Video – 2wd Day 1 Roundup

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Matsukura tops Day 1 in Finland

Naoto Matsukura

Young Japanese ace Naoto Matsukura has ended Day 1 of the 2011 IFMAR Electric Buggy World Championships at the top of the times sheets after producing a blistering lap in the day’s final round of 2WD practice.  Quickest in the sixth practice session, only the Team Yokomo driver could better his own time doing so in P8 with a 24.222 second lap which left him 3/10ths clear of Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri who also produced his best time in the closing session of the day. With little appearing to phase the back to back 1:12 World Champion, Matsukura took his performance today in his stride saying he is looking forward to getting qualifying underway tomorrow.

With one final round of practice scheduled for the morning, drivers will run four of the five qualifiers tomorrow with Cavalieri not too concerned about the gap to the Japanese National Champion.  Also running a B4.1, with his having the new longer chassis, the American Pro said his average lap is better than Matsukura’s and over a full 5-minute heat its consistency that counts.

Joern Neumann

Ending the day 3rd fastest thanks to his time from P6, Team Durango’s Joern Neumann said he had trouble running a clean lap in the final two practices but is happy that his Speed Passion powered DEX210 will be ‘OK’ over 5 minutes and he has no plans to make any set-up changes once conditions stay the same. Unfortunately after two dry days in Vaasa the forecast for qualifying is giving a 50% chance of rain in the morning.

The leading driver from Warm-up race winners Team Losi Racing, young American teenager Dakotah Phend ended the day with the fourth fastest lap.  Having made a number of little changes to his TLR22 for P7 & 8 the up & coming talent said they did not give him what he was looking for and he will revert to the same set-up he used in the sixth practice when he set his 24.613 lap.  Team-mate Mike Truhe ended the day with his best time finishing up sixth fastest, the US Champion saying the car has been good all day and now the driver was starting to come good too.  Tipped as being a major contender for the title on Wednesday, Dustin Evans had a problem with a rear tyre insert in the final practice and ended up 15th fastest.  Working on his consistency rather than outright speed the American said ‘qualifying is about 5-minutes and not one lap’ and he is feeling positive about tomorrow.

Jared Tebo

In between the Losi’s of Phend and Truhe is early practice pace setter Jared Tebo. Doing his best lap in P8, which was good enough to end the day fifth, the factory Kyosho driver said he now feels ready to go racing.  More and more comfortable with the track and the set-up on his much modified RB5 he said it was a productive day.

Ryan Maifield

Although he ended Day 1 with his fastest lap, Ryan Maifield did not appear overly happy with his opening day.  Describing it as ‘up and down’, the factory Associated driver said he found the day very long and being used to running multiple classes at big races he had too much time to think about set-up changes.  Unable to better his P5 lap time Steven Hartson ended the eighth fastest followed by two more long chassis B4.1s of former World Champion Neil Cragg and fellow Brit Paul Bradby who completes the Top 10.

Just outside the Top 10 setting the 11th fastest time in the penultimate practice session Lee Martin was as expected the best of the Tamiya Racing Factory squad with the TRF201 chassis.

Top 15 Practice Lap times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Associated – 24.222
2. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated – 24.521
3. Joern Neumann – Durango – 24.524
4. Dakotah Phend – Losi – 24.613
5. Jared Tebo – Kyosho – 24.632
6. Mike Truhe – Losi – 24.714
7. Ryan Maifield – Associated – 24.739
8. Steven Hartson – Associated – 24.749
9. Neil Cragg – Associated – 24.813
10.Paul Bradby – Associated – 24.822
11.Lee Martin – Tamiya – 24.830
12.Peter Pinisch – Associated – 24.830
13.Keisuke Enomoto – Associated – 24.830
14.Tom Cockerill – Schumacher – 24.830
15.Dustin Evans – Losi – 24.921

View the full results here (PDF).

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Matsukura goes to the top

Matsukura goes to the top

Team Yokomo ace Naoto Matsukura has gone to the top of the time sheets here in Finland after setting a new fastest lap of 24.279 in the sixth round of practice.  Driving an Associated B4.1, Yokomo being the Japanese distributors for AE, the 17-year-old changed the rear camber link position which gave the buggy very good forward traction allowing the Japanese Champion to be over 2/10th of second faster than the field.

Joern Neumann

Behind Matsukura, German National Champion Joern Neumann admitted he surprised himself a little with the second fastest time.  Running a DEX210 which features a carbon chassis and shock towers, he had found the chassis to be cracked after P5 which he believes may have happened during a heavy crash in an earlier run.  Fitting a new chassis for P6 and moving the battery mounting point from the rear to the middle it transformed the buggy, which is around 100grams lighter than the standard car.

