The switch over to 2WD at the Reedy Race of Champions opened with wins for Jared Tebo, Spencer Rivkin and Joona Haatanen but of the main contenders at the end of 4WD it was Ryan Maifield who posted the best result finishing second behind Tebo. The first race of the round saw Maifield and his points rival Dakotah Phend line up in the same race but starting from pole Tebo managed to register his first win of the weekend as the battling Maifield and Phend came through to complete the Top 3. The third driver to share the top spot at the end of 4WD, Ty Tessmann would end with a fourth in a race that Spencer Rivkin would take the win ahead of former Champions Dustin Evans and Ryan Cavalieri. Having provided one of most entertaining battles of the morning’s 4WD action when he beat Tessmann in the final round, Haatanen continued to impress & become a crowd favourite as took the win over Aussie Kyle McBride.
‘Finally’ was Tebo’s reaction to putting a win on the board. The Kyosho driver, for whom the Reedy Race is one of the big titles that eludes him, continued the win was down to the fact he ‘just drove good’. Declaring ‘that race was fun to drive’, he said after stiffening up his RB6 for the extra traction the car ‘felt awesome’. Leading away the 10 car grid, he said, ‘I sprinted the first couple of laps and then just drove around after that’. Registering three P2 finishes over the six 4WD encounters he said the lack of a win ‘was all me’. The former World Champion concluding, ‘I got a lot of good breaks but didn’t capitalise’ but opening 2WD with a win he hopes to make amends over the remaining races.
‘You’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities’ was how Rivkin summed up his win from the front row. Despite winning by 2.6-seconds over his new Associated team-mate Evans, the World Champion felt he ‘could have drove better’ but added ‘there is still a lot of time for that’. Happy with how his Reedy powered B6 was for the first race, saying he had made changes to it ‘on the fly’ while running 4WD to get it ready for the change in track conditions. Happy with how it ran he will however make ‘one adjustment’ for Round 2 to try make it ‘a little more balanced’.
14-year-old Haatanen took his second win of the day in his stride. Last year’s Reedy Race of Champions’ 2WD Open winner, for which the prize is a place in the prestigious Invitational class, the Finn said his Associated was ‘super good and easy to drive’. Having changed the car from how he ran it in Thursday practice to compensate for higher traction after 4WD, adding wider hexes and a harder spring, he said this made the car difficult to drive in the practice run between the classes switch over and so they went back to his previous set-up. Surviving a roll when he ran wide after the step down to take the win, maintaining 7th in the standings, he said it was ‘a good start to 2WD’.
Of the current leading contenders, Maifield was happy with his first 2WD effort. The Yokomo driver said, ‘It went good. I started 8th and myself and Dakotah picked our way through but by then Jared had quite a big lead. It was a pretty good race with Dakotah and I just managed to hold him off. 8th to 2nd is a good start so I’m pretty stoked’. ‘It went ok’ was Phend’s reaction, the TLR driver adding, ‘me and Ryan got through the pack and our battle was pretty good. A Top 3 from the back row is a good start’. Contact in the sweeper meant it was wasn’t a good start for Tessmann as he waited to give back position. Following Cavalieri, who started 10th, through the field the Xray driver said as it was his first time to run worn tyres on his XB2 it ‘wasn’t perfect’ but it was something they could ‘fix for the next one’.
With the 4WD racing complete at the Reedy Race of Champions, things couldn’t be closer with defending champion Dakotah Phend, Ty Tessmann and Ryan Maifield all square going into 2WD with each of them sitting on a 9-points tally. Of the three it was Maifield who had the best result in the sixth and final round of 4WD as he claimed a second in front Kyosho’s Jared Tebo and Ryan Cavalieri. For Cavalieri, that 3rd leaves him sitting on 11 points along with Associated team-mate Alex Kosciuszek, the Invitational class rookie denying Phend the win to notch up an impressive third race win. The other winner of the round was young Finnish talent Joona Haatanen who also helped create the 3-way points lead by showing no fear when faced with the might of Tessmann, beating the Canadian to become only the second European race winner in 4WD.
‘That was an important one’ said Maifield of his win, the new Yokomo signing adding, ‘I knew I had Ryan (Cavalieri) and Spencer (Rivkin) starting behind me and Jared (Tebo) in front so I had to get a good start’. Tangling with the Reedy Race’s first ever female competitor Malin Karlsen, who started 2nd, at the end of the straight the 2015 Champion said ‘I got into Malin a little. It didn’t look good but there was nothing I could do’. Moving to the front after a mistake from leader Tanner Denney, Maifield said changes to his YZ-4 had ‘tamed it down’ adding ‘the car felt good’. As the action crosses over to 2WD, having set the pace in Thursday’s practice he said ‘my 2WD was a little better (than his 4WD) in practice so we’ll see how it goes. The track has changed and there should be quite a bit of steering but hopefully there will also be enough rear grip to compensate’.
