Maifield tops FP3

Team Associated’s Ryan Maifield produced the fastest lap of the third free practice taking his heavily modified RC8 around in a best time of 43.963 in what were overall slower conditions as the track becomes more rutted.  Running in Group 7 of 12, Maified was the only driver to record a 43-second lap with Lee Martin, Ryan Lutz and Ty Tessmann closest on pace with 44.044, 44.058 and 44.137 fastest laps respectively.

Changing to a harder compound of JConcepts’ new Metrix tyre and fitted with a softer insert, Maifield said the combination was good and despite a few driver errors as he tried different lines the 10-minute run went well.  Planning to run the same tyre in the days third and final free practice this evening he is planning to make a few adjustments to his set-up to ‘keep up with the track’.  With more ruts developing he said he will tweak the geomtry to make the buggy roll more to help it over the bumps.

Driving a new prototype Durango, Lutz said they are still trying a lot of new things.  While happy to set the third fastest lap of the round despite an insect attack during the run the American said the buggy lacks consistency.  While some of this was down to the driver he said they need to improve stability through the high speed corners.

Tessmann, whose fastest lap of 43.274 from this morning’s first run remains the quickest lap of the Buenos Aires track, used his second run of the day to back to back Proline’s new Diamond Back against the Blockade.  The 19-year-old said the Diamond Back, which was only named yesterday and doesnt yet have the name molded into the tyre, gave him an easier buggy to drive but the Blockade gave better forward bite.  Based on the testing of the two tyres, for FP4 the Canadian will run the Blockade but change to a different front spring on his D8-12 to try and get benefit of the extra traction but make the buggy a little easier to drive.

A man that impressed so many of his rivals yesterday with his maximum attack driving style, British National Champion Elliot Boots took his Kyosho to the fifth fastest time in FP2 with a 44.214 lap followed closely by Mugen’s Robert Batlle on a 44.228 and Associated’s Yannick Aigoin on a 44.288.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chassis Focus – Cody King

Chassis Name – Kyosho Inferno MP9
Engine – Team Orion CRF B321
Tires – Pro-Line
Radio/Servos – KO Propo
Remarks – The World Champion is running the standard MP9 for this race with the Japanese company bringing no major new developments. The only new part are the suspension weights which attach to the hub of the car and the team expect to try them when the track starts to get rough, the idea is to help push the tire back to the ground.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chassis Focus – Ty Tessmann

Chassis Name – HB D8’12
Engine – OS Speed XZ
Tires – Pro-Line
Radio/Servos – Airtronics/Savox
Remarks – Ty is running the D8’12 with a number of new items designed specifically for this race based on their experiences at the warmup race. First up are new front and rear shock towers which allow for lower top shock absorber mounting positions which they felt was needed for dialling in their set-up on this unique surface. On the rear of the car there are new hubs that feature carbon fibre top plates with extra holes to allow a multitude of roll centre settings. The car is running a new as yet unnamed Pro-Line body shell developed by Ty himself of the D8. It features channeling along the top of the cockpit and large scoops at the rear of the shell to give maximum downforce on this high speed track. Also new are the Pro-Line Diamond Back tires in a new X3 compound. The tire features splits in the outer and most and centre cluster of pins and has less pins on the outer edge than in the centre. This is designed specifically for this track with its large top layer of dust.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tessmann tops 2nd practice in Argentina

Hot Bodies’ Ty Tessmann started day 2 of the 1:8 Offroad World Championship in Argentina at the top of the time sheets taking his D8’12 around the Buenos Aires track in a 43.274 second lap in the second Free practice with Mugen’s Robert Batlle second fastest with a time of 43.550 and Kyosho’s Jared Tebo third with a best lap of 43.615.  Running Proline’s new Diamond Back tyre, US National Champion Tessmann said his buggy felt really good on the new tyre but added the track which received some overnight repairs to fill ruts which appeared after yesterday’s single practice round had a lot more traction.  Running the tyre for the entire 10 minutes the Canadian said he will use the second of today’s three scheduled runs to back to back test the Diamond Back against the Blockade tyre. In terms of set-up Tessmann will change to a heavier oil in the centre diff.

Winner of the Worlds Warm-up race, Batlle said while the dusty conditions made track conditions loose his new MBX7 was comfortable to drive.  A much hotter day than yesterday the two time European Champion ran Pro Circuit Hot Dice tyres in green compound but said they were too soft and he plans to switch to the medium compound for his next run.  Having had problems with his throttle response he said the issue was due to the positioning of the servo horn which was causing the linkage to catch but the Spaniard said this is an easy fix.  Overall it was a good start to day 2 for Mugen with team-mate Lee Martin and A-Main Hobbies driver Chad Bradley, who is also running the MBX7, managing to break into 43 second laps.

