Team Associated Wins 2WD & Truck Along With Other Podium FinishesJanuary 17, 2009
Event Name: CRCRC Winter Midwest Championship
Event Location: Columbus, OH
Vehicle Class: 1/10th & 1/8th Offroad
Hosted by the Columbus RC Racing Club out of Columbus, OH the Winter Midwest Championship is the first major offroad race in the US of the new year. Racers from all across the Midwest and factory pros from across the country come to Columbus to brave the sub freezing temperatures in hopes of starting out the New Year right.
As expected, qualifying for the electric event was tight, especially at the top positions. With two of four rounds counting towards the main events and random seeding for the first two rounds, getting a clean run was key. Once the re-seeded qualifying began the pace dropped substantially.
In 2WD and Truck, Ryan Cavalieri took his Team Associated B4 and T4 to the pole positions. In the 4wd class, Jared Tebo took his Lazer FS to the pole position just ahead of Ryan Cavalieri's Team Associated B44. These two drivers were in a class of their own with other drivers able to run within a few tenths of their fast laps, but not as consistently. Rounding out the top three in 2wd and Truck was Losi's Dustin Evans and Associated's Brent Thielke in 4WD.
Electric Main Events
As the main events started, just as in qualifying it was clear that the race for the titles would be a two horse race. With the track drying out and tire preparation becoming key the racers looked for every advantage they could to gain traction. Pretty much whatever tricks and tweaks were done, standard Buggy Grip2 was the best. No advantage would be gained from secret tire preparation.
Cavalieri took the excitement out of the truck mains with a last lap pass on Tebo to take the title by winning the first two A Mains.
In 2WD Cavalieri walked away with the win in A1 and battled tightly with Tebo in A2, with Tebo just edging out Cavalieri to send it to a third main. In A3, Cavalieri pulled out a 3-4 second lead on Tebo and maintained this to the end, securing another victory for Team Associated/Orion. A2 was a classic battle and luckily AssociatedLive.com was there to bring you the video coverage.
In 4WD, Cavalieri shadowed Tebo waiting for a mistake, the two battled and as the laps wound down Cavalieri stretched a few second lead on Tebo. As the two came lap third and fourth place, Thielke made a mistake, collecting Chad Due. This caused Cavalieri to have to check-up and lose momentum. A perfect line by Tebo shot him past Cavalieri to take the win in A1. In A2 Cavalieri got by Tebo to take the easy win, setting up the showdown for A3. As the tone sounded for A3 Tebo and Cavalieri shot out to the lead with Thielke staying close. As Cavalieri followed Tebo waiting for an opportunity to pass, a horrific crash by Cavalieri over the triple single caused him to retire. Later diagnosis reveled that Cavalieri lost a center rear drive pin and the entire rear of his car locked up on the face of the high speed triple. This relieved the pressure from Tebo, Thielke was able to stay within striking distance if Tebo made a mistake, but the 4WD World Champion again proved how to not lose a race.
Thanks to the CRCRC crew for another great Winter Midwest Championship. Now it's time to prepare for the gas event.
And so begins the Winter Midwest Gas Championships. The track has been unchanged from the electric event except for a shift of the timing loop to ahead of pit lane and some water. The narrow track will be challenging not only to negotiate, but to race on as well. Side-by-side racing will be very limited as the groove is narrow and out of the groove is quite dusty and loose.
Starting out the day, Team Associated met up with a TV crew to participate in a live broadcast for a local news morning show. Ryan Maifield discussed life as a professional R/C racer and his recent success at the IFMAR World Championships. Driving an r/c car while being interviewed on live TV isn't as easy as it sounds! The shoot went well and there have already been spectators showing up to watch practice.
As round 3 of the "A" heat of buggy prepared to run a noticeable drop in ambient temperature for the race track was felt. Just a few turns of the screwdriver and the engines were ready to purrrr. Immediately the bumps made themselves present and line choice became key. A bunched up group of racers, including Maifield started together and like most times a pileup ensued. Tebo chose a good starting position and was able to put in the only 14 lap run of the round to secure the overall TQ in buggy. Maifield got in to more traffic with Robbers and cost them both lots of time. Adjustments are now being made in the pits in order to test for the main events tomorrow where it's expected to be even more blown out and slick.
In Truggy, unusually, the racing was much cleaner. Maifield got out to a quick start and built a second + lead on Tebo. As Maifield caught King the pace slowed and for a short period of time Tebo took over the lead. Maifield broke free of King and put in a few smooth last few laps to secure the TQ for round 3. This should ensure that he starts second in the final behind Tebo. The track is so much slower that there is no way Maifield can make up enough time to tie-break with Tebo.
Maifield switched from JConcepts Blue Double Dees to his favorite Truggy tire for the 3rd round, the JConcepts Blue Crosshair. He commented that the feel of the Crosshair was much more consistent and will use that information for round 4 of buggy. Right now, with the track conditions, having a consistent and comfortable vehicle to drive is key.
Gas Main Events
In the 1/8th Buggy main event, TQ man Jared Tebo jumped out to a solid start as what was shaping up to be his main rival, Maifield worked his way from a mid pack start. As the time ticked off the clock, Maifield would crawl up to the back of Jared's vehicle only to make a mistake and slip back again. This happed 2-3 times with Jared not flinching. By the end of the event, Tebo took the win with Maifield the only other driver on the lead lap.
In the 1/8 Truggy main event again Tebo and Maifield jumped out setting a blistering pace. This time Maifield started second and was able to battle with Jared most of the main, eventually leading about 15 minutes of the 45 minute main. With approximately 10 minutes left, Maifield had a few rough laps that gave Tebo a 10+ second lead. However, over the next 10 minutes, Maifield showed why he's one of the fastest drivers in the world. He put together a string of amazing laps to come within 2 seconds of the victory on the last lap. Congratulations to Jared Tebo on his double victory and to Ryan Maifield for his hard fought second positions.