Defending truck champions Ryan Cavalieri and Ryan Lutz got their Proline Cactus Classic campaigns off to the perfect start as they TQ’d the opening round of qualifying in Mod Truck and 2WD Short Course respectively this morning at SRS Raceway in Scottsdale, Arizona. For 4WD Short Course Champion Joern Neumann and Team Durango there was some controversy in the opening qualifier as the entire team with the exception of Ryan Lutz were disqualified from the top heat for running rear spoilers on their trucks but ultimately it was Team Losi Racing’s Billy Fischer who set the pace.
Driving his Orion powered T4.2, Cavalieri was pleased to put in a strong opening qualifier but said following the re-sugaring of the track after controlled practice last night conditions were a little tricky. Driving a safe round, the US National Champion said as there was ‘so much traction’ he did not push too much and that approach paid off. Second fastest in 2WD Short Course, he said the run was ok but he had a little understeer due to running different front & rear tyres and so for Q2 will run the same tyre pattern all around.
Setting the second fastest time, 1.8 seconds behind Cavalieri, Dustin Evans said after an early mistake at the triple he just tried to keep his Orion powered TLR 22T on all four wheels. The Team Losi Racing driver said traction was even higher today which makes for tricky driving conditions and even though the second qualifier will run at night he will change to a thicker oil in his shocks. Third fastest in 2WD Short Course, Evans said his truck was the best it has been yet but the run featured too many mistakes. For Q2 the Colorado driver said he will make some small set-up changes in an attempt to make it a little more stable in the high speed corners.
Neumann took his Durango to the third fastest time in Mod Truck, the German declaring it a ‘good’ first run. Running JConcepts Barcodes on the rear and Pressure Points on the front of his Speed Passion powered DEST210 he said he had a little understeer and so for Q2 will run Barcodes all round.
Having topped yesterday’s controlled practice in both 2WD truck classes, Maifield was not happy with his own performance in the Mod Truck. Describing his Reedy powered T4.2 as really good, the Arizona driver who is one of the most straight talking drivers in the sport said he was a ‘retard’ and ‘crashed like a dip shit’. At the end of the 5-minute qualifier he would post the fourth fastest time. In 2WD Short Course there was no such issues as he cruised to the fastest time 3.8 seconds ahead of Associated team-mate Cavalieri.
In 4WD Short Course Pro-Line equipped Fischer lead a TLR 1-2 from his young team-mate Dakotah Phend with Lutz, who retired from his 2WD Short Course qualifier when he popped a rear dog bone, completing the Top 3. An issue that also surfaced last year, the rules on the use of spoilers/wings in Short Course appears not to be very clear but as race director Scotty Ernst announced throughout yesterday’s practice that spoilers were not permitted he had no choice but to exclude the offending drivers.
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Friday, March 15, 2013
Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura is the top seed for tomorrow’s qualifying at the Proline Cactus Classic after the Japanese driver set the fastest 3-consecutive laps in both 2WD & 4WD buggy practice today at the SRS Raceway track in Scottsdale, Arizona. Fastest in 2WD at the end of the first round of controlled practice with a time of 64.364, the World Championship finalist couldn’t better his pace during his second run but did still manage to top the CP2 times sharing an identical time with Team Associated Ryan Cavalieri who improved from being 6th fastest to ending the day as the 3rd seed. In 4WD Cavalieri had set the pace in CP1 but having changed to softer shock oil Matsukra was able to knock 8/10ths off his previous time to run a 62.278 and go fastest ensuring both his B-Max buggies start the opening qualifier from the No.1 spot.
Commenting on his form, Matsukura said he was happy with how his day had gone and feels he is in good shape for qualifying – each round set to take a minimum of 7-hours to run meaning just two outings per class per day. Able to improve his B-Max 4 for the second practice he said in 2WD he found the track a little loose hence his best time being 3/10ths slower than the previous round.