Dakotah Phend

Making his electric Worlds debut 14-year-old Dakotah Phend set the 3rd fastest lap.  One of Team Losi Racing’s future stars the American said a change to the camber link on his TLR22 had made a big difference with the buggy having much more corner speed.  Enjoying the Vaasa track, which he described as ‘really fast flowing’, Phend will try a few more changes in the penultimate practice round as he looks to get a little more traction and reduce the turn in which he said was a little hard.

Setting the fourth fastest time and now the leading factory Associated driver Ryan Cavalieri said he has been doing various tweaks to his set-up and has feels hes got it pretty good now.  Happy with the consistency of his long chassis B4.1, he plans to try one more set-up change for P7 which he hopes will leave him with a strong package for tomorrow’s opening qualifier.

Jared Tebo

Fastest after the first five practices Jared Tebo improved his time in P6 but the Kyosho/Orion star drops to fifth on the time sheets. Behind him Associated’s Ryan Maifield completes the Top 6 having just produced his best lap of the day.

Elsewhere Touring Car World Champion Marc Rheinard is currently 24th fastest with a time from P5 with 1:8 Buggy World Champion Cody King just four places behind him having improved his time in P6.  Reigning 2WD World Champion Martin Achter lies 74th 2.1 seconds adrift of current pace setter Matsukura.

View our event image gallery here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tebo setting practice pace in Finland

Jared Tebo

After five rounds of practice Kyosho’s Jared Tebo tops the time sheets ahead of Japan’s Naoto Matukura and fellow American Steven Harston at the 2011 IFMAR 2WD Buggy World Championships in Vaasa, Finland. Driving his heavily modified Ultima RB5, Tebo set a fastest lap time of 24.698 in the fifth of the 4-minute practice sessions as the track continues to dry out following heavy rain in the lead up to the event.  Happy that he has found a good set-up for the track in P5, the American ace said there are still a few spots on the track that feel like ice as they are still damp but overall his Orion powered buggy feels good and he ‘just need(s) to drive her now’.

Naoto Matsukura

Current Japanese Champion Matsukura is please with his Associated B4.1.  The Team Yokomo driver who is the reigning 1:12 World Champion, is running the regular kit chassis and used P5 to try different front tyres.  Having to run JConcepts Double Dee tyres on the rear, the official controlled tyre,  the 17-year-old said he tried Rips on the front in P5 which he said he prefered over the Groovy he tried in the earlier sessions.

Steven Hartson

Associated team driver Hartson is pleased with his pace saying the track is different to what he is used to racing on.  Missing the warm-up race, he said he really likes the curbing but used to high bite tracks he said he is still getting used to the car drifting around.  Running the new long chassis on his B4.1 he said he has done nothing with the set-up he started out the day with instead focusing on his driving.  Just behind Hartson were his Associated team-mates Neil Cragg and Ryan Cavalieri.  Describing his car as feeling pretty good in P5 due to the improving track condition, Cragg said he hasn’t done much with his set up and is ‘trying not to crash’.

Mike Truhe

Along with Cavalieri, reigning US Champion Mike Truhe set his fastest lap in P3.  Sixth fastest overall the Team Losi Racing driver said the track was the best its been in P5 but he chose a more ribbed front tyre which while it made the TLR22 feel better it was to prove slower on the clock.

Driving a regular B4.1, Keisuke Enomoto set the seventh fastest time.  Only 14-years old, the Japanese nationals Top Qualifier is rated highly by the man who beat him in that race Matukura describing Enomoto, who doesn’t speak English, as ‘very fast’.

Rounding out the early Top 10 here in Vaasa is AE’s Ryan Maifield, TLR’s Dustin Evans and the Tamiya of European Champion Lee Martin.

View our event image gallery here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Video – 2wd Practice action

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Monday, July 18, 2011

2WD practice underway in Vaasa

2WD practice underway in Vaasa

After the low point that was the 2009 Electric Buggy World Championship in South Africa when teams and drivers boycotted the race on the grounds of safety leaving German driver Martin Achter to beat a handful of drivers to become World Champion, the stage is set here in Finland for one of the greatest World Championships ever. Hosting with great acclaim the 2007 1:10 Offroad European Championships, Vaasa Motor Car Club is raising the bar in terms of how the biggest showcase for our sport should be organised.  Billing the event as the ‘Coolest race ever’, the club’s attention to detail is impressive and has come in for great praise, something drivers are not best known for giving out.

