Category Archives: Top 10 Thoughts

DNC Saturday Mains

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Some notes from Truck and eBuggy main day:

eBuggy A Main

I don’t know, I was in it and sucked pretty badly. Maifield won.

Truck

1st Ryan Maifield

Like I said, switches to Mugen and keeps the throttle pinned.

“Fastest guy in America last year, fastest guy in America this year” – Degani.

2nd Joe Bornhorst

Everyone says that Tekno has the best Truggy, and I think Bornhorst proves that.

“Bornhorst should stick to racing Truggy.” – Degani

3rd Ryan Cavalieri

Bumped from the B, so a great drive through the pack. Specially fast after the woops. Nice moves on Tebo too.

4th Jared Tebo

“Classic battle with Cavalieri” – Degani

5th Dakotah Phend

Fast but too many mistakes.

“I agree” – Degani

6th David Ronnefalk

Somehow David managed to go fast enough between the crashes, and the rich engine and almost got 5th.

“Lean it out Bertin” – Degani

7th Ty Tessmann

His car came unplugged…AGAIN, happened before at this same race, different plug apparently. He was leading when it happened, was shaping up to be an epic battle with Maifield.

“Time for a KO switch. How do you have a Deans plug on a nitro car. I don’t get it. It’s 2017.” – Degani

8th Alex Zanchettin

Impressive to make all 3 mains at his first DNC.

“Stay in Italy” – Degani

9th Spencer Rivkin

I didn’t watch Spencer for a single lap. Invisible!

“Stick to astroturf” – Degani

10th Tanner Stees

 

11th Cole Ogden

Hit or miss, either up there, or total blowout. This time it was the latter.

“Don’t try to pass in the triple!” – Degani

12th Renaud Savoya

Bumped in with a strong drive in the B main.

“Waste of space.” – Degani

13th Ryan Lutz

Can’t finish a race to save his life.

“Maybe eTruggy will get popular, where you only have to go 10 minutes” – Degani

14th Tanner Denney

He was in the race?

“Good job on making the main.” – Degani

15th Elliot Boots

You wait all that time, and don’t even get to complete a lap! Broke a servo.

“Nice warm up laps mate” – Degani

EOS Slovakia Rd3 -4wd Main 2 Commentary by JQ

Above you can see the 2nd A main of the Xray round of the EOS. This round was held at the Xray head quarters in Slovakia. Now I will give you a rundown of what went on in this final.

  1. First of all, we note that the track is covered with carpet. Instead of running Touring Cars which would make sense, wooden obstacles are placed on the course, and buggies are used. A new form of Touring Car with Buggies &  Jumps is created, and it’s actually a really terrible form or racing.
  2. Scotty Ernst presses play on his pre-recorded ramblings, and we are off. Xray failed to lock down all 10 main event positions, with only 6.
  3. First lap and Martin Bayer is looking far too much like Coelho’s lover again. Where is the aggression? Barn doors are open, but no moves are being made.
  4. In the end Coelho must have felt embarrassed for his team mate, and singles a jump in an attempt to let Bayer through. A strange strategy I must admit. Bayer probably was so confused by this move that he hesitated, and cased the jump.
  5. Jorn Neumann thanks team Xray for self destructing, and slices his way into the lead. We are one lap into the race.
  6. Well almost. Bruno Coelho performs a CTO (Coelho Take Out). This is a unique take out, which requires a complete lack of respect and recognition of the fact that other cars exist on the track. For another example, please check here.
  7. Martin Wollanka inherits the lead, and self destructs exactly 1 second later by removing the front right corner off his car. It reminded me of this.
  8. Martin actually continues with three wheels, and finds that it adds stability to his car.
  9. Hupo Hönigl now inherits the lead. He is now Xray’s last hope. The pressure is mounting. Hupo tightens up his lines.
  10. At 1:20 Hupo realises that he has a virgin chasing him, he remembers my blog from some days ago,and begins to get nervous.
  11. At 1:48 Hupo finally blows out, in a very similar fashion to yours truly, by shorting a silly little jump. What a disaster. The Xray self destruction is complete.
  12. At 2:08 Michael “Tilt’s” afro is blocking the back corner of the track.
  13. At 2:20 Neumann is in 3rd, and Gerd is still cussing out Coelho.
  14. The track actually is looking pretty cool. Shame about the carpet though.
  15. It’s beginning to look like a Schumacher is going to fly off the track shortly.
  16. I was right, 2:58 and it’s off!
  17. 3:10, and it’s quite obvious that no one wants to win this race. Neumann does what every RC racer has done. Lee crashes. Neumann thinks, “Yess I will inherit the….oh shit” And he crashes too.
  18. 3:2o into the race and Marc Rheinard is trying to decide which club to go to tonight.
  19. With a minute to go, it is obvious that Lee Martin hasn’t read my blog. He is solid. Maifield must have inspired him, he is making that Yokomo look dialed.
  20. Final lap, pure class.

Over and out.

Reedy Race Post Race Analysis by JQ

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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.

