Chassis Focus – Lee Martin

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Chassis – Mugen MBX7R
Engine – Beat BT7
Tyres – Pro-Line Suburbs X1
Fuel – Nitrolux
Radio/Servos – Sanwa/Xpert
Body – Kit
Remarks – Lee Martin is running the new MBX7R here in Italy having driven only some parts of the new car back in the Euros such as the shocks and driveshafts. Also being run at their first major race is Lee Martin’s own signature series all black Xpert servos. In terms of setup he hasn’t changed much away from his regular setup, lowering the car 2mm and stiffening up the anti-roll bars to 2.8mm thick versions front and rear. Trying a number of different tires since arriving he, like the other PL drivers, have decided on Suburbs in X1 compound.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - add a comment

Maifield comes close but another TQ run for Tessmann

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Ryan Maifield came close to toppling Ty Tessmann’s reign over qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Sicily with the American and Canadian separated by the closest gap seen yet at the Naxos World track.  With Tessmann having stamped his authority on Day 1 of qualifying, topping Q1 by 7-seconds and ending Q2 with a 5-second advantage, in this morning’s third round the separation was just 3/10ths at the end of the 10-minutes at the end of a round which saw both drivers have issues on leaving the pits after their fuel stops.  A slower pace than yesterday, overnight hail making the track’s tiled section lose traction, Lee Martin ran the 3rd fastest time while team-mate & defending champion Robert Batlle had a tough round finishing outside the Top 16.

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Just one more run away from locking up the overall TQ for the event, four from six to count, Tessmann said from his side everything went as planned. Driving the same as he did yesterday and again happy with how his HB ran traffic was the only glitch on an other wise perfect run.  Coming out of the pits after his fuel stop on lap 11 of 16 he exited into traffic resulting a series of bobbles with Team Associated’s Yannick Aigoin which ultimately ended with both drivers making contact and going off the track, the incident costing Tessmann 4-5 seconds. Recovering to set his fastest lap of the round on his last lap, the US National Champion was not dwelling on the incident and for the day’s second run plans to stick with the car as is and continuing on Pro-Line’s X1 compound Fugitive tyre.

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Maifield said his TLR was the best its been yet.  Making ‘a lot of changes’ to the Novarossi powered 8ight, he said they went with a combination of the set-up elements he likes and the suspension set-up team-mate Adam Drake is running.  Sticking with JConcepts’ Diamond Bars tyre he was really happy with the feel of the car now.  Asked about his pitlane exit mistake he said it was a redneck error as he just came off the pitlane ramp too fast and his wing caught the railing spinning the car and losing up to 4-seconds.  Feeling he drove conservatively after the error he then picked it up again to posted his fastest lap of the race.

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Martin again felt he did not drive overly well saying he ‘didn’t drive fast but drove safe’.  Only 1.1 seconds off the TQ time, while happy to record his first Top 3 run the Mugen driver appeared a little frustrated he hadn’t pushed fractionally harder.  Towards the end of the run he said his Beat engine ‘went off a touch’.  Asked if planned any changes for Q4, the British ace said he only envisages tuning his engine a little richer but added his mechanic Jon Dell had informed him he had some ideas to make some small set-up changes to his MBX7R.

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Setting the fourth fastest time Jared Tebo summed up his qualifier as ‘good’.  Changing his Orion powered Kyosho back to ‘exactly the same as Q1′, the 2010 Worlds Top Qualifier said while the car was really good he did have two mistakes one of which was ‘decent’.  Running wide into the dust his MP9 ended up crashing into the chicane.  Asked if he plans to change anything for the days final run the American said he felt the rear shocks where a little too light and changing that would probably be the only adjustment he would make.

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Tebo’s team-mate, and 2012 Top Qualifier, Elliott Boots would take his Reds Racing powered example of the MP9 to the fifth fastest time. A marked improvement from the British driver, he said while he did a few things that improved the car the big difference was that he backed off a little with his driving after watching how Tessmann is doing it.  Changing to heavier shock oil he said this stopped the buggy from pitching too much and for Q4 he will stay the same with Q3 ‘a run to build on’.

