Hot Bodies’ Ty Tessmann has topped the opening round of Truggy qualifying at the Dirt Nitro Challenge in Phoenix, Arizona, the 19-year-old setting the pace by just over half a second from TLR’s Adam Drake with Associated’s Ryan Maifield third. Moving this year to the Fear Farm, this is the 13th running of the signature event of world famous track builder Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen with a record 700 entries set to race 4 class on three tracks over the next four days.
Tessmann, who has been on the road racing since setting out from his Canadian home back in January, was happy with his start to the event making no mistakes over the first of three 7-minute runs that make up today’s schedule. Pleased with his OS powered D8T he said he will ‘just leave as is and drive it’ for Q2 but with that run due to take place in the hottest part of the day he will switch from Proline Holeshot M3 tyres to the harder M2 compound.
Drake was happy with the performance of his equipment in Q1 but said he had a tough opening 2 laps with traffic causing him problems through the woops section. TLR drivers filled five of the Top 10 spots on the time sheets with 15-year-old Dakota Phend, who is making his ‘Dirt’ debut setting a strong 5th fastest time despite a couple of driver errors while Mike Truhe, Mark Pavidis and Matt Castellano managed 7th, 8th & 10th.
US National Truggy Champion Maifield described his run as ‘safe’. Running Green compound JConcept Hybrid rubber on his LRP power RC8B he said the track is changing every run but overall he is happy with where he is at for now. His team-mate Ryan Cavalieri was a lot less happy with his start to the event as he only managed 11th albeit just 7 seconds off the pace. The electric offroad World Champion said if he was to describe how he truly felt after his run it wouldn’t be a quote we could publish after traffic problems killed any chance of a TQ run for the opening round. Happy with his lap times the Californian planned to go up a little with the shock oil on his Orion powered RC8 B for Q2.
Fastest Kyosho in Q1 was A-Main Hobbies team driver Dylan Rodriguez. The 18-year-old took his OS powered example to the fourth fastest time with a good clean safe run’. The only other Kyosho in the Top 10 with the 9th fastest time was that of last year’s Dirt Nitro Challenge dominator Jared Tebo. Setting the fastest lap time for Q1 with a 39.847 lap, he said he took a gamble on tyres which didn’t work out. Basing his call to run AKA City Block on the front and Ibeam on the rear based on yesterday’s dusty track conditions he said the track was much cleaner today and after 2 crashes he over drove much of the run. Switching to Grid Iron all round for Q2 the World Championship Top Qualifier is confident he can rectify things next time out.
Having attracted some big names to their team for the 2012 season with top Europeans Renaud Savoya and Martin Bayer crossing the Atlantic for the event, it was long time team member Josh Wheeler who was the fastest XT8 with sixth for the round.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012
Team Losi Racing’s Darren Bloomfield is the 2011 Arena Offroad Meeting Champion after a dominant performance in the Buggy final at the indoor event in Voghera, Italy. The Top Qualifier who started from pole pulled off a Sebastien Vettel style start to the 45-minute encounter immediately opening up a gap over his pursuers. The fastest man on track, any hope his rivals had of catching him up were further dashed when it became apparent that his Nitrotec powered 8ight was able to run a three stop strategy, nothing his rivals could afford to risk.
While Bloomfield disappeared into the distance before switching to cruise mode to win by 14 seconds, the race for second was to produce one of the greatest offroad battles of the year as fellow Brit Elliot Boots and outgoing Arena champion Yannick Aigoin went wheel to wheel. Drifting side by side through the double chicane lap after lap as if it was a Gymkhana style drifting competition the last lap saw both drivers launch their buggys across the finish line with Boots’ Kyosho snatching second by just 16/1000 of a second over the TLR of Aigoin. Receiving huge applause from the large crowd of onlooker gathered in the Rodeo Arena both drivers said afterwards that it was a great race to be a part of.
His first time to attend the Arena Offroad Meeting, Bloomfield was delighted at what he described as his first international 1:8 win. Particularly pleased at having beaten his factory TLR team-mate Aigoin, the winner of the Brushless Buggy title earlier in the event said his focus for the final was just to get a clean start and drive a clean race as he knew after the Semis that he had the buffer of being on one stop less than his rivals.
Boots, who looked very professional with his Formula 1 style radio headset that allowed Kyosho Europe’s Mick Cradock keep him fully briefed throughout the race, said having switched to a harder compound tyre for the final his RB powered MP9 took a while to come in, being very good in the middle part of the race before starting to fade in the final few minutes. Asked if he felt the pressure of racing so close to Aigoin the 18-year-old said he was very comfortable racing against the former European Champion as he knew he could trust him to run a clean race. Struggling for steering Boots said on the final run through the double chicane before the finish line he had to use the track piping to guide the buggy through.
