This one was surprisingly popular. I actually didn’t think that much of it, I thought it was an interesting one to do. I got some hate for this, how dare I. I dare because I was right. That’s why. So all you haters can piss off.
ATTENTION: Due to zero coverage, we were not able to locate any pictures from the event. This made us unsure, if the event actually took place. For this blog, we google searched images. We attempted to be as accurate as possible. We apologise for any possible mischaracterisations.
See, this is why I wrote the blog every day. When you don’t, you just keep putting it off, as there is always, every day, too many things to do. I always have a to do list, and I never manage to finish it. Ever. Blog? Naaaah.
2wd in Pinerolo, if you still remember, let’s take a look at what went on in the mains, as far as the top 5 are concerned. I didn’t really pay attention to the others, sorry! 4wd I got them all covered.
1st Lee Martin (I predicted: Lee Martin)
Lee was clearly the best throughout practice and qualifying, even though he wasn’t the fastest in practice. It still looked like he had this in the bag. I think in the mains, due to the rain it got slippery, and his car didn’t look all that great, but he out drove everyone with his smooth safe style. Lee was specially good on the corner table, and very consistent over the jumps. It will be interesting to see how he will do at the Worlds in China. Will this finally be his year to get a WC? It very well could be, as he is driving very well, and with confidence.
2nd Michal Orlowski (I predicted: Neil Cragg)
Michal was solid in the mains. The Schumacher car always looks loose on tracks like this one, and to be honest I was surprised at how strong he was in the slippery main conditions. He pressured Lee in the 2nd main, but was just a tad off. I feel like he maximised his performance this time out.
3rd Renaud Savoya (I predicted: Renaud Savoya)
Arguably, the best car of the race. He had traction, and steering, and he just punched it! Out of all the guys, he looked the most comfortable with his car and his setup in my opinion. Top nitro driver 🙂
4th Ricardo Berton
Berton was the other surprise of the event, after Savoya, with a solid qualifying performance, earning him 2nd place. In the mains things didn’t quite go his way, and he lost out on the podium with a 2nd and 3rd, which is unlucky. The speed was there but the comfort, confidence and race craft was still lacking, due to limited 10th scale track time.
5th Joona Haatanen
Joona had a bad 1st final, then for the 2nd final, bolted on the standup gearbox, missed the start countdown due to his dad tightening the slipper after warm up, so he had to start at the back of the grid. This is where talent makes a difference. He adapted to the car, and drove up to 4th place. 5th overall was a great performance taking into account the circumstances.
With the economy as bad as it is, companies are saving on budgets, and that made for the most interesting silly season yet. While some drivers are performing and making positive steps forward, like Maifield and Ongaro for example, others are struggling, or may be victims of the environment. Collateral damage to downsized budgets and changes in strategy. Let’s take a look at a few possible drivers that may be looking for new rides shortly, I’ll let you decide. I made it a poll!
Cody quickly checks to see if he has been fired, between rounds.
1. Cody King – HB Racing
Cody is a World Champion, and a great talent. However, he has one drawback, lack of work ethic, and it seems like the new HB owners have realised this. Cody did not attend the Neo Race, probably because he needs to get his shit together before HB spend any money on him. Will he get it together, or will he get canned?
2. Ryan Cavalieri – AE
Ryan was just put on probation for a month by AE, and with Rivkin moving through the ranks, and being sent all over the World for racing, are AE trying to replace Cav with Riv? Will he stay or will he get placed on permanent probation?
What Drake would look like if he had a chin.
3. Adam Drake – Mugen
Adam once had a happy life at TLR. Then TLR hired Maifield. TLR realised that Maifield was winning and Adam wasn’t. TLR canned Adam. Now Adam was happy at Mugen, and hired Maifield. Maifield is winning everything, and Adam isn’t. Will Adam get canned again?
“What do you mean you won’t pay me?”
4. Dakotah Phend – TLR
Phend is Phast, but TLR have been downsizing, heavily. Will they still pay a top guy in 2018?
And the lord said: “It was merely a racing incident” – Quarinthians 3:77
5. Jared Tebo – Kyosho
Tebo is a legend, but even legends can’t survive on no money. Will Kyosho follow Tamiya and not pay top drivers? The rumours have been circulating for years.
Ty’s reaction when he heard Xray would run Pillow balls through out 2020.
6. Ty Tessmann – Xray
If you were sceptical about Tessmann’s frustration at the Xray 8th scale program, you need not wonder anymore. Because only frustration, desperation, and a complete plummeting self confidence can push someone to cause a Try Traction Scandal. My opinion is, that there are 3 possible outcomes. A: Ty works on setup, adjusts his driving style, like Tiger Woods re-worked his swing, and gets back to his winning ways. B: Xray make a new go back to a c-hub front end (they have the parts, it’s easy) in order to please Ty. C:anned.
