October 7, 2014

Track Focus – Minnreg Hall


Track Name – Minnreg Hall
Organiser – George Martinez
Country – USA
Location – Largo, Florida
Direction – Clockwise
Surface – CRC Carpet

The 17th running of the IFMAR 1:12 World Championships takes place at Minnreg Hall in Largo, Florida, a site that is no stranger to World events having previously hosted the 1:10 Offroad World Championships in 2003 on a grass site at the rear of the building. Originally set to be hosted at the outdoor asphalt Full Throttle Raceway in Kissimmee, where 1:12 legend Masami Hirosaka won the last of his World titles in 2004 and which hosts the Touring Car Worlds later in the week, the hall is a 2-hour drive from Kissimmee. A temporary track, the hall which is used for a range of local events & exhibitions, it was picked due to it being Florida’s only indoor carpet racing site with two r/c events held here each year – The Minnreg Turkey Shoot and a round of the FSEARA (Florida State Electric Auto Racing Association) Championship.

Designed by local racer Mike Bean, the track laout covers an area 96 feet wide by 44 feet deep and is constructed using the same boards that are used for the building of the famous Snowbirds track – that race’s organiser Mike Boylan playing a big behind the scene part in putting on these 1:12 Worlds. With only 44 racers making the trip to Largo, race host & Full Throttle Raceway owner George Martinez said putting on a carpet race was only made possible thanks to the support of 1:12 protaganist Frank Calandra whose CRC company sponsored a fresh supply of its industry leading Ozite racing carpet.

In terms of driving the track, which visually doesn’t look very challenge, defending World Champion Naoto Matsukura gave the layout a thumbs up. Liking the feeling of the track, the Yokomo ace who is chasing a fourth consecutive title said while the right side of the track is very fast & straight forward the left side is a ‘little difficult’ to get right every lap. European Champion Alexander Hagberg, who stamped his authority of Day 1 of practice, said while he was expecting a ‘more technical’ track he likes driving the ‘typical US track’. Like Matsukura the Xray driver said the left side is the key to a good lap with a good line through the sweeper allowing you ‘to pick up a lot of time’.

Image Gallery


October 4, 2014

The Worlds according to Ruona – Worlds afterthoughts

The Worlds according to Ruona – Worlds afterthoughts

Better late than never? I guess that is my theme for this entry as we all recover from the long world championship event. It seems everyone got sick after the event too which has led to a long recovery and hang-over.

I ask my myself immediately following the 60 minute A-final event. So if you win on Sunday or in this case on Saturday, do you sell on Monday? That is why we are all there right? A promotion to help ignite sales of the product. Everyone should be lined up to buy all the latest product that was on the winning ride starting with the Hot Bodies D812….right?

No, this doesn’t happen overnight and here is why. People take their product choices very personally. IPhone over Android, Coke over Pepsi, Ford over Chevy, brunette over blondes….etc….etc. People use these events as a justification that they have already chosen the right product and this is a platform to prove their point. A lot of ego plays a role into this too…. Who likes to say they bought a piece of crap? Not me. Chances are if you have a TLR you are thinking Maifield had that race covered if it wasn’t for the servo that coincidently you don’t endorse personally. If Ryan chose your favorite servo he would have won right? TLR rules… How about Ryan Cavalieri with the new AE? If you are an AE fanboy you are saying, man, Cav drove the azz off that new car and if he had a little more time on it, we would have been racing for the win. Wait until he gets adjusted and “dialed in.”

The Mugen guys are saying, Lee Martin and Robert Batlle got shafted. They were flying and had flameouts, the Mugen is the beast-mode car. How about Kyosho? That car always walks on water. It’s hard to get anyone to say anything bad about the K cars. The K boys think Aliens came down and sucked the performance out just the way the Monstars did to the NBA players in the 1996 hit movie Space Jam.

The Hot Bodies vehicle has fans but not nearly as many as the rest, which makes me wonder. What are people saying about this victory? Ty is a beast right? That’s what I heard anyways and that is how the fanboys from other manufacturers are playing it. He could win with anything……Plus he had parts no one can get, right? That’s what I heard around the pits.

Do you ever give more credit to the driver than the product? Why is that? Do you ever give more credit to the product than driver? Why is that? It’s because people make up reasons for why their favorite or choice brand isn’t winning and they justify it this way to themselves. Can Maifield or in this case Tessman really win with just anything as some Facebook or forum junkies say?

