Las Vegas has been selected to host the 2016 IFMAR 1:8th Offroad World Championships. With three tracks making submissions to host the 16th running of the IFMAR event, the new track was selected over 2012 1:10 Offroad World Championship track Silver Dollar Raceway and 2014 1:8 ROAR Nationals track Thornhill Racing Circuit. With Vegas’ world famous strip visible from the drivers stand and the airport located across the street, the venue is sure to be a huge hit with racers & teams but Jared Tebo believes the track will put on a very worthy event. Visiting the venue earlier this year along with Kyosho team-mate Cody King to test for the Silver State race, Tebo was childhood friend of the track owner Chris Tocco and after 10 years of not seeing him was reunited through r/c racing, reigniting that friendship.
A former Pro Motocrosser, Torro retired due to injury but has since worked on building motocross tracks and also being an RC racer himself Tebo believes he will build an awesome track. Attending a bike show in Vegas two weeks ago AKA’s Joel Johnson and Mark Pavidis visited the track and while still in its early stages of development (photo above) believes it should make for a good World Championships. The 2006 World Champion, Pavidis is also confident Tocco has the credentials to run the event. In 2000 Associated’s Richard Saxton hosted the World Championships in Vegas where Kyosho designer Yuchi Kanai took the title.
Ty Tessmann made Day 1 of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad World Championship in Sicily his own, the Canadian backing up his Q1 run with another convincing performance in the second round. Bettering his time by almost 2-seconds over 10-minutes the HB driver was 5-seconds clear of his nearest rival Robert Batlle, the defending champion having a much better Q2. Again showing he is the master of run time going the full distance without a fuel stop, Adam Drake completed the Top 3 knocking close on 10-seconds off his morning time. For qualifying top seed David Ronnefalk it was not to be a good day with Q2 proving worse for the Swede who did not even make the Top 16 this time round.
A pretty much perfect day for Tessmann, who once again set the fastest lap of the round, he said for Q2 he took a somewhat less conservative approach to his driving but still managed to keep the run free of mistakes. Changing to thicker shock oil on his D812 the US National Champion said this gave him a more consistent car. With little more to add regarding his ‘very good day’, his plan for the second of the three days of qualifying tomorrow is to leave everything the same and try repeat today, four from six heats to determine the final qualifying order.
‘Getting better’ was Batlle’s summary of Q2. Only 9th fastest in the opening round, the Mugen driver said while he still had a few small mistakes ‘at least this time we had speed’. Describing the handling of his MBX7R as ‘much better’ he said following a switch to softer springs & lighter shock oil it had more corner speed. Still looking to find more from the car he said they will make further changes for tomorrow but as yet wasn’t sure what they would be and he would discuss tonight with his team.
Changing to a harder centre diff, shocks and to a Pro-Line X1 compound Suburb tyre, Drake said while his TLR 8ight felt the same, to drive it was definitely faster. Taking the same cautious approach to his driving he said the set-up change seemed to make it easier for him to go faster compared with his rivals. For Q3 he is considering adjusting the rear toe out to try a get his buggy to rotate more fluidly.
Posting another Top 4 time Lee Martin described his day as ‘not too bad’. Feeling he could have driven Q2 better he said he got caught out on his choice of tyre compound. Running a set of X1 Pro-Line Surburbs there was a big drop off in temperature as some threatening clouds passed over the track adding that if the situation arose again he would switch to X2. Planning to run everything much the same tomorrow the British ace said the aim is to get another two good runs in before trying any big changes but added after the four days of practice they are pretty close now with the best set-up for the Naxos World track.
‘Alright’ was Jared Tebo response to his 5th for the round. Third in Q1, he said a small set-up change in the front diff was the wrong direction to take and he would go back for tomorrow. Catching traffic at the end of his run he said he let this get him out of his rhythm resulting in ‘one stupid mistake’ that cost him almost 3-seconds.
Setting the sixth fastest time Team Durango’s Joern Neumann put his improvement mostly down to his driving. Suffering radio glitches before the start of Q1 he said this effected his driving for the run. Top Qualifier at last years 1:10 4WD Electric World Championships, the German said small set-up changes and a switch from X1 to X2 Suburbs made his FX powered DNX8 easier to drive. Happy with his car he said he would leave it the same for Q3 and focus on putting together another good run.
