Robert Batlle put a stop to Ty Tessmann’s practice dominance, at least for now as Robert said he was happy with his run having gone thicker on oil, springs and changed quite a few things, pleased with the balance, consistency as well as raw speed. Again the same top 3 drivers, just rotating in order, Ronnefalk occupying the P2 position whilst a slightly off run from Tessmann – father Gord saying he might have been slightly nervous playing it’s part.
No such luck for Darren Bloomfield however, the Agama driver lapping well until he broke his car, with timing only counting in the last 5mins it puts him under serious pressure for later. TLR’s Dakotah Phend looks to have found a turn of pace, this time backing up team mate Maifield’s timechart ascendancy yesterday. Davide Ongaro continues to impress mightily whilst Tebo climbs from 13th yesterday to 7th so far today as well as Savoya moving up the ladder, not so for Martin Bayer however who doesn’t make the top 12.
1. Robert Batlle – 1:51.754
2. David Ronnefalk – 1:51.896
3. Ty Tessmann – 1:52.212
4. Dakotah Phend – 1:52.402
5. Lee Martin – 1:52.421
6. Ryan Maifield – 1:52.591
7. Jared Tebo – 1:53.074
8. Ryan Cavalieri – 1:53.083
9. Davide Ongaro – 1:53.418
10. Reno Savoya – 1:53.625
11. Kyle McBride – 1:53.787
12. Jerome Aigoin – 1:53.792
Argentina 2012 Buenos Aires was held in December that year, we were looking forward to going to this as we had a fairly dominant year with Elliott Boots and his Kyosho/Novarossi/AKA package. But again the rumours started on the so called Unsocial networks, saying it’s dangerous it should never be held there bla bla bla! But the only thing I was worried about was getting through customs with all our racing stuff intact, and not to be charged high $$$ to get it through. As I know this was fact from the drivers I had seen stuck there for 12 hours arguing to get out with their racing gear! We were Lucky in a way that we didn’t attend the warm up race.
IFMAR said that they had it sorted, and we had a piece of photo copied paper basically telling the customs officers that we were racing a WC event, and that by taking this stuff into your country it was of no financial gain to us. I didn’t hold too much hope as customs are of a law to themselves!
Dakotah Phend (USA), 17
We’ve found a willing camerman and Phil makes his first Official appearance infront of the camera at this World Championship as we cover the basics of the track, talk to the three top guys and wander around the pits at the 2014 IFMAR Worlds.
Different day, same name at the top of the timesheets – Ty Tessmann, he had a bit of a steady round 1 caught behind Ryan Maifield but normal service resumed in rounds 2 and 3 as Tessmann’s competition demolition serivices got going and put a bit of daylight between himself and Ronnefalk in round 2, Ty took the fastest time again in round 3 infront of an impressive run from Ryan Maifield who made it into P4 overnight whilst Yannick Aigoin took the 3rd fastest time in the last round to show his prowess on this hard and fast Naxos track.
The final day of free practice started out with slightly clearer weather conditions, for those arriving only today (Borja Hernandez, Baldo brothers) they could immediately see the pleasant yet foreboding view of the active volcano Mount Etna some 25km away, the words ‘safety’ and ‘security’ take on a new meaning when you’re camping out and racing in the shadow of one of Europe’s most famous volcanoes.
Geography lesson over, Sunday at the World’s longest practice session aka Day number ‘I don’t remember’, started out with owner and organiser Salvatore Schepis taking a moment of his time to show us a couple of track fixes the active crew had made overnight, patching some of the holes that had developed after the countless practice laps had been done.
It should be noted that despite inaccurate reports, the track is not ‘concrete’ – it is a very hard packed finely sieved dirt mixture with a little bit of resin to bind it, the result is so far pretty darn impressive holding up track, which bear in mind has to hold for around 10 days – a length of time no 1/8 Offroad event to our knowledge has come close to. So the organisers have been smart and done a worthy job on the track, not forgetting the facility as a whole.
Onto the action, three 10 min rounds were run today with the mornings early round seemingly always slower, probably down to track temperature, Robert Batlle setting the pace once again followed by a strong run from Darren Bloomfield.
Round 2 belonged to a name we’ll likely see many many more times here on this site for the next week; Ty Tessmann. Demolishing the competition with a run that had no less than FIVE 36 sec laps, his fastest a 36.520 – doing 3 laps in 1:50.743, David Ronnefalk the closest driver with a 1:51.951 although Ty looks to able to turn low 37 sec laps consistently without major issue whilst Ronnefalk and Batlle in 3rd (1:51.956) seem a little more unpredictable. Although we’re early days, it would seem that looking ahead to controlled practice tomorrow, Tessmann hold’s the ace card with Ronnefalk & Batlle searching for around 0.5 sec a lap to really challenge Tessmann. -> See videos of Tessmann, Bloomfield, J Aigoin, Batlle, Boots, Ronnefalk & Bayer
All that said, we must remember 3 laps are 3 laps, qualifying is 10mins per round, so all can and probably will change!
The final round of the day saw Ty revert to a previous chassis he had tried and plans to race with until the end of this Worlds, the young Canadian with a smile from ear to ear as we interviewed him as he would go fastest ahead of two new faces in the top 3; Ryan Maifield in 2nd and Yannick Aigoin in 3rd. The last day of free practice at the Worlds before… yes more practice but ‘controlled’ which actually matters; seeding the drivers for qualifying, get it right and you’re on course, get it wrong and you’ll be in a slow heat and maybe look at some bumpage (and even grindage).
Agama’s factory team at the Worlds are here in force through the professional representation of Jon Hazlewood’s well recognised outfit; Nemo Racing. The team are officially debuting their ‘new’ car provisionally called the ‘A215’ – replacing the current A8 Evo model as well. We caught up with Jon and team drivers Jeremy Kortz & Darren Bloomfield who waxed lyrical about the new car’s improved handling, calling it ‘night & day’ compared to the old car. Bloomfield, recently crowned BRCA Champion has driven the new car ‘geometry’ wise since back in April whilst Kortz got the new car 2 weeks ago and is loving it.
With such a short time with his car Kortz was overjoyed with the much wider and 2mm longer chassis, finding it much more balanced, easier to drive, jump with, less bottoming out and at the end of day 1 confessing to his team mates in true Kortz stlye, “my car makes me feel horny”!
80% of the car is all new, lower shock towers, brand new shorter shocks (new springs, bladders the whole lot), despite some initial trepidation concerning 17mm diameter shocks Kortz has been won over. New items include the steering rack & geometry, gearboxes, only 4 screws are required to remove the centre diff, the plastics are better, tighter tolerances and of course a 1 piece radio tray – all contributing to a much easier and faster car to work on.
The wider chassis also features a small kick up towards the rear, however a ‘droopy’ rear toe plate ensures that the hinge pin locations remain constant, the result both drivers saying that the car is much easier to drive. Tuning options will be available such as carbon or even bronze inserts for the wishbones, in order to increase stiffness if required as well as the elegant kingpin weights we’ve previously seen.
We stopped by the Nemo Racing tent just after Sunday’s first round of practice with Bloomfield having set a time good enough for 2nd overall, just a few tenths behind reigning World Champion Robert Batlle. Expect the new car to be ready in time for a 2015 release given the provisional name.