March 13, 2014

New in the Pits – AKA

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AKA have their new Deja Vu rear buggy and SC tire pattern here in Scottsdale. Based on a familiar discontinued tire pattern they are suited for blue groove indoor and outdoor tracks and will be available in clay, soft and super soft compounds. Up front to work with the Deja Vu tires in the same conditions there is the new Pinstripe 2wd and 4wd front tires. The buggy tires will be available on the companies Evo wheel.

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Also for Short Course there is the new Gridiron II which is a good all round tire which the drivers here are using on the front of their 2wd SC trucks to take away steering while for 4wd trucks they would work when used front and rear on hard packed dusty tracks.  All tires should be available next month.

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March 13, 2014

New in the Pits – Pro-Line

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Title sponsors of this year’s Cactus Classic Pro-Line are showing off a number of new items here including their updated rear Suburb VTR tire. As the name suggest the new Suburb has now been modified to fit their VTR wheel, a small change Pro-Line also took the opportunity to increase the size of the tires pins which are now more durable. Up front there is the all new Transistor VTR tire, which fits in their range between the Ion and Scrub and again feature a bigger pin for better wear. On the inside and outside edge of the tire there is a rib running the entire circumference which helps reduce the aggressiveness of the tire. The Transistor is available as a 4wd and 2wd front tire.

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Other new items from Pro-Line include their all new high downforce Trifecta rear wing which is also high strength thanks to the included ribbing along the back edge of the wing. In terms of bodies they also have their Phantom shell for the B5M, following up on the release of the Phantom for the B5 earlier. All products on display are available from next month.

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March 13, 2014

Track Focus – SRS Raceway

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Track Name – SRS Raceway
Country – USA
Location – Scottsdale, Arizona
Direction – Anti-Clockwise
Surface – Sugared Dirt

America’s longest running race and one of the most prestigious events on the international 1:10 Offroad racing calendar, this is the 28th running of the Pro-Line Cactus Classic.  Originally set to move indoor this year to host HobbyTown USA/SRS’s new Scottsdale RC Speedway facility, delays in the completion of the new building mean the event is again at the popular outdoor track, albeit regrettably most likely the last time the event will run at this location.

Speaking to Store Manager and track builder Ricky Gaynor the track was prepared for the race last week with rain a few days prior to that making the build a little more tricky than usual.  The moisture caused the dirt to want to clump together with Ricky saying it has created a ‘weird’ final surface.  Running two club races on the track, which was watered between runs, in preparation for Cactus Classic the track has undergone two sugar coatings.  A first coating of 300lbs of sugar was followed by a second 500lbs coating with Ricky planning no further treatment of the surface.  Last year the track as sugared nightly over the event.  Asking Ricky about the future of the track he said the reason for the moving of both the hobby store and the track is that the land owner has plans to build Condos on the site.

Reigning 2WD Buggy champion Jared Tebo said this year’s track, while not having as good a flow as last year, should be good to race on with the up hill section on the right side being the main separator as well as being a good passing spot.  Describing the racing line as tight he said the track is a little bumpy and even more grippy than last year.  Chasing a fourth consecutive 4WD buggy title, Ryan Maifield, for whom this is his home event, said the layout is fun with drivers availing of open practice the past two days, the Associated drivers added that the ‘surface is really consistent’.

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March 13, 2014

‘From Race Control’ – Day 1, Controlled Practice

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As expected its a sunny morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, for Day 1 of our coverage of the Pro-Line Cactus Classic.  Technically the third day of the event for many drivers, the track having been available for open practice for the past two days, today’s scheduled sees the first formal action with Controlled Practice. Drivers will get 2 rounds of 5-minute practice per class, 12 classes making up the 44 heat entry, with the fastest 3-consecutive laps of each driver determining a reseed for qualifying which runs tomorrow & Friday.


