Ryan Maifield kicked off Day 2 of the Reedy Race of Champions this morning by registering his 1st win at the 24th running of the unique event. Starting 6th on the grid for the fifth round of 4WD action, it was a loaded heat containing three World Champions with Ryan Cavalieri on pole and Spencer Rivkin 8th. While Cavalieri pulled clear from the front and looked on target to extend his lead in the points, Maifield quickly moved his way to the front and with relative ease reeled in his great rival setting up the first real ‘Ryan & Ryan’ show of this years event. Banging wheels and tangling cars, it was Maifield who came out with the win from Cavalieri with Rivkin working his way up to third. In the other big encounter Lee Martin held off a very determined Dustin Evans to win the second heat of the round while 2016 Champion Dakotah Phend claimed his first win the final encounter ahead of Joe Bornhorst and a recovering Ty Tessmann. Starting on the front row alongside pole sitter Joona Haatanen, the pair tangled on the drag into the first corner dropping the Canadian to the back of the field.
Commenting on his win Maifield said, ‘I started 6th but got by guys fast enough and made a good move around (2nd place start) Reno (Savoya). I made slight changes to my car and it was better and easier to go fast. I knew I was faster on the left side of the track than Ryan. Then I made mistake and tangled with him which allowed Spencer to catch us so then I backed it down. When Spencer dropped back I started to push again and landed on his (Cavalieri’s) inside and kept it there to the end’. Reflecting on his performances yesterday, the World Champion said, ‘there were a couple of driver errors on my part and I wasn’t feeling great but I got a early night and I’m feeling better today. The track is also better today but I have another hard race in the next’. Going up again Cavalieri and Rivkin again in the final 4WD encounter, the heat will also have Tessmann on the grid, the Yokomo driver will start behind them all in 9th position.
‘It was pretty good’ was Cavalieri’s thoughts on Round 5. Winning 3 of his four encounters yesterday with a third in the closing round, he said, ‘I knew my car was a little slower than needed to race Maifield. I had opportunities and it was a really good race but went wide on the triple’. The reigning champion continued, ‘I gave up too much time in the first minute. I should have been able to open up a bigger lead and hold that gap better’. For the last 4WD encounter the Associated driver will start on the front row along pole sitter and team-mate Rivkin.
Martin summed up his second win by saying, ‘It was pretty OK. It was good starting on the outside (of the front row) because it has a little more traction and I could get the holeshot’. He added, ‘the pack got held up a little behind me and by the time Dustin got through I had a cushion. He was catching but made a few mistakes so I didn’t have to push hard and risk wrecking my stuff’. With the win, the Yokomo driver moves up to second in the points standing on the same points as Rivkin and 1 point up on Evans.
‘From 6th that was good’, was Evans view of the race. The former Champion added, ‘I was super patient behind JP (Richards) and Chad (Due) and by the time I got by, Lee had a good gap but I was catching him. I was on a mission with that one’. Having clashed with Martin yesterday, ‘I clipped the triple coming onto the straight, I was pushing really hard. I probably didn’t need to be because I was catching him but I’ll take 2nd from 6th.’
Dustin Evans made a clear statement regarding his Round 3 treatment by taking victory in a very stacked Round 4 encounter at the Reedy Race of Champions. Annoyed no call was made regarding his incident with Lee Martin, Evans would line up for his final race of the day against Ryan Cavalieri, Ryan Maifield and Ty Tessmann and from 7th on the grid came to take his second win of the event. With JP Richards the early leader from Malin Karlsen, Tessmann was the first to challenge Richards for the lead but the pair tangled coming onto the straight and somehow Cavalieri from 9th on the grid hit the front. Chased by Tessmann they would also make contact handing the lead back to Richards with Evans right behind. Holding the 2011 Champion at bay for 2 laps, the Yokomo driver would give up the lead to Evans in the steps section as the Associated driver got down his inside. An over jump at the Monster Energy Triple would further demote Richards allowing Maifield and Cavalieri through for 2nd and 3rd but Tessmann was less lucky tangling with Richards at the next corner and ending up 6th at the finish. In the other encounters Rivkin doubled his winning tally by taking the 3rd heat ahead of Dakotah Phend while Cole Tollard beat 2WD Open class champion Brent Thielke in Heat 2.
