Matt Castellano topped the time sheets for the third & final round of Truggy qualifying at the ‘The Dirt’ Nitro Challenge finishing 2-seconds clear of defending buggy champion Ryan Cavalieri. The Team Losi driver who was seventh fastest in the opening two qualifiers at the Arizona event put his TQ run down simply to better driving having made no changes to the set-up on his N-Vision powered 8ight-T throughout the day.
After reporting throttle response issues with his Orion engine in Q2, Cavalieri ran a different transmitter for the last qualifier and afterwards was much happier with his Associated RC8-T. Complaining of the track being too wet for the start of his run following the hosing of the track he said that by the end both he and the truggy were going well. Having run closed cell inserts in his Pro-Line tyres throughout qualifying, Cavalieri plans to switch to molded inserts for the final which he thinks will suit the track here better. While Cavalieri turned his qualifying around Associated team-mate Ryan Maifield’s day got worse. Suffering a switch problem his truggy went out of control during the warm-up for his final qualifier and crashed so heavily it broke the rear chassis brace and bent the chassis.
Having suffered an engine cut in Q2 following a competitive 5th in the opening heat, Mugen’s Dylan Rodriguez put in a great final qualifier to set the third fastest time. Team-mate Taylor Peterson also enjoyed his best round setting the 7th fastest time. The 21-year-old changed the servo saver on his MBX6-T for Q3 along with switching from AKA Grid Iron super soft to soft compound resulting in a much better feeling with the truggy. Running Alpha engines he said the one in his truggy is still very tight and he expects it should be just coming into its peak for the final.
Setting the fourth fastest time Mike Truhe said he found conditions for the final qualifier a little tough. Run under spot lights the Losi driver said it was hard to see in the low light conditions but overall he is really confident that he has a good solid truggy for the Mains. Team-mate Adam Drake had suffered an unusual incident that lost him 15 seconds. A mistake at the drop off section saw his truggy need marshaling but unfortunately as the marshall ran towards it he was unable to get stopped in time and collided with the wooden frame, leaving him momentarily stunned and Drake’s car still stuck.
Having dominated Q1 & 2 with their drivers taking first and second in both, Team Kyosho could only manage 5th fastest with Cody King, while team-mate Jared Tebo lasted only four laps before the battery lead came undone after the clip fell out causing his truggy to come to a halt out on track. With second secured on the grid behind team-mate Tebo, King said he used the round to find the limits of the Inferno ST-RR on the track and having over stepped the mark a few times he is confident their package is strong enough for the win in Saturday’s Truggy A-Main.
Completing the top 6 was defending champion Ty Tessmann. The 18-year-old factory Hot Bodies driver was another to complain of radio trouble after his D8T lost steering control twice during the 7-minute qualifier. The Canadian’s father & pitman said they will change everything in the radio box for the final in the hope of stopping the problem reoccurring.
With Truggy qualifying complete the attention now turns to Buggy with 1:8 Nitro and 1:8 Electric each getting three rounds of qualifying tomorrow (Friday). Our coverage from the Nitro Pit, which is supported by Team Durango, continues then.
Jared Tebo is the Top Qualifier for the Truggy class at the ‘The Dirt’ Nitro Challenge having secured the honour by backing up his opening qualifying performance with another TQ run in the second. The US Truggy Champion once again headed a Kyosho 1-2 at the top the time sheets improving his time by 6 seconds while team-mate Cody King set a new fastest lap time of 44.399 on his way to second. Defending champion Ty Tessmann again set the third fastest time with his Hot Bodies despite losing 5 seconds with a mistake on lap 3. Tebo said the extra time came from a combination of him being more settled, better gearing and having got his Maxima fuel released from customs, the World Championship Top Qualifier having borrowed fuel for his Q1 run. With overall TQ honours sewn up he plans to use the third & final qualifier to test a slightly different set-up on his Orion powered Inferno ST-RR.
