Rivkin sets early 2WD pace at Reedy Race

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Up and coming offroad star Spencer Rivkin set the early practice pace in 2WD buggy at the 21st running of the Reedy Race of Champions. Having only signed a multi-year agreement with Team Associated and Reedy last month, the 16-year-old set the fastest lap of the morning at OCRC Raceway ahead the TLR’s JP Richards, Associated team-mate Steven Hartson and defending back to back champion Ryan Cavalieri.

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While being fastest has never been the key focus to achieving success at the Reedy Race due to its heads up multiple race format, Rivkin was no less pleased with his early pace describing his Reedy powered B5M as ‘really easy to drive’.  Setting a fastest lap of 21.643 seconds in P2, the Arizona driver said while the track layout is ‘not too hard to get used to’ he likes how it feels to drive. A team driver for the 2WD class’ hand out tyre brand JConcepts, he said for the remaining practice, drivers running 3 rounds of practice per class, his focus is just to break in his Dirt Webs tyres and leave the car’s set-up as is.

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Reigning champion Cavalieri, who last year became the most crowned champion of the event when he claimed his third Reedy Race victory, was pleased with his start to the day.  One of only 6 of the invite’s 30 drivers to break into the 21-second lap times, the multiple World Champion said his Orion powered B5M felt pretty good with the second run better as the tyres came in.  Declaring himself ‘confident’ with his car he said he is still working out a few of his lines adding there is room there for a little improvement.  Commenting on this year’s track layout he said it was ‘fun so far’ but once the grip comes up it should get ‘more interesting’.

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A driver who knows the OCRC better than most, as its his home track, Hartson said the layout was easier than what they normally run with this years layout having ‘a lot of rollers and singles’ but he thinks it will make for good racing with ‘lots of passing spots’.  Pleased with the early performance of his Reedy power B5M, the reigning 4WD World Champion said the second practice was better as the tyres scrubbed in and he will use the final 2WD practice to scrub in a second set of Dirt Webs.

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The only European to win the event, and the last driver to hold the title before Cavalieri’s reign, Joern Neumann said he needs improve his motor timing for the last practice.  Currently running without a chassis sponsor, the German is using a Yokomo in 2WD.  Running an 8.5 turn Orion motor he felt he was lacking low end punch and will make a timing change for P3.  Also looking for a little more steering the European Champion described the layout  as ‘better than last year’.

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While Yokomo have no official team representation at this year’s Reedy race their YZ-2 is also the car of choice in 2WD for new HB signing David Ronnefalk and S-Workz’ Atsushi Hara.  Ronnefalk, who is making his Reedy Race debut, was also looking to get a little more steering but overall the Swede said it was ‘so far so good’.

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Hara, who hasn’t raced 1:10 offroad since this event two years ago put in some testing at SDRC in preparation for the event but said having set-up the car on that track it wasn’t so good in the first practice as the grip at OCRC was much lower.  With Shin Adachi having built the car for Hara, he said he had to get out the manual out to put a set-up for P2, running the car’s standard set-up which he said felt pretty good.  With the rear end much better he said he will now try to get the front more aggressive.

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Having come so very close to his first Reedy Race win last year, then driving for Associated, TLR’s Ryan Maifield said his Orion powered 22 felt ‘comfortable’ and he was just waiting for his tyres to come in a little more.  With the track conditions not warming up as much as he expected he said for the last one he will probably go a little softer in shock oil.  In terms of the layout he said the front jump section was an area that he could improve his driving.

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TLR team-mate and 2011 Champion Dustin Evans said initially his car felt pretty good until he suffered a stripped servo.  Describing the track layout as ‘polar opposites’ to last year, he said he ‘sucks’ on the double at the right side of the track.  Hoping that the track will be good for racing he said he is slightly concerned over the 180 at the end of the straight saying it could cause chaos particularly at the start of races.

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Finishing on the podium last year behind the two Ryans, Ty Tessmann declared himself happy with his second run after making changes to his car.  Running a prototype car which himself and his father Gord have created, as HB don’t yet have a 2WD buggy,  the 1:8 World Champion said the track is ‘more fun to drive’ than last year adding that we would ‘have to wait to see how good it is when racing starts’.

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Of the 30 invited drivers, which this year features a number of young up & coming European talents, only one change had to be made to the original starting list.  Having got away with serving Jury Duty last year to attend the race, former World Champion Neil Cragg was again called up and although they still had some of hope of attending on Tuesday it wasn’t to be and the Team Associated drivers place was allocated to the one and only Barry Baker.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - add a comment

Chassis Focus – Ryan Cavalieri

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Chassis – Team Associated B5M
Motor – Orion VST2 7.5
ESC – Orion R10.1 Pro
Battery – Orion 4500mAh Shorty
Tyres – JConcepts Gold Dirt Webs
Radio/Servos – Airtronics
Body – Stock body
Remarks – Having done extensive testing here at OCRC prior to the Reedy Race, 4-time World Champion Ryan Cavalieri has made little changes to his Associated B5M for this race. Just adjusting the rear camber links outwards half a hole on the rear upright to work on the all-new layout, the rest of the car remains unchanged. A fairly stock car it features a full titanium screw kit and a number of Factory team optional parts. Given the option to run Associated’s 3 gear transmission, which puts the motor on the other side of the car which gives less traction and more aggressive braking, having not tested it extensively prior to this race he is sticking with the stock 4 gear setup.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - add a comment

