By Aaron Waldron
One of the juiciest rumors of this offseason has been the departure of 2014 IFMAR World Champion Ty Tessmann from HB Racing, a brand which the Canadian has represented for over a decade. HB Racing was acquired last year by Neidhart SA, and Swedish driver David Ronnefalk - who has strong ties to Team Orion's Adrien Bertin - won the IFMAR Worlds in Vegas, leaving Tessmann visibily upset at the race's result not just for his inability to make history as the first back-to-back champ but perhaps the added sting of losing to a teammate after long standing as the brand's number one name.
Inside sources also suggest that the Tessmann camp had concerns about their role in future development, taking pride in helping to create the D815 into a Worlds-winner but perhaps not having the control or recognition they desired. This part, however, is only speculation from down-the-line rumor passers.
What we do know, however, is that HB Racing designer Torrance DeGuzman commented on Ty Tessmann's latest setup sheet posted to his Facebook page bidding the Canadian farewell:
Part of the sticking point that casted doubt on any rumors of Ty leaving stemmed from his father's role within the company, serving as the team manager.
However, an email sent from the older Tessmann to his (former) team drivers yesterday proved that hurdle has also been cleared - announcing his resignation:
As for Ty's destination, all signs point toward XRAY - a brand which has yet to nail down a truly A-list driver in North America since joining the off-road fray. Could Ty and Gord help do for XRAY what they did for HB - build a strong team presence and turn the successful XB8 platform into world champ? I've heard that Tessmann had also discussed opportunities with Team Associated, but the company did not feel they had the room/budget to make a deal that accommodated both parties. While it remains to be seen if the Tessmanns could fit into the XRAY design process it would appear they may be one of the only brands with the budget to make such a deal work.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!