January 29, 2016

Yokomo strong in practice as Martin tops seeding

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Team Yokomo put in a very strong showing in practice at the Euro Offroad Series with Lee Martin topping the 2WD seeding at Round 3 in Germany. Improving his best 3-consecutive laps by 7/10th of a second in the final controlled practice, Martin again set the pace from team-mate Marc Rheinard with five Yokomo drivers making up the Top 10 times.  Heading the challenge to Yokomo, despite not improving on his opening time, Team Associated Neil Cragg would open his EOS debut with the third fastest time  albeit over 1-second off the pace of the reigning champion.  One of the big improvers of the final practice would be Yokomo touring car star Yannic Prumper who knocked 1.3 seconds off his opening time to end the seeding 4th fastest.

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Having changed to a new prototype rear hub on his YZ-2, which he is running in the soon to be released 3-gear gearbox ‘CA’ configuration, Martin said they ‘settled it pretty good’.  Happy with the car’s performance he said ‘to change the car now would be stupid, especially after running 4wd’, drivers running their 4WD practice before the first two rounds of 2WD qualifying tonight.

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Only able to improve his time slightly, 9/100th of a second to be exact, while Martin extended his advantage, Rheinard said ‘I need to change the car for qualifying’.  Having left it unchanged from CP1, the German will copy Martin by switching to the limited prototype rear hubs.  Sticking with running his YZ-2 with the standard kit gearbox, the touring car ace said if after changing hubs his team-mate maintains his distinct advantage in the first qualifier he will then have to switch over to the 3-gear gearbox.

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Having had power issues in the opening two practices, Cragg said his ‘slipper is (now) dialled’.  Having made changes to the front end of his prototype B5M for CP2, he said it created ‘a little more lock’ leaving him with ‘too much steering’.  Unable to better his CP12 time as a result, the EOS debutant will revert back to his previous set-up for Q1.

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Starting out the day with his YZ-2 running a basic kit set-up, Prumper said copying Rheinard’s set-up made the car ‘much better’. Asked if he planned to also copy Martin’s rear hub change he replied ‘No’, the German not having the option as the team only have 3-sets available which are in use with Martin, Adachi and now Rheinard.  Adachi would set the 6th fastest time while American former EOS Top Qualifier Carson Wernimont ended up 9th.

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Improving to the fifth fastest time, Michal Orlowski said ‘(my car) feels ok in my hand and looks ok on the track but on lap times its off the pace’.  Running a heavier battery and adjusting his rear camber links, the Schumacher driver said it was an improvement and the main problem in CP2 was his slipper was too tight.  Popping wheelies he said he had to back off the power and this was costing him time.  Planning to loosen the slipper for Q1 he said he would leave everything else untouched on his KF2 feeling that over 5-minute the car should be good. Admitting ‘Yokomo are very fast here’, he said the important thing was to try and run the 5-minutes without mistakes.  Faster than his team-mate in CP1, Peter Pinisch would end up 7th fastest behind the young Pole.

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Best of the Xrays, with the 8th fastest time, Bruno Coelho said he made a ‘big improvement’ between runs.  Suffering from ‘too much rear traction’ describing his XB2 as feeling like having it had ‘glue on the rear tyres’ he said changes to make the rear more loose was good.  Looking to further reduce the rear traction, the Portuguese star said ‘I think we are going in the right direction now so we should be able to further improve things for qualifying’.

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