One of the great ambassadors of the sport, Aigoin who successfully defended his Truggy title said he thoroughly enjoyed the battle with Boots who he described as a very fair driver. Having set-up up his nVision engine and clutch for slightly higher traction before focusing all his attentions on tyre choice, Aigoin said he was lacking ever so slightly in forward traction and in this situation this probably prevented him from claiming a TLR 1-2 but after such an exciting race he was not too disappointed with third.
Carrying the hopes of the home crowd Riccardo Rabitti was the best placed Italian coming home fourth. The factory TLR/Picco driver who started 2nd on the grid struggled with his tyre choice at the start of the race but managed to work his way up to the battling Boots and Aigoin only to make a ‘stupid’ mistake with six laps to go. Running within striking distance of a podium finish the spin at the end of the straight cost him almost 6 seconds. Behind Rabitti, Mugen team driver Simon Willets and young 16-year-old TLR driver Alex Zanchettin completed the Top 6.
In the F2 Buggy Main, which was run ahead of the feature race, 21-year-old Reinhold Gruber denied Jon Howells from defending his title. The Austrian Mugen driver, who only returned to racing earlier this season after a six year break from the sport, the fastest lap of the race on his way to what is his first big victory. Driving a Hobao, British driver Howells was joined on the podium by his understudy & team-mate 19-year-old Ashlee Owen. The Top Qualifier of the F2 class, Owen is another driver who this year made a return to racing after some time out.
F1 Buggy final results
1. Darren Bloomfield – TLR/Nitrotec – 63/45:13.411
2. Elliot Boots – Kyosho/RB – 63/45:27.674
3. Yannick Aigoin – TLR/nVision – 63/45:27.690
4. Riccardo Rabitti – TLR/Picco – 63/45:32.266
5. Simon Willets – Mugen/Orion – 62/45:14.122
6. Alex Zanchettin – TLR/BP – 61/45:41.412
7. Valerio Bellano – Xray/RB – 60/45:29.754
8. Walter Floris – TLR/Novarossi – 60/45:31.500
9. Alessandro Stocco – Hot Bodies/Alpha – 59/45:04.035
10.Federico Ruggeri – Crono/OS – 58/45:27.016
11.Daniele Chicca – JQ/Precirotate – 52/45:24.836
12.Federico Sala – TLR/Novarossi – 36/28:17.386
F2 Buggy final results
1. Reinhold Gruber – Mugen/Novarossi – 60/45:29.329
2. Jon Howells – Hobao/RB – 59L/45:01.691
3. Ashlee Owen – Hobao/RB – 58L/45:23.298
4. William Campanelli – Losi – 57L/45:26.550
5. Gerd Pfeifer – Durango/OS – 56L/45:15.736
6. Gurdeep Dhami – Kyosho/OS – 55L/45:35.966
7. Alessandro Remia – LRP/LRP – 55L/45:38.818
8. Lloyd Pitt – Hobao/RB – 54L/45:11.229
9. Nicolo Veronesi – Agama/Picco – 53L/45:19.947
10.Stefano Tena – TLR – 52L/45:37.138
11.Valerio Poltronieri – Kyosho – 21L/17:22.888
12.Rudi Traxler – Xray/RB – 1L/2:46.581
Sponsored by Sweep tires and Speed RC this year, the organisers of Italy’s top international offroad event, Paolo Bosco, Piero Cresta and Ruggero Zanusso have again successful pulled of a third running of this event indoors and have also announced that they will hold the event again next year at the great setting that is the Cowboy Guest Ranch.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011
Darren Bloomfield will start the main event of the 2011 Arena Offroad Meeting from pole position after the Top Qualifier won his Semi Final ahead of factory TLR team-mate Riccardo Rabitti who will start second on the grid. Elliot Boots lines up third for the 45-minute encounter just in front of defending champion Yannick Aigoin who was second the young British driver in the 20-minute Semi B.
The first casualty of the Semis was Orion engines head of development Adrien Bertin. Having struggled in qualifying to get a set-up to his liking resulting in him qualifying in the 1/4 finals, the Frenchman built a brand new Kyosho MP9 for the finals and immediately found his form. Dominating his 1/4 final, Bertin quickly worked his way into the Top 5 of the opening Semi only for the lower right rear shock pin to come out. Making it back to the pits a temporary fix was made but six laps later it broke and he called it a day.
