Blair Top Qualifier in 1:8 e-Buggy

Austin Blair

Austin Blair is the Top Qualifier in the 1:8 e-Buggy class at this year’s Dirt Nitro Challenge, the 18-year-old A-Main Hobbies team driver taking the honour ahead of TLR team drivers Billy Fischer, Mike Truhe, Adam Drake and Jacob Haas. The three rounds of qualifying saw Truhe set the pace in Q1 ahead of Blair who in turned up the pace in Q2 to TQ the round from Drake. In the final & deciding qualifier, which was run in the small hours of Friday morning, Fischer set a new fastest time becoming the only driver to run 12 laps of Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s track creation at the Fear Farm ahead of Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz. Setting the 3rd fastest time in Q3 with Truhe and Drake only 10th & 4th respectively, this was enough to give Blair pole position for the single 8 minute A-Main by a single point from Fischer.

Overall 1:8 e-Buggy Qualifying Result
A-Main Grid (Top 3 in B Final to bump up)
1. Austin Blair – Tekno/Tekin – 2 pts
2. Billy Fischer – TLR/Novak – 3
3. Mike Truhe – TLR/Thunder Power – 4
4. Adam Drake – TLR/Tekin – 6
5. Jacob Haas – TLR/Tekin – 10
6. Ryan Lutz – Durango/Tekin – 13
7. Curtis Door – Tekno/Tekin – 14
8. Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 15
9. Elliot Boots – Kyosho/LRP – 15
10.Dylan Rodriguez – Kyosho/Tekin – 18
11.Cody Smith – Kyosho/Orion – 20
12.Tyler Vik – HB/Tekin – 21

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Rodriguez claims final Truggy qualifier

Dylan Rodriguez

A-Main Hobbies team driver Dylan Rodriguez claimed the 3rd & final round of Truggy qualifying at the Dirt Nitro Challenge, the just turned 19-year-old putting in the fastest run of the day ahead of Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri and Kyosho pairing of Jared Tebo and Cody King. Having sewn up the overall TQ honours in Q2 after setting the pace in the opening two heats, TLR’s Adam Drake set the 8th fastest time in between defending Champion Ty Tessmann and Ryan Lutz whose Durango will start the final from 2nd on the grid. Drake topped his Q3 heat to set the provisional pace but lost it to Tessmann who had his time bettered by Mike Truhe who in turn lost the top spot to Cavalieri.

Dylan Rodriguez

Running in the penultimate group of Pro Buggy, the day’s qualifying being completed at 1am, Rodriguez would better Cavalieri’s time by just over a second to TQ the round. Running in the same heat as Rodriguez and finishing second to the Las Vegas driver, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer became the only European driver to make the Top 10 in qualifying as he posted the fifth fastest time in Q3.

Having struggled with his truggy in the opening two heats, Rodriguez went for a heavier oil in his diffs for Q3 which he said made his Kyosho chassis ‘much more drivable’. Suffering one crash on the run when he crashed as he lapped traffic which required him to be marshaled Rodriguez said with the way his truggy is working now he is confident that a good result is on the cards for Saturday’s Truggy A-Main of which 12 qualifying directly with 3 to bump up from the B-Main.

Night Track

Tomorrow’s action now switches to nitro buggy with a number of the top factory drivers hoping that they will have better fortunes in the blue ribbon class than they had in Truggy. Elliot Boots’ poor run of luck continued as his Kyosho truggy lost its receiver battery pack putting him on the side lines. Last year’s Top Qualifier Ryan Maifield along with 3-time European Champion Renaud Savoya were two others who failed to go the full distance in Q3.

