Having surprised his rivals by topping the opening round of qualifying, Team Xray’s Renaud Savoya proved it was not by chance as he again put his XB4 top of the time sheets in Q4. Ending qualifying equal on points with defending Champion Joern Neumann, the French ace was denied the overall TQ on his debut in the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series due to the German having a faster combined time from his TQ runs in Q2 & 3. For Neumann securing the Top Qualifier honours maintains his record as being the only driver to start on pole position in 4WD Buggy in the EOS since its creation.
Having struggled with a very nervous buggy in Q3 after he set his ride height incorrectly when copying that of his team-mate Martin Bayer, Savoya said with it set correctly his Orion powered XB4 was ‘way more easy to drive’. Conscious of the fastest time deciding the tie break he said he pushed as hard as he could but his tyres went off hence the slower time which was 1.4 second off his own opening TQ time. Not expecting to be as competitive on his debut, the 3-time 1:8 Offroad European Champion said he is really looking forward to racing Neumann, who is recongnised as one of best 4WD Buggy drivers in the World, in tomorrow’s triple Mains.
For Neumann, the final qualifier saw him retire his Durango with an electrical problem the source of which the European Champion has yet to find. In 4WD Short Course, of which he is also the defending champion, he had problems too failing to finish all his heats after he TQ’d Q1 but he said these were due to radio interference.
Starting third will be Bayer, the Czech driver backing up his impressive 2WD qualifying performance in which he claimed second on the grid. Third fastest in Q4 behind Associated’s Peter Pinisch, Bayer came very close to TQ’ing Q2 & 3 only to lose out to Neumann on the very last lap and he will certainly be one to watch in the finals.
4WD Buggy Round 3 Qualifying Top 10
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Durango – 14/5:05.166
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 14/5:05.961
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:07.213
4. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 14/5:11.350
5. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Xray – 14/5:12.794
6. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 14/5:13.266
7. Martin Kreil (AT) – Durango – 14/5:15.701
8. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 14/5:16.286
9. Patrick Hofer (CH) – Associated – 14/5:17.502
10.Kaja Novotny (CZ) – Durango – 14/5:17.596
4WD Buggy Round 4 Qualifying Top 10
1. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Xray – 14/5:12.239
2. Peter Pinisch (AT) – Associated – 14/5:15.191
3. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 14/5:15.463
4. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 14/5:15.653
5. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Xray – 14/5:15.916
6. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 14/5:16.308
7. Martin Hansen (DK) – Kyosho – 14/5:16.374
8. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 14/5:17.618
9. Martin Kreil (AT) – Durango – 14/5:20.310
10.Roland Hauleitner (AT) – Associated – 14/5:20.885
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