Max demonstrating how to respect kind, caring and supportive people.
8. Max Mört
This cocky bastard is just about to start beating his boss. And that’s never a good thing. One great race could be all it takes!
Maifield blowing a gasket didn’t phase Tessmann. It’s all good eh.
2. Gord Tessmann
Just a tad off the pace. Close but not quite where he used to be yet. Seems like he is not quite comfortable and confident in the pillow ball car. He makes uncharacteristic mistakes, which usually happens when you aren’t quite in tune with your car. The pillow ball car handles quite differently to a c-hub car, as the steering is different on/off power. A pillow ball car has a distinct feel. It will either take a bit longer to figure out the setup, and to get used to it, or XRay will release a c hub car. Let’s see what happens! I mean they have all the parts so….
3. David Ronnefalk
Degani was questioning why David was over in America racing? He won the worlds, why would he come over to America and lose? He is on top, stay away! That’s Degani’s thinking. Well a podium is not terrible. Not what David was looking for I’m sure. He was fast, but just lacking a bit of something. I don’t think he had any issues, started at the back thanks to drama on the first lap, and was playing catch up.
4. Ryan Lutz
Fourth, not bad, but no cigar. I mean he won Truck, he was on it, but that buggy just isn’t quite up there, like the truck is, or Lutz forgets how to drive in the couple of hours between the truck and buggy mains.
5. Jared Tebo
Tebo is old! That’s what Degani keeps saying. Well he kind of drove like he was. If the American Adrien Bertin was pitting for Tebo, he would have been yelling up a lot to tell Tebo to quit pussying sections. Don’t worry Tebo, soon we will all see if you really are a washed up family man, or if you will just dominate NEO once again. Neo suits Jared’s smooth and controlled style perfectly. Let’s see if he is too old or not!
6. Adam Drake
Not quite as exceptional as at the DNC where he was running in 2nd for a while. Maybe the lack of a legends class? Anyway, another solid finish I guess. Drake just keeps motoring on!
I’ll give you one guess…
7. Joe Bornhorst
7th, the most average position to finish. Bornhorst beat everyone that had problems, and one village idiot. I mean it’s not great, but it’s something. Lacking some speed just like Drake and the village idiot.
8th Joseph Quagraine
A waste of space in the main, way too slow. He beat everyone that broke and flamed out. Great job, the whole world is proud of you. At least he won the car designer class.
On a personal note, thanks for not watering the track…..idiots! Other than that, I had a good race going with Bornhorst and Drake for what ended up being 6th, but at the time was more like 8th, but then two things happened, and I had a 50+ second lap. Degani managed to bounce my car off someone else’s in pit lane so it hit and broke the bar over the pit lane exit, landing backwards and needing marshalling. Then this idiot backmarker decided to race me instead of just let me go, so additional time was lost. And that was it, Drake and Bornhorst were gone!
9th Mike Truhe
I don’t know if this counts as beating Truhe. (Remember he said he would quit if I beat him). He either had to stop for a cigarette, or he flamed out. I don’t know. I was racing man!
10th Tanner Denney
Tanner was fast but if you can’t keep your engine running then JQ is gonna beat you!
12th Spencer Rivkin
The World Champ was number one! He seemed lonely in the AE pits, he kept coming over to hang out in the cool pits, with me and Degani. I told him he was number one on the team now. He asked if he was automatically number two when Cavalieri was there, with clear disappointment in his voice. I said “Of course you are!”, and Degani added: “What are you talking about, this isn’t astroturf!”. At one point he was looking specially sad so we offered to build him a track in our tent on our carpet.
He did do well though, making all his mains. Unfortunately he flamed out and lost to JQ. After the race, in an attempt to cheer him up, we gave him a full roll of astroturf so he could go home and build a track for himself.
It’s just going straight again Kev!
13th Dakotah Phend
If Dakotah could figure out how to make servos last more than 5 minutes, he might win some races. He is really fast until his car goes straight into a fence. He is one of those drivers that makes you hate him because he makes looking like you are about to fly off the track, without actually doing so, look easy.
14th Josh Wheeler
Possibly Wheeler’s last big race. Josh is talented driver, sneaking it in the main once again. Something ridiculous happened to him again at this race. We have to sit down with Josh and list all the crazy things that has happened to him during his career! The slowest looking fast guy in the world!
Back when Easton was Maifield.