Martin said he was very happy with the set-up on his buggy adding that the MBX7 has a lot more corner speed than the MBX6 which they used at the warm-up race. Running soft compound AKA Enduro tyres the British ace said Medium would have been a better choice.  Planning to leave his set-up the same for FP3 he said he needs to find a little more engine power and so he will change to a bigger venturi on his Novarossi along with fitting a different clutch.  Bradley, said his buggy was good but the driver needs to be more consistent.  For his second run of the day the American multiple World finalists plans to try the same spring set-up as Batlle.

Having fitted a bigger venturi to his Orion engine for today, 2010 Worlds Top Qualifier Tebo said his MP9 felt ‘really good’ and was comfortable to drive although he did break the buggy in the final moments of the run.  Trying different lines on the step up the American said he landed a little too far to the inside resulting in the break. Running soft AKA Impacts as he did yesterday he said he was happy with his tyre choice and his plan for his next practice was to try a different shock set-up.  Team-mate and defending World Champion Cody King, who also tried Proline’s new Diamond Back will try a shorter rear link on his MP9 having struggled with a lack of rear grip.  His mechanic, and father, Paul said they will also make a few other minor adjustment and will use the next run to compare different tyre patterns. One of only seven drivers to do a 43 second lap this morning, Warm-up Race Top Qualifier David Ronnefalk said conditions today were much better and although the rear end of his AKA equipped MP9 was too loose he said his car was now much better on the concrete section of the track and the Swede felt they were going in the right direction with their set-up.

Team Associated’s Ryan Maifield set the fifth fastest lap with a time of 43.843 despite having some issues with traffic.  Running JConcept’s new Metrix tyre he said while he went for too soft a compound his heavily modified RC8 felt good.  Having changed his set-up slightly from yesterday the American will revert back and in terms of tyres run a harder compound of the Metrix but fitted with a softer insert. Associated have come to the Worlds with a buggy specifically re-engineered for this track and which team manager Brent Thielke said is a one off and not intended for general release. Former European Champion Yannick Aigoin who set a time of 44.039 was pleased with his RC8 saying the track is quite like what he used to in Europe and so they already have a good set-up with his attentions being on finding the right balance in the oils used in the shocks and the diffs.

Running the 11th fastest lap with a 44.092 just behind yesterday pace setter Jerome Aigoin, Dakotah Phend was quickest of the TLR drivers in this morning’s practice.  The teenager said the track was a lot better than yesterday and he described his run as consistent.  With a good base set-up on his 8ight for the track he said they were just working on fine tuning the buggy.  Running Proline’s Blockades in M3 compound he said they were easy to drive but he intends to back to back test different tyres in his next run to give himself a better idea of his options.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Subdued start to 1:8 Offroad Worlds

Day 1 of the 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, can be best described as a rather subdued affair with the timetable consisting of just one 15-minute round of practice. Lacking the air of excitement that is normally associated with the opening day of a Worlds, most drivers treated their single run as a systems check and to learn the track layout which has been reversed since teams attended the Warm-up race held at the end of September.  For the first group of drivers to take to the track, HB’s Tyler Vik being one of them, it was nothing more than a cleaning exercise with the dust causing a rapid evacuation of the grandstand situated next to the drivers stand.  The heavy dust was due to recent flooding of the track after a nearby river burst its banks and further rain yesterday which led organisers to spread wood shavings on a number sections to help dry the surface as much as possible in time for the 14:00 start time.

With the track improving with every run it was hard to get a true indication of pace but based on fastest lap times that honour fell to French Champion Jerome Aigoin who running in the top group took his Kyosho around the track in a best time of 43.738 followed by Kyosho team-mates Elliot Boots, 43.881, and David Ronnefalk, 44.320, who both ran in earlier groups. Boots & Ronnefalk both said they drove their respective MP9s as hard as they could to find the limits.  Boots, who like Aigoin had never driven the track before today, said his Novarossi powered buggy felt good and his plan for the first of tomorrow’s three 10-minute free practice runs is to leave the set-up as is.  Ronnefalk, who was Top Qualifier at the Worlds Warm-up race, was also pretty happy with his Orion powered example in the first outing and the Swede does not expect to make any major changes for the morning.

Defending World Champion Cody King, who ran a best lap of 44.637, said his focus for the opening practice was to get used to the track running in the opposite direction which he added he felt was a little easier than the clockwise direction of the Warm-up race.  Trying a new set-up for the run, the 25-year-old said they would need to change it for tomorrow as it didn’t feel right.  Asked if he felt any extra pressure being the reigning champion, King said he wasn’t thinking about defending his title or doing the double and his plan for the event was just to treat it like any other race.

