Joern Neumann has claimed TQ honours at the second round of the 2012/13 ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’ in both 4WD Buggy & 4WD Short Course but the final buggy qualifier saw Naoto Matsukura out pace the German setting the stage for a thrilling battle tomorrow between the Durango and Yokomo factory drivers. The only driver to run a 19-second lap in the final qualifier, the Japanese ace outpaced the series’ defending champion by 1 second with a 15/5:07.512 run which was the fastest time set over the four rounds of qualifying.
Behind the pair, who are clearly in a different league to the rest of the 4WD field competing in Langenfeld, TLR’s Dustin Evans backed up his second fastest time in Q2 with third in the final qualifier to put his aging buggy 3rd on the grid. Team-mate Darren Bloomfield took his example of the buggy which was designed before some of tomorrow’s A-Finalist were born to 7th in the final qualification ranking.
Durango will have the largest presence in the final with Neumann’s team-mate Hupo Honigl set to line-up fourth where they will be joined by Round 1 podium finisher Michal Orlowski, who has since switched from Tamiya to run as part of the newly formed Team Durango Poland squad, set to carry the No.8 on his DEX410 while young local racer Oliver Speith completes the line up for the main event.
Struggling with a cold all weekend which he openly admits is effecting his performance Tamiya Racing Factory’s Lee Martin will line up fifth on the grid one spot ahead of Martin Bayer. Giving Xray’s new XB4 its EOS debut the Czech driver, who steered the buggy to a win recently in the popular Czech based Mibocup, could be one to watch tomorrow with the former 1:8 Offroad European Championship podium finisher getting more and more comfortable with the buggy every run.
Responsible for the creation of Schumacher’s new Cat K1 buggy, Tom Cockerill made a good come back after two difficult opening qualifiers to set the sixth fastest time in Q3 & 4 which scraped the British driver through to ninth on the grid.
In 4WD Short Course, Neumann will start on pole position ahead of Evans who at the opening race of the season in Poland brought an end to Durango’s domination of the big truck class. Evans managed a TQ run in Q3 but overall Neumann easily dominated proceedings but in the last qualifier the American posted the only 20-second lap of the day hinting that he might have just at the right time found the form he surprised Neumann with at Round 1 of the EOS.
Team Durango’s Joern Neumann continued his reign as the master of 4WD buggy in Euro Offroad Series taking the opening two rounds of qualifying in Germany but the German had to work a lot harder for it than normal with series debutant Naoto Matsukura looking like he could be a serious treat to the European Champions undefeated winning streak. An early mistake in Q1 by Neumann put Matsukura on the TQ pace but holding a comfortable margin the Japanese ace threw it away with errors on his final two laps. In the second qualifier, the 6-times Japanese National Champion looked like an even more serious treat as he went the top of the timing screens on shear pace but again a mistake was to be his undoing.
Running a fresh set of the series’ controlled dBoots tyres in Q1, Neumann said his DEX410 was a little edgy and this is what led to his early mistake. Lowering his ride height for Q2, he said the tyres where much better second time round but chasing his fifth consecutive 4WD win he admits that he has a real challenger this weekend in the 19-year-old who has already beaten him in 2WD buggy with a win in Leg 1 of the A-Main which was run earlier today.
Setting a new fastest lap of 19.856 in Q2, Matsukura has shown he has the pace to run with Neumann and the three time 1:12 World Champion doesn’t lack confidence in his own ability saying he wants to do the double this weekend. Describing his buggy as a little difficult to drive for Q3 he will change to a harder shock set-up which he hopes will help eliminate some of his errors.
With this race marking Xray’s official EOS debut, factory driver Martin Bayer put in two solid qualifying runs despite having been twiddling his thumbs for much of the day as he is only racing 4WD Buggy. The Czech ace managed the 6th fastest time in his first qualifying joking that after a long day of watching 2WD qualifying and the first round of finals it took him the first 4-minutes of the heat to get his head into gear again after yesterday’s practice. Leaving the buggy pretty much unchanged for Q2, Bayer said his focus is on reducing the number of driver mistakes but improving his time and breaking into the 15 laps he said things are improving with every run.
4WD Buggy Q2 times
1. Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango – 15/5:07.723
2. Dustin Evans (US) – TLR – 15/5:14.040
3. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:14.113
4. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 15/5:14.275
5. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 15/5:20.793
6. Lee Martin (GB) – Tamiya – 15/5:23.457
7. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Durango – 14/5:03.279
8. Darren Bloomfield (GB) – TLR – 14/5:04.288
9. Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 14/5:11.070
10.Oliver Speith (DE) – Durango – 14/5:12.185
EOS debutant Naoto Matsukura has won the first leg of the 2WD Buggy A-main with a dominant performance in Germany. Having secured overall TQ honours earlier in the day the factory Yokomo driver took his B-Max2 MR to a tone to tone victory ahead of defending series champion Joern Neumann with German National Champion Oliver Scholz working his way up from 7th on the grid to complete the Top 3.
A flawless drive from the Japanese ace his rivals were not able to pull off such a clean race. First to hit trouble was Team Durango’s Joern Neumann, a mistake on the second lap allowing TLR’s Dustin Evans and Tamiya’s Lee Martin through. Evans would hold the No.2 spot for next five laps but coming through the crossover section his TLR22 traction rolled leaving the American requiring to be marshaled. Having got back passed Martin earlier this allowed Neumann back up to second. Up front however Matsukura was clearly in control of the race with Neumann’s best efforts not enough to close the gap the pairing separated by 1.6 seconds at the end of the five minutes.
The win is a huge confidence boost for Matsukura who is experiencing European style indoor offroad racing for the first time but the 19-year-old will have to wait till tomorrow to see if he can secure the overall win as the action in Langenfeld now reverts to 4WD with four rounds of qualifying set to bring Day 2 of the EOS Round 2 to a close.
In the 2WD Short Course class, the Top Qualifier also took the win in Leg 1 with local driver Michael Rybski taking his Losi to a 4.5 second winning margin over Tom Bujara with reigning champion & EOS track designer Gerd Strenge taking third from 10th on the grid.
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(1) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:15.081
2.(2) Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango – 15/5:16.682
3.(7) Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 15/5:21.234
4.(4) Lee Martin (GB) – Tamiya – 14/5:00.962
5.(3) Dustin Evans (US) – TLR – 14/5:03.572
6.(5) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Durango – 14/5:05/380
7.(8) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 14/5:09.178
8.(9) Otto Ausfelt (SE) – TLR – 14/5:09.460
9.(6) Darren Bloomfield (GB) – TLR – 14/5:11.142
10.(10)Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 10/3:39.386
Chassis Name – Durango DEX210 Motor – Speed Passion Competition 3.0 ESC – Speed Passion Reventon Pro Tires – dBoots (handout) Radio/Servos – Futaba Remarks – The reigning EOS Champion is running an unchanged DEX210 from the car he ran at the opening round of the series in Poland, which he won. The only difference is that he is now running Futaba radio equipment following a change of sponsor. In terms of setup the Reedy Race Champion has positioned the battery slighter further back in the car to help give more traction on the slippery wooden surfaces.