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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.

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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…

Reedy Race Predictions

I thought I would do some predictions, and do them before we hit the track tomorrow! Because, well, why not? I will try to predict the top 5, as well as group drivers where I think they will end up. Let’s see.

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1. Barry Baker

Just kidding. Let’s be serious here. This isn’t touring car, or 1999.

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1. Ryan Cavalieri

I think “Pudge” is looking good for the win this year, and most of the time he has “Pudge Luck” on his side too. This is his home track, both his cars are working great, and he seems confident. He is a very consistent and good racer in mains, and this race, well it’s all mains!

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2. Spencer Rivkin

Spencer is hot on Chavalieri’s heels. He could win, but I just picked cool calm and collected over the World Champ. There’s no room for mistakes, and I think Spencer will make the critical ones.

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3. Dakotah Phend

Phend just won everything at some other electric race, so he is obviously fast, but I don’t put him quite on the same pace as Cavalieri and Rivkin. Last year he did win, but I think this year 3rd is where he will finish!

Basic CMYK

4. Ryan Maifield

Maifield is obviously one hell of a driver. When he switched to TLR, he immediately won the Reedy Race. He was on a mission. I feel like this time it won’t be so easy. Two reasons:

  1. He just got married. Married and done. (-Greg Degani)
  2. I think the Yokomo is quite different to what Maifield is used to, not saying it’s bad, saying it’s different. I don’t think Maifield will be comfortable enough to pull it off against this crowd, at this race. A normal race, yes maybe, but 10 times out of 12, coming through the pack? I don’t see it happening this time. He needs more time with the cars to get them how he wants them.
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Caption contest! Write a caption, and win nothing!

5. Jared Evans

This was a hard one, Tebo or Evans? I think it will be between them. I think Dustin Evans will get it, because he has what I believe to be better cars, and he is motivated now that he just switched. Unlike Maifield, going to AE from TLR, I don’t think that requires much getting used to! Tebo, he is fast, and he will win races, but I think his bad races will be worse.

So that would leave Tebo 6th, and then we have an interesting bunch of drivers. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these following drivers were to finish 3rd to 6th: Lee Martin, Kyle McBride, Ty Tessmann. I think Lee is too nice and too smooth to win Reedy. To do well here you need to be aggressive and a bit mad, and Lee is quite level headed on the track. Kyle is more of a nitro driver in my opinion, this is just 5 minutes, he is just getting warmed up. As for Ty, I think he has all the right ingredients, but I think the way he sets his cars up might cause some issues in this format of racing. At this race there’s a lot of rubbing and close racing, and reacting to other cars, and I think that won’t play into the strength of Ty’s setup, where the best results are obtained when he can get in a groove and flow around the track.

As for everyone else, who the hell knows? I think standouts could be last years winners Joona Haatanen and Alex K, as well as Jake Mayo, Cole Tollard, and Carson Wernimont. As for the rest, let’s just say they will be 15th-30th!

Personally my goal is to have 10 good races that count, and if I have everything go my way, I think I could possible finish 10th-15th. That’s if all stars align. If I can finish 15th or better I will be happy, as long as somewhere in there I win one race. That would be quite an achievement at this race.

As for who will be last, if the racing is good, it will be Brian Kinwald, because he will pull off and watch!

 

Silly Season Wrap Up -90% Perfection

I think most deals are announced now. You know how genius I was? Out of the 24 predictions I got 22 right. I missfired on King and Aigoin. Not bad, not bad at all. Let’s take a look shall we: (A more detailed 2017 prediction post will follow)

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Ryan Maifield – Leaves TLR – Joins Mugen – Never lets go of throttle.

Yes, it happened, Maifield joins Mugen, and Yokomo for 1:10th. Looks like 1:8th program is on point. 1:10th program needs some setup work!

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Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – So nothing really changes.

Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – Already has a dialed setup.

Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – Already has all the spare parts.

Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – Basically in order to make the car match his blue cooling head.

Ongaro did in fact go to AE, and he was immediately dialed. What a surprise!

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Cody King – Leaves Kyosho – Joins JQRacing – Paul King Stays with Kyosho.

Well I almost got this, just substitute JQRacing with HB. And once Paul King get’s out of intensive care, he will most likely stay with Kyosho.

jaigoin

Jerome Aigoin – Leaves Kyosho – Linked to Mugen- Americans are now asking “Who is Jerome Aigoin?”

I should have seen this one coming. I am disappointed in my lack of foresight. His brother sells Xray, and runs it. Seems so obvious now.

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Jared Tebo – Staying with Kyosho – Yawn.

Got it. Didn’t believe the rumours.

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Joseph Quagraine – Fires himself – Buys his spot back on THE Team.

Yep, it cost me a lot, but I had to do it.

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Ty Tessmann – Leaves HB – Joins Xray? – If it is God’s will.

It was God’s will. Tessmann really did go to Xray!

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Juha Aromaa – Stays with TLR for 1:10th scale, because he is dominating.

Well, he showed up at OCRC running TLR’s!

