Defending eBuggy Champion David Ronnefalk headed a HB 1-2 in the second round of qualifying at the DNC, the Swede outpacing team-mate and Q1 pace setter Ty Tessmann by 1.8-seconds. Having suffered two bad laps in Q1 at either end of the 7-minutes which would leave him 5th fastest, in Q2 he would reduce his errors to just one which came on lap 5. Setting a blistering pace, the European 1/8th Gas buggy champion would be the only driver to run below 37-seconds posting two 36-second laps. Behind the HB pairing, A-Main team driver Austin Blair would take his S-Workz to the third fastest time followed by the Tekno of Joe Bornhorst. Fresh from TQ’ing the second round of Truggy, Jared Tebo would posted the 5th fastest time with Mugen’s Adam Drake completing the Top 6.
Jared Tebo claimed the second round of truggy qualifying at the Dirt Nitro Challenge with the Kyosho setting the pace from Tekno RC’s Joe Bornhorst and Team Associated’s Carson Wernimont. What would become the final qualifier of Day 2 of Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s signature event after delays forced round three to be moved to tomorrow morning, for the first half of the 7-minute qualifier it looked as though Q1 pace setter David Ronnefalk would sew up the overall TQ earlier. Coming up on traffic however in the whoops section on lap 7 of 12 the Swede would end up on his roof after contact and eventually finish fourth fastest. It was a tough round for defending champion Ty Tessmann as the HB driver struggled with ‘no grip’ and he ended up 12th. Another Q1 Top 3 finisher to have issues in the second round was Ryan Maifield. Thinking due to a delayed start he was not yet on the clock he cut the track but his time was already started and with the ‘damage done’ he would pull up early.
Having been frustrated by ‘terrible’ driving in Q1, Tebo was delighted to turn things around for his second qualifier. Making ‘quite a few changes to his Mx powered Inferno ST-RR Evo’s rear end between runs he said the truggy was the best it have even been. Running AKA Grid Iron in super soft compound, he said he started out a little slow before getting fully up to speed and while he had a couple of tangles with other cars he said it was nothing too crazy. Feeling the truggy was ‘a little off balance’ for the deciding qualifier in the morning he will make a front shock location change.
‘Awesome’ was Bornhorst reaction to his impressive time. Having been fifth fastest in Q1 and been very happy with both his NT48 and choice of AKA tyre, the 21-year-old said originally he was set on running the car unchanged but at the last minute made the call to go to a super soft Impact tyre. Calling it the ‘right decision’, he said he ‘could drive it as hard as I could and it just took it’.
After a poor first round managing only the 15th fastest time, new AE signing Wernimont was much happier with his RC8T after a complete change of direction in terms of set-up. Describing the run as ‘much better than the first one’, the 18-year-old continued ‘I took the gun out and shot from the hip and I think I hit the target’. Having been too soft & wallowy in Q1, he said the set-up now was pretty close and he drove it for the amount of speed it had. Looking to throw out his Q1 result he said the aim for Q3 is to put in a similar solid run as Q2.
Ronnefalk said he had the car to get the job done but after having a clean track ahead of him for the opening laps suddenly he found himself up on a load of traffic in of all places the track key element, the whoops. Feeling he lost too much time after his incident in the whoops, almost 5-seconds lost, he said he pushed too hard to make up the time leading to a further error, this time of his own doing dropping another 4 seconds to his rivals. The 17-year-old said if he had been smarter and drove safe even with the first incident he could still have challenged for the TQ of the round. Describing his super soft AKA Grid Iron equipped D8T as ‘really good’ he said if he can just keep it on its wheels he should be ok for Q3.
