Making his debut in the ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’ Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura has made an instant impact on the series with the Japanese ace backing up his Leg 1 win yesterday with another impressive win in Leg 2 this morning to wrap up the overall win in 2WD Buggy. Having TQ’d the biggest class of the EOS, 140 drivers contesting 2WD Buggy at the second round of the series in Langenfeld, Germany, the 4-time Japanese National Champion once again led the high quality international field from tone to tone even with a mistake on lap 13 of 15 which cost him around 2 seconds. Such was his lead Matsukura still took the win by over a second from defending champion Joern Neumann for whom this is only his second ever defeat in the class, Tamiya’s Lee Martin the only other driver to beat the German which was incidentally also at the second round of the season. Setting the fastest lap in Leg 2 Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans had to settle for third, a mistake on his final lap allowing championship standings leader Neumann back through to second.
Having never raced on a carpet offroad track Matsukura was delighted to take the win adding that it was the ‘perfect result’ for the new B-Max2 MR. The 19-year-old said the second Leg was a lot more difficult than Leg 1 in which he put in a flawless drive admitting that his nerves got the better of him resulting in his crash three laps from the finish. With one win out of the way the World Championship finalist said he now wants to go for the double, his B-Max4 lining up second behind Neumann for this afternoon’s 4WD Buggy A-Main finals. Team Yokomo’s first experience of the Euro Offroad Series and obviously encouraged by their pace especially considering how much more experience their rivals have with racing on European style Indoor offroad tracks team manager Robert Itoh said he hopes to be able to have Matsukura contest the rest of the series.
Set to go head to head with Evans in the third leg to decide who will get the overall runners-up spot, Neumann said his Durango was difficult to drive in Leg 2 but ultimately he just made too many mistakes. Planning to run a harder rear shock set-up on his DEX210 the winner of the season opener said he hopes this will be enough to keep Evans, who set the fastest lap in Leg 2 and starts directly behind him, at bay.
Evans said his TLR22 is the best it has ever been on carpet but he just can’t seem to run a mistake free run on the high grip surface. Following Matsukura’s mistake, the 2011 US National Champion who was running second at the time said he went all out for the win but over did it. If he can eliminate the mistakes he said he knows he has the speed to beat Neumann.
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(1) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:19.430
2.(2) Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango – 15/5:20.640
3.(3) Dustin Evans (US) – TLR – 14/5:00.960
4.(4) Lee Martin (GB) – Tamiya – 14/5:02.273
5.(6) Darren Bloomfield (GB) – TLR – 14/5:04.825
6.(8) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 14/5:08.745
7.(10)Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 14/5:13.602
8.(5) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:15.140
9.(7) Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 13/5:01.414
10.(9)Otto Ausfelt (SE) – TLR – 12/4:23.604