Team Associated completed the double today at the 2011 ROAR 1:8 Offroad Nationals with Ryan Cavalieri winning the Buggy main ahead of team-mate Ryan Maifield who earlier in the day lifted the Truggy crown at Thunder Alley. What started out as a thrilling battle which produced many lead changes, in the end Cavalieri took any easy win as Top Qualifier Jared Tebo hit trouble and Maifield suffered a flame out. With the champion elect in cruise mode the excitement for the latter part of the race was the battle for third between current World Champion Cody King and potential future World Champion Dakotah Phend, the young Losi ace winning out to claim his first major nitro podium finish.
Cavalieri, who last won the title back in 2005, said after the race that there was little separating himself, Maifield and Tebo in terms of pace and mistakes being made and so he just kept plugging away trying to run his own race. Despite cruising to a 2 lap winning margin the former electric World Champion felt his choice of tyre, the new Proline Blockade in M2 compound, would have given him an edge if the intense three way battle had went down to the wire.
Despite his LRP engine flaming out when he hit a rock, Maifield who lead the race a number of times said he was pleased with second on what had been a very successful campaign for his Associated team. Having clocked up over three hours of track time today the Arizona racer said after the days hectic schedule on the difficult edgy track conditions he was now ‘mentally dead’.
Getting one of the biggest cheers after the race from the large crowd of onlookers, Phend was clearly delighted with third. The 14-year-old was the best placed TLR driver in both Truggy, where he finished 6th, and Buggy. Aware that he had the World Champion chasing him down he said he just tried to stay calm and focus on doing his own thing. Guided through the 1-hour main from the pits by his crew of Mike Truhe and Dustin Evans, who regularly told him not to ‘try anything stupid’, Phend thanked the pair for their help throughout what he has been a great week the promising youngster.
Having to settle for fourth King said his Kyosho MP9 was difficult to drive. Making a mistake at the start which dropped him down to 8th he said he just focused on working his way back through the field but in the end he ‘came up a little short’ after swapping position with Phend.
Seeing his title defence end when the steering servo horn came undone just before halfway distance while leading, Tebo said afterwards he felt he had control of the race. Happy to be able to match Cavalieri’s pace from the start, he knew he was running one less fuel stop than his fellow Orion Engines backed driver and this was going to give him a buffer at the last round of stops. The Top Qualifier of both classes, Tebo left the rostrum to return to his pit table to get a tool to fix his buggy and despite having no chance of success rejoined the race working his way back from last to 7th, two laps down on sixth placed JR Mitch.
Canadian Ty Tessmann was another to hit steering problems when the servo saver broke on his D8 as he held third position. The 18-year-old was one of three retirements with Mugen’s Taylor Peterson retiring with a dead receiver battery and Hobao’s Jeremy Kortz pulling up after problems with his transponder.
We would like to thank Team Durango for the support of our first ever ROAR Nationals coverage, which in a year when there is no World Championship is the next best thing. A very well presented event we must give a special word of gratitude to Pro-Line for unofficially acting as the media centre and providing refreshments. Finally congratulations to Thunder Alley track owner Rob Jackson whose hard work throughout the week is a credit to the sport.
Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri will start the 1-hour Buggy Main at the ROAR Nationals from pole after winning the first of the Semis in a faster time than Jared Tebo who starts second. Cavalieri lapped everyone up to second placed Ty Tessmann in the 30 minute encounter, being the only driver to run a 29 second lap in either Semis. Top Qualifier Tebo took his Kyosho a relatively easy win crossing the finish line over half a lap up on newly crowned Truggy Champion Ryan Maifield who will challenge for the double from 4th on the grid behind Tessmann.
Lining up as the top Losi on what has been a great day for the youngster, Dakotah Phend will carry number six and is joined by his senior team-mate Adam Drake. The former champion starts 8th behind current World Champion Cody King who beat him to third in the second of the Semis.
Runner up last year, Jesse Robbers makes it two Hot Bodies in the final with his CR8 prototype starting from the eight spot ahead of the only Mugen, which will be driven by Taylor Peterson. Making it into final as one of the fastest drivers outside of the Top 5, bad boy Jeremy Kortz is next up with his Hobao.
Completing the 12 drivers who can still become the 2011 Buggy Champion are Associated duo JR Mitch, the other fastest finisher, and Clint Wachter who was fifth in the first Semi.
