BEHIND THE SCENES THE D812
;e Hot Bodies D8 was always a good car for us. Four D8
cars made the A-main in the 2008 IFMAR Worlds and
Atsushi Hara won, but it lacked rough track handling and
the ability to make substantial setup changes. In 2011, my dad
and I decided that we needed to make some changes to the buggy.
We felt like we were falling behind everyone else, so using slow motion video cameras
and a rough layout on my home track, we did a lot of work to find out why the D8 didn’t
handle blown-out tracks very well. With what we learned, we headed to California to test
the first changes we had made to the car at the 2011 Gas Champs. I ended up TQ’ing and
winning the race with the changes we made. ;is was the first higher profile race I had
ever won with the buggy, and my confidence in the class increased.
FOR US, WINNING AS A TEAM COULDN’T HAVE BEEN A SWEETER RESULT WITH THE
BRAND-NEW CAR. THE CAR I RAN AT THE NATIONALS IS THE EXACT SAME CAR THAT IS
AVAILABLE NOW AS THE D812
ON BOTH THE NATIONAL AND WORLD
LEVELS, THE D812 HAS BEEN A
LANDSLIDE SUCCESS IN A SHORT TIME.
WHILE ITS DEVELOPMENT HAS BEEN
A LONG JOURNEY, ITS SUCCESS HAS
BEEN SWEET. WE SAT DOWN WITH
HOT BODIES FACTORY TEAM DRIVER
AND 2012 ROAR NATIONAL CHAMPION
TY TESSMANN TO GET THE INSIDE
SCOOP ON HOW THE HOTTEST NEW
1/8 BUGGY CAME TO BE:
;is got the attention of the HB R&D team and Torrance Deguzman, Hot Bodies’ newest
designer/engineer, was assigned to the project and worked very closely with me, Atsushi
Hara, Muira Masayuki, and my dad to improve the D8. Unlike cars designed by other companies in the past, this car was designed on the track rather than on a computer. Parts
were hand Dremeled, modified, prototyped, and tested on the track before ever coming to
the final production. We were told to keep everything under strict confidence and I realize
that this was very frustrating for a lot of people, but sometimes promising something
new for months on end and never coming out with it is worse.
;e next few months saw a massive amount of testing; some things worked and some
didn’t. I spent a lot of time in California testing leading up to the 2012 Nitro Challenge
where I TQ’d and won. Although the parts on the buggy were from other HB cars, modified, Dremeled, a few prototype parts, and the odd part or two from other cars, this was
the race that decided the car was ready for production. We went to Silver State that year
and Torrance had put together the first pre-production D812, but he insisted that we
bring the Nitro Challenge car with us just in case. Although we had no time on the new
car, we put a setup on it that was similar to what we had been running on the “
Franken-buggy,” as it had been called on the Internet, and we tweaked the car during practice and
qualifying. It was nice to have a car that we could finally make actual adjustments to the
geometry of. We struggled a bit in qualifying; I managed to qualify fifth, so Saturday night
right after qualifying we headed to Silver Bowl RC Park in town with Torrance to try and
figure out the setup. No one knew at the time that we were even running the car, and we
kept it completely hidden. Although I didn’t win, I think we did pretty well. ;e car felt
awesome and I led the race for more laps than any other driver, but unfortunately, with
two flame-outs, I was only able to finish fourth.
After that, we took the car home with spare parts and until the ROAR Nationals, my dad
and I were at the track just about every day. We knew the car was good, but we wanted
to be more familiar with it so we would know exactly what each setup change would do
on the track. We went back and forth so many times that we wore out everything that
we had brought home with us. When we got to Nationals, we were a little lost at first. ;e
track was awesome but di;erent than anything that we had run on before. Practice and
qualifying went alright, but because of what we had learned at home and having Torrance
there to help us out, we were able to find a setup for the car. For us, winning as a team
couldn’t have been a sweeter result with the brand-new car. ;e car I ran at the Nationals
is the exact same car that is available now as the D812.
Winning the Nationals with the D812 was the high-point of my career, but I have to say
that this accomplishment is not just mine. I have to thank everyone at Hot Bodies for their
hard work, Tatsuro Watanabe, the owner of Hot Bodies, for believing in me, my dad, and
especially Torrance Deguzman for working so hard with us, believing in us, and helping to
create such an awesome car.
If you want to dial in your D812 like the pros, check out Ty’s setups on tytessmann.com.