Drew Moller TQ’d a very exciting final 4WD Buggy qualifier at the JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals in Chico but overall the day belonged to Ryan Maifield as he completed a perfect qualifying to secure his third overall TQ of the event on his TLR debut. The first time for Moller to top the time sheets having been the top seed for qualifying, the result will see the A-Main Hobbies driver start second on the grid with Q2 pace setter Tyler Vik having to settle for third after literally driving the wheels off his Xray in the final heat. Despite retiring from Q3 following his rear hub tower coming loose, Daimon Borkowicz will start as the top Team Associated driver when he lines up fourth.
Having wrapped up 2WD Buggy and Short Course in the second round of qualifying, Maifield was pleased to put all three of his cars on pole position for tomorrow’s Mains. Making a change to his Orion powered TLR22, he said it was not the right direction to take leaving his buggy both harder to drive and slower. Despite this he had ‘fun’ in the last few laps of the final qualifier fighting it out with Moller & Vik adding that hopefully he wont find himself in a repeat battle tomorrow. On his car set-up, he said he will just go back to that which he used in Q2.
Moller said his run as ‘kind of conservative’ but he managed a better start than the previous two qualifiers. Describing his HB as being ‘strapped up’ he said he was just able to keep putting in good laps leading to a pretty exciting finish to the run. Better known for his 1:8 Offroad exploits as a Mugen team driver, the 18-year-old said the D413 which he only got 3 weeks ago is ‘a really good fit to his driving style’. Asked about his approach for the finals, he said he was going to be patient and just try to stay close to Maifield for the first couple laps and work out what to do from there.
‘Everything was going good til my wheel overtook me on the track’, that was Vik’s summary of Q3. The RC America team driver said his Xray XB4 was really good when he was not making driver errors. Planning to leave the car unchanged for A1 he said ‘tyre stuff’ was all he needed to decide on. Top Qualifier at the Spring Indoor Nationals and ending up 3rd at the Tacoma race, he said the track had little opportunities for passing and it was going to be a case of just waiting for mistakes, the track having so far proved successful at inducing mistakes from drivers.
‘Pretty excited’ was Borkowicz’s reaction to securing fourth on the grid. The 14-year-old said this weekend has been his best performance in a while adding it was good to be running up with the top guys. Despite ripping a screw from the rear hub tower which in turn allowed the rear suspension to flex and pop a drive shaft, he is very happy with his Reedy powered B44.2, saying the buggy is very easy to drive and that has been good for building his confidence. Having run with former team-mate Maifield in Q1 when he took an impressive second for that round, he said for the finals his plan is to keep his nerves in check and just put in his own race.
Posting the 3rd fastest time of Q3, Brian Strange will start 5th in the A-Main. The Associated driver said the track has just kept coming to were his cars are at and they are very easy to drive. Hoping that there is no change to the track maintenance for tomorrow so he doesn’t have to prep anything differently he said starting in the middle of the pack its best to ‘wait & see’ how the early part of the race runs and then go from there.
Also enjoying his best qualifier in the final round, fourth helped Eric Albano to secure sixth on the grid ahead of World Champion Steven Hartson. The 19-year-old said he ‘finally got a good run’ having suffered too many mistakes of his own doing in the opening two qualifiers. Switching to a softer set-up on the front end of his B44.2 he said this also helped with making the car easier to drive.
Hartson, winner of the previous JConcepts Indoor National Series encounter, said he has just struggled with his cars all day. Describing his cars as having been ‘really good yesterday’ during practice he said today they are undriveable. Trying to make his LRP powered B44.2 easier to drive each qualifier he said no matter what he did he couldn’t make it happen. Looking to the finals he said he will try some more stuff tomorrow adding he hopes they will bring some improvement over what he had to run with today.