Top Qualifier at the last World Championship 2-years ago in Thailand where he finished 3rd overall behind King and Atsushi Hara, Jared Tebo was pleased with the feeling off his MP9 in the first run.  Getting over a crash early on the US ace said once he found his rhythm everything felt good although he said it took him about 10 minutes to get used to the track running in the opposite direction to the Warm-up race in which he finished second behind Batlle.  Setting a best lap of 44.839, Tebo said he doesn’t plan to make any set-up change for his first run tomorrow.

Fastest non Kyosho driver on Day 1 was Warm-up Race winner Robert Batlle who used Mugen’s new MBX7 to set the fourth fastest time with a 44.414 lap of the track.

Elsewhere current US National Champion Ty Tessman had a shock pin come out in his run but said otherwise the run felt ok.  The 19-year-old factory HB driver, who has been enjoying great form this year, said he found the track layout took a bit of getting used to. Asked about set-up he said he plans to leave his OS Speed powered D8-12 the same for the morning but added he expects the track to get quite rough with each round and that’s going to mean having to constantly adjust the buggy to suit.  Team-mate and 2008 World Champion Atsushi Hara said his D8-12 felt good but he needed more track time to readjust his driving to offroad having finished runner up at the 1:10 Onroad World Championship two weeks ago.

A World’s podium finisher in 2008, 3-time former European Champion Renaud Savoya said he had too much rear brake on his RB powered Xray XB9 as well as running too soft a compound of tyre.  The Frenchman who just missed out on a podium finish at the Warm-up race to Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri said he has a number of things including prototype parts and a longer chassis to try tomorrow which he is confident will make the buggy more suited to the track.

Current European Champion Darren Bloomfield, who didn’t contest the warm-up race, said his TLR 8ight was a little off.  Trying a new set-up the British ace said he plans to revert back to his European Championship winning set-up for the morning and fine tune that over the other runs.  Based on the track conditions for the opening run, team-mate Adam Drake decided to run an old engine and with a short supply of his regular race fuel also opted to use a different fuel for the first practice. Unfortunately this caused problems with the tuning and his 8ight flamed out five times during the run.  15-year-old factory TLR driver Dakotah Phend, who was running in group 7 of 12, said the track was really dusty but while it was hard to be sure due to the slippery conditions he thought the track had a better flow than the Warm-up.  Working with David Spashett who is his mechanic for this event, Phend who has become a major contender in the offroad nitro scene in the US this season said he will change his suspension set up for tomorrow.

Over in the Associated camp Ryan Maifield, who ran in the seventh of the 12 Groups, said today was just about getting used to track which he described as not being as ‘gnarly’ as the Warm-up layout.  Happy with his LRP powered RC8, the Arizona ace said he will start out Day 2 with the same set-up.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

V is for victory, Meen is World Champion

KM Racing’s Meen Vejrak, or as he is more commonly referred to as Meen V, is the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Champion, the Thai driving becoming the country’s second ever IFMAR World Champion after a stunning performance at the RC Addict track in Bangkok saw him win the rain shortened race from HB’s Atsushi Hara and Capricorns’s Francesco Tironi.  For Top Qualifier Teemu Leino engine issues ended what was looking like a dominant run for the rapid Finn who would eventually crash out 7-minutes before the race ended 56 minutes into the scheduled 1-hour distance.

Having been disappointed at missing out on securing the overall TQ honours in the final round of qualifying 2-days ago, today the 27-year-old was clearly elated by what he had just achieved, the moment being made all the more special by the huge crowd of locals who were on hand to witness the biggest moment of a career that has always shown great promise & potential for the multi discipline international racer.  Choosing to only change the left tyres on his Novarossi powered H-K1 Vejrak said this was the right call and it was thanks to his pitman, who was clearly one of the fastest refuellers in the pitlane, that made the result possible.  Falling behind Hara after his tyre stop but moving back to the front once the Japanese driver made his tyre stop, Vejrak said he knew at this point that the win was possible adding he felt relaxed and in control from that point on.  Not taking any unnecessary risks, on a umber of occasions the factory KM Racing driver pulled up or moved aside to allow recovering drivers to pass rather than jeopardize his lead, as one incident would have been enough to allow Hara close to within striking distance.  Having went out of the last 1:10 World Championship in the Semi while holding a bump up position to the Main after his then prototype KM Racing lost second gear, Vejrak said it was a huge testament to company owner Kenny Ng and the staff for the development they have done in the two years since.

The third World Championship that Hara has finished runner-up since winning his 1:8 Offroad World Championship title in 2008, the legend of the sport was clearly disappointed at having come so close to what would have been his third World title in three different disciplines.  Runner-up to Jilles Groskamp at the electric Touring Car World Championships in the Netherlands earlier this year, Hara said everything in the race was perfect for the win but a late gamble to try and run one extra lap so as they could do one less stop than Vejrak did not pay off with the OS Speed powered R10 flaming out.  Based on his experience from the KM Cup at the track last month, Hara said his tyre strategy of running 40 minutes, for which he had set a target lap time of 15.4 as any faster would have created too much wear, and then only changing the left side also played out perfectly.

