Here’s Degani and me, breaking down the top 12 at this worlds. We realise that the industry is small, egos are fragile, and more people may hate us shortly, but as you probably know, we really don’t give a shit. Here is our honest opinion on the contenders. Deal with it! If you think we are wrong, prove us wrong. Don’t neff out.
There are too many good drivers to think about, so we just look at a potential A main full of drivers and their cars. Tomorrow I will give you my thoughts on the first 2 practice days, wing controversies and all. But for now, let’s take a look at the contenders before the action really begins, and our views get affected by on track action.
1. Ryan Maifield
Maifield has been on fire this year, and was the man to beat in Italy too. Now he is in his home country, and even more comfortable. The Jconcepts tyres are clearly good in the conditions, and the Losi is great on these sorts of 1:10th electric style tracks, lower speed, lower grip, hairpins, jumps, rollers etc. Expect Maifield to be dialed.
The only negative is pressure. The longer you go where you could and should win, but don’t the higher the pressure, so a lot will be decided mentally for Maifield, more so than for his mostly already World Champion competition.
2. David Ronnefalk
Ronnefalk is one of the most versatile European drivers in 8th scale, with no real weakness as far as track condition or type goes. He seems to be fast no matter what. Even though he says he is faster with the HB, we feel like with the Kyosho he was more consistent, the car would let him get away with more crazyness, where the HB may or may not do something weird when pushed, leading to a mistake. However, with low grip and relatively low speeds on this layout, this may be a smaller issue. Expect him to be a contender throughout.
3. Jared Tebo
The bumpier and more difficult the track gets, the better for Tebo. His car and his driving is really good for those conditions. Also, the fact that the track is slow should help him. We think this is the Championship Tebo really wants, but he is already WC, so there is pressure, but it is different compared to for example Maifield. I think when you believe that jesus is on your side it actually helps you mentally, and with a 3rd baby on the way, I just sense that life is good in the Tebo camp, and he is sort of going for the cherry on top. It’s less pressure that way. This could be the year. Then again, he did TQ and then blow out at the 2WD worlds, so what do I know. That’s sort of what Degani was trying to say but I wasn’t having it. In any case, Tebo has the skills and the equipment, and he usually finishes his mains.
4. Ty Tessmann
Tessmann is like Ryan Dungey, he is always there. He could win, he could be 5th, I don’t know. Compared to Ronnefalk he drives more in control, so less mistakes or wacky car reactions. He could be the 1st guy to win two in a row, exciting!
5. Ryan Cavalieri
Cavalieri is one of the best when it comes to long mains, as well as being fast on electric style tracks like this one. However, unless it gets really bumpy, I think the pillow ball AE will be a bit of a disadvantage on this track. It’s just not as nimble and precise as the other styles of front end on a loose track like this. Driving around alone is ok, but racing someone may prove to be tough, because you really have to drive the car perfectly and using the throttle right. Let’s see.
6. Elliot Boots
Boots not in the main because he runs a stick radio according to Degani. I think he will be in the main, we argued about it, at the end of the day, I left him in because I wrote this. The thing is that Boots may be right up there, but on this low speed track, he may just fly off it. But the Kyosho can take a lot of the abuse, so that will help. Partly it will be a case of how bumpy the track gets for Boots.
7. Ryan Lutz
Lutz is super fast and should be in the main if nothing goes wrong. He can definitely put down a fast lap time, and nowadays the mains too, but he seems to have problems really often. Also, being the worlds, you need to be on the top of your game, and your equipment needs to be on point, and the Tekno is not the most stable and easy car to drive fast, so holding on to it for 60 minutes against other fast but easier cars to drive can prove to be a tough challenge.
8. Kyle McBride
This guy just has the ability to look slow but be fast. It’s very annoying. I hate that personally because it looks so easy. Like Wheeler, just high corner and a smaller difference between max speed and min speed each lap. He should be in the main.
9 .Robert Battle
Robert can suck for his standards in qualifying, and then just turn it up in the mains. Even in the same main he can turn it up after 20 minutes and lap everyone. It’s really weird to be honest. So with 30 minute semi you have to put this guy in the main. In Thailand he flamed out at the start of the semi and still made it in. We had a tough time deciding if Robert would be a contender, or if he would just make the main, so due to the kidney stone, we settled for “just” making the main.
10. Dakotah Phend
Dakotah has the speed obviously, he has the right car for this track too, he should make it in. He is getting married though, so he is done, 10th place.
11. Spencer Rivkin
Super fast, but pillow balls, and racing 60 minutes on a bumpy track, that’s the challenge.
12. Josh Wheeler
The magic man, squeaks it in every time even if he only has a 1% chance. He is always fast, and with this track and all it’s corners, his smoothness and corner speed should get him in the main. In the main however, he always seems to have problems, sometimes something never before witnessed in RC.
Other drivers who could just as well be on that list and now hate us:
Martin, Ongaro, Ogden, Bornhorst, Drake, Cragg, Bayer, Aigoin, Savoya, Neumann, Hara, King, Berton, Baruffolo, Zanchettin, Wollanka,Bloomfield, Truhe.