It is an overcast and slightly chilly start to Day 2 of the Pro-Line Cactus Classic at SRS Raceway in Scottsdale. On the schedule for the day is 2 of the 4 rounds of qualifying, drivers best 2 to count, with the faster of today’s runs being used to reseed the heats for tomorrow’s second day of qualifying. Having had 44 heats in controlled practice yesterday, the reseeding and elimination of no-shows has seen that number reduced to 37 for the 11 classes.
Having posted the fastest time in the opening controlled practice for 2WD Buggy, Dakotah Phend is the top seed for qualifying at the Pro-Line Cactus Classic. Running a time of 67.01 for his 3-consecutive fastest laps in the morning, the Team Losi Racing driver ran a 67.12 time in the night time run, to top the seeding time sheets from Billy Fischer and defending Champion Jared Tebo. With the Top 13 drivers from CP1 unable to improve their 3-lap pace second time of asking the biggest improvement came from Serpent’s Mike Truhe who ended the day 14th fastest having improved his morning time by 1/2 a second.
‘Really happy’ to top practice, Phend said there was ‘a lot more traction’ in the cooler night time conditions but his Orion powered TLR22 had no issues handling it. Running a fresh set of Pro-Line tyres, the US National Champion said they just got better & better as the run progressed and looking ahead to the morning’s opening qualifier he thinks he is in a strong position, his time 6/10ths fastest than that of No.2 seed Fischer.
Making changes to the diff on his Centro C4.2, Fischer said it was the wrong way to go. Describing the track conditions of CP2 as ‘more edgy’, the Team Novak driver will for Q1 revert back to the same diff set-up he ran in the first controlled practice. Despite topping the times in Mod Truck ahead of Tebo and Joern Neumann’s prototype Durango, Fischer is planning a significant change to his Centro T4.2. Having posted his No.1 seed time with a CT4.2 front end for the opening qualifier he will run the truck with a T4.1 front end to stiffen it up and make it ‘more stable’ to drive.
Behind Tebo in 2WD Buggy, Team Associated’s Tanner Denney is the fourth seed followed by Neumann, Ryan Maifield and up coming talent Spencer Rivkin. The top heat for qualifying is completed by TLR’s Dustin Evans and the Associated’s of Ryan Cavalieri and Kody Numedahl. Just missing out on the Top 10, Schumacher’s Carson Werinmont heads the line-up for the B heat.
Elsewhere Maifield is top seed for 2WD Short Course, the defending champion setting the practice pace over team-mate Cavalieri and Durango’s Travis Amezcua. In 4WD Short Course Neumann topped the times from Phend and Lutz.
Chassis: Schumacher Cougar KF Motor: Reedy Sonic Mach 2 7.5T Batteries: Reedy 5700 saddle pack ESC: Reedy Black box (production sample) Body: Kit body Tires FR/RR: AKA Pinstripe / Deja Vu Radio/Servo: Futaba 4PK / Futaba BLS551
Chassis: Schumacher CAT K1 Aero Motor: Reedy Sonic Mach 2 6.5T Batteries: Reedy 5700 saddle pack ESC: Reedy Black box (production sample) Body: Kit body Tires FR/RR: AKA Pinstripe / Deja Vu Radio/Servo: Futaba 4PK / Futaba BLS551
Chassis: Schumacher 2wd SC Prototype Motor: Reedy Sonic Mach 2 6.5T Batteries: Reedy 5700 saddle pack ESC: Reedy Black box (production sample) Body: Kit body Tires FR/RR: AKA Pinstripe / Deja Vu Radio/Servo: Futaba 4PK / Futaba BLS551
Remarks – Schumacher team driver Carson Wernimont has been combatting the grippy track surface, and reduce chassis roll, by stiffening the car’s suspension. He has also tried running a stiffer anti-roll bar but that hasn’t worked so he reverted back to his standard ARB stiffness. As well as playing with different tires patterns and compounds, settling on the all new AKA Pinstripe and Deja Vu combo, to reduce rear end grip he trimmed his LMR rear wing lower. Also being run by the 17 year old is a prototype Schumacher 2wd short course truck. He has been running the car for 3 weeks now, having received the chassis at Motorama, and he is very pleased with it so far. Still very much a prototype, based on the Cougar KF, we are not allowed to take any body-off photos.