Truggy Qualifying Round 3
1. Dylan Rodriguez – Kyosho/OS – 12/7:26.087
2. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 12/7:27.108
3. Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 12/7:27.533
4. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds – 12/7:27.875
5. Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 12/7:30.661
6. Mike Truhe – TLR/TOP – 12/7:30.929
7. Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 12/7:31.901
8. Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 12/7:32.884
9. Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 12/7:33.101
10.Jeremy Kortz – Agama/Werks – 12/7:33.468

Overall Truggy Qualifying Result
A-Main Grid (Top 3 in B Final to bump up)
1. Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 0 pts
2. Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 5
3. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 7
4. Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 8
5. Dylan Rodriguez – Kyosho/OS – 8
6. Mike Truhe – TLR/TOP – 9
7. Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 9
8. Austin Blair – Kyosho/RB – 10
9. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds – 12
10.Jeremy Kortz – Agama/Werks – 21
11.Ryan Maifield – Associated/LRP – 22
12.Martin Bayer – Xray/LRP – 23

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Drake Truggy Top Qualifier at Dirt Nitro Challenge

Adam Drake

Adam Drake is the Top Qualifier for Truggy at the Dirt Nitro Challenge, the Team Losi Racing driver wrapping up the honour early by backing up his opening qualifying run at the Fear Farm with another TQ run in Q2, this time ahead of Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz and his TLR team-mate Mike Truhe.

Drake said his 8ight T was very easy to drive and the run was near perfect except for a ‘bad mistake’ on his last lap. With the tune of his Novarossi too lean when he got his approach to one of the jumps wrong he was forced to throttle up but the engine died off resulting in him getting the next two jumps wrong. Able to keep the engine running he would recover from the incident and such was his pace despite losing so much time Drake was still able to post a TQ time that would stand to the end of the round. Very happy with the set-up on his truggy with overall TQ honours wrapped up, 2 from 3 rounds to count, he will use his final heat to practice running on a bigger pin tyre, switching from Proline’s Holeshot to their Blockade. While he expects the track to be very different by the time the finals come round he said the comparison would be helpful ahead of tomorrow’s buggy qualifying.

Ryan Lutz

Not happy with his truggy on the landing in Q1, when Lutz went to change his shock oil for Q2 he discovered his pistons were mounted the wrong way round. With the shocks correctly built he said his Durango was much better for the second run but a back marker would result in him losing 6 seconds. Coming up to pass the slower truggy the driver stopped on the track in front of him sending Lutz onto his roof and needing to be marshaled. Based on the number of drivers having problems with traffic, having to pull over all the time not being much fun for the slower drivers either, the introduction of seeding for the heats should be given consideration for furture Dirt Nitro Challenge events.

Mike Truhe

Having over driven his TOP engined 8ight T in Q1, Truhe said he was a lot more patient second time round and aiming for a Top 5 finish this approach paid off. Having TQ’d the opening round of 1:8 Electric Buggy which brought the first long round of qualifying at the Dirt Nitro Challenge to an end he just carried that driving style forward to his Q2 truggy run adding he feels he is ‘back to his old ways’ again. Running Proline M3 Holeshots he said he hasn’t changed anything on his truggy since arriving for the race and the plan for Q3 to again just go for a solid run only this time trying to elimate the one small mistake that he had in Q2.

A-Main Hobbies team-driver Austin Blair backed up his Q1 performance this time setting the fourth fastest time despite losing 6 seconds on his last lap. The Californian said the run was perfect but so happy to make 12 laps he got a bit over excited resulting in the costly mistake which robbed him of a potential TQ of the round.

Jared Tebo

While Blair is very happy with how his day is going, Kyosho’s star driver Jared Tebo is clearly unhappy with his results so far. Having had two coming’s together with Ryan Cavalieri in Q1 leaving him to finish 7th fastest, a frustrated Tebo could only manage 5th fastest ahead of the Associated driver who fell foul of traffic having lead the heat for 8 laps.