February 24, 2014

Tessmann does ‘The Dirt’ double

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Ty Tessmann has completed the double at the 15th Annual Dirt Nitro Challenge, the HB driver backing up the Truggy win he took last night with a second victory tonight in the blue ribbon 1:8 Nitro Buggy class at the world famous event.  Making history by becoming the first driver to win three consecutive Truggy titles, Tessmann also becomes the first driver to do the double twice, the Canadian having won both feature races when the Fear Farm hosted Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s signature event for the first time in 2012.  The podium in Phoenix was completed by Top Qualifier Dakotah Phend, the TLR driver having to recover from a first lap error and France’s Renaud Savoya who becomes the first European to make the podium at the event.

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Clearly pleased at doing the double, something that will make the 24-hour drive back to Alberta that lies ahead of him somewhat easier, Tessmann said the key to his success was ‘not crashing’.  After a ‘good start’ the 21-year-old said he ‘got worried’ when David Ronnefalk started to pull clear up front.  Running Pro-Line X3 Blockades on his OS Speed powered D8, he said they were loose at the start due to the water on the track but when it dried out they came in really good.  With about 15-minutes to go he said they started to fade so his focus was to just try maintain the gap adding that this was made easier by Savoya & Phend battling one another for second spot.  Admitting to things getting ‘shakey a few times’ he said for the most part his driving was ok and in terms of his equipment everything ran smoothly.

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Phend summed up his race with ‘rough start’.  Leading away the World championship quality 15-car field, he said he was ‘trying to take it easy’ but went wide first time through the double double and into the dust resulting in his buggy ending up on its roof and needing to be marshalled.  The mistake would leave him 9th at the end of lap 1.  Describing his recovery as ‘not the best’ as he made ‘a lot of mistakes’, he said when he did find his rhythm he was able to pull back in the leaders but it came too late and although he salvaged second it was some 13.087-seconds behind Tessmann.  Choosing Pro-Line M3 Blockade and setting the second fastest lap of the race he said his Orion powered 8ight 3.0 was really good but it was just that one mistake that hurt him so badly.

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‘Super happy’ was factory Xray driver Savoya’s response to his third place finish, the 3-time European Champion adding it was a great result to build on in this World championship year.  Running Sweep’s silver Battle Star tyre on his Orion powered XB9, he described it as ‘super easy to drive’ allowing him push really hard with out much effort.  Top European at last year’s DNC, he said this year is by far his best run at the event as he almost made the Truggy A-Main.

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Unfortunately for fellow European David Ronnefalk it was a case of what could so nearly have been.  Starting from 5th on the grid, the Swede took his Kyosho to the front on lap 6 and was starting to pull clear until his first fuel stop.  Suffering a flame he would rejoin fourth closing back in on the leaders only for him to suffer two further engines cuts during his fuel stops.  After the race it was discovered that the rubber pipping on his air filter was torn with the leak affecting the idle of his Orion engine.  A dejected Ronnefalk said ‘it was just one of those things’, the rip believed to have been caused as they refitted the air filter after pre-race technical inspection.  Being ‘pissed’ after the second flame out, the reigning European Champion said this lead to ‘quite a lot of crashes’ and this ‘probably cost (him) a podium’.  Driving easy at the start and still able to pull away he said everything was amazing including his Orion engine which on track ran perfectly.  Such was Ronnefalk’s pace, his MP9 setting the fastest lap of the race, even with three flame outs he finished only 24-seconds, or half a lap, behind Tessmann.

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For outgoing champion Ryan Maifield, who had to bump up from the B-Main to make the main show, a tough event ended with a short race.  Twice his Associated prototype RC8 came to a stop on track after tumbles as a drive shaft popped out and after just 6-minutes his race was done.

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2011 Champion Jared Tebo, who was in contention for the win having just taken over the lead from team-mate Ronnefalk on lap 12, it would also be engine issues that would end his challenge.  Suffering an engine cut having just been in for fuel he would loose a lap & a half as his Kyosho was recovered and restarted.  After the race Kyosho team-manager and pitman for Tebo, Joe Pillar said the cut suspected to have been caused by a stone catching in the flywheel as when they turned the MP9 upside down in the pits a rock fell out.

View our event image gallery here.