July 22, 2011

Ryan Maifield quickest

Ryan Maifield

Ryan Maifield is quickest after 5 rounds of practice on the opening day of the 4WD Electric Buggy World Championship in Finland topping newly crowned 2WD World Champion Ryan Cavalieri and Kyosho’s Jared Tebo who recorded his fastest lap in P4.

Dustin Evans

With the sun now shining over Vaasa track conditions came good for P5 with the Top 5 able to run 23-second lap times.  Behind the trio of American’s who filled the 2WD Podium on Wednesday, Losi’s Dustin Evans and top Finnish offroad racer Joseph Quagraine, who is driving a Durango, set the fourth & fifth fastest time respectively.

Joern Neumann

Just missing out on breaking a 24-second lap, Team Durango’s Joern Neumann was sixth fastest with a 24.007 followed closely by Warm-up Race winner Lee Martin who managed a 24.011 with his Tamiya.

Steven Harston

Top Qualifier in 2WD, England’s Neil Cragg set the 8th fastest time with his LRP powered B44.1 while team-mate Steven Harston set the 10th fastest time making it four Associated’s in the Top 10.  Proving a very popular choice of buggy this year, Hupo Hönigl used his DEX410 to post the 9th quickest lap.

Top 10 lap times after P5
1. Ryan Maifield – Associated – 23.665
2. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated – 23.851
3. Jared Tebo – Kyosho – 23.856
4. Dustin Evans – Losi – 23.875
5. Joseph Quagraine – Durango – 23.992
6. Joern Neumann – Durango – 24.009
7. Lee Martin – Tamiya – 24.011
8. Neil Cragg – Associated – 24.080
9. Hupo Hönigl – Durango – 24.171
10.Steven Hartson – 24.251

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July 22, 2011

4WD Worlds underway in Finland

4wd Track

Having crowned Ryan Cavalieri as the new 2WD electric Buggy World Champion on Wednesday attention now turns to 4WD in Finland today with a day of practice on the Vaasa track which has had the layout changed from that used in the first half of the week.

Ryan Cavalieri

The most successful driver contesting the event, having won back to back 4WD titles in 2003 & 2005, Team Associated’s new 2WD Champion Cavalieri goes into the event full of confidence.  Having run three of the eight 4-minute practice runs that make up today’s schedule, the American said the new layout is longer and more tricky but he found the main feature of the track, the quad, not to be as difficult as thought it would be.  Admitting that getting it wrong could easily lead to a broken car he expects the competition to be a little different to 2WD.  With an amazing eleven 2WD titles to their credit Associated have only a single 4WD title, won with Jared Tebo in 2007, but between Cavalieri, Ryan Maifield and 2WD top qualifier Neil Cragg the American company are serious contenders for their 26th IFMAR World Championship title.

Jared Tebo

Describing the track as ‘really cool’ and the quad as ‘insane’, Team Kyosho’s Jared Tebo said he wants nothing less than to repeat his 2007 victory.  The winner of the last full blown World Championships, the 2009 event having only attracted little more than a dozen drivers, Tebo said he is ‘bummed’ after his 2WD result and is going to stick to what he learned from that – to leave his set-up alone.  Running the set-up he found in testing after the Warm-up having stayed on in Vaasa for a few extra days he said the Lazer ZX-5 FS2 felt good this morning.

Lee Martin

The winner of the Warm-up race in May, Tamiya Racing Factory’s Lee Martin says he feels really good about his 4WD chances.  Finishing 7th in the 2WD final,  the current European Champion said the layout of the 4WD track flows more and his buggy felt really smooth to drive in the opening practices.  Expecting the laps times to tumble later in the day, when and if the track dries out, the British ace feels the quad jump is going to play a factor as it going to lead to mistakes and ultimately broken cars.  Team-mate Marc Rheinard, a former European 4WD Champion, said while 4WD is the better of the two buggy classes for him he feels it is going to be tough to beat his 2WD result which saw him finish a respectable 18th overall.

Hupo Honigl

Another former European Champion aiming for glory is Team Durango’s Hupo Honigl.  The Austrian won the 4WD European title at this very track in 2007 and believes this is one of his best chances of adding a first World title.  Honigl said he has a good package having shown good speed at the Warm-up race and now he just needed to bring that through over the next three days.  A finalist in 4WD in Japan and coming off the back of making the A-Main in 2WD, team-mate Joern Neumann should also be a contender for the reigning champions Team Durango.  Martin Achter secured the title for Durango two years ago after the South African event was boycotted by most drivers and the German knows his reign is going to come to an end in 3-days time.