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Baldo Brothers – Leave Mugen – Join TLR – Culture Shock Imminent

Well I’ll be damned, got it!

quintonDaniel “Mr Party” Quinton – Stays with Kyosho – Meaning he still buys Kyoshos, moving Kanai-san ever so close to that new Ferrari.

Still paying for Kanai’s Ferrari!

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Atsushi Hara – Dude, I bet he doesn’t even know what he is doing himself. Possible onroad career ahead.

I was right in the way, that Hara still doesn’t know what he is doing.

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Jeremy Kortz – Can’t leave anyone because he is not on a team – Does not sign with anyone.

Kortz is still not signed with anyone, and it’s still 0-0, for another month!

IMG_4057[1]Max Mört – Stays with JQRacing – Mainly due to severe threat to his life if he leaves.

Max has confirmed that he does not want to die yet. Too much to live for at the moment.

ruona

JC have Maifield, Rivkin, Ogden, Savoya, they are good right? Well about to get a whole lot better. I have heard that David Ronnefalk to JC is a done deal, and Ryan Cavalieri is possible.

Got all those!

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Then again, with the rumours of Tebo and Phend going to AKA, it just makes this whole scenario not make any sense. Haven’t heard anything about Lutz, staying put I believe.

And all these!

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Haven’t really heard anything about European drivers and PL. Even if Tebo and Phend did leave, they still have a ton of great drivers, like Boots, Drake, King, Cragg, Aigoin, Berton and Tessmann. I would not be surprised to see more drivers out though.

Yep, all good, just add McBride there.

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Dave Wentz – Kyosho to JQRacing – The Earth’s Orbit adjusts to this news.

Dave is being mysterious. No one knows exactly what is going on!

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Robert Battle – Modelix (ProCircuit – Ultimate) Out – AKA and Picco In – Mind blown.

Yes it really did happen!

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Barry Baker – Comeback? – Old School: instead of social media drama, he brings it in reality.

This was a genius one, and it ended up being Serpent!

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Cameron Kyle Neff – Stays with SWorkz – No One Cares.

As predicted, no one cared!

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Davide Ongaro – Adds traction to his program – This could go either way.

Well would you believe it, I called it right. Now we just need to see what happens this summer!

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Alex Zanchettin – Leaves TLR for Tekno – Upgrade in $$$, Downgrade in handling.

Did go to Tekno, let’s see how he handles the handling!

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Team Orion – Downsizes team after Ronnefalk’s Worlds Bonus empties bank account.

Cavalieri and Phend did leave, haven’t seen anyone added, but yet to be announced Cody King to HB and Orion.

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Honorable Mention – Marc Rheinard – Tamiya back to only caring about plastic models.

I said he goes to Infinity, it hasn’t been announced, but I’m just going to announce it. If he isn’t going to Infinity I’ll go there.

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Joseph Quagraine – JQ deal fell through due to lack of pace in mains – Retires and gets real job.

I was WRONG. At the last moment I managed to win OCRC Wednesday Night Worlds in 2wd, which was so impressive, that I convinced myself to give me another year to prove myself. The 17th year is bound to be the one, it’s the right time, its JQ time finally. I’m going to JQ the shit out of 2017.

Silly Season Part 3 – Arm wrestling fat girls, Orbit adjustments, and Dave Wentz. It’s all there.

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Ty Tessmann – THEQuagraine calls it before HB even knew – Seismic scale meltdown somewhere in Central Europe.

Yeah, so I got in a bit of hot water in a way, putting out all the info about this potential move, as all parties were not on the same page regarding this at the time. I guess reading my blog for news is not ideal. Anyway, I was right. I would have lost that bet, I said I thought Ty would stay, he didn’t. The only credible rumours I have heard link him to Xray. I heard AE, maybe something else, I can’t remember, but really the only solid, credible rumour is Xray. I think that’s where he will end up, and Gord too. It will be really interesting to see Ty wheel a completely different car. His setups are weird, which leads me to believe his driving style is too. Very curious to see how it all works out.

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Ryan Maifield – No Mugen Afterall? – We call smoke screen.

So started hearing talk of the Maifield’s Mugen deal falling through. I call BS, I think Maifield will be Mugen – Yokomo. It makes the most sense. I tried offering him 10 000usd signing bonus, 40% of the JQ company, my van, Degani’s 2017 poker winnings and a years worth of In-N-Out Burger gift certificates. He still declined. What a dick!

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Dave Wentz – Kyosho to JQRacing – The Earth’s Orbit adjusts to this news.

Dave Wentz is the most laid back, friendly and nice guy I have met in RC. He has been racing Kyoshos since 1972. He has been running the same Kyosho car since 2009. This guy is slow to make moves. He is all Kyoshoed out. This is why when rumours began going around of a possible switch to the JQ buggy for 2017 the Earth’s orbit actually shifted. With a move of this magnitude nothing is certain, we will keep you informed.

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David Ronnefalk – AKA Out Confirmed – JC in Expected – He already runs the body, what’s the big deal.

