Joe Bornhorst is the surprise points leader at the end of the opening day of the Reedy Race of Champions at OCRC Raceway in California. After four of the 12 rounds of racing, the Tekno driver holds a 1-point lead over new team-mate Jared Tebo thanks to a very consistent day in which he finished all four races in the Top 3 including a win in the second round. Also having a consistent day of 4WD action, Tebo ended his day with his first win of this the 25th running of the race, taking the opening race of the final round ahead of David Ronnefalk. The other winners of the round were Ryan Maifield, who took his second win of the day ahead of defending champion Dustin Evans, with Cole Tollard concluding the day’s Invitational class racing with a win over points leader Bornhorst. The same race would see Ryan Cavalieri finish 5th, the Yokomo driver holding 3rd in the overnight standings with 2 rounds of 4WD to go before the switch to 2WD.
‘How about that. It’s pretty damn cool’, was a very pleased Bornhorst’s reaction to finding himself leading the Reedy Race. On his fourth round performance the American said, ‘I started 3rd and got up to 2nd. I made a little bit of a gap behind me and then started to go for the win but I got caught up in traffic and decided to take the 2 (second place)’. Asked about tomorrow’s racing, he replied, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m just going keep checking it over and keep on doing thing’.
Tebo described his race as ‘a great run’. Displaying a fresh new lease of life following his signing with Tekno, the former World Champion said, ‘I made no changes to my car all day. It has been really good I just haven’t driven that well or had things go my way but I drove really good that time. It was great racing with Ronnefalk, Orlowski and Haatanen. We were going really fast. It was really intense so I am really happy to get that win. It was a great way to top of the day’. On sitting second in the points, the former Kyosho driver said, ‘Who would have thought I’d be second and Tekno would be sitting 1-2. The car is pretty darn awesome’.
Carrying a 10 from Round 3 which positions him 8th in the Day 1 points table, driver’s allowed one dropped score per class, Maifield was happy to end his day with a second win. The Yokomo driver said, ‘I started 5th and was patient at the beginning and just waiting for the carnage ahead of me to happen. Then I was behind (Pole sitter) Brent (Thielke) and he had a mistake and I got by’. The Arizona driver continued, ‘The run before I thought went good but ended bad’. Starting 8th he added, ‘I was up to second and then crashed on my own and got a 10th from it but hopefully that is my throw away’. Asked about his car he replied, ‘I am just going to check her over and see how tomorrow goes’.
‘I was pretty lucky that one’, was how Evans summed up his P2 for the round. Chasing a third Reedy Race title, the Team Associated driver said each time I start at the back there are zero incidents but this time I got a little luck which is part of the Reedy Race. I’ll take a 2 out that’. Starting 9th on the grid, Evans was promoted to second in the final two minutes of the race when first Brent Thielke and Alex Kosciuszek got together off the front jump. With Kosciuszek waiting to give the place back to Thielke he got collected by Spencer Rivkin allowing Evans to slip by his team-mates for 2nd place. Sitting 5th in the points, Evans said, ‘I am using an 8th right now so I will keep plugging away so I can drop that. For sure I am still in it’. He added, ‘the points are going to be a lot higher this year. It is harder than previous years to get from the back to the front’.
Reedy Race Champion Dustin Evans has claimed the first win of his title defence, the Team Associated driver convincingly winning his 3rd round encounter ahead of Joe Bornhorst and Brent Thielke. Opening the event with a P2 but suffering an 8th in Round 2, Evans made the most of his first pole position start, quickly pulling clear of the field. Behind, Bornhorst once again turned around a back of the grid starting position to get up to second by the finish and with a win and 2 second places the Tekno drivers leads the points table from Ryan Cavalieri. Multiple champion Cavalieri became the first double winner of the event winning the second race of the round ahead of 2017 Champion Dakotah Phend. The same race saw joint leader after two rounds Ty Tessmann end up 5th, the Xray driver getting together with Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski entering the straight for the last time with the latter winning the drag race to the finish line. Race 3 would see the first non-American winner of this year’s race with David Ronnefalk converting a front row start alongside pole sitter Kaito Kodera into a win. Behind, fellow European Lee Martin took 2nd ahead of Jared Tebo, the Tekno driver now on the same points as third placed Tessmann with one more round of racing on the opening day’s schedule.