Chassis: Kyosho Ultima RB6 Motor: Team Orion 7.5T VST2 Batteries: Team Orion Carbon Pro 4000 Shorty ESC: Team Orion R10 Pro Body: Kit body Tires FR/RR: Pro-Line Scrubs X2 / Suburbs X2 Radio/Servo: KO Propo EX-1 /KO Propo RSX2
Chassis: Kyosho Ultima ZX6 prototype Motor: Team Orion 6.5T VST2 Batteries: Team Orion Carbon Pro 4000 Shorty ESC: Team Orion R10 Pro Body: Kit body Tires FR/RR: Pro-Line Scrubs X2 / Suburbs X2 Radio/Servo: KO Propo EX-1 /KO Propo RSX2
Chassis: Kyosho Ultima RT6 Motor: Team Orion 6.5T VST2 Batteries: Team Orion Carbon Pro 5500 Saddle ESC: Team Orion R10 Pro Body: JConcepts Finnisher RT6 mid-motor truck body Tires FR/RR: Pro-Line Ion Radio/Servo: KO Propo EX-1 /KO Propo RSX2
Remarks – Like every other driver here 2wd World Champion Jared Tebo has been adjusting his cars to cope with the high traction conditions, trying to find the balance between steering in the corner and preventing it from flipping over. Switching out his sponsor AKA’s tires for those from Pro-Line for this very specific track surface he has also done the standard set-up changes for high grip such as lowering the car and stiffening up the shock oil and springs.
Team HB’s Ty Tessmann is the top seed for 4WD Buggy qualifying at the 28th running of the Pro-Line Cactus Classic. The Canadian topped controlled practice on the sugared SRS Raceway track when he posted the fastest 3-consecutive laps in the second of the days two runs. Behind the US National Champion, Dakotah Phend set the second fastest time as he also improved on his morning time while Kyosho’s Jared Tebo, who was fastest in the morning, completed the Top 3.
Making changes to his D4-13, Tessmann said they made for a ‘big improvement’ with him able to improve his 3-laps by 7/10ths of a second. Adjusting the anti-squat and laying down the rear shock it made the buggy ‘easier through the bumps’. Also changing his shock oil due to the temperature change between the first and second run, he said after the second run he is feeling confident going into qualifying, 2 of the 4 rounds on tomorrow’s schedule. Planning to leave his set-up as is he said the only change would be to the shock oil depending on the weather at the time of the first qualifier.
Having adjusted the rear camber link on his TLR22-4, Phend said this made the buggy less ‘tippy’ allowing him to ‘drive it a little harder’. Pleased with where his set-up is now at, the 17-year-old’s focus for Q1 is to ‘try and get a clean run’ adding that he will ‘just run at (his) own pace’.
Re-running the same tyres he used to top CP1, Tebo said while over three laps he was unable to improve, in terms of outright pace he was able to post a fastest lap time. Describing the difference between new and used tyres as ‘quite a big difference’, he said his close to final production prototype ZX6 feels good and for the first qualifier all he plans to do is fit a fresh set of tyres.
Another driver to run his tyres again in the second practice, Joern Nuemann ends the days as the fourth seed. The Team Durango driver said he ran the tyres to see what the difference was and while they started out good by the end of the 5-minutes his DEX410 began to get loose. Describing his buggy as easy to drive but still ‘very fast’, the German is looking forward to the opening qualifier for which he will leave his set-up as is, just fitting a new set of Pro-Lines.
The fastest of the Team Associated drivers, Ryan Cavalieri will be the 5th seed for qualifying. Despite running his tyres for a second time which he said weren’t as good, the former World Champion was able to better his morning time. Saying that ‘overall the car is good’, he plans to go into the opening qualifier with the B44.2 as-is on a fresh set of rubber.
Completing the Top 6, Ryan Lutz said his Durango has been close to the pace all the time and he has been making minor tweaks to find that little bit he is missing. Normally running his steering end point beyond the full lock to counteract for movement in the servo saver on his 1:8 buggy, he discovered he didn’t readjust for that on his DEX410 which doesn’t run a servo saver. Causing the steering to bind, he reduced it for CP2 but this led to the buggy feeling ‘too mellow’. For Q2 he will make a set-up change to get move steering back following the end point adjustment.
Having made his Schumacher stiffer for CP2, Carson Wernimont will revert back to his morning set-up. Unable to improve on his CP1 time which seeds him seventh, he said the harder arms and alloy chassis made the K1 Aero difficult to drive. With the previous set-up ‘a lot more forgiving’, he said he is confident that he can use that to good effect in Q1.
Defending champion Ryan Maifield finds himself only 8th fastest. Asked what he was struggling with he joked ‘the corners, the jumps and the straight’. With his B44.2 ‘hard to drive and not fast on lap times’, he plans to copy Cavalieri’s set-up. Having watched his team-mate, he said his car looked a lot more comfortable to drive. In addition to the set-up change, the Arizona driver will also switch to a softer JConcepts tyre.
Team Serpent’s Mike Truhe managed the 9th fastest time. With Serpent not yet having a 4WD Buggy, Truhe is running a Durango this weekend which was built for him by its designer Gerd Strenge. Pleased to put in a top 10 time, having focused his attention on his 2WD Serpent over the past two day of open practice, he said he still needs to do a little work on the shock set-up of the DEX410 ahead of Q1. Team Novak’s Billy Fischer completed the Top 10 ahead of former TLR team-mate Dustin Evans, Kyosho’s Cody Turner and Durango’s Travis Amezcua.