Improving his 2WD time by 6/10ths, Cavalieri said his Orion powered B4.2 was ‘on rails’ but in 4WD he lacked power. Having reduced the power profiles on his speedo for his opening run due to the hot sunny conditions at the time he said he could have used a little more power when running at night under the track’s flood lights. The World Champion said this led to him over driving a little but overall he said it was a decent day at the office. Team-mate & defending champion Ryan Maifield ended the day sixth fastest in both buggy categories but will be the number 1 truck in both Mod Truck & 2WD Short Course ahead of Cavalieri and Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz respectively. Lutz will be the top seed in 4WD Short Course after posting the fastest time in both practice rounds.
Finishing the day second fastest in 2WD and fourth in 4WD, Tebo said the track was a lot different second time round. Switching from running under the beating Arizona sun to driver under night skies, the factory Kyosho driver said it was hard to determine if his set-up was right but he thinks he has it ‘figured out for tomorrow’. Switching back to the foam inserts he ran in Thursday’s free practice he said these where much better than the choice in made for the opening controlled practice.
In 4WD, Joern Neumann is the top European at the end of practice with the 3rd fastest time ahead of Tebo, Dakotah Phend and Maifield. In 2WD the German struggled somewhat where he ended up 8th fastest behind Britian’s Lee Martin. Factory Tamiya driver Martin said his 4WD was ‘not the best’ with it going soft over the run despite the conditions being cooler.
Despite having a motor wire come unsoldered early on in his second 2WD practice, Phend is the top TLR driver with his 22 laying down the 4th fastest time just ahead of team-mate Dustin Evans who is very positive about his 5-minute pace for tomorrow. In 4WD Phend managed to post the fifth fastest time to be the only Team Losi Racing driver to book a spot in the top heat.
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Friday, March 15, 2013
Naoto Matsukura and Ryan Cavalieri set the pace in the opening controlled practice at the Proline Cactus Classis at SRS Raceway in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the Japanese ace fastest over 3-consecutive laps in 2WD Buggy while World Champion Cavalieri topped 4WD. America’s longest running race and one of the most prestigious events on the international 1:10 Offroad racing calendar, the 27th running has attracted a massive 490 entries, a 16% increase on last year, meaning a total of 51 heats with today’s opening day made up of 2 controlled practice runs which will determine heats for tomorrow’s first day of qualifying.
The big talking point of this year’s event has been the sugaring of the track. Using a lawn seeder to cover the track with dry sugar and afterwards water the white track, the result is what most drivers have described as ‘crazy traction. Yokomo team manager Robert Itoh gave a good description of track surface when he said it was like a ‘creme brulee’ but the high grip & fast layout is a hit with his young driver. Over 3/10ths of a second faster than Kyosho’s Jared Tebo, who was second fastest in 2WD, Matsukura said he really likes the unusually high traction. Running his B-Max2 MR in mid motor configuration he said his buggy, which is running on Losi BK Bar Red compound tyres on the rear and silver Taper Pins on the front, feels really good. For the second practice he said he doesn’t plan to make any changes but with the run set to take place at night, each round of heats taking 6 hours to run, he may have to change his shock oil to suit the cooler conditions. Setting the 5th fastest time in 4WD Buggy, the 19-year-old said while the B-Max 4 was easy to drive it suffered a little under steer and for CP2 he will go down in the shock oils feeling a softer buggy would work better.
Runner-up to his Associated team-mate Ryan Maifield last year in both buggy classes last year, Cavalieri said he was happy with how his B44.2 ran. Having dropped the profile settings on his Orion speedo due to the very hot conditions at the time of his first 4WD practice, he said it was a little awkward to drive at the beginning but once he found his rhythm everything felt good. Running AKA Handlebar tyres all round on his Orion powered B44.2 he said he planned to stick with everything the same for tonight’s run. Asked about the track layout and grip, the reigning US National Champion said ‘maybe the layout is a little too quick’ and while the grip is good it is leading to ‘ridiculous tyre wear’. In 2WD, Cavalieri set the 6th fastest time. Starting the run with Handlebar tyres all round switched to a Losi Taper bar in silver on the front which made his B4.2 easier to drive.