Joined in the final by the only other 2 R10’s in the event Hara’s HB team-mates Leino and Andy Moore had contrasting races.  Starting from pole Leino was a DNF but starting from the 10th  & final spot on the grid Moore, who has only raced nitro once before at this year’s European Championship, finished fourth.  Able to build up a massive early lead, Leino’s race took a turn in the second five minutes of the race as he needed to make an unscheduled stop as his LRP engine had gone lean.  Suffering a flame out on the track and a further two more in the pitlane Leino said his car felt really good and while he was able to recover well from the lost time they cost him any chance of the win.  Such was Leino’s pace he was planning on two stops, the first for a full change of tyres and a second with 10-minutes to go for just the left tyres.  While they made the first stop his pit crew opted against the second but with the tyres having worn too low the car eventually bottomed out causing Leino to crash and retire.  Moore said he while he never had the pace to win he feels he could have been third had his engine not flamed out during his tyre stop.  Just a two tyre stop the engine stopping added a further 10 seconds to time he was in the pitlane.

Although one of the best known international drivers in 1:10 Nitro Touring Car, Tironi’s 3rd place today is his best result in a World Championships. Having started out the day in the first of the 1/8 Finals from where he progressed to the 1/4 Final the Italian’s path to finishing on the podium was and will be at a major talking point of the event.  Having been classified 5th in the 1/4 Final, a result they protested, the popular character was allowed progress to the Semi Final as the 11th car on what the rules state will be a 10 car grid.  From there the 2008 World’s finalist finished second to Alexander Hagberg to secure 8th on the grid for the Main.  Tironi said he was ‘very happy’ with the result as having to ‘start the day racing at 9 o’clock’ he never expected to end up on the podium.  Only changing left tyres on his factory LAB-C02 he said his race plan was consistency rather than speed and in the end this helped him to a ‘great result’.

Driving for outgoing champions Xray, Alexander Hagberg was unlucky not to come away with at least a podium finish.  Having put in a great performance to win his Semi and secure his first nitro Worlds Main, the Swede once again had a really good pace, battling with and passing Hara.  Unfortunately during his tyre stop when his pit crew were changing the right hand tyres on his Orcan powered NT1 they blocked the exhaust causing the engine to stop.  Requiring a new glowplug before it could be started, the incident was costly and left the sole Xray to finish 7th ahead of Jilles Groskamp who also lost time after needing a plug change.

One of the pre-event favourites along with Hara, Groskamp’s race went wrong at the first corner.  With Leino running wide in the sweeper at the end of the main straight, the Dutch ace said he had to back off in the corner and this caused him to clip the kerb flipping his Maxima powered Capricorn.  Leaving him last, the incident chunked a rear tyre and while he tried his best to keep up it was difficult but his race was to get worse. While running behind Moore, the HB driver spun in the corner leading onto the straight which Groskamp couldn’t avoid sending him crashing to the outside of the main straight and into the trees where it flamed out.  Back in the pits the engine needed a new plug further adding to the amount of time lost.  Changing tyres on 35 minutes Groskamp, who set the fastest lap of the race, said his LAB-C02 felt really good and he thinks the pace was there to match Meen but the race just wasn’t to be.

After 8 days of competition the fifth running of the Nitro Touring Car World Championships has been completed with Meen V becoming its fifth different World Champion. Red RC would like to thank new world champion manufacturer KM Racing and Matrix tyres, who finished on the podium with Tironi, for making our coverage from Thailand possible. We would also like to thank Jarb Ratanarat and the crew at RC Addict for all their hospitality during our stay in Bangkok.

Final Result
1.(4) Meen Vejrak – KM Racing/Novarossi – 208/56:35.312
2.(3) Atsushi Hara – HB/OS Speed – 207/56:30.902
3.(8) Francesco Tironi – Capricorn/Capricorn – 204/56:33.302
4.(10)Andy Moore – HB/Maxima – 203/56:26.846
5.(7) Chavit Sirigupta – Mugen/Maxima – 202/56:26.715
6.(6) Keisuke Fukuda – Mugen/Picco – 202/56:32.394
7.(5) Alexander Hagberg – Xray/Orcan – 202/56:33.002
8.(2) Jilles Groskamp – Capricorn/Maxima – 201/56:30.134
9.(9) Cheung Hang Hung – KM Racing/Murnan – 196/56:17.902
10.(1)Teemu Leino – HB/LRP – 181/49:57.460

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

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Red RC are making our first trip to the Reedy International Touring Car Race of Champions at the Tamiya facility in California. This long standing race with its unique heads up style racing format attracts some of the best drivers from around the World to battle it out for the coveted invite class title. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Thursday afternoon (21st) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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