Starting from pole position defending 2WD Buggy Champion Joern Neumann cruised to victory in the first A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series season opener in Poland, the Durango driver lapping all his rivals up to 2nd and 3rd place finishers Dustin Evans and Darren Bloomfield. The only driver to run a 17-second lap over the 5-minute race, Neumann was given an early break when the No.2 starting TLR 22 of Evans ended up on its roof in the double double on lap 2 dropping the American to the back of the field. A chaotic lap for the majority of the drivers it was team-mate Matt Castellano who moved up to second but it was short lived as he too made a mistake at the same section next time round. Neumann had a moment of his own also on the same lap, flipping his DEX210 at the end of the straight but luckily it landed rubberside down however his advantage already big enough that the German still lead from start to finish. In the end Evans worked his way back towards the front where he would battle it out for second with team-mate Bloomfield. Getting passed the Brit with two laps to go Evans would hold on til the end with a last lap attempt by Bloomfield to out jump the 2011 US National Champion failing to pay off.
Result 2WD Buggy A-main Leg 1
1.(1) Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango – 16/5:09.609
2.(2) Dustin Evans (US) – TLR – 15/5:06.998
3.(3) Darren Bloomfield (GB) – 15/5:08.170
4.(6) Michal Orlowski (PL) – 15/5:09.490
5.(7) Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 15/5:13.210
6.(4) Hupo Hönigl (AT) – Durango – 15/5:13.485
7.(10)David Poulter (GB) – Kyosho – 15/5:16.273
8.(5) Matt Castellano (US) – TLR – 15/5:16.614
9.(8) Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 14/5:00.220
10.(9)Kája Novotny (CZ) – Durango – 14/5:10.862
Unbeaten in 4WD Buggy en route to becoming the inaugural TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series Champion, Joern Neumann looks set to add to his tally of consecutive wins after the Team Durango driver dominated qualifying at the opening round of season No.2 of the series today in Poznan, Poland. Securing the overall TQ honours in Q3, the European Champion stamped his authority on the class when he completed a clean sweep of the time sheets by topping the fourth & final heat with the fastest 5-minute run of the day. Closest to Neumann during the day was team-mate Hupo Hönigl who in the penultimate qualifier got within 5-seconds of the German. That run, Honigl’s fastest of the four heats, secures him second on the grid ahead of fellow LRP/Durango driver Benni Gröschel who showed well in Q1 and Q4 when he was second fastest behind Neumann.
With Durango’s DEX410 buggies locking out the front of the grid, it was TLR’s Dustin Evans who was best of the rest getting his aging XXX-4 into fourth on the grid. Behind the American, who earlier secured TQ honours in 4WD Short Course, factory Schumacher driver Tom Cockerill will line up fifth with young Danish team-mate Jesper Rasmussen starting one spot behind him. Another Scandinavian to make it into the main event was Norwegian Joakim Nicolaisen whose Associated will start from 7th. Having had a tough 2WD qualifying Danny McGee fared better in 4WD to end the day 8th fastest ahead of fellow Tamiya driver Michal Orlowski. Driving a TLR XX-4, Matt Castellano made the A-Main first time of asking with the Californian completing the grid.
Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans pulled off a major surprise in Short Course qualifying at the opening round of the 2012/13 TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in Poland as he ended Durango’s domination of the class becoming the first driver apart from Joern Neumann and Hupo Honigl to take overall TQ honours. Improving his Losi Ten-SCTE every heat the American found his rhythm in Q3 & 4 topping both rounds to become Top Qualifier ahead of Neumann who was fastest in Q1 and Honigl who was fastest in Q2. Having been a class apart last season in 4WD Short Course with Losi’s drivers never a serious treat, in Poznan Evans has completely reversed the tables.
Delighted to take pole after a very close final qualifier in which he beat Neumann by just 1/10th of a second, Evans said this weekend has been a huge turn around for them in terms of getting their truck dialed. Adding that he can’t wait to get a reaction from Mike Truhe, who contested last season’s EOS, and TLR team manager Kevin Gahan when they find out back in the US that he has on merit outpaced the Durango he said team-mate Darren Bloomfield was a big factor in getting the truck on the pace. Having come into this event with some set-up ideas based on what he learned last season, Evans said with Bloomfield only racing 2WD Buggy this weekend he was able to watch both his Losi and the Durango in action and gave valuable input which helped fine tune the handling of the truck.
Neumann said it was like the two manufacturers swapped last season’s EOS form as having never had problems with their trucks flipping they were now struggling to keep it on four wheels. The German said they have tried gluing the tyre walls and cutting the outer pins off the tyres but that hasn’t made much of a difference. Describing the Losi as being heavier than the Durango he said maybe this is giving Evans an advantage and for tomorrow he said the might try adding weight to their trucks.
Joern Neumann is the 2WD Buggy Top Qualifier for the opening round of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby after he made it three TQ runs from four in the final round of qualifying. Dustin Evans, the pace setter in Q1 and only driver who could deny the defending champion pole for tomorrow’s finals going into the final heat, looked like he might get the job done after a mistake by Neumann but 3 laps later the American rolled his TLR at the end of straight loosing a massive 6-seconds. Finishing second 4-seconds behind the Durango driver, Evans will line up on the No.2 spot on the grid with team-mate Darren Bloomfield, who got his first 17-lap run in Q4, set to start third.
Neumann’s third time to TQ 2WD Buggy at an EOS event, he said after his poor start this morning in Q1 the rest of qualifying was ‘good’ after he reverted back to his practice set-up for Q2 which made his DEX210 a lot more stable to drive. Setting a new outright fastest lap in the final qualifier, the German is confident for tomorrow but said he is taking nothing for granted for the triple leg finals saying he expects Evans to push him hard for the win.
Evans, whose previous best qualifying position in the EOS was fourth at last season’s finale from where he went on to finish second overall, feels he has the pace to run with Neumann in the finals but said he needs to just keep it together for the races. Team-mate Bloomfield is very happy with his pace this weekend saying it is the closest he has been in his three EOS race appearances in terms of pace to the two drivers starting ahead of him. Still playing with set-up, Bloomfield said he is having to find a good balance between having the steering he wants and a buggy that is consistent to drive.
Starting fourth, despite driving a rather messy final qualifier from which he finally decided to pull up, Hupo Hönigl said it was a good position from which to watch the trio ahead of him and see what happens. Behind the Austrian will be Matt Castellano, fifth a good effort from the American on his EOS debut. Set to give the huge crowds that are attending the Hobby Exhibition something to cheer about is Polish talent Michal Orlowski who sits sixth ahead of Schumacher lead team driver Tom Cockerill and Swedish TLR supported driver Oskar Levin. Durango driver Kája Novotny from the Czech Republic and David Poulter from the UK complete the 10 car A-Main grid line-up.