The 18th annual The Dirt Nitro Challenge was held this past weekend at Fear Farm R/C Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. Considered to be the biggest RC event in the World, combining three races together, the 2017 edition again attracted racers from all corners of the world to participate. This year’s layout was perhaps the hardest track layout ever created in the 18 years of the DNC as it featured everything you cold possibly think of. Kyosho’s Jared Tebo commented that it was, “The gnarliest track he’s ever raced on … period”. The Dirt crew outdid themselves this year by making a track without a full straightaway and replacing it with the most difficult section of all time – the 9 pack triple section.
Initially, the idea was to make a triple-triple-triple jump section, but it was much harder than one would think because each triple landing would be lead into the next. Mess up one section and you’re more than likely messing up the entire front section. The track also had a tightly packed whoop section along with a vicious step up, a drop section and an over-under as well. It definitely lived up to the name – Dirt Nitro Challenge.
During qualifying, it was Ryan Lutz who showed the fastest pace in 1/8th Pro Nitro Buggy by TQ’ing rounds 1 and 3 to start the 45 minute main in front. Former World Champion, Ty Tessman would excel with his new Xray rides and go on to TQ E-Buggy and Truggy.
The E-Buggy A-main was the first of the three Pro mains and from the tone, both TQ Ty Tessman and Ryan Maifield (Mugen) would make mistakes in the 9 pack giving up their positions early, however, Tessman would recover to take back his lead in the whoops section of the track. After a few laps, Tessman would crash going up the step-up and give the lead to Ryan Maifield. Once Maifield had the position he would check out from the field to take his 1st win of the weekend. Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri would slowly dissect the field apart to finish 2nd behind Maifield after 10 minutes. Kyosho’s Jared Tebo would have an excellent race in E-Buggy making it a classic top 3 podium of Maifield, Cav, and Tebo.
In the Pro Truggy 45 minute A-main final, it was all Ryan Maifield. After a few mistakes early on that dropped him down to 4th, RM recovered and got into his “truggy groove.” The pace, the rhythm, all synergized and he flew around the track without mistakes. Unfortunately for Ty Tessman on lap 27, suffered from a receiver pack coming unplugged resulting in a runaway truck. Maifield would take the lead and controlled the pace masterfully. From there, he would cross the line and finish the night off with 2 wins on a chilly Saturday evening. Tekno’s Joe Bornhorst would take the runner-up spot from Ryan Cavalieri.
Pro Buggy was almost a repeat of Pro Truggy. Earl in the race, Ryan Maifield would make a few mistakes and drop back to 5th while everyone was jocking for the lead. From Rivkin, Cavalieri, Boots, Tessman, and Dakotah, would all taste the lead, but were not able to hang on. On lap 22, Maifield started to find his groove once again and took over the lead. From that moment on, he would control the pace and cruise his way to his 3rd win of the weekend and write history as the first and only driver to ever to sweep the pro classes at one DNC. It’s a remarkable achievement given the fact he just switched to Mugen and has little time on the cars. As for the results, Kyosho’s Elliott Boots would come in second while Ryan Cavalieri rounded out the top 3.