No, these guys can’t drive a shoe box to victory…and here is why. See, in 1/8th scale and just about anything else you are only as good as your greatest weakness. If you suck at driving, you just suck and that is your weakness. If you have a terrible engine program and you flame out or run short of mileage all the time than that is your greatest weakness. Ty currently has the least amount of weakness in his racing program and that is the reason he is winning. His “shoebox” is a highly meticulously prepared vehicle with setups, products and designs that are catered to his skill set and arranged in such a way that it’s comfortable to sit behind the wheel and do the job. A shoebox isn’t getting it done.

The “I want to be great at 1/8th” check-list:

Ty’s Worlds program –
– Driving, check
– Pit crew, check
– Mechanical / setup ability, check
– Vehicle program, check
– Engine program, check
– Tire program, check
– Electronic program, check
– Effort, check
– Support, check
– Intangibles, check
– Luck, not needed

The “I wanna be a good racer” program:
– Driving, highly questionable
– Pit crew, some kid at the track
– Mechanical / setup ability, straight off from last race
– Vehicle program, best chassis I can get a sponsor ride
– Engine program, haggered, retapped, bored out, polished, nifty 50 engine sponsor
– Tire program, copy of the best tire
– Electronic program, this matters? Magnum Jr.
– Effort, subpar, I’ll get to it after the game
– Support, my pets are always behind me
– Intangibles, radio battery on its last leg, starter box works occasionally, receiver pack fixed with duct tape.
– Luck, always on my side since high-school

Why didn’t Maifield win? “Why does this happen to him?” This is a text I got a few times after the main event. Ryan has TQed 2 IFMAR worlds and sat on Pole for 2 IFMAR worlds. He hasn’t won it yet because one of the above worlds program factors hasn’t allowed him too. I say yet because this guy isn’t going anywhere…you see him lead the semi? Drive from the pole and lead during the main? You can’t ask for much more from a driving standpoint. He qualified his highest ever at a 1/8th worlds, ran his best semi-final ever and led out over the world’s best and he’s still only 28 years old. When it comes together, it will come together in a big way.

This is a performance and preparation game. Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance. Is that 7 ps?

How do we breakdown the winners and losers at this event? Suppose you are a JConcepts guy and you are looking for the silver lining? You are a Mugen guy but have nothing to brag about? I’m a Kyosho guy and I’m accustomed to walking on water in 1/8th scale…. Good thing we have my list of “winning” from the 2014 IFMAR Worlds. This will ease your mind and put you right back up on the ego pedestal.

– Ty Tessman – of course. Career finish.

– Hot Bodies – 3 TQs and a main event win. Zero breakage.

– PL – Tires, wheels, body and wing. Had to be the fuel gun / stick and Lexan wing. I liked the worlds hat.

– OS engine. Say it, OS it and forget it.

– Savox servos – ours don’t break tag line?

– Magnet wheel nuts – there is a new wheel nut sheriff in town.

– Nitrotane fuel – I guess it won. I’m still unsure about anything fuel related at this event. It was a strange situation to say the least.

– Team Associated – went from 6 feet under to 2nd place in 3 months. Finally have a platform to build from. 1 lap down too, but the fanboys don’t know that. #rc8prototype2nation Reminds me of Days of Thunder.
Days of Thunder (1990); Rowdy Burns: You run good. Cole Trickle: Thank you. Rowdy Burns: Now go get your own effin production car and we’ll see how you do in a crowd.

– Mugen – 3rd place overall. Carson Wernimont maybe the most underrated driver in R/C. Lee almost TQed the round when it rained and they had a great track condition. Solid 3rd overall qualifier from Lee Martin, should have been a podium contender. Robert Batlle had the most FB Memes made after a move on the Drake in the Semis.

– TLR – TQed a round. Best fuel mileage, Pole Position and car #1. Best selling and successful 1/8th platform of all time? Everyone loves Drake. New national holiday? Drake day.

– AKA – TQed practice and 2nd, 3rd overall. We talkin bout practice. Great team photo and nice hats and T-Shirts. I would want one but I’m a competitor.

