Jared Tebo stamped his authority on Day 1 of the 1:10 Offroad World Championships, the Kyosho driver topping the times for each of the six practice runs in Japan. Posting the fastest of his 3-consecutive lap times in the second of the controlled practices, which brought the opening day at the Yatabe Arena to a close, the defending World Champion leaves with the honour of being top seed for tomorrow’s qualifying. Controlled practice would end in a Kyosho 1-2 as an improved Naoto Matsukura managed to move ahead of Neil Cragg with the second fastest time 3/10ths off. Cragg too improved on his CP1 pace despite breaking with a minute left to run with Associated team-mate Ryan Cavalieri, who failed to go the full distance in the first round, posting the fourth fastest time while the next 4 drivers couldn’t better their early pace.
A driver clearly determined to divulge as little information as possible at what is effectively the home track of the former Yokomo ‘chosen one’, Matsukura said a new set-up for CP2 improved the car in every area. Allowing him to set a new outright fastest lap time of 17.089, he said it still needs further improvement in terms of how it is handling the washboard section. Looking to make the car easier to drive as he tries to work on his consistency, his average over the 5-minutes 1-second a lap off that of Tebo, the multiple 1:12 World Champion clearly doesn’t like the whoops and that combined with the set-up needing work appears to be adding to a driver who is showing signs of early frustration.
Breaking a rear arm off his B5M, Cragg said that was the result of ‘having too much fun and trying too hard’. Battling with Tebo, he said he got on the power too early and wheelied onto the straight leading to contact with the wall that caused the break but overall he’s ‘pretty happy with (his) pace’, adding he ‘hope(s) it continues’.
Cavalieri described his performance with a not so positive ‘it was ok’. The 2011 World Champion said he hasn’t been as consistent as in free practice and having ‘tried a few things’ he will go back to a set-up he ran earlier in the day. Saying there would be ‘no more testing, testing is done’, the current US National Champion said we’ll get the good set-up back on and then ‘just run’.
A driver whose lack of pace has been the most noted among his competitors, Lee Martin would end up 13th putting him in the second fastest group for qualifying. Commenting on his CP2 improvement, managing only 22nd in the first round, the Warm-up Race winner said his Yokomo ‘felt drivable that time’. Feeling his overall 5-minute run time was ‘not bad’, he said they still need to find more from the car but at least the day ended with things starting to take a positive direction.
Having set the pace over the four rounds of practice which opened proceedings at the 1:10 Offroad World Championships in Japan, Jared Tebo continued that form into controlled practice but Neil Cragg continues to reduce the American’s advantage. Having ended practice with a 6/10th advantage, Tebo was just 0.175 quicker in CP1 with both drivers running a fastest lap of 17.3 around the Yatabe Arena track. Behind the current and the former World Champions, Naoto Matsukura was third fastest with things closing up as just 6/10ths covered the Top 10 compared with the 1.6 seconds separation at the end of practice.
Having been switching back & fort between the two different Kyosho cars he has at his disposal, Tebo said his biggest problem is that both are really good, making it hard to decide on which one to use. A driver who is clearly on top of his game as the defending champion, the American seems to have found a rapport with the track layout and astro turf surface. Having ‘a good feeling about how (he is) driving’, he added that he is also ‘having fun driving the track’s layout’.
Asked where his improved pace is coming from, Cragg replied ‘I’m getting my shit together on the what ever you call them’, referring to the track’s washboard section. Describing his Associated B5M incarnation as being ‘pretty dialled’ since putting it down on the track this morning he said this has allowed him to just work on his driving. ‘Keeping it on its wheels’, the Brit said, ‘hopefully we can come out swinging in qualifying’. Team-mate Ryan Cavalieri, who ended free practice third fastest, would have his servo horn come off in CP1 leaving him to post only the 11th quickest time.
Behind home favourite Matsukura, Joern Neumann was very happy with small improvements made to his Serpent. Running an SRX4 SD, which has the front shafts removed in order to comply to 2WD rules, the German described it as now being ‘98% good’. The deducted percentage is due to looking for a little less traction roll. Having looked at his competitive tyres he plans to cut the rear tyres’ outer pins for the day’s closing CP2.
Setting the 5th fastest time, TLR’s Ryan Maifield said they changed something after practice and it made a significant enough difference for him to take some time to get into a rhythm. Also finding himself in a ‘hornet’s nest of traffic’, he said the last few laps were good. Aiming for a good 5-minute time in CP2, he said for it being their ‘first time with this car’ they have made ‘steady progresses’ over the day and he feels they should be ‘ok going into qualifying’.
European 4WD Champion Michal Orlowski would put in a strong CP1 performance to post the 6th fastest time. Surprised himself by his pace, the Schumacher team driver having ended practice 21st, the 14-year-old said a switch from a chamfered tyre insert to a full one for the controlled practice took away the KF2’s tendency to flip. Now very easy to drive, the car has however developed oversteer, something he believes adding rear grip with cure.
Kody Numedahl was next on the time sheets, the Team Associated designer saying he is just getting more comfortable with the track with each run. Responsible for penning the B5M, the Warm-up Race podium finisher has run his own example ‘pretty much the same the whole time’. ‘Happy with the car’, behind him with the 8th & 9th fastest times would be team-mates Spencer Rivkin and Aussie ace Kyle McBride.
16-year-old Rivkin said his pace was ‘pretty good’ but running in a lower heat is effecting his consistency as he keeps catching traffic. Looking to get more speed from his Reedy motor for the next one, he said he would like to be running with some of the ‘quick guys’ so as to see what that are doing around the track. Best of the Yokomo drivers in CP1 Marc Rheinard completed the Top 10.
