June 19, 2014

Lutz fastest in opening seeding practice at US Nats


Ryan Lutz was fastest in the opening seeding practice at the 1:8 Offroad US National Championship. Having had his first truggy time disallowed, in buggy the Team Durango driver put in a convincing performance over 3-consecutive laps around the Thornhill Racing Circuit to top the times from Truggy pace setter Ty Tessmann. As in truggy Team Associated’s Ryan Maifield would post the third fastest time followed by Dakotah Phend and defending champion Adam Drake.


‘Awesome’ was how Lutz described his Alpha engined DNX408. Only changing from red to black inserts in his soft AKA Impact tyres he said the car worked well over the bumps on the track which he said had a ‘slickness to the groove’. Changing one thing every run since arriving in Texas for the event he said his big focus has been on trying to get the buggy to square up on the exit of the corners for his ‘punched’ driving style. Working closely with his team-mate Travis Amezcua he said the input has been very helpful. Planning to add more anti-squat for the final seeding run which will bring day 2 of the championship to a close, he said they were now fine tuning the balance between rear roll and the buggy being ‘planted’ out of the corner.


Describing the run as ‘loose’ with the track getting ‘very polished out there’, Tessman said his OS Speed powered D812 was really well balanced despite the conditions. Pointing out that the track already has more mileage on it then at last months warm-up event, the Canadian said it was hard to tell what the track was going to do. Running Proline X2 Blockades, the 2012 Champion said with conditions set to be cooler for the second seeding run he would wait till nearer the time to decide on changes with shocks and tyre compound the most likely adjustments he will make.


‘Wasn’t the fastest but it was OK’ was how Maifield summarised his 7-minute run. Changing to a different header on his Novarossi engine he said the extra top speed that gave him was good. Running a set of JConcepts blue compound Cross Bow tyres on his RC8.2, he plans to try a different a smaller pin tyre for his scheduled heat most likely going for a set Hybrids. In terms of set-up he will try a droop adjustment.


TLR’s Phend had a ‘rough round’. Suffering a steering servo failure half way through the run, in the five laps he did get to run he said his 8ight ‘felt good.’ Other than fitting a new servo, the teenager said he plans to leave the buggy the same for the next run adding that for tyre choice a lot will depend on the watering of the track, which is now set to take place between the end of truggy practice and start of buggy. Running Proline X2 Blockades, he said he plans to continue with those but maybe the track conditions will warrant a compound change.


Having set the pace in yesterday’s opening timed practice, Drake said his seeding run was ‘OK’. Describing his Novarossi powered 8ight 3.0 as stable he said his tyre choice was ‘just slightly too hard’ which left him lacking a little grip. A three time US National Champion, the Team Losi Racing driver ran X2 Blockade tyres saying the track looked grooved up but instead felt polished. Planning on switching to X3 compound, he said he will first watch how the track is after the planned watering.


Billy Fischer made it three TLRs in the Top 6 with he himself surprised by his time. Joking at the fact that he had two World Champions behind him, Cody King and Ryan Cavalieri 7th & 8th fastest, he said like Drake he probably didn’t have the right tyre for the conditions. Running X2 Blockades he will either run X3 in the second practice or a different tyre in X2. Happy with the set-up of the car he said the tuning of his Novarossi engine will be his main focus as he looks to improve on its run time.


Winner of the Warm-up Race, Kyosho’s King said everything was running ‘pretty good’ adding it was ‘still early’ with the track continuing to change. Looking to stay with where he is at in terms of his set-up instead of chasing the track. Running X3 Blockades, for the next one the 2010 World Champion will switch to X2. Team-mate Jared Tebo found himself outside the Top 10. The 2010 Champion said his buggy felt good but the time wasn’t there.

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