January 26, 2020

4WD complete, advantage Maifield at Reedy Race

The first half of the 2020 Reedy Offroad Race of Champions is in the books with the concluding round of 4WD proving a tough encounter for the main title contenders however with 4 wins from the 6 races so far Ryan Maifield holds a comfortable advantage as things switch to 2WD at OCRC Raceway in California. The six round of racing would see the Open Champions all step up to the mark and register their first wins among the invite regulars. Kicking off the final 4WD battles, 2WD Open Champion Tommy Hinz took his Xray to the win ahead of Joona Haatanen and defending Invitational Champion Jared Tebo.  That was followed by one of the most stacked heats of this the 26th running of the Reedy Race – Maifield, Dakotah Phend, Spencer Rivkin and Ryan Cavalieri sharing the grid. Having shown impressive speed against Maifield a round earlier, Broc Champlin would lead from start to finish to move into 5th in the final 4WD standings as the main title contenders fought hard behind but made mistakes under the pressure. Starting from the pole, Phend, who was second in the points, didn’t get the start he wanted and that was compounded at the first triple when Maifield landed on the TLR dropping him back to third.  The battles continued with the four heavy hitters bunching together but all having bobbles.  In the end, Rivkin would come out top snatching a second from Cavalieri as he flipped his Sworkz on the final dash to the loop.  Ron Devoll completed the round with a win over young Japanese driver Kouki Kato to bring the tally of 4WD race winners to 11 from the 18 races.

Ending 4WD with his worst result, a 5th, Maifield explained, ‘I landed on Dakotah in the first triple.  We both got going and I tried to catch Broc.  He had a good race and didn’t make any mistakes so I tried to hold of Dakotah, Spencer and Ryan. I had a mistake and took Dakotah with me and we dropped back. After that I was just trying to take a point off him’. Going into the second half of the event with a four point advantage over Phend who holds second with Rivkin and Tebo on the same points, the Yokomo driver said, ‘I’m looking forward to moving on to 2WD and to keep the momentum going’.

‘It was not the best start, I was too cautious at the start’, was how Phend described his race adding, ‘this is how it goes sometimes’.  Unable to drop the 4 he got from the second round, asked about 2WD, the former Champion said, ‘the plan is to keeping plugging away. I know the car is good’.

Commenting on his second place, which allowed him to drop the 3 from the previous round, Rivkin said, ‘that as definitely an insane race.  My start was not that great, Maifield got the holeshot on me.  Then he landed on me which screwed me but the race turned out good when I go by Cav at the end.  It was a good second for me. The Top 3 had bad races, more so Dakotah as he has to count a 4 now, Maifeld not so much’.  Asked about the switch to 2WD, the World Champion replied, ‘I am really looking forward to 2WD. It was my strong suit last year. This is when the big boys come out to play’.

Summing up his race, the 3rd allowing him to drop a 4th from yesterday evening, Tebo said, ‘It was a really good and a really bad race’. He continued, ‘I felt I was driving better and worked my way through the pack but unfortunately JP (Richards) crashed on the straight away. I thought I had the room to get around him but I hit him.  That’s just part of the race’.  Heading into the first of the 6 rounds of 2WD, the Tekno team driver said, ‘I am really looking forward to 2WD. I enjoy driving 2WD more than 4WD.  I am not going to over think the points. Sure Maifield has a good gap but I am just going to go out and do the best I can do and see how the points work themselves out’.

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