Ryan Lutz together with Mike Truhe and Renaud Savoya complete the grid for the main event at the Dirt Nitro Challenge after filling the Top 3 places in the B-Main. Starting on pole, Lutz would initially drop to 2nd behind Adam Drake after a first lap bobble before going back to the front again on lap 2. Losing the lead to Truhe, the Tekno driver would retake the lead at the first round of stops as Truhe suffered a flame during refuelling. Once back in front, the Tekno driver would take control of the race to win by a very comfortable 25-seconds margin over Truhe’s Mugen. Also surviving a flame out on his second stop, Savoya would come out on top of a frantic battle for 3rd that involved early leader Adam Drake, Austin Blair, Steven Harris and Joseph Quagraine. Running in a Top 3 place early on, Xray’s Martin Bayer would be forced to retire just before the halfway distance due to a protruding chassis screw.
Joining his Tekno team-mate and star of last night’s Truggy final Joe Bornhorst on the A-Main grid, Lutz said after ‘(starting) out the final with a little bobble (he) just drove a clean race and let the rest fight over it’ with his approach paying off. Running AKA Impacts on his Alpha Plus powered NB48.3, he said his buggy ‘was alright’ continuing ‘I don’t think anything is good out there’ – a reference to the difficult track conditions. Looking to the 45-minute A-Main, for which he will start 13th, he said he will ‘talk with the team’ adding ‘a lot of them were watching it so I’m sure they will have plenty of good feedback for tonight’.
Having led until his OS engine cut just as pitman Barry Pettit finished refuelling his MBX-7R, Truhe said the idle was a little low before the start but he thought it would be ok. Making changes to his set-up for the 30-minute encounter, the former DNC Champion said the car was much improved over qualifying. Running Pro-Line Blockades, he said while the car was now ‘really good’, they needed more for the final and he would ‘make a few changes continuing in the same direction’.
‘In my head it was game over’ was Savoya reaction to his flameout which happened just as he went to come into the pitlane. With his RC Concept engine able for ‘way more than 9-minutes’ he said on his first stop his pitman Jerome Treignier’s elbow got hit by JQ’s pitman and this caused some fuel to spill. Rejoining the race having lost considerable time as they got the engine fired back up, he said he drove the rest of the race with the approach ‘its never done til you get to the loop’. The 2014 Podium finisher added ‘I knew the track was difficult and that everyone ahead of me could crash so I drove safe and was extra careful in the more tricky sections’ allowing him to recover from 8th to 3rd to secure the final spot on the grid as he did yesterday in Truggy. Running JConcepts Reflex tyre on his 8ight 4.0 he plans to run Diamond Bars for the final saying they should ‘hold the bumps better’. He will also adjust his set-up to account for the colder night time conditions.
Ty Tessmann has resumed his reign as Truggy Champion of the Dirt Nitro Challenge after an action filled 45-minute final in which both Ryan Maifield and Ryan Cavalieri both ran out of fuel while leading. Starting second behind Top Qualifier Maifield, the first lap was an indication of the intensity of the racing that was to come over the first half of the race, as Tessmann bumped his way passed for the lead in front of the drivers stand. Taking the lead at the 25-minute mark, 2-minutes later Cavalieri would come to a halt leaving Maifield to lead from Tessmann and a very impressive Joe Bornhorst. With Tessmann dropping back after collecting a back marker who was badly marshalled by spectators, Maifield then looked set to cruise to an easy win but with the final round of stops coming up the TLR driver would also come up short on fuel. With Tessmann now clear of Bornhorst, the Canadian would go the extra lap to claim his 5th Truggy title but the action continued to the last lap where Spencer Rivkin forced his way passed Tekno’s Ryan Lutz to snatch the final podium placing.
‘The first 30-40 minutes went by like that but the last 5-minutes seemed to go on forever’, was how Tessmann summed up his 9th DNC title win. The 23-year-old said ‘I remember Maifield got up on 2-wheels in front of the drivers stand and I bumped him to go into the lead but it was just a blur after as we fought back & forth’, the pair even making contact as they were released from one of the pit stops. The Buggy World Champion said his race took a big set back when after the right side triple he collected a truck that had been marshalled by spectators into his path. With his tyres going off, he said all he was doing then was ‘driving around waiting for a mistake from Maifield’. On hearing Maifield had flamed out he said he just tried to make sure he didn’t ‘do anything stupid’ adding he knew going into the race fuel would be close and while he paced himself with that in mind he said his OS engine ran ‘faultlessly’.
