Today is the concluding day of the 15th running of the IFMAR 1:10 Electric Buggy World Championships in Chico, California. 7 Days on from the event getting underway at the Silver Dollar R/C Raceway with 2WD, today is all about crowning the 4WD Champion which will not be the 2WD Champion as Jared Tebo has not made the A-Main after a torrid day of qualifying yesterday. Drivers have just completed an early round of practice on what is a good overcast morning at the track. For the title contenders the schedule will see a practice run of the A-Main at 09:10 local time with the first race proper set to start at 10:10 followed by leg 2 one hour later and leg 3, the closing race of event at 12:15.
Despite the best efforts of defending Champion Ryan Cavalieri, Team Durango’s Joern Neumann is Top Qualifier for the 15th running of the 4WD Electric Buggy World Championships. Cavalieri was the only driver going into the fifth & final round of qualifying who could deny Neumann from starting on pole position for tomorrow’s A-Main at Silver Dollar R/C Raceway in Chico, California. TQ’ing the round from Ty Tessman, Cavalieri complete the run in 11 laps in 5:06.990 a mere .135 shy of the time needed to deny the German his first Worlds TQ.
Running in the top heat directly after Cavalieri, who was in the B Heat, Neumann said 3-time Touring Car World Champion Marc Rheinard informed him the overall TQ was already his before he started his final run. Despite this the 22-year-old said he still wanted to take the honour with a perfect score, each driver counting their best three of five qualifiers. Pushing hard and running an early TQ pace, three subsequent mistakes left him to finish 11th, the last one of which resulted in him breaking a rear arm off his prototype DEX410 as he crossed the loop.
Commenting on tomorrow’s race, which could very well be effected by the same weather which interrupted the 2WD event, Neumann said his plan was to try and ‘make the same as Tebo’. Top Qualifier in 2WD Buggy the Kyosho driver Jared Tebo wrapped up his first 2WD title in the second A-Main. Suffering a motor failure while leading the second A-Main in Finland, costing him a shot at the World title, he said he is comfortable about leading away from the front.
Having TQ’d the third qualifier and backed it up with a 3rd & 2nd in the final two rounds, HB’s Ty Tessman starts third on the grid. Running the new D4-13, which he previously used in August to win the US Nationals here at the A-Main Hobbies own track, the Canadian is sure to be a title contender having recovered from a poor start to qualifying. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Tebo with the event turning in to a case of Hero to Zero for the Kyosho team. Tebo had a torrid qualifying, ending up down in the E final, while team-mate & fellow 2WD finalist David Ronnefalk also missed the cut meaning the Japanese company will not be represented in the final.
Durango & Team Associated are the best represented manufacturers in the final with three cars each on the grid that will see 6 different brands line-up. Neumann will be joined by team-mates Ryan Lutz and Travis Amezcua who start 7th & 9th respectively while Cavalieri will be joined by Ryan Maifield. In addition to the single HB entry of Tessman there is one Tamiya, with Lee Martin lining up fifth, one Yokomo, Naoto Matsukura starting from 8th, and one TLR, Dakotah Phend completing the grid for what has been a tough debut for the new TLR22-4.
1. Joern Neumann – Durango – 2 pts
2. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated – 2
3. Ty Tessman – HB – 5
4. Ryan Maifield – Associated – 9
5. Lee Martin – Tamiya – 11
6. Steven Hartson – Associated – 14
7. Ryan Lutz – Durango – 16
8. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 17
9. Travis Amezcua – Durango – 21
10.Dakotah Phend – TLR – 23
Having said he was ‘very close’ when he posted the second fastest time on Q3, defending World Champion Ryan Cavalieri finally hit the top in the penultimate round of qualifying taking it by a mere 0.062 from Joern Neumann. Q3 pace setter Ty Tessman completed the Top 3 ahead of Lee Martin’s Tamiya and the Associated’s of Steven Hartson and Neil Cragg. The result means that the final qualifier will see the Top 2 finishers at the 2011 World Championship will battle it out for the honour of becoming Top Qualifier for the 15th IFMAR 4WD Electric Buggy World Championships.
Almost copying team-mate Ryan Maifield who threw away a TQ run in Q3 on the last lap, Cavalieri said he got lucky when he got out of shape at the banking before the start of the main straight adding he doesn’t know how his B44.2 didn’t roll. Aware the times would be very close he said he gave a little extra and pushing just a little too hard on the last lap. Moving the steering rack position forward for the round he said he liked the change. Also trying a swaybar on the single warm-up lap he said he opted to disconnect that before the start of the qualifier.
A bad opening lap from Neumann, which left him running 5th in the A-Heat with Durango team-mate Ryan Lutz top of the timing screens, meant the German had to push hard to recover. Running a rebuilt buggy, having bent his prototype chassis in Q3, Neumann said he ‘pushed very hard’ adding he was surprised at how comfortable the buggy was to drive on the limit. Making a second mistake he said he still knew it would be close for a TQ run. Posting the fastest lap of the round, a 27.333, with 3-laps to go it would end up being very close for the Euro Offroad Series Champion hundred’s shy of Cavalieri. Happy with his Orion powered DEX410 Neumann said other than a fresh set of the controlled Proline tyres he will run the buggy as is in the final pole position deciding qualifier.
Tessman was happy with his 3rd. The HB driver said after his two poor runs in the opening qualifiers he said he needed a clean run to back up his Q3 TQ run. Taking a cautious approach which resulted in a mistake free 5-minutes, the US Champion felt he maybe drove a little too carefully as he was not as fast as he would have liked to have been but he got the result he needed.