Crowned champion the last time Thunder Alley hosted the Nationals and on the podium 12 months ago Mike Truhe was one of the big casualties of the Semis along with 2006 World Champion Mark Pavidis. Truhe, who suffered a broken shock in the Truggy final, was forced to retire after just three laps when the carb on his N-Vision engine jammed. In contention for a bump up spot Pavidis ran out of fuel just as the race entered the final 10 minutes. Also stopping on track was Travis Amezcua ending a disappointing event for the factory Mugen driver.
Ryan Maifield is the 2011 ROAR Truggy Champion after taking his Associated RC8T to a convincing victory over outgoing champion & Top Qualifier Jared Tebo with Hot Bodies’ Jesse Robbers completing the podium at Thunder Alley in Southern California.
In a race that provided plenty of early excitement as Tebo, Maifield, Ryan Cavalieri and Cody King battled it out for the lead, Maifield took command of proceeding as the race reached the halfway point. With Tebo, Cavalieri and Maifield all taking turns at leading, a pass by the latter on Tebo at the 21 minute mark was the deciding moment of the race. Pulling a pass on the Kyosho which saw the two collide in the air, the 2007 Champion took to the front from where he was never headed again.
After the race Maifield said the main was all about tyres and sacrificing his early pace his choice of JConcepts Crossair yellow compound worked perfectly, a fact that was backed up by his ability to set the fastest lap of the race on lap 80 of 91. Enjoying his early battle with Tebo, Cavalieri and King, the Arizona ace said he lost his nerve a little when he had a crash of his own doing in the burm which caused him to get out of his rythm for a while.
Finishing second over 10-seconds adrift of the winner, Tebo said he did not have the right tyre for today’s dry conditions. Running AKA Grid Iron in the Semi, they were bald after the 25-minute encounter leaving him no option but to run City Block in 45-minute main. Struggling for the start he said he will go back to work with AKA to make a new Truggy tyre and together they’ll be back next year to regain the title.
Third placed Robbers said the track was really difficult to drive in the final. After a bad start that left him second to last he worked his way back through the field and in the end was involved in the most interesting battle of the closing stages of the race. Describing the conditions as ‘so hard’ he said he had to keep telling himself to back off and that worked as he found a way passed Cavalieri with three minutes to go to take the final step on the podium from last year’s runner up. Having led the race for seven laps Cavalieri said he just made a few mistakes and thats what cost him the race.
Ty Tessmann, the only driver to top Tebo in qualifying, struggled in the conditions which he said had a level of high traction he was just not used too. In the end the Canadian had to settle for fifth. The youngest driver in the final Dakota Phend completed the Top 6 with, the promising 14-year-old the highest place Losi. Team-mate Mike Truhe lost five laps early in the race as had to change a broken front shock on his 8ight and he was classified 11th.
Other drivers to hit trouble where Dylan Rodriguez and Billy Easton. The only Mugen in the final Rodriguez was enjoying a solid run until he lost throtlle due to an unknown electrical fault. Serpent driver Easton had a steering rod come undone on his Cobra T which he was able to fix leaving him to finish 10th on the same lap as Truhe.
Team Kyosho’s Jared Tebo and Cody King have won the Semi finals for Truggy at the ROAR Nationals with defending champion & Top Qualifier Tebo set to start the 45-minute main from pole. The first of the 25-minute Semis saw King cruise to a rather easy win over Hot Bodies duo Ty Tessmann and Jesse Robbers while Tebo had to fend off close attention of Associated’s Ryans Maifield and Cavalieri in a more lively and faster affair. As a result Maifield and Cavalieri, who posted the fastest lap, will line-up 2nd and 3rd respectively on the grid with Cody fourth.
TLR will be represented by Mike Truhe and the youngest of the starters, emerging talent Dakotah Phend, who start in 7th and 8th spot. Adam Drake’s chances of progressing ended just as he completed the first lap with his Novarossi powered 8ight flaming out. Rejoining the race he was to suffer a second flame out finishing a distant 10th.
Making its debut at the Nationals Serpent’s new Cobra-T will be represented in the final after a busy morning for Billy Easton. Qualifying in the Quarter finals he bumped up to the Semi before going on to finish fifth after a close battle with JR Mitch and Josh Wheeler, who having to wait on the result of the second Semi, go to the main event due to being the fastest drivers to finish outside the Top 5.
Some big names failing to progress from the Semi include 2010 finalists Travis Amezcua and Ryan Lutz, Lutz suffering a broken rear drive shaft on his Alpha powered Mugen. Mark Pavidis came close to bumping up but will be reeling from a Stop & Go penalty he got for jumping the start as he finished 6th in the second of the Semi’s just 2.4 seconds behind SoCal ace Dylan Rodriguez who lines up last on the grid as the sole Mugen.