Ryan Maifield has claimed the Reedy Offroad Race of Champions title for a second time, the Yokomo driver becoming the 7th driver in the famed race’s history to become a multiple champion. While Maifield would set out his stall early in the event and leading the points at the end of each day, the 26th running of the event would go down to the 12th & final round of racing with Spencer Rivkin in with a stab at his first win. Needing to win the final round to keep the pressure on Maifield to perform, the World Champion was held at bay by CJ Jelin meaning Maifield’s final result didn’t matter but after a 5-year wait he wanted to regain his title in true champion style clocking up win No.6 of the weekend. Coming away with his best Reedy Race finish, Rivkin would end the event 4-points down on Maifield with the podium completed by Ryan Cavalieri who wrapped up the 2020 event with a win in the 36th & final heads up race. Maifield’s closest challenger at the completion of 4WD, former champion Dakotah Phend would claim fourth ahead of Broc Champlin, the teenager putting in some very strong showings against the establishment. For last year’s champion Jared Tebo, what had the potential to be a good day didn’t turn out that way and he dropped to 7th behind Ty Tessmann in the final standings having started the day in a fighting second.
Reacting to his win, Maifield said, ‘It has been a good week. My cars felt great all weekend, we just made small adjustments here and there. It was a great win for the team’. Yokomo’s first Reedy title since 1999, he continued, ‘We have been busting our asses to get the car easier to drive. They have always been fast. We applied a few things this weekend that we have been working on and they worked’. Reflecting on the race, which given the amount of heads up racing is not just about being fast, he said, ‘This is a hard race to win. I had a lot of luck on my side but I also had the fastest cars all week. It’s also my first race with Hobbywing so it’s nice to win it for them too’.
Rivkin said, ‘It was awesome I had a shot at the title. It made it interesting with Ryan going into the last round’. The Team Associated driver continued, ‘I’m definitely going to have to wait another year but I think it took Maifield five or six years to get his first title. Congratulations to him, he drove the best this week’. On his final encounter, for which he lined up 6th but unable to get by pole sitter Jelin, he said, ‘It was an awesome race with CJ. I gave all I had. He drove really good. That was all I had’.
Returning to the podium having finished 6th last year, 4-time Champion Cavalieri was pleased with the result saying, ‘It was a good weekend of racing’. The Sworkz team driver, who ran a TLR in 2WD, continued, ‘I could have had a couple of races go better and I could have finished even better but it’s a good start to the year’.
One of the big talking points of this year’s Reedy Race after some impressive performances, Champlin summed up the event saying, ‘The weekend was good. I drove as good as I could and my cars were as good as they could be’. Sitting second in the points half way through 2WD, he continued, ‘My luck was out with some of the starts I got and I was really unlucky today, that capped off any chance of a podium but 5th overall was good. I finished 10th last year’.
Summing up his weekend, outgoing champion Tebo said, ‘Overall it was pretty good, I just had a really rough day today’. The Tekno driver continued, ‘I made a few errors from my own side but also got caught up in other’s crashes. It was a really tough day. Before that it was going alright’.
Booking the opportunity to race the world’s best drivers in Invitation next year, both 2019 Open Champions registering wins this weekend, Team Associated driver Aydin Horne took the 2WD honours over his brother Austin with Tom Rinderknecht third. In 4WD it was TLR’s up and coming star Rinderknecht who took the win to book his place on the grid for the 27th running of the legendary Reedy Offroad Race of Champions.
World Champion Spencer Rivkin is in with a shout of a first Reedy Race title, the Team Associated driver adding another win to close the gap on long time points leader Ryan Maifield with just one round of racing to go at OCRC Raceway in Huntington Beach, California. Rivkin opened the penultimate round of 2WD with an easy win from pole over Alex Kosciuszek and last year’s 4WD Open Champion Ron Devoll meaning he would have to wait to see the outcome of Heat 2 to see what Maifield could do and if things would go down to the final. Starting from last on the grid, Maifield worked his way up to third before dropping back to fourth after an error but a mistake by Yokomo team-mate & race leader Lee Martin which would promote him back to third and make Rivkin’s quest a little harder. Rivkin needs to win his last race to take the title to a tie breaker.
Heat 2 would be won by Ryan Cavalieri from Dakotah Phend putting him on equal points with Rivkin, but the multiple champion can only drop a 3 with an improved result so is unable to deny Maifield the overall win. In the other Heat, Joe Bornhorst ended Dustin Evan’s quest for the perfect 2WD score taking the win after the closing Evans made a mistake on the final lap as it looked like it was going to be shootout to the finish line.
It’s very much Ryan Maifield’s title to lose now with just two rounds of racing remaining at OCRC Raceway in California as the Yokomo driver put a P2 on the board bettering what his main points rivals could do in the 6th round of 2WD. Starting from 5th on the grid behind both Spencer Rivkin and Dakotah Phend, Maifield would cross the line in between the duo with Rivkin taking the win by a comfortable 2.8-second margin. Coming from the back of the grid in the 3rd of the heats, Broc Champlin would work his way through to 3rd by the finish but Rivkin’s win and a second place for Ryan Cavalieri in Heat 1 means the Team Associated teenager drops from 2nd to 4th in the standings, equal on points with 5th placed Ty Tessmann. That heat was won by Dustin Evans once again ahead of Clement Boda. Having not featured over the first two days of racing, Finland’s Joona Haatanen finally registered a win at the 26th running of the event, taking Heat 1 ahead of Cavalieri and Tessmann.
Holding a 6 point lead over Rivkin with the potential to drop a 4th place from Round 2, Maifield explained, ‘I wasn’t sure how it would work out with Spencer and Dakotah starting in front of me. I got a good start and battled for a while but then Dakotah had a mistake which moved me up to second. Spencer had built up a good lead and for a second I pushed to try catch him but it’s easy to make mistakes pushing so I settled for a 2’. Needing to put just one more solid result on the board to reclaim the title five years on from when he added it to his CV, asked about the next round Maifield replied, ‘the rear hub bearings are going so I will replace them and just go again’.
Summing up his 3rd win of the event, having managed only a single win in 4WD, Rivkin said, ‘I was a little aggressive at the start to make position and once I got passed Dakotah I drove my own race’. The World Champion continued, ‘I saw Maifield coming behind me but kept pace with him. On the last two laps he settled for second. It was a good race and its been fun out there’. Asked about challenging for the title, one that has eluded his so far, he replied, ‘I have a strategy. You just have to go out there and drive the best you can with what you’ve got’.
‘Three out of four in 2WD, the perfect score is still on’, was Evans reaction to his win. The 2011 & 2018 Champion, continued, ‘when you have a frustrating 4WD you have to set new goals and I’m really feeling up for the perfect 2WD score. I haven’t looked at my starts for the last two rounds but I’m going to keep trying to win and see how it works out’. The Team Associated driver plans a small tweak to his car for the penultimate round, explaining, ‘Spencer made a little change and it was pretty good so I am going to try it the next one. It’s a small change and I know what it does but Spencer said it gave him a little more corner speed so if I can improve on a good car I’ll have it’.