After six rounds of head to head 2WD racing the stage is set for an exciting second half of the Reedy Race of Champions as the switch is made to 4WD with Jared Tebo, Ryan Maifield and Steven Hartson tied for the points lead. The final round of 2WD racing would produce one of the more heavily loaded title contender encounters in which Tebo would get the better of defending champion Ryan Cavalieri. That win would see the Kyosho driver, when the race time tie break is taken into account, top the final points table for the 2WD part of the event with Maifield, who drops his Round 6 4th place finish, second and Hartson third having ended off with a 2nd that allowed him to discard an earlier 9th place finish.
Starting third on the grid behind Cavalieri and 10-year-old pole sitter Daniel Kobbevik from Norway, who did an impressive job of holding the two World Champions at bay for the opening lap, Tebo said ‘that was a good race for me’. Running second to great rival Cavalieri, the reigning 2WD World Champion would go to the front on lap 6 when the Associated driver’s B5M kissed the piping through he Associated esses causing him to run wide allowing Tebo to slip through. This set the stage for an exciting dual for a crucial win which on lap 9 Tebo looked to give away. At the triple his RB6 landed on the piping putting the car on its roof but such was Cavalieri’s focus on the leader he too took the exact same line which result in a carbon copy mistake. As both cars got marshalled it was Tebo who came out still in the lead. Cavalieri would make a move a few laps later at the end of the straight but getting on the dust he would run wide causing him to have to turn his attentions to a hard charging Barry Baker, the Round 5 winner setting the fastest lap of the race. Behind them, the order not changing for the rest of the race, from 10th in the grid Maifield would get up to fourth but the result didn’t improve his final points tally for 2WD. While ‘Really happy to be sitting tied at the top at the end of 2WD’, Tebo added ‘there is a lot of 4WD racing to go’. Believing he has as good 4WD car as he did in 2WD, he said he ‘can only control my own car and not anyone elses so the aim is to just try not to crash myself’.
Cavalieri, who sits fourth, 2 points off the leaders, said he found the ‘track had so much grip’ in the last round making his car edgy to drive. Describing his contact with the piping that allowed Tebo to the front as a ‘slight error’ he said while he tried to go for the win, in the end he knew he needed to get second and he settled for that over the final laps. Feeling the result put him back in the hunt, the three time winner able to drop a 7th but still having to count a fifth, he said the key to the rest of the event is going to be ‘about being patient’ but he thinks he can turn around his points deficit in 4WD with him starting out with a good draw of starting positions.
Starting his Round 6 encounter from 5th on the grid, Hartson said he lost too much time ‘trying to get by some jammers’ and there was nothing he could do about the gap built up by race winner Tanner Denney who had started on pole. The 4WD World Champion said 2nd was still good as it allowed him to drop a bad Round 4 result. Running at his home track he said he is sitting good for the second half of the event as 4WD is his better class but added the most important thing was going to be patient coming through from his back of the grid starting positions.
In the other race, Ty Tessmann claimed his first win of the event so far after a late mistake by pole starter and double race winner Kody Numedahl. The Associated driver, who sits fifth in the standings just 1-point behind Cavalieri, said his tyres were done and once he got on the dust after the step down he couldn’t get on the power, his B5M stepping out and glancing off the pipe with Tessmann able to capitalise and go to the front. Wishing the event could continue running 2WD, the Associated designer said he could not have expected any more in terms of his overall position so far but admitted he did ‘kind of give a way one place’ in the last one. Asked about the switch to 4WD he said ‘4WD is going to kill tyres’ which could become a big factor to the final outcome of the event.
JConcepts have come to the Reedy race loaded with new products. First up is a new Silencer body for the B44.3, based off of the company’s Yokomo body shell, it has been made for the reconfigured Associated 4wd. With the car running gear diffs throughout as well as the shorty pack the racers wanted a new different handling shell, and this new Finnisher was the result. Only completed just before the event, it is currently only being run by a select few factory racers.
