Ryan Maifield couldn’t have scripted a more perfect morning on the concluding day of the Reedy Offroad Race of Champions, the overnight points leader securing a win as his closest rivals lost ground, in particular Jared Tebo who could only manage a 6th. With just three rounds of 2WD action remaining at the 26th running of the famous race, Maifield now holds a 6 point advantage over Broc Champlin. Running in the same heat as Tebo, Champlin was in contention for the win putting pressure on eventually winner Ty Tessmann before a mistake with three laps to go that dropped him behind multiple Champion Ryan Cavalieri. Despite the missed opportunity, 3rd place would move the 17-year-old ahead of Tebo in the points table. The third round of 2WD’s other winner was former 2-time champion Dustin Evans who got the win ahead of young French driver Clement Boda, who lead for the first half of the race before traction rolling at the end of the main straight.
Reacting to his win, his first in 2WD having won 4 from 6 in 4WD, Maifield said, ‘I started mid pack so I was patient at the beginning and once I got in the lead after Yusuke’s mistake I just managed the race as best I could’. Claiming his only Reedy title 5-years ago, the Yokomo driver added, ‘we made changes to the car for the jump section and it was better. I was more confident today. We need to manage the tyres because they are already starting to get low’.
Tebo took full responsibility for his disappointing start to the day. The defending Champion said, ‘It was all on me. I made a good start and good passes and was feeling good but then I cased the jump at the rhythm section and then cased it again’. On his car, the Tekno team driver using an Associated for 2WD, he said, ‘the car felt a little loose. The shock were a little bound up so I will next new O-rings for the next one. I won’t change the set-up’.
Summing up his race, Tessmann said, ‘my car was a little better than yesterday. I just drove around as fast as I could without mistakes’. Asked what he improved on the car, the Xray driver said, ‘It was more consistent but I think we can still improve on it I think. My next race I have an 8th place start so I am going to have work in that one’.
Unfortunately out of contention for a third Reedy Race title after lacking pace in 4WD, Evans was happy to make it 2 wins from 3 starts saying, ‘My 2WD is good so I am going to try and win as many races as I can. I had a terrible time in 4WD which put me out of contention so my goal now is to end 2WD with a perfect score’. Asked about his 5th place in the second 2WD encounter, the Team Associated driver said, ‘I started next to Maifield on the third row of the grid. It’s so hard to push with Maifield and you have to push really hard to gain 1/10th a lap. It’s super difficult’.
The 26th running of the Reedy Race of Champions will go into the final day at OCRC Raceway in California tomorrow with just a single point separating defending Champion Jared Tebo from points leader Ryan Maifield. Ending 4WD with a comfortable 4 point advantage, 2015 Champion Maifield would end Day 2 with a 4th place while Tebo backed up his win in the opening 2WD encounter with a second behind Spencer Rivkin who holds fourth overnight. Making a number of mistakes, Maifield was unable to make the kind of progress we witnessed in 4WD as up front in the race Rob Gillespie took a very popular first win of 2020 ahead of Europeans Lee Martin and Joona Haatanen. Tebo found himself in the stacked heat of Round 2, going up against Rivkin, Ryan Cavalieri and Dakotah Phend. While Rivkin took the win from the front row, Tebo found a way passed Cavalieri to secure second to take more points out of Maifield. Opening the Round with his third win of the event, Broc Champlin put himself right into podium contention with an impressive win ahead of Ty Tessmann and Alex Kosciuszek.
Summing up his race, the result only his second time outside the Top 2, Maifield explained his 4th place by saying, ‘I just had some bad crashes on my own account and it seems the guys up front had a solid run. I thought I could at least get Top 3 but even without my crashes it was going to be hard’. Looking to the final four rounds of action tomorrow, the former double World Champion said, ‘We’ll reset. I need to get a little more comfortable with the jumps especially that triple. We’ll have a few beers tonight and come back reset tomorrow’.