15th Billy Easton
After his stellar B main run, this geriatric gentleman ran out of steam and needed a nap. He just couldn’t keep his shit together for 45 minutes. Great job though, and proves that the new Serpent car is on the pace!
Well it was another B main for me. Pretty standard. More track time if you make the main, that’s how I see it. The B main was looking pretty good on paper, but I felt like I would be able to bump if I didn’t have issues. Actually, even though I was all the way down in 7th early on, and spent some time in 5th, I was never worried, because this was a 30 minute race, and I knew that I just needed to find my bearings, and I would be ok.
In the end it turned out to be a relatively easy bump, because I made it even though my car went to shit towards the end, it was just too soft and hard to drive. Let’s take a look at all the drivers in the main.
1. Billy Easton
What a great drive from Billy! He said that if he didn’t improve his results he wouldn’t be racing these events anymore, I guess he gets to race some more now! He started off ok dropped off, and then came on strong in the last 3rd of the race. Best race he has had in a while! People don’t remember Billy used to be the man! Billy used to be Maifield. Really. Except he is World Champion! Sorry Ryan!
2. Joe Bornhorst
Started off great, and pulled a big lead, but then his tires or car faded, and he stared falling back, at one point I actually thought I might catch him, that’s how bad he faded. Don’t know what was going on there.
I didn’t panic, I did what I had to do, and I bumped to the main. I had World Champion Mechanic Pierre Ronnefalk pitting for me. Sorry for breaking your hand in the first pit stop mate! It helps to have confidence in your pit crew. Tack så mycket för hjälpen!
4. Dylan Rodriguez
This is another guy that could be really good if he cared about RC. Very fast, but too many mistakes cost him a chance to bump. Lack of track time, that’s all.
5. Colin Herzig
The best race I have seen Colin Herzig drive. He never even blew out in the B main, and was challenging for the bump up. You may remember Colin is actually under contract by JQRacing, as we signed a 12 and a half year deal, bak in 2011. Colin has been working under cover, testing other cars, and collecting all of Kanai’s secrets from Kyosho now for the past few years. Everyone is leaving Kyosho, and now Herzig is moving up. Next dethrone Tebo. It’s not gonna be easy!
6. Greg Degani
After the Worlds I stole Greg’s car as I needed it. I then build him a car for DNC. That turned out to be a disaster for Degani. He cleaned up his car and threw it in the van. He unloaded it from the van at Silver State, and miraculously his complete lack of dedication and preparation paid off. He was dialed in Vegas. Complete domination of the 40+ class, and a great performance in the B main, beating many drivers who actually take racing seriously! This, if anything proves how good the new BLACK Edition is. Even Degani can make it look good, and perform at the highest level.
7. Billy Fischer
Got passed and beat by an old man with a DE bumpered JQRacing buggy, and a 150 dollar engine. Not the best race we have seen out of Fish-Daddy.
Kenny showing off his muscles that made sure the wheel nuts were tight!
8. Kyle Johnson
I won’t say anything because Kenny will threaten to kick my ass again!
9. CJ Tessmann
Mini Tessmann is fast, but a bit hit or miss in the mains. I have no idea how old he is, but he is progressing fast, and will surely be really annoying here in a year or two, as he will be stealing a spot in the mains.
10. Steve Harris
11. Mark Sousa
I like Sousa, he is a bit too punched out of his mind for his own good. A bit more thought into his driving and he will be good. Just more practice, and setup work, and he can start making the mains. 2nd best Canadian eh?
12. Aaron Gomez
Too punched also, leads to mistakes. Just needs more track time, speed is great at times. We can work with speed. Aaron was posting on FB about not being sure what to do as he isn’t achieving the success he wants. It’s the big question of to try harder or to give up. I think it’s pretty simple. Figure out what you want, and do that. I don’t feel like Aaron has worked very hard at RC yet, so if that’s what you want Aaron, then start working hard at it!
13. Noah Dickerson
Too much grab ass, not enough RC.
14. Cody King
Too much grab ass, not enough RC. His babysitter wasn’t at the race, so his focus was more off than normal. Couldn’t figure out how to route his fuel line so he flamed out. Karma for cutting the track.
15. Victor Guerrero
A: What is Victor doing in the Pro class?
B: How is Victor still in America? Trump said he was serious about these deportations!
Last of all:
I would like to thank Renaud Savoya for not attending Silver State, so I could finally get the last bump into the main. Thanks, and please don’t go to Neo17 either. Thanks for understanding Reno.
Truhe was fast, but is sort of in the same boat as Cody King. If he cared about RC Car Racing he could be up there. Talented individual, but doesn’t put in the work, so making the main is about all he can do at this point. I didn’t really watch him in the main, at the back of the pack for the entire race.