Not much to add here, very unexpected, but it’s life. Win a WC one day, lose the winning driver the next!

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Robert Battle – Modelix (ProCircuit – Ultimate) Out – AKA and Picco In – Mind blown.

There has to be some back story to this one, something I just don’t know. It seems so crazy to me, that Robert who has been with Modelix forever would leave. He even worked there for a while. Whatever is going on, ever stronger rumours are linking Robert to AKA and Picco. Yes, that will take some getting used to.

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Barry Baker – Comeback? – Old School: instead of social media drama, he brings it in reality.

The legend Barry Baker has been seen multiple times at OCRC Raceway, testing, wrenching, racing, getting all serious and worked up about RC, getting mad at me for kicking his ass etc. It almost looks like Barry is preparing for some sort of comeback here. If he is, I think he would go for a brand that has all the cars, because Barry is a formidable racer in all classes, onroad and off. AE and TLR are probably out, I seem to recall some slight friction there from the past. He is running a Kyosho now, maybe Kyosho, Xray, or even a Serpent deal could be something to bring the “Fabulous” one out of retirement?

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Tebo, Cavalieri, Phend – Musical Tyre Sponsors.

Budgets are being re-done and the result is a lot of switching around. The word on the streets of Southern California, is that Ryan Cavalieri, the multi time WC, the man who convinced me to arm wrestle a fat girl one drunken night in Hawaii, he is OUT of AKA. That’s a big blow I’m sure, but then I also hear Tebo and Phend are heading to AKA in order to replace him. They may or may not be able to pull it off. Time will tell. So Cavalieri is supposedly heading to JConcepts, which makes JC’s team rather epic, how does this sound: Ryan Maifield, David Ronnefalk, Ryan Cavalieri, Spencer Rivkin. Sorry to all the other team guys, I’m only mentioning World Champions (and Maifield).

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Cameron Kyle Neff – Stays with SWorkz – No One Cares.

Yes I don’t really have anything to say here. The sportsman driver’s self proclaimed SWorkz career continues.

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Davide Ongaro – Adds traction to his program – This could go either way.

With Ongaro leaving Modelix and Mugen, it looks like he is signing with AE. He also runs LRP engines, and LRP distribute AE, as well as AKA and JConcepts. So I assume this deal sees Ongaro join either AKA and JC also. With the team that JC will have in 2017, I am assuming both AKA and LRP are pushing for Ongaro to join AKA. That would be quite ironic though, Battle and Ongaro both leave Modelix, and both end up with Mugens on AKA. (See what I did there). Anyway, AKA tyres are a lot different to PC ones, so curious to see how the fast young gun will adapt, and what he will do in 2017.

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Alex Zanchettin – Leaves TLR for Tekno – Upgrade in $$$, Downgrade in handling.

Well this one isn’t exactly stamped, but it’s looking like the super fast worlds main finalist Alex Zanchettin is heading to Tekno. Tekno have had a couple of good years now and have begun throwing some money around, and look to sign some talent in Europe for 2017, even to the point of paying more than the market price. This will be an interesting move, as Zanchettin is a very talented driver, but bad mechanical skill and bad choices on the track have hindered his further success. If he can rectify those problems, he can be a threat. Also looks like Alex is out from REDS, so he will be running a different engine too. Maybe something Japanese!

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Team Orion – Downsizes team after Ronnefalk’s Worlds Bonus empties bank account.

The word is that Cavalieri is leaving Orion in electric for possibly Much More (money). Also Phend looks to be leaving Orion for both Nitro and Electric. Who does that leave?

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Honorable Mention – Marc Rheinard – Tamiya back to only caring about plastic models.

The likeable German just lost his sponsor when Tamiya decided to quit racing RC Cars. Since he has already been running Infinity cars, since he already partied with the Infinity crew in Vegas, since Infinity are signing everyone in on road, we expect Rheinard to sign with Infinity too.

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Joseph Quagraine – JQ deal fell through due to lack of pace in mains – Retires and gets real job.

That’s it for now! Remember to have fun at the track next year. I have managed to enjoy myself a lot more this year, and my results have improved too. People still hate me, but as that’s for all the wrong reasons, I am good with that. Enjoy your racing, and do what you want, don’t worry about the haters! Live your own life, and be a good person, that’s enough!

 

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Silly Season Analysis by JQ – Part 2 – Tyre Wars

Yesterday I covered the silly season as far as cars are concerned. Today I figured I would cover the 3 US tyre brands. The big boys are playing musical chairs it seems.

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ProLine

I have seen this before. You know how PL won 4 or 5 WC in a row? Yes they have a great product, but they also sponsor anyone they can, with a chance of making the main in a worlds year. It happens every time. Then after the worlds, they kick the majority of them off. Or if not kick them off, significantly reduce their deals, and they end up leaving. I remember in 2008 after the Worlds they reduced the team to something like 5 drivers worldwide, from 17 million. And incredibly I was one of those 5, for which I will be forever thankful. Unfortunately we parted ways later, as I was developing THECar, and I was a privateer for a couple of years, opting to run whatever I wanted.

