There were wins for Ryan Maifield, Ryan Cavalieri and Ty Tessmann in the opening round of 2WD at the Reedy Race of Champions, Cavalieri’s win moving him back into the lead of standings. Having tied on points with the reigning champion at the end of 4WD, Dustin Evans and Spencer Rivkin turned back row starts in second places while Lee Martin could only manage 4th from 5th on the grid. The opening heat saw pole sitter Maifield jumped off the line by Jared Tebo. Having had a lack lustre 4WD part of the event, it looked like the Kyosho driver might redeem himself with a good result but at the triple in front of the drivers stand his car broke handing Maifield a lead he would build to over 7-second by the end, Rivkin finishing second. Next up Cavalieri took just two laps to get from 5th on the grid to the front with Cole Tollard and JP Richards providing the entertainment as they battled for second, Tollard taking it. Starting on his own on the front row and on the preferred outside line, Tessmann took full advantage having a lonely race as Evans worked his way through the field. Recovering from an earlier crash, he would take second when Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski had a mistake in front of the drivers stand.
Summing up the first of the six rounds of 2WD, Maifield said, ‘that was my first front row start. Tebo got a better start off the tone so I was just planning to be patient behind him but he ended up breaking at the second triple’. The Yokomo driver went on, ‘I was doing the (Monster) triple but had a few issues so I went back to doubling it and my overall time was still fast’. On his car, the World Champion said, ‘overall the car is really good. It is easy to drive and has good corner speed’.
Having declared 2WD was his preferred class at the end of 4WD, Cavalieri declared his win ‘a good start’. The Associated driver continued, ‘the car felt pretty good and I just kept it out front’. Planning a small set-up change for the day’s closing encounter, the multiple World Champion said, ‘I’m going to make a slight adjustment and hopefully that will make the car even better’.
Notching up his second win of the event, Tessmann said, ‘My car had pretty good grip but I thought it would be a little higher. Starting at the front I just cruised around’. The Xray driver said while he is ‘happy how the car is working’ he had some concerns over his tyres. He said, ‘my tyres are getting like slicks down the middle which I am worried about but I’m told they get better as slicks’. Having had an easy start to 2WD, for the second round he faces a bigger challenge saying, ‘I started at the back for the next one so we’ll see what happens’. Finishing second behind Tessmann, Evans said, ‘Starting from last I’m really happy with second especially with Ty starting at the front. This is an important result’.
It is all tied at the top of the standings at the Reedy Race of Champions as the action gets ready to switch to 2WD at OCRC Raceway in California. Wins for Dustin Evans, Lee Martin and Spencer Rivkin in the sixth & final round of 4WD bring the trio equal on points with early leader Ryan Cavalieri, the reigning champion concluding 4WD with 3rd in the most stacked heat of the round. In the opening encounter Martin took advantage of a front row start getting the holeshot and going on to win comfortably from Rob Gillespie and back row starter Dakotah Phend. The second heat was a similar story with Evans benefiting from the P2 starting spot to get the jump on JP Richards eventually finishing 6-seconds ahead of the Yokomo driver. All attention was on the stacked 3rd heat, Rivkin & Cavalieri on the front row, Tessmann 6th and Maifield 8th. In the end it was Rivkin who took it, capitalising on a mistake by Cavalieri with Tessmann getting up to 3rd while a fast Maifield couldn’t get a break. Catching up to the leaders, his challenge came to an end when he collected an out of shape Tanner Denney leaving him to finish 4th.
Reacting to his third win, Martin said, ‘I looked at the heat sheet and it looked like it was one I could win’. Starting second, the Yokomo driver added, ‘2nd spot is better because its on the racing line and there is good drive so was aim was to get the lead on the first lap and control it from there and it worked out’. Looking to 2WD, the World Championship podium finisher said, ‘My 2WD was good in practice but that was a couple of days ago but hopefully its all still good when we go out for our practice run but I’m looking forward to the 2WD racing’.