‘To have that stacked a heat and start 7th a Top 3 would have been a good result. Going up against Maifield, Cav and Tessmann it’s pretty insane to win’, was Evans’ reaction after the race. The Associated driver continued, ‘the last one hurts but I need to forget that now and get onto to the next one’. With 2 more rounds of 4WD to run in the morning before the switch to 2WD, Evans finds himself 3rd in the overnight standings behind leader Cavalieri and Spencer Rivkin.
With a two point lead at the end of the first day, Cavalieri wasn’t too disappointed he didn’t complete a perfect score. He said, ‘It was a good race. I’m super happy with my pace and that I was able to lead given the drivers in the race’. The 4-time Champion continued, ‘there were are a few points I’m able to go quicker and then there was a few points Ty was quicker but to get good points when everyone was so close and getting spun around I’m happy with third. It been a good day’.
Rivkin summed up his second win by saying, ‘It was a good race, that’s the best my car is going to be’. The 2015 World Champion, who started from pole, continued, ‘I had a good lead and made a small mistake. I find it easier to drive racing other people than driving by myself but I’m happy to get the win and I’m ready to go racing the other guys tomorrow’. For his final two rounds of 4WD tomorrow, Rivkin goes up against Cavalieri and Maifield in both.
Pudge Luck seems to be in full effect on the opening day of racing at the Reedy Race of Champions as Ryan Cavalieri made 3 wins from 3 races at OCRC Raceway. Starting from 8th on the grid, the reigning champion hit the front on lap 9 of 14 when he got by TLR’s Reno Savoya to extend his points lead as the only multiple winner so far at the 24th running of the event. Behind Cavalieri 10th place starter Cole Tollard came through to finish 2nd ahead of early leader and front row starter Michal Orlwoski while Savoya dropped back to 7th. The big talking point of the round would however be the opening race and a clash between Lee Martin and Dustin Evans. With no call made on the incident, in which Evans came off worse, Martin would register the first European win of the event ahead of Spencer Rivkin and a very unhappy Evans. In the other encounter Joona Haatanen took an easy win from JP Richards while the same heat saw Ryan Maifield retire with a broken front centre shaft coupler.
Commenting on his latest win, Cavalieri said, ‘I had a really good start and was sneaking around. Then I was battling with Savoya (for the lead) but he really brake checked me’. Getting into the rear of the Frenchman at the end of the straight but rolling himself after going by he said, ‘It was good he was able to get back into the lead but I had to work my way back up. It was kind deja vu of the first race’. Dropping to 3rd behind team boss Brent Thielke, he would retake the position when Thielke got a jump wrong and then went to the front when Savoya landed in the face of the jump leading onto the straight. Set to start the final race of the day from 9th on the grid, he said, ‘I don’t think where you start makes too much difference to the race because everyone is making mistakes’.
‘An entertaining race’, was Martin’s view of his third round encounter. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘the car was probably the best it was so far and I tried to not make any mistake. One lap would be really good and the next one you’d get out shape and be afraid of it for the next lap’. Asked about his incident with Evans he said, ‘he got inside me one corner and I closed the door on the other and hit him’. He continued, ‘I could of backed but I am trying to do my best at the same time. With Spencer there I didn’t. I don’t normally get into stuff like that but its one of them things that I’ve had happen to me many times before’.
Giving his opinion on the incident Evans was clearly irrate with Martin’s driving saying, ‘just watch the video’. He continued, ‘I was making the pass and got smoked the next corner. I used to have a lot of respect for Lee but not anymore. If that’s hard racing then I’m going to have to start driving hard’.
Having had ‘bad starts’ in his opening two races, Haatanen said ‘that went very good’. Lining up 8th on the grid, the Finnish teenager said ‘I was waiting at the start for others to crash and that worked good for me. My car is easy to drive and fast also’. In the same race as Haatanen, the only European to ever win the Reedy Race title, Joern Neumann, would break in the warm-up with the 1-minute time out allowed not enough time for him to fix his Schumacher and make the start.