Having been quick right from his first laps around the Yatabe Arena, Jared Tebo has remained at the top of the time sheets at the 1:10 Offroad World Championship. With the four scheduled rounds of practice complete, the Kyosho driver would set the pace ahead of the Team Associated pair Neil Cragg and Ryan Cavalieri. While Tebo would fail to improve his P3 time despite still running the fastest three consecutive laps of the fourth run, the round did see Cragg reduce the reigning champion’s distinct advantage from almost one second down to 6/10ths. Having been second fastest after P3, Tebo’s team-mate Naoto Matsukura would end up 4th behind Cragg and Cavalieri who were separated by just 2/1000ths of a second. P4 would see strong improvements in pace coming from 4WD Worlds Top Qualifier Joern Neumann and reigning 4WD World Champion Steven Hartson who found 8 and 9/10ths respectively. With practice complete, Day 1 of the 16th running of the IFMAR World Championship will conclude with 2 rounds of Controlled practice of which a drivers fastest 3-consecutive laps will determine what qualifying heat they will run in tomorrow.
On display for the first time at this week’s IFMAR World Championships at the Yatabe Arena is the unique D2’16 from HB. Designed to be a versatile platform it is particularly good on loose surfaces on which it has done most of its development work and testing. While not the final chassis, the configuration is set and it allows for 8 different battery positions, 4 inline and 4 sideways positions. Massively adjustable it has 9 kick up options, 5 caster positions, 5 trailing arm positions as well as adjustable arm sweep, all without using additional parts.
The transmission is unique in that unlike the other ‘Worlds specific’ cars that are here, the motor is fixed closer to the rear axle and the spur gear is fixed above that. Speaking with Gord Tessmann, he said that the car is made for a multitude of surfaces, not just astro/carpet although he didn’t rule out an optional lower transmission to come in the future. Another unique part of the car is that it has been designed to have the ESC mounted far back in the car on the opposite side of the transmission to the motor, making it perfectly balanced from left to right. In production the car is expected to be released by the end of the year.
Jared Tebo continues to be the early benchmark at the 1:10 Offroad World Championships in Japan with the defending champion laying down the pace with three rounds of practice completed at the Yatabe Arena. Both in terms of fastest lap time and 3-consecutive laps, the Kyosho driver is distinctly faster than his rivals with team-mate Naoto Matsukura closest on consistency almost a full second off. A driver who didn’t attend the Warm-up Race and a novice on astro turf, TLR’s Dakotah Phend is third fastest followed by former champions Ryan Cavalieri and Neil Cragg.
‘All right so far’ was Tebo’s response to how practice has been going, the American adding ‘the turf’ has a more ‘normal feeling now’ compared with the opening two rounds. Changing to a ‘completely different car’ for FP3, he said it felt good as proven by his fastest lap 2/10ths quicker than that of the second fastest lap time which was set by Phend. Despite the speed, for the final free practice he will change back to his other car on which he will make a minor set-up change. As one of the few drivers to like the washboard after racers got their first taste of the track this morning, he said both his cars were ‘really awesome’ over the five rubber strips.
Stiffening up his Kyosho after the first practice, Matsukura said while better he still has issues with the whoops section. The multiple 1:12 World Champion, now also has the issue of his car now having too much rear traction which is creating understeer. Declaring he ‘need(s) to work on the set-up’, he added that with his car ‘different to both of Tebo’s cars’, he said he needs to think of a solution for himself.
Describing the track as ‘fun to drive’, Phend said he was adjusting both his car and himself to the track. Having prepared for the event by running on a rubber type surface track back in the US so as to prepare for the traction level and corner speeds, he said while this helped he said the astro turf is a little different. Stilling working on perfecting his lines he said the car is handling good and he can drive it as is but for the final free practice will try to make it easier to drive in case the traction keeps coming up.
Cavalieri declared his third practice as ‘by far his best run yet’ saying he was ‘now driving with a lot more consistency’. Making ‘1 or 2 mistakes’ he said he was pretty much working on his driving with changes made after the 2nd run leaving his modified B5M feeling ‘pretty darn good’. Commenting on the washboard, the 2011 Champion feels he has a ‘steady line’ for the section and is ‘getting through it pretty quick’.
Setting the fifth fastest time, Cragg said he ‘didn’t drive too good the last one. I drove too hard’. Making an adjustment to his brake he said while it felt better it was not as fast and he will go back to the previous setting. Other than this he said the car is good and his aim was just to try & stay clean adding ‘there are lots of crashes out there and clean runs win’.
Seventh fastest behind Japanese driver Yusuke Sugiura, Martin Bayer described his pace as ‘Ok’ but added he doesn’t feel really comfortable yet. Having trouble with the 180 corners, the factory Xray driver is encouraged by his XB2 over the whoops, feeling it is one of the best through that section. Having watched the fastest heat groupings, in which drivers are cutting corners more over the jumps, the Czech ace said there is a good chunk of time to be made from doing the same.
Currently 8th fastest, Ryan Maifield described things as being ‘not bad’ although he did lose valuable track time after breaking in P3. Crashing in the blind spot at the tabletop, he said the marshal didn’t see his TLR so he ‘gassed it’ causing it to break. This aside he said the car is getting better and the surface is also getting more consistent adding the track is ‘still going to be gnarly when racing gets started’.
With the Americans appearing to have no issues with adapting to what is seen as a track that should suit the Europeans, European Champion Lee Martin is only 15th fastest. The Yokomo driver said he is ‘struggling a little’. Feeling he just hasn’t ‘clicked in yet’ he said they ‘still haven’t found the optimum set-up or the optimum driver’.