Joern Neumann completed another TQ run in the second round of 2WD Buggy Qualifying at the EOS in Austria but again the Team Durango driver was forced to work hard for it with Team Xray’s Martin Bayer swapping the top spot on the timing screen throughout the 5-minute qualifying. Both drivers improved on their Q1 pace, Neumann taking almost 5 seconds off his previous time. Hupo Honigl again set the 3rd fastest time posting his first 14 lap run with fellow Austrian Dominic Bauer also making 14 laps, the young TLR driver posting the fourth fastest time.
Fourth fastest in Q1, Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk looked set for another strong run until his buggy stopped on the mesh of the crossover with just over 1-minute to go. Looking like his RB6 had got caught in the mesh it was in fact a broken idler gear that had brought it to the sudden stop. Setting the 2nd fastest lap of the round with only Neumann faster, the Swede said his RB6 felt really good and that the run was going perfectly until the failure.
For fellow 1:8 rivals Robert Batlle and Renaud Savoya Q2 would see the pair post the 11th and 12th fastest times respectively. Improving his time by 7-seconds Batlle was on target for a Top 10 finish but a late mistake required his Yokomo to be marshaled, the marshal putting the buggy back on the wrong section of track. 11th fastest in Q1 Savoya’s second qualifier would be half a second slower. Able to run a faster lap time, the French ace said overall the buggy was too aggressive and he needs to find a set-up somewhere in between what he raced in Q1 & Q2.
2WD Buggy Round 2 Qualifying Top 10
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 14/5:14.769
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14/5:16.488
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:21.101
4. Dominic Bauer (AT) – TLR – 14/5:26.908
5. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 13/5:00.307
6. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Team Xray – 13/5:00.783
7. Patrick Hofer (CH) – Associated – 13/5:00.941
8. Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 13/5:01.370
9. Tom Maquel (LU) – Team C – 13/5:03.424
10.Marcel Guske (DE) – TLR – 13/5:03.981
Having topped yesterday’s practice, this morning Joern Neumann picked up where he left off setting the fastest time in the opening round of 2WD Buggy qualifying at the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in Leoben, Austria. Describing the run as ‘close’ referring to the impressive pace of Team Xray’s Martin Bayer, the German outpaced the Czech driver by just under 1-second with Team Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl completing the Top 3.
The defending champion, Neumann said he was able to push his Speed Passion powered DEX210 really hard but on two occasions he pushed it too hard, flipping the buggy with it needing to be marshaled once. Planning to give himself a little more steering for Q2, he said also hoped to tidy up his driving as Bayer, who also made a mistake while swapping the TQ pace, was looking like a serious threat on this his 2WD debut in the EOS.
Bayer said his mistake cost him a TQ run but he was very happy with his opening performance. Running a TLR22, as Xray only have a 4WD Buggy, he said by the end of the run his diff didn’t feel to good so he will rebuild it for Q2 but in terms of the buggy set-up he will leave it as is. Team-mate Renaud Savoya, who has opted to run a Kyosho RB6 in 2WD, said he thought his run was OK as he was sixth fastest in the Top heat but he would only end up 11th overall. Describing his run as very consistent he said the buggy was easy to drive but lazy and he will make changes to make it more aggressive for Q2.
Feeling very much under the weather, so much so that last night he went to the local hospital, Honigl described his run to the 3rd fastest time as ‘maximum steady’ adding that he is so full of drugs he didn’t push and just tried to stay on the racing line for 5-minutes. For Q2 the Austrian said he hopes to drive with a bit more aggression.
Setting the fourth fastest time, factory Kyosho driver David Ronnefalk said his Orion powered Ultima RB6 has been good since he put it on the track here at the impressive MRC Bruck/Mur facility but one mistake cost him a chance at a 14 lap run, only the Top 2 managing this. Happy that the speed is in his buggy to run at the front he said his aim for Q2 is a safe run which would allow him to push and take more risks in Q3 & 4.
Fellow Swede Oskar Levin set the 5th fastest time. Running in the second highest heat, the Team Losi Racing driver said while the 3-consecutive laps used to seed the heats wasn’t good for him he always knew that over 5-minutes he had a good buggy. Putting in a clean run, the 18-year-old said the only change he will make for Q2 is a small bump steer adjustment as he wants to get another strong points haul on the board which if he can do will allow him to ‘go big’ in the final two qualifiers.
Driving a Durango, Team Xray’s Jiri Mara completed the Top 6 ahead of German National Champion & Team C driver Oliver Scholz. For 1:8 Offroad World Champion Robert Batlle the first qualifier didn’t start well. In the warm-up a 30g gram weight at the front of his Yokomo came off and got jammed in the steering. Late to the start, the Spaniard then rolled at the second corner requiring to be marshaled. This left him right on the tail of Round 1 podium finisher Michal Orlowski costing both drivers some time and then passed by Neumann he lost further time when he got caught up in the two mistakes the Durango driver was to make during his TQ run.
2WD Buggy Round 1 Qualifying Top 10
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 14/5:19.619
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14/5:20.613
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 13/5:01.503
4. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 13/5:01.796
5. Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 13/5:03.449
6. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Team Xray – 13/5:04.137
7. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 13/5:04.362
8. Bjorn Prumper (DE) – TLR – 13/5:04.411
9. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 13/5:05.250
10.Patrick Hofer (CH) – Associated – 13/5:05.464
Despite not being able to improve his time in the second timed 4WD Practice, Joern Neumann ended Day 1 of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series at the top of the time sheets. The German was a considerable 1.2 seconds faster than his closest rival Martin Bayer who also failed to better his opening time. Neumann’s Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl was the highest placed improvement to come in closing practice as he moved up to 3rd just ahead of Xray’s Renaud Savoya who knocked 1.3 seconds off his time. Switching to a heavier oil in the front shocks of his XB4, Savoya said his buggy was much better allowing him to go from 8th to 4th fastest.