Having just become a dad for a second time 2-weeks ago, Josh Wheeler would take his Xray to the fifth fastest time. Having last raced a truggy a month before last September’s World Championships, Wheeler said he was still ‘knocking off the rust which wasn’t helped by the fact drivers got just 6-minutes of practice before qualifying. In Q1 he would suffer radio glitches caused by him being unaware his Futaba radio software needed updating. With that rectified for Q2 he said the XT8 was easy to drive although ‘not Ronnefalk fast’. Looking to get more speed he will discuss with the car’s designer Jurai Hudy some set-up options for the morning.
Setting the 6th fastest time Adam Drake said he ‘rolled the dice on tyres’ and it probably wasn’t the best move. While most of the other Pro-Line runners went for M3 compound he went with X3 and while it was still good he said the M3 would have been better. Having felt his driving in Q1 was to conservative, the new Mugen signing said the reseeding after Q1 which put him in the top heat had helped him to be more focused on his driving. With the clutch on his Novarossi engine still not exactly where he wants it to be he will once again adjust this for Q3.
Coming in for a strong exchange of words from Kyosho’s Cody King over his driving, both drivers running in the second fastest heat, Ryan Cavalieri posted the 7th fastest time. The Team Associated driver said while the run ‘started off a little rocky’ he then started to find his lines and he ended pretty well. Running a different diff set-up from Q1, he said this improved his truggy and the run was something to build on for tomorrow. Running a soft AKA Grid Iron tyre he said he will probably go to Super Soft due to the early run time of Q3 as well as adjusting the truggy’s braking so as to have stronger braking.
Posting the 8th fastest time Barry Pettit said his truggy was awesome but he threw away a good run with a late driver error. Running 2nd behind Tebo, on lap 10 of 12 he would get it wrong on the step-up leading onto the back straight and riding the piping he would lose over 3-seconds. Describing the set-up on his MBX7T as ‘perfect’, the 22-year-old will run it unchanged for the final qualifier. Behing Pettit, AKA frontman Mark Pavidis and Billy Fischer both driving TLRs completed the Top 10.
New from AKA are two 1/8th buggy tires, the first of which is the Rasp, a small pin tire suitable for hard packed low dust conditions. Considered more of a qualifying tire it features thread reinforcement to support the pins. Available in late March in super soft, soft and medium compound.
Also new from AKA is the Chainlink, a tire that was previously available as a 1/10th buggy tire, it is suitable for hard packed blue groove. Essentially a beefed up version of the 1/10th tire it features a dense thread pattern which offers long wear and consistent handing. Also available in late March in super soft, soft and medium compound.
HB’s Ty Tessmann TQ’d the opening round of eBuggy at the Dirt Nitro Challenge, the defending Buggy & Truggy Champion setting the pace by 2.4 seconds from Kyosho’s Jared Tebo. The only driver to make the podium in all three 1:8 classes at last year’s DNC, TLR’s Dakotah Phend took his 8ight to the third fastest time 7/10ths of a second off Tebo. Tekno’s Ryan Lutz was fourth fastest around the Fear Farm track followed by reigning Champion David Ronnefalk. With his 2014 win in eBuggy making him the first European to win a DNC title, Ronnefalk had both a bad opening and final lap in the first qualifier. After a rough 41-second second lap, the HB driver would post the fastest lap (37.419) to put himself on target for a Top 2 time but then on the final lap the Swede would make contact with a stranded car, hidden by the tracks elevation changes, resulting in another 41-second lap dropping him to fifth. Just 0.027 of Ronnefalk, Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri completed the Top 6.
Chassis – TLR 8ight-T 3.0 Engine – Team Orion Tyres – JConcepts Chasers Green Fuel – Sidewinder Radio/Servos – Airtronics/Hitec Body – JConcepts Punisher
Remarks – Former DNC winner Ryan Maifield is using the TLR 8ight-T 3.0 with some option parts, including Lunsford turnbuckles and TLR aluminium option parts throughout. In terms of setup, making some changes to his base setting he has removed some rear toe and went harder in the rear shock oil to make the car rotate more. Ryan is also debuting the new JConcepts Chasers tire for Truggy.