‘Pretty straight forward’ was how Evans summed up his race. The Associated driver added, ‘JP gave me a lot of respect and I really appreciate that. Once I got a bit of gap I was just trying to cruise it home’. A former Reedy Race Champion, the Colorado based driver said, ‘I’m in contention going into 2WD and my car was really good so I’m looking forward to racing it out’.
Rivkin called his latest win ‘a solid race’. The 2015 World Champion continued, ‘I let the race fall into place and was not too aggressive at the beginning. Pole is not a great starting spot so I followed Ryan and when he had a bobble coming onto the straight I got the drag on him and took the lead. After that I just made sure to hit my marks’. On the switch to 2WD, the 2016 RROC podium finisher said, ‘I’m pretty excited for 2WD’.
‘I should of been able to better my points or at least get a 2 but a mistake cost me at the end’, was Cavalieri’s reaction after the race. Chasing a fifth Reedy Race title, the Associated driver concluded, ‘2WD is always my preferred class and my car was good in practice so I’m looking forward to good heads up racing’.
Ryan Maifield kicked off Day 2 of the Reedy Race of Champions this morning by registering his 1st win at the 24th running of the unique event. Starting 6th on the grid for the fifth round of 4WD action, it was a loaded heat containing three World Champions with Ryan Cavalieri on pole and Spencer Rivkin 8th. While Cavalieri pulled clear from the front and looked on target to extend his lead in the points, Maifield quickly moved his way to the front and with relative ease reeled in his great rival setting up the first real ‘Ryan & Ryan’ show of this years event. Banging wheels and tangling cars, it was Maifield who came out with the win from Cavalieri with Rivkin working his way up to third. In the other big encounter Lee Martin held off a very determined Dustin Evans to win the second heat of the round while 2016 Champion Dakotah Phend claimed his first win the final encounter ahead of Joe Bornhorst and a recovering Ty Tessmann. Starting on the front row alongside pole sitter Joona Haatanen, the pair tangled on the drag into the first corner dropping the Canadian to the back of the field.
Commenting on his win Maifield said, ‘I started 6th but got by guys fast enough and made a good move around (2nd place start) Reno (Savoya). I made slight changes to my car and it was better and easier to go fast. I knew I was faster on the left side of the track than Ryan. Then I made mistake and tangled with him which allowed Spencer to catch us so then I backed it down. When Spencer dropped back I started to push again and landed on his (Cavalieri’s) inside and kept it there to the end’. Reflecting on his performances yesterday, the World Champion said, ‘there were a couple of driver errors on my part and I wasn’t feeling great but I got a early night and I’m feeling better today. The track is also better today but I have another hard race in the next’. Going up again Cavalieri and Rivkin again in the final 4WD encounter, the heat will also have Tessmann on the grid, the Yokomo driver will start behind them all in 9th position.
‘It was pretty good’ was Cavalieri’s thoughts on Round 5. Winning 3 of his four encounters yesterday with a third in the closing round, he said, ‘I knew my car was a little slower than needed to race Maifield. I had opportunities and it was a really good race but went wide on the triple’. The reigning champion continued, ‘I gave up too much time in the first minute. I should have been able to open up a bigger lead and hold that gap better’. For the last 4WD encounter the Associated driver will start on the front row along pole sitter and team-mate Rivkin.
Martin summed up his second win by saying, ‘It was pretty OK. It was good starting on the outside (of the front row) because it has a little more traction and I could get the holeshot’. He added, ‘the pack got held up a little behind me and by the time Dustin got through I had a cushion. He was catching but made a few mistakes so I didn’t have to push hard and risk wrecking my stuff’. With the win, the Yokomo driver moves up to second in the points standing on the same points as Rivkin and 1 point up on Evans.
‘From 6th that was good’, was Evans view of the race. The former Champion added, ‘I was super patient behind JP (Richards) and Chad (Due) and by the time I got by, Lee had a good gap but I was catching him. I was on a mission with that one’. Having clashed with Martin yesterday, ‘I clipped the triple coming onto the straight, I was pushing really hard. I probably didn’t need to be because I was catching him but I’ll take 2nd from 6th.’