February 27, 2012

Tessmann does double at Dirt Nitro Challenge

Ty Tessmann pulled off the double at the Dirt Nitro Challenge in Phoenix, Arizona, late on Sunday night when he cruised to victory ahead of his Hot Bodies team-mate Jessie Robbers, as the only two drivers to mount any sort of challenge on the Canadian both ran into problems. Driving his prototype D8, such was the pace of the 19-year-old that he was on target to lap the entire field before his father & pitman Gord called him in for an extra splash of fuel in the final minutes of the race so as to keep out of the closely fought battle for second and third.

His first big double victory, Tessmann said he always felt in control of the race and even with Ryan Maifield right on his case he just focused on keeping his lines tidy as he knew he had one less stop to do over the Associated driver. That approach paid dividends as Maifield got out of shape on a number of occasions as Tessmann kept a cool head and build back up a comfort zone.

Team Associated were the only team to ever threaten Tessmann’s ruling of proceedings in the 45-minute final. Starting third on the grid Cavalieri got by the No.2 TLR 8ight of Dakota Phend and chased down the Top Qualifier but it was to be in vein as the US Champion suffered a steering servo failure in his Orion powered RC8.2 ending his race 13-minutes in. Following the demise of Cavalieri, the race didn’t pick up again until it reached the 30-minute mark as Maifield got right within striking distance of Tessmann. While a more serious challenge Maifield would too succumb to a steering problem this time with a broken steering rod end. Associated team manager Brent Thielke said afterwards that they suspect an impact with Adam Drake’s out of shape TLR 8ight had cracked the part and it just eventually broke completely ending Maifield event. Maifield rejoined the race after repairs to finish 9th.

Robbers was delighted to join his younger team-mate on the podium but almost didn’t make the start after he broke an arm during the warm-up laps. Starting fourth on the grid with his CR8 chassis, he was able to get the buggy fixed but said the drama unsettled him and it was not until around 5-minutes into the race that he found his rythm. Also suffering a flame-out as he was being fuelled on the first of his 7.30 stops, Robbers said his HB Gridlock equipped buggy felt really good and once he got up to speed he knew he had the pace for a strong result. Battling with Tebo and Drake he said he drove cleanly and this ultimately secured him second.

Outgoing champion Tebo described his 3rd place finish as an ‘alright result’. Starting 9th on the grid after a tough qualifying, the Kyosho driver went with too soft a tyre choice running super soft AKA Impacts on his MP9. Tebo described the race as ‘busy’ in which he had an instense battle with team-mate Cody King, who set the fastest lap of the race, and went wheel to wheel with both Drake and Robbers. With a less than perfect buggy Tebo said he had a number of costly mistakes but added they had learned from the experience.

Just missing out on the podium, Drake said he had a rough start but with his buggy working well in the conditions he was able to make a strong come back. A bad mistake however in the middle part of the race cost him a Top 3 finish. Getting to within striking distance of Tebo he ran out of time to mount a challenge and had to settle for fourth. Unfortunately for Drake’s up & coming team-mate Dakota Phend, who TQ’d the final round of qualifying, a broken arm saw the 15-year-old’s race end after just 7 laps.

Although another super late finish to Joey ‘The Dirt’ Christensen’s signature event, the 13th running of the Dirt Nitro Challenge was a great show and we would like to thank Joey and Proline for their hospitality during our time at the Fear Farm.

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February 27, 2012

Lutz, Rodriguez & Castellano bump to Main event

While the Buggy B-Main was full of action with battles a plenty for the lower positions, up front Ryan Lutz made light work of the opposition. Starting from pole, the Team Durango driver took a very easy win over 18-year-old A-Main Hobbies team driver Dylan Rodriguez and TLR’s Matt Castellano with the Top 3 progressing to the Main event at the Fear Farm.  After a difficult run in Friday’s qualifying, Lutz said switching to a larger holed piston in the rear shocks for the half hour final cured his Alpha powered DNX408 from bucking.

Making a clean start, the ‘Lutzinator’ said he was able to run a trouble free race to win by half a lap and hopes he can continue that form into the A-Main which brings the 13th Dirt Nitro Challenge to a close.  Starting 13th on the grid Lutz joins Durango team-mate Carson Wernimont, who lines up fifth on the grid, in the 45-minute main which sees 6 different manufacturers represented.  For Durango’s Billy Fischer it was a contrasting race as he lost a wheel on the second lap but he still played his part for the team by helping Lutz’ mechanic with his 7.30 fuel stops .