Chassis Focus – Atsushi Hara

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Chassis – S-Workz 104 Evo
Motor – Hobbywing Xerun 5.5T
ESC – Hobbywing Xerun V3.1
Battery – Protek RC 4700mAh 100C shorty
Tyres – Pro-Line Electron MC
Radio/Servos – Futaba
Body – Stock body
Remarks – Two time World Champion Atsushi Hara is running an Evo version of the S104 from S-Workz at this weekend’s Reedy race. The prototype car has a number of new changes to it compared to the currently available model, such as a new chassis plate, that has removed the kickup and new rear suspension mounts due to this change. The use of a centre gear diff makes the car more tuneable for different track conditions as well as new steering setup which allows the bump steer and Ackerman to be more adjustable. Finally there are all new shock absorbers that have removed the bladder used and gone for an aeration system which is the most common in this class. No word on availability and with the car still very much a prototype specs and configurations could change.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - add a comment

Track Focus – OCRC Raceway

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Track Name – OCRC Raceway
Country – USA
Location – Huntington Beach, California
Surface – Dirt
Direction – Clockwise
Previous Reedy Races hosted – 2014

OCRC Raceway plays host to the 21st running of the Reedy Race of Champions, the Huntington Beach located track having become the new home to the famous race event last year.  Opened in 2008 and operated by father & son team of Robert & Nick Black, the facility covers 20,000 square feet.  The home track of current 4WD World Champion Steven Hartson, visitors are first greeted by the hobby shop through the back of which is the entry to permanent pit spacing for 150 drivers with the 135ft long and 60ft wide track located at the back of the building with the drivers standing facing the pit area.

Having stepped up so well to the occasion last year of hosting the Reedy Race, a race steeped in history and which now carries on the legacy of its founder and all round legend of the sport Mike Reedy, the set-up remains largely unchanged with the exception of the track layout.  Having run in an anti-clockwise direction 12-months ago, this year it is a clockwise layout, a direction more regularly used by OCRC.

Once again the track layout was penned by Brent Thielke, who in addition to his role of race team manager at Team Associated is tasked with organising the Reedy Race, the paper layout was then translated into a real track by Nick Black and his crew with the main build having taken place on Monday with a day of packing on Tuesday to give the track its very smooth surface.  Pleased with the results of the build and the early feedback of racers, Black was most pleased with the triple in front of the drivers stand which lands into a bowl.  The biggest visual change in terms of the layout is the main straight which now only runs 3/4th the length of track before turning into a hairpin.  In terms of lap times in 2WD, the handout tyre being JConcepts Dirt webs in Gold compound, a low 22-seconds time is a good pace.  In 4WD, drivers running Pro-Line’s Electron tyre all round in MC compound, fast times are in the region of late 20-seconds.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - add a comment

Video – 4wd Buggy A-main Leg 1, 2 & 3

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Sunday, January 11, 2015 - add a comment

Fourth DHI Cup win for Neumann

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Joern Neumann remains the unbeaten DHI Cup Champion in 4WD Buggy when for the second year running, the German again saw off the challenge of Martin Bayer in the third A-Main.  With a win a piece, Bayer winning A1, the pair went into A3 exactly as they did 12-months ago with a winner takes all situation.  Starting from the TQ position Neumann would only briefly relinquish the lead when Bayer attempted a move on lap 3 and had to wait on Neumann to retake position as David Ronnefalk drove past the recovering Durango to take a short lived lead. While Bayer had the pace to challenge his carpet track nemesis a series of mistakes from the Czech driver would drop him to fourth leaving him to again finish second overall.  Finishing A3 in second position Ronnefalk would complete the podium in Denmark on his HB debut.

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Currently racing without a chassis sponsors, but still using the Durango DEX410 that has in some form or another helped him to all his DHI Cup victories, Neumann said it was nice to start the 2015 season with a fourth consecutive win of the event and keep his 100% winning record intact for another year.  Having found his Orion powered buggy edgy to drive in the opening two Mains, he said removing another row of pins from the controlled Schumacher tyres for A3 left him with no such problems and other than the early contact with Bayer the race went to plan.

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Bayer said ‘I’m not disappointed with second’. Setting the fastest lap of both A2 & A3, the Czech ace said ‘I had the speed and I’m happy with the performance of the car but my own mistakes cost me the chance to fight with Joern’.

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Disappointed with his driving in A1 & 2, Ronnefalk said A3 was an improvement, with him particularly pleased at not crashing on the final lap as he had done in the previous two encounters costing him a chance of being in the hunt for the overall win going into the closing race.  The Swede said while he was lucky to take the lead when Bayer made contact with Neumann he was also unlucky as his D413 got caught up on Neumann’s wheel without which he said he could have easily found himself with a 3-second lead instead just getting ahead.  Towards the end of the race he said he also played more cautious as he didnt want to risk his second as he wasn’t sure of A3 third place finisher Niclas Mansson’s result from the other finals.  Overall Mansson’s Associated would end up fourth. Pleased with his new car, Ronnefalk said the speed is there and he just needs more time to familiarise himself with it which should put him on a par with Bayer and Neumann when he will go up against them again at Round 2 of the EOS later this month.

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View complete offroad event results here.

View the event image gallery here.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015 - add a comment

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Introduction

Red RC are back at OCRC Raceway near Huntington Beach, California for the 2015 Reedy International Offroad Race of Champions, one the most prestigious offroad events of the year. With the invitational class using a unique heads up style of racing spread over 3 days, some of the best racers from around the World will be in attendance to battle it out for the coveted Invite class title. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Thursday afternoon (22nd) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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