Setting the 5th fastest time in 2WD and 6th fastest in 4WD, defending champion Maifield said all was good and that his 2WD time was better than expected considering everyone ahead of him was running a mid motor configuration, an option that is not available to the Associated drivers. Running JConcepts Barcode tyres in Orange compound all round on his Reedy powered B4.2, he said due to the rear motor position he can’t run as fast a laps as the mid motor buggies but his buggy is very consistent and this is what is going to count most over the full 5-minutes of the qualifiers. Living just 10-minutes away from the Hobby Town owned track, Maifield should know the track better than most but says the sugaring of the track is something new and has made it a level playing field for everyone. Having sugar treated the old track and had the opportunity to run on that he said since building the new track and adding the sugar the traction is ‘just crazy’. Commenting on his 4WD, he said overall it was decent but for CP2 he plans to try a different tyre along with freshening up his shocks. Also the defending champion of 2WD Short Course, Maifield topped the times sheets ahead of Ryan Lutz, who was fastest in 4WD Short Course from TLR’s Billy Fischer. In Mod Truck the Arizona driver was also the driver to beat setting the quickest time ahead of team-mate Cavalieri who is the class’s defending champion.
Relishing the high traction, Tebo said overall he was pleased with his RB6 but trying a different foam insert to what he ran in yesterday’s free practice he will revert back for CP2. Running AKA Handlebar tyres in hard compound on the front and medium on the rear he said he will stick with that combo but in addition to the foam change he will also run a harder rear spring to account for today’s higher traction. In 4WD, the former World Champion was only 11th fastest again having also changed foam inserts for CP1. Planning to go back to what he ran last night he is confident he will be able to improve in CP2.
Scoring a podium double here 12 months ago, Team Losi Racing’s Dakotah Phend set the third fastest time in both 2WD and 4WD Buggy in the first controlled practice. Running Proline’s Ion front tyre and Suburbs on the rear, the teenager said his TLR22 felt really good but even with it set in mid motor configuration the high traction caused a few moments when it wanted to roll over. Planning to stick with the same set-up for CP2 he said his aim is just to work on improving his driving. Describing his 4WD as a ‘little tippy’, he said he will change his shock oil for the next outing. Team-mate Dustin Evans set the fifth fastest time in 2WD. Running JConcepts Barcodes (V2 on the rear) in orange compound the former US National Champion said the track was easy to get around but one needed to be very disciplined to go fast due to the traction and high speed layout. Working more towards his 5-minute pace rather than outright pace the Colorado driver said he is very confident he has a good set-up for qualifying. Unfortunately in 4WD he broke before he got up to speed ending up only 16th fastest.
Top European in the first practice was Joern Neumann. Fresh from his double win at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria last weekend, the German set the second fastest time in 4WD Buggy but had steering issues in 2WD. Used to racing on high traction tracks with most European indoor racing run on carpet, the Team Durango driver said the grip here is different and more edgy to drive on. Running JConcepts Barcodes all round the European Champion said his Speed Passion powered DEX410 was good but could have done with a little more rear side bit. In 2WD Neumann said he couldn’t get three lap together before suffering a broken motor rotor.
Fellow European Lee Martin took his updated kit version Tamiya TRF511 to the 4th fastest time. Just back from racing in Hong Kong last week, the British driver said he lacked power and having run a 7 turn motor will switch to a 6 turn for CP2 as the high traction is draining the power. Running Proline Scrubs fronts and Suburb rears with two stage foam, he said the sugaring of the track evens out the playing field especially for the Europeans and Matsukura. 7th fastest in 2WD he will change his set-up so as to give himself more on-power steering.