Anyway, I have heard that Tebo and Phend may be out, both being linked to AKA. But the part of them being out of PL was the more probable part of what I heard. Haven’t really heard anything about European drivers and PL. Even if Tebo and Phend did leave, they still have a ton of great drivers, like Boots, Drake, King, Cragg, Aigoin, Berton and Tessmann. I would not be surprised to see more drivers out though.

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AKA

“David Ronnefalk just saved AKA from bankruptcy” – Heard at the Las Vegas Worlds.

I don’t think it’s quite that bad, but I’m sure AKA’s market share has been smaller now than in past years. In Europe there have been very little AKA compared to before in my opinion, and not seen as many AKA’s in America either, so winning the Worlds must have been an AMAZING feeling for everyone at AKA. David Ronnefalk has been with AKA pretty much since the beginning, so it was a fitting end. Yes I said end, and I don’t know any of the reasons behind this, but I do believe David is leaving AKA! Will be interesting to find out the reasons for that move! I also heard that Cavalieri is looking to leave, and if that is true, then maybe my eyes were not deceiving me, and the market share really has been down. Maybe some cuts had to be made. Then again, with the rumours of Tebo and Phend going to AKA, it just makes this whole scenario not make any sense. Haven’t heard anything about Lutz, staying put I believe.

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JConcepts

JC have Maifield, Rivkin, Ogden, Savoya, they are good right? Well about to get a whole lot better. I have heard that David Ronnefalk to JC is a done deal, and Ryan Cavalieri is possible. What in the world is going on? Now if JC could just narrow down their compounds to, say 4-5 from the 78 they have, I think they could increase their market share significantly with that presence. I haven’t heard of anyone leaving JC, only joining, so I guess they must have had some good years recently. I think it was the “bro-code” tyre that turned that ship around.

The least likely, but still possible rumours I have heard are that McBride may be out from PL also, and possibly heading to JC, and that Robert Battle might actually split from Modelix, and run different tyres and maybe even engine. I don’t see that happening and he basically laughed, most likely thinking I am an idiot when I asked him. But just throwing that out there.

Sorry for not making it funny, I’m tired. That’s my excuse. Just the facts today!

Silly Season Analysis by JQ – Starring: Maifield, Tessmann, King among other bigger names.

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Ok, been thinking about this post for a while now, been a bit hesitant to post. Had some info which was hush hush, had a lot of questionable info, but now, after weeks, I have heard things from so many places, and so openly, that it’s time to do a pre-silly season analysis. Soon you can all laugh at how stupid I am, or kneel at my feet.

Disclaimer: The following information is mostly my opinion, and not fact. I don’t know this to be true, but I have my suspicions, and theories. I realise that after this post, I may never hear anything interesting again, and a few people may get butt hurt, but let’s face it, we need to make RC more interesting. I’m a huge fan of motocross and supercross, and I listen to a podcast called Pulpmx Show. Actually that podcast was the reason for the most friction back when I had a girlfriend. “JQ, are you listening to that bloody motocross shit again? I’m going to smash your phone!” Anyway, on there they always speculate and discuss rumours, and I love to listen to that shit and bench race. Nothing like that exists in RC. Why not? Anyway, here goes:

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Ryan Maifield – Leaves TLR – Joins Mugen – Never lets go of throttle.

WTF, yes, that’s my thoughts too. I mean what the hell is going on. Then I sit back and look at the facts. Exhibit A: Maifield joined TLR at least in part thanks to Adam Drake. Drake then got canned by TLR before Maifield even got to race with TLR, and he went to Mugen. Exhibit B: Drivers have been leaving Mugen, Ongaro, Martin, Baldo’s, could it be because Mugen was making room for Maifield. Could Maifield finally get his bromance going with Drake at Mugen. It’s looking that way. If it does happen, it’s bad news. He will be going from what I thought to be the worst car for him (TLR) to the best (Mugen). He can drive punched out of his mind with that thing, just as long as he can find the steering. If this deal really is happening then expect Mugen to finally start winning big in America.

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Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – So nothing really changes.

Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – Already has a dialed setup.

Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – Already has all the spare parts.

Davide Ongaro – Leaves Mugen – Joins AE – Basically in order to make the car match his blue cooling head.

Sorry, I coudn’t resist. Anyway, this one is pretty solid, I mean the boy was already photographed wearing an AE hoodie. Makes complete sense if you ask me. LRP who support Ongaro for engines have been all over the Ongaro race program, and as LRP distribute AE in Europe, it seems like a natural move. Also, if Maifield really is going to Mugen, I expect him to be taking the majority of the budget, so a new young star may have been left out. Well, thankfully Ongaro should have an unusually easy time adapting to his new car. Basically I’m thinking he may have a better setup for it than the AE guys.

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Cody King – Leaves Kyosho – Joins JQRacing – Paul King Stays with Kyosho.