– JConcepts – Pole Position, car # 1 and fastest lap in the A-final. Arguably the best looking R/C body in all of Italy captured by Ricky Ricky of RedRC. Diamond Bars with Dirt-Tech inserts duh, they rocked Giardini Naxos! After 2 pole positions now at the worlds I’ve decided it’s like the best first kiss on new date that just doesn’t go anywhere afterwards….ugh

– Kyosho – practice TQ! Top 3 fastest driver at the event and European Champion. Kanai top straight-away speed of 64kph.

– Novarossi – Pole Position, car # 1. Fastest lap in the A-Final. Cool checkered flag T-shirt on Robert Batlle. Victory is black and white?

– Pro Circuit – Robert was awesome and fast and they know how to outfit him with the correct tire. Had young David Ongaro as a fan favorite.

– Spektrum – it’s still too early, don’t go there. A Pole Position and car #1. Seriously, I’ve seen every servo break, servo and nitro just don’t mix well, leave them alone.

– Orion – 3 engines in the final which is 2nd only to Novas 4. Finished 2nd and still retains Cavalieri, Tebo, Phend, Ronnefalk and maybe adds another hot shoe?

– Durango – Lutz quietly ran well all weekend and put it in the show. Held it down for the company proving the new car has potential. If there are any D fanboys left it was a great impression.

– Xray – The equipment was performing for sure. Martin Bayer looked impressive all the way through. TQed one of the rounds even though it was favorable track conditions. He was a practice hot shoe and carried it to the final.

– Local restaurants – hellz yeah, lots of people eating the same thing every night from a different place. $$$

– Local hotels – $$$

– Track snack bar – $$$

– Track surface – the concrete or whatever took a licken and kept on ticken. Ok, I’ll say it, I liked the track and everything about it.

– Copied , total ripoff of the PL Lexan wing on FB already. They were only 45 min in to that A-final and a copy already emerged. At least make your own version as respected others will do.

Making sense of it all –
How do you get fanboys or loyal followers? It’s something you can’t buy or win. It takes work, dedication, championship winning results and time. No one wants to wait right? I want it all right now!!

We run these events to build brands. Make new friends, sit in the fox hole together and put in the effort that makes your mom, dad, spouse, pets and friends proud. You rise and fall together as a team and experience the ultimate highs and lows. If you are lucky, people will respect the effort, hop on your bandwagon and ride on. At least until you break a servo. ‘Til next time, Jason Ruona.

Read all of Jason’s blog entries from the Worlds in Sicily here.


September 27, 2014

Tessmann gets his World title


Ty Tessmann is the new 1:8 Offroad World Champion. Having stamped his authority on the Sicilian event in early qualifying, the HB driver would take victory in the Main in rather convincing fashion. Starting from second on the grid the Canadian would take control of the race following problems for pole position starter Ryan Maifield to win by a comfortable margin of Team Associated’s Ryan Cavallieri and Mugen’s Carson Wernimont. Leading the race a steering servo failure would rob Maifield a true shot at obtaining the one title that has eluded the American offroad star. The only other driver to look like a potential treat to Tessmann, having denied the 21-year-old the win 2-years-ago in Argentina, outgoing champion Robert Batlle would also hit trouble when his Mugen ran out of fuel just metres before a scheduled pitstop.

Gord Leann

Tessmann said while it ‘feels really good’ the true meaning of this win ‘hasn’t sunk in yet’. Running through his race, he said ‘the start didn’t go as good as (he) would of liked’ but telling himself ‘don’t panic’ he didn’t let it get him frustrated. ‘Surprised by how quick (he) caught back up’, he said after making some small set-up adjustments to his Pro-Line shod OS powered D812 it was better than in the Semi. With his rivals challenges faltering he still stuck to their game plan adding that ‘it felt like a very long time to keep the car going’. Securing HB’s second 1:8 Offroad World crown with company boss Tatsuro Watanabe on hand to witness his star driver get a title everyone felt after qualifying was his to lose, Tessmann acknowledged all the work of his sponsors, the car’s designer Torrance Deguzman and his parents over the past two years to come back and go one better than in 2012.