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Friday, March 15, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Ryan Maifield took a convincing victory at the 14th running of the world famous Dirt Nitro Challenge, the Associated driver winning the blue ribbon Buggy A-main of the Arizona event comfortably over Top Qualifier Jared Tebo and team-mate Ryan Cavalieri. For outgoing champion Ty Tessmann who last night successfully defended his Truggy title a difficult race following a strong start by the factory HB driver left him 6th at the end of the 45-minute encounter.
Overall not a very entertaining race the start did produce a good battle between Maifield and World Championship Top Qualifier Elliott Boots. Starting from 4th on the grid the talented British driver who was making his US race debut this weekend went to the front on lap 2 leading Maifield for 6 laps. Unfortunately on lap 9 the Kyosho team driver would retire with a broken MP9, unearthing a large rock in the front single double double section it damaged the buggy causing it to go straight on into the straw bails at the end of the back straight later in the lap pulling a rear kingpin from its insert. Afterwards the 19-year-old said when he hit and uprooted the rock, sending his buggy up into the air, it didn’t feel right and the contact with the bail just finished off the damage that had been already done. With Boots out Maifield would lead the rest of the race totally untroubled.
Winner of Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s signature race back in 2009, Maifield who after finishing 2nd in the Truggy Main yesterday said he was up for the Buggy win, was very happy with his performance adding everything went exactly to plan. Starting from second on the grid and taking the lead on the opening lap when Tebo ended up on his roof, he said the opening few laps with Boots had him nervous as he was ‘hauling ass’. With the demise of Boots, Maifield was able to pace himself saying that the biggest battle was not between the drivers but with the track, which at the end of four very long days of racing was beginning to get very rough. Running JConcepts Metrix tyre in red compound, Maifield said he was happy with how his equipment performed which worked really well in the tough conditions.
Tebo said after the race that he is never happy to finish second but following his terrible opening lap and engine wows he couldn’t be too disappointed with his recovery. Forced to wait to be marshaled as the entire field went by his stranded MP9, the 2011 DNC winner said his engine kept running on into the corners and he had to keep pumping the brake to get it slowed down enough. Saying it probably looked to onlookers that he was ‘driving like a maniac’ he said his AKA shod buggy drove well, backed up by his fastest lap of the race, but the engine issue cost him any chance of the win.
Making it two Associated’s on the podium, Cavalieri said his stuff was really good and it was mistakes that cost him a shot of the win. Starting 7th on the grid he said having made his way up to second he felt great and was able to hold station with his team-mate. Around the 20-minute mark the current electric offroad World Champion made a series of mistakes which he said put him out of his rhythm and he lost contact with Maifield dropping back to third behind Tebo. Overall a rather dull race, Cavalieri and Tebo did liven things up a little in the closing laps. Getting passed Tebo on the penultimate lap, Cavalieri on the same lap got his landing off the huge step-up wrong, his Orion powered RC8 having to ride the pipping. Running off the track this meant he couldn’t take the triple allowing Tebo to jump over him for second which he would hold to the finish.
One of the drives of the final came from Team Durango’s Carsten Wernimont. Having bumped up from the B-Main, the 16-year-old started 14th and through a steady solid drive came home an impressive fourth just ahead of Xray’s Renaud Savoya and Tessmann. Wernimont said he couldn’t be happier with how the race went. Failing to finish last year’s final he said the goal was just to try and go the full distance and with his DNX408 working really well the result far exceeded his expectations.
Having made a great start to the race from 12th on the grid holding third at the end of lap 1, Tessmann said he struggled with a lack of forward grip. This caused him to case the double on the next lap dropping the Canadian back to sixth. Describing the track as ‘brutal’ he said after the positive start it ‘went down hill from there’ leading him to get a little frustrated resulting in a number of driver errors. Dropping back as far as 12th, he got back up as far as 5th, eventually crossing the finish line in 6th almost 2 laps down on new Champion Maifield.
