Round 2 of action at the Reedy Race of Champions saw Ryan Cavalieri pull off another win, this time the reigning champion taking a more straight forward victory over Lee Martin and Dakotah Phend. For the other two winners of the opening round, the second encounter wouldn’t go as well. Running in the same heat as Cavalieri, Spencer Rivkin would end up finishing as he started with fourth while Dustin Evans, running in the opening race, lost ground dropping two places to finish 5th. The winner of that race would be Ty Tessmann who led home Ryan Maifield while the round was completed by reigning Open Class Champion Broc Champlin who took the win from Rob Gillespie when the latter got it wrong coming onto the main straight.
‘I got a good start that time’, was how Cavalieri summed up the race. He added, ‘starting on the inside you lose a little traction and Spencer got around me but then a few people made mistakes and I took advantage. When I got in front I got into my groove and it was all good’. He concluded, ‘it was a lot different race to the first one’, his gap over pole starter Martin 3.3 seconds at the finish. Commenting on his race Rivkin said, ‘Me and Lee tapped. I messed up my own race. He landed up in sea world (blue infield) and came back out quicker than I expected and we touched. It was my fault’.
Asked about his race, the Canadian’s heat opening the second round, Tessmann said, ‘It went good. I started 4th and had no issue. My car was just as good as the first round, easy and consistent to drive’. Getting a P2 from the back of the grid in Round 1, the Xray driver said, ‘I landed inside the triple one lap but it didn’t cost me too much and once I got by Cole (Tollard) I didn’t push too hard. I didn’t want to risk breaking anything and wanted to get good points’.
Summing up Round 2, Evans said, ‘That was a bad run. The car doesn’t feel quite as good as yesterday now that the grip came up but I have a set-up I will go back to that is better for the higher grip’. The 2011 Champion added, ‘hopefully thats my throw out so I keep pulling away’.
In a heat void of any invitational clash champions it was a battle of Open Class Champions in the final encounter of the round. Former Champion Gillespie started on pole and led the way for 6-laps but was chased down by Champlin, he gave up that lead with a mistake coming onto the straight. Making an attempt to retake his Associated team-mate after the whoops section they would make contact but Gillespie waited and gave back position with Champlin holding on for the win with Joseph Quagraine completing the Top 3.
Defending Reedy Race Champion Ryan Cavalieri has kicked off the 24th running of the event with a hard earned win. Starting from the second row of the grid, the Associated driver would win the opening race at OCRC from team-mate and pole starter Alex Kosciuszek but he had to work hard for it following a poor opening lap and a mistake 3-minutes in while challenge for the lead. Last year’s 4WD Open Champion Broc Champlin made an impressive Invitational class debut as he led for 5-laps from 7th on the grid before getting pushed back to 4th. In the second of the three encounters, Spencer Rivkin took the win over Ryan Maifield, the World Champion having led for a lap before a mistake – this year’s track challenging all the drivers. Behind, Jared Tebo completed the Top 3. Having set the pace in practice yesterday, Dustin Evans would round out the first round of races with the most convincing win. Starting on pole he immediately built up a massive lead to cross the line 7.3-seconds ahead of Ty Tessmann who was pleased to have been able to work his way through from 10th on the grid.
‘I like to make it more difficult for myself’, joked Cavalieri after his win. Chasing a 5th Reedy Race title, he continued, ‘I got bumped around a little down the stairs but I kept composed and worked my way back up but it wasn’t easy, its a difficult track’. On his pass for the lead he said, ‘I had a drag race with my team-mate Alex down the straight and managed to hold on to the inside line and by the end of the race I was getting more comfortable with the track. I’m pretty happy with the car and minus my mistake at the end of the straight it was a good start to the day’.
Reacting to his win, Rivkin said, ‘I drove my tail off, that was one of the toughest races in a long time’. The 2015 World Champion whose best Reedy Race result was third in 2016, continued, ‘I changed my car after practice and didn’t like it but I drove it the best I could and somehow got the win. I will go back (with the set-up) for the next one’.
Evans said, ‘the first round is always pretty nerve wrecking but it couldn’t have gone any better and now I’ll try to keep it going’. The former Champion added, ‘in the other two races second on the grid got the holeshot but the kid (2nd place starter Kouki Kato) gave me space. Once in the lead I drove pretty conservative and just tried to make no mistakes’.