Kyle McBride

Making his US race debut, Australia’s Kyle McBride set the 7th fastest time ahead of Kyosho team-mate Cody King. Having suffered a bent shock shaft in Q1 when he was hit by another truggy during the warm-up, the 17-year-old said the second round was ‘OK’, his OS Speed engine set a little too rich for the much cooler conditions. Feeling his truggy was a little soft on the front end, the FEMCA Champion will switch to a heavier oil for the final qualifier. With the grip coming up he will also add more camber and switch to a heavier clutch to get more punch for the jumps. Unfortunately for team-mate and fellow US race debutant the second qualifier was a non starter for Elliot Boots after he got it wrong at the triple resulting in the pin coming out of the front wishbone forcing him to retire before the start.

Completing the Top 10 in Q2 was TLR’s Billy Fischer and defending Champion Ty Tessmann. The HB driver, who was second fastest in Q1, had his run destroyed when he was t-boned by Xray’s Juraj Hudy and needed to be marshalled.

Truggy Qualifying Round 2
1. Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 12/7:28.637
2. Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 12/7:32.186
3. Mike Truhe – TLR/TOP – 12/7:33.643
4. Austin Blair – Kyosho/RB – 12/7:34.964
5. Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 12/7:34.989
6. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 12/7:36.562
7. Kyle McBride – Kyosho/OS Speed – 12/7:36.802
8. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds – 12/7:40.431
9. Billy Fischer – TLR/Novarossi – 11/7:00.010
10.Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 11/7:00.509

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Drake takes first Truggy Qualifier at DNC

Adam Drake

Adam Drake set the pace in the opening round of qualifying at the World famous Dirt Nitro Challenge, the Team Losi Racing driver taking the first of 3 scheduled qualifiers by 3.7 seconds from defending Champion Ty Tessmann and Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz, the Top 3 being the only drivers to complete 12 laps of Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s track creation for this the 14th running of the famous track builder’s signature event. Having suffered hail & snow during yesterday’s practice day which meant drivers got just a single practice run on the track, today’s weather in Phoenix, Arizona, was much more favorable with a 2 hour delay to the start of proceedings enough to dry the track off enough to get the event underway. Eventually starting at 10am such is the size of the entry including an increased number of European’s, today’s action at the Fear Farm is not set to be completed until the early hours of Friday morning.

Adam Drake

A podium finisher in Truggy last year behind Tessmann and Ryan Cavalieri, Drake was pleased with his opening run despite a ‘rough first few laps’ due to traffic. Happy with the set-up of his 8ight T 2.0 and his choice of Proline M3 Holeshot tyres, he said his only concern was the tuning of his Novarossi engine which he said started to run a little lean by the end of the 7-minute run. Planning to stick with the same set of tyres for Q2, he added the only change he will make to his truck is a an adjustment to the front swaybar. Asked about this year’s track layout Drake said it wasn’t as crazy as previous years and while not ‘super’ technical it was fast which meant it was easy to get out of your rhythm and ’cause chaos’ but overall he said it was another great track from Joey.

Ty Tessmann

Tessmann, who started off a great 2012 season at this event last year when he did the double, the Canadian going on to become US National Champion and finish runner-up at the 1:8 Buggy World Championships in Argentina, summed up his Q1 by saying ‘it could have been better’. The HB ace said his set-up wasn’t right with the truggy difficult to drive and this lead to a number of moments including one which required him to be marshaled. Running Proline M3 Holeshot tyres he said he was happy with this choice and he will continue with them in Q2 which with a better chassis set-up should allow him to put in a better second run, 2 of the 3 heats counting towards the final qualifying order.

Ryan Lutz

A ‘Good start’ was how Lutz summed up his first run referring more to the end result of being 3rd fastest rather than the actually way the run went. With his truggy squirmy on landing, he said he needs to improve his set-up with a shock oil change his main focus. Choosing AKA Grid Iron tyres in soft compound and running in the same heat as Tessmann, Lutz was on target to top the run until an unfortunate incident on his final lap which lost him almost 4 seconds. As he came up to pass a truggy which was trying to make to the timing loop with a broken shock, the driver of that truggy tried to get out of Lutz’s way but ended up spinning into his path. With no where to go the Durango hit the truggy resulting in him suffering a broken shock shaft. Luckily with only three corners to negotiate to get to the loop Lutz was able to make the finish.