Reacting to his first win, Evans said, ‘I started up front which sometimes is the hardest place because it can easily go wrong but it worked out good. I could just drive around the track. It was good’. On his car, he said, ‘It was pretty good but it is still not as good as I would like. I made a few changes and it was better but it feels like it is on top of the track. The pace is good but I don’t want to screw with it. My 2WD is awesome so I’m just trying to keep close in 4WD’. Asked about his starting position for the fourth round, the Colorado driver replied, ‘I’m going one race at time. I don’t want to think about it so I wait till it is time to go and then see what I have to do. I don’t want to be looking ahead’.
On his race, Cavalieri said, ‘I was able to get around the first corner and make a gap. After that I just put in my own laps’. On his previous round P5 result, the new Yokomo signing said, ‘there was nothing wrong with my second run. I did get turned around at the start but it was a clean heat and there was no chance to make up more time. The track is difficult to pass on. You get settled into the guy ahead of you’. Starting the fourth of the 6 rounds of 4WD from 7th on the grid, the 2017 Champion , ‘I have just got to be patient. I have nothing to complain about in terms of my car or my driving. What ever comes comes’.
‘It’s a lot easier starting up front. I had no mess at the start’, was Ronnefalk’s reaction to putting his first win on the board. The HB Racing driver added, ‘my car is really good. I didn’t change it today, I just had the most terrible luck in the first two races. In the first I threw away a 3rd and and the second race was just carnage and I got the shit out of it’. The Swede continued, ‘You need luck in this race and I didn’t have it in Race 1 and 2. It doesn’t help that I have a 4 and a 7 but I will keep digging and stay out of trouble’.
Ryan Maifield claimed the most significant win of the second round of racing at the Reedy Race of Champions, the other wins going to fellow pole starter Joe Bornhorst and young ace CJ Jelin. Starting from the opposite end of the grid to the opening round, the former Champion backed up his 2nd place from 10th on the grid with his first win to share the early points lead with Ty Tessmann. Running in the 2nd race of the round, Tessmann came from the back to survive a chaotic race finishing 2nd behind former team-mate Jelin. Bornhorst claimed an easy win in the round’s opening race ahead of Cole Tollard and Tanner Stees, the same race netting Round 1 winner Spencer Rivkin a fifth. After claiming the first win of the 25th running of the event, Ryan Cavalieri made little progress from his P8 starting position to finish 5th in the race won by Maifield.
Summing up his race Maifield said, ‘I started first, got a good start and just drove around. I was able to play with some different lines over the front jump. It was nice to see what you can do.’ The Yokomo driver continued, ‘the track was not really there in practice but its getting there now so it was good to run around out there on my own and try a few things’. Looking to the next round, he said, ‘I wont make any changes to the car. It is getting better each run as the tyres are coming in’.
Bornhorst said his race went ‘just how I like it’. The Tekno driver continued, ‘I started 1st and just logged 5-minutes of clean laps. It was actually pretty boring’. Starting the next round 8th on the grid, he added, ‘I am going to be patient at the beginning and get through the mess. That worked out well for me in the first one. Patience is the name of the game here’. On his car the American said, ‘the car is great. I have only made two very small changes from when I turned up. The track changed a little today so I made changes between the first and the second round but I will change nothing for the next one.’
Flying the flag for Kyosho, the mature headed 14-year-old Jelins said, ‘It started off good and I was 3rd from the get go. I knew 1st place had a spur gear going out so I knew to be patient. It was close with Ronnefalk and Tebo but I held my line. It was a good run’. Having had a DNF in his first race of the day, the star of the recent 1:8 Offroad World’s in Australia said, ‘to finish last in the first one because of a mechanical and then come back and win the next one was a good feeling’.
Describing his race as ‘pretty much chaos the whole time’, Tessmann said, ‘starting at the back I knew I needed to be patient and make no mistakes. I made it up to 2nd or 3rd and then me and David (Ronnefalk) got together. On the last lap I was 4th or 5th and then somehow, I don’t exactly know what happened, I got 2nd. I’m sure it was exciting for everyone to watch’. Having changed his car set-up for after Round 1, he Xray driver said, ‘the car was better that time. I just going to drive it the next one’.