Track Name – OCRC Raceway Country – USA Location – Huntington Beach, California Surface – Dirt Direction – Clockwise Previous Reedy Races hosted – 2014 to 2017
OCRC Raceway hosts the Offroad Reedy Race of Champions for a fifth consecutive year, the Huntington Beach track taking over the honour of having hosted the greatest number of Mike Reedy’s famous race format event. The 24th running of the Reedy Race, the first held in 1987, OCRC’s Nick Black has created a track he describes as ‘a lot harder than it has been’. Having gained ‘full control this year’ of the track design on watching the Invitation class drivers do their first laps he declared ‘I’m happy with the end result’. He said his aim for this year’s design was to ‘purposely create multiple sections with different line options and the result is there is a lot of places to set someone up to pass them’. He also single out the whoops section as something that ‘adds uncertainty to each lap’. Reigning Champion Ryan Cavalieri, who is targeting a 5th Reedy Race title, said ‘for sure the track this year is more challenging than before. There is a little more going on so we are going to see some more carnage.’ His thoughts were echoed by his rivals will all liking the challenge the more technical layout presents but wary of getting caught up in other’s mistakes when they can’t execute certain sections with the varying line options.
Ryan Maifield and Dustin Evans are quickest going into the start of racing at the 24th running of the Reedy Race of Champions tomorrow morning. The former champions set the fastest times over the 3 rounds of practice with Maifield going top in 2WD when he was fastest in the final practice. In 4WD, Evans maintained his earlier form to remain quickest while finishing second fastest in 2WD. Ty Tessmann would end the day 2nd quickest in 4WD in between Evans and Maifield while clocking the 3rd quickest 3-consecutive laps of the OCRC Raceway track in 2WD. Failing to improve on his time in the third round of practice, reigning champion Ryan Cavalieri ended up 5th and 6th fastest in 4WD and 2WD respectively.
‘Its been a good day’, was how Maifield summed up practice. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I’m still farting around with the jumps. It’s easier to not jump than jump them so I’ve been working on getting them right’. On his cars he said, ‘they are lacking a little speed in the fast lap department but the average pace over 5-minutes is good’. On 2WD he added, ‘the tyres need to come in more but once we get to running 2WD the track will have come in so it wont be as big a problem’, the racing starting with 4WD tomorrow before switching to 2WD on Saturday afternoon.
Evans declared himself ‘extremely happy’ with his performance in practice. The Associated driver ‘made small changes to each car for the final practice’ saying he ‘thought that they were a little better’. Happy he has good cars for the heads up racing, the Colorado driver said, ‘now its all about racing. The track is super technical and it will reward patience. I have got the speed so let see how it falls but the Reedy Race is always crazy’.
‘Both cars are really good but in 2WD the big triple I need to figure out more’, was Tessmann’s view on practice. The Xray driver added, ‘when the grip comes up it will be better’. On his 4WD, the Canadian said, ‘I am really comfortable with that. I made more changes for the last one to make it easier to drive and the consistency is really good.’
Ending up 4th fastest in both classes, unfortunately for Dakotah Phend he is feeling under the weather and has gotten worse with the TLR driver going for medical attention as soon as practice concluded. Improving his 4WD in the final practice he was unable to improve his 2WD from the second round of practice.
Completing the Top 5 in 2WD would be Phend’s team-mate Tanner Denney. Running a new set-up he found from a lot of testing at his home track, he said, ‘it seems to be working really well’ adding ‘the more the grip comes up the better the car is getting’. On 4WD, his best 3-laps only good enough for 17th quickest, he said, ‘its just not as fast and we need to find the right balance’. He continued, ‘all the team have been working together to figure it out and I think we are on the right way and once racing starts we should be a lot better’.
Asked how he felt he was looking ahead of racing tomorrow, Cavalieri replied, ‘I don’t really know whats going on. It feels like it is going alright but we are couple of ticks off being fastest’. In his final 4WD practice, the 4 time champion would would strip his spur gear. Behind Cavalieri, team-mate Spencer Rivkin completed the Top 6 in 4WD while ending the day 8th quickest in 2WD.