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Completing the Top 6, Ryan Cavalieri was happy with his time. The Team Associated star said he ‘thought it was a pretty good run’ and overall they were ‘a lot closer to the pace’.  Having had traffic issues on his best run yesterday, he said they pitted well to ensure an open track ahead of him and the 10-minutes where really clean.  Improving the prototype RC8 with a swaybar adjustment, the multiple 1:10 Offroad World Champion said this improved cornering.  He said in terms of further changes they would brainstorm some ideas first but added there is some time to come from him improving his driving on a few sections of the track.

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‘Decent’ was how Ryan Lutz summed up setting the 7th fastest time.  Having tightened up the swaybars on his Alpha engined Team Durango, he said this made it ‘a little tippy’.  Driving off the track during the run, he will loosen back the swaybars for Q4.

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Enjoying his first Top 10 run in qualifying Drew Moller described his run to the 8th fastest time as better but added he wasn’t sure the set-up change he made was the right direction.  Having to adjust his driving to the set-up change, he said as a driver this was his best run with just one bobble over the 10-minutes.  Going from light to heavy oils in the diffs of his LRP powered Mugen, he said for the next one they will go for a middle ground with the oil weight.

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‘A pretty clean consistent run again’ was Carson Wernimont’s reaction to his run to the 9th fastest time.  The Mugen/AKA driver said he planned to stay with the same game plan of chasing solid Top 10 runs and other than freshen up his MBX7R he would make no changes for Q4. Suffer a few bobbles including a spin at the chicane after hitting the pipe he will work on cleaning up his driving.

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With Team Xray’s Martin Bayer completing the Top 10 it was again a bad round for European Champion and the event’s early pace setter David Ronnefalk and Batlle.  Having struggled with his set-up yesterday for the high traction conditions, Ronnefalk said they managed to make his Kyosho better and for the first part of the run it was going decent.  Coming in for his fuel stop it would all start to go wrong with him spinning his MP9 on the entry for what he described as ‘another rough round’.  Suffering two bad laps towards the end of the run he said ‘at least the car felt better’ and he know just had to focus on keeping on top of his driving.

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Batlle summed up his run rather directly with ‘bad’.  Making a set-up change he said it was tricky to drive.  Setting the fastest lap of the round he said his crashes were compounded by the worst luck with marshals, him waiting 6-seconds on a marshal which he said without he would have taken 4th for the round.  In terms of his set-up he said they will now go with something that is halfway between what they ran in Q2 yesterday and this mornings set-up.

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View the complete ranking after 3 rounds here (PDF).

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - add a comment

Chassis Focus – Joern Neumann

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Chassis – Durango DNX8
Engine – FX 5K
Tyres – Pro-Line Suburbs X1
Fuel – Maxima
Radio/Servos – Futaba
Body – Kit
Remarks – Joern Neumann is running the same car and configuration that he used at the recent Euros in Germany. Having tried many changes to his setup during practice he went back to his basic setup and only hardened the shock and diff oils a little. For the hot weather here the car is now sporting a double rear brace, the single brace getting too soft in the high temperatures. Testing many different tire combos he has settled on the Pro-Line suburb in X1 compound but will switch to the Fugitive for the longer finals.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - add a comment

New in the Pits – Reds Racing

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Italian company Reds Racing, headed by engine tuner Mario Rossi, have unveiled their new carburettor with new horizontal high speed needle. Available separately for the R7 engine and also soon to be released as a limited edition combo with the R7 engine, the new position of the main needle gives the engine better top speed as well as making the engine tune more stable and have better idle. Due to the low end and high speed needles now being in line with each other it makes the tuning more precise and also due to its new location is also super easy to access the needle through the side of the body. Currently team drivers Cody King and JQ are using this new carb with their R7 engine, the 7 port motor offering smoother power delivery than the R5 which is being used by Elliott Boots. Reds Racing also have a new 2113 pipe adapted from on road but with a strengthened stinger made from a thicker material and featuring an elbow to reinforcement. Both items will be available in late October.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - add a comment