11th Joe Bornhorts
Degani says he should stick to Truggy. A lot of mistakes in the main. He will be a contender once he gets his buggy good and comfortable like his Truggy is.
12th Alex Zanchettin
I remember a few years ago at the Neo Race, when Alex was new on the scene, he seeded into the top heat. In one qualifier he had a bad run and proceeded to have a mental meltdown, hitting everything and everyone in the process, for the duration of the qualifier. It’s like something gets jammed in full punch mode in his head at times. This was one such moment again. You would think that after crashing for the 10th time on the same triple you would figure it out, but no. Alex is super fast, but needs to mature a bit on the mental side when it comes to racing. On the positive side, at least he finished, which has proven to be a weakness over the past few years. definitely a great driver, but not as mature as Ongaro for example, who shares Alex’s pace.
13th Tanner Stees
14th Ty Tessmann
In buggy I predicted before the main, that Tessmann would be off the podium, not because of an issue, but because of mistakes. He didn’t look quite as comfortable as normal, making mistakes, miss timing jumps, and crashing. And that’s sort of what happened in the main too, it wasn’t the normal Steady Eddie Tessmann we are used to seeing. No doubt he just needs a bit more time with his car.
On another note, we can now conclusively determine once and for all that praying does not make you win RC Car races. God does not make you cross the finish line 1st any more than he gives babies malaria in Africa. So let’s look at what’s happening shall we.
There is a simple rule in racing, you have to KISS it. Keep It Simple Stupid. Yes a DEANS plug can feel tight, well guess what, so does a screw. Why do you loctite them? Because they vibrate loose. I strongly believe that some things should be made as foolproof and simple as possible. And the radio tray is one of those things. No over engineering allowed, no switches that can break, no funky connectors, KISS it. This is now 3 times Tessmann is out due to power loss at the DNC in two years. Hmmmm.
To be honest I didn’t really pay attention to the car. I would say the car is fine, Tessmann just needs some time to adjust.
15th Dakotah Phend
Dakotah started off strong, I can’t say I expected it. He was on a roll, and it was looking like it would be a Phend Maifield battle, but then an increasingly worse steering servo issue put him out. Such a shame, it could have been a good race. Dakotah was looking solid.
Not the best surface for the TLR car, what with good grip and bumps, but Phend made it work. The TLR has however always been great on jumps, and that’s something this track had a lot of! The real question is, what’s going on with TLR’s racing program, who is developing their cars, and will they have a team in 2018-19?
I wrote about the podium yesterday, now the next group of finalists and their cars.
4th Adam Drake
A great performance by Adam, his best in years. When Maifield was leading, and Adam was in 2nd, I can’t have been the only one thinking “no way!” in disbelief. I assume Maifields input has helped with setup and confidence, and we can expect Adam to have a bit of a resurgence this year. Adam puts in the work, and the preparation, just add the perfect setup at the race, and confidence, and he will be up there.
On another note, one unfair advantage he had at this race, was the completely stupid money grab legends class. What a joke that is. Adam basically got an extra practice round before each pro qualifier, and a practice main. A huge advantage at this event in my opinion. Before Adams nut huggers start hating me, just think about it this way. If Maifield was the only pro guy in the legends class, and he did that, and then won the race, do you think the rest of the pro guys, like Boots and Cavalieri on the podium would just stay silent? There is no way they would, they would complain about the DOUBLE track time Maifield got. Think about it.
5th Jared Tebo
After struggling in qualifying, Tebo pulled it all together for the mains, bumping to the A, and securing a top 5 finish. He managed to get up in the battle at the front for a moment, but mistakes and racing incidents dropped him back to around 7th place for most of the main. The most consistent driver based on the numbers on liverc. It just wasn’t happening for him this time.
6th David Ronnefalk
David was really disappointed after the race, after apparently Maifield taking him out early on, knocking him off the track, and then after that having to come into the pits twice to change a tyre. The rubber actually tore off the wheel. He lost around 40 seconds changing tyres, so just based on the times, that would have put him 2nd, so basically in the fight. I did wonder what was going on when he was on track with Maifield, not giving Maifield room and pressuring him. Seems like there is some beef there now! Should spice things up nicely for Silver State.
David was struggling a bit in qualifying, but in the last round they got it all right, and in the main he was also fast. Cody King also looked good, and interestingly his car looked completely different to Davids on track. David’s looks very solid and high on the track, and King’s looked low, soft and plush.