Also exiting from the event in the Semi A but in the cruelest way possible was Agama/Novarossi driver Riccardo Perin. Running in a comfortable bump up position the Italian’s buggy stopped less than half a lap from the finish dropping him to 7th in the final classification, one spot shy of progressing to the Main. This allowed 1/4 finalist Federicio Sala to bump up for a second time as did Truggy Race of Champions winner Walter Floris who finished fifth in the Semi.
The main drama of the Semi B struck French National B Champion Guillaume Hebert. Having won his 1/4 Final, the Mugen backed driver was set to bump up to the Main but in almost identical fashion to Perin his Ninja powered MBX-6 stopped on the final lap.
In the F2 Buggy class Austrian Reinhold Gruber will start on pole for their Main ahead of defending champion Jon Howells. Top Qualifier Ashlee Owen starts fifth behind last night’s Race of Champions finalists 12-year-old Alessandro Remia and Gerd Pfiefer.
Buggy Main Starting Grid
1. Darren Bloomfield – TLR/Nitrotec
2. Riccardo Rabitti – TLR/Picco
3. Elliot Boots – Kyosho/RB
4. Yannick Aigoin – TLR/nVision
5. Simon Willets – Mugen/Orion
6. Alex Zanchettin – TLR/BP
7. Valerio Bellano – Xray/RB
8. Alessandro Stocco – Hot Bodies/Alpha
9. Federico Ruggeri – Crono/OS
10.Walter Floris – TLR/Novarossi
11.Federico Sala – TLR/Novarossi
12.Daniele Chicca – JQ/Precirotate
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Sunday, October 16, 2011
As part of the Arena Offroad Meeting, Saturday night at the Cowboy’s Guest Ranch was time for the ‘Race of Champions’. Open to the Top 16 qualifiers in Truggy and both the F1 & F2 Buggy classes, this year’s format was to prove entertaining for the decent crowd of onlookers. Lining up in reverse grid order the first stage of the ROC was to reduce the field in a regular race by elimating the car running in last position every two minutes until four remained. With four remaining the winner of the first stage of the process drew a number to determine which of the Top 4 he would go head to head with in a three lap sprint, the winner of which would progress to the 5 lap final against the winner of the other duel, while the defeated drivers would go up against each other to determine the final step of the podium.
First up was the Truggy Race of Champions which saw TLR driver Walter Floris get the better of French Mugen driver Julien Lattanzio to secure a very popular home victory. Winner of the Truggy Main earlier in the day Yannick Aigoin, who was ROC winner in both Truggy and Buggy at the last running of the Arena Offroad Meeting, had to settle for third with Ryan Lee of event sponsor Sweep tires fourth.
The F2 Buggy class was next up with Austrian Gerd Pfeifer winning the first stage of the competition and in the first duel held off promising 12-year-old talent Alessandro Remia to go into the final against Britain’s Jon Howells who fended of Austrian Reinhold Gruber. Howells went on to claim the ROC victory after Pfeifer had a number of moments.
In the main Buggy class the shoot out was an all TLR affair. In the draw Darren Bloomfield was pitted against Aigoin for his opening duel which was to be the closest battle of the night. The buggy Top Qualifier eventually took the win and came up against 16-year-old Alex Zanchettin who got the better of Italian National Champion Riccardo Rabitti. Zanchettin put it up to factory driver with the pair rubbing tyres on a number of occasions but in the end the British Champion would take the win to bring to a close what was a busy night.
1.(1) Darren Bloomfield – TLR/Nitrotec
2.(6) Alex Zanchettin – TLR/BP
3.(3) Riccardo Rabitti – TLR/Picco
4.(2) Yannick Aigoin – TLR/nVision
1.(2) Walter Floris – TLR/Novarossi
2.(4) Julien Lattanzio – Mugen/Picco
3.(1) Yannick Aigoin – TLR/nVision
4.(6) Ryan Lee – TLR/Alpha
Buggy F2 Result
1.(2) Jon Howells – Hobao/RB
2.(9) Gerd Pfeifer – Durango/OS
3.(3) Reinhold Gruber – Mugen/Novarossi
4.(7) Alessandro Remia – LRP/LRP
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Sunday, October 16, 2011
TLR are on target for a repeat clean sweep of the Arena Offroad Meeting with Yannick Aigoin successfully defending his truggy title at the indoor Rodeo ring in Voghera, Italy, this evening. Starting from pole, the Top Qualifier won the 45-minute encounter by a lap from Italian TLR driver Walter Floris who in the opening laps of the race managed to find a way passed the French driver.
