Thunder Alley is host to the 2011 ROAR 1:8 Nationals. This last weekend was the warm-up for the prestigious event. Thunder Alley is one of the most popular tracks in Southern California. Traction is always good, its friendly on tires when wet, elevation changes are always a plenty and jumps are always big. I had a quick chat with owner, Rob Jackson, and he said this layout was all his son’s work, Levi Jackson. The track was completed in 26 hours with features such as a center straight away and a massive 27ft step-up double.
A lighter turnout of 80 entries set the relaxed mood for the weekend. None-the-less, some top talent showed up to take advantage of the track time. Maifield, Tebo, Tessmann, Drake, Castellano, King and Amezcua were among the talent pool. Saturday’s qualifying went off without a hitch where Ryan Maifield TQ’ed buggy and Jared Tebo took top honors in truggy.
First up was the Pro Buggy A-Main. Ryan Maifield started on the pole with Ty Tessmann and Jared Tebo in tow. Maifield looked to be in top form as he quickly put some distance on the field early in the race. While Ty was still running the Hot Bodies D8 buggy, Designer/Engineer Josh Alton and Jesse Robbers were present running the prototype CR8 car. I can’t wait to see some more of the buggy in action. Tebo’s Kyosho looked good as always going around the track but he seemed to be struggling a little bit in the main with some uncharacteristic mistakes. I asked him how his cars felt over the weekend and he said they were really good. When I questioned his performance in the buggy main he spoke about doing a lot of tire testing over the weekend. Jared chose to run the 1-hour main on some larger pin tires that he has never previously ran on this track. He said they weren’t ideal, drove a bit “floaty” but was really happy to test a lot of tires and feels more confident with the upcoming nationals. Maifield said he was trying out a few setup changes on his Associated buggy and by the looks of it, I would say he found something very much to his liking.
In Pro Truggy, Ty Tessmann was on top of his game. TQ, Jared Tebo put some distance between himself and Ty early in the race but Ty’s consistency paid off as he slowly closed the gap on Tebo. Tebo and Tessman battled neck and neck for the remainder of the 30-minute main. With time ticking down to the last few minutes, Ty took advantage of one of Tebo’s rollovers and went to the top spot. Jared put a lot of pressure on Ty but it didn’t seem to faze him. Congrats to Ty Tessmann on a very well driven race and taking the Pro Tuggy win!
Even with the absence of some of the top pros such as Ryan Cavalieri, Jeremy Kortz and Mike Truhe, this weekend’s racing was top notch. The 2011 ROAR Nats are scheduled for June 2-5 at Thunder Alley. If you are anywhere near Southern California, do yourself a favor and stop by. If you can’t, then be sure to follow our full trackside coverage of the event here on Red RC.