Having struggled in the first time practice, Robert Batlle was also able to find a large amount of time. Having struggled with his BMax-4, which he said just felt like the chassis was too soft, he gambled on running the shocks softer along with stiffening the roll bars and lowering the ride height and to his surprise he said it worked pretty well. The newly signed Yokomo driver, who despite his impressive 1:8 Offroad CV is a newcomer to 1:10, would set the 9th fastest time again booking himself a spot in the top qualifying heat as he did earlier in 2WD.
Having set the 10th fastest time in the first timed 4WD practice despite not being too happy with the set-up he ran on his Kyosho, David Ronnefalk said the changes he made for the second run made the buggy worse leaving him to drop to 11th fastest in the final practice ranking.
Overall 4WD Buggy Practice Top 10
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 3/1:04.567
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 3/1:05.701
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 3/1:05.750
4. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Xray – 3/1:05.801
5. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 3/1:06.091
6. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Xray – 3/1:06.560
7. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 3/1:06.846
8. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 3/1:06.976
9. Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 3/1:07.221
10.Martin Hansen (DK) – Kyosho – 3/1:07.241
Having set the pace in 2WD Buggy practice Joern Neumann opened the first 4WD controlled practice by setting the pace, the Durango driver 9/10ths of a second faster than his closest rival over 3-consecutive laps. Chasing his 6th consecutive win in the class this weekend in Austria, the defending champion said while he was able to top the time sheets he was not entirely happy with his Speed Passion powered DEX410. Developing understeer over the duration of the run he said this was not good because qualifying was all about the full 5-minutes rather than just 3-laps and he would need to try something different for the final practice.
Once again the closest to Neumann on pace with the second fastest time, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer was pleased with his XB4 saying it was ‘going good’. Happy with the base set-up he established in free practice the Czech who made led a few laps of the A-Mains on his EOS debut at Round 2, said he will make a few very small changes for the second practice just to try and make the buggy a little more comfortable to drive.
Running the same set-up as Bayer except for his front shocks, team-mate Renaud Savoya set the 8th fastest time. The French 1:8 Nitro ace said for the first two minutes his Orion powered example of the XB4 was good but after this the front end became too soft giving the buggy a lack of feeling. Planning to run a heavier oil for his next practice he said it should allow him to run a much better pace. A newcomer to the 1:10 Offroad scene Xray had three cars in the Top 10 with team driver Jiri Mara setting the 5th fastest time.
Hupo Honigl set the third fastest time the Austrian describing his Dual Sky powered Durango as being ‘OK’ but he just didn’t get three good laps together. Liking the track, he said while it was pretty easy to drive it was not easy to drive it at always at 100%.
Backing up his competitive showing in 2WD practice, Team C’s Oliver Scholz took his T4 V3 to the 4th fastest time. Having changed his set-up through out free practice and again for the first timed run, the German teenager said the buggy has been getting better every run. Running a fresh set of the controlled dBoots Nano Bytes tyres, he said he will again run a fresh set of tyres for his next run so as to have two sets of scrubbed tyres for qualifying.
Completing the Top 6 was former European Champion Peter Pinisch, the Team Associated driver saying his 4WD was ‘much better than his 2WD’. Having lost a wheel on the straight and crashed his Centro converted B4.2, the Austrian says the buggy is badly tweaked and this is the reason he could only manage the 14th fastest time. On his B44.2 he ran used tyres in the first time practice and to get a proper comparison will run a new set of tyres for the second run without making any set-up changes.
Setting the 10th fastest time, Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk said it was ‘the best he could do for the set-up he had’. The Swede said he ran too hard a shock and will go softer for his next run which should allow him to push his Lazer ZX5 harder. Having run tyres with the other pin removed he will also try the tyre as it comes out of the packet in the final practice.
Having impressed in 2WD Buggy, Robert Batlle struggled with his 4WD Yokomo. The Spaniard said the buggy was just too soft and he could not run string two corners together without the buggy rolling. Need to create a completely different set-up he said he doesn’t think he will have time to get it all done for the final practice. 16th fastest, the 1:8 World Champion said making the Top 10 and therefore a place in the top heat for qualifying was now a tall order.
Team Durango’s Joern Neumann will be the top seed for qualifying in 2WD Buggy at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria, the German improving his pace from the opening timed practice to go 2/10ths quicker over 3-consecutive laps in his second run. Unable to improve on his opening time, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer would maintain second ahead of Team C’s Oliver Scholz who improved by almost 6/10ths.
The second timed practice saw the majority of drivers improve their times with Renaud Savoya who was only 16th fastest first time round moving into the Top 10. Setting the 8th fastest time behind his 1:8 nitro rival Robert Batlle both drivers will be seeded in the top heat for tomorrow’s 2WD Buggy qualifying.
Another big improver was TLR’s Dominic Bauer, the 17-year-old Austrian improving from 10th fastest to 5th fastest. Better known as a 1:8 Nitro driver, he said a switch to a softer insert in the dBoots Blockpass front tyre made his TLR22 much more responsive to drive.
Overall 2WD Buggy Practice Top 10
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 3/1:06.876
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 3/1:07.798
3. Oliver Scholz (DE) Team C – 3/1:08/027
4. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 3/1:08.341
5. Dominic Bauer (DE) – TLR – 3/1:08.355
6. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 3/1:08.520
7. Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 3/1:08.894
8. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Team Xray – 3/1:09.223
9. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 3/1:09.263
10.Marcus Lubke (DE) – Team C – 3/1:09.631