Event: 2008 Cactus Classic
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Dates: March 14-16, 2008
1/10th electric racing kicks off in 2008 with the Cactus Classic. With a healthy list of domestic and international competition this was set to be a heated battle in the desert.
The SRS track is very typical in size for 1/10th off-road but with a Joey (The Dirt) Christensen built layout and abrasive surface the difficulty skyrocketed. With lap times in the 18’s and 19’s, driver concentration and discipline was very critical. Set-up, tire choice and condition were crucial to success.
Qualifying was a toss-up throughout Friday and Saturday. Jared Tebo, Ryan Maifield, Ryan Cavalieri and Masami Hirosaka seemed to have the greatest touch early on. With each top qualifying in separate rounds, no one really seemed to have a complete grasp on the difficult SRS track.
The TQ came down to the 4th round of qualifying on Saturday evening with Jared Tebo top qualifying in the 2wd modified class, Ryan Maifield top qualifying in truck modified and Masami Hirosaka top qualifying in the 4wd modified class.
Early Sunday morning at the Cactus is always a bit of a rush and mystery.
The condition of the track is much different than each driver qualified on in the previous days so making those final adjustments and changes prior to he finals usually puts someone at an advantage.
2wd Modified –
In the 2wd modified mains it looked like Masami had done his pre-race work and really had the early morning conditions figured out. In A-1 Masami took the lead in the first 2 corners from Jared Tebo and took the win by looking very dominating. In A-2 Jared Tebo regained top form by winning by a slight margin a hard charging Jesse Robbers.
With nothing being completely decided the overall championship was up for grabs in A-3. Jared Tebo again jumped out into the lead with Jesse Robbers and Masami Hirosaka in tow. The top 3 exchanged the lead on several occasions with all 3 looking very smooth. With only a few laps to go all 3 drivers made critical mistakes on the triple jump section which seemed to decide the race. Masami was the last to bobble on the triple allowing Jared across the line in 1st place with Jesse Robbers in 2nd and Matt Chambers getting by Masami for 3rd.
2wd Modified top 3 –
Truck modified –
Top qualifier Ryan Maifield has never looked better in modified truck than he did in A-1. Ryan pulled a comfortable lead over Ryan Cavalieri and held the distance all the way to the finish. A-2 started the same but this time a mistake by Maifield on the triple jump put Cavalieri out into the lead.
The Ryan’s battled to the finish with Cavalieri taking the win with Maifield in 2nd.
A-3 battle was set with many drivers having an outside chance at the overall. Maifield jumped out early with Mike Truhe in 2nd. Maifield was on cruise but Truhe looked to overtake and make it a challenge for the overall.
Truhe looked to be in control until Maifield put on a charge narrowing the gap to only a few feet of separation with Truhe in the lead. As the race progressed on to the final laps, Maifield was only vehicle lengths behind Truhe. A mistake by any driver would drop them out of the top position and their chance at the overall. Taking the final turn Maifield’s truck unexpectedly did a wheelie and flipped over backwards just before the finish line. Mike Truhe had already crossed the finish line in 1st place but the race was between the turn marshal getting Maifield truck and Ryan Cavalieri who was pushing hard to take 2nd. Cavalieri made a full throttle attempt across the finish line to beat Maifield and the turn marshal attempt by 2 tenths of a second. This last second pass would ultimately lead to an overall win by Ryan Cavalieri.
This race was apparently going down to tie-breaks between Mike Truhe, Ryan Maifield and Ryan Cavalieri as each driver would have a 1st and 2nd place finish. After the tie breaks were calculated Ryan Cavalieri came out on top of Ryan Maifield by a mere 2 tenths of a second.
Truck Modified Top 3 –
4wd Modified –
In A-1 Masami took the lead early with Cavalieri, Lee Martin and Tebo in tow. Tebo qualifying in the 7th position was on the move and passing drivers with very little effort into the 2nd position. Jared pulled up for a look on Masami on the step up jump and almost made contact and an overtaking move. Jared recovered and regrouped still in the 2nd position but crossing the step-up jump on the following lap Jared made his move again and overtook Masami with an insanely close inside move. Jared held 1st position and inside line all the way to the triple jump and just pulled away from Masami. Jared held on for the win with Cavalieri in 2nd and Masami in 3rd. A-2 started with Lee Martin challenging Masami throughout most of the opening laps. Lee looked to be on a mission, pulling away from Masami and yan Cavalieri with relative ease. The finishing order in A-3 was Lee Martin, Masami Hirosaka and Ryan Cavalieri.
Going into A-3 Jared Tebo, Masami Hirosaka, Lee Martin and Ryan Cavalieriall had chances to win the overall. Masami and Lee were out early and the avorites going into A-3. Jared Tebo who qualified in 7th had to work his way up and into the 3rd position and was now very close to the leaders. Lee had an electrical problem which forced him out of contention leaving Masami in the lead and Cavalieri in 2nd. Jared Tebo pulled all the way up onto the back of Cavalieri and made a brilliant move and into the 2nd position.
Masami, driving very wisely, looked poised but Jared put on a charge forcing Masami to push the limit. Jared again setup Masami and made a spectacular pass on the world’s greatest driver sending the crowd into a cheer. Jared made a small mistake and Masami regained the lead and appeared to have the race under control. Jared pushed hard but with only a lap to go it looked to be an insurmountable lead for Masami. As Masami landed the triple on the final lap his buggy made a weird hop and tumble which allowed Jared to overtake the lead and cruise through the finish line in 1st place and to a loud cheer from the crowd. Cavalieri made it by Masami also and finished in the 2nd position while Masami had to settle for the 3rd position.
4wd Modified top 3 –