Chassis: Agama A8 Evo FR (with 2014 parts) Engine: Bullitt B219 Tires: Beta Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Spektrum Remarks – The latest addition to the Nemo team, 2012 European Champion Darren Bloomfield is running an updated version of the Agama A8 buggy that features some new for 2014 parts, such as higher shock towers (and new longer shocks) and new wishbones, that can incorporate stiffeners that will be available in graphite or aluminium. The aim of the update is to make the car easier to use on any surface and allow the use of similar settings in every condition. In terms of setup, after the first rounds of practice Darren decided to follow the American part of the team working mostly on shocks, putting them more upright.
Buggy qualifying makes up the action on Day 3 of the Dirt Nitro Challenge with an overcast start to the day here at the Fear Farm. Like yesterday’s Truggy and eBuggy schedule drivers will run 3 rounds of qualifying with the best two to count for the grids of Sunday’s Finals. With 23 heats per round, 2 less than yesterday, it will again be another long day compounded by the fact that racing got underway an hour & a half behind schedule meaning qualifying is set to take place over two calendar days.
Mugen driver Drew Moller is Top Qualifier of the competitive field of 1:8 eBuggy at this year’s Dirt Nitro Challenge. The 17-year-old took the honour with a TQ run ahead of Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk and HB’s Ty Tessmann in the final round of qualifying, which took place in the small hours of Friday morning. Having topped Q2 with his Durango, Ryan Lutz would not finish Q3 but with a fifth in Q1 he starts second on the grid ahead of Ronnefalk. Topping the opening round and then suffering a shock spring cup problem in Q2, TLR’s Dakotah Phend starts 4th only being able for a 5th in Q3. Behind the 17-year-old US National Champion, Kyosho’s Jared Tebo starts 5th ahead of the Mugen of Carson Wernimont and Truggy Top Qualifier Tessmann. Defending Champion Billy Fischer, whose best run was 7th in Q2, will start the single 10-minute final from 10th.
Defending Dirt Nitro Challenge Truggy Champion Ty Tessmann is Top Qualifier for Saturday’s A-Main at the Fear Farm. The HB ace topped the third & final qualifier from TLR young gun Dakotah Phend by 6/10ths of a second to post his second TQ run of the day. The only other potential threat to the Canadian securing pole position, Kyosho’s Jared Tebo set the third fastest time securing the former champion second overall on the grid with Phend set to start third.
With the order of the final round of qualifying seeing the top heat run first, Tessmann laid down the early marker and while Phend came close, the US National Champion will now start his quest for a third Truggy title in succession at Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s signature event from the front of the 15 car grid. The 21-year-old said traction came up a lot for the final run and his Ty Tessmann Edition D8T was ‘super hooked up’ for the night time conditions. Pleased to secure overall TQ honours, he said right now his truck feels ‘awesome’ and so he doesn’t plan to make any set-up changes but with tomorrow consisting of a day of buggy qualifying he will wait to see how the track hold up between now and the truggy final in two days time.
Describing his final run as ‘alright’, Tebo said his truck was awesome but the driver error cost him a shot at the overall TQ. Running directly after Tessmann did his final qualifier, Tebo knew what his target was in terms of a time but said he ‘just messed up at the rhythm section’ giving away the TQ in the first three laps. After the poor start he said his ST-RR was good. Looking to the final he said the plan is to stay with what he’s got and try to drive a little better.
Phend said despite missing out on the TQ run he was ‘still happy’ with his qualifying & to be lining up in a Top 3 position for the final. Having a ‘few small bobbles’ over the 7-minutes, he said knowing the pace he had to beat spurred him on on one hand but on the other after 6th in Q2 he knew he also needed a consistent run to get a good Q3 result. Planning on leaving his TLR 8ight T 3.0 as is for the final he said he will go for a bigger pin tyre and will decide what is best after he runs in Saturday’s A-Main practice session.
Setting the fourth fastest time of Q3, Mugen’s Drew Moller will start fourth on the grid. Declaring himself very happy with his qualifying he said it was a major improvement on last year. Making an early mistake in the final qualifier, he said after that he was able to put in some fast laps, the 17-year-old setting the fastest lap of the round. Planning to leave his Novarossi powered MBX6TR as is for the final he said the plan is to ‘just drive it’ with him feeling pretty confident about the race.
Making his nitro race debut for Team Serpent Mike Truhe was able to end qualifying with a promising run to the fifth fastest time. Setting the target of getting all three of his Serpent’s in to the mains, he said Q3 saw everything he was working on in terms of set-up come together. Driving on the cautious side and losing time with a back marker towards the end of the run, he believes there is more to come from the package and he is confident for the final for which he lines up 7th. Behind Truhe, Cody King completed the Top 6 for Q3 and will start 5th on the grid.
After a reciever battery failure in Q1, a mistake in Q2, Q3 would prove the best run of the day for last year’s Truggy Top Qualifier Adam Drake. Setting the 8th fastest time to just make the cut with 12th overall, he said overall the run was better but cruising around due to the ‘pretty though conditions due to the dust & dark he got too conservative with his driving and slowly fell back. He added that he also expected more drivers to have problems but it wasn’t to be the case and he didn’t get the points haul he was hoping for. Happy that the speed is there in his Novarossi powered 8ight T 3.0 he said he hopes to be able to work his way up the order over the 45-minutes of the A-Main.
Truggy A-Main Grid (3 to bump up from B-Main)
1. Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 0 pts
2. Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 3
3. Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 4
4. Drew Moller – Mugen/Novarossi – 7
5. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 9
6. Carson Wernimont – Mugen/OS Speed – 10
7. Mike Truhe – Serpent/TOP – 16
8. Ryan Maifield – Team Associated/Novarossi – 17
9. Barry Pettit – Mugen/Novarossi – 18
10.Josh Wheeler – Xray/OS Speed – 18
11.Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 19
12.Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 21
Ryan Lutz has TQ’d the second round of eBuggy qualifying at the Dirt Nitro Challenge. The Team Durango driver topped the times by just 0.032 of a second from the Mugen of former team-mate Carson Wernimont. Describing the run as ‘clean’, Lutz, who was 5th fastest in Q1, said the biggest factor to his improved performance was his position on the drivers stand. Driving all his runs per class from the extreme left side, in the opening eBuggy qualifier he was forced to stand fully to the right side which gave him a totally different perspective to driving the track. Having been the only one of the many top European competitors to break the Top 10 in 1:8 Nitro Truggy in Q1, in Q2 of eBuggy David Ronnefalk also became the best placed visitor taking his Kyosho to 3rd ahead of team-mates Jared Tebo and Cody King. The Top 6 was completed by Xray’s Josh Wheeler with defending Champion Billy Fischer improving slightly on Q1 o take his Novak powered TLR to the 7th fastest time. For Q1 pace setter Dakotah Phend a dislodged front left spring cup left him with a difficult buggy leaving him take 10th for the round behind Ty Tessmann (8th) and Austin Blair (9th).