Naoto Matsukura

The most successful company in 4WD with six World titles to their credit, Team Yokomo are pinning their hopes for the 14th running of the IFMAR event on young Japanese National Champion Naoto Matsukura.  TQ’ing a round of the 2WD qualifying, the 19-year-old said he is much more comfortable with 4WD summing up the difference in two words ‘maximum power’.  A World finalist in 2007, when he finished 9th, Matsukura doesn’t lack self belief and wants to bring his tally of World titles to three having last year won back to back 1:12 World Championships.

Having focused all their attention on trying to win the 2WD title with their new 22, Losi may have three World titles to their credit in 4WD but with an aging buggy their drivers are not expected to be serious contenders for the win on Sunday.

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July 20, 2011

Cavalieri gets his 2WD World title

World Champion

Ryan Cavalieri is the new 2WD Electric Buggy World Champion after seeing off intense pressure from his Associated team-mate Ryan Maifield in a very close third A-Main to claim his first IFMAR 2WD title. A past winner of the sports greatest accolade in 4WD, Cavalieri said afterwards that the race was probably their best ever battle and on crossing the finish line his first thoughts were that he couldn’t believe he had managed to hold off his great rival.

Top 3

The deciding 5-minute encounter in Vaasa, Finland, became a straight race for the title when Top Qualifier Neil Cragg broke his car during the warm-up leaving Cavalieri to head the field directly in front of the only other two drivers in with a shout of the title, Maifield and Kyosho’s Jared Tebo.  Running as a freight train, Tebo broke on his 10th lap leaving the Ryans to go at for the overall win.  Pushing Cavalieri to the limit, Maifield also showed great patience as he ran right on the back of his fellow American’s B4.1.  The Champion elect was given a vital break on the penultimate lap when Maifield had a bad landing and took the win by 1.4 seconds with TLR’s Dustin Evans third for the round.

Ryan Cavalieri

The 11th 2WD World title for Associated Cavalieri said the victory was a huge team effort and the result of a lot of pre-event preparations and finishing 1-2 on the podium was a great way of thanking everyone involved.  Saying that he thought he would have taken the 2WD title before the 4WD crown which he won in 2003 & 2005 this was the one title he really wanted.  Happy to qualify second on the grid he said this played a role today as it forced him to push harder than he would have if he had of been Top Qualifier.

Ryan Maifield

Maifield said he did everything he could as a driver and it was an emotional day but he was happy for his team-mate and Associated whose cars made up half the grid in the main event. Saying if he was ever to win a World title he would like it to be in electric, he said he has just got to let the race happen and today it didn’t work out for him but he could be proud of being part of an AE 1-2.

Jared Tebo

Despite his non finish in A-Main 3 Tebo completed the podium.  The winner of the opening final from fourth on the grid, the 2007 4WD Champion said he lacked consistency and the result today was were each of the drivers deserved to finish.  Coming here with a new much modified RB5 chassis, Tebo said he was pleased they were competitive and in the hunt throughout.  The American who TQ’d two rounds of qualifying said one of the main problems was his search for perfection which at times made him change his set-up when he should have just focused on driving it.

Dustin Evans

Missing out on the podium, Losi’s Evans said he could not be disappointed at finishing his first Worlds in fourth.  Coming to Finland with high hopes for the new TLR22 and in search of their first 2WD title in 10 years the friendly American said it was a pity about the opening two mains as he really felt his car was good enough for a podium.

Pulling off a stunning drive in the second A-Main to finish the leg 3rd, Team Durango have got to be pleased with Joern Neumann for taking their prototype DEX210 to fifth overall. Starting from 9th on the grid this is the German’s second time to put a Gerd Strenge designed prototype in the Worlds final on its debut having made the 4WD World Final in Japan in 2007.

Neil Cragg, who like Cavalieri won his 2WD World title starting from second on the grid, ended the event 6th in what was a very up and down day for the 28-year-old British ace.  The high of securing the Top Qualifier honour this morning with a great final qualifying run was short lived with three finals he will want to forget.

Dakotah Phend

One of the stars of these championships Dakotah Phend is now officially the 7th best 2WD buggy driver in the world which is no mean feat for a 14-year-old on his debut.  Behind the talented American the World’s Top 10 was completed by Naoto Matsukura,  Lee Martin and Peter Pinisch.

With the 2WD World Championship in the bag and Ryan Cavalieri joining the prestigious list of champions the other drivers have little time to reflect on what could have been as Friday sees the start of the 4WD event.  Tomorrow the organisers, who have put on the best World Championship the sport has seen, and are getting just recognition for their efforts, will change the layout of the track in preparation for what is expected to be a more fiercely fought contest.  Our coverage which is being supported by Team Durango, LRP, Speed Passion and Team C, will resume Friday with updates throughout the practice day.

A-main Leg 3 result

A-main Overall result

Full results can be found here.

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