By Mike Garrison
The 2017 IFMAR World Championships are complete. Ryan Maifield flew into China with no World Championship titles to his name, but left with both hands full of WC trophies after winning both 2wd and 4wd titles. The feat of winning both 2wd and 4wd World Championship titles in one year has only been done three times prior – Masami Hirosaka in 1989, Martin Achter in 2009, and was last done in 2011 by Ryan Cavalieri.
Earlier this year I was invited to an event as the race director and announcer for an event with just shy of 500 entries. The event was fantastic as a whole, but as a race director, it was by far my worst performance of all-time. It seemed every race I was faced with some sort of controversial decisions to make, and it seemed as though I was constantly making the wrong decision. Needless to say, I had more than a few unhappy racers (rightfully so).
As one of several racers confronted me in the score tower to interupt the race, my frustration rang out across the speakers. Ryan dropped what he was doing in the pits, walked out to the track area, marched up the score tower stairs, and said, “Mike, you have one tough crowd, and you’re doing a hell of a job this weekend. I’m here and ready, one more complaint and we’ll start kickin’ some ass.”
Of course, Ryan was joking and didn’t actually plan to beat up the next guy that came up to complain (I don’t think anyway), but the fact that he took the time to drop what he was doing, come out to the track, say thank you, and ease the tension with a few laughs was much needed and appreciated that weekend.
Ryan is a no BS guy, and says what’s on his mind – whether it is “politically correct” or not. He’s also one to show plenty of emotion on the driver’s stand and on the race track. Combine the “speak his mind” attitude and openly shared emotions, you’re either a “Mans” fan or you’re not. I personally am a Ryan fan, but regardless of whether you are a fan or not, his performances in China were undeniably awesome.
(2wd A-Main #2 replay and Ryan Maifield interview following his first World Championship win.)
(The exciting 4wd A-Main #3 and after race interview with Ryan Maifield)
In my opinion, the entire 2017 1/10-scale Off-Road World Championship was one of the most exciting and entertaining Worlds event that we’ve had in quite some time, with nail-biting wheel-to-wheel races throughout the entire event. While the surface and conditions made it extremely difficult for the drivers, it nearly eliminated the chance of a "perfect run" or any one person to run away with any given race for a boring to watch win.
(A full run dedicated to nothing but backflips at the Worlds? You bet there was...)
I wanted to take this week’s “Moment with Mike” to personally congratulate the new 2wd and 4wd World Champion on his double victory, and becoming only the third person in IFMAR 1/10-scale Off-Road Worlds history to win both classes in the same year. In addition, I want to congratulate the entire field of racers who attended this year’s World Championships as well. For the racers participating, it is all about the quality and work of the event organizers, the venue, and the track. For the spectators gathered around their TV, mobile devices, and computer screens back home (such as myself), it is all about the quality of racing and work of the racers on TV screen. In my opinion, not a single racer disappointed.
Congratulations to EVERYONE who played a part in this year’s event, all of the racers for putting on an excellent show, and the newly crowned double World Champ on his history making performance!
CLICK HERE to watch more of the LiveRC event replays, race reports, interviews, and more!