Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura is Top Qualifier for 2WD Buggy at the Euro Offroad Series after a ‘safe run’ in the final qualifier became the second TQ run of the day for the Japanese ace. With six drivers in with a chance of claiming pole position for the second round of the championship it was all to play for in Q4 but it was Matsukura who was seeded in the second fastest heat that came out on top. Running in the top heat Hupo Honigl would post the second fastest time ahead of Lee Martin and Joern Neumann. Having TQ’d the opening qualifier yesterday, fourth would help defending champion Neumann to secure second on the grid in a four way tie break with Bayer getting third, Honigl fourth and Martin fifth.
Only his second EOS outing, his first last year resulting in a TQ & win, Matsukura gave a fist pump on the confirmation that he was the overall Top Qualifier. With a non finish in Q1 and a poor Q3, the pressure was on the 19-year-old. Having said the plan for Q4 was to put in a safe run he said that’s exactly what he did with the approach working out better than planned. With his B-Max 2 suffering with a small amount of understeer he said for the first leg of the final he will make a small set-up change.
Neumann, who has only been denied victory in the EOS three times, said while his Durango was better for the final round, it still was not as good as yesterday when he took Q1. Reverting to his opening qualification set-up he said the rear is very loose adding he needs to find something for the finals.
Losing a screw from the steering block on his Xray XB4-2, Bayer was unable to repeat his impressive Q3 topping run finishing 10th for the round. ‘Really happy’, he said to qualify 3rd on the grid was better than he expected for 2WD and he is pretty motivated to push for a good result in the final.
A driver who has found a new lease of life since moving to Team C, Honigl was clearly pleased with his day’s work. The winner of the season opener in Poland, then driving for Durango, he expects three very hard finals. With so many different configurations of cars in the final with each being strong at dfferent parts of the track he said it will be tough to pass. Describing his TM2 V2 as ‘amazing’ through the sweeper he said on his own he can make up time there but stuck behind another brand of buggy he can not make use of that advantage.
‘A little gutted’ was how Martin summed up his 5th place on the grid despite two 2nd fastest time runs. The World Championship runner-up said he had the pace for a TQ run in the last round but threw it away on the very first corner when he rolled his new B-Max 2. With the good run over the rest of the 5-minute run he finished only 9/10ths off his team-mate’s TQ pace. For the finals the previous EOS race winner will make a rear piston change copying the set-up used by Matsukura.
Starting directly behind Martin will be fellow countryman Tom Cockerill. The DHI Cup winner will inturn line up ahead of Kyosho pairing Christopher Krapp and David Ronnefalk. ETS race winner Yannic Prumper lines up 9th giving Yokomo the bragging rights to the most cars in the main event. Unfortunately team-mate Ronald Volker made a mistake in a ‘touring car section’ of the track meaning he ended as BQ. The grid is completed by EOS debutant Kev Lee, the British driver at the controls of a Team C buggy.
2WD Buggy A-Main Grid
1. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 310 pts
2. Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 306
3. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 306
4. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 306
5. Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 306
6. Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 304
7. Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 302
8. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 299
9. Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 298
10.Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 295
2WD Buggy Q4 times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 14/5:00.713
2. Hupo Honigl – Team C – 14/5:01.674
3. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 14/5:02.081
4. Joern Neumann – Team Durango – 14/5:02.496
5. Christopher Krapp – Kyosho – 14/5:04.475
6. Yannic Prumper – Yokomo – 14/5:05.149
7. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 14/5:06.876
8. Renaud Savoya – Team Xray – 14/5:07.113
9. Tom Cockerill – Schumacher – 14/5:07.397
10.Martin Bayer – Team Xray – 14/5:08.448