1st Ryan Cavalieri | Prediction 1st
Verdict: Completely Right.
I told you so! At one point it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. I would argue that Ryan had less “Pudge Luck” than most of the time at first. It was beginning to look like things would have to go wrong for a number of people for Ryan to be able to win, but he managed to scrape through 4wd, and then just win all but one race in 2wd, and with one drop that meant a perfect score for 2wd. Going into the last race, both Ryans were in it, and Cavalieri had to win, to win the race, and if he didn’t win, Maifield just needed a top 3 I believe.
The last race, for as long as it lasted, was a great example of the confidence and skill that Cavalieri has. He launched into 1st from 2nd on the grid, and attacked immediately. Maifield got into 2nd past Rivkin in the 1st corner, which I doubt Cav was very happy about. But it was clear Cavalieri wanted to pull away, and wanted to force Maifield into making a mistake, trying to catch up. Cavalieri’s 2nd lap was his fastest of the race, and his 3rd lap was his 3rd fastest. The lap that Maifield broke, and the next ones after were immediately a couple 10th’s slower as he eased off ever so slightly. The confidence was apparent. Instead of waiting for the race to possibly come to him, he just went for it, 100% from the start.
Overall I would say that the AE 4wd, unless you are Joona Haatanen, needs some work. I think just setup work will get it there, it looked a bit slow in the tighter corners, and it was clear that Cavalieri’s 4wd results suffered a bit due to his car not being on the pace, and him not being able to place it how he wanted when racing against others. He obviously still managed to get good enough results, but don’t forget he had to get a perfect score in 2wd in order to win. The 2wd is obviously already set up well and he is confident and comfortable driving it. I don’t know if it’s his style or his setup that makes it look like a handful sometimes, but at the same time, it did look like quite a solid performance all around, and it didn’t look like he was going to make a mistake any time soon.
Cavalieri’s race craft is also rather good, and confidence plays a big role. He will hang back and leave room for the front runner to make a mistake if there is no immediate threat from behind, as he did with me in one race. He does that, believing that if no mistake does come, he can just turn it up at the end of the race and make his move. He will drive the speed he needs to in order to win the race, and in 4wd I would argue when he saw he couldn’t win, he salvaged what he could. It is no coincidence he has won the Reedy Race a record breaking 4 times.
2nd Ryan Maifield | Prediction 4th
Verdict: Underestimated, Wrong.
Maifield was in my opinion my most wrong prediction I made, because he didn’t even show signs of what I was expecting. He was a factor throughout the race, and it looked like he was going to actually win the damn race! I didn’t expect him to A: Get the cars as good as he needed them to be to win, and B: Be comfortable enough to compete. All I can say is, that talent and skill make up for a lot! I don’t think either of Ryan’s cars were the best, possibly even close to the best, but he drove them the best. The next best Yokomo was in 11th place, Lee Martin, and that guy is a multiple European Champion, and Worlds podium finisher.
I think the cars looked like they took more effort to drive around than ideal, requiring to be corrected, and finessed, and care had to be taken not to over do it in the sweeper for example. Also, I would say that if Ryan had just settled for 2nd in at least the one early 2wd round, he could have gone into the last race not even needing to stop Cavalieri from winning, but that just isn’t his style. Win it or bin it, unlike Cavalieri who is more calculated, and less spectacular in his approach.
The last race was of course really unlucky. An e-clip came off causing the piston to come off the shaft, and Maifield actually raced around the track for 2-3 laps before he flew off the track, and the front shock pulled apart completely. It’s really a shame, because that could have been one hell of a race! We all got robbed of some entertainment, that’s for sure.
3rd Ty Tessmann | Prediction Didn’t really say, but 7th-
Verdict: Wrong, But Partly Right.
Ty was impressive, he managed to maximise his potential I felt, with a well earned podium. In 4wd he was stronger as expected, in 2wd he surprised me, with strong drives. However, unlike Maifield, he showed signs of what I was talking about, and that’s why I say I was partly right. I just underestimated his driving ability.
There were some races which he should have won with ease, which caused him major issues. He jumped off the track, he exited stage left, and he bounced between the pipes. When he was out front, he mostly got in a groove and won, but when things got hairy, he was in trouble, and that’s in my opinion because his cars require precision and perfection from him to flow and be fast around the track. And when you are racing someone, you can’t necessarily always do that. If you want a couple of examples of his car flying off the track due to minor driver error while leading, not even being pressured, watch the last 2wd main. That’s what I was talking about, and that’s what he was able to minimise in the harder races. That last race he should have checked out and won easily, but he almost lost it. I think he wanted to prove me wrong so bad that he managed to drive through and over JP Richards to get back in the lead, and win it.
In any case, with such a good 1st race with new cars, we can only imagine he will improve his setups further, and be even more competitive once the worlds are here in November.
To Be Continued…