Ok I might be getting a bit too excited here. But for reals, Cody has signed with Kyosho and is staying there it seems. There was a time when it looked like he might be out, but he seems to have managed to stay put.

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Jerome Aigoin – Leaves Kyosho – Linked to Mugen- Americans are now asking “Who is Jerome Aigoin?”

With everyone leaving Mugen, I have heard a rumour from France that Jerome Aigoin may be going there. Nothing to back this up, but I did hear it, so I’m sharing it.

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Jared Tebo – Staying with Kyosho – Yawn.

I heard some interesting stuff about Tebo being in talks with Infinity, a la Lee Martin, but I thought it was strange as Tebo is under contract still for at least another year, and also because he already did the new car thing for O’Donnell. Anyway, heard it from a few different people, usually where there is smoke where there is fire. Could be interesting when it is contract time.

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Joseph Quagraine – Fires himself – Buys his spot back on THE Team.

Due to lack of performance the management at JQRacing decided to once again fire JQ as a driver. However, promising showings in the off season races in America paved the way for a last minute buy in, and another last chance for JQ to show the world that he doesn’t suck quite as much as most believe.

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Ty Tessmann – Leaves HB – Joins Xray? – If it is God’s will.

This is the sketchiest one I am posting. I’m basically posting it because if it comes true I will get mega credit. If it doesn’t, I will just look stupid, like normal. If someone put a gun to my head, I would still say Tessmann isn’t going anywhere, I mean doesn’t his dad actually work for HB? A driver and an actual job, that takes some moving. But anyway, why not bench race a bit, so here goes. David Ronnefalk is now the new Nr 1. Tessmann have been nr 1 for ages at HB, what they want ,they get. Things are different now, HB is now owned by Orion. Orion is European, and Ronnefalk is Bertin’s boy. He also runs an Orion Engine. Will Tessmann get the same treatment as before? Of course not. Still great I’m sure just no white gloves. Then there is the engine issue, I am sure Orion want the top HB drivers to run Orion, and Ty doesn’t. So I can see where there is friction, Tessmann camp maybe not feeling quite as at home as before, and the new HB owners not fully happy with the Tessmann setup. I can see why a split could happen. Xray, makes sense, they don’t have anyone, I believe Wheeler is pretty much done racing RC. Xray could afford someone like Tessmann, and maybe they could have Gord take up distribution. Does RC America even exist? I mean I like this rumour, it’s crazy but it does make sense.

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Juha Aromaa – Stays with TLR for 1:10th scale, because he is dominating.

Even going to make an appearance at the Reedy Race, mainly due to the Supercross Season. Needs to run more 1:8th scale with his JQ car.

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Baldo Brothers – Leave Mugen – Join TLR – Culture Shock Imminent

A little birdy from Spain brought me this news.

quintonDaniel “Mr Party” Quinton – Stays with Kyosho – Meaning he still buys Kyoshos, moving Kanai-san ever so close to that new Ferrari.

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Atsushi Hara – Dude, I bet he doesn’t even know what he is doing himself. Possible onroad career ahead.

Hara is the James Stewart of RC right now.

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Jeremy Kortz – Can’t leave anyone because he is not on a team – Does not sign with anyone.

Back when Kortz was running the JQ he was nr 1 on the team. Now he has no team, and can barely beat JQ once in a blue moon. Kortz is a warrior though, he will still be racing, because he loves RC car racing, and that’s how it should be. It’s on next year Kortz, 0-0.

IMG_4057[1]Max Mört – Stays with JQRacing – Mainly due to severe threat to his life if he leaves.

Top 12 Thoughts – Drivers & Cars

Well, that wasn’t too bad. We were right about a lot of things. We got 10/12 in the main right, we were right that a married guy won’t win, nor a driver with a stick radio, and that some drivers will Neff out under pressure. Let’s take a look at the main contenders, and a few others.

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David Ronnefalk 1st (Prediction 2nd)

David was just as good as we expected. After finding the right tyre, soft grid irons, he was on the pace in qualifying, his confidence grew, and he never looked back! Luckily AKA’s new double down tyres worked and lasted well, and with a great 60min main drive where everything looked to work perfectly he took the win. The race was close for the first half or so, and it definitely wasn’t clear that David would win it, but after about halfway, he started clicking off laps and just motored away, and was suddenly behind the other guys on the track instead of in front of them. He did crash on the last lap on the 2nd to last corner, which could have ended in disaster, like Cody did on the last or next to last lap in Thailand. It seems like it is difficult to play it safe in those last moments. Heart stopping stuff.

A well deserved win for David, who has been supported by his father and Adrien Bertin for many years. I was sceptical about his chances after he switched to HB from Kyosho, because of his driving style, but he proved me wrong, by improving, remaining aggressive but being even more precise and in control.

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David’s car looked very good, and it looks different to Ty’s HB. David’s HB looks high on the track, and he drives it within it’s traction capabilities, often going up on two wheels and just keeping it pinned. It’s awesome to watch. Ty’s car looks lower and softer, rolling more and not squaring up or recovering from mistakes or loss of traction as fast. Ronnefalk’s car looks more like a 1:8th scale style setup that can be driven hard and punched, and Tessman’s looks more like a car you have to drive with finess. Of course driving style comes into play too, but that’s not all of it I think.