Taking a seventh for the round Ryan Maifield was content with his run saying he ‘didn’t make any mistakes so it was OK’. Running JConcepts Diamond Bars he said maybe he could have made a better choice in terms of running a smaller pin or softer compound to match the qualifying tyres his rivals are running. Happy with the tyre he has as he knows its going to be good come the finals, he said he might try some different tyres adding JConcepts boss Jason Ruona was working on getting something to try as a qualifier tyre. Overall the TLR driver said it was a ‘good day’ and his two runs ‘take a little pressure off so its not looking too bad’ at the end of Day 1 of qualifying.
Setting the 8th fastest time making it two Durangos in the Top 10, Ryan Lutz said his run was ‘very good except for one crash’. Losing over 4-seconds in the early mistake, the American ran a heavier front diff along with moving the shocks in one hole which helped to smooth out the feel of the car. Also finding more consistency from his brakes this time round, he plans to stick with the same set-up for Q3.
Team Associated pairing Ryan Cavalieri and Neil Cragg completed the Top 10. Describing his prototype next generation RC8 as ‘pretty good’, Cavalieri was a little frustrated by traffic. Pitting for fuel early so as to avoid traffic he said it wasn’t long before he caught another pack of cars who he said didn’t want to give way and not knowing the drivers he said he didn’t want to force the issue. Feeling he could improve the corner speed of the car on a few particular corners of the track he said he will discuss possible solutions with the team tonight, the cars chief designer Kody Numendahl on hand to support the teams three key drivers – Cavalieri, Cragg and Yannick Aigoin.
Outside the Top 10, newly crowned former European Champion & this year’s podium finisher Darren Bloomfield took his Agama to the 11th fastest time ahead of the Xray of Euros runner-up Martin Wollanka. The man who beat both those drivers to the European title, Ronnefalk said the traction has got so high now it is not suiting either his car set-up or his driving style. The 18-year-old said compared with practice today his MP9 is now ‘twitchy & edgy to drive’ something he is putting down to more concrete coming up through the dirt. ‘Need(ing) to make changes for tomorrow’, he said hopefully they can work it out.
AKA have some new non tire related products here in Sicily beginning with a sweet aluminium wheel nut wrench. Anodised black and red, the hex drive part of the tool sporting machined grooves for reduced weight and cool looks. Also new from the US company is a backpack that can take up to a 1/8th scale without wheels as well as your other possessions such as a laptop and various other items with its abundance of pockets. Matching their mule bag, it is embroidered with the AKA logo and comes supplied with a Cinch sack for transporting your dirty buggy in your back pack. Both items will be available in October.
Ty Tessmann stamped his authority on the opening round of qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Sicily with the HB driver topping the times by a substantial 7-seconds over Ryan Maifield. The first of the day’s two qualifiers saw reigning World Champion Robert Batlle and qualifying top seed David Ronnefalk both struggled with their driving with Jared Tebo completing the top 3 but only after he had a technical disqualification overturn. In general Q1 was a round that was rewarding safe clean driving.
Setting the fastest lap of the round, with only young Italian talent David Ongaro joining him in the 36-second lap times, Tessmann declared himself ‘really happy’ saying ‘usually the first one is shaky but it was a really solid run’. ‘Not quite as fast as practice’, the 2012 Worlds runner-up said the 10-minutes was free of mistakes and this was also the main focus for Q1. Describing track conditions for his heat, the Canadian running in the third heat, as good following overnight repairs to fill in holes he ran Pro-Line’s X1 compound Fugitive on his D812 which he will stick with for Q2.
Maifield described his qualifier as ‘OK’ adding it was ‘nice to get a second out of the first round’. With ‘no big mistakes’, the TLR driver said other than a few little moments it was a ‘smooth run’. Having changed the set-up on his JConcepts equipped 8ight he said he will continue to stiffen up the buggy for the next one. Aiming for ‘another solid mistake free run’ he said it would be ‘nice to end Day 1 of qualifying on a positive’.
