Joern Neumann cruised to a dominant win in the opening leg of 4WD Buggy Finals at the EOS in Belgium, the series points leader heading home Durango team-mate Hupo Hönigl by a massive 7 seconds. Joining the Durango pair on the podium at the opening round in the Czech Republic, TLR’s Miguel Matias completed the Top 3 after a great drive the Portuguese driver having started 7th on the grid.
Neumann and Hönigl were never threatened during the race after Lee Martin, the man expected to provide the biggest challenge to the pair rolled his Tamiys at the start of the first full lap. This allowed Tom Cockerill into third but next time round he also made a mistake allowing a gaggle of TLR drivers to close in on his Schumacher and one by one force their way passed. In the end the EIR winner finished 8th one spot ahead of his fellow Brit Martin.
Factory Tamiya driver Lee Martin has won the 2WD Buggy class at the second round of the inaugural TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in Charleroi, Belgium. The British driver repeated his easy win of the opening leg with another tone to tone victory in the third A-Main to claim the top step on the podium at the Black Country Arena ahead of TLR’s Dustin Evans and EOS Round 1 victor Joern Neumann.
Top Qualifier for the event, Martin, who rolled out of contention of Leg 2 on the opening lap was delighted to take the overall win against the world class field of champions. Afterwards Martin said following his Leg 2 error he was a little nervous at the start of the deciding encounter but once he successfully negotiated the opening few laps he was able to settle into his rhythm eventually taking the win by over three seconds from Neumann. Having missed the opening round of the EOS due to 1:8 Offroad commitments, he said with one win out of the way he is looking forward to the afternoon’s 4WD Buggy finals and to not being on pole position, his Tamiya TRF502X starting 3rd behind the Durango’s of Neumann and Hupo Honigl.
The winner of the EOS Pilot race last year on clay, a surface the American racer is well used to, Evans said he pleased with second but was a little disappointed with the outcome of the third A-Main as he felt he could have took the battle to Martin. Battling with Tom Cockerill for third the pair came together as Evans made a move on the Schumacher. Describing the incident as ‘unlucky’ Evans, who will also contest Round 3 of the EOS at Europe’s biggest model exhibition in Dortmund next month, said he learned a lot this weekend and will be a lot better prepared for the series finale in Germany.
Finishing third overall, Neumann said he was just a little to slow this weekend in 2WD but at least he was still able to back up his win at the season opener with another podium. The Top Qualifier for 4WD, the class which he also won in the Czech Republic, the Vice-World Champion is looking forward to that now and is very confident about his chances of taking the win.
Reigning US Champion Dustin Evans has won an exciting second 2WD Buggy A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Belgium, the TLR driver afterwards describing his battle with Joern Neumann as ‘awesome’. Having been handed an early break in the opening leg, Top Qualifier Lee Martin had contrasting fortunes in Leg 2 when he touched the corner on the first block section of the track which put his Tamiya on it roof and leaving him last at the end of the first lap. Recovering to finish 6th the European Champion said he could have been no more than 2mm off his regular line through the corner but added it was his own fault and he is now going to have to try harder in the deciding leg.
Making his debut on an astro turf track this weekend, Evans said the race was ‘probably one of the better finals I have driven’. Getting more and more comfortable on the surface which to an American racer is very alien, he said his Orion powered TLR22 once again felt really good, proven by his fastest lap of the race. Getting away with bouncing his buggy off the wall through the sweeper at the end of the straight after he had to go offline to pass an out of shape Cockerill, Evans said he practiced his pass on Neumann a lap earlier. Taking a run at Neumann up the ‘Horizon Hill’ to see if a move would be possible he backed out confident he could pull it off next time round which is exactly what he did to take the lead.
Fitting a gear diff to his Speed Passion powered DEX210, Neumann said his buggy was a lot less edgy than in the opening Main but was still difficult to try. Trying as hard as he could to keep Evans at bay he said he knew the the TLR driver would eventually find a way passed.
Starting sixth on the grid Mike Truhe completed the Top 3 just ahead of TLR team-mates Darren Bloomfield and Oskar Levin. Third in Leg 1, Cockerill pulled up his Cougar SV2. Having changed rear tyres, the British driver said they were not bedded in enough giving him too much grip and to save his front tyres he stopped early. For Leg 3 Schumacher’s Design, Development & Race Engineer will revert to the same set of rear dBoots run in the opening final.