Mike Truhe described his second qualifier as ‘a lot better’, the Tem Losi driver setting the fourth fastest time. Only tenth in Q1 after a number of driver errors, he still had one incident losing around 4 seconds on the opening lap. Other than making a small adjustment to the clutch on his N-Vision powered 8ight-T for Q2 he said the truggy is working really well and he just needs to try getting an error free run. Team-mate Adam Drake and Matt Castellano set the 6th & 7th times respectively. Drake was happier with the traffic this time round saying it was a much cleaner run while Castellano, the last driver to record 10 laps, said he lost time with a crash on his final lap.
For the Team Associated drivers it was a troubled round. Ryan Cavalieri managed the fifth fastest time but believes he has a radio problem similar to that he experienced at the Neo Race 2 years ago which was later traced to a faulty throttle pot. Pitting next to the Upgrade RC stand Cavalieri has borrowed one of the radio they are using to display their decal sets and hopes this will put him back in the game in Q3. Ryan Maifield set the 9th fastest time behind Chad Bradley and ahead of ‘The Car’ designer Joesph Quagraine who is running a Mugen truggy. The Motorama winner is not happy with the Reedy engine he ran in the opening two qualifiers and will switch to the same engine he ran in the final at the World Championships in Thailand last November.
After an strong run in Q1 when he set the 5th fastest time, Mugen’s Dylan Rodriguez was again running a hot pace until he landed on a rock which caused his OS engine to cut. There are a number of big name drivers here at the ‘The Dirt’ Nitro Challenge who are not part of the truggy action because their team’s don’t have a car. Team Durango’s Renaud Savoya and Ryan Lutz are looking forward to tomorrow’s buggy action but have kept themselves occupied today by competing in the small field of Short Course trucks with Team Durango’s DESC410R prototype. European 1:8 Buggy Champion Savoya said the track here is not really suited to the smaller 1:10 trucks. Making the trip from Portugal former European Champion and JQ Products team driver Miguel Matthias is another not taking part today due to a lack of truggy. One driver who has access to a Truggy but has opted out of running today preferring instead to use the time to get his nitro and 1:8 electric buggy ready is Mugen team driver Travis Amezcua.
They are a world force when it comes to 1:8 Off Road racing and arriving here at the Nitro Pit for ‘The Dirt’ Nitro Challenge it is easy to see just why the current World Champion is an American. Race organiser Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s track creation for the 12th running of his big event is impressive with all the top drivers here in Arizona loving his work. The track is situated in a motorsport complex that features tracks for pretty much everything including full size Short Course, Motocross, Drag racing down to a pretty cool looking BMX course. The first big 1:8 Off Road event on the annual US race calendar all the major manufacturers are here with their star drivers looking to secure ‘The Dirt’ title and get their 2011 outdoor season underway with a high profile win. Catering for four different classes, today it is three rounds of qualifying for 1:8 Truggy and 1:10 Short Course with 1:8 Nitro and EP Buggy making up Friday’s qualifying schedule.
The first round of Truggy qualifying has been completed with Kyosho’s Jared Tebo and Cody King setting the early pace in what was an ultra close run. Seven minute qualifiers, Tebo recorded 10 laps in 7:41.235 compared with King’s 7:41.391 and reigning champion Ty Tessmann’s 7:41.824 whose Hot Bodies was third fastest. Tebo, whose right leg is in a brace following a recent operation, said his Kyosho was a little under geared for the opening round but was really happy with performance of the new forward cab bodyshell design he and Cody are running here. Cody, who says he likes the track a lot, was pleased with his opening run but expects the track to get much faster later in the day. The World Champion paid compliment to the track team who he said are doing a good job keeping the track damp enough between runs.
Tessmann, who is without his HB team-mate Jesse Robbers this weekend, said his truggy was really good but he needs to tidy up his driving. The Canadian said the track is real good but would be even better without the moguls, a section he doesn’t like at all.
Chasing their fourth successive ‘The Dirt’ win in the blue ribbon Buggy class Team Associated come here riding high from their success at Motorama last week. Fresh from his Buggy/Truggy double in Pennsilvania, Ryan Maifield set the fourth fastest time in Q1 but was frustrated by a back marker who tried racing him. Preferring the track layout over last year, Maifield said his Reedy engines are also a lot better developed than 12 months ago which is a big help over the many jumps. Team-mate Ryan Cavalieri, who set the 6th fastest time with a nine lap run, said he is a little rusty with the truggy and is still trying to get his nitro finger back. Complaining of his wheels being out of balance, which caused him problems off the jumps, he said with a fresh set of rubber he should be more competitive in Q2.