‘I haven’t been super fast yet’ at this event ‘so I couldn’t be happier’ that was how Tebo summed up his 3rd. Having not really been in the mix throughout practice saying the 2010 Worlds Top Qualifier said other than change from AKA’s Grid Iron to Catapult tyre he ran his Kyosho the same as the final practice and just drove a good 10-minutes. Other than twice hitting crashed cars around the track, he said the run was really good but added he may have drove ‘a little too much on the safe side’. Having been intially excluded from the result an appeal saw the judgement changed to an official warning. Having added a cooling hole in his bodyshell over the engine manifold, his team got the modification approved by IFMAR president Dallas Mathiesen but in technical inspection it was determined to contravene the rules. After much discussion it was decided Tebo had not deliberately set out to break the rules and he was reinstated but for the rest of the event with his bodies already cut he will have to run them with the holes taped over.
‘Alright’ was how Martin summed up his run, the Brit just half a second off Tebo despite a late servo issue. Towards the end of the 10-minutes the Mugen driver said he throttle servo started to go off causing him to loose brake and struggle with a lack of throttle response, his Beat engine going rich as a result. Happy with how his MBX7R ran before the issue he said other than fit a new servo he will run the car as is for Q2 and leave any set-up changes to tomorrow.
Team Kyosho’s Kyle McBride took his MP9 to the fifth fastest time declaring himself ‘pretty happy’. The 18-year-old Australian ace said he just tried to go around without mistakes and that approach ‘worked out well’. Looking for a little more speed from his buggy for the next one the 2010 World’s Finalist plans a couple of minor changes which he hopes will make him be more comfortable with the car so he ‘can push a little harder’.
Putting the message ‘Slow Down’ into his Futaba 4PK SR radio paid dividends for Ryan Lutz, the Team Durango driver completing the Top 6. The US driver said watching the first couple of heats he saw a lot of drivers crash and knew if he just slowed down and kept the run clean he could net a decent round. Having been hampered by brake issues in practice, he said the problem is still not 100% solved and he is having to dial it out over the run on his radio. For Q2 he will go up in the front diff oil of his Alpha powered DNX8 to try and ‘smooth it out’.
Recording the seventh fastest time, Adam Drake described his qualifier as ‘just really safe’. The master of fuel economy he said having been happy with his Novarossi engine’s run time throughout practice in the final run yesterday he ended up running short. Following this he decided for Q1 he would, like his rivals, make one stop but following 2 bobbles he said he threw that idea out the window. Having to drive ‘super cautious’ so as to save fuel he would end up making it pretty easy with plenty of fuel left at the end of the 10-minutes. Describing his 8ight as easy to drive at the pace he ran for Q2 to he will go up in shock and centre diff oil as well as going to a harder compound tyre with the aim of driving a little harder.
Eighth fastest was Carson Wernimont. The US Mugen team driver said he didn’t try anything crazy, with the run working out ‘pretty good’. With his AKA shod MBX7R ‘super easy to drive’, the 17-year-old said the plan for Q2 is to run everything as is and drive clean laps including when leaving the pits so as to stay in the Top 10. While on track he had a moment during his fuel stop, a mistake coming out of the pit lane resulting in a ‘long detour’ which cost him around 5-seconds.
‘Quite difficult’ was the response of Batlle to his first qualifier after ending up only 9th. Making ‘three stupid mistakes’ which cost him around 10-seconds, the Mugen driver reported also having some bad luck with traffic. Describing his MBX7R as ‘not bad’ the Spaniard said he had to push a little harder than he was comfortable with to go fast and they will make changes for Q2.
Heading the Associated charge in the opening qualifier, Neil Cragg opened the books by completing the Top 10. ‘Steady as she goes’ was how the English driver summed up the round adding he was ‘pleased & relieved to get a banker from the first one’. Running the new RC8 prototype he said it ran well but with ‘so much traction out there’ he planned to make the rear end a little stiffer for the next one so he can push it harder.
Only 11th fastest, Ronnefalk summed up the start to his day in one word – ‘shit’. The European Champion said he knew the track was a little slower than yesterday but still pushed hard leading to mistakes in the first two laps. In an attempt to settle their driver following his poor start his team called him in early for his fuel stop after which he said he did drive better. Feeling his Orion powered MP9 had a little too much front brake causing it to stand up on its nose under braking he said the will change this for the next one but the main focus is a better performance from the driver.