7th Spencer Rivkin
I had picked Spencer as the dark horse of the main, not expecting him to podium, but accepting fully that he could easily do it. For the first half of the main he was up there, then he faded to the back. Apparently he broke somewhere in the main, and the front end was flexing all over the place making his car hard to drive.
8th Cody King
I wonder how good Cody would be if he actually gave a shit about racing RC Cars. I really do. I remember watching him drive some years back, before he was WC, and I remember thinking that this guy is damn good. Just the precision he placed his car, and the accuracy of his throttle and brake input, it was impressive. He still has the talent, as was shown in the B main where he put in a 39 second lap in order to secure the last bump up spot. What he is lacking is dedication, he doesn’t put in the work, and it shows. He will make the main, but he won’t be fighting for wins unless he starts caring. Paul can’t make up for everything with his dedication.
9th Ryan Lutz
Ryan spent the race towards the back of the pack after a few bad laps early on. Relatively consistent, but not fast enough to catch up, and with a few more mistakes thrown in, 9th is all he could manage.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. Yes it’s fast, it seems to jump and land very well, but it’s just too hard to drive fast for a main, specially on a difficult track like this one. Lutz drove conservatively within his ability, and Bornhorst and Zanchettin crashed their brains out for 45 minutes. Before you hate me, just consider this fact, Lutz was challenging for the win in Truck, and Joe finished 2nd. In buggy they were both non factors. Are you saying they suddenly forgot how to drive? Exactly, now accept it and move on.
What I said would happen in my silly season post, actually happened. Maifield was unstoppable. However, it did look really sketchy in the beginning, he made a lot of mistakes, and some really bad ones too. It could have all ended in the first 10 minutes, but it didn’t. Once he got some space, and found his groove, I had no doubt that he would wrap it up, as he began posting fast laps and catching the leaders. I happened to be standing next to his dad who was nervously watching, and I told him he could relax, his son had it in the bag. He looked at me like “who is this idiot”. He must not read my blog, I know this stuff.
Anyway, not a surprise, the Mugen fits Maifield perfectly in my opinion, he can drive it hard. I expect many more wins in the future. Ryan wasn’t really the fastest driver in the main, but he was in my opinion pacing himself, and playing it safe, which is rather unusual for him. It looked like he was driving a calculated race once he got out front, whereas for example Boots who was chasing, was just going flat out. If the roles had been reversed, I feel like Maifield could have turned it up a notch. Impressive performance all round.
Over the last few years, I have often heard the claim that the Mugen doesn’t suit US style tracks and that it’s just not fast enough. It’s a Euro car. I would like to thank Ryan Maifield for shutting those people up. Mugen just haven’t had good enough drivers, capable of winning these races. On this track the Mugen cars looked very good, really safe and easy looking. I think the fact that Adam Drake had his best result in a while also proves that.
2nd Elliot Boots
Elliot was impressive at this race, and once again proved that regardless of what the track is like, and how hard it is, it is in fact possible to drive around it completely punched out of your mind. The most impressive thing about the man with the best ventilated armpits in the industry was however, that he did this with a bloody stick radio. Maybe if he had a wheel radio he would have won. Who knows.
He made too many mistakes in the main, but was constantly up there, even leading for a brief moment. If he can just keep the speed, and eliminate some mistakes, like he does back home in Europe, he could win in America too, and prove us (me and Degani) wrong about our SRT, (Stick Radio Theory).
Pretty standard, track had everything, the Kyosho handled everything. If there is one thing I would say, it would be that possibly the reason for Boots out performing Tebo, could be that the Kyosho needs to be driven hard, specially on a track like this one, if you want to be fast. Pushing a car to go fast has Boots written all over it, unlike Tebo. That’s why Tebo is so good at Neo, there you have to be more conservative and precise. So I think the way to go fast with a very stable and planted Kyosho on a fast track like the DNC track is Boots’ forte, while Tebo is consistent and smooth, but just a bit slower.
3rd Ryan Cavalieri
I had actually predicted a podium of Maifield, Ronnefalk, Cavalieri before the main, so if we substitute Ronnefalk with Europe, I got it! Anyway, you can’t have a DNC and not put Cavalieri on the podium these days. I didn’t think he quite had the pace to win, so I figured he would just squeak it in. Too many mistakes cost him. He even lead for a while, and was looking like he might check out, but then he crashed in the front triples I believe. Just silly mistakes cost him this time, but still, he was on the podium.
It looked good to me, I honestly don’t know what it is lacking, if anything, compared to its brother, the Mugen. Nothing stood out. I don’t know what to say really. The boys probably just need to work some more on setup.
I’ll write about the rest of the field later, if I feel like it. And of course about my B main too.