25 February 2014 12:56 by Phil
Day 5 – Tessmann’s Brilliance
By Stephen Bess
If you tuned in to the Nitro Challenge coverage expecting to see anyone except Canada’s Ty Tessmann atop the podium, you wasted your time. Tessmann wrapped up his race weekend by capturing his second championship in less than 24-hours, winning the 1/8-scale nitro truggy title last night and the buggy title today having never relinquished the lead.
Unlike last night’s truggy race, Tessmann was challenged several times—at least as challenges to Tessmann go—by a hard charging David Ronnefalk of Kyosho and TLR’s Dakotah Phend, but both came up well short in the end. 3x Euro champion Reno Savoya of XRAY grabbed third place but never knocked on Tessmann’s rear bumper or mounted a serious threat for the lead. As our race recap details, it was all Tessmann, pretty much all the time in buggy and truggy, the two most prestigious classes at the Nitro Challenge.
23 February 2014 16:22 by Phil
Day 4 – Dirt Nitro Challenge, Main Day #1
By Stephen Bess
A Changing of the Guard?
I’ve been absent from national-level RC racing for nearly a year now due to a personal illness, and in that time something remarkable seems to have happened. When I last attended a national caliber off-road race, I could count on a group of pros dominating the leader boards week in and week out. Tebo, Cavalieri, Maifield…these were once the young guys who made it look effortless every time out. TQs, wins, podiums. They collected these like baseball cards.
22 February 2014 09:57 by Phil
Day 3 – TQs and DNFs
By Stephen Bess
Qualifying at the 2014 Dirt Nitro Challenge for buggy and truggy is officially in the books, which means that we now know both who has earned TQ spots in each class and who received DNFs. Along those lines, I compiled my own list of TQs and DNFs today as I walked the pits and observed the goings-on at this year’s race. Here are my picks…
22 February 2014 09:26 by Phil
Dakotah Phend secured TQ & thus pole for the 15th Dirt Nitro Challenge buggy final on Friday as racing got underway late and finished in the 1AM regions, Phend immediately set the pace with a TQ time 3 secs clear of Mike Truhe in 2nd, Truhe making his Serpent debut would go onto qualifying 14th after some problems in rounds 2 and 3.
Round 2 and the track had settled down as Phend shaved a massive 9 seconds off his Q1 time, amounting to almost a second a lap, he was followed home by Carson Wernimont (Mugen) 4 seconds down, Mugen’s new signing once again excelling after a strong 2013 Nitro Challenge. Truck TQ Ty Tessmann would take 4th in Q1 and 20th in Q2 but recovered with a 2nd in Q3 as Jared Tebo improved round by round TQ’ing the last qualifier with a time 3 secs faster than Phend’s Q2 time.
Lining up 4th in Sunday’s A Main is European Champion David Ronnefalk, with a 3rd in Q1 & 4th in Q3, he’s joined by fellow European Reno Savoya in 8th. Judging the top 12 grid, it would seem Kris Moore has made some shrewd signings & investments with his ‘young’ team with 3 cars in the main.
Less spectacular has been the Associated RC8 Prototype’s debut qualifying, Cavalieri sparing the teams’ blushes hauling the car into 9th overall after a 7th & 8th place results, bad luck for Ryan Maifield as he just missed out on the A Main and will have to bump his way from the B – starting from pole. Elliott Boots is another driver struggling, down in 21st the Brit raised eyebrows last year but will be looking to find more pace for Sunday.
21 February 2014 07:11 by Phil
The Diary of an RC racer
by Stephen Bess
6AM – Hotel
Dear Diary, I am so tired I can hardly think. Why am I doing this to myself? Need coffee and some nitro fumes up the nose to wake me up…
7:35AM – At the track
Dear Diary, I have a long day ahead but it should be a fun day filled with racing, camaraderie and lots of good times. We will run three 7-minute qualifiers, with one throw out. I didn’t feel confident in practice yesterday, but who knows, maybe I’ll find my groove today. My truck feels good on the bench and is a TQ just waiting to happen.
