January 19, 2014

Matsukura takes thrilling A3 for overall EOS victory

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Naoto Matsukura has taken overall victory in 2WD Buggy at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin, Germany.  Only his second appearance in the series, the Team Yokomo driver took the EOS victory after a last lap mistake in A3 by Round 1 winner Hupo Honigl, the Austrian looking to have been on target for a repeat of his Polish victory.  Taking the win by less than half a second over Honigl to back up his A1 victory, the Japanese ace was joined on the podium by defending Champion Joern Neumann, winner of A2, with Honigl completing the Top 3.

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‘Lucky’ was how Matsukura summed up his win.  Having suffered from understeer in A2 changes to the set-up of his B-Max 2 had made it more difficult to drive.  This resulted in an early mistake that dropped the 3 x time 1:12 World Champion back to fourth.  Having to adjust his driving style, his recovery was impressive with him putting in a blisteringly 20.666 second fastest lap of the race.  Getting passed Lee Martin and Neumann, he set about closing the gap to race leader Honigl but then looked to throw it away when he got out of shape coming off the wall with just three laps to go.  Still he was again able to close in on Honigl forcing the Austrian into an error at the Xray corner table top.  Trying to defend the corner Honigl cut it too much and his Team C buggy got hooked up and spun allowing the Yokomo to slip through.  Commenting on his win Matsukura said his first error was a result of him getting caught out by his buggy having a lot more steering adding his moment on the wall was due to a ‘little too much throttle’.  Repeating again how lucky he was with Honigl’s mistake he was very happy at achieving ‘2 wins from 2 races’.

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‘Second again’ was Neumann response after the race.  Taking over the race lead after Matsukura’s error, the Team Durango driver would lead for four laps before an error of his own resulted in him getting hit by former team-mate Honigl.  Describing the race as ‘super close’, he said he clipped the pipe which slowed his DEX210 and Honigl had nowhere to go.  Not apportioning any blame on Honigl he said his race was over after the contact. He would rejoin in fourth but drop to sixth on the final lap his 3rd in A1 and win in A2 securing him second overall.

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A driver who has been totally rejuvenated since his Round 1 EOS win and switch to Team C, Honigl said it ‘hurt’ to hit Neumann but when he clipped the pipe he was already on the power and had no way to back out of it.  Coming so close to a debut international win for Team C, he said he knew that the ever spectacular Matsukura would make a move at the table top and the only way to prevent that would be to keep as tight to the the corner as possible.  Unfortunately he went too tight.  With a second in A2 and needing to win A3 in a faster time than the previous two winning times what was more frustrating for the former European Champion was that even with his last lap moment his time was quicker.

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Making his first race appearance for new team Yokomo, Lee Martin had a strong run to third in A3 but missed out on the podium claiming 4th overall.  Learning a lot about his new cars this weekend, the British ace is sure to be right in the mix when he travels to the Hudy Arena for Round 3 of the EOS in early March.

2WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 2 pts
2. Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 3
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 4
4. Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 7
5. Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 9
6. Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 10
7. Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 12
8. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14
9. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 18
10.Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 18

2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 3 Result
1.(1) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:02.486
2.(4) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 15/5:02.960
3.(5) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 15/5:03.720
4.(9) Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 15/5:13.269
5.(7) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 15/5:13.633
6.(2) Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 15/5:20.733
7.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14/4:53.654
8.(8) David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 14/5:11.960
9.(10)Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 14/5:27.632
10.(6)Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 8/2:49.257

View the complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.



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