Dakotah Phend

TLR young star Dakotah Phend set the fourth fastest time, just missing out on a 12 lap run. The teenager had a costly tangle during the run with TLR team-mate Ronda Drake but having set himself the goal of a top 5 finish for the round he declared himself happy with the end result. Running Proline Holeshot tyres he said his truggy felt ‘real good’ and was ‘on pace’ so he plans to leave everything as is for his next run.

Tebo Cav

Clashing drivers was a common feature of Q1 with the most high profile one being between Associated’s Cavalieri and Kyosho’s Jared Tebo. The pair came together twice during the run the second time costing both drivers a number of seconds. Cavalieri would take 5th for the round with 2011 Double winner Tebo getting 7th. ‘Unfortunate’ was how Cavalieri summed up the incident adding it ‘should have been better’. Running soft AKA Grid Iron tyres, he plans to make a few adjustments to the rear end of the truggy and if the track continues to dry out he will also switch to Impact tyres for Q2.

Surprise of the opening qualifier was A-Main Hobbies team driver Austin Blair who set the 6th fastest time. Running an RB powered Kyosho, the 18-year-old from California said it was a good run but added hat if he can tidy up his driving a better run is possible. Running super soft AKA Grid Iron, he said he just plans to clean up his truggy for Q2 and leave everything in terms of set-up as is and instead work on his driving. Team-mate Dylan Rodriguez also made the Top 10 with the 8th fastest time driving his OS powered Kyosho despite making a wrong call on tyres. Using Proline’s Blockade the Las Vegas driver said it was ‘not amazing’ and he will switch to the Holeshot for his next run.

Cody King

Making his debut since signing for Reds Racing engines, Cody King set the ninth fastest time despite running most the the qualifier with the rear wing trailing off the back of his Kyosho. In the first group of Pro drivers to hit the track which is continually drying, King was very happy with his pace saying that being able to run 9th without a wing he should be good for the next one adding that his truggy and engines felt good in Q1. Running Proline’s Holeshot tyre he said depending on how the track changes he might switch to the Blockade for Q2. King’s team-mate Elliot Boots is making his US race debut this weekend. The World Championship Top Qualifier and British National Champion is running one of King’s spare Truggy’s, which explains the one colour yellow bodyshell, described his experience of the US so far as ‘massive’. Getting just 5-minutes of track time yesterday he said his first qualifier didn’t go great as he made a few mistakes and had some traffic issues ending up in 21st but he isn’t daunted by the track and with a bit more mileage should be in the mix especially when the racing moves onto Buggy.

Ryan Maifield

Completing the Top 10 was last year’s Top Qualifier Ryan Maifield. The Associated driver described Q1 as his ‘practice’ as he only completed one lap of the track yesterday. The first group to go out after the snow yesterday, he decided to wait for the second half of what were originally 10-minute practice runs. Going out at 5-minutes it was then announced for drivers to finish their laps, the Arizona driver not getting the message that the remaining practices groups had been reduced to 5-minutes. In terms of the qualifier Maifield said without the few crashes it was ‘OK’. Running JConcepts green compound Hybrids on his RC8T he said they felt fine and his plan for Q2 is just a few small tweaks to his set-up and to drive better.

Truggy Qualifying Round 1
1. Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 12/7:31.788
2. Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 12/7:35.524
3. Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 12/7:38.260
4. Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 11/7:01.362
5. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 11/7:01.749
6. Austin Blair – Kyosho/RB – 11/7:02.164
7. Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 11/7:04.379
8. Dylan Rodriguez – Kyosho/OS Speed – 11/7:04.644
9. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds – 11/7:04.759
10.Ryan Maifield – Associated/LRP – 11/7:05.663

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Video – 2wd, 2wd SC, Truck & 4wd A-main Leg 3