Taking a hugely popular 2nd place, Bornhorst said ‘I don’t really know what to say right now’. Gathering his thoughts, the 22-year-old added, ‘I knew I had the same pace as those guys and that if I could pace myself off them and stay with them for the first half of the race I would be there at the finish’. While he was on shorter 7:30 fuel stops compared to his rival’s 9-minute stops, he said his safer tyre choice of tyre Pro-Line X3 Blockades came good at the end compared to the smaller pins used by his rivals. Describing his NT48.3 as ‘perfect’ in the final he said his pit crew of Mick Egleberger and Sean Ramos were ‘awesome’, it clear that Bornhorst was still somewhat shocked at being able to run with the sport’s biggest names for the 45-minutes.
Giving Team Associated’s new RC8T3 truggy a podium finish on its debut, Rivkin said the race ‘started kind of slow’. Bumping up from the B-Main to start 14th, the 17-year-old said a quick set-up change right before the start was ‘the icing on the cake’ with his ‘truck and tyres working awesome’. Working his way through the field he said his pit crew kept him well informed and pushed him on. Running on JConcepts Reflex in green compound, the right rear tyre would come undone from the wheel which his crew would change during his final stop on 9 minutes to go, with the 2WD World Champion informing his team-manager Brent Thielke afterwards ‘that was a blue compound you put on’. Commenting on his pass on Lutz he said ‘Ryan ran wide at the step up and I just went through on the inside’.
Going on to finish 5th after his flame out, Maifield said ‘we haven’t been close on fuel all weekend and I don’t why it ran out’. Describing it as ‘a bitchen race with Ty and Ryan’, he said while his crew had told him to conserve fuel once he got his big break over Tessmann he was just cruising. His first race with Reds Racing, he said ‘I did as much testing as I could in preparation for this race but apparently it wasn’t enough’. He added his 8ight-T 4.0 is ‘the best truck I have had in a long time and we will work on getting mileage better’. Feeling his ‘buggy is better’, the reigning DNC Champion said run time shouldn’t be an issue as everyone will be stoping at 7:30 and he is looking forward to a good day tomorrow.
Cavalieri was also at a loss as to why he ran out of fuel. The former back to back Truggy Champion said I was pacing myself as my truck was getting better & better over the race and with the other stops going fine it ran out of fuel with half a lap to go’. He said while he ‘took it a little easy at the start’ he is ‘not really sure how it happened’. Dropping to 13th after the flame out he would end the race 8th in between Cody King (7th) and Tanner Denney (9th).
Ryan Maifield snatched a last lap eBuggy victory over defending champion Ty Tessmann at the Dirt Nitro Challenge to successfully convert the first of the three TQ starts the TLR driver has secured this weekend at the Fear Farm. Leading the first 3-minutes of the race, a mistake by Maifield at the second step up would hand team-mate Dakotah Phend a lead. Starting 7th on the grid, the 19-year-old would only stay out front for a lap before he crashed coming into the right side triple. Allowing Tessmann to the front the Canadian looked like he would successfully defend his title as Maifield trying to put a pass on his team-mate at the berm caused the two cars to tangle. But with a lap to go the race would come alive as Maifield caught a slowing Tessmann making contact with the HB twice before the World Champion got out of shape allowing Maifield through for the win into the final corner. While further crashes would drop Phend back to 7th, a recovering Ryan Cavalieri who started third would complete the podium for Team Associated.
With the crowd appreciative of the exciting finish, Maifield was ‘stoked’ to add his first DNC eBuggy title saying the track conditions were ‘really crazy’. ‘Super tense’ early on in the race, the Arizona driver said couldn’t find his rhythm adding this was compounded by the electric buggies having ‘so much fricken power’. Describing his error on the left side step as ‘retarded’, he said he was searching all over for the right line through the difficult section and once he started using the far end side his 8ight 4.0 was dialled, as highlighted by his penultimate lap on which he set the fastest lap of the race. Catching Tessmann, who he said drove a good race’, Maifield said ‘While I didn’t set out to get into him it was the last lap and we had a big enough gap over third so I went for it. When we did hit I let him go. Then he cased the step-up and I could get by. Describing the race as ‘intense’ he said his car and electrics where dialled adding he ‘had plenty of battery left’.
Running two short packs in his Orion powered D815, Tessmann said the race was the best his car has been but he knew because of his batteries he had to drive more conservatively than before. However at the end his power started to fade with him having a cut out at the step-up leading to his late error. Declaring himself happy with how he drove he added ‘it just wasn’t to be’ but after his performance he said ‘Truggy will be good’. Commenting on the two incidents with Maifield, he said ‘he bonzai’d me. The first time it back fired and he took out Dakotah but he got me with the second one’.
Getting passed Tessmann on lap 1 before settling into third, Cavalieri said his race started off good until he crashed at the step up. Dropping back to 7th, he said with ‘bobbles from a few guys in front’ helped him make his way back to third and he was able to ‘hold on to it’ until the end. Behind Cavalieri, 2014 Champion David Ronnefalk would finish 4th the HB driver having held a podium placing before a mistake with 2-minutes to go. Tekno’s Joe Bornhorst and Kyosho’s Jared Tebo completed the Top 6.