Also for the B44.3 is a new carbon set which includes the top deck, servo deck and battery hold down. With the Silencer body the antenna mount on the stock position is in the body’s windshield so they moved the antenna mount to the top of the servo mount. From there they removed the antenna mount from the top deck and added slots to the plates for more flex. For the B5 there are new rear CVA bones made from spring steel to replace the standard steel versions which we are told rust up in the humid Florida weather. There is also a new rear ballstud mount from aluminium with an extra middle mounting hole in blue or black, new lightweight rear wing mounts with aluminium shims and aluminium steering plate and bellcranks.
Also from JConcepts are a new line of setup tools in blue anodised aluminium for checking the car’s camber setting and a second tool for measuring the car’s ride height. Solid, nicely finished tools, they come supplied in a padded case. There is also a new Finnisher car stand, which is a gift for all racers here at the Reedy Race which features an all new shape and design and come supplied with foam pads to keep your car secure.
Finally a new brand from JConcepts, Dirt Racing Products is from team driver Brian Kinwald, and starting off will include both Dirt Refresher and Dirt Cleaner to clean the surface of your tires & makes them tacky and clean the beads of the tires respectively. There is also a large head ‘toothbrush’ for applying sauce to your tires.
The opening round of the second day of racing at the Reedy Race of Champions at OCRC Raceway produced second wins for last years title rivals Ryan Cavalieri and Ryan Maifield while the third win of the penultimate round of 2WD went to multiple Onroad Reedy Race of Championships winner Barry Baker. In terms of the points the results of Round 5 sees Maifield remain top of the points followed by Jared Tebo and Steven Hartson who both finished the round in the Top 3, having each started from the back row of the grid.
Race 1 saw former Champion Dustin Evans start on pole with Baker lining up second on the grid. A winner in Round 2 yesterday, Evans led away the field until Lap 3 when he had the first of a series of errors that would see the TLR drop back down the field with him eventually finishing a disappointing 6th. While looking to be in control of the race, Baker would also make a mistake handing the lead to Round 4 winner Chad Due but that only lased a lap as the Associated driver also had a moment. While Baker ran the rest of the race untroubled, Serpent’s Billy Easton would come home second 2.4 seconds behind with Tebo completing the Top 3 having made up three places over the last two laps.
In the second encounter, pole starter Drew Moller looked like he was on target to register his first win having survived a mistake that allowed Cavalieri to the lead only for the Reedy Race’s most crowned champion to hand it back to him after a bad landing at the right side double. Unfortunately for the 18-year-old he would run out in the dust on the next lap allowing Cavalieri through, the multiple World Champion not going to mess up the opportunity for a win again as he chases a hat trick of titles at the famous event. Moller said ‘Finally I got a good starting position and all I wanted was a Top 3 and I got that’. The new factory HB team recruit who is running a Kyosho in 2WD, said his tyres where ‘pretty much slicks’ and getting out in the dust he ‘gave it (the win) away’. Cavalieri summed up his race as ‘much better’ having had two tough rounds yesterday in which he finished 7th & 5th. Starting from 6th on the grid he said he just ‘kept patient and worked (his) way up to the front to catch Drew’. Getting passed Moller the first time he said at the double he over jumped and his B5M nose landed allowing Moller back to the front. Having ‘charged’ back up to the leader he said the re-pass came easy as Moller got out of shape and starting from 6th on the grid that was a win he will ‘happily take’ with it ‘helping to work my way back up (in the points)’.
In the final race of the round it was yesterday’s Mr. Consistent Carson Wernimont who led away the grid. Third in all four races yesterday the new Associated signing initially saw off the challenge of Round 4 winner Dakotah Phend before Maifield moved up to second after a mistake from his TLR team-mate after the bowl. Like Cavalier, Maifield wouldn’t have to work too hard to take the lead with Wernimont spinning out at the end of the start on the start of lap 9. With Steven Hartson also getting through it looked like 3rd was again on the cards for Wernimont but on the final corner he got out of shape allowing Phend and former Champion Joern Neumann to slip by dropping him to 5th. Hartson who sits third in the points with one last round of 2WD to go, drivers allowed one dropped round per class, said from ‘9th on the grid 2nd was alright’. With OCRC his home track, the 4WD World Champion said he could have pushed harder to catch Maifield but opting for 2nd was better than taking extra risks.