The Worlds according to Ruona – Tuesday Qualifying

The Worlds according to Ruona – Tuesday Qualifying

It’s funny how once something starts it’s hard to stop it. Tebo gets DQed from round 1…. That was the never ending story on FB today from the worlds. In real time Id say the whole issue took 30/40 minutes to resolve. Eventually they settled on it being a warning and Jared got to keep his 3rd for round 1. People loved that story on FB and commented on it all day even though in the end Jared got to keep the run and had already moved on to round 2.

Everyone has a voice now, that’s what Paul Wynn says and it’s true. All the social media and forums have given racers an avenue to state their case or complain. You can even hear my voice now and I’m still talking about the story…Sorry… Ha

There are the people that say, the rules are the rules and others that allow for a little flexibility and even hint that Jared was allowed by because of who he is. As far as I know he had trimmed 3 slots near the back of his body that are sort of molded in louvers on the Kyosho body and had asked if it was ok and he was told during practice that it was allowed.

What is he supposed to do here? Does he get out the rule book and trim his body while reading the book? Does he trim, ask if it’s ok and then rock it during the first round at the worlds? I guess you are supposed to read the rules and figure it out on your own and have the car to spec. However, at some point or another you need to confirm or bring your car along through tech to know in your mind it’s good. If someone tells you it’s good it’s good right? I don’t know what is right. I do know a similar type of scenario happened before at a ROAR nationals and it revolved around Ty Tessmann running a shorty battery in his prototype D413 when the rules stated it was illegal. They checked with tech before the race started and tech said it was ok even though tech never knew the rule existed and that it had been broken. Ty was the fastest and deserved the win. Anyways………..

I noticed that the other big “sharing” story on FB was that starting November 1st all FB users will have to pay $2.99 per month to continue use. People love this too… They comment. No way I’m paying for it. So long, good bye, it’s over, FB is horrible. I don’t pay for Jack squat. Doesn’t it say on the Facebook homepage it’s free and always will be? Of course that same person pays for coffee, cigarettes, TV, Internet service, adult pay per view, cell phone service, WWE entertainment Wrestle Mania, fantasy sports league, truck payment, jet ski, dirt bike, bark box, espn news insider, truck pull magazine, salt life decals and the Chuck Norris fan club. Facebook is killing him though… You know, I’m believing what it says on the home page until it’s changed.

The girl from Tampa, FL gets another breast added so she has 3 total. 3’s a crowd… Nice selfies though.

I also found out today that the IPhone 6+ bends in your pocket. Yes, according to several FB reports the hottest new items from apple that I just preordered will bend in my pocket. Thank goodness for FB, now I can cancel my preorder and get the new pocket iPad.

So you might have heard that Ty Tessmann dominated today. First 2 rounds in the bag, it’s done, over with and most have already moved on. Don’t bother coming, don’t bother going…this guy has it all locked down. It’s because of the new polycarbonate wing he’s been running, it’s 38grams lighter and immediately makes you a worlds TQ guy. Well, except for Jorn Neumann who went back to traditional in round 2 and logged his best finish of the weekend in 6th for the round.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this wing since I’ve been here and I actually like it. I’ll be making one and running it on my new AE car whenever it comes out. I think my RC career has slipped by me while I’ve been waiting for this new AE car. I’ll go back to the wing for a second. I wanted to make one of these for Maifield for the 2010 Worlds in Thailand but I didn’t. In the end I thought, everyone would laugh at me and say, oh sure, the electric guy wants to make his 1/8th more electric. Wait, until he crashes and blows the wing off the car, 1/8th cars need to be durable, built like a man, strong, tough and a little thick around the center.

They would have been right, I wanted to make my 1/8th more like my 1/10th 4wd buggy. You know why? The same reason Ty Tessman wants his like his 4wd electric buggy….you ready for this…because the more your 1/8th is like a 1/10th the better it will be on a….you ready for this….1/10th scale track. Boom….your mind is blown right?