With two World Champions to be crowned here in Vaasa this week, it is 2WD that is up first.  As specified by the IFMAR rules the World Championship track has been changed since the Warm-up event held here in May with the intial feedback from the top drivers after the first few practice runs being positive on the new layout.

TLR Team

Team Losi Racing won the Warm-up race with their new TLR22 but the driver who took the victory, Darren Bloomfield, has not been granted an entry for the big event this week.  Having not competed in any of the British National races during the qualifying year for a World Championship entry, Bloomfield was under the ruling of his federation, the BRCA, not allowed to race.  With a number of no shows, including 2007 2WD World Champion Hayato Matsuzaki, meaning there are spaces it is a shame the talented British driver is not here racing.

Dustin Evans Car

Despite no Bloomfield the TLR squad is still a main contender for the 14th 2WD World Championship title.  Dustin Evans and Mike Truhe come here off the back of a 1-2 at the recent Hot Rod Hobbies Shootout with the TLR22, which was for the American drivers, the power house of off road racing, a final warm-up before the Worlds.  Evans said that the direction they have gone with the set-up of the buggy since the Warm-up is working really well and after his first taste of the new track feels they have a much better package than they had in May.  Liking the new layout, which he said is not as fast as before, the 25-year-old from Colorado believes the team are looking really strong. Team-mate Truhe, the reigning US National Champion, is also happy with his opening practices and is relieved the wind, that was a major problem during Warm-up, is so far not a factor.

Ryan Cavalieri

The most successful manufacturer of these World Championships winning the 2WD title 10 times, Team Associated face their greatest challenge this year in terms of rival manufacturers with big team efforts here from new market entries Team Durango and Tamiya.  Speaking to AE Team Manager Brent Thielke, who has great admiration for the work of the Finnish organisers, he said the team come here with a proven package after making the decision that they were not going to change things just for the sake of it.  Racing himself this week, Theilke said the driver is a big factor and this is something they are focusing on.  With much talk of new shocks being introduced for this event AE have stuck with their existing versions as the drivers are familiar with how it reacts to change and are still finding ways of improving it.

Brian Kinwald

One change to the B4.1 is the longer chassis that was developed by former World Champion Brian Kinwald and tested by the team at the Warm-up. Theilke believes the team have a huge assest in the return of Kinwald who he said is playing a major role behind the scenes at AE.  Working in particular with Ryan Maifield, Thielke believes having come from an era of intense rivalry when drivers were far less friendly with their competitors, the 93 & 97 Champion has a lot to offer in terms of supporting their star drivers this week.

Jared Tebo

One of the most successful brands in 1:8 Offroad, Kyosho have not won an electric title since 1987 when Joel Johnson lifted their one and only crown but they are armed with one of World’s fastest off road drivers Jared Tebo.  A former 4WD World Champion when he was an Associated driver, Tebo said he is feeling really good in himself and he is happy with how the heavily modified Ultima RB5 they have for this event is working.  1:8 Buggy World Champion Cody King is also in Finland for the Japanese company but the American is realistic about his chances saying he would be happy if he could make the A-Main.  Having not run much electric, his main focus being nitro, he has been practicing back home ahead of the race so as to get his ‘electric finger’ back but having not making it over for the Warm-up he is trying to get a feel for the track here, which he described as being much bigger than what he was running on with electric.

Lee Martin

Here with a three car team Tamiya are pinning their 2WD hopes on British ace Lee Martin.  The winner of 4WD at the Warm-up, the current European Champion said the TRF201 felt good in the opening 4 minute practice runs.  An unchanged buggy to that used at the Warm-up, the team have a new bodyshell this week which features a more forward positioned Cab which Martin said has improved the steering.  Team-mates Marc Rheinard, the current Touring Car World Champion, and Viktor Wilck are expected to be more at home in 4WD later in the week but Martin said Rheinard, who openly admits he is not a fan of 2WD, was running a some good lap times in the early practice.

Hupo Honigl

While they have the reigning World Champion Martin Achter on their team, Team Durango will be looking to Joern Nuemann and multiple 2WD European Champion Hupo Honigl to deliver success for the DEX210.  Both were not giving much away after early practice but appeared to be content with their opening runs.

View our event image gallery here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Introduction

Red RC are in Sand am Main, Germany for the 2014 EFRA 1/8th scale gas offroad European Championships. The best racers from around Europe, will be in attendance to battle for the title which was won last year in France by David Ronnefalk. Red RC's coverage of the event begins in full on Tuesday morning (5th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the event.

Local time in Sand am Main, Germany

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