After the race Aigoin said he was surprised by the pace of Floris who he said had found a lot of speed since qualifying. A much harder race than he was expecting, he was delighted to defend his title with a TLR 1-2 and said he can now focus his attentions on buggy which he admitted is going to be a much bigger challenge to defend.
Running a Novarossi powered 8ight T, Floris was delighted to finish second to Aigoin whom he described as ‘one of the best drivers in the world’. Pulling a pass on the factory driver early in the race to take the lead the 27-year-old said it was a great feeling but he always knew Aigoin who eventually find his way back into the lead.
Mugen team driver Julien Lattanzio, who as a kid went to the same school as Aigoin, completed the podium but said it was a difficult race. Starting from fourth on the grid, the former French National Buggy Champion said his Picco engine was down on power and despite giving 110% he couldn’t keep pace with the the two TLR drivers ahead of him. Finishing half a lap up on fourth place finisher Jon Howells, Lattanzio said he was very happy to come away with a podium on what is his first visit to the Arena.
Truggy Final – Result
1. Yannick Aigoin – TLR/nVision – 65/45:07.743
2. Walter Floris – TLR/Novarossi – 64/45:11.393
3. Julien Lattanzio – Mugen/Picco – 61/45:06.407
4. Jon Howells – Associated/RB – 61/45:26.933
5. Alberto Pacini – Mugen/Sirio – 59/45:46.505
6. Andrea Ubaldi – Serpent/EZ Power – 58/45:03.838
7. Rudi Traxler – Xray/RB – 58/45:30.612
8. Richy Ferraro – Mugen/Precirotate – 56/45:01.504
9. Luca Balzola – Mugen/Alpha – 55/44:44.140
10.Maurizio Tinnirello – TLR/Sirio – 47/35:22.693
11.Ryan Lee – TLR/Alpha – 47/45:08.954
12.Lloyd Pitt – Associated/RB – 43/35:36.709
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Saturday, October 15, 2011
Sweep Racing have shown us their new Square Armor V2 buggy tires. The new updated version of the tire features more material around the pin, changing the base of the pin from a sharp angle to a rounded edge. This new design helps extend the life of the pin especially on rough tracks. We’re told that the new tire is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
Mugen have the final production version of their forward mounted radio plate, something that was seen in prototype form in the past. The new definitive design sees the battery mounted to the front of the car next to the steering and throttle servos for better car balance and will be included in an upcoming release of the MBX6. We also saw some other new parts in testing such as a new rear shock tower with extra upper arm mounts. We also hear the team is testing a new internal drive ratio but the team wouldn’t confirm or deny this.
Truggy top qualifier Yannick Aigoin is testing a new nVision engine in his Losi 8ight-T. The new motor will feature a slight larger capacity which will give more torque, something that is needed for the heavier truggies. Adrien Bertin wouldn’t give any specific details apart from there being more testing required to make sure everything is perfect and that we can expect a release in February of next year.
Fast Race have some new products for sale here at the Arena including a front radio tray conversion for the MBX-6. Similar in design to the soon to be released official Mugen version, it uses a slightly different material. The end result is the same with the car getting a slight balance change. Also new from Fast Race are some ‘Double effect’ aluminium shock pistons for the Losi 8ight, whose design gives a fast compression but a slower rebound, something beneficial on very bumpy tracks.
Tommy Garage were out in effect during the brushless 1/8th buggy class with a large team running their Mugen brushless conversion kit. The set sees a completely new chassis plate as well as machined aluminium battery mount, combined steering servo & RX mount and machined servo saver lever, to accommodate the long steering linkage from the rearward mounted servo.
Bitty Design have the first sample of their new Force shell for the JQ Products ‘THE Car’. The shell incorporates the same cab forward design as the others in the range as well as some other ‘improvements’ such as a small rear winglets before the rear wing. This prototype body shell will get some small updates before it is released in the next 2 to 3 weeks, with some extra space needed for around the throttle linkage and a slight angle change to the front window.
As we wrote yesterday on the news site the Durango DEX408 is being run in prototype form by Austrian driver Gerd Pfeifer. We are told the final production car uses a similar configuration to that seen in the photos with the exception of the battery pack mount which will see the batteries lying flat instead of on their side as in this version.
View all the new products in the event image gallery here.
Saturday, October 15, 2011