Only fourth fastest in the opening round of 4WD Buggy qualifying, defending champion Joern Neumann got back on top of proceedings setting a new quickest time in Q2 narrowly edging out Martin Bayer when he ran a final lap that was 4/10th faster than Xray driver as the pair ended the qualifier separated by just 3/10th of a second. A podium finish at the season opener in his home country, young Polish talent Michal Orlowski put in a very impressive drive in the top heat to set the third fastest time overall for the round ahead of Q1 pace setter Renaud Savoya.
The second qualifier was another bad round for 1:8 Offroad World Champion Robert Batlle, who having qualified for the 2WD A-Main, was like Savoya expected to do better once proceedings switched to 4WD. 23rd fastest in Q1, the Yokomo driver would retire from Q2 due to broken rear diff. Fellow top international 1:8 driver David Ronnefalk, who is the most experienced in terms of his 1:10 mileage, had another run full of errors taking his Kyosho to the 19th fastest time which although an improvement on Q1 when he was 31st is well below par for the talented Swede who now must put in good runs in the final two qualifiers.
4WD Buggy Round 2 Qualifying Top 10
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 14/5:08.012
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 14/5:08.340
3. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 14/5:09.647
4. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Xray – 14/5:10.504
5. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:11.124
6. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 14/5:14.347
7. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 14/5:14.963
8. Martin Kreil (AT) – Durango – 14/5:14.18.246
9. Patrick Hofer (CH) – Associated – 14/5:19.697
10.Roland Hauleitner (AT) – Associated – 14/5:21.405
Making his debut in the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series at Round 3 in Leoben, Austria, Renaud Savoya made an impressive start to 4WD qualifying as he headed an Xray 1-2 from Martin Bayer in a class that is widely recognized as being the strongest class of defending champion Joern Neumann who has never been defeated in 4WD since the creation of the EOS. Neumann could only manage the 4th fastest time behind Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl who appears to be chasing a record of finishing 3rd having set the 3rd fastest time in all 2WD qualifiers and the opening A-Main earlier today.
An electric buggy novice despite having three 1:8 Offroad European titles to his credit, Savoya said his XB4 felt amazing and after struggling in 2WD he was happy to be competitive straight off. Describing his Orion powered buggy as really easy to drive he said after a mistake at the dBoots Double which moved Bayer to the top of the timing screens he was able to push to make back up the time with no issues. Adding that there is not much he can improve on the buggy he said his focus for Q2 will be on learning the track better as he believes there is time to come from his driving especially through the corner at the end of the straight.
Happy with second, Bayer’s XB4 was the complete opposite to that of his team-mate. Having made his EOS debut at Round 2 in Langenfeld where he led the final A-Main for a number of laps, he said his buggy was really difficult to drive being both edgy and suffering from understeer. Having not changed anything since yesterday’s controlled practice when he was second fastest to Neumann, he said the track has changed and he needs to make small changes to suit for Q2.
Neumann put his run to the fourth fastest time down to new tyres which he said made his DEX410 very loose in the beginning. Causing him to make a mistake this allowed Bayer passed with the current European Champion having to run the rest of the qualifier behind the Xray. With the tyres improving over the run, Neumann, who is chasing a sixth consecutive win in 4WD this weekend, is confident of a better Q2 performance.
Starting from pole position Joern Neumann took a tone to tone win in the opening 2WD Buggy A-Main at EOS Round 3 in Austria ahead of Martin Bayer, the Czech driver mounting an early challenge on the German who at the end of 5-minutes would win by 1.7 seconds. The only two drivers to run 21-second laps in the race, Neumann and Bayer were the class of the field leaving the No.3 starting Durango of Hupo Honigl behind, the Austrian finishing in the order he started ahead of fellow countryman Peter Pinisch.
Neumann, who was happier with his DEX210 than he was in the final qualifier with worn tyres better suiting his buggy, said it was very even between him and Bayer and it was just small mistakes by the Team Xray driver that separated them. Running the fastest lap of the race with a 21.964, Bayer’s fastest lap time of 21.978 shows just how closely matched the two drivers where.
The biggest mover of the race was Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk who starting from the back of the grid took his Ultima RB6 through to sixth ahead of fellow 1:8 Offroad racer Robert Batlle who set the third fastest lap of the race with a 22.180.
Drivers will now switch their attentions back to 4WD Buggy with four rounds of qualifying which will bring Day 2 of the EOS in Leoben to a close with the remaining two 2WD Mains and all the 4WD Mains making up tomorrow’s schedule.
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(1) Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 15/5:16.304
2.(2) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 15/5:18.012
3.(3) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:03.827
4.(5) Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 14/5:06.724
5.(4) Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 14/5:07.700
6.(10)David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 14/5:08.990
7.(7) Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 14/5:12.119
8.(8) Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 14/5:13.721
9.(6) Dominic Bauer (AT) – TLR – 13/4:46.119
10.(9)Jiri Mara (CZ) – Team Xray – 13/5:01.530
Contesting only his second ever 1:10 2WD electric buggy race, the other race having being held on Dirt, 1:8 Offroad Champion Robert Batlle pulled off a great final qualifier at the Euro Offroad Series in Leoben, Austria when he TQ’d Q4 ahead of Joern Neumann to book himself a place on the grid in the A-Main final. Having topped the opening two qualifier, defending champion Joern Neumann secured the overall TQ honours after a round that saw the German, his big rival this weekend Martin Bayer and Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl all setting the TQ pace before mistakes.
