Reigning European 1:10 electric buggy champions Joern Neumann and Lee Martin along with US Champion Dustin Evans are set for a title showdown at the finale of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby when the trio will battle it out to become inaugural Champion of 2WD Buggy, the new series’ biggest class. Neumann, the European 4WD Champion, won the opening round for Team Durango in the Czech Republic but had to settle for third at Round 2 in Belgian where European 2WD Champion Martin, who along with Evans was making his series debut, took victory for Tamiya ahead of the American TLR driver setting the stage for an exciting climax to the season in Dortmund, Germany, this weekend (20-22 April).
Having already wrapped up the 4WD Buggy title with back to back wins at the preceding rounds, Neumann is out to do a clean sweep of the main EOS crowns on offer at what is a home event for the German ace. In addition to having a strong shot at the 2WD Buggy title he is also in contention for the 4WD Short Course title in which it will be a head to head battle with his Austrian Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl.
Having just kicked off his British National Championship campaign in perfect style over the weekend by TQ’ing and winning both buggy classes, Martin was impressive on his series debut with the Vega converted Tamiya 2WD which he has shown to be a very strong package on high grip tracks. Martin will be joined by his TRF/Speed Passion team-mate Marc Rheinard for the event and although the German World Touring Car Champion is not a regular offroad competitor he is a former European 4WD Buggy Champion so should be able to mix it with offroads top drivers in that class. Interestingly Martin will also contest 4WD Short Course this weekend with a prototype truck from his new 1:8 Buggy sponsors Mugen who look set to enter the electric offroad market having up to now focused only on nitro competitions.
Sampling a European style indoor track and racing on a none dirt surface for the very first time in Belgium, TLR’s Dustin Evans performance was very impressive with the former Reedy Race champion managing a win in the second leg of the A-Main. Having mastered astro turf and the series’ controlled dBoots tyres, he will now be faced with adapting his driving style again this weekend to suit carpet, a surface his rivals know well, but the 26-year-old has already shown that he is a fast learner. Evans must win if he is to be in with a chance of the title and will be looking to his team-mate Mike Truhe for support as he has the benefit of having raced at the opening round in Hrotovice which was held on a carpet track. TLR, who as title sponsors have been instrumental in making the EOS possible this year, will have an increased presence at the season finale with team-manager Kevin Gahan and TLR engineer Dan Hissam, who was responsible for the design of the 22, also making the trip to Dortmund.
Running as part of Europe’s largest consumer hobby show Intermodellbau Dortmund, which is expected to attract over 85,000 visitors, the concluding round of season one of the EOS has attracted just short of 200 entries including an official factory entry from Team Associated. Associated along with TLR, Tamiya, Durango and Kyosho were staunch supporters of the EOS pilot race last year and will be represented for the first time in the actual series by Brent Theilke, the man responsible for managing the World’s most successful offroad race team, along with World Championship finalist Paul Bradby. Apart from his responsiblity for looking after two of the biggest names in the sport, Ryan Cavalieri and Ryan Maifield, Theilke is himself a very competent competitor recently making the A-Main in 2 & 4WD buggy at one of America’s most prestigious international events the Proline Cactus Classic.Associated Sponsors 2012 Race Calendar
Lee Martin steered his Tamiya TRF502X to victory in the 3rd Leg of the 4WD A-Main to secure second overall at the Belgian round of the inaugural TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby. With Neumann sitting out the race, having secured the overall win in Leg 2, Hupo Honigl led away the field but pressured by the 2WD winner he got slightly out of shape as the race just passed the 1 minute mark allowing Martin to slip through to take the win. Finishing second Honigl had to settle for the third step on the podium at the Black Country Arena.
In 4WD Short Course the battle for the win went to the final race of the day with Honigl, the Top Qualifier, and Neumann having secured a win a piece in the opening two legs. Running nose to tail like carriages on a train the Team Durango team-mates put on an entertaining race. Making contact on a number of occasions Honigl managed to hang on to secure his first overall EOS win. Unable to match the pace of the two European’s Mike Truhe was best of the rest, the American once again completing the podium just like at the season opener in the Czech Republic. In the 2WD Short Course class Durango’s chief designer Gerd Strenge was the winner ahead of Luxembourg’s Tom Maquel and Sascha Hengen.
Another successful event for the burgeoning electric offroad series, drivers now have one month to prepare for the third & final round of the inaugural season of EOS which takes place at Europe’s biggest model exhibition in Dortmund, Germany. Series organisers Scotty Ernst and Uwe Rheinard wish to thank the host club for making the visit to Belgium possible, in particular Jean-Paul Voumard, as well as sponsors TLR, Spektrum, Horizon Hobby, dBoots, Vampire Racing, Proline, Tonisport and DubiDesign who have allowed them to make the EOS a reality.
Having taken an easy win in the opening 4WD Buggy A-Main Team Durango’s Joern Neumann had to fend off a hard charging Lee Martin in Leg 2, the German just hanging on for the win to secure the overall victory at the second round of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series.
Starting from pole, Neumann opened up a gap over team-mate Hupo Honigl as the Austrian defended position from Martin but the winner of the morning’s 2WD Buggy action in Belgium, the British Champion got passed the former multiple European Champion. Having split the Durango duo Martin, who rolled out of contention of the opening leg on the first lap, quickly hauled in Neumann setting the fastest lap but try as hard as he could he ran out of laps to make a passing attempt.
Afterwards Neumann said his front right tyre started to go off half way through the 5-minute encounter but admitted even leaving this aside Martin was a serious treat and they were both on a very similar pace. His second EOS win in 4WD Buggy, the European Champion who is noted for being sparing with his post race comments added that he is already looking forward to Round 3 and to the prospects of going for the hat trick of wins and a clean sweep of the inaugural series. Wanting to leave the way clear for team-mate Honigl and Martin to battle it out for the runner-up spot the 21-year-old will sit out the third A-Main.
Martin said he lost too much time behind Honigl and even though he got close to Neumann it wasn’t close enough to try a clean pass. The factory Tamiya driver said he was really pleased to be able to run as fast as Neumann, a driver who is widely regarded now as the fastest electric offroad driver in the World.