Matsukura back on top in FP6


In the sixth of the 10 rounds of practice on Day 1’s schedule of the 4WD Electric Buggy World Championship, it was Naoto Matsukura who returned to the top in terms of lap times.  Having set the early pace before breaking an arm on his warm-up lap for FP4, the Yokomo driver posted his best lap of practice on his 6th run posting a time of 27.329 with Durango’s Ryan Lutz second fastest with a 27.442 and Ryan Cavalieri third. Declaring himself ‘pretty happy’ with his pace, Matsukura said he is still trying different things on his B-Max4 III and for his next run he will try a heavier shock oil in an attempt to improve how the buggy lands off the bigger jumps.


Behind Lutz, defending World Champion Cavalieri said he has started playing around with set-up changes having did little to his B44.2 in the opening two rounds.  Running a lower rear wing mount due to the wind, he said he has reverted back to the standard mounting as he noticed little difference.  Changing to a stiffer front spring for FP6 he said this had one of the biggest effects on the buggy making it ‘a lot easier to drive’.  Chasing a fifth World title come Sunday evening, Cavalieri said he was pleased with how things are running so far.


Having suffered electric issues in FP3 & 4 which caused his car to stop on track,  Jared Tebo said they have since made ‘positive swings’.  The freshly crowned 2WD World Champion said he was ‘lacking some steering’ on his last run, with his prototype Kyosho too easy to drive but added that he is confident he can rectify this for his next outing.  Compared with Matsukura’s 27.329 time Tebo could only manage a best lap of 27.914.  Team-mate David Ronnefalk posted the 5th fastest time with a 27.599.


After changing diff oils on his HB D4-13, Ty Tessman was now working really well.  Designer of the new car Torrance Deguzman joked that most of the improvement came from ‘feeding the driver’, a quick trip to Tessman’s favourite eating spot Panda Express required in the short time drivers have inbetween runs.  For FP7 the US National Champion will try a swaybar change with Deguzman declaring himself as ‘quite happy’ with how things are running so far adding that things are ‘not as nerve racking’ as when the new buggy made its debut at the US Nationals here in August.


Finally officially unveiling their long over due replacement for the aging XXX-4 yesterday, it has not been the best of starts to the event for Team Losi Racing.  Billy Fischer was credited with the fastest lap of FP5 with a 26-second lap but overall the team’s expected challengers, Dustin Evans, Darren Bloomfield and Dakotah Phend, have been running off the pace.  Fischer said with such a new car its been a ‘crap shot’ for all the drivers in terms of finding a set-up.  Working off a set-up recommended by Mike Truhe, which he said is proving to be a good base set, Fischer said he is still changing stuff each run with each team given a specific change to try so they can gather as much information as possible.  For his next out he will try a harder spring on his Novak powered example of the TLR22-4.  Evans said for FP7 he will try running Fischer’s set-up adding his car looked the best on track.  The former Reedy Race winner said he is looking for more drivability.  Bloomfield said changing the droop made his buggy much better that time with it much easier and faster to drive.  With more changes he is confident he can make it even easier to drive but admitted he is a little concerned that it might be at the cost of speed.

Lee Martin

Tamiya’s Lee Martin didn’t start the round after he got the jump section at the end of the straight, which the announcer is referring to as the quad, wrong.  Missing his landing on the warm-up lap, ending up on the opposite side of the following hairpin, he broke his prototype TRF511.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Video – 4wd free practice Rd4

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Tessman fastest in FP4


US National Champion Ty Tessman topped the fourth round of practice at the World Championships in Chico, the HB driver posting the fastest lap of the morning, steering his HB D4-13 to a 27.330 lap of the Silver Dollar R/C Raceway track.  For early pace setter Naoto Matsukaru, a bad landing on the warm-up lap saw the Team Yokomo driver breaking an arm before the 5-minutes had even started.  Behind Tessman it was Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz who was second fastest followed by Lee Martin and Ryan Maifield.

Ty Tessmann

Having lowered the rear wing on his new HB, Tessman said this was ‘a big help’ on what is another windy morning at the track.  Happy with the direction he has been going since FP2, the Canadian is focusing on his attentions on changes to the front and rear geometry adding that the buggy’s new shocks appear to be ‘very good’.

Ryan Lutz

Having started the day with the team’s standard DEX410 buggy, Ryan Lutz changed to the prototype buggy Durango have prepared for the event.  Having seen team-mates Joern Neumann & Hupo Honigl perform well with the new car, he switched for FP3 but on that occasion it lacked steering.  Having to part build up the second car, he said its been a ‘hectic’ morning but changes for FP4 improved the set-up allowing him to run a 27.486 lap.  Lutz feels there is a lot more to come from the set-up and declared himself confident of being able to build on his pace.  Reigning Euro Offroad Series Champion Neumann described his first four runs as ‘so so’.  The German ace has run both versions of Durango’s buggy describing the standard car as being too ‘aggressive’ and the prototype as lacking steering.

Lee Martin

Setting the fastest time over the 5-minutes with 10 laps in 4:41.772, Martin said his run was ‘pretty good’ adding that he is almost at a point where he doesn’t what to change anything else on his prototype TRF511.  Asked about the new buggy the British driver said it features a new chassis for better weight distribution which helps with getting the power down better.

Ryan Maifield

Fastest of the Associated team, with a 27.563 lap, Maifield said he thinks his B44.2 is good commenting that it hard to get a good clean run due to the size of the heats and the speed difference between some drivers.  The American said his buggy is very consistent from run to run but it was a ‘tight rope’ getting the balance between steering or flipping over right.  Team-mate Steven Hartson posted the 6th fastest lap time behind Neil Cragg, the LA driver was much happier with his B44.2 after switching to geardiffs.  He said his focus for the next round was to work on improving his driving.  AE’s defending World Champion Ryan Cavalieri posted a best lap of 28.026.