Batlle said coming into the event he had set himself the target of making the B-Main so to TQ the last qualifier to put him 7th on the grid in the main event was already a huge result for him and he now just plans to enjoy the finals. The Spaniard, who prior to Q4 had a best run of 11th fastest, said having thought his Yokomo BMax 2MR chassis was set to its maximum length they discover after Q3 it was in fact at the shortest setting. Lengthening it for his final heat, he said it make the buggy so much more stable allowing him to run a 14 lap qualifier, only 5 other drivers having achieved that over the four qualifiers.
Having changing his front tyre for Q3 resulting in him ending up only 8th fastest, Neumann said despite changing back to the dBoot Nanobyte tyre his DEX210 did not feel as good as it did in Q1 & 2. Running fresher rear tyres in Q4 he said this was the only reason he could think of for the difference, with more worn rear Nanobytes giving a better feeling. Happy to secure the overall TQ honours, Neumann, who after winning the season opener was beaten by series debutant Naoto Matsukura at Round 2, said he expects another close race this weekend this time from 2WD debutant Bayer.
Bayer, who said of his mistake during Q4 that he sometimes needs to slow down, is confident he has the speed to be able to challenge Neumann for the win. Running new tyres on his TLR22 chassis in the final qualifier in which he would end up 9th fastest he said the buggy was a little nervous but the tyres would be perfect for the opening A-Main which takes place tonight.
Having posted the third fastest time in all four qualifiers, Honigl said his roll was a stupid mistake as he knew if he hit the double off line it would launch his Dual Sky powered DEX210 into a mid air roll. Feeling a lot better than he did earlier in the day the Austrian is confident that he can stick with Neumann & Bayer and have a go at claiming his first EOS Buggy Main.
For Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk there was a tentative wait as the Top 10 qualifiers were announced by Race Director Scotty Ernst, a very relieved Swede just scraping onto the back of the A-Main grid. Despite a positive showing in practice, 3-time European 1:8 Offroad Road Champion Renaud Savoya missed the cut and will make his 2WD electric race debut from 6th on the grid in the B-Main.
2WD Buggy Round 4 Qualifying Top 10
1. Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 14/5:19.262
2. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 14/5:19.892
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:20.294
4. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 14/5:21.116
5. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 13/5:00.157
6. Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 13/5:00.599
7. Tom Maquel (LU) – Team C – 13/5:01.474
8. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Team Xray – 13/5:01.574
9. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 13/5:01.655
10.Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 13/5:01.792
2WD Buggy A-Main Grid
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 310 pts
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 308
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 304
4. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 303
5. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 302
6. Dominic Bauer (AT) – TLR – 301
7. Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 299
8. Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 299
9. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Team Xray – 298
10.David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 295
Having come close in the opening two rounds of qualifying, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer finally posted a TQ run taking his TLR22 to the fastest time in Q3 of 2WD Buggy at the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in Austria. Only his third ever 2WD Buggy race, the Czech driver was delighted to set the fastest time putting him in contention for the overall TQ honours with just one qualifier remaining. Behind Bayer, Team C’s Oliver Scholz set the second fastest time becoming only the fifth driver in the 91 buggy field to do 14 laps of the indoor track. Once again Mister Consistent Hupo Honigl set the third fastest time in a round that would prove difficult for his Team Durango team-mate Joern Neumann.
Having topped the first two qualifiers, Neumann opted to switch from the handout dBoots front Nanobytes to the Blockpass tyre for Q3 having seen Bayer use them to good effect but the German said they were terrible. Mounting them on a narrow rim, he said they made his DEX210 very aggressive leading him to rolling a number of times. In the end the defending champion could only manage the 8th fastest time and so for the 4th & final qualifier he will revert back to the Nanobyte.
Peter Pinisch enjoyed his best qualifier taking his Associated Centro C4.1 to the 4th fastest time ahead of teenagers Dominic Bauer and Oskar Levin. While Bayer set the pace his 1:8 Offroad rivals had another disappointing round. Adding to his retirement from Q2, Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk said starting from the back he had some traffic issues but ultimately it was just a ‘bad round’ as he made too many mistakes himself. The Swede would set the 26th fastest time, three places behind Renaud Savoya, and now with only one good result from Q1 he needs to get a clean Q4 if he is to book a place in the A-Main. Robert Batlle again just missed out on a Top 10 run setting the 12th fastest time.
2WD Buggy Round 3 Qualifying Top 10
1. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14/5:17.219
2. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 14/5:18.628
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:19.414
4. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 13/5:01.222
5. Dominic Bauer (AT) – TLR – 13/5:01.439
6. Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 13/5:02.160
7. Marcus Lubke (DE) – Team C – 13/5:02.723
8. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 13/5:02.801
9. Rene Trauner (AT) – Yokomo – 13/5:03.862
10.Tom Maquel (LU) – Team C – 13/5:03.953