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Robert Battle 2nd (Prediction 9th, problem in final)

Even without taking into account the hospital, resting at the hotel, medication, and the still present kidney stone, 2nd place at the worlds is impressive, so I suppose now it is even more impressive. Robert had some bad mistakes where he lost a lot of time, and then he was stuck in the battle mid pack, causing him to lose touch with the leaders. At some point he got some space and began clicking off fast laps and drove up to 2nd place. I actually think Ongaro would have got 2nd, but he had issues in the end and lost out.

Mugen

We thought the Mugens would struggle a bit if the track was loose and remained smooth, but if it got bumpy they would be strong. Wrong, they were fast from the very beginning, with Ongaro leading the way. Actually Ongaro’s Mugen was in our opinion the best handling car at the event. He could get away with insanity and it would just take it like nothing happened and keep going. Robert’s car was good too but looser and not as fast and safe looking as Ongaro’s.

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Ty Tessmann 3rd (Prediction 4th)

Tessmann was Tessmann, but this time it wasn’t quite enough. He had the same car as the winner, different setup, the low cg OS cooling head, and ProLine tyres. If you want to look for reasons/excuses look there. Otherwise he just got beat. You can’t win them all. Tessmann has his pace, and can run it until his chassis wears through. At this race that pace just was not quite fast enough, for whatever reason.

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Jared Tebo 5th (Prediction 3rd)

We predicted that Tebo would be a factor, and he was, even leading the main at one point. However, we also considered the fact that the pressure might get to him, which may lead to mistakes. In Tebos own words ”battled hard early, got a bit lost mentally in the middle, and finished strong to get back to 4th”. As Degani bent over to marshal Tebo’s car he could not help but think if Jared was thinking about his comments. (I may or may not have made up that last bit, as I don’t believe Tebo crashed by Degani) On that topic, did you see Degani marshaling out there? One of the fastest marshals. Who would have thought?

Kyosho

The cars looked good, they had the pace, but mistakes kept Tebo behind, and Boots had his other issues too. I think that mistakes happen due to driver error as well as setup, and on bumpy tracks like this one the setup that the Kyosho drivers use makes it more likely to flip over in a sketchy situation. Normally the Kyosho is very good at staying upright, but with the latest HB, and with the Mugens, the Kyosho guys can’t hang in all conditions anymore. Go back to the super rough Argentina Worlds Warm up when Ronnefalk dominated and absolutely blew everyone away in qualifying with his Kyosho, it was setup. It wasn’t what they typically run. It didn’t want to flip over. The bar has been raised the last few years in my opinion, and if you want to remain at the top regardless of track conditions, some changes need to be made.

Ryan Cavalieri 5th (Prediction 5th)

Ryan looked great in the semi, won it, but got a 1 second penalty, which someone pulled out of their behind, for muscling his way past Tessmann right at the line. Racing incident in my opinion, a tough call to make. Not an intentional take out, going for a gap that was closed by Tessmann, side by side contact.

Unlucky for Cavalieri to flame out on the line. The starts were terrible anyway, no structure, at least know the rules before you begin running mains, that would help. Anyway, flame out for whatever reason, which led to starting in the pits and battling in the pack. Driving up to 3rd-4th at some point, eventually finishing 5th. Solid performance, but I feel it could have been quite a bit better had he been able to start the race properly. If Ryan could have been battling at the front, I think the race may have been close to the end. He is too good of a driver to let an opportunity slip through his fingers.

Associated

A loose version of the Mugen. Close but no cigar. Two cars in the main was good of course, but when you looked at them, and then you looked at Ongaro go round, you could tell something was different.

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Davide Ongaro 6th (Prediction Just misses main)

For me, Ongaro was the most impressive driver at the worlds. I think he surprised everyone with his speed and mature driving, even those close to him. He could switch up his lines when needed, he was fair and careful (even too careful) around other drivers (something the other Italian drivers could learn from), and his throttle control and ability to place his car where he wanted to was evident. He jumps really well too and clearly showed that he is a future champion in the making.

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Reno Savoya 7th (Prediction No prediction)

Savoya is the other of the two drivers we missed for the main. Actually we didn’t even seriously consider him as a contender for the main. Degani thought that Savoya was the most impressive driver for making it into the main, as bad as his car was handling the bumps, the rear end wanting to go all over the place. That’s true talent right there. Also, then going on to beat all the TLRs in the main is an achievement, specially in America. Savoya was at best when he raced for Mugen, winning 3 Euros in a row if I am not mistaken, and getting a podium at the Worlds. Since then it feels like he has tried to make every car he has run like a Mugen, but you can’t do that. It looked like the stars were aligning when he raced for Xray, only to leave/be kicked off the following year. I think Savoya’s career could have been much different, and a lot more successful if he had been able to find a home and stay there throughout. Switching brands almost every year makes it almost impossible to win at this highly competitive time.