Heading the Mugen challenge recording 10 lap on the way to the fifth fastest time was Dylan Rodriguez. Making the A-Main here last year in both Truggy and Buggy, the 17-year-old from Vegas was happy with his MBX-6T and feels with a few less mistakes and a fresh set of Pro-Line Holeshots he can build on that performance. Hoping to making the big race again this year, he feels the track design should make for some really good racing.
Over in the Team Losi camp it is Matt Castellano who was the best 8ight-T setting the 7th fastest time. Having not raced Truggy since the US Nationals last year Castellano described his run as clean other than some issues with traffic something his senior team-mate Adam Drake had problems with leaving him down in 11th. Mike Truhe described his truggy as ‘awesome’ and set the fastest lap for the round with a 44.804 but too many driver errors meant he ended up only tenth fastest.
Elsewhere Tamiya USA lead driver Lee Martin has announced he has moved from Novarossi to OS engines. Making his first big US race appearance since signing with Tamiya USA for the 1:8 Off Road race programme, the UK driver will actually still run Novarossi engines in his truggy due to lateness of the new engine deal which was only agreed earlier this week. After the first round of the qualifying Martin is 15th fastest.
Cody King is the new IFMAR 1:8 Off Road World Champion after a thrilling battle with outgoing champion Atsushi Hara that ended with the pair separated by less than 2 seconds after an hour of intense racing. Only his second World Championships, the 23-year-old from California was pushed right to line but kept his cool to claim the biggest prize in the sport ahead of Hara and his Kyosho team-mate Jared Tebo.
Commenting on the race of his life, the reality of which he doesn’t expect to hit him until the morning, the factory Kyosho/Orion driver said he had always expected that if he was to lead the World Championships that he would be very nervous but he wasn’t and when he landed off the table top just before the last corner when he knew it was job done did he started to think about the being World Champion. Having come into this week’s championship on the back of a great run of success in the US, King paid tribute to his dad and Tebo whom he said was responsible for making the MP9 so good here this week. Bringing the tally of 1:8 Off Road World titles for Kyosho to eight, the King’s victory secured the first for Team Orion and it was a very proud day for Adrien Bertin who is the man behind the engines and who was also part of the new champions pit crew for the race.
One of the sport’s greatest all round racers, Hara said he wanted to put on a race people would remember and that while he was a little disappointed at not being able to become the first driver in the history of 1:8 Off Road to defend the World title he was very happy for Cody, a driver he believes has the potential to achieve such a feat in Brazil in two years time. The Hot Bodies driver said his D8 was perfect but with all the cars so evenly matched in the final it was all down to mistakes something Cody made very few of. Unable to feel his fingers after the race, Hara admitted that unlike the last Worlds when remained super calm he got nervous for the first time today.
The Top Qualifier for the event and the pre-event favourite Tebo was clearly disappointed to only finish third. The 23-year-old US Champion was in the hunt right up to the half way point but with 20-minutes remaining got the double single wrong and landed on a track marker which cut his engine. Afterwards the Kyosho driver said he raced too hard in the beginning to try keep up with big rival Ryan Maifield and this left his front tyres like slicks. Maifield ran a very fast pace at the start and was leading 1/3 of the way through the race but at the half way point when many of the drivers were making scheduled fuel stops his Reedy power Associated ran dry ultimately ending his chances of the World title.
He was pretty much an unknown before the event but after today he is one of the hottest properties in Buggies, 14-year-old Kyle McBride finishing a stunning fourth overall just one and a half seconds behind Tebo. Not phased by lining up against the biggest names in the sport, the Aussie Mugen driver said he just did his own thing in the race. Admitting that he never expected to finish in the Top 4 on his World Championship debut and said he is already looking forward to Brazil.