In the Team Losi Racing camp it was the Novak powered 22-4 of Mike Truhe which was fastest.  Truhe managed a 28.051 while team-mates Dustin Evans & Darren Bloomfield posted 28.3 laps times, Dakotah Phend a further 2/10th off.


It wasn’t a good FP3 & 4 for 2007 World Champion Jared Tebo.  The newly crowned 2WD Champion had electric problems which saw him fail to complete any laps in the third round and retire managing only 5 laps in the fourth. Swedish teenager David Ronnefalk was fastest of the new prototype Kyosho runners on a 28.051 in FP4.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Naoto sets early 4WD practice pace


Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura set the early pace in practice for the 4WD Electric Buggy World Championship in Chico, California, the Japanese driver posting a fastest time of 27.643 in the second of 10 practices run on today’s schedule. Close to the 2WD A-Finalist was defending World Champion Ryan Cavalieri, the Associated driver posting a 27.704 lap with 2WD podium finisher Ryan Maifield just behind him with a 27.733 lap around the Silver Dollar R/C Raceway.


Recently crowned back to back Japanese National Champion Matsukura said he was happy with his second run but added it suffered with a little understeer on his B-Max4 III.  Planning to run a gear diff for his next run the 20-year-old said this should give him the extra steering he is looking for.


Cavalieri was very positive about his opening runs saying his B44.2 was good and ‘right now (he is) just driving around the track now’.  The 3 time 4WD World Champion added that his focus for the moment is just to ‘figure out a few lines’ and work on improving his driving in a few sections.  Team-mate Maifield was also happy with his runs summing it up by saying  it was a much ‘better start’ than he had to 2WD practice.  Recovering from that troubled start to finish 3rd overall in 2WD, he said for now he is just bedding himself in with his Reedy powered B44.2 working well.

Lee Martin

Setting the fourth fastest lap, Tamiya’s Lee Martin was ‘happy enough’ with his opening runs with his TRF511 which features a number of key new parts. The British ace, who finished runner up in 2WD, said he would prefer less rounds of practice with less cars as it very rushed between rounds drivers having only around 50 mins between runs once the have marshalled.

Ty Tessmann

US National Champion Ty Tessman posted the fifth fastest lap time with HB’s new unveiled D4-13.  The Canadian, who won his title here in August with the car then kept closely under wraps, said a change after FP1 had made the buggy a lot better for his second run.  While the buggy is ‘pretty good’ it is still ‘lacking a little’ and he plans on make a couple of small changes for the third 5-minute outing.


Another team to unveil a new car for the Worlds, Team Losi Racing haven’t had the best of starts to their campaign.  Off their top drivers only Dustin Evans completed the full run, most of team-mates breaking their TLR22-4.  In terms of times Darrem Bloomfield posted the fastest lap with a 27.993 before breaking an arm.  The British driver said he is looking to make his buggy smoother through the sweepers but overall it was a good start in terms of a base set up.  For his next run he will change the rear camber links.  Evans who only posted a best lap of 28.275 said his car was ‘way too soft’.  Mike Truhe suffered a broken front shock tower while TLR young gun Dakotah Phend also broke in the second run after just three laps.


Newly crowned 2WD World Champion Jared Tebo could make the 27 second laps but declared himself saying he is ‘still changing a few things here in there’ on his set-up.  Running a pre production version of Kyosho up coming 4WD buggy release, of which no body off photos are being allowed, he said the main features are a new chassis plate, shock towers and different mounting position, adding that further changes are planned however they ran out of time to have them here.  Team-mate and 2WD A-Finalist David Ronnefalk managed only one lap in FP2 as his slipper shaft broke.


2011 World Championship runner up Joern Neumann, who was on target for the world title before suffering a motor failure, posted the 7th fastest lap time with a 27.814.  In front of the German was fellow European Neil Cragg, star of A1 of the opening A-main in 2WD buggy, who posted a 27.793 lap.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

‘From Race Control’ – Day 1 of 4WD Buggy


Today is the first day of action for the 4WD Electric Offroad World Championships in Chico.  The schedule here at the Silver Dollar R/C Raceway is 10 rounds of practice with drivers running in 15 car heats for practice.  The final round of those practice runs which is due to get underway at 17:00 local time will be controlled and will be used to determine the seeding of the 10 car heats for tomorrow’s 4 of 5 rounds of qualifying.  Thankfully a dry track means no delayed start like we witnessed on the opening day of 2WD and in terms of the track layout the only change from earlier in the week is a modification to the down ramp of the table top after the main straight.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chassis Focus – Ty Tessmann


The car that won this year’s US Nationals in the hands of Ty Tessmann has broken cover here in Chico. A very non conventional design the HB D4-13 can be configured in two ways with a shorty pack on one side at the rear with the motor mounted to the rear of the centre diff and the electronics to the front or with a saddle pack at the rear and the motor to the front of the car and main electronics in the middle. Looking like a well finished car, nice features include a centre gear differential, wishbones that can be stiffened with insert plates, widely adjustable Ackermann, carbon chassis & top deck and the unique front and rear shock tower braces. The car normally comes with a 3 piece body shell but Ty is using his own designed Pro-Line Type-R shell this weekend.

Image Gallery

View the full HB D4-13 gallery here

Friday, September 27, 2013

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Red RC are travelling to Tsukuba in Japan, just north of Tokyo, to the world famous Yatabe Arena for the 2015 IFMAR EP Offroad World Championships. The best racers from around the World will be battling it for the win on this all Astro turf indoor circuit. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Sunday morning (4th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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