Running a prototype of Associated’s future RC8 platform, Ryan Cavalieri was very pleased with his best ever 1:8 Nitro result. A multiple 1:10 Electric World Champion he said he was not just happy to be on the podium but happy to finally finish the main. Getting off to a ‘clean start’ from 5th on the grid, the American said he struggled with the glare from the setting sun on the left side of the track leading him have an off at the double before the straight. Once the sun was low enough to cut out the glare he said he adapted his driving to how the car was running in the conditions adding he was very comfortable with his pace. Getting constant updates from his pit crew he said he was able to run a controlled finish to the race adding that ‘pretty quick’ work by his crew helped him to gain an advantage on those behind him.

sat_carson copy

Wernimont was delighted with finishing on the podium in what was his first Worlds Main. The 17-year-old said having almost given up in his Semi after suffering throttle issues when the return band failed he said his AKA shod MBX7R was ‘really good’ following input from Lee Martin. Having suffered cruel look in his Semi after suffering an engine cut while chasing down Tessmann for the win, Martin offered Wernimont ‘set-up advice’ for which the American was very grateful. After a good start which left him running in the Top 5, an early mistake dropped him back to last. Taking the approach he could only go up from there he said he got the head down focusing on staying mentally tough, an approach that would pay dividends. Providing the battle of the race as he fought with Kyle McBride he said they both did their best to give away third but in the end he was able to hold of the Australian.


McBride said the first half of the race went well but then his Kyosho started to get ‘gnarly’. Running a solid second to Tessmann, he ended up making a couple of mistakes that would cost him positions leaving to have to battle with Wernimont for the final podium position. Equalling his fourth place finish he claimed on his Worlds debut in Pattaya in 2010 he said he was still happy with the final result.


Getting into the Main as the last chance qualifier due to his Semi Final time, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer was ‘super happy’ to finish 5th. Like Cavalieri he had big issues with the low sun, saying the race was more a battle with himself and seeing the track than anything else. With second to seventh all finishing on the same lap, the Czech ace said he was delighted to be so close to his rivals.


Maifield took his misfortunate extremely well, saying that he was very happy with how his first big race had gone with his new Team Losi Racing squad. Setting the fastest lap of the race of which he held a good lead, he said he could ‘hold (his) head high’ having shown they had what it took to challenge for the victory.  Crashing into the track barrier after the double prior to his retirement, he said maybe it was his fault his servo, a new one being fitted for the final, failed but ‘that is the World Championships’ and he would just have to ‘go for at the next one’.


Running out of fuel on his in-lap just before the timing loop, costing him a full lap, Batlle said he was happy that as the defending champions they were in the mix throughout the event. The only other driver along with Maifield to run a 36-second lap in the final, he said they had enough speed to repeat the Argentina result. Hitting an out of shape Tessmann late in the race, the new champion saying afterwards Batlle had nowhere to go, he would receive an unwarranted Stop & Go penalty adding it must be a personal thing as he got the same thing at this year’s European Championships.


Having run strongly in the Top 3 at the start of the race, Ryan Lutz would have a ‘very frustrating’ rear diff failure. The Team Durango driver said everything felt excellent and for the early part of the race he was very comfortable with his pace before the diff started to go. He would finally retire after 25-laps.


2010 World Champion Cody King was equally frustrated as he got pushed into the pit wall off the start line resulting in a broken arm on his Kyosho. Although he would rejoin the race after 17-minutes of repairs, he said it was unfortunate he did not get to carry the momentum he built up from starting out in the morning’s 1/4 Final after a tough qualifying. Breaking another arm in the pitlane putting him out with 6 minutes to go, he said with the 2016 World Championships in the US, he would focus on looking forward to that.

Ty Tessmann is World Champion

View the complete results online here.

View our event image gallery here.


September 27, 2014

Maifield on pole in Sicily

Ryan Maifield

Ryan Maifield is on pole position for the 1-hour title deciding final of the 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Sicily. Running in the second of the 30-min Semi Finals, the Team Losi Racing driver ran a faster race time by 11-seconds over that of Top Qualifier & Semi A winner Ty Tessmann to securing the top spot on the 12 car grid ahead of Tessmann and defending champion Robert Batlle. While Maifield took an easy win over Ryan Lutz and Jared Tebo it was the first Semi that provided all the drama with engine wows robbing both Lee Martin and David Ronnefalk the chance to compete in the showdown to become the 15th World Champion.