At the end of the first day of racing at the 21st running of the Reedy Race of Champions, it is Ryan Maifield who leads the way at OCRC Raceway in California. Opening the day with a second the TLR driver would also end the day with a second after a good battle in the days closing race with team-mate Dakotah Phend. Claiming a third in Round 2 and a win in Round 3, Maifield holds a one point advantage over his protege Spencer Rivkin, the Associated driver claiming 3 second places finishes and a third in Round 4 behind Maifield. One of the day’s three double winners, Jared Tebo sits third, a mistake in the final round leaving the Kyosho driver with fifth. With drivers allowed one throw out result per class with that taken into account after 4 of the 6 rounds it is another of the days double winners Kody Numedahl who leads the way from Steven Hartson, the Associated driver also enjoy two wins.
‘A good first day, nothing amazing, nothing bad’, that was how Maifield summed up the first of the three days of heads up racing at the unique event that was first organised by Mike Reedy back in 1987. Runner-up in last year’s event when the title went down to the final round of racing, he said his last race was ‘fun’ but at the same time a little ‘frustrating’. Starting third with Phend on pole, he said running behind the 17-year-old it was ‘crazy how many mistakes he makes without losing time’. With a few opportunities presented to him to go for the lead he said under normal circumstances he would have pushed more but with little difference between a win & a second he said the risk was not worth it as the second could as valuable as a win come the end of the event.
After a bad start to the day, his first race netting him a 8th place finish, Phend was pleased with the improvement that came over the day. Getting 4th in Round 2 he followed that up with a second before ending the day with his win from Maifield. The reigning US National Champion said his team-mate was ‘pushing really hard’ and having to push so hard they both had a few mistakes. Pleased to end the day on a high he said he hoped to be able to carry that form through to tomorrow when after two more rounds of 2WD we will see the switch over to the first of the 4WD action. Round 4 would also a first win of the event for former Open Champion Chad Due, the Associated driver seeing off defending champion Ryan Cavalieri in the opening race of the round.
Rivkin said while he was pleased with his results, pointing out this is his first time running in the invitational class, he was just taking the event race by race. Winner of the Open class in 4WD last year, the prize for which is a place in the 30 driver line-up, he said today had taught him that even ‘if you get a bad start don’t give up’.
‘Not a result I was wanting to end up with but it was a mistake of my own doing’ was Tebo’s response to his 5th place finish in Round 4. The 2WD World Champion said hopefully I will use that result as my throw-out as I am really happy with a 3, 1, 1 in the opening three rounds. With 5th dropped he sits equal on points with Neumdahl but with his race winning time slower than both Neumdahl and Hartson the tie-break also leaves him third in the standings.
Getting the better of a battle of the car designers in Race 2 of Round 4, seeing off Serpent’s Billy Easton, Numedahl said ‘normally I am flirting with a Top 10’ so to be in this position he can only describe Day 1 of racing as ‘good’. Describing his B5M as ‘awesome to drive’ he said he didn’t actually do anything special today in terms of his racing. The only blotch in his day was Round 2 when starting out from 9th and having worked his way up to sixth he pulled a rear corner off the car while chasing fourth position. Commenting on his second win, his first being unchallenged, he said Easton was ‘actually a little faster but his car looked harder to drive’. With his B5M faster at the end of the straight than the SRX2 he said every lap he had to be sure to make up time there.
Starting from 8th on the grid in Round 4, Hartson said the race contained ‘a lot of people trying to race to hard’ referring to an opening lap pile up as the field came onto the straight for the first time. While the 4WD World Champion said this didn’t help his race in the end he himself ‘crashed too much when (he) didn’t need too’.
The consistency award of the day goes to new Team Associated signing Carson Wernimont. Claiming 3rd places finishes in all four races, the 18-year-old sits fourth in standings. Summing up his day, he joked that he ‘should go to a casino tonight because in Vegas three across the board is good’. He said his focus all day has been ‘trying to stay out of trouble on the first lap’ describing his starts as ‘timid’, he said he’s very happy with how how the day has gone as in 4WD he feels he will be ‘a lot stronger’ and to have a good tally from 2WD he is really looking forward to the switch to 4WD tomorrow afternoon.