Mike Truhe, who won the B-Main to secure his spot in the final, would finish as the top TLR driver in 7th. Team-mate Adam Drake, who started 3rd, had a tough final which eventually came to an end with just 4 minutes to go as he broke the rear suspension on the landing off the step up. It was a weekend not to remember for TLR young star Dakotah Phend, not making the Truggy Main, the 16-year-old just scrapped into the Buggy final but on 25-minutes he broke a rear shock tower.
Another grueling Dirt Nitro Challenge completed, with snow, hail, high winds and cold nights, Red RC would like to thank Proline for providing with our office for the event and JConcepts for making sure we had an internet connection. We look forward to next year’s endurance test which should see some extra celebrations as Joey puts on his 15th Dirt Nitro Challenge.
Buggy A-Main Result
1.(2) Ryan Maifield – Associated/LRP – 68/45:14.639
2.(1) Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 68/45:38.534
3.(7) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 67/45:01.539
4.(14)Carson Wernimont – Durango/OS Speed – 66/45:02.956
5.(5) Renaud Savoya – Xray/Orion – 66/45:04.572
6.(12)Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 66/45:15.390
7.(13)Mike Truhe – TLR/TOP – 65/45:23.993
8.(10)Drew Moller – Kyosho/Orion – 65/45:33.421
9.(11)Josh Wheeler – Xray/OS Speed – 65/45:36.608
10.(9)Billy Fischer – TLR/Novarossi – 64/45:27.786
11.(8)Cody King – Kyosho/Reds – 62/45:31.796
12.(3)Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 59/41:07.819
13.(15)Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 35/24:57.328
14.(4)Elliot Boots – Kyosho/Novarossi – 9/6:07.536
15.(6)Dylan Rodriguez – Kyosho/OS – 4/3:00.744
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Monday, February 25, 2013
Mike Truhe, Carson Wernimont & Dakotah Phend have booked their places on the grid for the Main event at the 14th running of the Dirt Nitro Challenge after finishing 1, 2 & 3 respectively in the B final of Pro Buggy at the Fear Farm in Phoenix, Arizona. The 20-minute encounter saw Phend, who set the fastest lap of the race, control proceedings for 13-laps before a series of errors dropped the young TLR star back to third behind fellow 2012 DNC finalist Wernimont and Truhe. Wernimont would lead the way for 7-laps before his Durango dropped behind the TLR of Truhe. Although Wernimont would get back to the lead for a lap later in the race it was Truhe who would take the win by 2.3-seconds to book his place in the 45-minute Main having missed the cut 12-months ago. Despite clearly struggling at the huge step-up, Phend would finish third 3.6-second in front of A-Main Hobbies driver Tyler Vik to claim the 15th & final spot on the grid for the title deciding final.
Along with pole starter Curtis Door other names who will play no further part in the event include World Championship finalist Taylor Peterson who looked in contention early on for a bump up but in the end only finish 6th behind Door. Xray team-mate Martin Bayer, who took 7th in last year’s A-Main, took a gamble on stopping only once for fuel feeling he did not have the pace to make the Top 3 otherwise but just as his pitman Renaud Savoya called him for his stop his LRP powered XB9 ran dry and came to a halt. Having started out the day in the J-Main, A-Main Hobbies driver Austin Blair’s fairy tale run was to come to an end. Bumping up 8 times, the 18-year-old from Californian had a terrible start to his ninth final of the day from which he could not recover eventually finishing 10th, 2-laps down on the winner.
Final A-Main Buggy Grid
1. Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion
2. Ryan Maifield – Associated/LRP
3. Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi
4. Elliot Boots – Kyosho/Novarossi
5. Renaud Savoya – Xray/Orion
6. Dylan Rodriguez – Kyosho/OS
7. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion
8. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds
9. Billy Fischer – TLR/Novarossi
10.Drew Moller – Kyosho/Orion
11.Josh Wheeler – Xray/OS Speed
12.Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed
13.Mike Truhe – TLR/TOP
14.Carson Wernimont – Durango/OS Speed
15.Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion
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Monday, February 25, 2013