On his race, Tebo said, ‘That was a really good run. My car was awesome but it’s a lot harder to move through the pack than it was in 4WD. I was right on Cav and managed to get by but Spencer had already got a lead. I caught him a little bit’. Looking at the overnight points table, the Tekno team driver said, ‘I’m making a little progress but I don’t really have any good starts tomorrow. Some people are making mistakes when they have opportunities so with this race you never know. Maifield has a couple of low starts. It’s going to be a nail biter’.
‘That was a much needed win’, was Rivkin’s reaction to what is only his second win of the event so far. The World Champion, who is still chasing his first Reedy Race title, continued, ‘3 out of 4 drivers in contention for the Reedy Race were in the heat. I took advantage of the front row start and drove a solid race’. Asked about his car, the Team Associated driver replied, ‘my diff is a little messed up so I’m going to rebuild it and run-in in practice in the morning. It should be more consistent then tomorrow’.
Commenting on his Round 2 win, Champlin said, ‘I started 4th and was able to hole shot Alex (Kosciuszek) who started 3rd. Yusuke (Sugiura) crashed and I was able to get by and reel in Ty (Tessmann). I had a few passing opportunities but waited on a mistake instead of forcing a pass. The last lap I got really close and when Ty made his mistake I was able to slip by’. With the win moving the 17-year-old into 3rd on the points table, on his car’s performance he said, ‘the car is working really well. It is super easy to drive and easy to drive hard. I’m going to keep it the same for the rest of the event’.
Defending Reedy Race Champion Jared Tebo has opened the 2WD action at OCRC Raceway with a win over 4WD points leader Ryan Maifield. Starting from third on the grid the Tekno factory driver took his Associated to a 4-seconds win over the Yokomo driver who had come through from last on the grid. Having endured a very tough time in 4WD, ending up 18th in the points, former two time champion Dustin Evans would come to the fore in 2WD taking the Heat 3 win over the races other multiple champion Ryan Cavalieri. The same race wouldn’t net the start Dakotah Phend was in search of as the TLR driver finished 5th meaning he loses further ground to Maifield in the points table. One of only two non North American drivers to win in 4WD, multiple European Champion Lee Martin open his 2WD account with a win heading home Yokomo team-mate Yusuke Sugiura and Ron DeVoll in an encounter that would see both Ty Tessmann, who led for a time, and Spencer Rivkin drop points to their rivals as they finished 4th and 5th respectively.
‘That was a good one’, was how Tebo summed up the first round of 2WD. He continued, ‘I had a good start and got into second. I drove a little nervous. I thought I would catch Alex (Kosciuszek) quicker but he actually pulled away. Eventually I settled down and could catch him. Then I had a bobble and dropped back but I got there in the end’. Looking to the second round, which will bring Day 2’s action to a close, he said, ‘I drove a little nervous so I’m going to work on that but the car was good and I’ll leave it same for the next one’.
Summing up his race, Maifield said, ‘Any time you can get a Top 2 off the back row is good but it started off tough. I got tossed around a bit at the beginning’. He continued, ‘Myself and Cole (Tollard) had a good race but I got into him. It was pretty obvious it was my fault so I waited. Alex (Kosciuszek) then made his mistake but I decided to wait. I don’t want officials to make weird calls so I police myself. Once I got by Alex, Tebo was gone but a second place, I’ll take that’.
Bouncing back into the event with the switch to 2WD, Team Associated’s Evans said, ‘I couldn’t figure out 4WD. I also started from the back in the stacked heats but with no speed I wasn’t able to do anything. It was super frustrating’. Happy to open 2WD with a win, he said, ‘I am out of contention (for the overall win) but I’m going to try and win as many 2WD races as I can’.
Commenting on his race, Matin said, ‘I had a front row start with Shin (Adachi) next to me so I knew if I didn’t crash in the first few laps I wasn’t going to be hustled too much’. He continued, ‘Ty (Tessmann) got up the inside of me when I understeer but I had a stroke of luck at the triple and retook the lead. I tried to keep good pace but safe enough not to scare myself and it seemed to work out well’. He concluded, ‘my car is good, I just hope the tyres hold out’.