While Tessmann would lead from start to finish, the HB driver was shadowed for the first half of the race by Martin’s Mugen, admitting afterwards that the British driver was pushing him hard. Tipped by many as having the potential to challenge Tessmann for the title, unfortunately on lap 22 of 47 Martin’s MBX7R would come to a halt on the track with a glowplug failure. While he would get running again the failure had damaged his engine and it cut again forcing him into retirement. Summing up his race as ‘pretty good’, Tessman said he had a couple of mistakes and even after Martin’s retirement he had to push as he chased a fast race time. While his D812 ‘got soft towards the end’ of the race something to be expected in such conditions, he is pleased with the car he has for the final. Like Martin, engine trouble would also be behind the heartbreaking retirement of Ronnefalk. Setting the the fastest lap of the race as he worked his way up from 8th on the grid to 2nd behind Tessmann, the European Champion would suffer a flame out with just 3-laps to go. Losing a minute before he got running again the clock was against the 17-year-old and he crossed the finish 8th. Ronnefalk’s misfortunate handed 2nd to Batlle. Starting from 6th on the grid the Spaniard said the race went better than expected with everything working good. Aiming to start in the Top 5, he said 3rd was good position and he is confident going into the final. Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri would book his passage to the Main with third as would Dakotah Phend and Kyle McBride, the latter overcoming a flame-out during his first fuel stop.


A much less dramatic Semi B Final almost looked like a formality for Maifield once proceedings got underway. During the warm-up 2012 Top Qualifier Elliott Boots broke a front shock on his Kyosho resulting in him calling for a 10-minute delay that put him from 3rd to the back of the grid. Running 4th, with three laps to go his leg gave way and he fell on the driver stand causing him to crash on the main straight and eventually drop to 9th leaving him, like in Argentina, failing to progress to the Main. Behind Maifield, Ryan Lutz would have a reasonable lonely race to second with his Durango the only other car to finish in the lead lap. Jared Tebo would complete the Top 3 with a 3-seconds advantage over Carson Wernimont. Just as he did in Argentina, 2010 World Champion Cody King got on top of a disappointing qualifying to claim a spot in the Main with 5th having started the day off in the 1/4 Finals. The faster of the two heats, the top 5 from each Semi in the final to be joined by the next two fastest drivers, that would go to sixth & seventh place finishers Alex Zanchettin, the Italian getting a massive cheer from the local crowd, and Q4 top qualifier Martin Bayer. Commenting on his Semi, Maifield said his JConcepts equipped Novarossi powered 8ight was fast without him having to push it adding that such a package ‘makes (his) job easier.’ Pleased with his performance he said the only issue in the race was his left leg started to go asleep towards the end of the race something he hopes wont reoccur in the Main.




View the complete results online here.

View our event image gallery here.


September 27, 2014

1/4 Finals Update


Just 24 drivers remain in contention for the 15th 1:8 Offroad World title with the 1/4 Finals eliminating some big names, the most notable being Atsushi Hara. Having been a podium finisher since winning the title in 2008, the S-Workz driver’s event is done. Competing in the first of the 1/4 finals having bumped up after winning his 1/8 final, the Japanese legend could only manage 8th.


Up front after some rough early laps TLR’s Dakotah Phend recovered from running as low as 10th to take control of the race to take the win ahead of Team Associated’s Yannick Aigoin. Working his way up from the 1/8 Final, Radiosistemi driver Riccardo Rabitti continued his form to finish third from 10th on the grid to book his place in the Semi along with Serpent’s 2008 World Championship podium finisher Mike Truhe. There was a frantic battle behind Truhe involving Xray’s 2012 Finalist Josh Wheeler, Agama’s Darren Bloomfield and Durango’s Joern Neumann, the latter two getting together a number of times ultimately costing them a shot of bumping up. Other casualties of the race included Jeremy Kotz who while holding a bump position crashed at the double before the straight with the barrier knocking the front left shock off his Agama. Although he continued he would finish 9th behind Hara. The race would also bring an end to former runner-up Renaud Savoya’s campaign.


In the 1/4 B 2010 World Champion Cody King took the win. Starting from pole position, the Kyosho driver faced a number of challenges with European Championship runner-up Martin Wollanka taking an early lead. The race also saw TLR’s Ricardo Monteiro head the field along with Davide Ongaro. Unfortunately for the 13-year-old talent, his move to the front getting a huge cheer from onlookers, engine issues would end his race, his Mugen coming to a stop on two occasions. Wollanka’s race was scuppered by engine cuts dropping him to 10th. In the end King would take a comfortable win over Monteiro, French Champion Jerome Aigoin and Xray’s Miguel Matias who had to see off a strong challenge from LRP team driver Marcel Guske who bumped up from yesterday’s 1/16 Final.



View the complete results online here.

View our event image gallery here.