4WD Buggy A-Main Grid
1. Ryan Maifield – Team Losi Racing – 2 pts
2. Drew Moller – A-Main Hobbies (HB) – 3
3. Tyler Vik – Team Xray – 5
4. Damion Borkowicz – Team Associated – 6
5. Brian Strange – Team Associated – 10
6. Eric Albano – Team Associated – 11
7. Steven Hartson – Team Associated – 11
8. Derek Stephansen – 13
9. JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 14
10.Chris Jarosz – Team Associated – 16
4WD Buggy Qualifying Round 3
1. Drew Moller – A-Main Hobbies (HB) – 21/5:13.585
2. Ryan Maifield – Team Losi Racing – 21/5:14.607
3. Brian Strange – Team Associated – 20/5:00.590
4. Eric Albano – Team Associated – 20/5:02.296
5. Derek Stephansen – 20/5:03.292
6. Mark Pavidis – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:06.817
7. Brent Thielke – Team Associated – 20/5:10.493
8. Chris Bridgewater – Team Associated – 20/5:11.486
9. JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:11.875
10.Kurt Wenger – Team Associated – 20/5:13.620
Schelle Racing have their new shorty pack conversion in use here in Chico, with designer Kurt Wenger racing it. Designed to be used with their previously released aluminium B44.2 chassis plate, the new set includes the carbon top decks, battery mounting plates as well as the central motor mounting brackets. The conversion allows the shorty pack to be used in the car and to accommodate this the central drive train has to be reversed with the motor placed parallel to the battery pack behind the centre slipper on the left side of the car. With the use of the shorty pack and the conversion parts being similar in weight and weight distribution to the parts they replace the car can be lightened by around 80 grams. The parts we were shown are prototypes with the final aluminium parts being anodised blue to match the rest of the car. Schelle Racing also have a new rear ball stud mount for the B5 which features an extra mounting hole which while shown to us in black finish will be available in anodised blue.
AKA gave us a preview of their new nut spinner which has a neat feature that allows it to have two heads in one tool. Mounted to a lightweight machined handle, the tool’s standard use is with 7mm nuts like those used for wheel nuts, then with the press and twist of the red anodised tool tip it unveils a 5.5mm nut head which is great for shock mounting and other uses. The tool we were shown is a near final prototype with the final version expected to be available in a months time.
Team Powers have their new X Booster Cap, made from aluminium, which when connected to the ESC gives the driver more bottom end power thanks to the different way that it releases energy compared to a basic capacitor. No setup required it is seeing a lot of success here in Chico, with 8 of the top 10 drivers in the 17.5 class using it.
Ryan Maifield’s debut with Team Losi Racing is proving fruitful with him securing the overall TQ in offroad racing’s premiere class 2WD Buggy at the JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals, the result adding to the overall 2WD Short Course TQ he took earlier with the all new TLR22 SCT 2.0. Having taken the opening round of qualifying, Maifield claimed the honour of Top Qualifier by again topping the times in Q2, this time round from the Associated of his young protege Spencer Rivkin. Surprising the field with his pace in Q1, Mark Pavidis showed it was on merit as he again completed the Top 3 with his TLR22.
Happy with how his first race weekend with TLR is running so far, Maifield said other than shimming up the steering rack on his Orion powered TLR22, he left the buggy unchanged for Q2 and again it was ‘good’. With his rear tyres like slicks at the end of the run, he said wrapping up the TQ early gave him the advantage of being being able use the final qualifier to get a fresh set of JConcepts tyres ready for tomorrow’s triple Mains.
‘Pretty good’ was Rivkin’s response to how he felt his second qualifier had gone. The 15-year-old said he took things a little more cautious this time round and other than ‘a bobble or two’ it worked out well. Changing to a stiffer spring on his B5M he said that worked ‘really good’ although he ended up with a little too much steering. To avoid the risk of traction rolling, for the final qualifier the Arizona driver will change the rear end set-up so as to get ‘number steering’. With a 6th for Q1, he said he will go even more cautious with his driving for Q3 in the hope of dropping that result as he ‘(doesn’t) want to be at the back of the pack’ for the finals.
Pavidis was very modest about his run saying his run was ‘clean but nothing special’. The former World Champion’s performance was a popular one with AKA’s marketing man Brent Fiege joking ‘old bald guys go fast to which Pavidis son, who is doing well here in Stock Buggy, said his father’s baldness made him ‘more aerodynamic’. Running in the second fastest heat, the AKA front man said the key to his run was him driving it really cautiously and safe. Having locked himself into the final he said he plans to use Q3 to break in a new set of typos for tomorrow.
Fourth fastest was Drew Moller. Running an Associated B5M, the factory Mugen 1:8 Offroad driver, said the run as good other than two mistakes of his own doing. Very happy with how his Pro-Line equipped buggy ran he said other than trying to eliminate the mistakes he would continue to drive it as is.
Setting the fastest lap of the round with a 14.990, Team Associated’s Brian Strange posted the 5th fastest time. The Sacramento driver said due to a recent lack of racing he has just been focusing on working on himself rather than his B5M. Feeling the track is coming to his car, he said in Q2 he also had the benefit of getting some clean track in front of him allowing him to knock out good clean laps. Letting his JConcepts tyres wear down naturally he said their pin heights seems to be keeping good pace with the track conditions. With his car pulling wheelies a little he said he might make a rear spring change for the final qualifier.
