September 24, 2014

Maifield comes close but another TQ run for Tessmann


Ryan Maifield came close to toppling Ty Tessmann’s reign over qualifying at the 1:8 Offroad World Championships in Sicily with the American and Canadian separated by the closest gap seen yet at the Naxos World track.  With Tessmann having stamped his authority on Day 1 of qualifying, topping Q1 by 7-seconds and ending Q2 with a 5-second advantage, in this morning’s third round the separation was just 3/10ths at the end of the 10-minutes at the end of a round which saw both drivers have issues on leaving the pits after their fuel stops.  A slower pace than yesterday, overnight hail making the track’s tiled section lose traction, Lee Martin ran the 3rd fastest time while team-mate & defending champion Robert Batlle had a tough round finishing outside the Top 16.


Just one more run away from locking up the overall TQ for the event, four from six to count, Tessmann said from his side everything went as planned. Driving the same as he did yesterday and again happy with how his HB ran traffic was the only glitch on an other wise perfect run.  Coming out of the pits after his fuel stop on lap 11 of 16 he exited into traffic resulting a series of bobbles with Team Associated’s Yannick Aigoin which ultimately ended with both drivers making contact and going off the track, the incident costing Tessmann 4-5 seconds. Recovering to set his fastest lap of the round on his last lap, the US National Champion was not dwelling on the incident and for the day’s second run plans to stick with the car as is and continuing on Pro-Line’s X1 compound Fugitive tyre.


Maifield said his TLR was the best its been yet.  Making ‘a lot of changes’ to the Novarossi powered 8ight, he said they went with a combination of the set-up elements he likes and the suspension set-up team-mate Adam Drake is running.  Sticking with JConcepts’ Diamond Bars tyre he was really happy with the feel of the car now.  Asked about his pitlane exit mistake he said it was a redneck error as he just came off the pitlane ramp too fast and his wing caught the railing spinning the car and losing up to 4-seconds.  Feeling he drove conservatively after the error he then picked it up again to posted his fastest lap of the race.


Martin again felt he did not drive overly well saying he ‘didn’t drive fast but drove safe’.  Only 1.1 seconds off the TQ time, while happy to record his first Top 3 run the Mugen driver appeared a little frustrated he hadn’t pushed fractionally harder.  Towards the end of the run he said his Beat engine ‘went off a touch’.  Asked if planned any changes for Q4, the British ace said he only envisages tuning his engine a little richer but added his mechanic Jon Dell had informed him he had some ideas to make some small set-up changes to his MBX7R.


Setting the fourth fastest time Jared Tebo summed up his qualifier as ‘good’.  Changing his Orion powered Kyosho back to ‘exactly the same as Q1’, the 2010 Worlds Top Qualifier said while the car was really good he did have two mistakes one of which was ‘decent’.  Running wide into the dust his MP9 ended up crashing into the chicane.  Asked if he plans to change anything for the days final run the American said he felt the rear shocks where a little too light and changing that would probably be the only adjustment he would make.


Tebo’s team-mate, and 2012 Top Qualifier, Elliott Boots would take his Reds Racing powered example of the MP9 to the fifth fastest time. A marked improvement from the British driver, he said while he did a few things that improved the car the big difference was that he backed off a little with his driving after watching how Tessmann is doing it.  Changing to heavier shock oil he said this stopped the buggy from pitching too much and for Q4 he will stay the same with Q3 ‘a run to build on’.


Completing the Top 6, Ryan Cavalieri was happy with his time. The Team Associated star said he ‘thought it was a pretty good run’ and overall they were ‘a lot closer to the pace’.  Having had traffic issues on his best run yesterday, he said they pitted well to ensure an open track ahead of him and the 10-minutes where really clean.  Improving the prototype RC8 with a swaybar adjustment, the multiple 1:10 Offroad World Champion said this improved cornering.  He said in terms of further changes they would brainstorm some ideas first but added there is some time to come from him improving his driving on a few sections of the track.


‘Decent’ was how Ryan Lutz summed up setting the 7th fastest time.  Having tightened up the swaybars on his Alpha engined Team Durango, he said this made it ‘a little tippy’.  Driving off the track during the run, he will loosen back the swaybars for Q4.


Enjoying his first Top 10 run in qualifying Drew Moller described his run to the 8th fastest time as better but added he wasn’t sure the set-up change he made was the right direction.  Having to adjust his driving to the set-up change, he said as a driver this was his best run with just one bobble over the 10-minutes.  Going from light to heavy oils in the diffs of his LRP powered Mugen, he said for the next one they will go for a middle ground with the oil weight.


‘A pretty clean consistent run again’ was Carson Wernimont’s reaction to his run to the 9th fastest time.  The Mugen/AKA driver said he planned to stay with the same game plan of chasing solid Top 10 runs and other than freshen up his MBX7R he would make no changes for Q4. Suffer a few bobbles including a spin at the chicane after hitting the pipe he will work on cleaning up his driving.


With Team Xray’s Martin Bayer completing the Top 10 it was again a bad round for European Champion and the event’s early pace setter David Ronnefalk and Batlle.  Having struggled with his set-up yesterday for the high traction conditions, Ronnefalk said they managed to make his Kyosho better and for the first part of the run it was going decent.  Coming in for his fuel stop it would all start to go wrong with him spinning his MP9 on the entry for what he described as ‘another rough round’.  Suffering two bad laps towards the end of the run he said ‘at least the car felt better’ and he know just had to focus on keeping on top of his driving.


Batlle summed up his run rather directly with ‘bad’.  Making a set-up change he said it was tricky to drive.  Setting the fastest lap of the round he said his crashes were compounded by the worst luck with marshals, him waiting 6-seconds on a marshal which he said without he would have taken 4th for the round.  In terms of his set-up he said they will now go with something that is halfway between what they ran in Q2 yesterday and this mornings set-up.


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