Describing it as ‘not a bad debut so far’, this his maiden 1:10 outing for Xray, Tessmann was content with his P2 as it got rid of one of his fourths. Commenting on the race, coming from 7th in the grid, he said, ‘it started good and I got third on the straightaway. Then the leader made a mistake and it was me and Joona. I was just following him and knew I had more speed. I made a couple of passes but through the next corners couldn’t make it stick’. At one point when it looked like Tessmann was on for a fourth win he would getting his XB4 on two wheels handing the lead back to last years 2WD Reedy Race Open Champion. As the event moves to six rounds of 2WD racing, the classes reversed this year from the tradition of opening with 2WD, Tessmann says he ‘feel(s) very confident’ adding that in terms of his 2WD and 4WDs there is ‘not one better than the other’. While faced with ‘quite a different track to practice’, when he took his XB2 to the second fastest time, he said, ‘we have a practice to make adjustments for the first round’.
‘It worked out well’ was how Phend summed up his final 4WD race adding, ‘My aim was a Top 3 to get ride of my six (from Round 2). Starting from 7th, the TLR ace continued, ‘I was super patient at the start and actually lost spots but I worked my way up to second’ adding ‘Alex was fast’. Declaring himself ‘happy to get second’, the 19-year-old said ‘I’m tied for the lead going into 2WD and my car was really good in practice so I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing’.
Ty Tessmann has opened Day 2 of the Reedy Race of Champions with an important win that moves the Xray driver to the top of the points table with one round of 4WD racing remaining at OCRC Raceway. Making the win even more valuable was that Tessmann lined up in the same race as overnight points leader Dakotah Phend, the TLR driver having a tough races from which he would salvage a fourth. Ryan Cavalieri failed to convert a pole position start into an expected win with Alex Kosciuszek surviving a last lap challenge from the 3-time champion to register his second win for the Invitation class debutant. Starting the opening race of the fifth round from last on the grid alongside Jared Tebo, Spencer Rivkin would benefit from a huge pile-up on the third lap to find his way to the front to win ahead of Chad Due who just managed to hold off a recovering Tebo who had a disastrous first lap.
‘The start was a little sketchy and scary but once I got into a rhythm it was pretty good’, was how Tessmann summed up his 3rd win on what is his debut event with the Slovakian made cars. Starting from fourth on the grid he said ‘once I made the next two passes and was out front I had a clear track and was able to pull away. The car felt good again as it has all week’. Looking to the final 4WD encounter which he will again start from fourth, he said, ‘hopefully I will be able to drop one of my fours’, the former HB driver having opened with a pair of fourth places yesterday.
Winner of 3 races yesterday defending champion Phend said, ‘my car was really good but unfortunately I had bad luck’. Lining up 7th for the start, the 19-year-old continued, ‘some drivers crashed in front of me and some cut across my line but I salvaged it’. Pulling a great pass on Serpent’s Barry Baker into the last corner to out drag him to the line for fourth, he concluded ‘it is what it is’. For the Michigan driver he will again have to contend with starting towards the back of the grid having been drawn for another P7 start.
Notching up his 2nd win, having won his opening race of this the 23rd running of the legendary race, Rivkin said, ‘I’ll take it’. He continued, ‘I started 10th with Tebo at the back and there was a pile up and I took advantage of it’. The Team Associated driver added, ‘it helps a lot to have two wins and with a few more I can be right in it’.
‘It was alright I guess’ was how last years Reedy Race 4WD Open Class Champion Kosciuszek described his second win. The Team Associated driver adding ‘I looked like a squid out there’. Starting on the front row alongside Cavalieri, he said ‘I got a better start than Ryan but then my car bounced weird and touched his car which kind of screwed his race’. Just managing to keep Cavalieri at bay in the dying laps, the 17-year-old said, ‘my last lap was slow as I was pretty nervous but I just had enough to hold onto it’.
Venting his frustration, for missing out on what should have been a straight forward win, as he left the drivers stand, Cavalieri summed up the race with ‘mediocre I’d say’. He continued, ‘Starting on pole and finishing 2nd when I had the pace is not great’. Describing his new B64D as ‘really good now’, he said having changed it every round so far now there would be ‘no more changes to the car’. Having dropped down the order in the race he said luckily he was able to better his opening round P4 finish which he hopes will be his 4WD throw out result – driving count 5 of the 6 rounds.