Also making the Main at last year’s event after winning the B-Main, Rodriguez’s bump up gives Kyosho the largest share of the grid with four drivers.

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February 27, 2012

‘Badboy’ Kortz wins Brushless Buggy

New Agama team signing Jeremy Kortz has won the 1:8 Brushless Buggy title at the Dirt Nitro Challenge taking the final by a comfortable 12-seconds over Top Qualifier Adam Drake and Team Durango’s Billy Fischer.  Starting from 8th on the grid, the former World finalist and US Champion took advantage of mistakes by his rivals to make his way to the front . Seeing off a challenge from Team Durango young gun Carson Wernimont, whose buggy shutdown in the last minute of the race, the man with the badboy image was able to cruise to take a maiden victory for Agama and his new electric sponsors Tekin and Thunder Power.

The opening lap of the 10-minute encounter saw the No.2 Hot Bodies of Tyler Vik find a way past Drake’s TLR 8ight but the San Francisco driver got out of shape coming onto the straight and ended up on his roof.  Slow marshalling ended his challenge for victory, working his way back up the order his race was also to come to an end when his battery became unplugged.  Vik’s Hot Bodies team-mate also took a turn at leading the race but in the end missed out on a podium finish following a mistake on the last lap.

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February 26, 2012

Tessmann wins Truggy at ‘The Dirt’

Ty Tessmann has won his second Dirt Nitro Challenge title in Truggy after cruising to a healthy victory at the Fear Farm over Ryan Cavalieri and Adam Drake.  Starting from second on the grid the Canadian, who was Truggy Champion in 2010, took the lead of the race when Top Qualifier Ryan Maifield crashed out 8-minutes into the 45-minute final.  A spectacular exit for the Associated RC8.2T which veered off the track and ploughed into one of hay bail track markers, the demise of the US National Truggy Champion was discovered afterwards to have been caused by a failure of the steering drag arm.

Delighted to regain the title, Tessmann said other than a few moments with traffic the race went really good. Asked if could have challenged for the win if the battle with Maifield had of gone full distance, the factory Hot Bodies driver said he was comfortable running behind the Arizona driver and was ready to apply the pressure when needed.  Running OS engines Tessmann’s father and pitman Gord said they had the option to run 11 and a half minute stops but once Maifield went out they ran a safer 9-minute strategy.  Starting from pole for tomorrow’s Buggy Final, the quiet 19-year-old said he is going to give his all and try and repeat Jared Tebos 2011 double victory.

Finishing runner-up, Cavalieri said he was happy with the result but would have liked to have had the opportunity to race Tessmann for the win.  The Associated driver was involved in a titanic battle with outgoing champion Jared Tebo and Drake which while providing top quality entertainment for the enthusiastic crowd it gave Tessmann his break which they could never claw back.  After a less than ideal start to truggy qualifying Cavalieri said second confirmed that they had made progress over the weekend.

TLR’s Drake said the battle with Cavalieri and Tebo was fun but played into Tessmann’s hand. Unlike his fellow Proline users Tessman and Cavalieri he opted for the Revolver rather than the Holeshot.  A safe tyre due to the bigger pins he said in the early part of the race they made his Novarossi powered 8ight-T hard to hang onto but by the end they became really strong. This allowed him to get the better of another intense battle which this time came from within his own team with himself and Mike Truhe providing the entertainment in the later part of the race. Drake eventually came out on top to secure a place on the podium saying afterwards this along with TLR drivers filling the 3rd through to 8th position was a good way to start the season.

Truhe said he regretted not risking 9-minute stops.  Choosing 7:30 stops based on his Orion’s engine performance in qualifying he said in the final it would have easily gone 9-minutes saving him one fuel stop.  Starting 10th on the grid, he said the race was a great confidence booster for tomorrow as he has got to do some bumping up after a disappointing Buggy qualifying.

Looking like he might have found the form we seen at last year’s Dirt Nitro Challenge, Tebo suffered cruel luck for which his pitman Joe Pillars took full responsibility.  During one of his fuel stops the tie wrap on the fuel cap got caught in the body of the ST-RR resulting in the fuel pouring out of the tank later causing the truggy to run out of fuel.  A flame-out leaving the put lane after the truggy was refuel led further hampered Tebo and he would end the race a very disappointed 11th.

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