“That’s not Arizona sunburn, its a full race day’s ‘Dirt Tan’”
9:20AM – Pits
Dear Diary, I just glued up several sets of tires and cleaned off my truck in preparation for my qualifier runs. Everything on my truck looks solid, freshly rebuilt and good to go. If my truck doesn’t work well after all of this wrenching, it will never work well. I pressed repeatedly on my truck’s buttery-smooth suspension and I must say, there’s nothing finer than a clean, well prepared RC car ready for a day of racing.
20 February 2014 15:17 by Phil
Pioneering RC Car simulator VRC Pro have released their 2013 Dirt Nitro Challenge layout of the ‘Fear Farm’ track, coinciding with the 2014 running of the Nitro Challenge this weekend. The track last year as always with any Joey Christensen design proved popular with hundreds of racers that attended the prestigious event, now in it’s 15th year.
VRC Pro is even running their own ‘virtual’ 2014 Dirt Nitro Challenge event, check it all out here!
20 February 2014 09:29 by Phil
By Stephen Bess
I’d like to say hello to the RC world once again. I’m excited to be writing for NeoBuggy and back on my feet at the races after a heck of a year that involved a life changing health scare (more on that in the future). I will be writing a daily blog during this year’s Nitro Challenge to give you an idea of what it’s like to race this event, from the perspective of a former magazine editor and more importantly as a racer in the Open buggy and truggy classes.
“47. The total number of heats run today. Forty-seven. Each round lasted nearly 7 hours. Lots of laps run today.”
Today’s Wednesday program was all about controlled practice, with each class entry getting two 5-minute practice sessions. Not a lot of time, but adequate considering the number of entries.
Here are some statistics for you:
80-85F. (26-29C) That’s how hot it is here in Arizona, just West of Phoenix…welcome Southern California-ish weather for many racers visiting from the frozen Mid-West and East coast (and Europe) where it has been snowing and storming like mad.
47. The total number of heats run today. Forty-seven. Each round lasted nearly 7 hours. Lots of laps run today.
21. That’s the total number of classes on the entry sheet. There are more classes this year at the Nitro Challenge than ever before, ranging from 1/8-scale to 1/5-scale and even 1/10-electric and gas truck.
03 February 2014 12:24 by Phil
Due to the huge demand for places at the 2014 Neo Race (18-21 April), the organisers have decided to increase the maximum starting capacity from 225 to 240 nitro buggy entries. The electric class will remain the same capped @ 45. Entry to the event has been open since November and with over 425 entries we hope the additional spots will allow 15 additional racers to enjoy the annual iconic event that is ‘The Neo’.
The event is still on the hunt for sponsors, as one of the few ‘true’ international 1/8 events that draws the World’s best year after year. See Sponsorship
See who’s entered
4 days: 18-21st April 2014
12 January 2014 08:47 by Phil
09 January 2014 09:53 by Phil
In a bit of a roundabout move, veteran race-winner and 2x European Champion Yannick Aigoin announced a very low-key switch via his Facebook page – One of the original spokesmen / Champions of the Spanish ProCircuit brand, it comes as a surprise to see Yannick leave the World Champion tyre brand that has worked well for him and he helped develop.
Perhaps ‘gentle encouragement/persuasion’ from one of his main sponsors CML is the reason behind the move from ProCircuit to Pro-Line ?
Tyres isn’t the only change for Aigoin as he will embark on what must be his 20th + season of competitive racing ?(he won his first Euros in 1998, when David Ronnefalk was… 2!) now running the Novarossi-made Ultimate Engine. Perhaps a consolation deal having not been able to run ProCircuit ?
Fans might remember his spell with Novarossi, in particular during his time with Losi – a lethal combination which worked wonders. Yannick debuts his 2014 package at IBR Padova this weekend.
P.S. Never one to ‘follow the crowd’, Yannick still has a cheeky little ProCircuit decal on his car!