Leading Associated in Q1, Daimon Borkowicz had a rough second qualifier including crashing into the foot of a marshal standing in the middle of the sweeper. Ending up 6th fastest, the 14-year-old said he was very happy with the pace of his B5M highlighted by t his fastest lap which was just 9/1000th off that of Strange and quicker than that of the Top 4 for the round. Getting caught up in a train with his team-mates Rivkin and Steven Hartson, the seeding pace setter having another bad qualifier, Borkowicz said he hoped to be able to put together a cleaner Q3 with his focus being on improving his points haul.
2WD Buggy Qualifying Round 2
1. Ryan Maifield – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:07.494
2. Spencer Rivkin – Team Associated – 20/5:10.444
3. Mark Pavidis – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:12.187
4. Drew Moller – A-Main Hobbies (AE) – 20/5:13.607
5. Brian Strange – Team Associated – 20/5:14.077
6. Damion Borkowicz – Team Associated – 20/5:14.308
7. JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:14.901
8. Eric Albano – Team Associated – 20/5:15.160
9. Chris Jarosz – Team Associated – 19/5:00.394
10.Tyler Vik – Team Xray – 19/5:01.324
Tyler Vik took the second round of 4WD Buggy qualifying at the JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals, the Xray driver heading the times as the lead drivers broke into the 21-laps at the Outback Raceway in Chico, California. Running in the second fastest heat, Vik took the round from Q1 pace setter Ryan Maifield with qualifying top seed Drew Moller completing the Top 3.
Top Qualifier at the Spring Indoor Nationals in Tacoma, Washington, back in April, Vik said his ‘car was perfect’ adding he ‘just had to drive it’. Making a mistake early in the run, he said while it is impossible to make back up any time on this track in the end he was the driver with the smaller mistakes referring to Maifield’s late mistake in the following heat. Running AKA Typo tyres all round on his XB4, he said for the final qualifier he would be paying attention to the track to see if he needs to run slicks saying right now that it is on edge regarding tyre choice.
Maifield said he lost out on the TQ due to a mistake but overall he felt his TLR22-4 was good after making ‘a couple of adjustments’ after Q1. While most drivers made comment to the fact that the track conditions had change a lot since they stopped watering it, reporting traction getting super high, Maifield said it didn’t feel that different to him. Describing his JConcepts shod buggy as being ‘really consistent’ he said the only improvement he would like to make now is to gain a little more speed in the 180 corners. Checking out his front diff he said he will rebuild it for Q3 as it didn’t feel as smooth as he would like it.
Moller described his second run as ‘good’ adding he drove more consistent than in the morning avoiding making any crashes over the 5-minutes. The A-Main Hobbies backed driver said grip levels had gone ‘sky high’ since Q1 but his HB D413 adapted well. Running the same set of Pro-Line Electron tyres he ran in Q1, the 18-year-old said that while the track is almost ready for slicks his set of tyres were now almost a set of slicks so he would just continue with the same package for the final qualifier.
Continuing to make a strong impression this weekend Daimon Borkowicz posted the fourth fastest time. The protege of JConcepts owner Jason Ruona, the talented youngster said he found his Reedy powered Associated B44.2 a ‘little harder to drive’ on the drier track adding that when the track was being waterred it was more forgiving. With his 4th and 2nd from Q1 locking him into the A-Main, he plans to try something for Q3 in the hope of finding something better to run in the A-Main but what changes he will make he will decide nearer the time of the run.
The only top driver to run slicks, a set of Dremeled down JConcepts Barcodes, Steven Hartson would post the 5th fastest time. The World Champion said his LRP powered B44.2 was very fast but he joked he couldn’t stay on the track with them. While the car was difficult to drive on the slicks he said he was not sure what tyre choice to make for the final round adding that while traction is increasing due to them not watering the track by the time Q3 comes around dust could be an issue.
Completing the Top 6 was JR Mitch who was winner of the series opening race – the Winter Indoor Nationals in St.Louis. The Team Losi Racing driver said after a spring change his TLR22-4 was better through the sweeper. Suffering one bobble, he said how he drove after the mistake was how he should have driven the whole qualifier. For Q3 and with the ‘bite coming up’, the Florida driver will refreshen his shocks for the final run.
