Chassis Focus – Ryan Lutz

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Chassis – Tekno RC NT48
Engine – Alpha A352
Tyres – AKA Impact soft
Fuel – Byron Fuel
Radio/Servos – Futaba
Body – Kit body

Remarks – Ryan Lutz is running a standard version of the NT48 1/8th truggy from Tekno RC. Using his base setup from the Battle of the Sikest, which was held at the Fear Farm late last year, he plans to go for harder diff oil on all three diffs to stop the car from diffing out which is causing the tires to balloon coming out of the corners. For the first qualifier he is also planning Grid Irons from AKA in place of Impacts.

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Chassis Focus – Austin Blair

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Chassis – S-Workz S350T
Engine – Protek RC Samurai
Tyres – AKA Impact soft
Fuel – Byron Fuel
Radio/Servos – Airtronics/Protek RC
Body – Test body

Remarks – A-Main team driver Austin Blair is running the newly released S-Workz S350T truggy. Using the same setup as his home track Silver Dollar Raceway, he has just adjusted the clutch to make it stiffer to get more punch out of the corners. Using the new big bore shocks from the S-Workz buggy, he is also using 8 gram weights on the rear uprights to keep the wheels more planted over the bumps.

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Chassis Focus – Jared Tebo

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Chassis – Kyosho Inferno MP9 TKI3
Engine – MX
Tyres – AKA Chainlink soft
Fuel – MX
Radio/Servos – KO Propo
Body – Kyosho Cab forward

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Chassis – Kyosho Inferno ST-RR Evo
Engine – MX
Tyres – AKA Gridiron soft
Fuel – MX
Radio/Servos – KO Propo
Body – Kit body

Remarks – Former DNC winner Jared Tebo is running the same package as last year with the exception of the engine, which is the OS based MX engine. Jared was very complimentary of the power from the engine and says he now doesn’t have to push his cars so much. For his buggy he is running a different shock piston setup, something which he tried for the first time at the recent Kyosho Masters in Vegas, which comprises of fewer but larger piston holes than normal. Also on his buggy he is running the newly released Chainlink tires in soft compound which he says have very low wear and are very consistent and suited best for dry dusty conditions. In terms of the truggy it is a pretty basic setup for Jared, with the exception of the new MX engine which he ran in the truck for the first time here yesterday. He is using a M2C Racing radio tray that he says mounts the battery box better than the standard setup and also uses a King Headz rear chassis brace.

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Video – Buggy Practice Rd1

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Tessman opens DNC as he finished in 2014

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Although drivers got just a single round of practice on the opening day of the Dirt Nitro Challenge, defending double champion Ty Tessmann picked up from where he finished up the 2014 event by topping the buggy times having earlier in the day set the pace in truggy.  Tessmann set the fastest 3-consecutive laps from Ryan Maifield, the only driver other than the Canadian to win a DNC title since Joey Christensen moved his event to the Fear Farm in 2012, with Ryan Cavalieri completing the Top 3.

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The only driver to do all 37-second laps on his fastest 3-consecutive lap time, Tessmann would end up 1.2 seconds faster than Maifield. Describing the run as ‘really good’, the HB driver declared himself ‘really happy’ with both his run and his D812. The Canadian said the track was not as hard as he thought it was going to be with him finding the rhythm section much easier than when he ran his eBuggy earlier in the day. Asked about his set-up he said changes would depend on how the track looks come Friday morning after the Truggies have done their three rounds of qualifying tomorrow but for now its working really good and he has no plans to change anything.

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Maifield, who couldn’t break into the 37-second lap times, said his TLR 8ight was good but his Orion engine was ‘not perfect’.  Having plenty of power he said it was set too lean on the top end causing it to run on a couple of times over the jumps. With a better tune for Q1 along with clutch adjustment he said with these ‘it should be fine’ and he was pretty upbeat for Friday.

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‘Actually felt really good’ was the reaction of Cavalieri who seemed slightly surprised by his Top 3 pace.  The Associated driver felt he ‘drove better that round’ compared to his truggy and eBuggy outings as the track was no longer fighting him. With his driving getting better and better as the short 6-minute run went on, he said the rhythm section was still where the most work was needed to improve his lap times.

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Echoing the feelings of most drivers that getting just one round was practice was ‘crazy’, Cody King took his Kyosho to the 4th fastest time.  Running a brand new MP9, the former World Champion said it got better and better as he put laps on it and he was easily able to run a steady pace.  Having most difficulty at the rhythm section, which is turning out to be the track most important section, he said so far no one is consistent there but with more track time we should start to see drivers develop better lines through it.

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Posting the fifth fastest time Tekno’s Ryan Lutz said the buggy ‘needs some changes’.  Running ‘so many new parts’ on the buggy, the one practice makes it hard to gauge how they are all working but he hopes after discussing things with his team he can better the car for Q1.  Feeling his driving has improved since his Truggy run he said he still could ‘really do with a second practice’.

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Completing the Top 6, Jared Tebo said while he did no have as many clean laps as he would like to have had the run was ‘pretty good’.  Really happy with his new MX engined MP9, he said he didn’t watch enough of the heats prior to his and he lost out on seeing that compared to earlier in the day it was possible to run much harder.

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Setting the fastest lap of the round, HB’s 16-year-old future prospect Tanner Stees would post the 7th fastest time.  Describing his OS powered D812 as safe to drive the Arizona driver was pleased with how he drove and his lack of mistakes.  He added his worst spot on the track was the step down after the woops section where he is running to the outside and getting his buggy up on two wheels with this something he needs to work on his qualifying.  Unfortunately for Stees’ fellow teenage HB team-mate, David Ronnefalk, his buggy practice would be very short lived as the Orion engine in his D812 moved after just one lap.

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Behind Stees, Carson Wernimont would record the 8th fastest time.  Initially describing the run as ‘decent’ he went on to elaborate that he ‘kind of drove like shit’.  The 18-year-old said it took him a little bit to get his timing on the jumps right but in terms of his prototype RC8 set-up he said its very nearly there with just is a couple of changes needed for Friday.

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Another driver to feel his driving let down a ‘decent run’ was Barry Pettit.  The Mugen driver said he made too many mistakes, with his timing on the jumps needing work.  Describing his MBX7R as having ‘a lot of traction’, he said for Friday he will need to take some steering away so as to make it easier to drive.  Behind Pettit, new team-mate Adam Drake completed the Top 10.

View the event image gallery here.

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Video – Truggy Practice Rd1

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Live Event Updates

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Introduction

Red RC are making our annual trip to the Fear Farm Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona for the 2015 Dirt Nitro Challenge. The international season opener for the gas offroad class, each year it attracts close to 700 entries and this year will once again be stacked with talent all with the goal of taking the wins in the blue ribboned truggy and buggy classes, dominated last year by one man, Canadian Ty Tessmann. Red RC's coverage begins in full on Wednesday afternoon (18th) and we will be trackside bringing you reports, insights, videos and photos directly from the track throughout the week.

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