TLR

Seemed like it was critical regarding setup, not looking the best or comfortable on the bumpy slippery track. Apart from Dakotah in the semi, and Maifield at times, the TLRs were just a bit off the pace at this race. No big technical jumps, no point and shoot driving, more European style track just not the TLRs strong suit. We wrongly expected the Losi’s to be really good here, we did not realise how non-American the layout turned out to be. I will write about the track and about Europe vs America in a separate post later. Now we move on.

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Ryan Maifield 8th (Prediction 1st)

Maifield showed his incredible talent in the semi final, where he was actually looking like he wouldn’t make the main. Then somehow he pulled it all together, drove like his life depended on it, and made it into the top 5. In the main he was just never a top contender. He made a lot of mistakes, and didn’t quite have the pace. I don’t know how to divide the “blame”, but it really looked like this wasn’t the best track for the Losi cars, and to compound (no pun intended) the problem, not the best conditions for the JConcepts tyres either. At this point, it doesn’t matter if you are Maifield, you can’t make up a disadvantage like that at this level.

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Ryan Lutz 9th (Prediction 7th)

Ryan made the main as expected, because he is a great driver. So precise and fast, but driving carefully, not flat out. That’s what it looked like. He wasn’t really ever a contender in the main. It may be because of his absolutely terrible taste in t shirts, or…

Tekno

Too hard to drive for 60 minutes was what we expected, and it looks like it was true. Ryan was reacting to what the car was doing, and correcting, instead of punching it around the track. In a way the car seemed to be controlling what he could do, not the other way round. I think the very different suspension geometry they are running needs some more work, for it to be good on other than the standard smooth medium grip jumpy US tracks.

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Elliot Boots 10th (Prediction 6th)

Boots made a charge to the front during the early part of the race, but began falling back, mainly due to two factors. 1. Wrong tyre choice, ending up with slicks probably quite early on. 2. No runtime, stopping at 6 minutes. The strange thing is that Maifield who also drives punched was able to go 7:30. The difference could be the fuel, Boots running Byrons, and Maifield on Sidewinder, which has proven to have good runtime in the past. Boots was probably disappointed after TQ:ing the 2 first rounds of qualifying, and being so dominant in the early stages. He dropped off a bit after that, but came back strong with a great semi, and a good push to the front in the main, until his problems began. To win you need to have all parts of your program on point, and working right. He obviously has the speed. It may also have been that stick radio catching up to him!

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Dakotah Phend 11th (Prediction 10th)

I don’t know what happened between the semi final and the main, but whatever it was, it was not good. He was so far ahead in the semi that he flamed out and still made the main. In the main I didn’t even notice him. Degani did, when he marshalled him. Unfortunate turn of events, based on his semi final pace! I don’t really know what to say.

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Kyle McBride 12th (Prediction 8th)

You didn’t think of this guy did you? Well we did, and how genius do we look now? Kyle is a smooth driver, and good in mains, and clearly good when the track is difficult. His engine sounded like a turd in the main, I don’t know what was going on there. Just sounded too rich the whole time, and he never really got going.

Outside The Main:

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Josh Wheeler

We picked Josh to make the main, and early on in the race we were looking good, as Josh posted top 10 times. But then he began having his “Wheeler Issues” with a runaway or two, and a flameout in his 1/4 final. Not quite able to squeak it in this time.

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Spencer Rivkin

Rivkin was a natural pick, I mean he is the current National Champion after all. But this time the track wasn’t his cup of tea. Long finals on a bumpy track like that is not what Rivkin specialises in. An electric driver and used to smooth tracks, it was not to be. Never really had a chance in the semi, even though he bumped easily from the 1/4.

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Cody King

About a year ago Degani predicted that Cody would finish 10th at this Worlds. He finished 14th, so not far off. Degani laid out a plan for Cody. After breaking up with his girlfriend, he should have rented a place in Vegas, and lived there for the year, and practiced his ass off. Then he could have a good shot at being the 2nd double champ in history. Otherwise it would be 10th place according to Greg. Well it didn’t happen, and 14th was the result.

I thought Cody looked good for part of the semi and was in a position to bump up, but he must have had a couple of bad wrecks because he fell back suddenly and just missed the bump up. An impressive run of Worlds A mains from his first Worlds in 2008 through 2010, 2012 and 2014 comes to an end.

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Luis Gudino

Honorable mention to Luis Gudino, at nitro challenge he almost knocked his head off, forgetting the finish line sign at the step down, and proceeded to eat shit and blow out his knee. This time he made the lap without major injuries. Looking forward to Australia 2018!

 

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2016 Ifmar Worlds Day 1 – Top 12 Predictions

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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11. Spencer Rivkin

Super fast, but pillow balls, and racing 60 minutes on a bumpy track, that’s the challenge.

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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.

Pictures stolen from neobuggy and redrc. Maybe circusrc too! Thank you xxx

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