By Aaron Waldron
REDS Racing announced on Facebook around 10:30 CST that they had signed a new driver, and included a photo that shows the silhouette of what we imagine to be the new signee’s 1/8-scale buggy. The shape of the vehicle is unmistakably a TLR 8IGHT-series buggy, all but confirming rumors that Team Losi Racing driver Ryan Maifield will join the Italian engine marquee ahead of the 2016 nitro season.
Like most "big news" announcements in our small circle of RC racing, this wasn't exactly the best-kept secret. Maifield has switched engines over the last few seasons, running Novarossi and Team Orion powerplants before this alleged move to REDS. Neobuggy reported on rumors of the Maifield-to-REDS move last month when Maifield himself posted the following photo after winning the Toys 4 Tots event at Thunder Alley Raceway, which shows his buggy with a red engine head protruding from the body:
Just a couple of weeks later, Team Orion announced that Maifield had signed a 2-year, electric-only contract extension.
The rumors definitely put into context this photo of Maifield sitting down for dinner with the REDS Racing team while attending an event at IBR Padova in Italy, which was passed around on social media before ending up in our inbox:
Indeed - if you load the teaser image into Photoshop and turn up the brightness, it's pretty easy to tell whose paintjob this is:
Truly, only one question remains - when will this non-secret be announced?