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Monday, February 11, 2013

A3 wins net Tebo runner-up spots

Modified 2wd

Kyosho’s Jared Tebo cruised to easy wins in the third A-Mains of 2WD and 4WD Buggy to secure the overall runner-up spot in both classes at the JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals at SmacTrac in Missouri. With Associated’s Ryan Maifield having already sewn up wins in the second A-Main, Tebo took advantage of the clear track ahead of him to win the 2WD encounter from defending Champion Steven Hartson and 4WD from Q4 Top Qualifier Michael Paige. The 2WD podium in St.Louis was completed by Kyosho’s Cody Turner who had a tough final main while in 4WD it was defending Champion Hartson who claimed the final step.

Associated team

With the five key classes which make up the schedule of the JConcepts Indoor National Series having been decided in A2, the closing races where all nine car grids as the Top Qualifiers and early winners all sat them out. There was to be an entertaining battle between Associated star driver Maifield and team-manager Brent Thielke, the latter having the pole as Tebo’s No.1 truck had already bagged the win. Maifield tried just about everything he could to pass his boss on the tight track, his preferred place to attempt a move being the berm at the end of the straight. With Cody Hollis part of the three truck train, the TLR driver was to be the benefactor of the pair inevitably coming together. Hollis took the leg win ahead of Thielke who would see of his World class team driver, the result giving Maifield 2nd overall behind Tebo with Hollis completing the podium just ahead of Thielke.

2WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Ryan Maifield – Associated – 200 pts
2. Jared Tebo – Kyosho – 199
3. Cody Turner – Kyosho – 197
4. Steven Hartson – Associated – 196
5. JP Richards – TLR – 195
6. Brent Thielke – Associated – 193
7. Cody Hollis – TLR – 189
8. Al Horne – Associated – 189
9. Mitchel Gardner – Associated – 188
10.Matt Gosch – Associated – 185

2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 3 Result
1.(2) Jared Tebo – Kyosho – 18/5:15.885
2.(4) Steven Hartson – Associated – 17/5:00.149
3.(5) JP Richards – TLR – 17/5:02.302
4.(6) Brent Thielke – Associated – 17/5:02.844
5.(3) Cody Turner – Kyosho – 17/5:02.964
6.(8) Cody Hollis – TLR – 17/5:09.601
7.(10)Al Horne – Associated – 17/5:10.177
8.(7) Mitchel Gardner – Associated – 17/5:11.484
9.(9) Matt Gosch – Associated – 17/5:13.104
10.(1)Ryan Maifield – Associated – DNS

4WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Ryan Maifield – Associated – 200 pts
2. Jared Tebo – Kyosho – 199
3. Steven Hartson – Associated – 197
4. Michael Paige – Associated – 196
5. Josh Wheeler – Xray – 195
6. Cody Turner – Kyosho – 191
7. Dustin Richards – Associated – 189
8. Al Horne – Associated – 188
9. Matt Gosch – Associated – 188
10.Mitchel Gardner – Associated – 185

4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 3 Result
1.(2) Jared Tebo – Kyosho – 18/5:04.397
2.(4) Michael Paige – Associated – 18/5:06.870
3.(6) Josh Wheeler – Xray – 18/5:08.787
4.(3) Steven Hartson – Associated – 18/5:09.065
5.(10)Dustin Richards – Associated – 18/5:17.021
6.(9) Matt Gosch – Associated – 17/5:01.111
7.(8) Al Horne – Associated – 17/5:01.231
8.(5) Mitchel Gardner – Associated – 17/5:06.678
9.(7) Cody Turner – Kyosho – 17/5:11.071
10.(1)Ryan Maifield – Associated – DNS

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Live Event Updates

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Red RC are back at OCRC Raceway near Huntington Beach, California for the 2015 Reedy International Offroad Race of Champions, one the most prestigious offroad events of the year. With the invitational class using a unique heads up style of racing spread over 3 days, some of the best racers from around the World will be in attendance to battle it out for the coveted Invite class title. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Thursday afternoon (22nd) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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