Team Durango’s Joern Neumann maintained his winning streak in the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series as he held off an impressive challenge from series debutant Naoto Matsukura in Langenfeld, Germany, the defending champion securing his fifth straight victory at the event which was hosted just 10-minutes from his house. Going down to the third & final leg, after each driver notched up a win & a second each in the opening two finals, there was drama on the first laps as the pair tangled with Matsukura having to wait on Neumann who was swallowed up by the pursuing pack. While Neumann was able to recover to take the win ahead Team Xray’s Martin Bayer who led for 4-laps, the reigning Japanese National Champion could only recover to 4th eventually finishing 6th. Repeating his Leg 2 third place finish in the closing race, TLR’s Darren Bloomfield completed the overall Top 3 to claim his first EOS podium.
After the podium presentation a relieved looking Neumann said that this was by far the hardest win in the EOS and he was delighted to keep his perfect record of TQ’ing & winning all five events since the inception of the series intact. Impressed by the speed of Matsukura who before this weekend had never raced on a carpet offroad track, Neumann said that to maintain his run of victories is going to get harder with Yokomo expected to attending the rest of the series. Apart from the challenge mounted by Matsukura, the European Champion said he had to battle with the set-up on his Speed Passion powered DEX410, the mixed surfaces of the track making the window in which the hand out dBoots tyres suited his buggy very critical.
Having tasted victory when he stood on the top step of the 2WD Buggy podium earlier in the day, Matsukura said he was ‘still happy’ with second overall in 4WD saying it was a ‘good race’. Keen to highlight it was his first race on carpet the 19-year-old, who is 3-time back to back World Champion in 1:12, said he is going to practice before the next round and with a bit more track time he is confident he can do the double in Austria.
Running a buggy that was designed two decades ago, Bloomfield was surprised to come away with a podium finish saying he wished he could have driven his 2WD buggy as well. The 1:8 Offroad European Champion had a funny moment in the opening A-Main, with all the buggies set on the grid ready for the start Race Director Scotty Ernst noticed that British driver had not checked in on the timing monitor. Getting him to drive over the loop to ensure the transponder was working, when it failed to register the body was removed from the buggy to check that everything was connected only to discover Bloomfield had forgot to transfer the transponder back over from his TLR22 which he raced earlier in the day.
Making the international race debut of Xray’s XB4, which is the Slovak company’s first entry into the EP offroad market, Martin Bayer will be encouraged by his second in Leg 3 which secured him fifth overall. With the Czech ace set to be joined by Renaud Savoya for the rest of the series he will be looking to build on what was a promising first EOS outing for the Juraj Hudy designed buggy.
Having had their domination of 4WD Short Course ended at the opening race of the 2012/13 season in Poland by Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans, Durango’s Joern Neumann retook control of the truck class in Langenfeld wrapping up the overall win early thanks to wins in Leg 1 & 2 of the finals. Having set the pace in 3 of 4 qualifiers on Saturday, the Top Qualifier took his DESC410 to a tone to tone wins allowing him to sit out Leg 3.
Having failed to make the start of the opening A-Main after suffering a broken servo saver during his warm-up laps, Evans headed a Losi 1-2-3 in the third encounter finishing 5-seconds in front of team-mate Oskar Levin and Bjorn Prumper. The result gave Evans second overall with Levin securing the final step on the podium on what was his EOS Short Course debut.
Chassis Name – Xray XB4 Motor – LRP ESC – LRP Tires – dBoots (handout) Radio/Servos – KO/Savox Remarks – Martin Bayer is giving the Xray XB4 its international race debut here in Langenfeld and with limited track time compared to the others, only racing the 4wd class, he put the car immediately in the A-main. Martin is running the standard kit car but has set it up very stiff to cope with the high speed high traction conditions.
The winner of 4WD Buggy at the second round of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series will be decided in the the final race of the weekend after Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura took the win in Leg 2 of the A-Main ahead of Top Qualifier & Leg 1 victor Jörn Neumann. The Japanese driver, who is chasing a double win on his EOS debut having won the 2WD Buggy title earlier, took control of the race at the start of the 2nd lap when defending champion Neumann got out of shape at the double just after the loop. Dropping down the field, the German recovered to finish second, a massive 10-seconds behind Matsukura while TLR’s Darren Bloomfield held off an entertaining challenge from fellow country Lee Martin to complete the Top 3. Equal on points going into the deciding leg with a win & a second a piece a win would secure the overall victory in Langenfeld for either driver, with anything less allowing Neumann to maintain his undefeated run as his Leg 1 race time is the faster of the two.
4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(2) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:02.821
2.(1) Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango – 15/5:12.570
3.(7) Darren Bloomfield (GB) – TLR – 15/5:13.201
4.(5) Lee Martin (GB) – Tamiya – 14/5:13.657
5.(4) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 15/5:20.792
6.(8) Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 14/5:00.956
7.(3) Dustin Evans (US) – TLR – 14/5:03.147
8.(6) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 14/5:03.971
9.(9) Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 14/5:18.414
10.(10)Oliver Speith (DE) – Durango – 13/4:58.849