I’m not saying these wings are here to stay in 1/8th off-road. There has been limited guys sticking with it here at the worlds and I think that will be the trend. The traditional wings are probably the way to go for the average racer. It’s safe and proven at this point.

We had an injury here at the track yesterday and the on site medical team got to do something. They have been here the entire time to protect us and it’s actually really nice to see. While pitting in the first qualifier Ryan Cavalieri brought in the new RC8 for his first stop and Kody Numendahl put his hand out and Pudge hit the brakes on his way in and pinched his hand between the asphalt paper pit lane material and the new bumper on the RC8. Ouch! Kody basically pulled a finger nail off I believe and was bleeding all over pit lane. He went to the medic, after the pit stop of course and got treatment. He said he passed out and they helped him wake up, gave him some water and he was up and out in 10-15 minutes. He was rebuilding the RC8 proto 20 minutes later.

It was a good day for team JC yesterday. Ryan Maifield took a strong 2nd in round 1 and 7th in round 2. The only issue was he seemed to lose a little speed in round 2 even though he ran mistake free. Maybe the track temperature changed and the car didn’t work as well…hard to say. I see Ryan getting 16 laps 10:04 or 10:05 when things are right and I think tomorrow we push for that. It’s hard to say if you should make changes when you have run a 2nd but we didn’t come to get 2nd. Time to push the envelope a little and attempt to get quicker.

Remember, 4 of 6 qualifiers count here so you can’t play around too much. It’s important to get that good semi starting position and starting up top is where you want to be. Remember we talked about contenders and impostors yesterday? The contenders stepped up and showed themselves. David Ronnefalk had a tough day though. He’s still doing well but for a guy that TQed practice day and half of the entire practice days he was struggling. Let me make this clear, he’s a contender though. He will get there. At this point he’s probably one of 2-3 guys that has a little something for Ty in speed.

Lee Martin, he is one of the better cars. I like his pace, his consistency and the pit program seems in check. He’s a contender.

Ryan Maifield, 2 runs with no crashes and a 2nd so far. He’s driving smooth, consistent and just needs a little extra out of his car, engine and tires. He’s been better than his package so far and he’s a contender. Traffic hasn’t been good for him. Waiting, driving around crashed cars, driving into the smoke a lot in round 2 probably cost him 3 seconds which is a huge difference.

Adam Drake, the only guy that hasn’t pitted in the qualifier successfully and pulled it off twice. We had dinner with Adam and he explained to me that Casey Peck, his pit guy, is calling him into pit and Adam is ignoring him and running it out. He said he crashed twice in round 1 and just felt the run was over either way so he went for it. Saved a top 10-12 run in the process too. Round 2 he drove awesome and didn’t pit which helped him to a 3rd in the round. So far, this is the best the TLR guys have ever done at the 1/8th worlds in qualifying. At least, that’s what my memory says.

Robert Batlle, he’s a contender. So far the only one able to run within 5 seconds of Ty and he did it with some bobbles. Remember, he’s the champ and guess who he beat to win it? Ty Tessmann… This should be interesting.

Can I consider Ty an American racer even though he’s from Canada? I think so. He runs the American tour and spends most of his racing time racing in America. He races for companies with home offices in California and is the golden boy for both of them. He’s an American racer with a kick azz work ethic and says….eh at the end of stuff. I was born in Marquette, Michigan which is close to Canada. Maybe I have the Canadian R/C touch? We will find out at Yatabe Arena in 2015!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 1 comment so far

Video – Qualifying Rd2 Heats 1, 2 & 3

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - add a comment

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Introduction

Red RC are on the island of Sicily, off the coast of Southern Italy, at the Pista Naxos World track for the 2014 IFMAR 1/8th scale gas offroad World Championships. The bi-annual event attracts the best racers from around the World to battle it out for the title which was won 2 years ago by Spaniard Robert Batlle. Red RC's coverage of the event begins in full on Saturday morning (20th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week long event.

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