4WD Buggy Qualifying Round 2
1. Tyler Vik – Team Xray – 21/5:12.833
2. Ryan Maifield – Team Losi Racing – 21/5:13.020
3. Drew Moller – A-Main Hobbies (HB) – 21/5:13.187
4. Damion Borkowicz – Team Associated – 20/5:02.346
5. Steven Hartson – Team Associated – 20/5:03.913
6. JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:05.363
7. Brian Strange – Team Associated – 20/5:05.843
8. Derek Stephansen – 20/5:06.113
9. Eric Albano – Team Associated – 20/5:08.968
10.John Walentia – Team Associated – 20/5:10.780
Having taken the opening round of 4WD Buggy, Ryan Maifield repeated the feat in the first of the three rounds of 2WD Buggy qualifying at the JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals at Outback Raceway in Chico. The new Team Losi Racing signing topped Q1 by 2.3 seconds from Team Xray’s Tyler Vik with fellow TLR driver Mark Pavidis completing the Top 3, the trio being the only drivers to post 20-lap runs. Having topped seeding it was a difficult opening qualifier for Steven Hartson with the Team Associated driver ending up only 16th fastest.
‘The best my car has been so far here’ was how Maifield summed up the performance of his Orion powered TLR22 in the opening qualifier. Making changes since yesterday’s seeding practice based on recommendations from both TLR’s Frank Root and Team Orion’s Joe Pillars, he said his mid motored buggy now had speed while still being comfortable to drive. Last year’s 2WD winner at the A-Main Hobbies hosted event, Maifield said Q1 was the first time he got to run alongside all the fast drivers and this made it much easier to pace yourself in relation to the competition. Having changed the car every time he has gone out on track, Maifield said with the car working well he will leave it the same for Q2 as he tries to get more familiar with his new cars.
‘Way better than I thought’ was how Vik summed up his qualifier. Suffering one crash the San Francisco driver thought he would end up with a Top 10 not a Top 2 time. Running AKA Deja Vu rears and Typo fronts on his Associated B4.2 Centro, he said the car was really good and he had no intentions of changing anything for Q2.
Still running his TLR22 the same as how he arrived in Chico with it, him using Dustin Evan’s Reedy Race of Champions set-up, Pavidis was pleased with his qualifier. Saying the car was no different to practice, the former World Champion said at the end of yesterday he was pretty confident that while his 3-consecutive lap pace was not so fast over 5-minute he had a good form. Running AKA’s clay Typo tyre all round, in the front he is trying a new black foam insert. Designed for high bite tracks he said here he has found it to smooth out the front end. Finding the track a little more aggressive this morning than yesterday, he said he has only two sets of tyres ready for qualifying and for Q2 he will run the second of those with the aim of repeating a similar result which would allow him then to use Q3 to scrub tyres in for tomorrow’s A-Main.
Having led the Team Associated challenge in the first 4WD qualifier, Damion Borkowicz again was the teams top runner posting the 4th fastest time. The Florida youngster said his Reedy powered B5M struggled for the first 2 minutes with the car really hard to drive but there after he said it was really good. Feeling there is not much he can do to improve this particular problem, he said he will continue with the car as is. Suffering one flip over after the triple he said he was able to drive real smooth after that and his aim for the next qualifier is to try to keep himself in that right mindset.
Drew Moller posted the 5th fastest time also driving an Associated B5M. The LA driver said his car was good but he had ‘one long crash’ that cost him over 4-seconds. Getting stuck on the piping while running a Top 3 pace he said the ‘marshal was half asleep’. Happy with his pace he said he will not make any changes for Q2.
Spencer Rivkin completed the Top 6, the 15-year-old describing the run as ‘alright’. Suffering one mistake in which he flipped over his B5M, he said the car was too soft and he will now change to a harder spring.
Running second to Maifeld for a time Root said the run was ‘really good until I crashed’. TLR’s Senior Product Developer said as he does not race as much as he used to his nerves got the better of him and due to traffic the marshal had to wait before getting to his buggy. Having recommended a change to Maifield for Q1, he said that worked well and for Q2 he will now make the same droop adjustment to his own TLR22.
2WD Buggy Qualifying Round 1
1. Ryan Maifield – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:12.835
2. Tyler Vik – Team Xray – 20/5:15.147
3. Mark Pavidis – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:15.641
4. Damion Borkowicz – Team Associated – 19/5:00.426
5. Drew Moller – A-Main Hobbies (AE) – 19/5:00.551
6. Spencer Rivkin – Team Associated – 19/5:00.971
7. Frank Root – Team Losi Racing – 19/5:00.988
8. Justin Moon – Serpent – 19/5:02.517
9. Eddie Bernal – Team Associated – 19/5:02.915
10.Chris Bridgewater – Team Associated – 19/5:03.955