The Blockade is an all new tire featuring a larger block with wider spacing between the rows along the circumference, giving good traction levels. Fitting into the range between the Caliber & Revolver tires and is great for racers running longer finals where durability is important. The Revolver 2.0 for truggy is bringing the same technology from the buggy tire, of the same name, to the larger format and is again ideal for longer finals.
The Losi team are run a new servo configuration on their 8ight buggies and truggies which sees the throttle servo mounted in front of the steering servo and which is connected to a lever system by a long track rod to control both the braking and carburetor. The new placement brings the weight balance of the car more to the front. There is no concrete plans for the release of this update but all the main team drivers are running this new layout.
Adrien Bertin has made his way over from France to take care of the CRF drivers and he has brought with him the new Team Orion Neo11 engine, a 3 port motor released to commemorate Jared Tebo’s win at the recent Neo11 race. Compared to the previously released 5-port engines, this new liner configuration is ideal for shorter tracks, such as the one we are racing on this week, offering plenty of bottom end torque. Adrien also showed us the new CRF crankshaft which sports a new shape crank bell and which has been lightened around the fuel intake area of the shaft. This crankshaft is being supplied as standard since the beginning of the year in all of the Orion buggy engines.