Finishing fifth Billy Easton helped debutant team Serpent to claim the honour of best new manufacturer with Hobao driver Jeremy Kortz completing the top 6. It wasn’t a good race for the Europeans with 2008 podium finisher Renaud Savoya the first to hit trouble, his steering servo going 8-minutes in. Rejoining the race he broke a second servo calling it day with 19 minutes to run and was classified last of the 12 starters. Others failing to make the full distance were Maifield and team-mate Ryan Cavalieri who lost a wheel off his RC8B. In the end Robert Batlle was the best placed driver from Europe in 8th position ahead of German Joern Neumann’s LRP buggy.
1.(2) Cody KING (USA) – 78 laps in 60:28.802 Kyosho MP9 TKI2/Orion ABI/AKA/Byron/Kyosho
2.(1) Atsushi HARA (JPN) – 78 laps in 60:30.727 Hot Bodies D8 Hara Edition/OS Speed/HB/Cosmo/HB
3.(3) Jared TEBO (USA) – 76 laps in 60:02.373 Kyosho MP9 TKI2/Orion ABI/AKA/Byron/Kyosho
4.(9) Kyle MCBRIDE (AUS) – 76 laps in 60:03.943 Mugen MBX-6/OS Speed/AKA/Byron/Mugen
5.(5) Billy EASTON (USA) – 76 laps in 60:13.829 Serpent S811/RB/Proline/Byron/Serpent
6.(7) Jeremy KORTZ (USA) – 76 laps in 60:38.027 Hobao Hyper 9/Werk B6/AKA/Werks Racing/JConcepts
7.(12) Adam DRAKE (USA) – 75 laps in 60:05.294 Losi 8ight/Novarossi/Losi/Nitrotane/Losi
8.(11) Robert BATLLE (ESP) – 74 laps in 60:18.355 Associated RC8B/Novarossi/Proline/Nitrolux/Proline
9.(10) Joern NEUMANN (GER) – 73 laps in 60:19.059 LRP S8BXR evo/LRP/LRP VTEC/LRP Energy Power/JConcepts
10.(6) Ryan CAVALIERI (USA) – 63 laps in 49:45.200 Associated RC8B/Orion ABI/Proline/Sidewinder/Proline
11.(4) Ryan MAIFIELD (USA) – 56 laps in 44:40.226 Associated RC8B/Reedy/JConcepts/Sidewinder/JConcepts
12.(8) Renaud SAVOYA (FRA) – 33 laps in 40:50.924 Mugen MBX-6/RB/Proline/RB/Proline
Red RC would like to thank all the crew at RCP, particularly Charlie, for their hospitality during our stay in Pattaya and congratulate them on putting on a fantastic World Championships. Special thanks also to Team Durango, LRP, Reds Racing and Team C, for enabling us to bring you our live event coverage.
The 12 drivers that will battle it out later today for the 2010 IFMAR 1:8 Off Road World Championship here in Pattaya Thailand has been decided with reigning champion Atsushi Hara the man that will start the 1-hour encounter from pole position. Hara took victory in the first of the Semi finals which was the faster of the two with Cody King, who was in the same race, securing second on the starting grid. The winner of the second Semi A final, Top Qualifier Jared Tebo will line up third followed by Ryan Maifield and Billy Easton. Serpent’s Easton, who came up from the 1/4 finals, pushed Tebo hard for the win in the 30-minute race showing he could be a real threat this evening.
The biggest casualty of the Semis was 2008 Top Qualifier and runner-up Mike Truhe who flamed out coming up to his first fuel stop ending his chances of getting through. Losi team-mate Adam Drake just made it through after a battle to the line with France’s Jerome Aigoin and will start on the 12th and final spot on the grid as the sole 8ight entry. Others to fall by the wayside were 2008 finalists Ty Tessmann and Travis Amezcua.
Team Associated are the best represented manufacturer with three RC8Bs on the grid, Ryan Manifield best of those in fourth, despite damaging his car. The find of the 13th running of the World Championships, debutant Kyle McBride from Australia has put his name firmly on the map and will join 2008 podium finisher Renaud Savoya in carrying Mugen’s hopes of a third title. Eight different manufacturers will compete for the sport’s biggest prize, Jeremy Kortz putting his Hobao through to carry No.7 and the 2nd of the buggy newcomers LRP also making the cut with young German talent Joern Neumann to start 10th.